Wednesday, December 25, 2019

ma ia alumn of ckgsb the new uni network founded by hong kong's richest entrepreneur li ka-shing

2020 brochure of top exec edu course

Sunday, December 15, 2019

E-Commerce Can Boost Job Creation and Inclusive Growth in Developing Countries
Time: 2019-11-23 12:03   Views:464
BEIJING, November 23, 2019—E-commerce can flourish in developing countries and in rural areas and be a powerful instrument to create employment for semi-skilled workers, women and other groups, according to a new joint research released by the World Bank and Alibaba Group today.

The report. E-Commerce Development: Experience from China, is based on a combination of statistical data collected for China as a whole, as well as data from a specially commissioned survey of Taobao Villages, rural villages in China heavily engaged in e-commerce. It reviews the patterns and evolution of e-commerce in China and the specific government policies and private sector initiatives, identifies the preconditions needed for its successful development, and examines the links between e-commerce development and household welfare improvements.

According to the report, e-commerce has the potential to overcome market barriers and connect consumers and businesses. It can create jobs directly as well as through logistics services and other parts of the wider e-commerce ecosystem, improve household consumption and reduce inequality by bringing to people in rural areas the convenience, variety, and low prices enjoyed by urban dwellers, and contribute to economic growth by lowering the asymmetry of information and increasing economic efficiency.

“China’s experience shows that developing countries can harness digital technology and e-commerce to create jobs and improve people’s lives,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, “We hope this report will contribute to discussions on ways to support inclusive growth through digital technology and e-commerce."

China has one of the largest and fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, accounting for more than 40 percent of the total value of e-commerce transactions worldwide. More than 5 percent of total employment in China is in e-commerce. Online purchases have become part of daily life for many Chinese households.

“The rapid development and prosperity of rural e-commerce in China has proved that innovative business started by grass-roots entrepreneurs in rural areas of developing countries can thrive via the e-commerce platform under the right conditions,” said Wen Jia, Partner and President of the Public Affairs of Alibaba Group.

The report finds a positive association between e-commerce and household welfare improvement in rural China. In Taobao Villages, households that participate in e-commerce have incomes 80 percent higher than households that do not participate. E-shop workers have wage levels equal to or higher than workers in urban private industries. Women and younger, better educated households are strong beneficiaries of e-commerce in China.

The report also identifies the risks and challenges that need to be tackled in e-commerce development. These range from regulatory challenges, such as how to regulate platform providers to ensure a level playing field for comparable digital services, protect consumers, and ensure fairness between online and physical vendors to special online risks from cyber security, privacy, fraudulent or defective/counterfeit products, technical concerns regarding electronic payment, and risks stemming from imbalances in competition among platform providers.

