My colleague, Bob Doran, has brought to my attention a new movie about computers called Hidden Figures. IMDB describes it as: "Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program's first successful space missions." It will be at a cinema near you soon.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Happy New Year! The blog is back from its holiday. We're opening with a thoughtful article from The Guardian involving technology and economics. Larry Elliot, the Guardian's economics editor, puts forward the argument that the new AI revolution will not threaten low skilled jobs (many of those have already been lost to manufacturing robots). Hecites As Dhaval Joshi, economist at BCA Research, "it is not going to be the low-paid jobs in the service sector such as cleaning, gardening, carers, bar staff or cooks, whose jobs are most at risk. That’s because machines find it hard to replicate the movements of humans in everyday tasks. The hard problems that are easy for AI are those that require the application of complex algorithms and pattern recognition to large quantities of data – such as beating a grandmaster at chess”, says Joshi. “Or a job such as calculating a credit score or insurance premium, translating a report from English to Mandarin Chinese, or managing a stock portfolio.”
He continues to observe that "the looming threat is obvious. The first army of machines wiped out well-paid jobs in manufacturing; the second army is about to wipe out well-paid jobs in the service sector. In many cases, the people who will be surplus to requirements will have spent many years in school and university building up their skills." This will result in "exceptionally high rewards for those at the top, a hollowing out of the middle class, and the expansion of low-paid insecure jobs at the bottom."