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Posts Tagged ‘AI’

Technopolitics: China – The challenger

Posted by hkarner - 17. März 2018

Date: 15-03-2018
Source: The Economist

In blocking Broadcom’s takeover of Qualcomm, Donald Trump showed that America is worried about Chinese tech. It has a point. It doesn’t have an answer

NOTHING moves in the 40 black cabinets in the facility outside Shanghai except the water in the cooling system. But the 10m processing units within crunch through numbers at an incredible speed. The Sunway TaihuLight can perform 93,000trn calculations a second. It is currently by far the fastest supercomputer in the world.

Supercomputers have their origins in national security. The biggest are still mostly, like TaihuLight, paid for by governments, and they still play a role in national self-esteem. For decades, it was axiomatic that the fastest of these computers would mostly be American, or at least use American chips. No longer. When Top500, a website, released its latest list of the world’s fastest machines last November, 202 of them were Chinese, accounting for 35.4% of the list’s combined computing power; America’s 143 machines accounted for just 29.6%. Many of the Chinese computers, admittedly, use American chips. But TaihuLight, the champion, proudly uses chips made in China.

No one would take the Top500 list as a broad measure of technological leadership. But it does reveal ambition. If you have smart people, money and a desire to appear on the list, you can. The same applies to dominating it. Xi Jinping, China’s president, wants to take the same approach to technology more generally. He talks of making China a “cyber superpower”—one that, within a dozen years, will lead the world in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, semiconductors and the coming “5G” generation of mobile networks, not to mention synthetic biology and renewable energy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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America v China: The battle for digital supremacy

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2018

Date: 15-03-2018
Source: The Economist

America’s technological hegemony is under threat from China

“DESIGNED by Apple in California. Assembled in China”. For the past decade the words embossed on the back of iPhones have served as shorthand for the technological bargain between the world’s two biggest economies: America supplies the brains and China the brawn.

Not any more. China’s world-class tech giants, Alibaba and Tencent, have market values of around $500bn, rivalling Facebook’s. China has the largest online-payments market. Its equipment is being exported across the world. It has the fastest supercomputer. It is building the world’s most lavish quantum-computing research centre. Its forthcoming satellite-navigation system will compete with America’s GPS by 2020.

America is rattled. An investigation is under way that is expected to conclude that China’s theft of intellectual property has cost American companies around $1trn; stinging tariffs may follow. Earlier this year Congress introduced a bill to stop the government doing business with two Chinese telecoms firms, Huawei and ZTE. Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent, has warned that China will overtake America in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2025. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 2. März 2018

Date: 01-03-2018
Source: NewsWeek

As robots become more sophisticated and replace humans in the workforce, Americans are split over whether those who lose their jobs to artificial intelligence should receive a minimum income.

The hypothetical universal basic income (UBI) would have the federal government give every adult below a certain income threshold an annual allowance of money.

The survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults showed that almost three-quarters predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) will lead to a loss of more jobs than it creates.

Nevertheless, some 48 percent of people support, and 52 percent oppose, the rollout of a UBI to safeguard workers who lose their jobs because of advances in AI, according to a new poll for Northeastern University by Gallup. Those over 66 were least likely to support the UBI, compared with 46 percent of millennials. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Tech companies should stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs

Posted by hkarner - 28. Februar 2018

Date: 28-02-2018
Source: Technology Review

A View from Kai-Fu Lee. 

He is a Taiwanese venture capitalist, technology executive, writer, and computer scientist. He is currently based in Beijing, China. Lee developed the world’s first speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system as his Ph.D. thesis at Carnegie Mellon. He later worked as an executive, first at Apple, then SGI, Microsoft, and then Google.

No matter what anyone tells you, we’re not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way.

I took an Uber to an artificial-­intelligence conference at MIT one recent morning, and the driver asked me how long it would take for autonomous vehicles to take away his job. I told him it would happen in about 15 to 20 years. He breathed a sigh of relief. “Well, I’ll be retired by then,” he said.

Good thing we weren’t in China. If a driver there had asked, I would have had to tell him he’d lose his job in about 10 years—maybe 15 if he was lucky.

That might sound surprising, given that the US is, and has been, in the lead in AI research. But China is catching up—if it hasn’t already—and that rivalry, with one nation playing off the other, guarantees that AI is coming. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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China’s Authoritarian State Has an Edge in Artificial Intelligence Development

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2018

Date: 26-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

A wealthy repressive state can press ahead with tech innovation unimpeded by privacy concerns

Artificial intelligence researchers say that while the Chinese may not have political freedom, they have the economic freedom to chart their own course—and Beijing doesn’t throw up roadblocks to the technology on privacy grounds, as occurs in the West.

China made enormous economic strides in the past quarter-century by manufacturing everything from toys to tires inexpensively and exporting them overseas. To become a truly wealthy nation, it must move beyond its role as a low-cost manufacturer and become an economic innovator itself.

Can a repressive state, led by a central government specializing in five-year plans and surveillance of its own people, make such a leap? The odds against success look steep. Economic history includes few examples of authoritarian states becoming innovative business leaders. But China aims to make that jump in artificial intelligence—or high-level machine learning—with an unusual approach that can’t be dismissed. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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The AI Debate We Need

Posted by hkarner - 25. Februar 2018

Date: 16-02-2018
Source: Project Syndicate by Sami Mahroum

Sami MahroumSami Mahroum is Director of the Innovation & Policy Initiative at INSEAD and a member of the WEF Regional Strategy Group for the Middle East and North Africa. He is the author of Black Swan Start-ups: Understanding the Rise of Successful Technology Business in Unlikely Places.