The report highlights three enabling factors for e-commerce development: investments in training and skills building to increase human capital; proper infrastructure and logistics; and a conducive business environment.
“The achievements China has made in e-commerce can be explained by the country’s substantial investment in infrastructure over decades and the rapid improvement of its business climate in recent years,” said Gong Sen, Executive Vice-President of China Center for International Knowledge on Development which co-hosted the launch.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Chinese billionaire and co-founder/former executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, visited Ukraine on November 7. During his trip, which, started in Kharkiv, he attended the Kyiv International Economic Forum, where he delivered a keynote speech (Kh.suspilne.media, November 7). While in Kharkiv, Ma met with students of the Karazin Kharkiv National University. The event highlighted immense public interest in the Chinese guest: approximately 700 students completely packed the university’s auditorium to hear Ma’s reflections on various business-related topics, education, and the place and role of individuals in the new digital world. During his speech, Ma expressed his admiration of Ukraine and pledged to boost and promote the East European country “as a business venue that wields huge potential” (Delo.ua, November 8). Later, while speaking at the Kyiv International Economic Forum, he addressed many similar issues and explicitly alluded to the necessity to deepen ties between Ukraine and China (Thepage.com.ua, November 9).
It is not only Alibaba Group’s co-founder, but his entire corporate enterprise that has been enjoying increasing popularity among Ukrainians. Specifically, during the last ten months, the number of orders made by Ukrainians on AliExpress (an online retail service based in China that is owned by Alibaba Group) has increased by 70 percent. Consequently, Ukraine is now the world’s second-largest source of growth in the number of orders on AliExpress (Epravda.com.ua, November 11).
Within the scope of his visit, the Chinese billionaire also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ukraine’s leader expressed vivid interest in establishing joint educational projects, particularly in the area of information technologies. And he proposed to Ma to open a research-and-development (R&D) center in Ukraine for expanding Alibaba’s operations in Europe (President.gov.ua, November 8).
Aside from visiting universities and holding top-level meetings, the Chinese businessman visited Ukraine’s first innovation park, UNIT.City; he was also awarded the title of “honorary professor” at Petro Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine. Although the initial idea for Jack Ma to visit the Music Academy apparently came from the students, it was organized with the help of Chinese partners—specifically, Zhejiang Yongchangli Co. Ltd., headed by corporate President Zhao Yongqian. The latter also arrived in Ukraine for an official visit. The main purpose of Zhejiang’s trip was reportedly to discuss the next steps of Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation (Knmau.com.ua, November 14).
Bilateral relations (both cultural and economic) between China and Ukraine have increased dramatically during the past few years. In the first quarter of 2019, their trade turnover grew to $2.55 billion, making China the largest single trading partner of Ukraine. China’s total share of Ukraine’s foreign trade reached 10.6 percent in early 2019. Thus, among the countries with which Ukraine has the highest volumes of economic exchange, China, for the first time, overcame Russia (Russia’s share during the same period equaled 9.7 percent). But this trade relationship remains rather lopsided: Ukraine’s trade balance with China is negative, with $1.93 billion in imports from China between January and March, and $621 million in exports to the East Asian country (Hromadske.ua, September 26). Moreover, Ukraine was hoping to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) from China, but Beijing, despite many loud statements about numerous planned projects, remains a relatively minor investor, with less than $18 million (2018), or just 0.06 percent of the total FDI in Ukraine (Silkbridge.info, December 14, 2018). Most such projects either remain only “on paper” or frozen. Some are developing extremely slowly (see EDM, September 6).
Certainly, economic involvement in Ukraine forms the foundation for a broader promotion of China’s influence in the East European country. And Japanese commentator Eiji Furukawa argues that Ukraine has become a geopolitical battleground, where China and the United States are competing for influence (Nikkei.com, September 3). By increasing its economic influence, Beijing is also boosting its geopolitical impact on Kyiv. As part of a wider strategy, China uses multiple tools and elements of soft power in Ukraine, including the development of strong educational and cultural ties, promotion of the Chinese language, educational exchanges and media expansion.
The policy of “soft power” is perceived by the Chinese leadership as one of the most effective means of implementing its foreign policy strategy. During the last year, several new Chinese cultural and research centers opened their doors in Ukraine. Among them are the Ukrainian-Chinese Center for Engineering Innovation at the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” and the Confucius Music Center at the National Music Academy of Ukraine (Ukrinform.ru, May 24; Knmau.com.ua, accessed November 17). Apart from that, it was recently announced that a new Confucius Institute (widely considered to be an integral element of Chinese soft power abroad—see China Brief, July 6, 2012) is to be opened in Vinnytsia National Technical University, which will make it the seventh in Ukraine (Day.kyiv.ua, October 9). Also, in order to be able to spread foreign policy propaganda abroad, special attention has been given to strengthening Chinese influence in the foreign media space. On November 15, a meeting between representatives of the State Committee for Television and Radio-Broadcasting of Ukraine and a delegation from the People’s Republic of China was held in Kyiv. Members of the China Commerce Association (which was established in Ukraine in 2015 with the support of the government of China) were also present during this meeting. The participants discussed the possibility of cooperation and establishing broadcasting exchanges (Comin.kmu.gov.ua, November 18).

