Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Tech Treadmill Wears Firms Out

Posted by hkarner - 22. Oktober 2019

Date: 21-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Once a company jumps on a new trend like streaming, it has to spend to stay ahead.

Does technology provide a competitive advantage? Companies are counting on it. In March McDonald’s spent $300 million buying an Israeli artificial-intelligence startup to personalize menus based on weather and trending items. Now they’re considering license-plate recognition systems for drive-through lanes. Based on your history they might offer to supersize your order, or just hand you your usual Happy Meal. CEO Steve Easterbrook says, “Technology is a critical element of our Velocity Growth Plan.”

The problem is that adopting a useful technology doesn’t mean your advantage will last. I’ve long been amused by a succession of Harvard Business Review pieces that demonstrate this point. In 1985 Michael E. Porter wrote “How Information Gives You Competitive Advantage,” then in 1990 came Max Hopper’s “Rattling SABRE—New Ways to Compete on Information,” and finally in 2013 we got Rita Gunther McGrath’s “The End of Competitive Advantage.” Each of these takes describes a different stage in the life cycle of corporate tech.

Hopper was, as Harvard professor James Cash noted, “the first person who really defined the marketing leverage that could come from using technology.” In the late 1950s Hopper helped build Sabre, an automated flight-reservation system, and in 1981 he helped design the first major frequent-flier program to give American Airlines a competitive “AAdvantage.” Yet by 1990 he worried that the game was over, suggesting that technology was “table stakes for competition.” Hopper noted that “SABRE’s real importance to American Airlines was that it prevented an erosion of market share.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Technology Will Revolutionize Public Trust

Posted by hkarner - 19. Oktober 2019

Date: 18-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By M. Todd Henderson

Though Americans increasingly distrust their institutions, digital platforms are spurring them to rely on one another like never before

Trust in major institutions seems to be collapsing in America in the era of “fake news,” Russian bots on Facebook and tribal politics. A recent Pew Research Center poll found that about seven in 10 Americans say that trust in society—in government, in each other—is declining. And more than four in 10 Americans think that declining trust is “a very big problem.”

The stakes are high. Research shows a strong correlation between trust and the wealth of a society. Trust enables cooperation, cooperation enables specialization, and specialization drives productivity.

Fortunately, indicators of declining trust miss a deeper reality: While Americans may increasingly distrust many of their institutions, technology is enabling certain kinds of trust at levels seldom before seen in human history. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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She Fined Tech Giants Billions of Dollars. Now She Wants Sharper Tools.

Posted by hkarner - 16. Oktober 2019

Date: 15-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Margrethe Vestager is pivoting away from blockbuster fines against Silicon Valley titans toward preventing market abuses in the first place

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager thinks fines against U.S. tech giants aren’t having the desired effect.

BRUSSELS—Margrethe Vestager made a name for herself as Europe’s top antitrust enforcer by slapping record fines on U.S. tech companies. Now she says those fines don’t work.

As she prepares to start an unprecedented second term as the European Union’s competition commissioner, this time with added powers as the EU’s digital-economy policy maker, Ms. Vestager is shifting her focus from fining giants to preventing market abuses.

Fines are “not doing the trick,” she told EU lawmakers recently, despite having hit Alphabet Inc.’s Google with penalties totaling $9.4 billion in recent years. “We have to consider remedies that are much more far-reaching.”

Ms. Vestager already has the power to break up companies as a last resort, a step some Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Elizabeth Warren have advocated. Ms. Vestager said that isn’t her intent. “My obligation is to do the least-intrusive thing in order to make competition come back,” she said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Verhinderung eines digitalen Feudalismus

Posted by hkarner - 4. Oktober 2019

Mariana Mazzucato

Mariana Mazzucato is Professor of Economics of Innovation and Public Value and Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). She is the author of The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy, which was shortlisted for the Financial Times-McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.

LONDON – Die Nutzung und der Missbrauch von Daten durch Facebook und andere Technologieunternehmen erhalten endlich die offizielle Aufmerksamkeit, die sie verdienen. Werden die Nutzer angesichts der Tatsache, dass sich personenbezogene Daten zum wertvollsten Rohstoff der Welt entwickeln, Herrscher oder Sklaven der Plattformwirtschaft sein? 

Die Aussichten auf eine Demokratisierung der Plattformwirtschaft bleiben düster. Die Algorithmen entwickeln sich auf Weisen, die es den Unternehmen erlauben, von unserem vergangenen, gegenwärtigen und künftigen Verhalten – oder dem, was Shoshana Zuboff von der Harvard Business School als unseren „Verhaltensüberschuss“ (behavioral surplus) – zu profitieren. In vielen Fällen kennen die digitalen Plattformen unsere Vorlieben bereits besser als wir selbst und können uns zu einem Verhalten anstoßen, von dem sie zusätzlich profitieren. Wollen wir wirklich in einer Gesellschaft leben, in der unsere innersten Wünsche und Manifestationen persönlicher Urheberschaft zum Verkauf stehen?

Der Kapitalismus hat sich schon immer dabei hervorgetan, neue Wünsche und Sehnsüchte hervorzubringen. Doch mit Big Data und Algorithmen haben die Technologieunternehmen diesen Prozess sowohl beschleunigt als auch umgekehrt. Statt in Erwartung dessen, was die Menschen wollen könnten, einfach neue Waren und Dienstleistungen zu erzeugen, wissen sie bereits, was diese Menschen wollen werden, und verkaufen insofern unser künftiges Selbst. Schlimmer noch: Die genutzten algorithmischen Verfahren verstärken häufig geschlechtsbezogene und rassische Voreingenommenheiten und lassen sich manipulieren, um Profit zu machen oder politische Vorteile zu erlangen.

