#74. 📊McKinsey report on economic potential of AI | 🛢️Shell increases fossil fuel production | 🛑SF wants to stop self-driving vehicles
PLUS: Accidental AI job rejections | ChatGPT-powered Mercedes | ship emissions' impact on Marine life | larger, weaker trees | VW ID.7 | 500,000 EV tuk-tuks in Sri Lanka
Quick question please: Do you like / care about the climate change/tech section?
Trying to figure out if it's worth keeping. Thanks! 🙏
🤖 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
This is a huge report by McKinsey; key points include:
Generative AI could add $2.6 to $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy across 63 different use cases, roughly doubling when used in software for other tasks.
Around 75% of the value could be in customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering, and R&D with potential for high impact in banking, tech, and life sciences.
Generative AI could automate 60-70% of work activities, especially those requiring understanding of natural language, typically associated with higher wage and educational requirement occupations.
The automation potential of generative AI could accelerate workforce transformation, with estimates suggesting half of today's work could be automated between 2030 and 2060.
It can enhance labor productivity but necessitates investments in skill development and transition support for workers; if managed well, it could significantly contribute to economic growth.
Despite the promise and excitement around generative AI, full realization of benefits will take time and presents challenges like risk management and skill development requirements.
AI in hiring can unintentionally discriminate, as illustrated by Amazon's 2015 algorithms that were biased against women.
The biases arise because AI is often trained on past data that may reflect societal inequalities.
AI's potential for misinterpretation can harm candidates, e.g., misunderstanding resume gaps, being ill-equipped for diverse facial recognition or speech patterns, or scanning social media unfairly.
Job seekers can combat AI errors by maintaining direct human connections, such as follow-up emails or phone calls.
Many companies may not fully understand how their AI hiring systems function, often sourced from third-party vendors.
Legislators and legal systems are still grappling with how to regulate and address these AI-induced discrimination issues.
Mercedes-Benz is integrating the AI tool, ChatGPT, into its cars and app, enabling more complex voice interactions.
The car company has initiated a beta program, allowing 900,000 US Mercedes drivers to add ChatGPT to their vehicles via a software update.
ChatGPT will enhance the existing "Hey Mercedes" voice assistant, expanding its command responses and enabling full conversations.
The integration will allow drivers to ask the voice assistant complex questions and receive more comprehensive answers while maintaining focus on driving.
The tool can potentially improve voice assistant experiences in cars, which have been inconsistent.
General Motors is also reportedly developing a ChatGPT-powered voice assistant for its vehicles.
🤖🔥🤯 COOL AI TOOLS, APPS, VIDEOS, PODCASTS, LINKS, AND MORE!
🌡️ CLIMATE CHANGE & CLEAN ENERGY
A study from Chalmers University of Technology finds ship emissions, particularly water discharged from exhaust gas scrubbers, pose a significant threat to marine ecosystems.
Over 90% of harmful contaminants in the examined ports originated from scrubber discharge water, which is usually released directly into the sea.
Traditional Environmental Risk Assessments (ERAs) fail to consider the cumulative impact of various emission sources, hence, a more holistic approach is needed.
While scrubbers help reduce airborne sulphur emissions, they contaminate seawater with heavy metals and toxic organic compounds, leading to marine acidification.
Only about 5% of global fleet have scrubbers installed, but these larger, fuel-hungry ships account for about 30% of shipping industry's total fuel consumption.
The researchers suggest stricter regulations on scrubber discharge water and wider adoption of cleaner fuels to reduce environmental impact.
Rising global temperatures extend growing seasons, resulting in larger but weaker trees.
Faster growth rates lead to thicker growth rings but less dense and weaker wood.
As wood density decreases, carbon content also reduces, lowering trees' CO2 absorption capacity.
Fast-growing trees tend to have shorter lifespans, affecting forest longevity.
Extended growing seasons alter the ratio of earlywood to latewood cells, further decreasing wood density.
Despite potential forest expansion, the rate of carbon uptake from forests may decrease due to climate change.
Shell intends to increase fossil fuel production despite a net-zero emissions pledge by 2050.
The company aims to grow its natural gas business, asserting it aligns with its climate goals due to lower CO2 emissions compared to coal.
Shell is appealing a Dutch court order from 2021 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030.
Critics argue Shell's increase in production is a "huge risk," potentially delaying compliance with the court order.
A report from the International Energy Agency suggests peak demand for oil and gas is expected within a few years.
Shell's plans exceed what's needed for net zero emissions, according to the IEA.
🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
San Francisco officials and transportation agencies are requesting a delay in the expansion of autonomous taxi services due to safety and congestion concerns.
Autonomous vehicles from companies like Waymo and Cruise have caused problems, such as blocking traffic, stopping abruptly, and interfering with emergency situations.
Jeffrey Tumlin, director of transportation for the SFMTA, voices concerns about the impact of autonomous cars on public transit, especially during its recovery.
The officials insist on more safety data before full-time deployment of these self-driving taxis.
Prior ride-hailing and shared mobility companies often had tense relationships with cities and regulatory agencies.
Research engineer Tejas Santanam suggests autonomous vehicle services should collaborate with public agencies instead of viewing them as obstacles.
The Volkswagen ID.7 is designed with a focus on aerodynamics, with a Cd of 0.23, making it one of the most aerodynamic cars the company has manufactured.
Detailed design elements such as the wheel rims, underbody, and exterior body shape significantly contribute to the vehicle's reduced drag.
The design team used extensive computer simulations and wind tunnel tests throughout the iterative development process.
An almost entirely enclosed underside and small spoilers ensure smooth airflow beneath the car, reducing turbulence.
The quiet interior due to reduced wind noise, coupled with a Harman Kardon premium sound system, offers an immersive audio experience.
First deliveries of the ID.7 are expected to start in China, followed by the US and Europe, with pricing yet to be released.
Sri Lanka plans to convert half a million fossil-fueled tuk-tuks to electric versions within the next five years.
The island nation currently has around 1.2 million tuk-tuks in operation, contributing significantly to air pollution.
The Ministry of Transport and Motorways, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are coordinating this transition.
The plan will be carried out in three stages: an incubation phase involving the conversion of 200 tuk-tuks, a demonstration phase, and an acceleration phase.
The scheme was inspired partly by a fuel crisis in the country and the rising cost of fossil fuels, leading to a socio-economic crisis.
The UNDP sees this project as a key element of Sri Lanka's development towards a green and inclusive economy.
🎉 THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY!
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