Monday, October 14, 2019

via alt perspective- regional end poverty parnerships china tech titans and provincial gov
via altP
Pinduoduo's Policy Smarts covers how the e-commerce upstart's focus on rural consumers has enabled it to ride on the poverty alleviation theme supported by the central government. note egaagreement that Pinduoduo signed with the Yunnan Provincial People's Government Poverty Alleviation and Development Office to partner in eradicating poverty in the province. Specifically, Pinduoduo would assist poverty-stricken households to cultivate commercially desirable agricultural products for sale on its e-commerce platform that would ostensibly reach a wider market and consequently better pricing and profits for the farmers.
On Friday, the local media reported that the Hebei provincial government and Alibaba Group (BABA) signed an agreement to cooperate in areas facilitating the acceleration of the development of the digital economy in the province during the 2019 China International Digital Economic Expo held in Shijiazhuang. Subsequently, various departments of the provincial government, high schools, and enterprises in Hebei signed specific agreements with the umbrella of companies under Alibaba in a move dubbed the "1+7" cooperation agreement, where the "1" referred to the provincial government and "7" the side agreements signed.
The scope of the cooperation included a financial services platform for the small and medium enterprises, an online industrial innovation center, an all-in-one digital map service for the tourism sector, a demonstration county for the "Intelligent Agriculture" industry, Hebei University's "Smart High School", and the upgrading of the "Hebei Digital Data Commercialization" platform. While details are scant, the names of the projects suggest the leveraging of Alibaba's wealth of data and developments in artificial intelligence to revolutionize the various sectors.
A day earlier, the Chongqing municipal government, Alibaba, and Ant Financial also signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement. According to the agreement, Alibaba will build a regional headquarters based in Chongqing to help the municipal achieve its digital and intelligent transformation goals. The enhanced agreement follows the initial one signed on January 11, 2018, which had already shown results to a varying extent.
While the phrasing used in the Chongqing-Alibaba agreement was different from Hebei, the concepts are actually similar. For instance, the idea is for Alibaba to provide its expertise in helping Chongqing grow its digital economy, build "intelligent" cities, upgrade the manufacturing sector, talent training, and "revitalization" of the rural areas, where the latter typically refers to the adoption of data analytics and possibly artificial intelligence in farming.
In several articles on Alibaba, it is common to come across comments expressing fears of a government clampdown on Alibaba, for fear of it getting out of control, possible displeasure with co-founder Jack Ma, or non-compliance with regulations. Such government-level cooperation agreements would go some way to alleviate the concerns.
After Pinduoduo and Alibaba, another internet titan, Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY)(OTCPK:TCTZF) is not going to be left out. The social media and gaming giant signed an agreement with the Hebei provincial government during the same event mentioned earlier held last Friday. According to the agreement, the two sides will tap on Hebei's strengths in policies, talent availability, planning, and industrial resources to leverage the core technology and financial capital strengths of Tencent specifically on the areas of mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence.
While there might seem to have an overlap in the cooperation areas agreed by Hebei with the two tech giants, the development areas help reveal the unique strengths of Alibaba and Tencent. For instance, Tencent will work on enabling and promoting the usage of the ubiquitous and all-powerful messaging app WeChat and mini-apps within the chat app for government services, reducing the need for residents to go to the physical government offices to get things done.
The Hebei government is also very interested in developing its e-sports industry with the help of Tencent, hoping to tap on the emerging field to enhance its cultural and tourism appeal. Specifically, the two parties listed Tencent's League of Legends Pro League and the Honor of Kings Pro League for consideration to be hosted in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei, and one of the core cities designated under the Chinese government's JingJinJi Plan targeting the areas near Beijing for high-key developments.
There are, of course, still certain fields, such as big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence where there are overlaps and it would be interesting to see how the provincial governments manage the relationships between the two tech giants.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Lending / 

Jack Ma’s $290 billion loan machine is changing Chinese banking by caixin

Using real-time payments data and a risk-management system that analyzes more than 3,000 variables, Ma’s four-year-old MYbank has lent 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) to nearly 16 million small companies. Borrowers apply with a few taps on a smartphone and receive cash almost instantly if they’re approved. The whole process takes three minutes and involves zero human bankers. The default rate so far: about 1%.

