Artificial Intelligence Bulletin – HUGE Job Losses

Posted By on May 25, 2016

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Each week on a Wednesday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist highlights the top stories from the past week relating to the incredible rise of artificial intelligence and its application in society, the workplace, in cities, and in our lives.

In Artificial Intelligence Bulletin – HUGE Job Losses we see announcements from Foxconn, Gamaya, Baidu, Google, and others.

Foxconn axes 60,000 jobs in one Chinese factory as robots take over

Thirty-five Taiwanese companies, including Apple’s supplier Foxconn, spent a total of 4 billion yuan (HK$4.74 billion) on artificial intelligence last year, according to the Kunshan government’s publicity department.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs,” said the department’s head Xu Yulian.

“More companies are likely to follow suit.”

As many as 600 major companies in Kunshan have similar plans, according to a government survey.

Via Tech in Asia

Former McDonald’s USA CEO: $35K Robots Cheaper Than Hiring at $15 Per Hour

“I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry — it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries — it’s nonsense and it’s very destructive and it’s inflationary and it’s going to cause a job loss across this country like you’re not going to believe,” said former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi during an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings with Maria.

Via Fox Business

Will AI spark a wave of job losses in banking? This what the experts think

Advances in AI are changing the way people interact with technology across industries. The typically conservative banking and finance sectors seem particularly ripe for some disruption.

In January, tech magazine WIRED reported that a Hong Kong-based company, Aidiya, launched a hedge fund that made stock trades in U.S. equities using AI, with no human intervention required.

More recently, a technology company, Numerai, which has an artificial intelligence tournament to predict the stock market, raised $1.5 million in venture capital funds. The predictions are used by a hedge fund the company created to trade in the market.

Via CNBC

This Startup Is Changing Farming With Drones and AI

On Monday, a Swiss startup called Gamaya announced that it’s raised 3.2 million Swiss francs ($3.2 million) to build its business around on using drones and artificial intelligence to help farmers grow their crops more efficiently and cost effectively. The funding came from the chairman and former CEO of Nestle, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the Sandoz Foundation (established by the son of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis), and Swiss venture capital firm VI Partners.

Via Fortune

Artificial intelligence: Getting as good as the real thing

That will change our lives, said a panel of experts Monday discussing “The State of AI” at the EmTech Digital Conference in San Francisco. And just how all companies use the Internet, they may need to start expanding their data teams.

“Today, we’re in a stage where companies are hiring a chief data officer,” said Andrew Ng, the chief scientist at China’s search giant Baidu. “Maybe in the future they will hire a chief AI officer as well.”

Via CNET

Google is launching a new research project to see if computers can be truly creative

During the last session at Moogfest, a four-day music and technology festival, in Durham, North Carolina, Douglas Eck, a researcher on Google Brain, the company’s artificial-intelligence research project, outlined a new group that’s going to focus on figuring out if computers can truly create.

 The group, called Magenta, will launch more publicly at the start of June, but attendees at Moogfest were given a taste of what it’s going to be working on. Magenta will use TensorFlow, the machine-learning engine that Google built and opened up to the public at the end of 2015, to determine whether AI systems can be trained to create original pieces of music, art, or video.

Via Quartz

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Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.


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