Imagine you have a close friend you frequently communicate with via text. One day, they suddenly die. You reel, you cry, you attend their funeral. Then you decide to pick up your phone and send them a message, just like old times. “I miss you,” you type. A little response bubble appears at the bottom of […]
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Falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020, a new report has suggested. A scenario that takes into account the latest cost reduction projections for the green technologies, and countries’ pledges to cut emissions, finds that solar power and electric vehicles are “game changers” that could […]
When Donald Trump won the election, many in Silicon Valley were flummoxed: “How could a bigoted billionaire with no government experience and a twitchy Twitter trigger finger win the U.S. presidential election?” they asked themselves.
When education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart. That fundamental insight seized reformers in the Industrial Revolution, heralding state-funded universal schooling. Later, automation in factories and offices called forth […]
The McDonald’s on the corner of Third Avenue and 58th Street in New York City doesn’t look all that different from any of the fast-food chain’s other locations across the country. Inside, however, hungry patrons are welcomed not by a cashier waiting to take their order, but by a “Create Your Taste” kiosk – an […]
2016 was a banner year for artificial intelligence. Alpha Go’s victory over Lee Sedol was perhaps one of the most important, but we saw advancements in self-driving cars, the continued embrace of bots and personal assistants for retail, adoption and competition around in-house assistants like Amazon Echo, along with frequent, sometimes weekly, breakthroughs on the […]
I’m certainly not going to win any popularity contests for writing this article. The last thing anybody wants to talk about after a presidential election is a patent bubble. After all, most of us took a nice stock market beat down during the recent housing bubble and mortgage crisis.
Donald Trump tends to present the labor market as a zero-sum game: companies have shifted production to China and other emerging markets. He’s going to bring those jobs home. Put aside for a moment how moving jobs back to a country with high costs gives companies an incentive to automate. There’s a bigger problem: After displacing U.S. manufacturing workers, robots are […]
Imagine that you could have superhero vision, seeing in not only what we know as the visible spectrum, but using wavelengths that allow you to see through fog, and detect black ice. Or imagine a Star Trek-like medical tricorder that could take a tiny bit of body fluid and determine what was ailing you.
A Japanese company is making 34 employees redundant in order to replace them with IBM’s Watson Explorer AI. Human workers at Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance are set to be replaced by an artificial intelligence that can calculate payouts to policyholders.