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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

U.S. Economy Faces Projected 10‑Year Recovery From Coronavirus Effects

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juni 2020

Date: 02‑06‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Surveys of purchasing managers in U.S., Asia and Europe offer some hope that decline in factory activity is starting to bottom out

The U.S. economy could take the better part of a decade to fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic and related shutdowns, a U.S. budget agency said, as a series of surveys pointed to continuing weakness in global manufacturing.

The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan legislative agency, said the sharp contraction triggered by the coronavirus caused it to mark down its 2020‑30 forecast for U.S. economic output by a cumulative $7.9 trillion, or 3% of gross domestic product, relative to its January projections. GDP isn’t expected to catch up to the previously forecast level until the fourth quarter of 2029, the CBO added.

 The roughly $3.3 trillion in stimulus programs enacted by Congress since March will only “partially mitigate the deterioration in economic conditions,” the CBO said.

“After you get the initial bounce of economic activity simply from removing the lockdowns, I think what we’ll see is an economy that is running at a level of activity notably below where we were prior to Covid,” said Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist at BofA Merrill Lynch. “It’s going to take a long time to heal. There will be scars as a result of such a painful shock of the economy.”

The CBO analysis came as new surveys showed that factories in the U.S. and abroad continued to reduce output and shed jobs in May, though the pace of deterioration moderated as governments moved to ease coronavirus‑related restrictions on their economies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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So Where Did the Virus Come From?

Posted by hkarner - 1. Juni 2020

Date: 30‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Matt Ridley

Research into the origins of the new coronavirus raises questions about how it became so infectious in human beings

New research has deepened, rather than dispelled, the mystery surrounding the origin of the coronavirus responsible for Covid‑19. Bats, wildlife markets, possibly pangolins and perhaps laboratories may all have played some role, but the simple story of an animal in a market infected by a bat that then infected several human beings no longer looks credible.

A study published in early May by scientists at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., and at the University of British Columbia has uncovered an unusual feature of the virus’s recent development: It has evolved too slowly. The genomes of viruses sampled from cases during the SARS epidemic of 2002‑2003 showed rapid evolutionary change during the early months of the epidemic, as the virus adapted to its new host, followed by much slower change later. By contrast, samples taken from recent cases of the new coronavirus, SARS‑CoV‑2, have comparatively few genetic substitutions compared with an early case from December. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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This Idiot Wants a War

Posted by hkarner - 29. Mai 2020

Date: 28‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Rebecca Smith

Subject: U.S. Seizure of Chinese‑Built Transformer Raises Specter of Closer Scrutiny

A Chinese transformer weighing more than 500,000 pounds arrived by ship at the Port of Houston last summer, en route to an electrical substation in Colorado that funnels electricity to Denver.

It never made it there.

Instead, federal officials commandeered the electrical transformer, built by closely held Jiangsu Huapeng Transformer Company, at the port and had it trucked under federal escort to Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

What engineers at Sandia found still isn’t publicly known, nor why it was seized. The laboratory, operated by Honeywell International Inc., is under contract with the U.S. Energy Department and tasked with solving national‑security threats. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Artificial Intelligence Can Serve Democracy

Posted by hkarner - 29. Mai 2020

Date: 28‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Michael Kratsios

The G‑7 launches a new global partnership Thursday.

The U.S. is using every tool at its disposal to defeat the novel coronavirus, including artificial intelligence. American laboratories are harnessing AI to discover new therapeutics. The Food and Drug Administration approved an AI tool to help detect coronavirus in CT scans. And the White House led an initiative to create a database with more than 128,000 articles that scientists can analyze using AI to help understand the virus better and develop treatments.

At the same time, AI is being twisted by authoritarian regimes to violate rights. The Chinese Communist Party is reportedly using AI to uncover and punish those who criticize the regime’s pandemic response and to institute a type of coronavirus social‑credit score—assigning people color codes to determine who is free to go out and who will be forced into quarantine.

As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, nations face a stark choice about what vision of artificial intelligence will prevail. As Group of Seven nations meet this year under the organization’s U.S. presidency, there is a critical opportunity to shape the evolution of AI in a way that respects fundamental rights and upholds our shared values. That is why G‑7 technology ministers will agree Thursday to launch the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, or GPAI, together with other democratic countries. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China Rules Out Animal Market and Lab as Coronavirus Origin

Posted by hkarner - 28. Mai 2020

Date: 27‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Comments by Chinese scientists aim to counter what Beijing perceives as efforts from top U.S. officials to focus solely on China’s role in pandemic

China’s top epidemiologist said testing of samples from the Wuhan food market, seen on Jan. 24, failed to show links between animals being sold there and the coronavirus.

Chinese scientists in recent days said they had ruled out both a laboratory and an animal market in the city of Wuhan as possible origins of the coronavirus pandemic, in their most detailed pushback to date against allegations from U.S. officials and others over what might have sparked it.

