Facebook’s exploits and profitability are well known and now this Silicon Valley giant is partnering with Neuralink to venture into a field that has troubled scientists for more than half a century. Neuralink is a new company associated with the electric-car maker Tesla and these two financially endowed companies have set on an extremely ambitious program – to find out how the human brain communicates with the rest of the body. Since the 1960s, this is a mystery that scientists have tried to grapple with but have never made any major breakthrough.
How they plan to go about it
The project envisaged by Facebook and Neuralink plans to implant electronic devices into human brains. Since the computers of the future will be more powerful than what we have today, these implants are supposed to help humans keep up with them. According to the creators of the project, the implants will also help in the study of the brain-body communication.
Responding to the project details which emerged in mid-April, many scientists, while welcoming the endeavor, expressed fears that the project is unlikely to bear fruit soon and certainly not within the time-frame set by Facebook and Neuralink.
One of the biggest hurdles envisaged is getting people to accept to have sensors implanted into their brains. Currently, that technology is used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries and those suffering from seizures. Implanting of sensors also comes with a high risk of injury and it might therefore be difficult to get people to willingly take part.
Another hurdle that scientists foresee is the inability to accurately record the activities of the brain. For the scientists, it is hard to tell how the brain communicates with, say, the arms to tell them to move.
To scientists, figuring out how the brain truly works is extremely difficult. According to one scientist, associate professor Bradley Wyble of the Penn State University, it is hard to compare the working of a computer with those of the human brain. While both computers and human brains perform similar functions in the storage and transmission of info, the human brain tends to be very selective in what it transmits. Unlike the computer which responds to specific commands, the brain decides which stimuli it will act on and which to ignore.
So, is this new project likely to bear fruit in a decade? The funding provided by the two companies involved is massive and we can only wait to see.
Why do we have fewer Americans in the factories today? Is the current increase in factory jobs likely to be sustained? The fact that there are fewer people employed in the factories than was the case in the 70s does not imply that American manufacturing has been on the decline. On the contrary, the manufacturing sector has continued to grow over the years (except during some depressing periods such as the sub-prime crisis) but men have continued to lose jobs to robots. For this reason too, it is unlikely that the manufacturing sector will create jobs the way it did in the 70s.
Reason for optimism
While the jobs created might never reach what they were in the good old days, there is certainly reason for optimism. The government has the ability to increase the number of manufacturing jobs available and it could if it went ahead with its plans to increase its spending on major infrastructural projects. The government’s desire to undertake tax reforms could also provide the spur that the manufacturing sector needs.
How the present compares with the past
The 20 million people employed by the manufacturing sector in the 1970s represented 22% of the entire workforce in the US. Today, only 8% of people are employed in this sector. During the crisis of 2009, only 11.5 million people were employed by the manufacturing sector. And despite the recent positive signs, the number of people making a living from manufacturing is.
US Manufacturing Jobs On the Rise But Still Way below the 1970s Levels
The new Republican administration came to office with the declared intention of increasing the number of manufacturing jobs available for Americans and it seems to be making progress in this direction. In contrast to the first few months of the Obama administration which saw an increase in service sector jobs such as retail and tech, the first few months of the Trump administration have seen a substantial increase in the number of manufacturing jobs created.
Between February and March 2017, the US economy benefitted from the creation of close to 40,000 new factory jobs and if this trend continues manufacturing could become one of the biggest employment sectors in a few years.
The manufacturing glory years
While recent developments paint a positive picture for the manufacturing industries, it is important to appreciate that the current factory employment levels come nowhere close to the days when this sector was a major employer.
The 1970s were the period when a huge proportion of the American workforce earned their bread from factory work. In those years, nearly 20 million Americans were employed in factories while today the number is just slightly above 12 million.
Hi and welcome to search on Spokane. This business review blog will cover everything business. Well endeavor to bring you everything from micro/macro economics to world news, business events, finance, best practices and more.
Today we’re going to talk about current global events and how the UK’s exit from the European Union, the effects, especially as they relate to business. First we need an understanding of what the UK and EU is.
The actual name for the sovereign state that is the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain. So those of you who thought the UK and Great Britain were two different countries were mistaken. Although the UK is and will remain physically in Europe (because it would be silly otherwise), it’s public have voted to break economic and legal ties with the European Union (EU), as the result of a referendum.
What’s worth noting is that the UK’s decision to leave the EU needs to be officially agreed to and signed by the Prime Minister — Teresa May — the UK’s most senior official after the queen. Teresa must sign Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty in order for the UK to officially leave the EU — this is yet to be done.
In fact, the UK’s departure isn’t quite as clear cut as you may imagine. The EU and the UK will need to negotiate departure terms and how they intend to do business in the future. However, the EU will not begin negotiations with the UK until article 50 has been signed. What’s more, once the article has been signed… it may take up to 2 years for all the details to be finalized! That’s right – it’s going to take two years, from a date that hasn’t even been reached yet, for the UK to fully depart the EU from a financial, economic, and legal perspective.
The good news is that not much changes between for now. The bad news is that the financial markets arevolatile due to the uncertainty of what is to happen next. What’s worse is that there is a small chance that supporters of the stay campaign may have a legal right to challenge the decision. The risk of the final decision being disputed is small… but the mere chance of it happening is enough to cause a lot of uncertainty within the business sector… and we all know how much we don’t like uncertainty.
So what should you be doing? Well… nothing. It’s business as usual for everyone. The only thing we might add is to wear your hard hats, baton down the hatches and ride out the current turmoil — it will settle down eventually. For those of you in industries that focus on moving people… you’re probably in luck as there will be a lot of movement at companies try to reorganize and restructure their business ahead of any changes that may be made.
Is it still viable to do business with the UK? Of course it is — in fact, it always will be.