Archive for the ‘economics’ category

Feb 28, 2020

For a Bright Future of Work, We Must Get Better at Collaborating With Machines

Posted by in categories: economics, education, employment, robotics/AI

Ogba Educational Clinic

Theoretically, workers have been on the fast track to obsolescence since the Luddites took sledgehammers to industrial looms in the early 1800s.

In 1790, 90 percent of all Americans made their living as farmers; today it’s less than 2 percent. Did those jobs disappear? Not exactly. The agrarian economy morphed, first into the industrial economy, next into the service economy, now into the information economy.

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Feb 28, 2020

The Future of Fashion Is Circular: Why the 2020s Will Be About Making New Clothes Out of Old Ones

Posted by in categories: economics, sustainability

In the next decade, designers and consumers will need to radically shift their perspectives on value and commit to a circular economy based on recycling, upcycling, and repurposing what already exists.

Feb 27, 2020

Eric Schmidt: I Used to Run Google. Silicon Valley Could Lose to China

Posted by in categories: economics, government, security

But in recent years, Americans — Silicon Valley leaders included — have put too much faith in the private sector to ensure U.S. global leadership in new technology. Now we are in a technology competition with China that has profound ramifications for our economy and defense — a reality I have come to appreciate as chairman of two government panels on innovation and national security. The government needs to get back in the game in a serious way.

We can’t win the technology wars without the federal government’s help.

Feb 27, 2020

Asia’s economies must learn to accommodate rise of robots

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, government, robotics/AI

While robotics and automation create a plethora of opportunities for skilled labor, they substitute many jobs of unskilled labor. Philips’ automated shaver factory in the Netherlands employs one-tenth of the workforce of its factory in China that makes the same shavers. Such developments accentuate inequality and pose severe social pressure in developed countries, which would need to be addressed by government in the years to come.

Technology can complement humans but it can also eliminate their jobs.

Lilac Nachum

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Feb 21, 2020

Epidemics like coronavirus are putting a spotlight on contactless biometrics

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, economics, health, privacy

This is a guest post by Mohammed Murad, vice president, global sales and business development, Iris ID.

The world is in the grip of a coronavirus epidemic the impact of which extends well beyond people’s health, including more than 1,300 reported deaths. The fear of this recently identified disease has closed businesses and grounded thousands of flights. The impacts have led to estimates of reduced economic growth in many countries.

While the virus that was first discovered in a Chinese province has killed far fewer people than influenza this year, the fatality rate has people worried. Influenza reportedly kills between 10 to 20 people per 100,000 infections each year. The death rate from the coronavirus tops 2,300 deaths per 100,000 cases. Those latter statistics change virtually daily as more cases of the virus are reported.

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Feb 20, 2020

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, employment

Never in history have we seen wealth concentrated (Apple is worth over a trillion dollars). Money and congressional power answers why legislators: let drug companies squeeze dollars from sick people, refuse to stop a president who winks and nods at Putin, at right-wing agitators, who stoke bigotry, or singles out Black, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees (let’s just lump them together). Fear of others comes from seeds planted early in life. Fear is personal — you don’t feel mine, I don’t feel yours.

But, alas, the future will be like nothing we have experienced. It’s a HUUUGE planet, with decades to come, which, if we lived long enough would from today’s vantage be unrecognizable. What we do know from our lives is that we are but a small part, not only small in terms of our kind or beliefs (political, religious, cultural), but small in influence over the planet’s trajectory (war, maybe atomic, population growth, immigration, climate, economy, racial, ethnic composition, e.g., in the U.S.).

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Feb 16, 2020

Machines are now formally part of knowledge economy

Posted by in categories: business, economics, robotics/AI

The China court ruling that gave copyright protection to AI-generated content opens many doors, but also poses a volley of questions.

A recent Chinese court ruling marks a great leap forward for artificial intelligence (AI). The People’s Court of Nanshan District of Shenzhen has ruled that that content created by an AI programme is protected by copyright laws, and the makers of the AI programme hold the intellectual property rights for the content. This appears to be the world’s first case involving IPRs and artificial intelligence — the nuts and bolts of business of the future. The court has held that Shanghai Yingxun Technology Company’s act last year of reproducing an article written by Dreamwriter AI Writing Robot, owned by tech giant Tencent, comes under the purview of copyright breach. It has asked the company to pay a fine of 1,500 yuan ($216).

This ruling comes at a juncture in the evolution of AI when lawmakers, companies, IP rights activists and technologists from myriad geographies are engaged in intricate and intense debates over how intellectual contributions and creations from AI should be treated, especially in the content industry. Validating the Tencent article’s eligibility for copyright cover, the Shenzhen court said the article’s form of expression conforms to the requirements of written work, its structure was reasonable, the logic was clear and it had a “certain originality”. The ruling also means work authored by a non-human can be or should be treated at par with a work created by human intelligence. This poses a volley of philosophical and ethical questions. The advancements in deep tech, especially machine learning, have blurred lines between the creativity of humans and machines. In some of the arts and sciences, machines can perform — and even outperform humans — by producing original and organic works.

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Feb 15, 2020

Robots could take over 20 million jobs by 2030, study claims

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, robotics/AI

According to a new study from Oxford Economics, within the next 11 years there could be 14 million robots put to work in China alone.

Economists analyzed long-term trends around the uptake of automation in the workplace, noting that the number of robots in use worldwide increased threefold over the past two decades to 2.25 million.

While researchers predicted the rise of robots will bring about benefits in terms of productivity and economic growth, they also acknowledged the drawbacks that were expected to arise simultaneously.

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Feb 14, 2020

Alternative financing for lunar mining exploration

Posted by in categories: economics, finance, space travel

The space industry is in the midst of a widespread transformation, as the last decade has seen several young, private companies seek to profit in areas historically dominated by governmental interests. Among these areas is lunar mining, which represents a crucial step for the development of the space economy by enabling the utilization of lunar resources. Though significant opportunities exist for wealth creation and societal benefits, it will require sustained multibillion-dollar investment to develop a vibrant lunar mining industry.

Exploration is the essential first step for any mining endeavor, terrestrially or otherwise, but with the technical challenges of lunar mining largely solved, access to capital has become the prevailing constraint. While the uncertainty of operating in space is the commonly used explanation for capital constraints, in reality, terrestrial explorers have seen funding steadily decline for a decade, with investors favoring lower risk, passive exposure to the mining sector. For lunar mining firms seeking to attract capital for exploration, this essay details the incompatibility of traditional investment options, the financing strategies developed by the similarly cash-strapped terrestrial mining industry, and how prospective lunar miners should capitalize on emerging trends in project finance.

Feb 14, 2020

‘Rosetta stone’ for urban scaling makes sense of how cities change across time and space

Posted by in categories: economics, education

Cities change as they grow — not only by adding area or population but also in a variety of other ways, from the length and width of their roads to economic growth to the distribution of elementary schools. Social scientists often clash over the best way to measure change as a city swells. Traditionally, they’ve taken a cross-sectional approach, which means collecting data on a large number of cities of diverse sizes at the same moment in time. More recently, some researcher…

New work reconciles divergent methods used to analyze the scaling behavior of cities.

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