The implications of MYbank and its peers growing more comfortable with smaller borrowers could be profound. Nonstate enterprises -- mostly small businesses -- account for about 60% of growth, employ 80% of workers, and have been disproportionately squeezed by a more than two-year government crackdown on shadow lenders.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

enjoy ma's journalists annual report China Internet Report reveals how tech firms have gone from copycats to trailblazers
10 Jul, 2019 - 11:29 pm
The China Internet Report 2019 offers insight into key China technology trends, with deep dives into 11 key sectors and expert commentary from industry leaders.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The 4th New Economy Think Tank Summit: Three Things You Need to Know
Time: 2019-01-10 18:35   Views:1438
By Coral Zhang and Neal McGrath | Coresight Research

On January 6, the Coresight Research team attended the fourth New Economy Think Tank Summit in Beijing. Attendees included significant figures in retail, and these are some of the things they discussed:

(1)Artificial intelligence (AI)is not about the Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Twin, or any of the latest technologies: It's about using machine learning to solve business problems.

(2) AI can dramatically shorten the product development cycle.

(3) Robots and humans unite: Pairing the two on the factory floor will be the next wave.

The Coresight Research team was in the room when some of China's most innovative, tech-focused retailers came together for the fourth New Economy Think Tank Summit by AliResearch, the research arm of Alibaba. The Speakers included Min Wanli, Chief Machine Intelligent Scientist, Alibaba; Chen Weiru, Executive Director of Alibaba Industrial Internet Center; Liu Song, Vice President, Alibaba Group; Gao Hongbing, Vice President, Alibaba Group, Director of AliResearch; Steven Zhang, Vice President of Alibaba DingTalk; Ma Mingjie, Director General of Research Department of Innovation, The State Council Development Research Center; and, Michael Irwin Jordan, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and Chair of Ant Financial Scientific Advisory Board.

1. Intelligent Technology: From IoT to AIoT

Min Wanli, Chief Machine Intelligent Scientist for Alibaba Cloud, put forward the opinion that AI is not “technology” or any of the fancy words being bantered about when talking about AI such as the IoT, 5G, VR and blockchain. Instead, AI is about decoding the process of human perception to make machines think more like people — and be able to do more in the commercial space to add value.

One example is Alibaba's experiment to "teach the production line how to think," using AI to find improvements in the production line. The result? The company improved the efficiency of one coal-burning boiler 2.6% using holography data analysis and AI process optimization. That may not seem a lot, but it means saving over a million tons of coal a year.
Another example is using AI in agriculture. In one experiment, various intelligence technologies such as OCR, yoloV3, GoogleNet, FCN, ASR, NLU, MIF, ElasticNet were used on a pig farm to analyze every step, every detail of every individual pig's mating, pregnancy, birth, growth and death. The information they learned helped reduce mortality 3% annually.

2. Speeding Up the Product Development Cycle

AI is also helping companies with new product development. The Tmall Innovation Center teamed up with Mars to create a new, spicy candy bar based on big data that showed many Chinese consumers prefer spicy flavors. Alibaba then used an intelligent feedback system to find the target consumers who like spicy flavors, create simulation models, organize trials, receive feedback and improve pilot products. The traditional R&D center needs an average of 18 months to create and launch a new product. Alibaba says its intelligent systems could cut that to just nine months.

3. Intelligent Economy: From Carbon-Based Ecosystem to Silicon-Based Ecosystem

Quoting from The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, Gao Hongbing, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Director of AliResearch, said the business world today is transforming from “a carbon-based ecosystem” to “a silicon-based ecosystem” in which intelligent technologies such as AI, machine learning and the IoT will be married into various business forms and generate an intelligent economy.

Closing with a dose of reality, Michael Irwin Jordan, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, researcher in machine learning, statistics, and AI, and Chair of Ant Financial Scientific Advisory Board, offered this perspective: “The world will be redefined by data and algorithms.”
Does that mean machines will be smarter than humans? Jordan doesn't think so: It is more like a comparison between a human and a piano. The human needs the piano to play music, but there’s no way the piano can write the music.
“Power of Platforms” In Focus at Luohan Academy Summit
Time: 2019-06-28 15:47   Views:59
By Christine Chou | Alizila 

Alibaba Group has connected buyers and sellers in the digital age in ways that were not possible in previous eras of technological and economic development, said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang this week.

But there’s much more at work on Alibaba’s shopping sites, such as Taobao and Tmall, than that one-to-one relationship, Zhang said. That’s because trade relationships in the digital economy are multidimensional, unlike the linear relationships that defined traditional commerce.