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March of the machines

Posted by hkarner - 4. Oktober 2019

Date: 03-10-2019
Source: The Economist

The stockmarket is now run by computers, algorithms and passive managers
Such a development raises questions about the function of markets, how companies are governed and financial stability

Fifty years ago investing was a distinctly human affair. “People would have to take each other out, and dealers would entertain fund managers, and no one would know what the prices were,” says Ray Dalio, who worked on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (nyse) in the early 1970s before founding Bridgewater Associates, now the world’s largest hedge fund. Technology was basic. Kenneth Jacobs, the boss of Lazard, an investment bank, remembers using a pocket calculator to analyse figures gleaned from company reports. His older colleagues used slide rules. Even by the 1980s “reading the Wall Street Journal on your way into work, a television on the trading floor and a ticker tape” offered a significant information advantage, recalls one investor. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany Backs European Cloud Project to Avoid Dependence on U.S. Technology

Posted by hkarner - 26. September 2019

Date: 25-09-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

BERLIN–The German government is pushing for the development of a European digital cloud to counter the growing reach of Silicon Valley’s technology giants.

The project, named Gaia-X in reference to the Earth goddess in Greek mythology, aims to create an alternative to U.S. digital platforms.

It will connect smaller cloud providers via an open network and is expected to be presented to the public at a digital summit at the end of October.

„The question of data sovereignty is key for our competitiveness,“ Germany’s economy minister Peter Altmaier said.

The majority of German businesses support Mr. Altmaier’s position. In a survey published by German digital-industry association Eco earlier this month, 80% of managers and executives polled said digital sovereignty was critical for their future success.

Fears of industrial espionage have remained high in Europe since leaks by the National Security Agency in 2013 demonstrated the scope of U.S. surveillance. Germany’s Economic Ministry is convinced that „reliable data availability can only be ensured in an infrastructure with security standards ‚made in Europe'“, a spokesperson told Dow Jones Newswires. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Chinese Tech Companies Turn to Financial Services

Posted by hkarner - 25. September 2019

Date: 24-09-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

In search of new growth markets, they hope to leverage their consumer data to sell loans, insurance and more

China’s Baidu is one example of a big Chinese tech company mining customer data in hopes of selling financial services. Chief Technology Officer Wang Haifeng speaks at the Baidu developers conference last July in Beijing.

China’s biggest internet and technology companies are crowding into the financial-services business, hoping to monetize troves of data they’ve collected on millions of people in the country.

Didi Chuxing, the country’s largest ride-hailing company, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. , web-search giant Baidu Inc. and online retailer JD.com Inc. are among companies that have set up finance arms providing personal loans, insurance and investment products. Many of those products are offered and sold via the companies’ smartphone apps that connect directly to individuals’ virtual wallets or bank accounts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tech firms think the home is the next big computing platform

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2019

Date: 12-09-2019
Source: The Economist

Many of the technologies needed to make smart homes work already exist

Film buffs will tell you that watching a movie on the big screen is a much more immersive experience than watching it at home. But if Matthew Ball gets his way, that might not be true for much longer. Mr Ball—who used to be head of strategy at Amazon Studios, the tech firm’s tv division—spends a lot of time thinking about the future of film and tv. He is especially interested in the possibilities offered by connected, computerised homes.

Imagine an action film, he says, in which a smart television, equipped with the sorts of gaze-tracking cameras already used in smartphones, can wait until it has a viewer’s full attention before showing a monster leaping out from behind a door. Or a horror film which commandeers a house’s lights and makes them flicker at the appropriate moment, or plays eerie sounds—even whispering the viewer’s name—from speakers in another room. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Joining the Technological Frontiers

Posted by hkarner - 15. September 2019

Tej Kohli

Tej Kohli is a technology entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist, and founder of Kohli Ventures, a tech-focused venture capital firm.

Financial analysts recognize the massive growth potential of artificial intelligence and biotechnology. But, if anything, the likely economic impact of these sectors is being underestimated, because few have reckoned with the implications of what will happen when they are combined.

LONDON – Artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology are both on an exponential growth trajectory, with the potential to improve how we experience our lives and even to extend life itself. But few have considered how these two frontier technologies could be brought together symbiotically to tackle global health and environmental challenges.

Consider the pace of recent developments in both fields. Biotechnology, in cost-benefit terms, has been improving by a factor of ten every year. The cost of deciphering the human genome has dropped from $3 billion in 2001 to about $1,000 today; a process that took months ten years ago can now be completed in less than an hour. Likewise, based on current developments, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that AI’s contribution to global output will reach $15.7 trillion by 2030 – more than the current combined output of China and India.Yet, if anything, these predictions underestimate the economic impact. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Europeans want their own Vision Fund to invest in tech

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2019

Date: 30-08-2019
Source: The Economist

They might even get it

How much does it cost to bend the future to one’s will? Give or take $100bn, reckons Masayoshi Son, boss of SoftBank. That is the size of the Japanese conglomerate’s Vision Fund, which holds stakes in modish technology companies including WeWork and Uber. Mr Son is raising a new, similarly gargantuan pot.
Now the eu wants one, too. On August 22nd news filtered out of a proposal to create a €100bn ($111bn) fund to back European firms in “strategically important” industries.

Its proposed name and high-tech focus notwithstanding, the European Future Fund would hark back to decades past. Politicians across the old continent once believed themselves blessed with the gift of picking corporate winners. That 1970s experiment did not end well: “national champions” backed with taxpayers’ money were kept on life support with yet more of it.

Concerns about Europe falling behind in technology, too, are old hat. In the early 2000s France and Germany were so worried about Google that they lavishly funded Quaero, a made-in-Europe search engine. A few years and tens of millions of euros later, the project was quietly deleted. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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