100% energy-neutral by 2050 is the long-term goal for the Dutch government when it comes to environmental policy. During the past elections in March the environment was not the most prominent subject of debate, but during the formation the environment may turn out to be a major obstacle, as the opinions of the major parties differ a lot. 2050 is still 33 years ahead of us, but the time is now to force big changes in our treatment of the environment. Luckily, some parts of the Netherlands are way ahead of the national government, with Goeree-Overflakkee being the best example.
Boy, please introduce yourself.
My name is Boy van der Velden and people may know me from my time as the secretary of Asset | Economics in the year of 2012-2013. Nowadays I am working at Local Express, a corporate start-up from PostNL in Amsterdam.
The time has been changed, days are longer, the sun is brighter and the temperature is on the rise. Spring is here and with summer just around the corner, people’s moods and behavior take more and more a positive turn. Even our consuming behavior changes as the weather allows and sometimes demands an occasional ice cream or an outdoor barbecue with a freezing beer. An industry that is technically cyclical to the movement of the seasons is the festival industry. It is no surprise that more festivals are organized around this period. However, the numbers in the Netherlands are astonishing as this is a rapidly growing industry that pulls more and more people both on a national and international level every year.
“ Build that wall! Build that wall!” I guess we all know where those words come from. The populist rhetoric that has been used by many political players, including the don himself has been characterized by a rising hatred towards immigration and foreign trade among others. People believe that the rising unemployment and stagnating wages might be due to foreigners taking their jobs. However, the reality might be different, and thus I’ll be trying to bring forth an alternative explanation in this article.
Mechanization and automation simply refers to the replacement of human workers by machines. This phaenomenon of humans becoming redundant is not something new. During the industrial revolution many technological innovations replaced the work that humans could do. The spinning wheel for example for textile manufacturing which was an important industry could replace many tasks done by 1 single worker and cut down production costs as well as the production time. Craft industries that relied on small individually owned workshops also saw a decline in profits as they were replaced with production lines in factories. This mechanized society at least at first seemed to destroy more jobs than it could create. In a paper published in 1934 by NBER about the effects of mechanization in industries, many examples are mentioned about labor saving technologies. For example the paper mentions that with the use of the paint spray gun, which was at that time a new technology, labor could be reduced by 85% in the painting of buildings. Or for example in the glass bottle industry, that the automatic bottling machine will manage to reduce up to 97% of the manual labor previously used.
But what is actually happening right now? Many jobs are currently in the process of being fully replaced or at least to some degree by computers and AI technology. In an article published couple of weeks ago on tech-crunch there was mention that by 2030, 25% of US driving could be done by self-driving cars. This of course would lead to enormous complications in occupations that rely on transportation facilities.
Deep learning and automation has begun to ever so much try to replicate the behavior of humans and subsequently the human brain and how it works. However deep learning and AI has the ability to assess different situations and perform tasks much faster and much more efficiently than humans.
Deep learning has already managed to replace to a significant degree humans in the field of healthcare. In the area of prescribing medication and monitoring its impact on patients, so something your doctor would do for example, different automation based tools such as the Proteus Digital Health pill have managed to replace specialized personnel such as your doctor. But also in more experienced based jobs such as the one done by surgeons, teleoperated robots can perform such intricate tasks as microsurgery with limited human intervention.
People always seem to be arguing in favor of more mechanization and more automation in the society. The main argument always seems to lie in the fact that more jobs will be created in related fields and that more efficient and cost saving products and processes will be created. However the reality of the fact is that jobs are becoming scarcer and scarcer since automation and mechanization seems to be taking over the entire supply chains of different products.
Blue collar but also white collar jobs are under threat. The fast progression of technology is going to limit employment opportunities for every new generation to come and in the end we will have to specialise even further to get a decent job. Since the productivity of robots and other machines is far superior to that of humans, we would have to put in much greater effort and working hours for an ever decreasing pay and thus a lower cost of products will in reality not mean much.
Still, there is this argument that highly educated people will still be managing to get high paying jobs but the truth of the matter is that many jobs, which require a routine thinking or routine tasks, can easily be accomplished by non-humans regardless of how many years we are spending to educate ourselves or how much experience we have. A testament to this is the whole example I aforementioned about automation taking over the field of healthcare.
Taking a step back though; most people from our generation that have graduated from university will most likely not experience a total takeover by AI technology and robots throwing them out of their jobs. What might happen and what is actually happening is stagnating wages and an ever more so competitive market for employment for everyone and automation and AI technology as well as mechanization is partly to blame.
April 3 2017: over 500 people witnessed the very first edition of the Business Night. Grand opening of the Economic Business weeks Tilburg (EBT), the Business Night was the showcase of what Tilburg is capable of. Every single one of the 5 speakers was a capo di capi in his field: from the CEO of Randstad to the Global Head of Sustainability at ING.
Credit Suisse is a leading force in the financial services. The company specializes in private banking, investment banking and asset management. It was founded in 1856 in Switzerland and currently operates in 50 different countries. Nowadays it is one of the largest and most profitable banks that has an immense influence not only in Switzerland, but all over the world. Despite that, Credit Suisse has involved itself with controversial issues such as tax evasion.
It is a topic barely discussed during campaigns and debates for the Dutch elections: climate change. And more precisely, how to limit global warming and its consequences. A topic that was hotly debated, however, was the refugee crisis. In this article, I will discuss why climate change and the refugee crisis may be linked and urge for a greener society.
‘What do you want to do after school?’ This is a question they start asking you when you are very little. The answer used to be something like a firefighter, princess, professional football player, astronaut etc. But the older you get, the more serious they expect your answer to be. I have found that this is one of the most difficult questions to answer. To help solve the problem of not knowing what to do (and I’ll admit, to postpone my decision for a year), I decided to do an internship.