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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

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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Tech Leaders Are Growing Up (Again). That’s a Good Thing.

Posted by hkarner - 16. März 2018

Date: 15-03-2018
Source: The New York Times

Several years ago, a plastic figurine began appearing around Google’s offices, an aging alien with gray hair, a Google Glass headset and a sign that read, “Get Off My Lawn!”

The doll, a special edition of Google’s Android mascot, was a jokey tribute to the Greyglers, a group for the 40-and-over crowd at Google, and the doll hinted at how it felt to be an older worker in tech: funny, self-conscious, a little out of place.

The Greyglers still exist, but they’re no longer such an anomaly. Sundar Pichai, Google’s 45-year-old chief executive, would fit in the group. So would Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who co-founded the search engine as graduate students two decades ago; Susan Wojcicki, an early employee who runs YouTube; and most of the company’s other high-ranking executives.

For years, the self-appointed leaders of Silicon Valley were young people — mostly men — with age-appropriate behavior. They adopted brash mottos like “move fast and break things” and eschewed work-life balance in favor of all-night hacking sessions in offices that looked more like college dorms. Their successes were cheered, and their sins were shrugged off as the cost of innovation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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The Godfathers of Chinese Tech Get an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

Date: 08-03-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tech tycoons may like government talk about innovation but they don’t love more state control

Jack Ma, executive chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., characterizes his relationship with the Chinese government as “fall in love but don’t marry.”

That’s generally the view of China’s tech leaders, nearly all of whom hail from modest backgrounds and, like most Chinese, would prefer to avoid government attention, favorable or otherwise.

This week’s annual sessions of the national legislature and an affiliated advisory body look like a celebratory union between the government and big tech.

With the notable exception of Alibaba’s Mr. Ma, all China’s tech leaders are in attendance: social media and game giant Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s Pony Ma, e-commerce company JD.com Inc.’s Richard Liu, smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.’s Lei Jun, search engine Baidu Inc.’s Robin Li and Sequoia Capital’s China head Neil Shen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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The U.S.-China Rivalry Is, More Than Ever, a Fight Over Tech

Posted by hkarner - 8. März 2018

Date: 07-03-2018
Source: The New York Times

The chip maker Qualcomm is the target of a hostile takeover bid by Broadcom, a proposal that the United States government has said could give Chinese rivals an advantage.

WASHINGTON — As the United States and China look to protect their national security needs and economic interests, the fight between the two financial superpowers is increasingly focused on a single area: technology.

The clash erupted in public on Tuesday after the United States government, citing national security concerns, called for a full investigation into a hostile bid to buy the American chip stalwart Qualcomm — a review that is often a death knell for a corporate deal.

The proposed acquisition by the Singapore-based Broadcom would have been the largest deal in technology history, creating a major force in the development of the computer chips that power smartphones and many internet-connected devices. But a government panel said the takeover could weaken Qualcomm and give its Chinese rivals an advantage. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Digital revolutions in public finance

Posted by hkarner - 7. März 2018

Sanjeev Gupta, Michael Keen, Alpa Shah, Geneviève Verdier 07 March 2018, voxeu

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Ghana man teaching computing without computers becomes viral hit

Posted by hkarner - 2. März 2018

Date: 01-03-2018
Source: BBC


Students are expected to pass a technology exam – even if they have no access to computers

A teacher in Ghana who educates his students on computer technology – without any computers – has become a hit online.

The man from Kumasi used his blackboard to meticulously draw a diagram of the popular Microsoft Word program.

„Teaching of ICT in Ghana’s school is very funny,“ he said in a Facebook post alongside the photos.

After the images were shared thousands of times online, Microsoft promised to send him new computer equipment.

In his Facebook message, Owura Kwadwo – a nickname for the man Quartz Africa identified as Richard Appiah Akoto – wrote: „I love my students so have to do what will make them understand what [I] am teaching.“ Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Closing the Global Economy’s New Digital Divide

Posted by hkarner - 27. Februar 2018

Shamel Azmeh

Shamel Azmeh is an assistant professor of international development and international political economy at the University of Bath and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

As the global economy is transformed by new technologies, developing countries are at risk of losing out. While overcoming the resource constraints that limit developing countries’ investment in the digital economy will not be easy, failing to do so will carry a steeper price.

LONDON – From cloud computing to artificial intelligence, technology is beginning to revolutionize how the world economy functions. But while these shifts are enriching many in the advanced economies, the developing world is at risk of being left behind. To improve the global South’s economic prospects and avoid a deepening of inequality, developing-country policymakers must take seriously the implications of these shifts for their economies and their countries’ position in the global economy.

For years, the “digital divide” was narrowly defined in terms of Internet connectivity. But today, it manifests itself in the way businesses in rich countries use technology to strengthen their control of global value chains and extract a larger share of the value-added created in the developing world. 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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