Tag Archives: Business improvement

Updates from ITU

Advocacy Target 4: Digital Skills & Literacy
ITU – Effective education systems are essential for meeting future challenges and delivering on the SDGs. Although rapid technological change has taken place over the last thirty years, education systems in many countries have remained largely unchanged over the last century. Education is about much more than merely providing people with the skills and knowledge to work, and must create a framework through which people can lead diverse and fulfilling lives. People of all ages should have opportunities to learn about their own cultures, in their own languages.

There is broad agreement that education needs to ensure that people gain four main skills: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. Alongside skills such as literacy and numeracy, people should now also gain basic digital skills. They need to have a comprehensive understanding of the rapidly changing world in which they live, as well as their roles and responsibilities within it. ITU’s Global ICT Development Index (IDI) includes a measure of digital skills and capabilities.

There is considerable debate as to what proficiency in digital skills and an ‘adequate’ level really mean. Digital skills have been broken down into three categories:

  1. the basic digital literacy needed for all workers, consumers and citizens in a digital society;
  2. the advanced ICT skills (coding, computer science and engineering) which are needed to develop innovative ICT products and services; and
  3. e-business skills or the specific know-how needed for digital entrepreneurshipn. Figure 15 shows how global averages for digital skills vary from 5.2% (using a programming language) to 43.7% (transferring files).

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Updates from Chicago Booth

Is corporate market power really surging?
By Alex Verkhivker – In economic circles, an argument has gained traction that corporate market power is surging, resulting in skyrocketing markups, a falling labor share, and other negative consequences for consumers and workers. But some researchers are pushing back, emphasizing weaknesses in the argument and urging policy makers to be cautious before taking any actions.

Proponents of the market-power argument often rely on one of two methodologies, one that calculates and compares total revenues and costs at the economy-wide level and another that uses company-level data. University of Minnesota’s Loukas Karabarbounis and Chicago Booth’s Brent Neiman focus on the first of these two, in which the economy is considered a pie that is made of up three slices: the labor share (which goes to workers), the capital share (costs incurred to use factories, equipment, software, etc.), and economic profits. Economic profits are calculated by finding the difference between revenues and costs, including the cost of capital faced by companies to fund their assets used in production. more>

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Updates from ITU

How AI for healthcare can overcome obstacles and save lives
By Dr. Winnie Tang – Al has been widely applied in healthcare. It can identify early symptoms, diagnose diseases, help carry out operations, predict when an epidemic will break out and undertake hospital administrative tasks such as making appointments and registering patients.

Accenture, a consultancy firm, estimated that 10 promising Al applications could save up to USD 150 billion in annual medical expenses for the U.S. by 2026.

Among the 10 applications, the most valuable is the robot-assisted surgery, according to the research. A study of 379 patients who had undergone orthopedic surgeries found that an AI-assisted robotic technique resulted in a five-fold reduction in the complications compared to operations performed solely by human surgeons. more>

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Updates from Autodesk

AI is coming for industrial design
By Mark Wilson – MIT researchers have debuted a tool that automatically generates products–and analyzes them in detail–on your behalf.

Take these two task lamps. They each have three heads, bent and placed in very different ways. So which has the better stability? It’s a trick question. They’re equally stable–and that was discovered by an algorithm, which designed them both.

MIT researchers have debuted a tool that automatically generates products–and analyzes them in detail–on your behalf.

Take these two task lamps. They each have three heads, bent and placed in very different ways. So which has the better stability? It’s a trick question. They’re equally stable–and that was discovered by an algorithm, which designed them both.

MIT researchers, in conjunction with Columbia University, have unveiled a new tool for designers who work with computer-aided drafting software. Building on previous work over the past year, their technique can optimize a design for any object, like a lamp or boat or wrench, for all sorts of metrics like mass, drag, and stress tolerance. And then it can create dozens of designs of that object, each tuned to different optimal efficiencies.

In other words, it removes iteration from the design process–and it could be applied to the design and engineering of consumer goods and industrial parts, replacing some of the human guesswork of product design and augmenting the intuition of designers themselves. more>

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Updates from datacenter.com

How Cloud Demand Positively Impacts further growth of Amsterdam
datacenter.com – As one of the top data center markets in the world, the Amsterdam area is poised for more growth over the coming years as cloud demand increases. The amount of data going through the cloud will reach 14.1 ZB by 2020.

After Microsoft opened their €2 billion campus, Google opened their data center in North of the Netherlands (Eemshaven) and the recently the announcement came that Google will expand with a second campus in The Netherlands (Amsterdam region). Other large cloud companies are expanding their supply in and around Amsterdam.

