Artificial intelligence and increasing automation is going to decimate middle class jobs, worsening inequality and risking significant political upheaval, Stephen Hawking has warned.
In a column in The Guardian, the world-famous physicist wrote that”the automation of factories has already decimated jobs in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.”
He adds his voice to a growing chorus of experts concerned about the effects that technology will have on workforce in the coming years and decades. The fear is that while artificial intelligence will bring radical increases in efficiency in industry, for ordinary people this will translate into unemployment and uncertainty, as their human jobs are replaced by machines.Technology has already gutted many traditional manufacturing and working class jobs — but now it may be poised to wreak similar havoc with the middle classes.
“AI will be either best or worst thing for humanity”
A report put out in February 2016 by Citibank in partnership with the University of Oxford predicted that 47% of US jobs are at risk of automation. In the UK, 35% are. In China, it’s a whopping 77% — while across the OECD it’s an average of 57%.
And three of the world’s 10 largest employers are now replacing their workers with robots.
Automation will, “in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world,” Hawking wrote. “The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous profits while employing very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.”
He frames this economic anxiety as a reason for the rise in right-wing, populist politics in the West: “We are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.”
Combined with other issues — overpopulation, climate change, disease — we are, Hawking warns ominously, at “the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity.” Humanity must come together if we are to overcome these challenges, he says.
Stephen Hawking has previously expressed concerns about artificial intelligence for a different reason — that it might overtake and replace humans. “The development of artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” he said in late 2014. “It would take off on its own, and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Source: The Guardian
Cities across Australia, the US, and Spain topped the latest ranking for best cities to live in the world. Right now, when writing this I am in the #3 ranked world city of Madrid.
However not all of my own favourite cities makes the top 17 list. On the other hanaf I have mainly visited hhese cotied and not primarily lived there (with some exceptions).
These are my favourite cities:
– San Francisco
– Cape Town
– Rio de Janeiro
(- Bonus: Stockholm)
This is the ranking by networking service InterNations that surveyed 14,000 people for its third annual InterNations Expat Insider 2016 survey — in what has been tipped as “one of the most extensive studies ever conducted to explore the general living situation of expatriates.”
The survey asked expats to rate several elements to their living experiences, such as career prospects, quality of life, attitude of the local population, working hours, and even weather.
We took a look at the top 17 cities that made the list:
17. New York, US —The city may have a high cost of living but it also is known for the strong career prospects and availability of leisure activities.
16. Zurich, Switzerland —The Swiss city regularly features across many different indexes, including this one, for being a destination with one of the best quality of life in the world.
15. Berlin, Germany —The capital city is not only a hub for jobs but it is known for decent housing and a variety of leisure activities, as well as a good place to bring up children.
14. Geneva, Switzerland —The city is renowned for its prime location for some of the world’s richest people. It offers great job prospects as well as a high standard of living. Situated near Mont Blanc, it also scored highly with expats for leisure activities.
13. Frankfurt, Germany —The city, which is a hub for jobs for expats, scored highly with ease of settling in.
12. Basel, Switzerland —The city may be very small and quiet but it borders France and Germany, offering easy transport links for work. As a bonus, expats enjoy the breathtaking scenery and high quality of living.
11. Barcelona, Spain —The city is Spain’s cosmopolitan capital and regularly hits near the top spots for best cities to live in the world for its solid job prospects and the bustling leisure and social activities, including the beach.
10. Toronto, Canada —The most populated city in Canada ranks highly with expats who rate the city highly for friendly attitudes and ease of settling in.
9. Mexico City, Mexico —The densely populated capital of Mexico rated highly with expats due to the weather and how salaries can stretch very far there.
8. Sydney, Australia —Sydney is one of Australia’s largest cities and is a hub for commerce, jobs, as well as the most spectacular sites and leisure activities in the country — all a big hit with expats.
7. Munich, Germany —Famous for its annual beer festival, Munich scored highly across the board for quality of life as well as having a good work-life balance.
6. Vienna, Austria —The capital city is a hit with expats, thanks to its high standard of living and incredible weather.
5. Singapore — The island nation is known as one of the cleanest in the world and has a high standard of living with enviable average wages.
4. Dusseldorf, Germany — The western German city known for its fashion industry and art scene rated positively for having one of the best quality of life scores in the index.
3. Madrid, Spain — The Spanish city was ranked highly as an overwhelming amount of expats said that feeling welcome was key and they found it easy to settle in and make friends. Low cost of living also helped push it up the ranking.
2. Houston, US — The fourth biggest city in the US came in second, thanks to the relatively low cost of living and coming first place in the subindex Ease of Settling In.
1. Melbourne, Australia —Australia’s second-most populous city takes poll position in the ranking because 79% of expats rated work-life balance positively. Availability of leisure activities also helped push the city to the top of the charts with a 91% positive rating.
Reduced fuel emissions from more efficient cars, using mobile data to track malaria and even farming that remains one step ahead of climate change. The digital economy is already having a massive impact on society, and there is more to come, says Victoria A. Espinel, President and CEO, BSA, The Software Alliance and co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Digital Economy and Society.
Why is a focus on the digital economy and society important? How will affect people in their daily lives? The digital economy permeates all aspects of society, including the way people interact, the economic landscape, the skills needed to get a good job, and even political decision-making. Our emerging digital economy has the potential to generate new scientific research and breakthroughs, fueling job opportunities, economic growth, and improving how people live their lives.These changes are happening all around us. In Kenya, mobile data is being used to identify malaria infection patterns and identify hotspots that guide government eradication efforts. Vehicle sensor data from delivery trucks, combined from mapping data analytics, has enabled companies to save millions of gallons of fuel and reduce emissions by the equivalent of taking thousands of cars off the road for a year. Farmers from Iowa to India are using data from seeds, satellites, and sensors to make better decisions about what to grow and how to adapt to changing climates.
What key trends will we be seeing in the digital economy? Which issues are most crucial to address?
The ways in which people connect with others, with information, and with the world is being transformed through a combination of technologies. These technologies will help us solve increasingly sophisticated problems, while big data will assist us in complex decision-making.
This is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and it’s going to have a massive impact on the economy as well. Already we’re seeing the rise of the sharing economy, blockchain technology, and changes in manufacturing driven by 3D- and 4D-printing.
The sharing economy is a model in which people and organizations connect online to share goods and services. It is also known as collaborative consumption or peer-to-peer exchange. Two of the best-known examples of the sharing economy are Uber (transportation) and Airbnb (housing).
Blockchain is a digital “ledger” technology that allows for keeping track of transactions in a distributed and trusted fashion. It replaces the need for third-party institutions to provide trust for financial, contract, and voting activities. Bitcoin and other digital currencies are some of the most well-known examples of applications of blockchain technology.
What is the council focusing on to tackle the issues of the digital economy? What else needs to be done?
We’re beginning to see how this revolution is transforming society. But other potential gains are only now coming into view. Take government: agile governance, an innovative model of government inspired by the software industry, could redefine the relationship between governments and their citizens.
By making government more flexible and nimble, we can increase government efficiency, improve government programmes, and encourage a more empowered and engaged citizenry.
This council will have the opportunity to shape this notion of agile governance as well as to examine the impact that the digital economy will have on our jobs, our incomes, and our lives in general.
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