The technology-driven world in which we live is a world filled with promise but also challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays, and algorithms that respond to customer-service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation.
The drone industry pleaded with Congress on Wednesday to ease restrictions on flight operations, warning that the U.S. is falling behind to other countries that are using the emerging technology in innovative ways. The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has exploded in recent years, with drones being deployed to monitor crops, fight wildfires, inspect infrastructure and assist with first response and hurricane recovery efforts.
This summer, Twitter Inc.’s new diversity chief met employees to discuss whether they felt welcome at work. Among those who said they sometimes felt excluded, according to people familiar with the matter, were conservatives. The feedback reflects the strains in Silicon Valley as technology companies seek to bolster diversity of all kinds among their hundreds of thousands of employees.
Economic think tank McKinsey Global Institute forecast changes in demand for different kinds of labor across 45 countries as technologies improve to perform physical or office tasks. One key result: Robots pose a more immediate and disruptive threat to the US middle class than they do to middle-income workers in less developed countries like India.
A research arm of the U.S. intelligence community just wrapped up a competition to see who could develop the best facial recognition technology. The challenge: identify as many passengers as possible walking on an aircraft boarding ramp. Of all the entries, it was a Chinese start-up company called Yitu Tech that walked away with the $25,000 prize this month, the highest of three cash awards.
The conventional wisdom about the tech industry’s relationship with Donald Trump is that it's a street brawl, with Silicon Valley's liberal CEOs clashing with the president on everything from immigration to climate change to transgender rights. But the reality is that Silicon Valley is getting much of what it wants.
Republicans and major technology firms who support a tax overhaul have touted reforms that they say will bring offshore profits back into the country, boosting U.S. tax revenue and benefiting the economy. But critics are skeptical of those claims, doubting that both the House and Senate versions of the tax bill give companies like Apple the incentive to bring money into the U.S. over the long term.
Net neutrality is the concept that all internet traffic should be treated equally, no matter what internet service provider (ISPs) is carrying it. ISPs claim such rules stifle investment and innovation. Net neutrality advocates fear repealing net neutrality rules would allow ISPs to prioritize traffic, which would put more power in the hands of larger telecom companies.
Until only a few years ago, talk of China as an innovator would have elicited scorn from most Western business and government leaders. The country was widely derided as a haven for copycats and pirates, or grudgingly acknowledged as an efficient manufacturing platform whose factories depended on the uneasy union of cheap Chinese labor and foreign technology.
In recent decades, the diffusion of digital technology into nearly every business and workplace, also known as “digitalization,” has been remaking the U.S. economy and the world of work. The “digitalization of everything” has at once increased the potential of individuals, firms, and society while also contributing to a series of troublesome impacts and inequalities, such as worker pay disparities across many demographics, and the divergence of metropolitan economic outcomes.