Coping with FIRe

Coping with FIRe

I had the privilege to listen to Dr. Aniceto Orbeta of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the government think tank, when he made a presentation on Labor and Global Development before the People Management Association of the Philippines.

Now, the FIRe in the title of this column doesn’t refer to firing laborers but rather the shorthand for what Dr. Orbeta in his presentation calls the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe). According to Dr. Orbeta, the First Revolution was about steam, water, and mechanical production equipment, starting about 1784. The Second Revolution was about division of labor, electricity, mass production, […]

G20: Digital change and gig economy rewire the world of work

G20: Digital change and gig economy rewire the world of work

When his daughter was born, Paulo Aguilar, a Chilean entrepreneur, wanted to find a new way of working — one that would allow him to stay at home and see her grow up.

His solution was to log on to Mercado Libre, Latin America’s answer to eBay, to find out what people wanted to buy. Soon he started his own company, Comercial Limax, selling pet accessories from his study, where his daughter could visit whenever she pleased. Five years on, the company is doing well, with a warehouse and a team of eight.

Mr Aguilar is one of many adjusting to […]

Big issues from the World Economic Forum’s intellectual heart

Big issues from the World Economic Forum’s intellectual heart

I am writing this from deep within the beating intellectual heart of the World Economic Forum — the hub of the Global Future Councils (GFC) in Dubai.

The GFC — labeled the “biggest brainstorm in the world” — takes place each autumn in the UAE as an agenda-setting exercise for the WEF’s big annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. This year, nearly 700 thought leaders — business people, economists, scientists and policymakers of all ages — are gathering to slug out the raw cerebral content that will be discussed in greater depth at Davos. Not many plain old hacks get to […]

4.0 new-age tech & jobs

Industrial 4.0 new-age technologies are disrupting the jobs around the global. This is likely to have a marginal impact on labour surplus economy like India, where more important concerns are creation of more formal or decent jobs and rising non-standard form of work, which is replacing the limited formal or regular work in the organised sector.

The ‘Future of Jobs Report 2016’, a study by World Economic Forum, first highlighted that Industry 4.0 with new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, 3D printing and cloud computing may impact existing jobs & ways of working, particularly the entry-level, low-medium skilled […]

This new approach to tech could bridge your morale dip

This new approach to tech could bridge your morale dip

Businesses need to shift from a model of ‘people supported by technology’ to one of ‘technology supported by people’ to keep up in the intelligent automation (IA) race.

According to new research, this will contribute to making employees happier and more productive.

Professor Ilan Oshri from the University of Auckland Business School participated in a KPMG study that looked at global experiences with IA, which includes artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA).Indeed, technology that can make decisions and interact at a “human-like level” is now a part of everyday life, such as virtual bank assistants and CT scans […]

‘Technology supported by people’ is the new business model

For happier (and more productive) employees, businesses need to shift from a model of ‘people supported by technology’ to one of ‘technology supported by people’ to keep up in the intelligent automation (IA) race.

Professor Ilan Oshri from the University of Auckland Business School participated recently in a KPMG study that looked at global experiences with IA. IA includes artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA) – technology that can make decisions, interact and learn at a human-like level was recently the province of sci-fi but is now a part of everyday life – think virtual bank assistants […]

The Catholic view on a contactless world

The Catholic view on a contactless world

With workers being replaced by machines, Fr Stephen Reilly suggests how best to respond

THE UK government is reportedly considering enlisting Britain’s postal workers to check in on lonely elderly people, chat to them and link them in with local community support.

This laudable initiative is a response to government surveys showing that three quarters of GPs see between one and five patients a day who are suffering loneliness.Meanwhile, earlier this year Amazon opened an entirely automated grocery store, Amazon Go, in Seattle. Closer to home, a greater proportion of tills are automatic, and supermarkets are considering scan-as-you-shop, to eliminate […]

China battles US for AI and robotic space: Who’s ahead?

China battles US for AI and robotic space: Who’s ahead?

Robot dominates: Ford F150 trucks go through robots on the assembly line at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Robots are also entering areas such as logistics warehousing, chemicals and plastics factories and F&B industries. — AFP NO doubt, the FAANGs – Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google – are making the world a better place.

Still, they are being accused of being BAADD – big, anti-competitive, addictive and destructive to democracy.

Regulators fine them, politicians take them to task, and even their backers warn of their power to cause harm. Much of the techlash is undeserved. There’s fake […]

Imperial showcases AI prowess to Conservative and Labour Party conferences

Imperial showcases AI prowess to Conservative and Labour Party conferences

Professor Nick Jennings (right) and Zeno speaking on Professor Nick Jennings, Zeno the robot and Dr Declan O’Regan met political leaders in Liverpool and Birmingham this month.

Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) Professor Nick Jennings spoke on a Royal Society panel at both party conferences, discussing artificial intelligence (AI), automation and the future of work. He was joined by Zeno, a robot that utilises AI to replicate the facial expressions of humans.

The panels, entitled ’How long until we have a robot for PM? Are the predictions about the future of work getting ahead of reality?’ featured speakers from academia, think tanks […]

New York City high schools should expand vocational education

New York City high schools should expand vocational education

A group of students doing their work in a classroom workshop near Robert Bosch Vocational School in Ulm, Germany. The United States is entering an era of dramatic economic upheaval as the industrial economy – and, increasingly, even the service sector – automates tasks once performed by humans. In 20 years, many of the jobs currently held by people without college degrees, including cab and truck drivers, forklift operators and even line cooks, could be filled by robots. Last year, a report by the McKinsey Global Institute found that up to 73 million American jobs could be lost to […]