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Intelligent Machines: The jobs robots will steal first

Intelligent Machines: The jobs robots will steal first
Image copyright Thinkstock If you are sitting at a desk, driving a taxi or carrying a hod, stop for a moment and ask: could a robot or machine do this job better? The answer, unfortunately for you, is probably - yes. The debate about whether machines will eliminate the need for human employment is no longer just academic. Boston Consulting Group predicts that by 2025, up to a quarter of jobs will be replaced by either smart software or robots, while a study from Oxford University has suggested that 35% of existing UK jobs are at risk of automation in the next 20 years. Office workers who do repetitive jobs such as writing reports or drawing up spreadsheets are easily replaced with software but what other jobs are under threat? To find out more about whether your job is at risk of automation in the next two decades, check out the BBC's interactive graphic. Image copyright Transport Systems Catapult For the moment though "the other dude in the car" is in defiant mood. Life's a beach?

Related:  Robots and Artificial IntelligenceTech PredictionsTechnological UnemploymentFUTURE

China: Tech Giants Push Back Against Beijing's New Cyber Security Bill Tech companies are pushing back against China’s controversial new cyber security bill that requires companies to share proprietary source code with Beijing. According to the Wall Street Journal, under the new regulations, China will require software companies, network-equipment manufacturers and other technology companies to disclose their source codes—the building blocks of computer programs—in order to prove their products cannot be infiltrated by hackers. However, tech companies are arguing that the disclosure policy does not ensure such safety, and may even heighten the risk of their code falling into the wrong hands. Intel INTC -2.74% , Microsoft MSFT -1.76% , and IBM IBM -1.48% alongside various Chinese tech companies, have come out against the new regulations. Rebuking the new bill, Microsoft wrote, “Sharing source code in itself can’t prove the capability to be secure and controllable. It only proves there is source code,” in a statement quoted by the Journal.

Solu: the Finnish pocket computer that wants to take over the world Personal computers, says entrepreneur Kristoffer Lawson, haven’t changed much in 20 years. It’s still a box, a screen and, if you’re using a desktop, a keyboard. But Lawson thinks that the era of cloud computing deserves its own kind of computing device. Portable, but more powerful than a mobile, designed to be plugged into any desktop screen and with a new kind of operating system that connects more fluidly to your contacts.

The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Note: The reason this post took three weeks to finish is that as I dug into research on Artificial Intelligence, I could not believe what I was reading. Is Technology Changing Television? Imagine, you’re an English aristocrat whose heir, who was presumed dead, turns up years later disfigured and with a decidedly un-English accent. What do you do? You can’t tell if it’s him but you equally can’t be sure that it’s not him. Well you whip out that Q-Tip and get a DNA test, pronto. Or you’re in a bit of a financial pickle and can only think of one person, a mate from way back when, who can help you out, the problem is that you don’t know where exactly he is.

Feds Need to Bolster Cyberprotection Speed and Range Providing cybersecurity that is adequate to meet increasing threats has proven to be a perpetual catch-up process. Public sector agencies are particularly sensitive targets, with high visibility not only to the citizens they serve, but also to cyberattackers. Despite the emphasis on cyberprotection spurred by a major breach at the federal Office of Personnel Management in 2015, government agencies have struggled to maintain adequate levels of protection. A recent survey uncovered two major vulnerabilities: lack of speed in detecting and responding to attacks; and weak defenses of the full range of possible attack channels. The velocity of cyberintrusions has become a significant factor in detecting and countering attacks effectively, according to the MeriTalk survey, which polled 150 federal cybersecurity professionals. Federal security operation teams "ingest" an average of 25 external threats daily, notes the report, which received support from Palo Alto Networks.

Alternative Input Devices Introduction Individuals may have limitations that interfere with the ability to access computers. Traditionally, a computer user accesses a computer with a standard point and click mouse and an external QWERTY keyboard (named for the top left-hand side of the rows). The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on AI. Part 1 is here. PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) We have what may be an extremely difficult problem with an unknown time to solve it, on which quite possibly the entire future of humanity depends. — Nick Bostrom Intelligent machines: Will we accept robot revolution? Image copyright Thinkstock Would you share your home with a robot or work side by side with one? People are starting to do both, which has put the relationship we have with them under the spotlight and exposed both our love and fear of the machines that are increasingly becoming a crucial part of our lives. In Japan they grow so attached to their robot dogs that they hold funerals for them when they "die". Sony, the firm that began making the popular Aibo toys in 1999, decided to stop offering repairs in 2014, meaning once they broke down they were fit only for the scrapheap.

Will Overly Polite Self-Driving Cars Brake for Jerks? Pedestrians will quickly learn how to game tomorrow’s robocar-dominated traffic system, often bringing it to a halt, according to a model based—of course—on game theory. “From the point of view of a passenger in an automated car, it would be like driving down a street filled with unaccompanied five-year-old children,”writes Adam Millard-Ball today in theJournal of Planning Education and Research. Millard-Ball, who teaches environmental studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, modeled what he calls crosswalk chicken, in which a brazen pedestrian crosses in front of oncoming cars, daring them to run him over. Of course, in today’s world, such effrontery is dangerous because drivers may be inattentive, particularly when operating under the expectation that pedestrians will not act like total jerks. The game of chicken was originally conceived as a race between two cars hurtling toward each other along a single lane: the first driver to swerve loses.

TED 2016: Meta augmented reality headset demoed at TED Image copyright Meta An augmented reality headset has been shown off at the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference whose makers say could transform computing and communication. The Meta headset shows digital content superimposed over the user's view that they can manipulate with their hands. They can also use it to make a phone call and "see" the person in 3D. However, there remains questions about how willing people will be to wear headsets for such tasks. Augmented reality layers a digital world on top of the physical one.

Management column: why it is time we rethink the nature of work These are anxious times in the world of work, and not just for individuals fretting over where future jobs will come from. Organisations too are waking up to awkward questions posed by advancing technology. Where will top managers come from now that we have broken the career ladder by outsourcing or eliminating middle management? Scott Kelly’s ‘UFO’ Photo From Space Sparks Alien Rumors Is there something you want to tell us, Scott Kelly? The astronaut is spending a year in space, and one of his most recent photos from the International Space Station is making the internet go wild with claims that he photographed a UFO! Click to see the PIC!

Stephen Hawking: AI will automate middle class jobs British scientist Prof. Stephen Hawking gives his 'The Origin of the Universe' lecture to a packed hall December 14, 2006 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Hawking suffers from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrigs disease), which has rendered him quadriplegic, and is able to speak only via a computerized voice synthesizer which is operated by batting his eyelids. David Silverman/Getty Images