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Parlons Futur - 15/10/2019 : les ravages progressifs de l'IA sur l'emploi ; impact d'une guerere nucléaire Inde/Pakistan ; un fabricant de tracteurs se met à l'IA ;

Début de la newsletter à retrouver ici.

Voici les 4 news dont vous trouverez le résumé au format bullet points plus bas :

  • Avenir du travail : cette étude portant sur 36 500 entreprises et 5 millions de salariés entre 2000 et 2016 aux Pays-Bas montrent les ravages progressifs de l'automatisation sur l'emploi
  • L'économiste Mariana Mazzucato explique comment on sous-estime le rôle moteur de l'état-stratège dans le succès des géants de la tech et annonce ses 5 missions que le Parlement Européen a votées
  • Voici comment John Deere, entreprise américaine fondée en 1837 et spécialisée dans la fabrication de matériel agricole se révolutionne grâce à l'IA
  • Ces chercheurs estiment l'impact sur le monde d'une guerre nucléaire Inde-Pakistan

Avenir du travail : cette étude portant sur 36 500 entreprises et 5 millions de salariés entre 2000 et 2016 aux Pays-Bas montrent les ravages progressifs de l'automatisation sur l'emploi

  • They measured daily and annual wages, employment rates, the collection of unemployment insurance and welfare receipts.
  • What emerges is a portrait of workplace automation that is ominous (menaçant) in a less dramatic manner than we’re typically made to understand. For one thing, there is no ‘robot apocalypse’, even after a major corporate automation event. Unlike mass layoffs, automation does not appear to immediately and directly send workers packing en masse.
  • Instead, automation increases the likelihood that workers will be driven away from their previous jobs at the companies—whether they’re fired, or moved to less rewarding tasks, or quit—and causes a long-term loss of wages for the employee.
  • The report finds that “firm-level automation increases the probability of workers separating from their employers and decreases days worked, leading to a 5-year cumulative wage income loss of 11 percent of one year’s earnings.”
  • workers were only able to offset a fraction of those losses with benefits provided by the state.
  • Older workers, meanwhile, were more likely to retire early—deprived of years of income they may have been counting on.
  • Interestingly, the effects of automation were felt similarly through all manner of company—small, large, industrial, services-oriented, and so on. The study covered all non-finance sector firms, and found that worker separation and income loss were “quite pervasive across worker types, firm sizes and sectors.”
  • rate of workers leaving their jobs is 8% more than normal attrition
  • a 2018 McKinsey survey of 1,300 companies worldwide found that 75% of them had either begun to automate business processes or planned to do so next year
  • the pain of automation is distributed in smaller, more personalized doses, and thus less likely to prompt any sort of urgent public response
  • à ce titre, il est très intéressant de citer Andrew Yang, le candidat démocrate le plus rafraîchissant à mon sens, adoubé par Elon Musk, 4ème dans certains sondages, et donné comm un de ceux les plus à même de battre Trump :
    • We automated away 4 million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa — all the swing states that Donald Trump needed to win, not coincidentally.
    • I studied economics, and what did my textbook say would happen to those 4 million manufacturing workers? They would get retrained, re-skilled, moved for new opportunities, higher productivity jobs, all would go well. How many of you guys learned that in college? All right. So then I found the studies as to what happened to the manufacturing workers in the Midwest after they lost their jobs.
    • In real life, almost half of them left the workforce and never worked again. And of that group, about half filed for disability. Then you saw surges in drug overdoses and suicides in those communities, to the point where our life expectancy has now declined for the last 3 years. Society-wide, not just in Ohio, I’m talking about in the United States of America, our life expectancy has declined for three straight years because suicides and drug overdoses have now overtaken vehicle deaths as cause of death. Now, my textbook did not say, hey, you get rid of these manufacturing jobs, they go home, they get drunk, they kill themselves, they vote for Donald Trump. That was not in my textbook. But that is exactly what has happened.
    • When you see what has happened to those workers ... I spent seven years in these communities. When you see what happened to those workers, the exact same thing will happen to the mall workers, the call center workers, the truck drivers. And I talk about the truck drivers because they will take this very, very poorly. You talk about the average trucker, 49-year-old man, high school education, making $46,000 a year. Tens of thousands of them are ex-military. A lot of them own their own trucks. How would you react if you’re that person and there is a robot truck that never stops that you cannot compete against? At least some of them are going to react disastrously. Catastrophically.