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence and related technologies have contributed to fears of widespread job losses and social disruptions in the coming years, giving a sense of urgency to debates about the future of work. But such discussions, though surely worth having, only scratch the surface of what an AI society might look like.

BARCELONA – One can hardly go a day without hearing about a new study describing the far-reaching implications of advances in artificial intelligence. According to countless consultancies, think tanks, and Silicon Valley celebrities, AI applications are poised to change our lives in ways we can scarcely imagine.

The biggest change concerns employment. There is widespread speculation about how many jobs will soon fall victim to automation, but most forecasters agree that it will be in the millions. And it is not just blue-collar jobs that are at stake. So, too, are high-skilled white-collar professions, including law, accounting, and medicine. Entire industries could be disrupted or decimated, and traditional institutions such as universities might have to downsize or close. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Universities in the Age of AI

Posted by hkarner - 4. Februar 2018

Andrew Wachtel

Andrew Wachtel is President of the American University of Central Asia.

Over the next 50 years or so, as AI and machine learning become more powerful, human labor will be cannibalized by technologies that outperform people in nearly every job function. How should higher education prepare students for this eventuality?

BISHKEK – I was recently offered the presidency of a university in Kazakhstan that focuses primarily on business, economics, and law, and that teaches these subjects in a narrow, albeit intellectually rigorous, way. I am considering the job, but I have a few conditions.

What I have proposed is to transform the university into an institution where students continue to concentrate in these three disciplines, but must also complete a rigorous “core curriculum” in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences – including computer science and statistics. Students would also need to choose a minor in one of the humanities or social sciences.

There are many reasons for insisting on this transformation, but the most compelling one, from my perspective, is the need to prepare future graduates for a world in which artificial intelligence and AI-assisted technology plays an increasingly dominant role. To succeed in the workplace of tomorrow, students will need new skills. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Confessions of an AI Optimist: An Interview with MIT’s Andrew McAfee

Posted by hkarner - 4. Februar 2018

 November 16, 2017 By Massimo Russo, BCG Perspectives

An Interview with MIT’s Andrew McAfee (left)

Andrew McAfee and coauthor Erik Brynjolfsson made names for themselves by popularizing and animating technology concepts for the professional class in the 2014 bestseller The Second Machine Age and now in Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future. This latest book is, according to The Economist, “an astute romp through important digital trends.”

In this interview with BCG, McAfee focuses on “machine,” the rise of artificial intelligence. McAfee is a big booster of most things digital, but he’s also a realist. He cautions, for example, that an AI engine is only as good as the data fed into it. Machines are still a long way from mastering many human tasks, and the biggest impediment to machine learning and other AI tools may be the imagination of business leaders. But he’s not worried about tech giants cornering the AI market, and he’s relatively sanguine about an automated economy in which many forms of work have disappeared.

Excerpts of the conversation between Massimo Russo, a BCG senior partner and managing director, and McAfee follow.

Andy, thank you for taking the time today to talk about a book that you cowrote with Erik Brynjolfsson, Machine, Platform, Crowd. Many discussions about artificial intelligence focus on the input and then the output of data through the training of the algorithms. How are companies going to avoid the garbage-in, garbage-out risk in artificial intelligence? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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In Drive to AI, Employers Shirk Training: Survey

Posted by hkarner - 3. Februar 2018

Date: 02-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Most corporate leaders expect artificial intelligence to dramatically change the way their companies run in the years ahead, yet few are investing in programs to train workers in the changing role of technology.

That’s according to a survey of more than 1,200 chief executives and other senior managers by global professional-services giant Accenture PLC, released last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Nearly all of the respondents, who were from firms in a range of industries that are using at least some form of AI in operations, said they plan to use intelligent tools to “enhance worker capabilities.”

Another 74% said they expect to automate workplace tasks with AI “to a large or very large extent” within the next three years – as many as half said former job descriptions are becoming obsolete, as automation takes over certain office tasks. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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The Stupid Economy

Posted by hkarner - 23. Januar 2018

Harold James is Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation. A specialist on German economic history and on globalization, he is a co-author of the new book The Euro and The Battle of Ideas, and the author of The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle, Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm, and Making the European Monetary Union.

Advances in automation and artificial intelligence already pose a clear threat to countless occupations, just as the technologies of the Industrial Revolution did for many forms of manual labor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But this time, it is not just our jobs that are in danger.

PRINCETON – Most discussions about the march of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have understandably concentrated on fears of massive job losses. But the implications of these technologies are actually far more terrifying. We have been brought to the brink of an alarming evolutionary transformation, not just of human capacities, but of the individual self.

History provides only a partial guide for the uncertain future we face. What we know from the first Industrial Revolution is that new technologies can fundamentally alter humans and other species. The key to this process, according to Cambridge University’s Tony Wrigley, the great historian of the era, was the replacement of human- and animal-driven mechanical energy by more productive forms, such as coal and other fossil fuels. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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