Robots to affect up to 30% of UK jobs by the 2030s
Robotics and artificial intelligence could affect almost a third of UK jobs by the 2030s, according to a study. The report from accountancy firm PwC also predicted that the nature of some occupations would change rather than disappear. It added that automation could create more wealth and additional jobs elsewhere in the economy. Jobs in manufacturing and retail were among the most at risk from the new technologies, the report said. The study estimated that 30% of existing jobs in the UK were potentially at a high risk of automation, compared with 38% in the US, 35% in Germany and 21% in Japan. John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC, told the BBC that “more manual, routine jobs” which “can effectively be programmed” were the most at risk.”Jobs where you’ve got more of a human touch, like health and education,” would be safer, he said.
Elon Musk creates Neuralink brain electrode firm
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has launched Neuralink, a start-up which aims to develop technology that connects our brains to computers. A report from the Wall Street Journal, later confirmed in a tweet by Mr Musk, said the company was in its very early stages and registered as a “medical research” firm. The company will develop so-called “neural lace” technology which would implant tiny electrodes into the brain. The technique could be used to improve memory or give humans added artificial intelligence. According to the Journal, leading academics in the field have been signed up to work at the company which is being funded privately by Mr Musk. Specialists in the field envision a time when humans may be able to upload and download thoughts.
European growth defies uncertainty to hit six-year high
Fears over a populist political tide sweeping across Europe have done little to set back the Continent’s economic performance after figures today showed growth at a six-year high. The latest snapshot the eurozone’s private-sector manufacturers and services firms from IHS Markit – revealing the fastest expansion since April 2011 comes against the backdrop of deep political uncertainty following the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s White House win. Although Mark Rutte fended off Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party in last week’s Dutch elections, Marine Le Pen is likely to be in the final run-off for the French presidency in May, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces elections. But powerhouses France and Germany grew strongly despite rising price pressure. The European Central Bank is pumping €80 billion (£69.2 billion) into the economy every month although the strength of the survey is usually at a level where the ECB would be hiking rates, according to IHS Markit’s chief economist Chris Williamson. “Worries about consumer spending and business confidence haven’t emerged yet and the ECB could be behind the curve,” he said.
Arctic’s Winter Sea Ice Drops to Its Lowest Recorded Level
After a season that saw temperatures soar at the North Pole, the Arctic has less sea ice at winter’s end than ever before in nearly four decades of satellite measurements. The extent of ice cover – a record low for the third straight year – is another indicator of the effects of global warming on the Arctic, a region that is among the hardest hit by climate change, scientists said. “This is just another exclamation point on the overall loss of Arctic sea ice coverage that we’ve been seeing,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a government-backed research agency in Boulder, Colo. “We’re heading for summers with no sea ice coverage at all.” Dr. Serreze said that such a situation, which would leave nothing but open ocean in summer until fall freeze-up begins, could occur by 2030, although many scientists say it may not happen for a decade or two after that. The melting of sea ice does not raise sea levels, but loss of ice coverage can disrupt ecosystems. For example, it can affect the timing of blooms of phytoplankton, the microscopic organisms at the bottom of the ocean food chain. Less ice coverage also means that there is more dark ocean to absorb more of the sun’s energy, which leads to more warming and melting in a feedback loop called Arctic amplification.
200-lb gold coin worth estimated $4 million is stolen from German museum
A precious gold coin that’s in the Guinness Book of Records for its unsurpassed purity was stolen early Monday from a museum in Germany. The coin, which weighs more than 200 pounds and has a diameter of more than 20 inches, was taken from the Bode Museum in Berlin after 2 a.m. local time. German media reports put the current value of the gold coin at 3.7 million euros, or slightly more than $4 million. Read: Ancient Roman coins found in ruined Japanese castle. Nicknamed “the “Big Maple Leaf,” the coin was issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007, ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s state visit to Germany. It has a face value of more than $1 million and a purity of 999.99/1000 gold.