“The world is not flat. [In e-commerce], it is never just between the buyer and the seller,” he said, speaking at a conference in Hangzhou put on by Luohan Academy, an Alibaba-initiated global research platform. “Each buyer represents a family and a community, while the seller is part of a value chain that includes production, distribution and sales. There are many people that must work together to make a store successful.”

The Luohan Academy Digital Economy Conference was held to mark the one-year anniversary of the Academy’s launch. Last year, Alibaba brought together six Nobel Laureates, as well as renowned economists, social scientists, tech pioneers and professors to address the economic consequences and social disruptions that arise as new technologies are introduced to the world. “Luohan” is a Buddhist term for “beings who have achieved a higher state of consciousness.” In Chinese, it is often used to describe empathetic thinkers who work for the good of others.

During the panel discussion, which also included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Bengt Holmström, New York University Professor Michael Spence and London School of Economics Professor Christopher Pissarides, Zhang said that while most people focus only on the transactions between merchants and consumers, platforms in the digital age are creating opportunities for multiple players throughout a consumer-driven value chain that has been changed by new technologies and services. Now, new jobs are available to people whose digital skills had no place in the traditional economy, Zhang said.

“There are huge opportunities to create new jobs with the development of technologies,” he said, adding that this benefitted society as a whole.

For example, the booming key opinion leader market in China and globally has created new job opportunities for innovative young people as merchants shift to new channels, such as short-form video and livestreaming, to sell their products. Alibaba’s role in this, Zhang said, was facilitating these innovations so that people could pursue these careers in the new digital economy.

10 Questions for the Digital Economy
During the two-day event, Luohan Academy posed a list of questions that were meant to guide conversations regarding the fast-paced adoption of digital technologies in the world today, such as how these technologies affect the job market and whether they will widen or bridge the digital divide.

“Our 10 Top Questions shed light on the most critical issues societies would face in the future,” said Luohan Academy Director Chen Long. “There won’t necessarily be any absolute, correct answers for these questions, but we hope that our publishing them could inspire society to think, discuss and achieve a degree of consensus, which can help reduce public anxiety at times of great uncertainty.”

Calling technology a “double-edged sword” that offers benefits as well as problems if it isn’t implemented correctly, Chen called on the academic community, policymakers and the private sector to work together to ensure inclusive growth as the world grows increasingly digital.

In a closed-door meeting with Academy committee members on the eve of conference, Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma echoed those sentiments.

“No one is an expert of tomorrow,” he said. “We should formulate wise policies at the moment of wisdom, instead of solving tomorrow’s problems with yesterday’s practices.”


Digital Technologies Allow People to Take on Risks and Explore New Opportunities
Time: 2019-02-18 10:58   Views:1201
By Xubei Luo | The World Bank

In the era of digital technology, the structure of production as well as the interaction between humans and machines is being redefined. The diffusion and application of digital technology can increase productivity in an unprecedented manner, with potential to reshape the role of humans in the function of production. Jobs are the drivers of development and pillars of resilience for people. Five years ago, the World Development Report (WDR 2014),  Risk and Opportunity – Managing Risk for Development, highlighted the role of enterprises in supporting people’s risk management by absorbing shocks and exploiting the opportunity side of risk. There have been heated debates on how technology may lead to risks, such as job loss and structural changes of employment. While the risks are real, the estimates of the impact of digital technology on employment vary widely, from substantial job loss for both skilled and the unskilled workers, to potential job gains thanks to the complementarity of humans and machines, as well as the income and wealth effect derived from higher productivity.

The World Bank and the Alibaba Group have been conducting joint research to examine how China has harnessed digital technologies to contribute to growth and expand employment opportunities through e-commerce development. Early findings show e-commerce fosters entrepreneurship, including for the youth and women, and contributes to growth in Taobao villages. Most people, especially e-households, in Taobao villages perceive their social status as equal or higher when compared to five years ago, and they believe they will have equal or even higher social status two years into the future. While it is still early to judge the impact of e-commerce on total employment, or the additionality of e-commerce to the economy as a whole, a few examples of innovation in the e-commerce platforms indicate possible channels how digital technology can create new business and employment opportunities, as well as pave ways for new opportunities.

