Archive by Author | plerudulier

Over 2,000 Years of Economic History in One Chart – Visualcapitalist

For thousands of years, economic progress was largely linear and linked to population growth. Without machines or technological innovations, one person could only produce so much with their time and resources.

More recently, innovations in technology and energy allowed the “hockey stick” effect to come into play.

It happened in Western Europe and North America first, and now it’s happening in other parts of the world. As this technological playing field evens, economies like China and India – traditionally some of the largest economies throughout history – are now making their big comeback.

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/2000-years-economic-history-one-chart/

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Want the Best Results From AI? Ask a Human – MIT Sloan Management Review

Companies of all kinds are adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning systems at an accelerated pace. International Data Corp. (IDC) projects that shipments of AI software will grow by 50% per year and will reach $57.6 billion in 2021 — up from $12 billion in 2017 and just $8 billion in 2016. AI is being applied to a range of tasks, including rating mortgage applications, spotting signs of trouble on power lines, and helping drivers navigate using location data from smartphones.

But companies are learning the hard way that developing and deploying AI and machine-learning systems is not like implementing a standard software program. What makes these programs so powerful — their ability to “learn” on their own — also makes them unpredictable and imminently capable of errors that can harm the business.

https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/want-the-best-results-from-ai-ask-a-human/

More patients are taking home recordings of their doctor visits. But who else could listen? | PBS NewsHour

Doctors across the U.S. have begun doing what once seemed unthinkable in a litigious health care environment: recording their medical conversations with patients and encouraging them to review the audio at home.

The rationale for the practice is as simple as the smartphone technology that enables it: having a recording improves patients’ understanding and recall of their doctor visits and helps them adhere to treatment regimens.

Now the increasing power of artificial intelligence is promising to bring this technical capability to a new level — potentially offering big rewards, and risks, for patients and caregivers.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/more-patients-are-taking-home-recordings-of-their-doctor-visits-but-who-else-could-listen

The Vehicle of the Future Has Two Wheels, Handlebars, and Is a Bike | WIRED

Modern tech has transformed the humble two-­wheeler, making the bike-share model possible: You check out a bike from a docking station, use it for an hour or so, then return to any other docking station. The concept was tried back in the ’60s but failed miserably because no one could track where the bikes went.

Today, that’s been solved with smartphone-ized tech: GPS, Bluetooth, RFID, and mobile-payment systems. And bike sharing has unlocked a ton of American interest in navigating cities on a bike: Usage has grown from 320,000 rides in 2010 to 28 million in 2016. In China, where gridlock in cities like Beijing is infamous, the trend has grown even faster.

https://www.wired.com/story/vehicle-future-bike/

Trump Vows to Save Jobs at China’s ZTE Lost After U.S. Sanctions – The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday left many scratching their heads. The president has taken a tough stance on what his administration deems unfair trade practices by the Chinese government. And he has trumpeted his efforts to safeguard American jobs even if it means creating economic strain in other countries.

The prospective shutdown of ZTE has been seen as major leverage in continuing trade discussions between China and the United States over Chinese trade practices. If Mr. Trump was announcing a huge concession with his tweet, it was without any indication of what he might have gotten in return.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/13/business/trump-vows-to-save-jobs-at-chinas-zte-lost-after-us-sanctions.html

Science teachers sacrifice to provide lab materials for students | PBS NewsHour

Science teachers aren’t the only teachers who spend out of pocket to purchase supplies for students. However, science teachers face challenges that other teachers don’t.

For instance, science courses often require more money than other subjects due to their hands-on nature. The supplies used in these classes need to be replaced frequently. There are also many laboratory experiments, such as dissections or chemical reactions, in which materials are only able to be used once.

In our study, science teachers indicated they sometimes conduct less intricate labs with grocery store materials.

So why does any of this matter?

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/science-teachers-sacrifice-to-provide-lab-materials-for-students

China’s new train line to Iran sends message to Trump: We’ll keep trading anyway – The Washington Post

New freight train connections usually have limited potential to make global headlines, but a new service launched from China on Thursday could be different. Its cargo — 1,150 tons of sunflower seeds — may appear unremarkable, but its destination is far more interesting: Tehran, the capital of Iran.

The launch of a new rail connection between Bayannur, in China’s Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, and Iran was announced by the official news agency Xinhua on Thursday. Its exact path was not described in the dispatch, but travel times will apparently be shortened by at least 20 days in comparison to cargo ship. The sunflower seeds are now expected to arrive in Tehran in about two weeks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/world/wp/2018/05/11/chinas-new-train-line-to-iran-sends-message-to-trump-well-keep-trading-anyway/

Bill Wirtz

Freelance journalist - Writer for a free society

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