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Technology

The Future of Work - A Guide for Transatlantic Policymakers

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The changing nature of work and labor markets — and how best to prepare society and people for the jobs and tasks of the future — is one of the most crucial public policy challenges that countries and policymakers will face over the coming years. While it is far too early to be able to predict the pace and extent of future automation, we do believe that jobs, tasks, and work itself will evolve at a more rapid pace. We also believe that the future of work will affect each country, region, worker, and student differently. For these reasons, this guide seeks to build a bridge from the voluminous future of work research to the core ingredients of future of work policy that will need to be weighed over the coming years. Through our cross-country comparison of future of work dynamics across four case studies — France, Germany, Spain, and the United States — we highlight core factors and key takeaways. We also make the case for more agile public policies that tailor future of work policies to the specificities of countries, regions, and individuals. Ultimately, this guide serves as a resource for policymakers and citizens everywhere who are interested in exploring the essential elements of future of work policy.
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46
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The Task Ahead of Us - Transforming the Global Economy With Connectivity, Automation, and Intelligence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 7, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Economies are complex production systems with myriad subcomponent production systems—that is, industries—from manufacturing to health care to retail. What and how these production systems produce is grounded in technology. So, as technologies change, production systems change—around the world. Today, the most important and widely shared technologies are digital information technologies that have evolved from the mainframe and mini-computing systems of the 1960s and 70s. They include an array of personal computing devices, back-office servers, IT-embedded machines, and cloud-based services that are connected or dynamically provisioned to users over private networks or the Internet. But the world is now beginning to transform into a new kind of digital system, one that will not only build on existing devices and systems, but also increasingly will incorporate emerging technologies such as sensors, robotics, and artificial intelligence as they improve in price and performance. This next digital economy will be significantly more connected (with many more things, and many more types of things networked, including in more advanced wireless, satellite, and wireline networks), more automated (as devices and systems enable more work to be done by machines), and smarter (as algorithms play increasingly important roles in sensing—and making sense of—all this).
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24
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The Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 10, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Artificial intelligence (AI) is on a winning streak. In 2005, five teams successfully completed the DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition held by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to spur development of autonomous vehicles.1 In 2011, IBM’s Watson system beat out two longtime human champions to win Jeopardy! In 2016, Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo system defeated the 18-time world-champion Go player. And thanks to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa, consumers now have easy access to a variety of AI-powered virtual assistants to help manage their daily lives. The potential uses of AI to identify patterns, learn from experience, and find novel solutions to new challenges continue to grow as the technology advances. Moreover, AI is already having a major positive impact in many different sectors of the global economy and society. For example, humanitarian organizations are using intelligent chatbots to provide psychological support to Syrian refugees, and doctors are using AI to develop personalized treatments for cancer patients. Unfortunately, the benefits of AI, as well as its likely impact in the years ahead, are vastly underappreciated by policymakers and the public. Moreover, a contrary narrative—that AI raises grave concerns and warrants a precautionary regulatory approach to limit the damages it could cause—has gained prominence, even though it is both wrong and harmful to societal progress. To showcase the overwhelmingly positive impact of AI, this report provides a description of the major uses of AI as well as details on 70 real-world examples of how AI is already generating social and economic benefits. Policymakers should consider these benefits as they evaluate the steps they can take to support the development and adoption of AI.
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48
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The promise and challenge of the age of artificial intelligence

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The time may have finally come for artificial intelligence (AI) after periods of hype followed by several “AI winters” over the past 60 years. AI now powers so many real-world applications, ranging from facial recognition to language translators and assistants like Siri and Alexa, that we barely notice it. Along with these consumer applications, companies across sectors are increasingly harnessing AI’s power in their operations. Embracing AI promises considerable benefits for businesses and economies through its contributions to productivity growth and innovation. At the same time, AI’s impact on work is likely to be profound. Some occupations as well as demand for some skills will decline, while others grow and many change as people work alongside ever-evolving and increasingly capable machines.
This briefing pulls together various strands of research by the McKinsey Global Institute into AI technologies and their uses, limitations, and impact. It was compiled for the Tallinn Digital Summit that took place in October 2018. The briefing concludes with a set of issues that policy makers and business leaders will need to address to soften the disruptive transitions likely to accompany its adoption.
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8
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Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 10, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Experts say the rise of artificial intelligence will make most people better off over the next decade, but many have concerns about how advances in AI will affect what it means to be human, to be productive and to exercise free will.
Digital life is augmenting human capacities and disrupting eons-old human activities. Code-driven systems have spread to more than half of the world’s inhabitants in ambient information and connectivity, offering previously unimagined opportunities and unprecedented threats. As emerging algorithm-driven artificial intelligence (AI) continues to spread, will people be better off than they are today?
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123
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Utilization of Scenarios in European Electricity Policy: The Ten-Year Network Development Plan