Digital technology can create new business opportunities 
Digital technology can support innovation. In Sichuan, local firms collaborated with AliCloud to set up “profiles” for farm pigs using computer vision and AI voice recognition. The “ET Brain” documents their breed, age, weight, eating conditions, exercise intensity and frequency, and movement trajectory to reduce mortality rate of baby pigs and increase the fertility rate of female pigs.  

Technology and big data can improve quality and increase profit margins. In Xinjiang, with the support from local service providers, farmers apply new technology to improve the quality of melon for online sales.  The e-commerce contract farming model not only allows farmers to minimize risks of price fluctuations at harvest, but also enables platform companies to ensure product quality and pre-stock products in nearby warehouses according to big data sales predictions to enhance consumer satisfaction.  

E-commerce platforms can create markets for traditional products. In Qinghai, women of ethnic minority sell traditionally embroidered clothes (intangible cultural heritage as classified by the Chinese government) online, leading them to move out of poverty while balancing the needs to stay at home caring for their elderly and children.

Technology can create new forms of employment 
E-commerce can provide flexible/part-time jobs, meeting the special needs for employment of the disadvantaged and improving their sense of satisfaction. For example, women can take advantage of flexible working schedules to start and do business online while taking care of the young and elderly family members. Almost half of e-entrepreneurs in Taobao are women (this compared to 25% of women entrepreneurship in China), and three quarters are under the age of 34.  Female business owners, through knowledge sharing, demonstration, and affinity, often inspire more women in the neighborhood to find employment opportunities, including part-time jobs.

E-commerce creates on-the-ground jobs for logistics business. According to the State Post Bureau of China, 40 billion of parcels were delivered in 2017, generating revenue of nearly 500 billion RMB (or over 70 billion USD) with a year on year increase of 25 percent.  According to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchase, the number of employees in express delivery services increased 130 percent from January 2014 to November 2017.  There are numerous anecdotal stories of how people first start from being deliverymen and become owners of delivery companies in their hometowns making use of the close kinship in rural areas to expand business. The experience obtained through on-job-learning can help the disadvantaged to develop their human capital and be well placed to pursue better employment opportunities.

Technology can also pave the way for financial inclusion 
Fintech can improve access to finance in a more flexible and inclusive manner. For example, through Alibaba’s “310” loan service, in China, 4 million micro and small business receive loans with a total amount of RMB 700 billion, with an average per-account outstanding loan of less than RMB 30,000. And this is achieved through a 3-minute application, 1-second approval & grant, and 0 manual intervention. 100 million consumers, who have no or very limited loan history, now have credit ratings from AntFinancial.

Big data and block chain technology can facilitate public participation in welfare programs and support health insurance for poor households. For example, a new internet public welfare program provides free health insurance to breadwinners of poor households to reduce the risks of falling into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditure. Mobile payment, image identification, and blockchain technology together enable the participation of the general public to welfare programs and enhance the transparency and efficiency of the program management.  And local mobile public platforms can improve administrative efficiency and transparency.

Technology has been changing the ways by how production is conducted and how employment opportunities are distributed. The steam revolution lowered transport costs and made it feasible to spatially separate production and consumption, with production becoming specialized and concentrated in select areas. The ICT revolution lowered the coordination costs and separated the production stages previously conducted in close proximity. The separation of the stages of production across regional and national borders became more profitable and the higher end of the production concentrated in developed countries and the lower end in several developing countries. The fourth industrial revolution, such as robotics, AI, Internet of Things, is transforming the entire systems of production and management and the ways people interact, with the potential of making the world more integrated or segmented depending on the evolution of multiple forces.

With access to better opportunities as well as better risk management tools, places with better digital technology and individuals with better endowment are likely to have the first mover advantage. Meanwhile, the drastic improvements in market access and potential of productivity increase may benefit the less fortunate more in relative terms as they can learn from the first movers without an expensive trial-and-error but by directly adopting the new technology.

