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Archive for 8. Januar 2020

Demis Hassabis on AI’s potential

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2020

Date: 06‑01‑2020

Source: The Economist 2020 VISIONS

Artificial intelligence could accelerate research in a range of fields,

says Demis Hassabis, co‑founder and CEO, DeepMind

THE SCIENTIFIC method was perhaps the single most important development in modern history. It established a way to validate truth at a time when misinformation was the norm, allowing natural philosophers to navigate the unknown. From predicting the motions of the planets to discovering the principles of electricity, scientists have honed the ability to distil facts about the universe by generating theories, then using experimentation to qualify those theories. Looking at how far civilisation has come since the Enlightenment, one can’t help being awestruck by all that humanity has achieved using this approach. I believe artificial intelligence (AI) could usher in a new renaissance of discovery, acting as a multiplier for human ingenuity, opening up entirely new areas of inquiry and spurring humanity to realise its full potential.

The promise of AI is that it could serve as an extension of our minds and become a meta‑solution. In the same way that the telescope revealed the planetary dynamics that inspired new physics, insights from AI could help scientists solve some of the complex challenges facing society today—from superbugs to climate change to inequality. My hope is to build smarter tools that expand humans’ capacity to identify the root causes and potential solutions to core scientific problems.

Traditional AI programs operate according to hard‑coded rules, which restrict them to working within the confines of what is already known. But a new wave of AI systems, inspired by neuroscience, are capable of learning on their own from first principles. They can uncover patterns and structures that are difficult for humans to deduce unaided, opening up new and innovative approaches. For example, our AlphaGo system mastered the ancient game of Go just by competing against itself and learning from its own mistakes, resulting in original, aesthetically beautiful moves that overturned thousands of years of received wisdom. Now, players of all levels study its strategies to improve their own game. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Today’s horrifying habits will be tomorrow’s taboos

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2020

Date: 06‑01‑2020

Source: The Economist 2020 VISIONS

What beliefs and behaviours, commonplace today, will be condemned by future generations?

KIDS THESE days! Lamenting the loose morals and poor choices of the young is a timeless trope. They wear outrageous clothes! They listen to dreadful music! They have no respect for their elders! But inter‑generational criticism is a two‑way street: every generation also decries the unenlightened beliefs and behaviours of its elders. They owned slaves! They denied women the vote! They criminalised homosexuality! The nature of social change means that some beliefs and behaviours that are common today are sure to be considered unacceptable within a few decades. So what aspects of the world in 2020 will horrify future generations?

The most obvious candidate is failing to do more to combat climate change. Future generations will surely ask why, given the abundance of evidence of environmental harm, so little was done about it for so long. Elderly people in the 2050s may find themselves hiding the digital evidence of long‑haul air travel in their youth, and insisting that they only ever went on holiday by train. Even going on holiday at all may come to be seen as irresponsible and decadent at best, and immoral at worst. The ultimate form of ecotourism is to stay at home. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris wants to play tough with Brussels

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2020

Date: 07‑01‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Mujtaba Rahman

Subject: Brace yourself: the next phase of Brexit is going to get messy

With the clock ticking, a low‑alignment deal with the EU now seems likely, but it comes with great risks

‘Although he now commands an 80‑strong parliamentary majority, extending the transition would seriously anger Eurosceptic MPs and some voters.’ Boris Johnson at an election rally in November.

Boris Johnson’s honeymoon was always going to be short‑lived. The immediate, unexpected, reason is the sudden escalation of tensions between the US and Iran. But it won’t be long before Brexit once again dominates the headlines.

With the UK set to leave the EU on 31 January, and both sides set to embark on trade negotiations shortly thereafter, the prime minister, his senior ministers and his key aides are keen to lower the temperature. “We want to see Brexit on the business pages, not the front pages,” says one ally. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Making Stakeholder Capitalism a Reality

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2020

Lenny Mendonca is Chief Economic and Business Adviser and Director of the California Office of Business and Economic Development.

The recent push by big business in favor of a more socially and environmentally conscious corporate-governance model is not just empty rhetoric. With the public losing trust in business and markets, it is now in everyone’s interest to reform the system so that it delivers prosperity for the many, rather than the few.

BERKELEY – For a half-century, American corporations (and many others around the world) have embraced shareholder primacy, which holds that the only responsibility of business is to maximize profits. But this principle is now being challenged by corporate leaders themselves, with the United States Business Roundtable announcing last year that it will adopt a stakeholder approach that focuses not just on shareholders but also on customers, employees, suppliers, and communities, all of which are deemed essential for business performance.

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Will Eurozone Policymakers Take the Long View?

Posted by hkarner - 8. Januar 2020

Daniel Gros is Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.

The 2010s were an exceptional decade that called for unprecedented economic policies. Now, however, the eurozone’s fiscal and monetary policymakers must think more long-term and accept that continued stimulus measures are unlikely to offset the effects of Europe’s demographic decline.

BRUSSELS – The beginning of a new year, and the start of a new decade, is a good time for longer-term reflection on economic policy. In the 2010s, a decade dominated by the aftermath of a once-in-a-lifetime financial crisis, a strong monetary and fiscal stimulus was clearly justified. In fact, there is now general agreement that large fiscal expansions by governments almost everywhere, followed by unconventional monetary policies, were instrumental in preventing the Great Recession from turning into a repeat of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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