Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Big Data’

The future of insurance is happening without insurance firms

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juli 2019

Date: 18-07-2019
Source: The Economist

The industry’s plodding giants face mounting threats from restless reinsurers and Big Tech

Every morning, from a room in Birmingham, some of the world’s largest firms are briefed by phone on the weather in store. As continents, arrows and weather fronts flicker across their screens, meteorologists at The Weather Company (twc) help British grocers decide whether to stock soups or salads, and Chinese energy firms when to operate wind turbines. Yet such sessions are getting rarer. Computed by 172 models crunching 400 terabytes of data—33 times the amount Twitter stores every 24 hours—most of twc’s 25bn daily forecasts now feed directly into customers’ computer systems.

Big data has turned weather into a big business. twc, which was bought by ibm in 2016, serves governments, media channels and 40% of the world’s airlines. But many property insurers, whose fortunes rely on forecasting climate-induced losses, are still learning how to use the information, says Leon Brown of twc. Their cluelessness is symptomatic of a problem for all insurance lines, including casualty, life and health. Reinsurance firms (which insure the insurers) and Asian insurance champions are almost the only innovators in an industry that is moving at a glacial pace. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Kapitalismus geht auch ohne Demokratie

Posted by hkarner - 8. Juni 2019

Date: 07-06-2019
Source: Die Zeit

Der demokratische Kapitalismus westlicher Prägung könnte zum Auslaufmodell werden. China zeigt der Welt gerade, wie eine datengetriebene Planwirtschaft funktioniert.

Ein Essay von Thomas Beschorner, Miriam Meckel und Léa Steinacker

China zeigt der Welt, dass für einen funktionierenden Kapitalismus keine demokratischen Strukturen notwendig sind.

Thomas Beschorner ist Professor für Wirtschaftsethik und Direktor des Instituts für Wirtschaftsethik der Universität St.Gallen. Miriam Meckel ist Professorin für Kommunikationsmanagement an der Universität St.Gallen sowie Gründungsverlegerin der Digitalplattform ada. Léa Steinacker ist Chief Strategy Officer von ada.

Es gibt die Hoffnung, dass der Kapitalismus in naher Zukunft durch ein besseres System abgelöst werden könnte. Und es gibt die Hoffnung, dass er endlich wieder zu seinen Wurzeln der reinen freien Märkte zurückkehren könnte. Welche der beiden Position man auch immer bevorzugt – es gibt noch eine dritte Variante: die Revitalisierung der Planwirtschaft auf Datenbasis. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Big Data Can Help Save the World

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2019

Date: 27-03-2019
Source: Scientific American

Emerging analytic and computing tools are enabling much better use of huge data sets

Our ability to collect data far outpaces our ability to fully utilize it—yet those data may hold the key to solving some of the biggest global challenges facing us today.

Take, for instance, the frequent outbreaks of waterborne illnesses as a consequence of war or natural disasters. The most recent example can be found in Yemen, where roughly 10,000 new suspected cases of cholera are reported each week—and history is riddled with similar stories. What if we could better understand the environmental factors that contributed to the disease, predict which communities are at higher risk, and put in place protective measures to stem the spread?

Answers to these questions and others like them could potentially help us avert catastrophe.

We already collect data related to virtually everything, from birth and death rates to crop yields and traffic flows. IBM estimates that each day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated. To put that in perspective: that’s the equivalent of all the data in the Library of Congress being produced more than 166,000 times per 24-hour period. Yet we don’t really harness the power of all this information. It’s time that changed—and thanks to recent advances in data analytics and computational services, we finally have the tools to do it. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The NHS genomic service could transform medicine

Posted by hkarner - 29. September 2018

Date: 28-09-2018
Source: The Economist

Its size, universal coverage and lifelong health records make it uniquely valuable for research

FORTY per cent of the babies born in Britain in the week starting on March 3rd 1946 became the first subjects in a project that eventually achieved global scientific renown (and inspired its share of laboratory envy). Along with children from three younger generations, 58,000 in total, those babies have been followed by researchers throughout their lives. Troves of data on everything from child development to ageing have helped to shape health care in Britain and beyond.

