Let's take a breath: Robots and artificial intelligence systems are nowhere near displacing the human workforce. Nevertheless, no less a voice than Bill Gates has asserted just the opposite and called for a counterintuitive, preemptive strike on these innovations. His proposed weapon of choice? Taxes on technology to compensate for losses that haven't happened.
Co-author Paul Leiby, Distinguished Research Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said: "Because automation has the potential to provide convenient, lower cost mobility, we see it could have large implications for transportation demand, energy use and resulting CO2 emissions, by both passengers and freight. For example, low cost automated trucking could shift more freight away from efficient railways to trucks. To make continued progress in reducing carbon emissions from light-duty vehicles and large trucks in the face of expanded mobility, it will be essential to couple vehicle automation with the extensive use of advanced low-carbon vehicles, like electric or hydrogen vehicles."
Members of the Lettuce Dream board of directors, along with state Rep. Allen Andrews, right, participated in groundbreaking ceremonies Friday for a hydroponic greenhouse complex on the east side of Maryville that is to provide job training for area residents coping developmental and cognitive disabilities. If all goes as scheduled, the first crop of lettuce, which is to be sold to area markets, restaurants, and food service operations, could be planted late this summer.
Most of the world's nations have agreed to make substantial reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions, but achieving these goals is still a considerable technological, economic, and political challenge. The International Energy Agency has projected that, even with the new agreements in place, global coal-fired power generation will increase over the next few decades. Finding a cleaner way of using that coal could be a significant step toward achieving carbon-emissions reductions while meeting the needs of a growing and increasingly industrialized world population.