Skill set workers need for the future job market

By Abdullah Shibli

As we fight to overcome the damages done by the Covid-19 pandemic and restart and recalibrate our economies, this is a golden opportunity to ask what we can do to prepare ourselves better for the next decade. One thing is certain. New technologies will emerge more rapidly now that we know how to adapt to a major catastrophic event such as the all-devouring Covid-19 virus and how to fight back. Innovative approaches to working and living will make the world in 2030 a different one than the one we had envisaged before the pandemic. And we all need to adapt to this new world. Bangladesh’s challenge is to transform our education programmes and skills development infrastructure to deliver the talents needed for an innovative, digitised, and post-agricultural economy in the forthcoming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Bangladesh’s progress in manufacturing exports is comparable only to that of China and Vietnam. The apparent contradiction, however, lies in the fact that Bangladesh made such progress without any rapid structural transformation of the economy. Despite a very high share of manufacturing exports in total merchandise exports, the export basket of Bangladesh remained highly concentrated around low value-added and low-complexity products.

In the next decade, the largest challenge will be faced by women both in industrialised and emerging economies. Women hold jobs in areas that are predicted to grow, such as registered nurses and personal care aides—possibly accounting for 58 percent of new job growth. At the same time, women hold a large portion of shrinking jobs, like office clerks and administrative assistants, customer service, food service, and community services.

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There aren’t enough computer chips to power modern cars

A lack of computer chips means that car companies have not been able to meet production demand.Image: REUTERS/Andreas Gebert 

Sean Fleming Senior Writer, Formative Content

  • Global car sales fell in 2020.
  • A shortage of computer chips is compounding poor sales by holding up production.
  • That could cost the industry $60 billion.

Besides reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the motor sector now faces another major challenge – it can’t get all the computer chips it needs.

Modern cars are reliant on technology. There’s software that monitors engine performance and emissions, cruise-control that automatically adjusts to keep pace with the speed of the vehicle in front, alarms that are triggered by straying out of lane – not to mention bluetooth connectivity, parking sensors, keyless entry and a host of safety features.

And that’s just in a conventional car. Self-driving and semi-autonomous cars are even more tech-laden.

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THOR – The Microwave Weapon Designed To Countervail Drone Swarms

By Kris Osborn – Warrior Maven

(Washington D.C.) The Army and Air Force are collaborating on prototype directed energy weapons designed to jam, dismantle, take-out or simply stop attacking drones, bringing emerging technologies to the increasingly high-risk base defense mission.

The weapon, which uses high-powered microwave technology to disable the “electronics” in drones and counter “multiple targets” at once, is believed to be capable of stopping the much discussed and very serious threat posed by drone swarms.

The prototype Tactical High Power Operational Responder (THOR), a new weapon developed by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), is a large microwave dish housed in a 20ft-long shipping container transportable on a cargo plane, an Air Force report explains.

The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office is now working to build upon progress made by the AFRL to develop the weapon as a directed energy solution able to complement the direct-target technology afforded by precision laser weapons.

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Virtual reality-style goggles that ‘see’ through skin to fix face tumours and spare patients from disfiguring paralysis

By Pat Hagan

  • The goggles reveal the exact layout of delicate nerves surrounding growths
  • Around 30 UK patients have already benefited and thousands more may follow 
  • They are being trialled by experts at University College London Hospital

Virtual reality-style goggles that let doctors ‘see’ inside the body can spare patients with facial tumours from disfiguring paralysis.

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Elon Musk Promised Starlink Internet Speeds of 1 Gbps. Will It Happen?

Starlink internet speeds are rising, but will the 1 Gbps promise come true?

By  Brad Bergan

In the last year, Elon Musk’s SpaceX went from having lifted 242 Starlink satellites to a total beyond 1,000 as it establishes its constellation of broadband internet-providing satellites, designed to include people who lack equitable options for paid internet access around the world.

Elon Musk has claimed Starlink will provide internet speeds of 1 Gbps, and while recent reports have shown impressive download average rates of 110 megabits per second (Mbps) with uploads of 20 Mbps, this is still a long way from 1 Gbps. Will Musk’s promise of 1 Gbps really happen?

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Bitcoin uses more electricity than Argentina, Norway, study finds

Ross Andersen

TORONTO — As the price of bitcoin skyrocketed over the last year, so has the amount of energy used to mine the cryptocurrency, prompting concerns about its environmental impact.

Despite the currency’s value having seen a recent decline, the energy used to harvest it has soared to a point where its annual carbon footprint is equivalent to or more than several countries including Argentina and Norway, according to an analysis published by Cambridge University.

Mining the cryptocurrency requires a deep energy-intensive process that uses extensive electrical infrastructure and complicated math algorithms in order to verify transactions. Upon solving any given calculation the miner is subsequently rewarded with a bitcoin.

“Rising bitcoin prices make mining more attractive, as the potential reward increases in value. As a result, new mining hardware will get added to the network and lead to increasing electricity consumption overall,” according to the report.