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The transformation of the European Union’s energy sector poses a number of challenges to the European electricity system. Above all, both the anticipated increase of intermittent electricity from renewable sources and the completion of the internal energy market while guaranteeing a secure supply require an extensive development of electricity infrastructure at the European level. Nevertheless, Europe’s future electricity system entails numerous uncertainties. For example, the definite amount and the location of both electricity generation and consumption are unpredictable. In order to address these ambiguities, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) develops the two-yearly Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP). By exploring different plausible future paths using scenarios, the TYNDP aims to identify key infrastructure projects – namely transmission lines and cross-border interconnectors – for the future electricity system. In this capacity, the TYNDP is the central planning tool for European grid infrastructure. This paper explores whether the TYNDP effectively provides a solid planning foundation for future grid investments. For this end, the TYNDPs 2012-2018 are investigated in the light of European energy policies, and their utilization by stakeholders is scrutinized. The paper argues that an existing policy congruence and the strong link to the Projects of Common Interest (PCI) confine the TYNDP solely to the hardware of the electricity system. This in turn profoundly limits the TYNDP’s effectiveness as a strategic planning tool. Hence, a closer connection to the software components of the anticipated European electricity system – namely the future market design and (European) regulations – would further allow for a holistic planning and evaluation of future electricity infrastructure projects.
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37
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Our Shared Digital Future Building an Inclusive, Trustworthy and Sustainable Digital Society

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 10, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Our Shared Digital Futures is a publication shaped by leaders from business, government, academia and civil society who collectively acknowledge the need for shared goals and coordinated action to shape an inclusive, sustainable, digital future. Facilitated by the World Economy Forum’s System Initiative on Digital Economy and Society, the paper reviews current status, offers an illustrative list of ongoing initiatives at global and local levels, and identifies developments to watch in at least six shared goals around universal internet access and adoption, digital transformation, digital identity, governance, cyber resilience, and data. It calls on global leaders and organisations to strengthen cooperation and to evolve shared platforms for shaping our digital future.
The publication seeks to serve as a conversation starter, as the world celebrates the milestone of more than half of the world’s population now connected to the internet, and while less than half of those already online trust that technology will make their lives better.
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48
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How 5G Will Shape Innovation and Security

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The fifth generation of mobile network technologies, known as “5G,” promises greater speed, security, and capacity. 5G will underpin the internet economy and provide the backbone for the next generation of digital technologies. So, it is unsurprising that there is intense competition among companies and countries for 5G leadership. 5G will determine the direction the internet will take and where nations will face new risks and vulnerabilities. Who makes 5G technologies will affect security and innovation in an increasingly competitive technological environment. Decisions made today about 5G will affect national security and economic performance for decades to come. This is a competition among companies and groups of companies but also a competition between market-based and state-directed decisionmaking. The United States has relied on the former, China on the latter, and Europe falls somewhere in between. American technology remains essential for 5G mobile telecommunications. American companies have been strong performers in developing 5G technologies, but the United States and its allies face a fundamental challenge from China. The focus of competition is over 5G’s intellectual property, standards, and patents. Huawei, for example, has research programs to develop alternatives to American suppliers, and U.S. trade restrictions have accelerated China’s efforts to develop its own 5G industry. While American companies lead in making essential 5G technologies, there are no longer any U.S. manufacturers of core telecommunications network equipment.
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22
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The data-driven power of Google and co. A risk to competition?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, December 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Is data really the new oil? Some say that access to this basic commodity is decisive for the success and failure of entire business models in the digital markets. Would an obligation to share data with competitors be an adequate means of ensuring fair competition in these markets?
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8
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Digitally-enabled automation and artificial intelligence: Shaping the future of work in Europe’s digital front-runners

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Technology in many ways is perfectly conceived to operate in the workplace, bringing an ability to operate around the clock at increasing levels of accuracy and productivity. Since the Industrial Revolution, machines have been the ideal colleague, performing some of the most mind-numbing tasks and freeing up human partners to do more interesting and productive things. However, in the near future, new digital technologies are set to take the next step, graduating from the factory floor to the boardroom and applying themselves to more complex, cognitive activities. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are a game changer for automation in the workplace. Like ambitious young go-getters, they promise to take on more responsibility and make better decisions, and the implications for workers, companies, and policy makers are significant and pressing.
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72
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