Economy


Researchers analyze Kuroda's facial microexpressions to predict central bank policy moves

The Japan Times

For decades, economists have tried to guess central bank policy direction by studying subtle changes in official language -- now, researchers are finding new clues on policy, not in the words of central bankers but in their faces. In Japan, two artificial intelligence researchers, one from Nomura Securities and the other from Microsoft, are using software to analyze split-second changes in the facial expressions of Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda at his post-meeting news conferences. Their study found that Kuroda showed fleeting signs of "anger" and "disgust" at news conferences that preceded two recent major policy changes -- the January 2016 introduction of negative interest rates and the adoption of the so-called yield curve control policy in September last year. The implication is that Kuroda was beginning to sense the constraints of existing policies about six or seven weeks before the central bank's board actually decided to change them, the researchers concluded. The research was presented last weekend to a subcommittee meeting of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI).


In Kuroda's face - researchers find ways to predict central bank changes

#artificialintelligence

TOKYO (Reuters) - For decades, economists have tried to guess central bank policy direction by studying subtle changes in official language -- now, researchers are finding new clues on policy, not in the words of central banker but in their faces. In Japan, two artificial intelligence researchers, one from Nomura Securities and the other from Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), are using software to analyze split-second changes in the facial expressions of Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at his post-meeting press conferences. Their study found that Kuroda showed fleeting signs of "anger" and "disgust" at news conferences that preceded two recent major policy changes -- the January 2016 introduction of negative interest rates and the adoption of the so-called "yield curve control" policy September last year. The implication is that Kuroda was beginning to sense the constraints of existing policies about six or seven weeks before the central bank's board actually decided to change them, the researchers concluded. The research was presented last weekend to a subcommittee meeting of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence (JSAI).


Artificial intelligence commission needed to predict impact, says CBI

The Guardian

Britain's biggest employers are calling for a commission to examine the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. Amid predictions of a workplace revolution threatening one in five jobs across the UK, the CBI is urging Theresa May to launch the commission from early 2018. It said companies and trade unions should be involved and the commission should help to set out ways to increase productivity and economic growth as well looking into the impact of AI. The business lobby group said almost half of firms were planning to devote resources to AI, while one in five had already invested in the technology in the past year. Companies are increasingly using computers to scour vast datasets in order to spot inefficiencies, while they are also employing machines to control the flow of activity in warehouses and factories and to take meter readings.


Ontario Boosting the Number of Graduates in Science, Tech, Engineering, Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Ontario is increasing support for students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, including artificial intelligence, to continue to build a highly skilled workforce and support job creation and economic growth. Leading businesses from around the world choose Ontario because of its talented workforce, strong public education system and commitment to universal health care. These same qualities help to support an ecosystem that enables locally owned companies to succeed and grow. To bolster provincial competitiveness, the government plans to increase the number of postsecondary students graduating in the STEM disciplines by 25 per cent over the next five years. This initiative will boost the number of STEM graduates from 40,000 to 50,000 per year and position Ontario as the number one producer of postsecondary STEM graduates per capita in North America.


Big question for US cities: Is Amazon's HQ2 worth the price?

Boston Herald

Dozens of cities are working frantically to land Amazon's second headquarters, raising a weighty question with no easy answer: Amazon is promising $5 billion of investment and 50,000 jobs over the next decade and a half. Yet the winning city would have to provide Amazon with generous tax breaks and other incentives that can erode a city's tax base. Most economists say the answer is a qualified yes -- that an Amazon headquarters is a rare case in which a package of at least modest enticements could repay a city over time. That's particularly true compared with other projects that often receive public financial aid, from sports stadiums to the Olympics to manufacturing plants, which generally return lesser, if any, benefits over the long run. For the right city, winning Amazon's second headquarters could help it attain the rarefied status of "tech hub," with the prospect of highly skilled, well-paid workers by the thousands spending freely, upgrading a city's urban core and fueling job growth beyond Amazon itself.


10 imperatives for Europe in the age of AI and automation

#artificialintelligence

Europe, while making progress, is behind the US and China in capturing the opportunities of artificial intelligence and automation. Digitization is everywhere, but adoption is uneven across companies, sectors, and economies, and the leaders are capturing most of the benefits. Accelerating progress in AI and automation now bring further opportunities for users, businesses, and the economy. Europe, while making progress, is behind the United States and China. This briefing note was prepared for the European Union Heads of State Tallinn Digital Summit, which brought together heads of state and CEOs to discuss the steps needed to enable people, enterprises, and governments to fully tap into the potential of innovative technologies and digitization.


World Bank chief issues warning over automation and job loss

#artificialintelligence

To combat this, the World Bank chief said that policymakers should invest in education and health. Investments, Kim said, are important to economic growth in the future, as automation begins to displace millions of low-skill workers. Technology like AI helps remove the mundane process side of things, helping free up time for people to do more creative work. "With an underlining concern that automation will replace humans' jobs in the future, it's important that business leaders, politicians, and workers' representatives ensure a true partnership between people and technology in a bid to reveal greater value for organisations."


Will Artificial Intelligence and Robots make our Jobs Obsolete?

#artificialintelligence

This holds the potential to mean a labour force in action predominantly in high skill, well paid jobs, increasing average real wages and therefore disposable incomes. This also has the social benefit of potentially reducing income inequalities because most people will be in higher paid jobs, allowing for greater social cohesion and less government spending on social protection, (allowing for more spending in other areas, such as education, which would improve the situation of the number of people in high skill roles further). Not only does this increase the maximum potential output of the global economy, allowing for increases in GDP (economic growth), but it also allows for lower average unit costs during production, permitting further falls in prices of many goods and services while firms retain their profit margins. Therefore, if societies and governments can plan for and adapt to them, robots and AI have the potential to greatly improve the material living standards of millions of people and fuel economic growth and development globally.


The Next Phase for Fintech: Moving Beyond a Buzzword

#artificialintelligence

While the use of non-traditional, or alternative, data sources is gaining ground, information culled from social media remains a challenge especially for use in making lending decisions. For that reason, the FICO credit rating score remains "extremely powerful," said Spencer Robinson, head of strategy at Kabbage, a startup that uses algorithms based on large data sets to make lending decisions to small businesses. While the use of non-traditional, or alternative, data sources is gaining ground, information culled from social media remains a challenge especially for use in making lending decisions. Like the use of alternative data, fintech's foray into artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is an evolution, not revolution.


Machine Learning Projects a Bigger Boost to World GDP Than Electricity

#artificialintelligence

Predictive analytics and cognitive messaging enable ERICA to remind customers about making payments, monitoring balances and managing debt. Chatbots will not necessarily replace human consultants, but they offer many advantages in terms of customer relations: saving time and money and allowing continuous customer service improvement thanks to the ability of the AI to learn from past interactions. Given that adoption rates of AI technologies are relatively low, developing countries in Africa and Latin America will likely only see a maximum of 6% of AI-driven growth. ", Accenture says AI has the potential to help developed countries double their GDP growth rates by 2035.