The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, at the center of allegations around a potential laboratory accident, Wang Yanyi, over the weekend told China Central Television that the coronavirus was significantly different from any live pathogen that has been studied at the institute and that there therefore was no chance it could have leaked from there. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What History Tells Us About the Accelerating AI Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 25. Mai 2020

Date: 24‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Irving Wladawsky‑Berger

3d rendering robot learning or machine learning with education hud interface

A few weeks before our lives were turned upside down by Covid‑19, I read Technology at Work v4.0, the fourth report in the Technology at Work Series developed by Citigroup in collaboration with Oxford University.  The report includes an excellent chapter on What History Tells Us About the Coming AI Revolution by Oxford professor Carl Benedikt Frey based on his 2019 book The Technology Trap.

Recent AI advances have “sparked much excitement…  yet despite this, most ordinary people don’t feel particularly optimistic about the future,” wrote Mr. Frey.  For example, a 2017 Pew Research survey found that three quarters of Americans expressed serious concerns about AI and automation, and just over a third believe that their children will be better off financially than they were.

But, in fact, serious concerns about the impact of technology are part of a historical pattern.  “Many of the trends we see today, such as the disappearance of middle‑income jobs, stagnant wages and growing inequality were also features of the Industrial Revolution,” he writes. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Global Economic Recovery Might Take Up to 3 Years, Say European Bosses

Posted by hkarner - 22. Mai 2020

Date: 20‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Business leaders surveyed by Conference Board hold ‘overwhelmingly pessimistic’ view of near‑term prospects amid coronavirus pandemic

‘Business leaders almost unanimously provided the most negative assessment possible on present business conditions,’ Conference Board Chief Economist Bart van Ark said of the European survey.

 A global economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis will take between one and three years, more than 80% of top European business leaders said in a survey to be released Tuesday.

The views of chief executives and chairmen in the European Round Table for Industry, a trade group, were overwhelmingly pessimistic about near‑term prospects and mirror the grim outlook of American chief executives in a similar recent survey. Both surveys were conducted by the Conference Board, a U.S. business think tank.

Among European business leaders, 53% expect the global economy will need between one and two years to recover, and another 39% predict the recovery will take between two and three years. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Silicon Valley’s Next Big Office Idea: Work From Anywhere

Posted by hkarner - 19. Mai 2020

Date: 18‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tech companies once wooed talent with over‑the‑top campuses. Now they are looking to keep workers happy by offering flexibility

Four years ago, Aaron Levie moved Box Inc., the fast‑growing cloud‑computing company he co‑founded, into a new, red‑brick building with its logo on the facade. Box decked it out with all the trappings of Silicon Valley: a sleek cafeteria, common areas with orange hammocks, and a bar built from a converted Volkswagen van with kombucha and cold‑brew coffee on tap.

Mr. Levie and his staff haven’t been in that office for eight weeks, yet the chief executive says work has been plenty smooth without it. His sales team is interacting with more clients, participation is higher in weekly all‑hands meetings, and without travel, he devotes more time to work.

“You strip out a commute and you strip out having to get on an airplane for business meetings and you kind of remove a lot of these other things that crept into the work that you had to do,” said Mr. Levie, a longtime proponent of flexible work. Box provides online storage and file‑sharing products that can be used for such situations. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Inside Boris Johnson’s Tangle With Covid‑19

Posted by hkarner - 17. Mai 2020

Date: 16‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Little heeding the disease at first, Johnson resisted hospitalization after getting infected and fought against being put on a ventilator

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remotely led a coronavirus meeting two days after he tested positive.

LONDON—In a side room of St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, doctors faced a decision. Prime Minister Boris Johnson lay sick in the hospital’s east wing, struggling to get enough oxygen. Doctors were thinking of putting him on a ventilator, a step that is often a last resort for Covid‑19 patients.

Mr. Johnson grew agitated. Avoid using a ventilator if at all possible, he told his doctors.

He worried that even if he shook off the disease, the process of sedation and inserting a tube into his lungs would force an extended recovery, said a person familiar with his care. That would leave the leader of Britain sidelined while a pandemic raged. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Coronavirus Crisis Shows Experts Aren’t Enough

Posted by hkarner - 17. Mai 2020

Date: 16‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By Yuval Levin

As the pandemic shows, there are no purely technical solutions for problems that demand political leadership.

The U.S. government’s response to Covid‑19 has forced us to ask what role scientific and technical experts should play in making policy. We have become used to the spectacle of President Trump standing before reporters surrounded by a gaggle of doctors and scientific advisers—sometimes deferring to them, sometimes questioning them, sometimes berating them. Many governors have held similar briefings with their own panels of experts. This week, a Senate committee called in three of the government’s top public‑health officials for testimony, and a House committee is looking to hold its own expert briefing later this month. The pronouncements of these specialists frequently drive key decisions and shape public views.

But the costs and burdens of the pandemic response have driven some Americans to criticize the power of the public health professionals who designed it. Skepticism of experts and resentment of their claims to authority have grown. There have been calls to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been a prominent counselor to the president. And Dr. Deborah Birx, who leads the White House pandemic task force, has become, in the words of one New York Times report, “a partisan Rorschach test.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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