Category Archives: Management

Robot revolution: rise of ‘thinking’ machines could exacerbate inequality

Heather Stewart, Joint Political Editor of the Guardian (British Newspaper)

Global economy will be transformed over next 20 years at risk of growing inequality, say analysts

A line of human-shaped robots on display at an industry fair.
Robots made by Shaanxi Jiuli Robot Manufacturing Co on display at an industry fair in Shanghai in November. Photograph: Imaginechina/Corbis

A “robot revolution” will transform the global economy over the next 20 years, cutting the costs of doing business but exacerbating social inequality, as machines take over everything from caring for the elderly to flipping burgers, according to a new study.

As well as robots performing manual jobs, such as hovering the living room or assembling machine parts, the development of artificial intelligence means computers are increasingly able to “think”, performing analytical tasks once seen as requiring human judgment.

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THE SOCIETY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY (Re-posted)

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor www.BusinessThinker.com;  Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland (2011-2013).
CV details: click on  http://bit.ly/2sXvygl

Unfortunately, we have entered a century in which many of the old cultures and societies that have been successful under the old technologies and cultural norms have fallen by the wayside.   We witness already  dramatic shifts in economic wealth, both within and across nation states.

There is still some debate about how the new changes in technology will affect some of the more prevalent twentieth century ideologies.   For example, will the new technologies and associated cultural changes support or retard the growth of the liberal democracies? Or, will the vision of George Orwell be realized, with a technology-induced return to a world-wide authoritarian state? Obviously, all the data are not in, and will not be in for another seventy-five years or so. The early returns, however, suggest that many of the new technologies seem to enforce democratic values and practices.   For example, one of the critical features of using information technologies and computerized systems is the rapid and transparent exchange of information across settings, cities, and nations.   This is highly compatible with democratic systems and values. However, we have also witnessed that China has been able to have an effective state control over these advanced technologies so that has been little if any democratization and is some cases it could be argued that we have seen a decrease in democratization! The Economist in a recent article has concluded that the democratization effects on China by technology could have been overestimated.

On the other hand, some of the new technologies will reinforce distinctions between individuals and classes of people, thus perhaps leading to a more hierarchical and elitist structure of society.   Moreover, the ability of the new technologies to successfully manage and facilitate diversity of tastes and markets, may lead to a fragmentation of societies such that it will be difficult to sustain larger goals and visions.   For example, it is unclear whether a television society can really sustain a long-term mission, or goal, or struggle.

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WARNING FROM AN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR


Dr. John Psarouthakis
, Executive editor www.BusinessThinker.com and entrepreneur of the year awardee.

You probably relish the challenge of seeing how far and how fast you can grow. Growth can be an exhilarating experience and public recognition of growth accomplishments abound. Most honor rolls of business, such as the Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 base selection on sales or sales growth.

But beware. So much hoopla accompanies rapid sales growth that the question of profitability may go unexamined until major problems set in. My experience confirms the critical point that growth alone does not guarantee profitability or long-term survival–and can actually spell disaster if improperly managed.

The case of an auto parts supplier entrepreneur highlights this point. At one point in his firm’s meteoric growth, he received many local, state, and national awards honoring his accomplishments, including Entrepreneur of the Year.

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