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May 1, 2021

India is churning out billion-dollar startups. Now they need to start making money

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics

The mood a year later is very different, despite a brutal surge in coronavirus cases that is threatening the economic recovery. India’s startup community has found itself in an unprecedented funding bonanza.


In the first four months of 2021, 11 startups have attained unicorn status, meaning they’ve reached a valuation of at least $1 billion.

Apr 27, 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Shift To Renewables Could Save It $200 Billion

Posted by in categories: economics, energy, finance

Saudi Arabia could save some $200 billion over the next ten years by switching from crude oil to natural gas and renewables for electricity production, Reuters reports, citing the Kingdom’s Finance Minister.

“Instead of buying fuel from the international markets at $60 and then selling it at $6 for Saudi utilities, or using some of our quota in OPEC to sell at $6, we’re going to actually displace at least 1 million barrels a day of oil equivalent in the next 10 years and replace it with gas and renewables,” Mohammed al-Jadaan said.

OPEC’s largest oil producer and world’s largest exporter of crude is on a desperate quest to reduce its dependence on oil revenues by diversifying its economy away from the flagship export stock. Earlier this year, Crown Prince Mohammed, who appears to be the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, announced yet another investment program with a view to this diversification that he said would “unlock new local investments valued at SAR 5 Trillion through the end of 2030.”

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Apr 26, 2021

The Space Renaissance Medici Fund Announces Three Student Sponsored Programmes

Posted by in categories: economics, education, engineering, ethics, government, law, policy, space travel

**Space Renaissance International (SRI) Medici Fund** is happy to announce that, due to the generosity of our Education Sponsors, we are able to award a few **prizes and grants for students** of any age, interested to space settlement, exploration and civilian development. Three programmes are now open to applicants, in the frame of the **2021 Space Renaissance Congress “The Civilian Space Development”**.

The 3° SRI World Congress (SRIC3) will take place in a virtual format and will provide attendees with cutting-edge developments in Space Settlement & Exploration, Human Rights, Ethics, Policies, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Energy, Economics and Education from leaders in their respective fields. Experts in research and industry will present the emerging technologies and future directions in their field. Students at all ages, who are interested in Space Science, Technology, Philosophy, Economy, Policy, Law, Art, are warmly encouraged to participate to the 2021 Space Renaissance Congress. Please visit this link to apply to any of the Student Sponsored Programmes: https://2021.spacerenaissance.space/index.php/students-sponsored-programs/

Apr 22, 2021

Musk: “We Need Universal Basic Income Because Robots Will Take All the Jobs”

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

Are we gonna get paid just to live in an automated world?


We may need to pay people just to live in an automated world, says Elon Musk. He reckons the robot revolution is inevitable and it’s going to take all the jobs.

Continue reading “Musk: ‘We Need Universal Basic Income Because Robots Will Take All the Jobs’” »

Apr 20, 2021

Hackers Used to Be Humans. Soon, AIs Will Hack Humanity

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, economics

Like crafty genies, AIs will grant our wishes, and then hack them, exploiting our social, political, and economic systems like never before.

Apr 20, 2021

FTC warns it could crack down on biased AI

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, habitats, information science, law enforcement, robotics/AI

AI systems can lead to race or gender discrimination.


The US Federal Trade Commission has warned companies against using biased artificial intelligence, saying they may break consumer protection laws. A new blog post notes that AI tools can reflect “troubling” racial and gender biases. If those tools are applied in areas like housing or employment, falsely advertised as unbiased, or trained on data that is gathered deceptively, the agency says it could intervene.

“In a rush to embrace new technology, be careful not to overpromise what your algorithm can deliver,” writes FTC attorney Elisa Jillson — particularly when promising decisions that don’t reflect racial or gender bias. “The result may be deception, discrimination — and an FTC law enforcement action.”

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Apr 13, 2021

Arman Kashkinbekov — Honorary CEO, Renewable Energy of Kazakhstan — Making Kazakhstan Green Again

Posted by in categories: economics, education, energy, sustainability

Making Kazakhstan Green Again — Mr. Arman Kashkinbekov, Honorary CEO and Board Member, Association of Renewable Energy of Kazakhstan — Director, International Snow Leopard Foundation.


Mr. Arman Kashkinbekov, is the honorary CEO and board member, Association of Renewable Energy of Kazakhstan and Deputy Chairman of the Board, International Centre for Green Technologies and Investment Projects (Kazakhstan).

