Archive for the ‘policy’ category: Page 6

Jan 28, 2022

Does artificial intelligence really reduce jobs? A historic perspective

Posted by in categories: employment, policy, robotics/AI, transportation

Second, we need to be aware of the manifest biases and fallacies that magnify the weight humans put on potential losses compared to potential future gains. As a result of these biases, humans often seek to preserve the status quo over pursuing activities that lead to future changes, even when the expected (but risky) gains from the latter may outweigh those of maintaining the status quo. The preference for the status quo, and neat narratives that oversimplify complex scenarios, can lead to overlooking (or ignoring) important information that is not consistent with the current generally accepted meme — illustrated, perhaps, in Musk’s continued optimism for autonomous vehicles despite the evidence leading to others downscaling their forecasts.

The first and second points together lead to the third important consideration: the importance of independently verified data over forecasts and opinion in determining the need for and appropriateness of policy interventions. And data is historical by nature. Pausing to collect it rather than rushing to respond is recommended.

To that end, we can use available data to analyze whether increasing use of AI is demonstrably affecting key labor market performance indicators: labor productivity and multifactor productivity growth. If, as Keynes suggests, AI-driven technological change is increasing the potential for new means of economizing the use of labor to outrun the pace of finding new ways to use it, we would expect to see both statistics rising in the era dominated by AI. Yet as Figures 1 and 2 show, the exact opposite appears true for a wide range of OECD countries. Neither does the data suggest that other key labor market indicators have changed negatively with the advent of AI. As with the computer industry, we see the effects of AI everywhere but in the productivity statistics.

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Jan 28, 2022

Jeff Dean: AI isn’t as smart as you think — but it could be | TED

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, policy, robotics/AI

What is AI, really? Jeff Dean, the head of Google’s AI efforts, explains the underlying technology that enables artificial intelligence to do all sorts of things, from understanding language to diagnosing disease — and presents a roadmap for building better, more responsible systems that have a deeper understanding of the world. (Followed by a Q&A with head of TED Chris Anderson)

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

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Jan 28, 2022

AI And Optimism: Jim Mellon Wants Us All To Live Longer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, internet, life extension, policy, robotics/AI

There is nothing inevitable about aging, or about its rate. Californian bristlecone pines are believed to live for 5,000 years, and there are long-lived mammalian creatures as well. Some marine creatures do not display any signs of aging at all, including hydra, jellyfish, planarian worms, and coral. Certain human cells have immortal characteristics too. When a woman gives birth, she produces a baby which is “new”. Her “germline” (reproduction-related) cells produce a child with no signs of age.

These and many other considerations combine with the unreasonable effectiveness of modern AI to lead some people to believe that significant advances in longevity are imminent. These advances probably cannot happen without the active participation of the wider pharmaceutical industry, and the acceptance by policy makers and regulators that aging is a disease, not just an unfortunate and inevitable component of the human condition. There is still considerable reluctance among major pharmaceutical companies to contemplate specific anti-aging therapeutic developments. But there are encouraging signs of this reluctance being challenged, especially at Novartis and AstraZeneca.

Beyond the pharma giants, Mellon reckons there are 255 companies which claim to be specifically targeting aging, of which 35 are listed on stock markets. But he thinks that only a minority of them are genuinely working to tackle aging, as opposed to one of the diseases it causes, like cancer, dementia, or heart disease. He likens the state of the longevity industry today to the internet industry of 20 years ago, when it was still in its dial-up phase, and downloading information (or, heaven forbid, images) was like sucking jelly through a straw. And although longevity will have such a massive impact on all of us that you might expect progress to be expedited, Mellon points out that the internet did not have to go through lengthy and expensive FDA trials at every step.

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Jan 20, 2022

Russia proposes ban on use and mining of cryptocurrencies

Posted by in categories: cryptocurrencies, finance, law, policy, terrorism

Russia’s central bank on Thursday proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability, citizens’ wellbeing and its monetary policy sovereignty.

The move is the latest in a global cryptocurrency crackdown as governments from Asia to the United States worry that privately operated and highly volatile digital currencies could undermine their control of financial and monetary systems.

