This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes: Tech fuels hotel strikes; the role of biometrics in travel; and more.
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Tech drives hotel strikes
Concerns about how new technology in the hotel industry will impact jobs is one of the primary driving forces—along with the usual wages and benefits—behind hotel strikes across the United States, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"I'm not against technology," Juan Eusebio, a doorman at the W Hotel in Boston and union negotiator told the Tribune. "I just want any technology that comes in to help us do a better job, not take our jobs away."
The newspaper notes things that concern union members include “robots delivering room service, check-in kiosks with facial recognition technology and ‘smart’ speakers that serve as an in-room concierge.”
Experts warn of IT 'talent gap'
Experts say the talent gap among information technology workers is expected to widen in years ahead due to increasing scarcity of “workers with digital skills in artificial intelligence, Internet-of-Things, blockchain and other areas,” International Data Corp. said in a report cited by The Wall Street Journal.
That group estimates 30% of IT jobs across the globe will be unfilled by 2022.
The U.S. added 107,000 IT jobs in October and “U.S. employers have sought to fill more than 282,000 positions in emerging technologies” since January, which represents a 65% year-over-year increase.
Biometrics taking a bigger role in travel
Things like facial recognition and other forms of biometric scanning are set to take a bigger role in travel as The Independent reports on a recent survey that shows “three-quarters of airports and 71pc of airlines (including JetBlue and British Airways) are planning to identify travelers using facial recognition or other biometric data, or are researching the area.”
According to the newspaper, Delta Air Lines is rolling out a “biometric terminal” in partnership with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Terminal F of the Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“Under the new system customers flying direct to an international destination can opt to use facial recognition technology—which verifies passengers by matching them to the documents they are presenting—from arrival at the airport right to the gate,” the newspaper reports.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.