ROBOTS! AUTOMATONS! CYBORGS! ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE! ARGHH!!!
Last weekend I attended Robots on Tour, a robotics, humanoids and cyborg exhibition put together by the Zurich-based Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich. Read more
Love him or loathe him, Robert Skidelsky’s prose always makes for a good read.
His latest offering comes by way of Project Syndicate and relates to the issue of robots and the rise of automation. To what degree are we really approaching a leisure society and how best to respond to the changes afoot? Read more
Above is a chart from CreditSights of employment changes by sector since the start of the last recession. Education and health jobs account for roughly 15 per cent of the working labour force, and their number has grown by nearly 11 per cent. Only mining has posted a higher growth rate (17 per cent), but obviously off a much smaller base. Read more
Welcome to FT Alphaville’s extraordinarily infrequent podcast… (click through for the podcast link).
It seems more top-tier economists are coming around to the idea that robots and technology could be having a greater influence on the economy (and this crisis in particular) than previously appreciated. Paul Krugman being the latest.
But first a quick backgrounder on the debate so far (as tracked by us). Read more
Here’s a tip — if you’re naming a memorable event, try not to put the day of the week in it. It’s awkward when it comes to anniversaries. Let us nonetheless take a moment to pause and reflect, with Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid:
25 years ago today the financial world went into paralysis as Black Monday struck stock markets around the globe. For context the DOW dropped 22.61% that day (the biggest % down day in history) or 508 points to 1738.74. I wish I’d have invested my paper-round money in the market at the close. Instead I was saving up for a new shiny Walkman
The latest HSBC/Markit Economics flash PMI for China paints a slightly odd picture.
Okay, so overall it’s positive – the index is 49.5 for July compared to 48.2 in June. The best number in five months, although it’s also the ninth month of below-trend growth. Read more
This is the third installment in FT Alphaville’s “Beyond Scarcity” series, a somewhat radical look at the impact of technological progress and efficiency on the volume of goods and services being produced by the system, asking whether “abundance” could now be a key determinant of deflationary forces in the western world.
On top of this, we have considered the role played by “artificial scarcity”, whether imposed wittingly or unwittingly by industry participants as a counterweight to such deflation, and to what degree such measures could now be running into scalability issues. In short, whether there is a limit to how much artificial scarcity private organisations can impose to counteract deflationary forces of abundance, without experiencing diminishing returns. Read more
You hardcore financial types might have missed the below FT story, given it was in the Film & Television section of Friday’s paper and concerned a Hollywood starlet.
But wait! It’s financially relevant. We promise: Read more
A possible culprit has been found for Wednesday’s sharp movement in cable — which saw the GBP/USD exchange rate drop to 1.5181 and recover in the space of a few minutes. A(nother) tradebot. To be specific, says FT Alphaville, some market participants are blaming an algorithm gone wild at a Dutch bank. Read more
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has published its account of what happened on May 6, the day of the Flash Crash, FT Alphaville writes. And yes, it does read a bit like the script to a Crime Scene Investigation episode — busting trades and all that. Read more