During our morning commutes to work, many of us will grumble about unreliable trains, packed tube carriages, or too much traffic on our highways. And yet, despite these complaints, we tend to keep a stiff upper lip and bear with the current state of infrastructure, rather than question how things could become better. But if you look at infrastructure in the developed world, there’s much that needs to be redone: bridges are crumbling, and roads are in trouble. In emerging countries, new infrastructure needs to be built, including rail, roads, tunnels, and bridges. The world’s population is expected to grow to nearly 10bn by 2050 – that’s two billion more people than today, with 75 per cent living in major cities. To accommodate this growth, the construction industry will need to build an average of 13,000 buildings per day in major cities, and trillions of pounds will need to be invested in infrastructure. We’re already seeing such commitment in the UK, … [Read more...] about The future of infrastructure needs artificial intelligence and new ways of working
Automated demand response
The recent tumult in financial markets has shined a light on the rising role of automated trading on Wall Street and whether it is exacerbating volatility. Since the 2008 financial crisis, investors have increasingly turned to computerized trading systems that have been programmed to render quickfire "buy" and "sell" orders based on economic data, utterances of central bankers or complex artificial intelligence software that employ algorithms. Though set up by humans, these trades are based on a snap assessment that lacks the subtle discernment of the human eye. Whenever an unexpected lurch on Wall Street slams investors, fingers are pointed at such systems that increasingly dominate trading. Critics have questioned whether the market's recent swoon -- which could result in the worst December since the Great Depression -- is due to a liquidity drain and other unanticipated effects of the computerization of trading, rather than fundamental economic factors at a time when US … [Read more...] about Spotlight on role of automated trading amid Wall Street swoon
Dennis Wagner azcentral.com | USA TODAY NETWORK Published 11:06 PM EDT Mar 27, 2018 ON THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER — There is no wall here. There is no fence, either. There are no agents or drones or surveillance towers. Only a river and a breeze. We wade into the Rio Grande at a place called Boquillas Canyon, mud squishing between toes, midway through a nearly 2,000-mile journey. By car, by foot, and foremost by helicopter, we are here to see every inch of the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Our mission is to film the border, evaluate the existing fences, document this invisible line as it exists in 2017 — before any construction begins on what President Donald Trump has repeatedly called “a big, beautiful wall.” So far, we have followed this river from its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande undulates along more than half of the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Border agents have patrolled it for years, sometimes risking their lives to enforce … [Read more...] about A 2,000-mile journey in the shadow of the border wall
“We” are on the cusp of a profound change in how we move people, goods and services around our towns, cities and countryside. This is driven by extraordinary innovation in engineering, technology and business models,” reads the government’s industrial strategy, published last year with the mandate of building a Britain that is “fit for the future”. Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) – vehicles capable of navigating their environment without human input – are name-checked 12 times in the white paper, which claims that the UK has an opportunity to “assert global leadership” in the field. Self-driving cars will soon become a reality on Britain’s roads. In 2015, the government launched the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), a joint policy team between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Department for Transport. CCAV is providing over £250m in funding, matched by … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlight Are British roads ready for the age of automation?
Not so cheap Rapidly rising wages are an increasingly significant cost factor for German firms in China as competition for qualified staff heats up. Published on August 13, 2018 6:45 pm The days when China offered German firms an endless pool of cheap labor are rapidly coming to an end. Nowadays, staffing problems top the agenda for German executives: How to find good people, how to retain them, and how to afford them. The ideal employee is someone like Chen Jiaoyi, a product development manager for the bathroom fittings manufacturer Hansgrohe, which has its home base in the Black Forest. Mr. Jiaoyi, trained in Hamburg and a fluent German speaker, is well aware of his value to the company, whose Shanghai plant has been a crucial production hub since 2003. Some 78 percent of German companies see rising labor costs as a serious problem, second only to finding qualified personnel, according to a survey conducted for the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in China. Retaining … [Read more...] about German firms face staffing woes as Chinese labor costs skyrocket