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Apr 26, 2017

15 books to browse ahead of TED2017

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment, genetics, information science, life extension, mathematics

2017 begins on Monday in Vancouver, Canada, and will explore the theme “The Future You.” If the future you is anything like the future us, you are likely curled up in a big cushy chair right now, devouring the contents of a book that flips your thinking. Below, some reading suggestions from the speaker program. Read, enjoy and stay tuned to the TED Blog for beat-by-beat coverage of the conference.


TED2017 begins on Monday in Vancouver, Canada, and will explore the theme “The Future You.” If the future you is anything like the future us, you are likely curled up in a big cushy chair right now, devouring the contents of a book that flips your thinking. Below, some reading suggestions from the speaker program. Read, enjoy and stay tuned to the TED Blog for beat-by-beat coverage of the conference.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil. The decisions that affect our lives are no longer made by humans — they’re made by algorithms. This might sound like a great way around bias and discrimination, but these things are often built right into our mathematical models. When it comes to college admissions, decisions on parole, applications to jobs and the affects of a bad credit score, O’Neil explores the unintended consequences of algorithms. (Read an excerpt.)

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Apr 24, 2017

Billionaire Jack Ma says CEOs could be robots in 30 years, warns of decades of ‘pain’ from A.I., internet impact

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

Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma warned on Monday that society could see decades of pain thanks to disruption caused by the internet and new technologies to different areas of the economy.

In a speech at a China Entrepreneur Club event, the billionaire urged governments to bring in education reform and outlined how humans need to work with machines.

“In the coming 30 years, the world’s pain will be much more than happiness, because there are many more problems that we have come across,” Ma said in Chinese, speaking about potential job disruptions caused by technology.

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Apr 15, 2017

Getting paid to do nothing: why the idea of China’s dibao is catching on

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

China’s minimum living standard guarantee, named dibao, is receiving fresh interest in the region as countries from Korea to India turn to universal basic income (UBI) to boost their economies and combat the coming automation-induced job crisis.


Asia-Pacific countries are beginning to consider their own form of universal basic income in the face of an automation-induced jobs crisis.

By David Green

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Apr 13, 2017

There’s A 47% Chance A Robot Will Steal Your Job

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Almost half of our jobs will vanish by 2033 due to robotics and computer automation, according to an Oxford University study. Another study commissioned by the real-estate services company CB Richard Ellis predicts that half the occupations we have now will disappear by 2025.

So who can expect pink slips during the Rise of the Machines?

Predictably, people who work on assembly lines, plantations and construction sites will be replaced by robots that don’t sleep, get sick or take smoke breaks.

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Apr 12, 2017

The Risks of Bias and Errors in Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: employment, information science, policy, robotics/AI

Machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence systems influence many aspects of people’s lives: news articles, movies to watch, people to spend time with, access to credit, and even the investment of capital. Algorithms have been empowered to make such decisions and take actions for the sake of efficiency and speed. Despite these gains, there are concerns about the rapid automation of jobs (even such jobs as journalism and radiology). A better understanding of attitudes toward and interactions with algorithms is essential precisely because of the aura of objectivity and infallibility cultures tend to ascribe to them. This report illustrates some of the shortcomings of algorithmic decisionmaking, identifies key themes around the problem of algorithmic errors and bias, and examines some approaches for combating these problems. This report highlights the added risks and complexities inherent in the use of algorithmic decisionmaking in public policy. The report ends with a survey of approaches for combating these problems.

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Apr 11, 2017

Accountants are embracing artificial intelligence

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Despite the popular belief that artificial intelligence is coming to take your jobs away, accountants would love some robotic help to get them through the day. This is according to a new report by Sage, which says 96 percent of accountants are confident about the future of accountancy as well as their role in it.

Despite welcoming change, more than two thirds of respondents (68 percent) expect their roles to change through automation, in the future.

Here’s what accountants are expecting from automation: almost four in ten (38 percent) see number-crunching as their number one frustration. Thirty-two percent still use manual methods for this work. A quarter (25 percent) use Excel while seven percent still use handwritten notes.

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Apr 10, 2017

Artificial intelligence and drones ‘future of policing’

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

Artificial intelligence and drones will be key policing tools in the future amid budget and job cuts, Gwent Police’s chief constable has said.

Jeff Farrar said he foresees every police vehicle carrying a drone in the years to come and for more computers to do jobs “that do not involve emotion”.

Gwent has had £50m of funding cuts and still needs to make £9m of savings. It has also lost 300 officers since 2011.

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Apr 7, 2017

Workplace diversity will soon include artificial intelligence

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

A tsunami of change is already arriving. Artificial intelligence is now capable of doing desk jobs that were previously safe from automation. The social and economic effects remain to be seen, but is AI what we think it is?

Workplaces that include (AI) will soon be reality, say researchers who believe the rise of AI in all areas of life is not only inevitable, it’s set to reshape the way we think about consciousness and human identity.

From Metropolis to 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Terminator, robots and super-intelligent AIs in film have seduced and terrified our collective consciousness, having an impact on how we view artificial intelligence. But will they really crush the puny humans and take over the world?

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Apr 4, 2017

Forget humans — not even American robots can find work in American factories

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

President Trump has vowed to bring back American manufacturing jobs. But the evidence is overwhelming that foreign-made robots are the future.

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Apr 3, 2017

From Home Aeroponic Gardens to Vertical Urban Farms

Posted by in categories: employment, food, habitats, space travel, sustainability

Sometimes people bring up overpopulation scenarios where the population can fit inside Texas. But they ask, what about all the stuff that supports that population? Here is one answer.


Located in an abandoned 70,000-square-foot factory in Newark, New Jersey, the world’s largest vertical farm aims to produce 2,000,000 pounds of food per year. This AeroFarms operation is also set up to use 95% less water than open fields, with yields 75 times higher per square foot. Their stacked, high-efficiency aeroponics system needs no sunlight, soil or pesticides. The farm’s proximity to New York City means lower transportation costs and fresher goods to a local market. It also means new jobs for a former industrial district.

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