Now the National Health Service is launching another big-data programme that could be just as transformative. From October, NHS England will begin to routinely carry out a standard set of genomic tests for some cancers and rare diseases, filling in the patchy use of such tests today. Crucially, for patients who consent, the data from these tests will be held at a national research centre along with their health records. The NHS’s size, universal coverage and cradle-to-grave health records promise to make the database uniquely useful. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can the EU become another AI superpower?

Posted by hkarner - 22. September 2018

Date: 20-09-2018
Source: The Economist
Subject: Big data, small politics

Taking on America and China will be hard

ANGELA MERKEL, Germany’s chancellor, has a reputation for being dour. But if she wants to, she can be quite funny. When asked at a recent conference organised by Ada, a new quarterly publication for technophiles, whether robots should have rights, she dead-panned: “What do you mean? The right to electric power? Or to regular maintenance?”

The interview was also striking for a different reason. Mrs Merkel showed herself preoccupied by artificial intelligence (AI) and its geopolitics. “In the US, control over personal data is privatised to a large extent. In China the opposite is true: the state has mounted a takeover,” she said, adding that it is between these two poles that Europe will have to find its place.

Such reflections are part of a wider realisation in Europe: that AI could be as important to its future as other foundational technologies, like electricity or the steam engine. Some countries, including Finland and France, have already come up with national AI strategies, and Germany is working on one. Once it is finished later this year, the European Union will condense these efforts into a co-ordinated plan on AI. Unsurprisingly, it is all highly Eurocratic: dozens of committees and other bodies are involved. But the question raised by Mrs Merkel is as vital for Europe as the ones about Brexit or immigration: can it secure a sizeable presence in between the AI superpowers of America and China? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Big data is reshaping humanity, says Yuval Noah Harari

Posted by hkarner - 30. August 2018

Date: 30-08-2018
Source: The Economist

Uneven and easy to mock, his new book contains provocative and profound ideas

21 Lessons for the 21st Century. By Yuval Noah Harari.Spiegel & Grau; 372 pages; $28. Jonathan Cape; £18.99.

YUVAL NOAH HARARI may be the first global public intellectual to be native to the 21st century. Where other authors are carpetbaggers, hauling their 20th-century thinking into the new millennium, Mr Harari is its local boy done good. He comes with all the accoutrements of the modern pop thinker: a posh education (Oxford, followed by a teaching gig at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), two bestsellers and the obligatory TED talk. He even meditates for two hours a day.

And he is armed with a big idea: that human beings will change more in the next hundred years than they have in all of their previous existence. The combination of biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) may enable some people to be digitally enhanced, transforming what being human means. As this happens, concepts of life, consciousness, society, laws and morality will need to be revised.

The ballast for these views was laid down in Mr Harari’s earlier books. In “Sapiens” he argued that what made humans special was their ability to organise on a large scale around shared beliefs, such as religion, nationalism or capitalism. In “Homo Deus” he looked at how humans may meld with technology, and what this means for inequality. He foresaw a world divided between biologically and digitally enhanced “gods” and the “useless”, who lack the cash for an upgrade. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Regulate to Liberate: Can Europe Save the Internet?

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

Date: 14-08-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Helen Dixon

Regulations to protect personal data don’t inspire much love. Companies frequently regard them as a nuisance, a needless expense, and a hindrance to innovation. Governments think the rules should apply to everyone but themselves. And ordinary people often act as if they don’t care whether their data is safeguarded at all.

But such regulations matter now more than ever. The world is increasingly defined by technological asymmetries; a huge gulf has opened up, with big corporations and powerful governments on one side and ordinary individuals on the other. Even in wealthy democratic societies, individual autonomy is at risk now that even simple choices, such as what news stories to read or what music to listen to, are dictated by algorithms that operate deep within software and devices—so deep that users are usually unaware of the extent to which data processing shapes their decisions and opportunities. Today, technology “is being used to control what we see, what we can do, and, ultimately, what we say,” the cryptographer and privacy specialist Bruce Schneier has written. “It makes us less safe. It makes us less free.”