Although it’s unclear how much energy bitcoin actually uses, the study says that it consumes about 129.09 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year. The more bitcoin that is mined, the more energy that is consumed.

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Google Director Of Engineering: This is how fast the world will change in ten years

Michael Simmons

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Futurists from the 20th century predicted that labor saving devices would make leisure abundant. According to the great economist John Maynard Keynes, the big challenge would be that…

“For the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem — how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”

— John Maynard Keynes (1930)

Fast forward almost a century later.

Things didn’t quite go as expected. This quote from a modern researcher captures the current ethos:

“Rather than being bored to death, our actual challenge is to avoid anxiety attacks, psychotic breakdowns, heart attacks, and strokes resulting from being accelerated to death.”

— Geoffrey West

Rather than inhabiting a world of time wealth, we’re inhabiting a world of time poverty. Rather than feeling the luxury of time freedom, we’re feeling the burden of constant hurry.

What happened?

How did things turn out the exact opposite of what we were expecting?

More importantly, will the pace of life keep accelerating? And if it does, what are the implications (ie — can most people even cope)? What should we be doing now as knowledge workers to prepare for this future?

So, I spent over 100 hours reading the top 10 books related to these questions across the disciplines of sociology, technology, physics, evolution, business, and systems theory.

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South Korea’s fertility rate falls to lowest in the world

The nation’s capital Seoul logs the lowest birth rate of 0.64

South Korea’s fertility rate fell to the lowest in the world last year, data showed on Wednesday, February 24, as uncertainty over the coronavirus discouraged couples from marrying and having children.

The number of expected babies per South Korean woman fell to 0.84 in 2020, dropping further from the country’s previous record low of 0.92 a year earlier, the official annual reading from the Statistics Korea showed.

That is the lowest among over 180 member countries of the World Bank, and far below 1.73 in the United States and 1.42 in Japan.

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MyHeritage’s deepfake tool animates ancient photos and it’s as weird as it sounds

By Mehreen Kasana

The genealogy service is using artificial intelligence-powered tools as a marketing campaign to drum up new subscribers.

Nostalgia sells and marketers know it. People like to fantasize about a past they think was better than it likely was — and wonder what it might have been like for their relatives who lived through it. To capitalize on this, a genealogy-tracking service called MyHeritage has launched an AI-powered tool it calls Deep Nostalgia which animates old photos of users’ family members, whether deceased or otherwise. 

Several users of the service have taken to Twitter to share animated images of their great grandparents, reanimated, and exhibiting various facial expressions. The style of each video is almost the same: the subject moves their eyes around and then tilts their head a little, as if trying to recall something in answer to a question, before returning their gaze to the viewer. But then, it’s early days for the service, and odds are it’ll get a lot more flexible eventually.

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This Gigantic 165-Inch MicroLED TV Folds Into Nothing When the Game Is Over

By BRYAN HOOD

It’s as fun to watch it unfold as it is to actually watch your program on it. 

C Seed is no stranger to extravagant TVs, but its latest set takes things up a notch. And a giant one at that.

The Austrian company’s just-announced M1 is a folding 4K MicroLED TV set that rises out of the floor like a robot when you’re ready to watch the big game or binge your favorite show. While that alone makes it noteworthy, so does its size, as the set measures a massive 165-inches diagonally.

You may take as much enjoyment out of watching the M1 turn on as you do watching an episode of The Sopranoson it. When you’re ready to sit down and take in a show or a movie, a hidden compartment in the floor opens, an obelisk-like column rises from it and then, once upright, the folded-up screen fans out before locking itself into place in the set’s base. Basically, it’s a Transformer that turns into a TV and doesn’t take up any room when you’re doing something else.

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Lack of symmetry in qubits can’t fix errors in quantum computing, might explain matter/antimatter

A new paper seeking to cure a time restriction in quantum annealing computers instead opened up a class of new physics problems that can now be studied with quantum annealers without requiring they be too slow. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory

by Charles Poling , Los Alamos National Laboratory

A team of quantum theorists seeking to cure a basic problem with quantum annealing computers—they have to run at a relatively slow pace to operate properly—found something intriguing instead. While probing how quantum annealers perform when operated faster than desired, the team unexpectedly discovered a new effect that may account for the imbalanced distribution of matter and antimatter in the universe and a novel approach to separating isotopes.

“Although our discovery did not the cure the annealing time restriction, it brought a class of new physics problems that can now be studied with quantum annealers without requiring they be too slow,” said Nikolai Sinitsyn, a theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Sinitsyn is author of the paper published Feb. 19 in Physical Review Letters, with coauthors Bin Yan and Wojciech Zurek, both also of Los Alamos, and Vladimir Chernyak of Wayne State University.

Significantly, this finding hints at how at least two famous scientific problems may be resolved in the future. The first one is the apparent asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the universe.

“We believe that small modifications to recent experiments with quantum annealing of interacting qubits made of ultracold atoms across phase transitions will be sufficient to demonstrate our effect,” Sinitsyn said.

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