Sometimes the future shows up so fast it hits us in the face, like a brick wall in a VR headset. Other times the miraculous promises of technology--the rearrangement of our very DNA, the blockchain-enabled toppling of Facebook--are frustratingly slow to arrive. But either way, the future is coming, and we should be ready.
After nearly five days of deliberations, a U.S. jury on Thursday said Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should pay $539 million to Apple Inc for copying patented smartphone features, according to court documents, bringing a years-long feud between the technology companies into its final stages.
The fragile apparition endured only long enough to say: “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” before flickering out. But R2D2’s 3D projection gave millions of young eyes, including mine, their first taste of holograms, and planted unrealistic expectations of a future playing dejarik, the gruesome game of holographic chess played on board the Millennium Falcon.
The U.S. government was well aware of China’s aggressive strategy of leveraging private investors to buy up the latest American technology when, early last year, a company called Avatar Integrated Systems showed up at a bankruptcy court in Delaware hoping to buy the California chip-designer ATop Tech. ATop’s product was potentially groundbreaking -- an automated designer capable of making microchips that could power anything from smartphones to high-tech weapons systems.
Are you worried that technology will make your job obsolete? A new survey says most Metro Detroit workers don’t feel that way. The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments conducted an online survey of people’s attitudes toward technology and new job skills.
New technological developments continue to make certain roles in the workplace obsolete. Because these innovations are inevitable, the conversation is turning to training workers so that their skills remain relevant. At the 2016 World Economic Forum, a key takeaway was that learning environments would need to change -- and advances in technology could hold the key.
Over the next few years, the Pentagon is poised to spend almost $1 billion for a range of robots designed to complement combat troops. Beyond scouting and explosives disposal, these new machines will sniff out hazardous chemicals or other agents, perform complex reconnaissance and even carry a soldier’s gear.
About one in three employees at Google, Facebook and Apple is a woman. That’s an imbalance that tech sector executives Sheryl Sandberg and Tim Cook say they want to change. Yet even if their companies set a target of just over half their new recruits being women, a Breakingviews calculator shows that closing the gender gap will take up to 15 years.
The White House’s planned advisory committee on artificial intelligence may or may not help keep the country at the forefront of technological innovation, but it is another sign that the government is getting more serious about the importance of AI and the potential threats of falling behind in the “AI arms race.”
One third of able-bodied American men between 25 and 54 could be out of job by 2050, contends the author of “The Future of Work: Robots, AI and Automation.” “We’re already at 12% of prime-aged men without jobs,” said Darrell West, vice president of the Brookings Institution think tank, at a forum in Washington, D.C. on Monday. That number has grown steadily over the past 60 years, but it could triple in the next 30 years because of new technology such as artificial intelligence and automation.