The move to living more of our lives on our screens presents us with charitable opportunities online. Helping others through microfinance may be an effective way to bring about positive transformation in the lives of others, but sometimes aspects of online lending programs that are invisible to us, such as high interest rates, negatively affect borrowers. In this essay I provide a brief overview of microfinance and discuss why responsible lending is essential, using two online microfinance institutions as examples. I conclude by proposing a guide for lending intelligently and responsibly online. (http://digitalud.dbq.edu/ojs/index.php/character/article/view/18)
*Rise of the Robots is a persuasive economic analysis of our possible future with technology (Engaging read).
1. Accelerated automation may eventually lead to the loss of jobs in the future (already happening). For now higher education & the health care sectors appear to be safe.
Ford writes, “A computer doesn’t need to replicate the entire spectrum of your intellectual capability in order to displace you from your job; it only needs to do the specific things you are paid to do” (p. 230).
2. Automation may disrupt consumption & prosperity (Also check out "The Glass Glass Cage: How our computers are changing us" by Nicholas Carr).
3. Automation may help address issues associated with sweatshops (double–edged sword).
4. "Deep Learning" robots may be responsible for job loss in the future (See "Deep Learning Will Soon Give Us Super-Smart Robots" via Wired, "10 Breakthrough Technologies" via MIT Technology Review and "This Is the Robot Maid Elon Musk Is Funding" h/t Martin Ford via MIT Technology Review).
Ford writes, “I find it somewhat ironic that many conservatives in the United States are adamant about securing the border against immigrants who will likely take jobs that few Americans want, while at the same time expressing little concern that the virtual border is left completely open to higher-skill workers who take jobs that Americans definitely do want.” (p. 117)
5. Machines will soon exhibit curiosity & creativity (See "The quest to turn computers into creative artists" via BBC, and "What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?" via TEDTalks ).
6. Moore’s law is leading us towards an inevitable endgame.
Ford, M. (2015). Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. New York: Basic Books.