23 Nov, 2018 image
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In the face of an AI trade war, it’s the tailwinds that matter most

It wasn’t long ago that artificial intelligence was considered a futuristic pipe dream. Novels, films, and television shows have been serving up images of an AI-driven world for decades. Fiction authors like Neal Stephenson and Isaac Asimov painted a picture of a world in which whoever controlled technology and AI controlled the world—including the resources and, more importantly, the people. I have to wonder if Stephenson or Asimov had any inkling how accurate their visions would be—or ho...

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13 Jul, 2018 image
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In today’s trade war, robotics, automation, and AI may be the only winners

You’ve heard it over and over again: No one wins in a trade war. As the trade war between the US and China continues to escalate, the tariffs and barriers on imported products threaten to slow business activity, create supply chain friction, and dampen international trade—not only between the two countries themselves, but around the globe. So, in a general sense, it’s true. No one wins a trade war. But robotics, automation, and AI—or RAAI—is notorious for breaking the rules. And whe...

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15 Mar, 2018 image
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Is “National Security” Trump’s Excuse for a Trade War?

President Trump has finally delivered on his promise of trade protectionism. But by promising to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on “national security” grounds, President Trump addresses a problem that doesn’t exist—and creates a host of new ones. Several notable economists think the proposed tariffs of 10% on aluminum and 25% on steel will, at least to some extent, hurt—not help—US manufacturing by triggering declines in orders for critical investments such as roboti...

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29 Sep, 2017 image
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NOT SO MODERN TIMES: THE BACKWARDS THINKING OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN AND JEREMY CORBYN

The fear of change is nothing new. Charlie Chaplin’s classic film Modern Times—one of the last silent films of the era—is perhaps the most famous critique of technology and its perceived impact on modern society. When the film was produced in 1936, Chaplin wasn’t alone in his fear of how a mechanized world would change lives and, indeed, the world as he knew it. When Jeremy Corbyn, the U.K.’s current Labour leader, spoke at Wednesday’s Labour conference, his response to the “t...

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