L'économiste Mariana Mazzucato explique comment on sous-estime le rôle moteur de l'état-stratège dans le succès des géants de la tech

  • three companies founded by Elon Musk — Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX — had jointly benefited from nearly $4.9 billion in public support of various kinds
  • Mazzucato traced the provenance of every technology that made the iPhone.
    • The HTTP protocol, of course, had been developed by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee and implemented on the computers at CERN, in Geneva.
    • The internet began as a network of computers called Arpanet, funded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) in the 60s to solve the problem of satellite communication.
    • The DoD was also behind the development of GPS during the 70s, initially to determine the location of military equipment.
    • The hard disk drive, microprocessors, memory chips and LCD display had also been funded by the DoD.
    • Siri was the outcome of a Stanford Research Institute project to develop a virtual assistant for military staff, commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
    • The touchscreen was the result of graduate research at the University of Delaware, funded by the National Science Foundation and the CIA.
  • Mazzucato’s concept of missions translates the European Commission's "grand challenges" into concrete projects:
    • the Cold War was a challenge; landing on the moon was a mission
  • In February 2018, she published a report that defined five criteria missions should obey:
    • they must be bold and inspire citizens;
    • be ambitious and risky;
    • have a clear target and deadline (you have to be able to unambiguously answer whether the mission was accomplished to deadline or not, Mazzucato says);
    • be cross-disciplinary and cross-sectorial (eradicating cancer, for example, would require innovation in healthcare, nutrition, artificial intelligence and pharmaceuticals);
    • and allow for experimentation and multiple attempts at a solution, rather than be micromanaged top-down by a government.
  • In May, the European Parliament voted and approved Mazzucato’s mission-oriented proposal for the Horizon Europe programme. After a lengthy consultation period, five mission areas were chosen:
    • adaptation to climate change;
    • cancer;
    • healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters;
    • climate-neutral and smart cities;
    • and soil health and food
John Deere, entreprise américaine fondée en 1837 et spécialisée dans la fabrication de matériel agricole se révolutionne grâce à l'IA
  • One key effort are AI systems “that allow me to tell whether grain being harvested is good quality or low quality and to make automatic adjustment systems for the harvester (moissonneuse-batteuse).”
  • “Let’s say we are building a deep learning algorithm to detect how much residue is left on the soil after a harvest, including stubble (la chaume) and some chaff (ce qui enveloppe les grains). Let’s drive 2,000 acres of fields in the Midwest looking at residue. That’s great, but I guarantee that if you go drive those the next year, it will look significantly different.
  • “We are one of the largest users of cloud computing services in the world,” he says. “We are gathering 5 to 15 million measurements per second from 130,000 connected machines globally. We have over 150 million acres in our databases, using petabytes and petabytes [of storage]. We process more data than Twitter does.”
  • Much of this information is so-called dirty data, that is, it doesn’t share the same format or structure, because it’s coming not only from a wide variety of John Deere machines, but also includes data from some 100 other companies that have access to the platform, including weather information, aerial imagery, and soil analyses.
  • Company-wide, Deere has thousands of software engineers, with many using AI and machine learning tools in their work, and about the same number of mechanical and electrical engineers
  • “If you look at our hiring 10 years ago,” he says, “it was heavily weighted to mechanical engineers. But if you look at those numbers now, it is by a large majority [engineers working] in the software space.
  • if you go by our footprint of tech talent, it is pretty safe to call John Deere a software company. And if you follow the key conversations that are happening in the company right now, 95 percent of them are software-related.”
  • these software engineers are focused on developing technologies that allow farmers to “do more with less,” meaning, to get more and better crops from less fuel, less seed, less fertilizer, less pesticide, and fewer workers, and putting together building blocks that, he says, could eventually lead to fully autonomous farm vehicles


  • un conflit où les deux pays ne mettraient en jeu ne serait-ce qu’un tiers de leurs arsenaux nucléaires provoquerait une dévastation régionale, avec entre 50 et 125 millions de morts immédiates.
  • autre conséquence : un mini-hiver nucléaire planétaire d’environ dix ans, accompagné d’une chute des précipitations, aux conséquences dramatiques sur les productions agricoles.
  • Si USA et Russie ont des milliers d’armes (93% des 13.900 existantes), six pays ont en chacun entre 100 et 300, rappellent les auteurs. Le Royaume-Uni, la France, la Chine, Israël, l’Inde et le Pakistan.
  • Ce choc climatique se traduit avant tout par un affaiblissement de la production végétale sur les continents et les océans (phytoplancton), le premier maillon de la chaîne alimentaire. Ce qui déclenche une réaction en chaîne dévastatrice, tant pour les flores et faunes sauvages que pour l’agriculture, l’élevage et la pêche.
  • Dans les régions les plus impactées, Inde, Chine, Asie du Sud-est, les récoltes sont quasi nulles les deux années qui suivent le choc, ce qui correspondrait à un collapse cataclysmique de ces sociétés, avec des effets planétaires.

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La newsletter Parlons Futur : chaque semaine (ou presque) une sélection de news résumées en bullet points sur des sujets tech, science, éco pour mieux appréhender le futur.