While numerous examples show how technology can bring new opportunities to people, this comes with unprecedented risks as well. When the natural barriers that segregate local markets are drastically reduced by e-commerce platforms and numerous innovations are stimulated to meet the increasingly fast evolving demands and provide tailored services to the unique taste of various consumers, the risks due to the exposure to fierce competition and unpredictable changes in the online markets are substantial and require new ways to manage. The jury is still out about what these risks may lead to, and how the benefits and costs will be distributed across the different segments of the population.

The World Development Report 2014 Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development, contends that the solution is not to reject change in order to avoid risk but to prepare for the opportunities and risks that change entails. What policy measures to put in place, in what areas, and in what sequence, to support people to seize the new opportunities of digital technology while managing risks will have a profound impact.  The WDR argues that “people can successfully confront risks that are beyond their means by sharing their risk management with others”, and that “the various systems—from the household and the community to the state and the international community—have the potential to support people’s risk management in different yet complementary ways.”  In the digital era, concerted efforts are crucial to support equitable access to technology and skills, as well as a conducive business environment for everyone, to make digital technology more beneficial to people in an inclusive manner.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Top 10 Technology Trends in 2019 Predicted By Alibaba DAMO Academy
2019/01/02FromAlibaba DAMO Academy
Machine intelligence has already been generating great impacts on our life while we are still used to the era shaped largely by information revolution and mobile internet. Advanced technologies, functioning like “magics”, are developed based on rules and trends spotted by human beings. Today, Alibaba DAMO Academy published The Top 10 Technology Trends in 2019. We hope that by grasping the pace of revolution of technologies, we can make better use of these “magics” and be in charge of our own future.
Trend 1: Real-time simulation of smart city becomes possible
Dynamic and real-time urban infrastructure data, such as traffic, water, electricity and air quality data will be analyzed by large-scale computing platforms. The development of computing power and algorithms will foster the merge of nonstructural information such as video footages with structural information, making real-time modeling of urban simulation possible and holistic, intelligent decisions can be made. More resources will be allocated to technologies powering an intelligent “city brain” and its applications, while a city simulation model reflecting the real-time impulses and movements of a physical city can be built to facilitate the optimization of city governance. More cities in China are expected to have a “city brain” in 2019.

Trend 2: AI Speech technology passes Turing Test in specific areas
People can “talk” to more and more public facilities as voice becomes an increasingly important interface. In the future, there will be at least one available interface point in our surroundings for voice interactions. As speech intelligence technology advances, real-time text-to-speech on mobile devices would be almost identical to human speech, even passing the Turing test in certain conversations, such as ones using a robotic voice to alert about delivery status. Rules and regulations need to be established to regulate the industry, to avoid misusing the technology in advertisements, harassing phone calls and fraud.

Trend 3: Specialized AI Chips on Rise
For AI training in data centers, data movement between computing and memory has become a significant bottleneck. As a result, in addressing the challenge, memory-centric AI chip architecture based on the latest-generation of 3D-stacked memory technology will become mainstream. The demand for data bandwidth in AI chips will further motivate the use of 3D stacked memory, such as HBM (high-bandwidth memory) in AI training chips. In addition, brain-inspired neuromorphic computing chips will gain momentum, while researchers seek killer applications. Specialized AI chips may challenge the dominant position of GPUs for AI training in data centers. AI chips with architecture that truly reflect domain-specific features are expected to be increasingly used in edge computing.

Trend 4: Super-large graph neural networks (GNNs) will to teach machines common sense
Deep learning technology has matured significantly. GNNs that combine with deep learning can link end-to-end learning and inductive reasoning together, which might be able to address issues, such as relational reasoning and explainability that couldn’t be tackled by deep learning before. Robust GNNs can function as a human brain that consists of neurons (or nerve cells), equipping machines with common sense, comprehension and cognitive capabilities.

Trend 5: Computing Architecture to be restructured
Computing architecture will be restructured to meet the demands for data centers and edge computing. In the future, computing, storage and networks should meet the request of high-throughput computing for AI development, as well as the request for low power in Internet of Things scenarios. The heterogenous computing architecture with FPGA, GPU and ASIC, along with emerging memory devices, are driving the evolution of traditional computing architecture. In the foreseeable future, the fundamental changes to computing architecture will accelerate the arrival of AI and the quantum-computing era.

