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The robots are coming? Think again

A robot gestures during a demonstration of its skill during the seventh  Soccer World Championship f..

The fifth Data Science Insights talk, chaired by Axel Threlfall, Reuters Editor at Large, took place at Imperial College London, and featured Jerry Kaplan, entrepreneur, author and futurist. This post was written by Ti Maja, Manager, Corporate Compliance.

2015 could be classed as the year the artificial intelligence (A.I.) alarm started ringing. Stephen Hawking prophesied A.I could “spell the end of the human race.” Elon Musk hazarded that “with artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.” Sir Clive Sinclair declared artificial intelligence will doom mankind.

So are we staring Skynet in the face? Are we doomed to be batteries in the Matrix? Are the incoming Amazon Prime Drone deliveries really a signifier of the human vs. machine battle to come? The future according to Stanford Legal Informatics CodeX fellow, entrepreneur, technical innovator, bestselling author and futurist Jerry Kaplan is a little bit less farfetched and potentially a lot more golden. (more…)

Today’s kids are tomorrow’s innovators

Apps For Good

This is my fifth year of working with the UK-based Apps for Good program, and it’s incredible to see how the program has grown from a handful of schools and perhaps a hundred or so kids to hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of students taking part just a few short years later. The evolution has been fun to watch, with many significant lessons learned.

  1. When I first was asked to serve as an ambassador for the London Tech City project, I worked with the British government to help revise the school ICT curriculum. Within three years, we saw a complete overhaul in England, so now, every child entering school today will know how to program in at least two languages by the time they are 11! Again…what were you doing at 11?

(more…)

Spotlight hits technology platforms as U.S. mulls fiduciary standard

Spotlight hits technology platforms as U.S. mulls fiduciary standard

It was during a congressional hearing in June that U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez spoke about how technology companies can help investors in making better choices about their investments. Perez said several times that automated portfolio advice services, or “robo-advisors,” can help the government to meet its goal of getting firms to offer retail investors suitable products at an affordable price.

“Not only is it possible to provide fiduciary service at low cost to small investors nationwide, but that the market rewards these efforts,” Perez said. (more…)

Searching for answers to a sustainable planet

#Susty7

We caught up with Tim Nixon, director and managing editor of our Sustainability site about our new multimedia report “7 Reasons The World Will Be Sustainable.”

The feature provides pathways for success following the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015, when the world focused its attention on 17 goals for the earth’s changing climate, natural resources distribution and prosperity.

What do you love about your job?

Connecting the dots. So many sustainability issues link together legal, financial, scientific and social issues. I love seeing how the different levers in these domains can influence and help each other. I also love talking with students about sustainability, and see their passion for plunging into this complex set of issues in search of solutions.

What does this report help to explain? (more…)

The future of the auto industry: A Thomson Reuters point of view

New Audi A4 2.0 T quattro, Audi e-tron Quattro and Audi S4 are presented during the media day at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt

Every day, Thomson Reuters touches millions of automobile aficionados around the world, including people who design vehicles, regulate their safety, invest in automakers, provide tax advice to them, sue and defend manufacturers and suppliers, and, in the case of the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show which is currently underway, marvel at the sleek lines, speed and agility of the concept cars that offer unique and wonderful views of a future of which we all want to be a part.

What goes into bringing these provocative new cars to market? The concept car is someone’s best guess at a future, yet we’re now looking at one involving cars that are not driven by people and are connected to our personal network, as well as the Internet of Things. Apple, Google, Tesla, Uber and other technology giants are emerging players in the space.

Auto manufacturing is a global industry with a sprawling web of workflows, labor forces and international supply chains. There is steep competition in every class of vehicles so the need to innovate and differentiate is high. Moreover, the auto industry is highly regulated in areas such as safety, emissions, fuel economy and dealership networks. With stakes so high – including the lives and livelihoods of people – safety issues alone can cost millions of dollars in the form of new regulatory hurdles and class-action litigation. (more…)

Thomson Reuters at the Open Data Science “Science Against Slavery” Hackathon

Millions of forced laborers around the world generate an estimated $150 billion a year in profits for those who exploit them, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Two-thirds of this comes from commercial sexual exploitation and the other third from forced labor exploitation.

