Latest economy publications

Virgin boss warns industry of pending automation backlash

A senior director for Virgin Australia has warned business leaders that the current rush to automate labour with robots and artificial intelligence is likely to engender ‘pushback’ from an increasingly alienated and disregarded services sector workforce. Virgin Australia chairwoman Elizabeth Bryan, speaking at the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ governance summit in Melbourne, acknowledged that… Read More

Monitoring New York poverty with Urban IoT

Researchers from New York University have undertaken initial studies which explore the potential benefits of deploying ‘Urban IoT’ sensor systems in low-income neighbourhoods with too little commercial acumen to benefit from all but the most inclusive municipal sensor schemes. The project is aimed at three distinct residential areas in New York City, but the pilot… Read More

This is not your great-grandfather’s industrial revolution

Editorial  We had a quite extraordinary response this week to an article outlining Foxconn’s replacement of 60,000 jobs with robots. What society will do in the wake of automation and AI is currently among the hottest tech topics, and as I write, the former CEO of MacDonald’s – the poster-child for mass consumer economics –… Read More

Maybe it’s time to rethink tech sector monopolies

Last week the UK’s culture secretary John Whittingdale supported the transformation of the BBC’s iPlayer service into a Brit-centric Netflix rival, prompting me to wonder whether we need yet another candidate avid to co-opt the global streaming market which Netflix has aggressively sought to dominate in the past three years. In the case of the… Read More

Venezuelan government lambasts Bitcoin as currency of criminals

As digital currency gains popularity in Latin America, Venezuela is one of the latest countries where ordinary consumers and businesses are turning to Bitcoin in the face of political instability and economic collapse. Sinking under 98.3% inflation and economic ruin, the country’s minimum wage even places citizens under the poverty line. High unemployment figures and… Read More