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Apr 11, 2021

Semiconductor units forecast to exceed 1 trillion devices in 2021

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, energy, finance

Total semiconductor shipments including shipments of ICs as well as optoelectronics, sensor/actuator and discrete (O-S-D) devices are forecast to rise 13% to a record high of 1.135 trillion units in 2021, according to IC Insights. It would mark the third time that semiconductor units have surpassed one trillion units in a calendar year — the first time being in 2018.

The 13% increase follows a 3% increase in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was wreaking havoc across many segments of the economy, IC Insights indicated. From 1978, when 32.6 billion units were shipped, through 2021, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for semiconductor units is forecast to be 8.6%. The strong CAGR also demonstrates that new market drivers continue to emerge that fuel demand for more semiconductors.

Between 2004 and 2007, semiconductor shipments broke through the 400-, 500-, and 600-billion unit levels before the global financial meltdown led to a steep decline in semiconductor shipments in 2008 and 2009. Unit growth rebounded sharply in 2010 with a 25% increase and surpassed 700 billion devices that year. Another strong increase in 2017 (12% growth) lifted semiconductor unit shipments beyond the 900-billion level before the one-trillion mark was surpassed in 2018, IC Insights said.

Apr 9, 2021

Rocket Report: SpaceX abandons catching fairings, ULA bets on upper stages

Posted by in categories: economics, government, space travel

I found your rocket … Kyle Foreman, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told GeekWire that the property owner left a message reporting the debris. “The sheriff’s office checked it out on Monday, and SpaceX staff came over on Tuesday and retrieved it,” Foreman said. SpaceX has yet to detail precisely what went wrong with the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage, such that it failed to de-orbit in a controlled manner over the ocean. Fortunately, no one on the ground was injured. (submitted by Ken the Bin)

Brazilian launch site stirs controversy. The Brazilian government is committed to further developing the Alc ntara Launch Center on the country’s north Atlantic coast, near the equator. However, the region is also home to Afro-Brazilian residents of settlements first established by escaped slaves. These settlements are known as Quilombola communities. The Washington Post recently did a deep dive into the controversy, examining how eviction of these communities would affect local residents. The newspaper found that the spaceport expansion could displace nearly 2100 people from Quilombola communities.

Brazil’s polarizing dilemma … Marcos Pontes, head of the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, said there are no plans to relocate families “right now.” And if the time comes to remove people, he predicted, they will go willingly. “They are going to see development coming in, real development,” he said. “All of the resistance, that is going to be gradually disappearing.” This seems unlikely. The clash is the distillation of one of Brazil’s most urgent and polarizing dramas, the publication says. What is more important: developing a vast country with unrealized potential and a lagging economy? Or protecting some of its most vulnerable communities?

Continue reading “Rocket Report: SpaceX abandons catching fairings, ULA bets on upper stages” »

Apr 9, 2021

Could Mario Kart Teach Us How to Reduce World Poverty and Improve Sustainability?

Posted by in categories: economics, food, sustainability

In a recent paper, Bell argues that the principles of Mario Kart—especially the parts of it that make it so addictive and fun for players—can serve as a helpful guide to create more equitable social and economic programs that would better serve farmers in low-resource, rural regions of the developing world. That’s because, even when you’re doing horribly in Mario Kart—flying off the side of Rainbow Road, for example—the game is designed to keep you in the race.

“Farming is an awful thing to have to do if you don’t want to be a farmer,” Bell says. “You have to be an entrepreneur, you have to be an agronomist, put in a bunch of labor…and in so many parts of the world people are farmers because their parents are farmers and those are the assets and options they had.” This is a common story that Bell has come across many times during research trips to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malawi, and other countries in southern Africa, and is what largely inspired him to focus his research on policies that could aid in development.

In his new paper, Bell argues that policies that directly provide assistance to farmers in the world’s poorest developing regions could help reduce poverty overall, while increasing sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Bell says the idea is a lot like the way that Mario Kart gives players falling behind in the race the best power-ups, designed to bump them towards the front of the pack and keep them in the race. Meanwhile, faster players in the front don’t get these same boosts, and instead typically get weaker powers, such as banana peels to trip up a racer behind them or an ink splat to disrupt the other players’ screens. This boosting principle is called “rubber banding,” and it’s what keeps the game fun and interesting, Bell says, since there is always a chance for you to get ahead.

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