September 20, 2023

The fast-casual dining chain Sweetgreen has developed a nationwide following of fans by selling fresh salads that start at $15 apiece. Although the company certainly charges a hefty amount for one of its signature bowls, Sweetgreen still struggles to make a profit due to high labor costs and expensive ingredients. This video examines the chain’s money troubles while also looking at its plans for profitability, including automation and expanding outside of major cities.

Questions:

  1. What are some reasons why Sweetgreen Continue reading
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August 25, 2023

For nearly a century, car companies all over the world have built life-size clay models of vehicles in order to make all sorts of design decisions. But don’t let the humble materials fool you: luxury brands like Bentley often spend more than $650,000 to make just one model. This video looks at the benefits of building these pricey prototypes during the development process and why virtual reality tools won’t entirely replace clay anytime soon. 

Questions:

  1. What are the advantages Continue reading
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April 5, 2023

In the last few months, we’ve posted videos focusing on small businesses that produce mouthwatering foods by hand, from tasty chocolates to delicious hand-rolled bagels. Today’s video looks at another sort of commercial kitchen, however, a facility owned by Delta Airlines that pumps out more than 3,000 meals daily by relying on robotic machines. 

Questions:

  1. Why does Delta rely on automated cooking machines at its Atlanta facility?
  2. Do you think small businesses producing food by hand could benefit Continue reading
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February 17, 2023

With thousands of locations across more than 90 international markets, Domino’s has become a global powerhouse thanks largely to its innovative production and distribution methods. This video takes an extensive look at how Domino’s makes pizza, focusing especially on a dough-making facility that relies heavily on automation to succeed.

Questions:

  1. Why did Domino’s install automated systems in its Indiana dough-making facility?
  2. Do you think more food companies should rely on automation like Domino’s? Why or why not?
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February 10, 2023

For the last few weeks, chatbots powered by artificial intelligence have made waves on social media as users talk with these automated conversation partners. The bot ChatGPT, for instance, can provide reasonable answers to questions posed by users regardless of their spelling or grammar. These responses are delivered in natural-sounding sentences that do not require scripting, a significant improvement on clunky chatbots of the past. As a result, many big companies are looking to get in on the ground floor Continue reading

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June 22, 2021

Last month, we looked at how the global shortage of microchips has severely restricted production of everything from video game consoles to dog washing stations. This video examines the manufacturing process for these precious components and explains why semiconductor production cannot be easily increased. 

Questions:

  1. Why is it difficult for manufacturers to speed up production on microchips and semiconductors?
  2. What are some possible solutions for increasing global microchip production?
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April 13, 2021

Spring is in full swing with seasonal showers leading to blooming flowers and growing lawns across the country. But with these idyllic scenes come unpleasant sounds as roaring leaf blowers and rumbling lawnmowers tear through American neighborhoods. Along with raising an almighty racket, these gas-powered machines also emit more pollutants than most cars and trucks. According to California’s Air Resource Board, a commercial leaf blower operating for one hour emits as many contaminants as a Toyota Camery driving for 1,100 Continue reading

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October 16, 2020

On the surface, food advertisements don’t seem to be overly complicated. As this detailed video shows, though, filming the average food commercial often requires scientific precision as well as robotic assistance. 

Questions:

  1. Why is it important for ad makers to stick closely to what their clients want to see in a commercial? 
  2. Do you think it is worth the expense for companies to use robots and other complicated and expensive filming techniques in their ads? Why or why not?
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August 20, 2020

As companies across all industries look for ways to reduce contact between employees during the pandemic, many are turning to automated labor as a way both to stay safe and trim costs. This video looks at how advanced robotic technology could change workplaces in the long term while also examining the potential limitations of automation. 

Questions:

  1. Why are many companies investing in automated labor during the pandemic?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of automation?
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January 9, 2020

In recent years, many Silicon Valley tech firms have pledged to make sustainability a top priority. But as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft develop environmentally friendly operations, oil companies are also using their technology to extract more petrochemicals from the earth. The video below takes an in-depth look at the history of oil extraction and how modern tech companies are risking their reputations by getting involved with the fossil fuel industry. 

Questions:

  1. How does machine learning help tech companies become Continue reading
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