Russia has argued for years against cryptocurrencies, saying they could be used in money laundering or to finance terrorism. It eventually gave them legal status in 2020 but banned their use as a means of payment.

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Jan 20, 2022

Why Timnit Gebru Isn’t Waiting for Big Tech to Fix AI’s Problems

Posted by in categories: education, health, policy, robotics/AI, surveillance

For the past decade, AI has been quietly seeping into daily life, from facial recognition to digital assistants like Siri or Alexa. These largely unregulated uses of AI are highly lucrative for those who control them but are already causing real-world harms to those who are subjected to them: false arrests; health care discrimination; and a rise in pervasive surveillance that, in the case of policing, can disproportionately affect Black people and disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.

Gebru is a leading figure in a constellation of scholars, activists, regulators, and technologists collaborating to reshape ideas about what AI is and what it should be. Some of her fellow travelers remain in Big Tech, mobilizing those insights to push companies toward AI that is more ethical. Others, making policy on both sides of the Atlantic, are preparing new rules to set clearer limits on the companies benefiting most from automated abuses of power. Gebru herself is seeking to push the AI world beyond the binary of asking whether systems are biased and to instead focus on power: who’s building AI, who benefits from it, and who gets to decide what its future looks like.

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Jan 20, 2022

Community Of AI Researchers, Practitioners Calls For Stringency In Toronto Police Services Board’s Use Of AI Technologies Policy

Posted by in categories: information science, policy, robotics/AI

“No AI technology ‘where training or transactional data is known to be of poor quality, carry bias, or where the quality of such data is unknown’ should ever be considered for use, and thus should be deemed Extreme Risk, not High Risk. Any AI technology based on poor quality or biased data is inherently compromised.”

“No AI technology that assists in “identifying, categorizing, prioritizing or otherwise making decisions pertaining to members of the public” should be deemed Low Risk. Automating such actions through technology, even with the inclusion of a human-in-the-loop, is an intrinsically risky activity, and should be categorized as such by the Policy.”

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Jan 17, 2022

Dimming the Sun Could Spell Doom for Humanity, Experts Warn

Posted by in categories: climatology, engineering, policy, sustainability

Policy experts and scientists are coming together to stop such experimentation.

Back in March of 2021, we brought you news of a study from the Bill Gates-backed Harvard University Solar Geoengineering Research Program which aimed to evaluate the efficacy of blocking sunlight from reaching our planet’s surface in order to delay the effects of climate change.

Now, more than 60 policy experts and scientists have come together to claim that these kinds of geoengineering initiatives are very dangerous for humanity, according to

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Jan 10, 2022

Start UK Rollout Of Zero-Emission Jets This Decade

Posted by in categories: climatology, government, policy, sustainability

UK domestic flights could be operated by electric and hydrogen aircraft as early as 2028, a new policy paper by Transport & Environment (T&E) finds.

2022 is a crucial year in climate change policy terms for UK aviation. The UK government will consult and decide on both how to make the UK ETS net-zero compliant; what the specific details of the sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) mandate are; and lay out a final Jet Zero strategy.

In its new policy paper, T&E recommends the path forward to set UK aviation on a net zero trajectory. The recommendations include:

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Jan 8, 2022

The Long Wait for Community Solar in Washington State

Posted by in category: policy

In the state of Washington, advocates hope that the third time’s the charm for passing community solar legislation.

For this episode of the Local Energy Rules Podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Mason Rolph, President of Olympia Community Solar. In the absence of supportive state policy, Rolph has found a way to develop community solar gardens that reward subscribers. Farrell and Rolph discuss Olympia Community Solar, the organization’s advocacy work, and why Washington needs a proper community solar program.

Listen to the full episode and explore more resources below — including a transcript and summary of the conversation.

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Jan 8, 2022

5G is Poised to Change Everything, from Farming to Surgery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, internet, policy

With 5G, apps and services that we can’t even imagine will be possible.

What good is a smart toaster if it can’t connect to the network?

CES 2022 is packed with tech that needs lightning-fast connection to the internet. That’s one reason why so many people at the trade show in Las Vegas are laser-focused on 5G. A handful of industry leaders got together at the conference to discuss the opportunities and challenges of making tech that works with the new global wireless standard.

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