Good morning, CIOs. Core to any discussion concerning automation and AI’s impact on the job market of the near future is whether the so-called workplace revolution will create more jobs than it will destroy. CIO Journal’s Sara Castellanos looks at a new report that puts an actual number on the great augmentation: Between now and 2022, 984,000 jobs will disappear, but there will be 1.74 million new jobs.
That’s according to chief human resources officers and top strategy executives across 300 global companies, surveyed by the World Economic Forum. Almost 40% of respondents expect to expand their workforce by 2022, and more than a quarter expect automation to create new roles in their companies, according to the report. Or, as Andrew Ng, CEO of Landing AI and former head of Google Brain and Baidu Inc.'s AI division, tells Ms. Castellanos, artificial intelligence and automation will displace jobs but it will also create jobs that “we can’t even imagine yet.”
Of course, such relative optimism means nothing without a little hustle. More than 50% of employees of large companies will need to invest in significant training for their employees to remain relevant, says the WEF report. And they need to do it fast, as machines continue to nibble away at the division of labor. According to the report, 29% of current workplace tasks will be completed by machines in 2018, 42% in 2022 and more than half—52%—by 2025.
China makes major investment in digital economy. China will invest $14.6 billion in big data, cloud computing and smart city projects over the next five years, Reuters reports. China’s National Development and Reform Commission said its financial agreement with the China Development Bank is heeding calls from the state cabinet to invest more money in China’s digital economy.
SAP to offer cloud services on Alibaba. SAP SE and Alibaba are teaming up to offer S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Cloud Platform products on Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure, allowing companies in China to run their business processes using an infrastructure as a service model, Reuters reports. SAP’s new marketing suite competes with Salesforce.com Inc.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma denies Beijing forced him out. The timing of Mr. Ma’s retirement prompted speculation that it was linked to closer government scrutiny of China’s biggest technology companies, part of Beijing’s tightening of its grip on private enterprises. The WSJ's Liza Lin reports that Mr. Ma denied the rumors, telling investors at a Tuesday event that his retirement had been planned for a decade.
Now about that 'trade war.' Mr. Ma during the same talk said a trade war between the U.S. and China could last 20 years. Bloomberg has more.
Cyberthreats worry election officials. Many states and counties are beefing up their plans to deal with cyberattacks during Election Day, reports WSJ’s Alexa Corse. They’re shoring up systems to protect their voter databases, hiring security experts to assess the strength of their defenses, and coordinating with social-media organizations to stamp out deliberately fraudulent messages that could mislead voters about how to cast a ballot.
Georgia to remain paperless. A federal court judge ruled that Georgia did not have to replace paperless voting machines before the midterms, although acknowledging that such machines are insecure, Politico reports.
AI is being used to thwart cyberattacks. As corporations struggle to fight off hackers and contain data breaches, some are using machine learning tactics to to sort through millions of malware files, searching for common characteristics that will help them identify new attacks, reports WSJ’s Adam Janofsky. The push for AI comes as companies face a huge increase in threats and more-sophisticated criminals who can often draw on nation-states for resources.
Study finds another disparity between women and men in tech-land. Female employees own 47 cents for every dollar of equity a male employee owns, according to a new study released by Carta, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company that helps startups manage employee and investor equity. The equity discrepancy is even more stark for female founders, says the Journal's Yoree Koh. Women founders own 39 cents of every dollar of equity a male founder owns, the study found.
ACLU accuses Facebook of discrimination. By allowing employers to use its ad-targeting tools to direct job openings to a younger, mostly male audience, Facebook Inc. violated labor and civil rights laws, the American Civil Liberties Union contends. CNN reports that the ACLU has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
MORE TECH NEWS
Augmented reality’s business use case. Microsoft Corp. announced new applications for its Dynamics 365 online business software that puts to use its augmented reality HoloLens product, Reuters reports. The new AI applications help connect remote colleagues with the use of the HoloLens headset, and the company cites Chevron Corp. as one of its users.
Venture funding flows to NYC tech. Startups closed nearly 1,500 deals worth $12 billion last year, nearly double the $6.3 billion in capital invested in 2014 for a similar number of deals. And about 850 deals have closed so far this year, netting $9.1 billion, the WSJ's Kate King reports.
Google tool alerts managers about productivity app usage. A new Google tool for business customers allows managers to see whether employees are using its G Suite productivity apps like Gmail, Docs, Sheets and Slides, CNBC reports. The feature will help employers understand if employees are using the apps they’re paying for and which products might require more training.
Microsoft announces cloud services that could rival Salesforce. Microsoft announced new cloud services that draw on AI to help with customer service and marketing, which could help the company compete with Salesforce.com, Amazon.com Inc. and Google, CNBC reports. One of the applications will help with the deployment of chatbots that can handle inquiries. Another is aimed at helping marketers see what people are talking about on social media.
Tesla in two tweets. Tweet 1: The automaker on Tuesday said the Justice Department has opened an investigation following CEO Elon Musk’s surprise tweet in August that he had secured funding to possibly take the electric-car maker private. Tweet 2: A British cave explorer Mr. Musk accused of being a pedophile filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday. The Journal's Tim Higgins and Dave Michaels have more.
Noyce digs. A Los Altos, Calif. compound once owned by the late Robert Noyce, co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel Corp., is going on the market, the Journal's Katherine Clarke reports. Price: $21.8 million.
Why is Gmail so $&#%* perky? Google’s automated email replies, which uses AI to to scan incoming emails and predict possible responses, have baffled users with some peculiar suggestions. the WSJ's David Marcelis and Douglas Macmillan write. By next month, the feature—which uses artificial intelligence —will become a default setting for all Gmail accounts.
EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW
Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, has requested an FBI investigation of the incident before she testifies on Capitol Hill. (WSJ)
The Chinese government said it plans to impose new tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. exports, prompting President Trump to reiterate a threat to punch back by hitting Chinese goods worth more than four times that much. (WSJ)
High-dividend “safety” stocks are leading U.S. stock indexes’ latest assault on record highs, the most recent sign of how a nine-year-long market rally is reshaping longstanding investor behaviors. (WSJ)
U.S. employers are boosting benefits—including bonuses and vacation time—at a faster pace than salaries, a move that gives them more flexibility to dial back that compensation if the economy turns sour. (WSJ)