Thomson Reuters is deeply committed to confronting this problem of human trafficking, by providing our customers with vast amounts of data that can be used to help identify business partners that are potentially involved with illicit activities. Our World-Check product exposes risks that human networks hide and, we have recently partnered with two of the world’s premier anti-slavery organizations to turn the power of data analytics onto corrupt labor brokers and people traffickers.

Recent legislation pressures companies to avoid any association with forced labor. For example, beginning in October 2015, the Modern Slavery Act in the UK requires companies to confirm that steps have been taken to ensure that slavery/human trafficking are not part of the business or its supply chain. As part of our commitment against human trafficking and forced labor, five members of our Data Innovation Lab (Henry Chong, Dave Reed, Brian Romer, Joe Rothermich and Brian Ulicny) and two technology associates (Amit Shavit and Wendy Tay) based in Manhattan participated in the “Science Against Slavery” Hackathon organized by Open Data Science on Saturday, August 29th. The event was held at Impact Hub NYC, a “coworking space…for driving positive environmental and social change”. There were about 30 participants in the all-day Hackathon, ranging from undergraduate students at Brown, Northeastern, and NYU, to a cell biologist post-doc at Yale, a data scientist from Macy’s, a game theorist from Pitt, and several others.

After a late start, organizer Eric Schles gave a presentation on how women wind up being trafficked, due mostly to economic or social factors beyond their control. He sketched out how the digital traces of their trafficking online are used to bring cases against their exploiters, often only after they are hospitalized or police respond to domestic disturbance calls. Eric was, until very recently, an analyst in the Human Trafficking Response Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, focusing mostly on supply-side traces. His focus was on building automated tools for law enforcement, to gather and prepare information leading to the conviction and prosecution of sex traffickers on both the supply and the demand side. Eric’s GitHub repository of code for scraping and analyzing escort ads from sites like Backpage.com — one of the more notorious Craigslist-like sites for escort ads — provided a starting point for the Hackathon. (more…)

Arbitrator to decide class arbitration question in reimbursement action

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  An arbitrator, rather than a court, must decide if security guards can proceed with class-wide arbitration of their claims for reimbursement against their employer, under an agreement governed by American Arbitration Association rules, a California appeals court has ruled.

The dispute resolution agreement between the guards and their employer, Universal Protection Service, says it is governed by AAA rules, which call for an arbitrator to “determine as a threshold matter … whether the applicable arbitration clause permits the arbitration to proceed on behalf of … a class,” the 3rd District Court of Appeal said.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Court approves NLRB’s expedited union election rule

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups failed to show that the National Labor Relations Board’s recent final rule aimed at expediting the union election process is unconstitutional and violates federal labor law, a federal judge has ruled.

The groups’ “broad” and “dramatic” statements about the NLRB’s rule were “predicated on mischaracterizations of what the final rule actually provides,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia said.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

Ex-Hershey workers signed valid age discrimination waivers, California federal judge finds

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  A San Francisco federal judge has dismissed most age discrimination claims from a 2012 collective action against Hershey Co., finding the plaintiffs waived such claims as part of their severance package.
U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California largely granted the chocolate company’s motion for summary sevejudgment, rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that the waivers were invalid because they had been terminated as part of a group rather than individually.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Top 10 Berkshire Hathaway deals, investment – Graphic of the day

Warren Buffett is making the biggest acquisition of his career as Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy Precision Castparts, valuing the maker of aerospace and other parts at $32.3 billion. Today’s graphic lists 10 of Berkshire Hathaway’s biggest takeovers/investments in the company’s history.

berkshire hathaway

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