March 9, 2018: Friday News Roundup

Happy belated International Women’s Day! We hope you took time yesterday to honor women who have made positive contributions to your life and the world we all share. That includes the female instructors and students who are improving lives through learning on Udemy! Keeping with the theme, today’s roundup features stories about where women are dominating the science field as well as an appreciation of early computing pioneers who just so happened to be women.

The West Is Way Behind Iran And Saudi Arabia When It Comes To Women In Science
Here’s something we learned: “Young women in science are the rule, not the exception, in the Middle East. At least a third of STEM trained talent across the Muslim world is female.” Something else we learned: “In Iran, nearly 70% of university graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are women—a higher percentage than in any other country.”

How Female ENIAC Programmers Pioneered the Software Industry
During WWII, the U.S. Army enlisted six women for a secret project writing code for ENIAC. The work done by these mathematicians “launched a modern software industry,” yet these pioneering women were largely forgotten over time. They were finally inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1997. (If this story piques your interest, go watch “Hidden Figures” next!)

Bricklayers Think They’re Safe From Robots. Decide for Yourself.
Maybe you’re familiar with the story of railroad worker John Henry competing against a steam-powered drill in an early man-vs.-machine matchup. Well, now we’ve got human bricklayers racing against their would-be robot replacements. Care to wager on who won?

Five Skills Everybody Will Need For The Jobs Of The Future
It’s not just bricklayers who feel robots breathing (figuratively) down their backs. In China alone, it’s estimated that more than 100 million workers will need to find new jobs due to automation. So, what should you do to make sure you’re prepared for the future of work? Obviously, you should take Udemy courses, but this article has a few more suggestions.

Amazon Has A Fix For Alexa’s Creepy Laughs
OMG, now the bots are literally laughing at us??? There was a bit of alarm this past week when Alexa-enabled devices, like the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker, spontaneously emitted “cackling sounds.” Though Amazon has a fix in the works, that may be cold comfort to the many users who were totally freaked out by the unprovoked robot laughter.