Digital Economy

How AI will create jobs, the health cost of emissions and protecting female talent

  • 30 October 2020
  • 3min read

A report suggests artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys, while a new type of paint could keep buildings cool, reduce carbon and the impact of the pandemic on the female workforce. Our round-up of provoking thoughts, penetrating insights and digital curiosities.

AI “will create more jobs than it destroys”

The growing use of artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys, claims the World Economic Forum (WEF). In its Future of Jobs Report 2020, the WEF predicts that 97 million new jobs will be created by 2025, while 85 million will be displaced. It says that COVID-19 has accelerated the automation of many tasks, meaning a greater need for retraining and upskilling, so businesses and governments need to work together to ensure the ‘digital divide’ of inequality does not increase.

Paint that keeps buildings cool

Last month was the hottest September on record, CNN reports, continuing a trend of rising temperatures. However, a new type of paint has been developed that has the potential to help keep buildings cool and reduce the need for air conditioning, a source of carbon emissions, according to the BBC. The paint can reflect light and reduce temperatures, by using different sized particles of calcium carbonate, though it is not yet available commercially.

London emissions have greatest health cost

Meanwhile the carbon emissions produced by traffic have a greater impact on health in London than any other European city, a new study has found. The Guardian reports that researchers studied the financial impact of car emissions including health costs and lost working days over 400 cities and estimated the average cost at £349m per city. London suffers the highest social cost at £10.3bn a year, though the size of the city and its population as well as its pollution level are a factor.

Invest to protect female talent

Women have been particularly badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, stalling their careers and jeopardising their financial security, according to McKinsey’s latest annual Women in the Workplace report. Companies risk losing women in leadership positions both now and in the future, and “unwinding years of painstaking progress toward gender diversity”, unless they invest in building a more flexible and empathetic workplace, it says.

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