Datacenter.com opened Datacenter.com AMS1 in Amsterdam South-East this year, the best connected data center Campus, which will soon will upgrade to the second phase due to the fast growth and the high interest. more>

Updates from Ciena

FlexE: 3 reasons network providers are interested
By Helen Xenos – FlexEthernet, or FlexE, is a client interface standard being defined by the OIF that allows for a variety of Ethernet MAC rates (10GbE, 40GbE, nx25GbE) that are decoupled from Ethernet PHY (physical interface) rates.

Wait, what?

You may have heard about FlexE and even read about operators trialing FlexE in their networks, but unless you are intimately involved with standards activities or Ethernet protocol implementation, translating FlexE to its resulting networking value may not be obvious. For most of us, it is only once you start to look at the drivers behind the development and dig into which of today’s challenges it solves, that you can determine whether FlexE is something that makes sense for your network. more>

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Updates from Siemens

Swiss furniture maker produces innovative seating and tables following Industry 4.0 concepts
Girsberger – Since Girsberger AG’s development of an infinite height adjustment mechanism for stools patented in 1910, the company has been turning out novel and often groundbreaking seating solutions. Since it was established as a wood turning shop in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1889, the furniture manufacturer has been producing innovative seating and tables with outstanding ergonomics, resilience and durability for offices as well as dining rooms.

To remain internationally competitive with this portfolio in a country such as Switzerland with its high infrastructure and labor costs as well as an adverse exchange rate is in itself quite a challenge.

“Combining sophisticated, original design and functionality with maximum practical benefits, we create tomorrow’s classics,” says Michael Girsberger. He is heading the Switzerland-based group with subsidiaries in the European Union and Turkey in the family’s fourth generation. “This requires an uncompromisingly honest use of materials as well as precision in manufacturing with high craftsmanship.” more>

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Updates from Siemens

Solutions for Semiconductor Equipment Product Lifecycle Management
Siemens – To be successful in the marketplace, semiconductor equipment companies must provide innovative semiconductor process solutions to chip makers at low cost and with leading-edge features, superior quality and reliability. The architectural elements of these process solutions are mechanical functions, electrical controls and software-driven electronics.

To keep up with the increasing complexity of these elements, diverse customer needs, and strong competition amid rapid technological change, semiconductor equipment makers must consistently and successfully invest in product and process research and development (R&D), and maximize the R&D productivity.

To increase R&D productivity and avoid wasteful investments, equipment makers must effectively collaborate with semiconductor ecosystem partners, such as foundries and chip makers. The equipment makers must reduce cost through smart sourcing or outsourcing in a global electronics supply chain. To tackle the product complexities, they must implement a modularized product development strategy based upon a common platform with a well-defined technology roadmap and interfaces. more>

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Updates from Georgia Tech

Neuroscientists Team with Engineers to Explore how the Brain Controls Movement
By Carol Clark – Scientists have made remarkable advances into recording the electrical activity that the nervous system uses to control complex skills, leading to insights into how the nervous system directs an animal’s behavior.

“We can record the electrical activity of a single neuron, and large groups of neurons, as animals learn and perform skilled behaviors,” says Samuel Sober, an associate professor of biology at Emory University who studies the brain and nervous system. “What’s missing,” he adds, “is the technology to precisely record the electrical signals of the muscles that ultimately control that movement.”

The Sober lab is now developing that technology through a collaboration with the lab of Muhannad Bakir, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The technology will be used to help understand the neural control of many different skilled behaviors to potentially gain insights into neurological disorders that affect motor control.

“By combining expertise in the life sciences at Emory with the engineering expertise of Georgia Tech, we are able to enter new scientific territory,” Bakir says. “The ultimate goal is to make discoveries that improve the quality of life of people.” more>

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Updates from ITU

Autonomous shipping is making waves
By Kirsten Salyer – The autonomous shipping industry is making waves, as established companies and tech start-ups apply emerging technologies to one of the oldest industries in the world, maritime transport.

With about 90% of the world’s trade carried by sea and ships among the largest contributors to carbon dioxide emissions, autonomous shipping efforts could also support United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7, Affordable and Clean Energy.

Developments in autonomous shipping, such as those that allow ships to deal with weather and currents more efficiently, can lead to fuel savings and fewer emissions, says Päivi Haikkola, Ecosystem Lead of ONE SEA – Autonomous Maritime Ecosystem, a collaboration of experts whose aim is to encourage the creation of an operating autonomous maritime ecosystem by 2025. more>

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