Wednesday, January 16News For London


Robots in London: is your job ‘safe’?

Robots in London: is your job ‘safe’?

Do Londoners have a competitive advantage in the event of a robot-invasion of the labour market? One in 20 jobs in London will be taken over by robotic and autonomous systems in the next 20 years. Most likely to be affected are the Square Mile's financial, insurance, business and information services. Just as Londoners traversing the underground are greeted by a sombre barrage of electronic ticket barriers instead of smiles from human ticket checkers, so robots will continue to overtake human capabilities in the capital. Nearly 15,000 more jobs in London are likely to be automated by 2035, according to researchers at Oxford University and leading recruitment agency, Adzuna. However, it's not just working-class jobs the robots are coming for, it's London's lawyers, ins

Female teachers in London are being encouraged to return to work after pregnancy to reduce teachers’ shortage crisis

News, Tech
As the UK is facing an acute teachers shortage, the government is taking a new initiative to tackle this issue by launching a job website for female teachers, to help them find work post pregnancy. “It’s common for female teachers to quit school after giving birth,” says Seema Sriram, 41, a teacher at Heston Primary School in Hounslow. She is one among the few women who returned to teaching after giving birth to twins. The government will soon start a job sharing website that is meant to encourage female teachers to return to work after their pregnancy. The aim of this website is to solve England’s teaching shortage crisis and simultaneously ensure that female teachers resume their work, after becoming new mothers. Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, also plans to launc

Artificial intelligence wins again in latest Google Go challenge

DontUse, News, Tech
Google’s Artificial Intelligence program AlphaGo has defeated the world champion Lee Sedol at board game Go in the first of five games. The victory in Seoul marks another breakthrough for artificial intelligence following the software’s previous five-nil win over European champion Fan Hui. Mastering the ancient Chinese board game has long been considered a grand challenge for artificial intelligence programs owing to its vast complexity and reliance on player intuition and creativity. Similar programming efforts have struggled to compete at the level of human amateurs despite many years of difficult work. AlphaGo’s victories have beaten expert predictions of accomplishing the feat by at least a decade. Founder and CEO of Google’s DeepMind division, Demis Hassabis, is responsi

Twitter users pay tribute to the email inventor who has died aged 74

Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of email, has died aged 74. His death has brought a widespread reaction across Twitter. Ray Tomlinson died on Saturday morning, his spokesman Mike Doble told the media, but Doble did not know about it until Sunday and still did not have a confirmed cause of death. “A true technology pioneer, Ray was the man who brought us email in the early days of networked computers,” Doble said in his statement quoted by The Guardian. In 1971, Tomlinson invented a programme for ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet that allowed users to send messages to other computers. Before that, mail could be sent only to people who shared the same computer. It was the first email system in the world. This internet pioneer was also the first to put now iconic “@” sign in the ad

Uber and out: the battle for London’s streets

Business, Tech, Transport
The cacophonous din of some 8000 black taxis blasting their horns in sporadic unison tore through the afternoon of Wednesday the 10th of February. The usually bustling thoroughfare of Whitehall had been brought for a second time to a complete and surreal halt. For as far as could be seen in either direction, from Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament, stretched row upon row of London’s iconic cabs. Centred outside of the guarded gates of Downing Street, the United Cabbies Group (UCG) and Rail, Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) protest had begun and the discontent was palpable. Since its 2012 London launch ‘ride’-hailing app Uber has angered the capital’s black cab industry by challenging, what has become to many, an outdated regulatory system. The company occupies a new s
Virtual reality eases depression, finds UCL

Virtual reality eases depression, finds UCL

DontUse, Health, Tech
Immersive virtual reality headsets could help people with depression to become more compassionate towards themselves, new research has found. Scientists from University College London and ICREA-University in Barcelona tested the therapy on 15 patients with depression. Following the virtual reality therapy, four experienced a clinically significant drop in depressive severity a month after the therapy began. A further five reported a reduction in symptoms. The 15 patients with depression used a headset to virtually interact with a crying child. The more compassion the patient shows to the child, the quicker they stop crying. This trains the patient to express empathy and compassion. In the press release, study lead Professor Chris Brewin explained. “By comforting the child and th

Women make better computer coders than men, study finds

Business, Tech
Computer code written by women has a higher approval rating than that written by men, according to a study carried out by US researchers. But the analysis also showed that if women revealed their gender, their coding contributions were less likely to be accepted. In what they claim is the “largest study to date on gender bias”, scientists from Cal Poly and North Carolina State University looked at contributions made to Github, a software sharing platform which has more than 12 million users. They found that 78.6% of pull requests (suggested code changes) made by women were accepted, compared with 74.6% by men. But the number of accepted pull requests from women fell to 62.5% when they specified that they were female. “While our big data study does not definitely prove th

Snooper’s Charter deemed “disappointing” by parliamentary committee

News, Politics, Tech
The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has criticised Theresa May’s draft Investigatory Powers Bill citing concern over a lack of privacy protections. The government appointed committee said the proposed digital surveillance legislation failed to provide sufficient clarity regarding the agencies’ “intrusive capabilities”. Chairman of the ISC, Dominic Grieve QC, said:“The draft Bill fails to deliver the clarity that is so badly needed in this area.” “We had expected to find universal privacy protections applied consistently throughout, or at least an overarching statement at the forefront of the legislation. Instead, the draft Bill adopts a rather piecemeal approach, which lacks clarity and undermines the importance of the safeguards associated with these powers,” he continu

Users angry about Twitter changing its design

Business, Tech
Twitter changed its design to show tweets in a popup window. Many users, however, did not like the new feature. The new feature is called popup tweets. Before, Twitter users clicked it would just slide out to display inline. Now it pops open an entirely separate modal to show you a single tweet. The new popup model led to confusion. Some users accidentally unfollowed people. I keep on almost accidentally unfollowing people because of Twitter's stupid popup bollocks — Mermaid Princess (@Pastel__Mermaid) February 8, 2016 Others found that posts are difficult to read now. Wow that new @twitter POP UP box sure makes threaded tweets/stories hard to read, huh. What a piece of shit. Why do you do this, Twitter? — Angie Manfredi (@misskubelik) February 7, 2016 Twi

Ever ‘liked’ a Facebook post? Now you can ‘love’ it, too

Business, International, Social media, Tech
Facebook will soon feature ‘Reactions’, a range of responses which will sit alongside the traditional ‘like’ function, according to media reports.   Since its launch, Facebook users have just been able to ‘like’ pictures, posts and pages published on the site. But they will now be able to react more accurately using Reactions, which include “sad”, “angry”, “love” and “wow”. Facebook announced the move yesterday after the company announced its full-year financial results, which revealed a 44% year-on-year jump in revenues to just under $18 billion. “You can love something, you can be sad about something, you can laugh out loud at something,” said Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer. “We know on phones people don’t like to use keyboards, and we also know that the l