Trend 6: 5G networks to enable new applications
The fifth generation of wireless technology (5G) will see a significant increase of wireless bandwidth, enhancing the peak speed of 4G network nearly 100 times. This will speed the development of 4k/8k ultra-high-definition videos and immersive interaction based on AR/VR. With connection capability reaching billions of devices, it will enable thorough integration of communication and connection between machines. Networks will gradually evolve into the cloud or become software-based. Networks could also be segmented into multiple virtual subnets that are independent and parallel, offering dedicated virtual private networks for various applications. Additionally, with features like high reliability, low latency and large capacity, 5G networks will enable the development of new areas, such as vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems and the Industrial Internet.

Trend 7: Digital identity will become your second ID Card
Biometric technology is maturing and being applied large scale. With the wide adoption of 3D sensors and integration of multiple models of biometric features, each device will be equipped with machine intelligence to see and hear the world. Biometric and liveness detection/anti-spoofing technology is reshaping people’s identification and verification, which will make your digital identity a sort of second ID card. From phone unlock, door access control to dining at restaurants, checking out at supermarkets, entering train stations, passing airport security check and seeing doctors in hospitals, biometric technology is playing an increasingly important role in making trust simpler and our daily life better.

Trend 8: Development of auto-driving technology to take a steady pace
Making individual cars smarter hasn’t worked out well in the past to achieve autonomous driving. However, this does not mean that self-driving has hit a roadblock and is stuck forever. The advance of vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems will foster the development of autonomous driving. In the next two to three years, new technological progress should be seen in certain commercial areas, such as logistics and transportation, with fixed-route public transport and unmanned delivery for commercial buildings and campuses.

Trend 9: Commercialization of blockchain technology speeds up
People are more rational about the prospects of blockchain, which was once much overhyped. The deployment of blockchain applications with sustainable commercial value is expected to speed up. Along with the rapid digitization of various industries, IoT technologies will underpin the trusted mapping from off-chain world into on-chain data, and blockchain will expedite the restructuring and optimization of trusted data flow across participants to boost the efficiency of workflow and coordination. More and more blockchain applications will be seen in our daily life, such as cross-border remittances, supply-chain financing, electronic invoices and tamper-proof judicial records. As the value of “chaining” becomes more recognized, layered architecture and cross-chain protocol will become the focus of technology to scale up blockchain infrastructure.

Trend 10: Data security technologies will multiply

Governments around the world intend to enact/implement more stringent policies and regulations on data security. Corporates will need to invest more in protecting individual data privacy. Though cyberattacks won’t cease in the next few years, data-protection technologies will boom. Traceability technologies across systems, such as watermark, and data-asset protection technology, including advanced anti-crawlers against strong cyberattacks, will be more broadly adopted.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

ai-humani - the next 100 moon races

back in imagine's 1960s -the part of americas moon race that excited me most: freeing www.digitalcooperation.org of 5000 youth on one goal with no silos (not corporate not gov not university) -today we have 1000 times more technology - at http://AIdemocracy.com call this AI-HumanI -

 for China sustainability race is not an option- this starts with  launch of 5 AIBeltRoads - one inside china around the fifth of the world's people - another wherever india's another fifth of the world's people want to join in - then there is big land and arctic circle moon race to china's north - and japan kprea and superport islands are already starting their joint missions impossible-possible www.economistdiary.com

there are many ways to AI- for example you can ask a robot to learn for you - it now costs less than 7000 dollars (source joi ito MIT media lab at NY Japan Society) for a child to send a small smart experiment into space; 

5 of Jack Ma's First 100 Lab Partnerships

or we can ask a Hugo award-winning female chinese science fiction writer to write a loveq short story and we can give it to one of UN or WEF friends of jack ma's universities www.alibabauni.com  or intercity hubs or www.maOlympics.com expos of youth  to tell us whats not possible- this month china started AI at primary level- its important that teacher training robots learn with young girls first - this will help china collaborate with any nation that wants to go beyond #metoo #theeconomist @obamauni to women hold up half the sky - to ensure every next girl born is as free to join the AI-HumanI moon races on earth as any next boy www.worldclassnations.com www.1461.world chris.macrae@yahoo.co.uk www.worldrecordjobs.com www.economistdiary.com