Most people have yet to realize that truth. In the era of the Internet and mobile communications, people tend to focus more on the goods, services, and experiences that technology offers and less on the ways in which privacy is imperiled by software, code, and devices that have become an invisible but integral part of everyday life. Although many people want to have a sense of how data processing affects them, most aren’t interested in the details. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Our Infant Information Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 18. Juni 2018

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a former US assistant secretary of defense and chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, is University Professor at Harvard University. He is the author of Is the American Century Over?

In the middle of the twentieth century, people feared that advances in computers and communications would lead to the type of centralized control depicted in George Orwell’s 1984. Today, billions of people have eagerly put Big Brother in their pockets.

CAMBRIDGE – It is frequently said that we are experiencing an information revolution. But what does that mean, and where is the revolution taking us?

Information revolutions are not new. In 1439, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press launched the era of mass communication. Our current revolution, which began in Silicon Valley in the 1960s, is bound up with Moore’s Law: the number of transistors on a computer chip doubles every couple of years.

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, computing power cost one-thousandth of what it did in the early 1970s. Now the Internet connects almost everything. In mid-1993, there were about 130 websites in the world; by 2000, that number had surpassed 15 million. Today, more than 3.5 billion people are online; experts project that, by 2020, the “Internet of Things” will connect 20 billion devices. Our information revolution is still in its infancy.

The key characteristic of the current revolution is not the speed of communications; instantaneous communication by telegraph dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. The crucial change is the enormous reduction in the cost of transmitting and storing information. If the price of an automobile had declined as rapidly as the price of computing power, one could buy a car today for the same price as a cheap lunch. When a technology’s price declines so rapidly, it becomes widely accessible, and barriers to entry fall. For all practical purposes, the amount of information that can be transmitted worldwide is virtually infinite.

The cost of information storage has also declined dramatically, enabling our current era of big data. Information that once would fill a warehouse now fits in your shirt pocket. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Rethinking the Twenty-First-Century Economy

Posted by hkarner - 17. April 2018

Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz

Margareta Drzeniek-Hanouz is Head of the Economics Unit at the World Economic Forum.

With the rise of digital technologies and big data, the global economy is undergoing a fundamental transformation that poses significant challenges to governments and policymakers. Unless tools are developed to measure new sources of value in the real economy, current and future generations‘ wellbeing will be in jeopardy.

GENEVA – Before the threat of a US-China trade war arose, surging stock markets and corporate profits had obscured the fact that the global economic system is under existential stress. Global financial stability remains considerably in doubt. Indeed, as world financial leaders gather for the annual IMF/World Bank spring conference in Washington, DC, the rapid pace of technological change and rising inequality are fueling ever louder calls for root-and-branch revision of the entire system.

For governments to cope with these mounting pressures, they will need to rethink the key policy tools on which they have relied for well over a century, starting first and foremost with taxation.

Death and taxes may have been the only certainties in the world of Benjamin Franklin two centuries or so ago; today, only death remains undeniable. With the rise of the digital economy, more and more economic value is derived from intangibles such as the data collected from digital platforms, social media, or the sharing economy. And because company headquarters can now be moved between countries with ease, governments are finding it ever harder to raise taxes. At the same time, public spending will likely have to increase to meet the demands of those left behind in the era of globalization and digital technologies.1 Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s Big-Data Big Brother

Posted by hkarner - 2. März 2018

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The Communist Party of China’s decision to abolish presidential term limits has raised the possibility that President Xi Jinping, the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, will rule indefinitely. And the cult of personality Xi is creating will be bolstered by the most powerful surveillance state in history.

LAHORE – The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) decision this week to eliminate presidential term limits seems to open the door for President Xi Jinping to be not just “Chairman of Everything,” but also “Chairman Forever.” The move has been met with dismay around the world, but it has also intensified an ongoing debate among China experts over whether the biggest threat to China is too much executive power, or too little.

Where one stands on that question seems to depend largely on whether one is a political scientist, an economist, or a technologist. Many political scientists and legal scholars, for example, argue against the change, because they consider the model of collective leadership that the CPC established after 1979 to be one of its biggest successes. That model’s term limits and system of peer review for high-level decision-making has provided the checks necessary to prevent a repeat of Mao-era catastrophes such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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