A.I. Could Widen Economic Disparity Between Urban and Rural Areas, Brookings Report Warns

Among the key factors driving the economic divide in America is the rise of technology that has eliminated many jobs through automating manufacturing tasks. A new report from the Brookings Institution warns that, thanks to the rise of artificial intelligence, economic disparity between coastal cities and heartland regions is about to get even worse.

The 2016 Presidential election served as a wake-up call to the economic effect that the automation of many routine jobs is “massively rearranging the nation’s economic geography,” says the report, written by Brookings Senior Fellow Mark Muro.

“The 2016 election may go down as the first time society began to grasp the full implications of automation’s potential to transform the physical world,” Muro wrote. “As big, techy cities like New York, Washington, and the Bay Area seemed to increasingly inhabit a different world from the rest of America, the people and places that were ‘left behind’ revolted.”

Since then, the field of A.I. has made gains in developing machine-learning tools that could automate even more jobs. Brookings looked at the kinds of jobs that could be replaced by A.I. applications, namely, ones that involve more routine or repetitive work in manufacturing and service industries alike. The bottom line of jobs at risk of automation: They already pay some of the lowest wages today.

Jobs that were more vulnerable to automation were more likely to be found in rural towns like Kokomo, Ind., and Hickory, N.C., the report said, while those in coastal cities like San Jose and the District of Columbia were more likely to be safe.

“Less-educated heartland states and counties specialized in manufacturing and low-end service industries could be especially hard-hit by automation in the A.I. era, whereas well-educated states and counties along the Boston-Washington corridor and on the West Coast appear less exposed,” the report said. “In parallel fashion, smaller, less-educated communities will struggle relatively more with A.I.-phase automation, while larger, better-educated cities will experience less disruption.”

In response, Brookings urged government and industry leaders to focus on strategies such as expanding support for communities to cope with job automation and “future-proofing” workers by teaching skills that are more resilient to automation.

The report comes a few days after the Trump administration unveiled a vague A.I. initiative that will spend on artificial intelligence and train workers in computer science. Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty have joined Trump’s advisory board on A.I. and job automation.



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10 of the best rural breaks in the UK

The UK countryside comes alive in spring and these breaks – everything from seal-spotting to cycling and even wine-tasting – make the most of it

The North York Moors come alive in spring, with heather creating a sweet-scented carpet of colour for walkers – and there are plenty of pubs and tearooms for refuelling. Join a three-night walking break with HF Holidays for guided moor and coast hikes from a base at Larpool Hall, Whitby. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the 109-mile Cleveland Way, celebrated with WalkFest, a programme of guided walks and children’s treasure hunts from 24-27 May
Book it From £289 for three nights’ full board, hfholidays.co.uk

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Travel | The Guardian


5 villages you should visit in rural England


Ahhhhh, England. With its big and bustling cities, its red double-decker buses, its glorious West End, and the incredible Royal Family and palaces, it can often be easy to forget that England offers some of the best countrysides in the world. Although it may just be a small island, England offers quaint little villages surrounded by fields, rural hamlets inside rolling valleys and so much more. So what are you waiting for? Check out these 5 villages you should visit in rural England and book your plane tickets now!

Castle Combe, Cotswolds

When it comes to rural areas in England, the Cotswolds take the (tea and) biscuits. In the Wiltshire, Cotswolds lies Castle Combe, a beautiful and historic little village that looks as if it has been stuck in time. Because of its rustic charm and its riverside location, you might recognize Castle Combe from numerous films, such as Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, and the 2007 movie, Stardust. With its cobbled stone cottages, rugged streets, small doorways, glorious shrubbery and medieval churches and ruins, it really is a thing of beauty.


If you want to see traditional and rural England, a trip to Cornwall is a must. With their laid-back lifestyles and their reluctance to enter the technological world (in some villages you can only pay with cash!), the Cornish towns and villages epitomize the English countryside and seaside. One of the most beautiful villages in this area is Polperro, a traditional and authentic seaside village on the East coast of the country. The winding streets of Polperro are paved with cobblestones, and nearly all of them lead you down to the idyllic harbor and its small fishing boats. With direct links to the English Channel, the village was once used as a smuggling village, for vagabonds and their contraband to travel over to Guernsey. There’s no shortage of trinkets and hand-crafted gifts in this village, and their fresh seafood is second to none!


Hawkshead is located in the incredible Lake District and full to the brim with history, amazing views, gorgeous countryside and of course – a heck load of lakes! The village itself is a traditional 15th-century village, with quaint whitewashed thatched cottages, medieval ruins and buildings, and beautiful windy streets. The village itself is steeped in English history and features William Wordsworth old grammar school, and a special Beatrix Potter Gallery which explores her work and her love for the Lake District. The village is also perfect for those whole love country walks – and with Lake Windermere and Lake Coniston surrounding the village, there isn’t a lack of space.


According to one travel writer, Staithes in North Yorkshire is England’s greatest hidden gem – and it’s not hard to see why. As the home of the avid explorer, Captain Cook, Staithes is steeped in history. Although it is small, its idyllic fishing point is an attraction point for people all across the country, who flock to see the tall and thin fishing houses, the river running through the village, the fishing cove and the beautiful hills surrounding it. And of course, like any fishing village, the pubs and seafood are top of the range.


Located just 10 miles away from the seaside of Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast, Abbotsbury is a quintessentially British country village. Steeped in history, Abbotsbury is a Victorian gem in the heart of rural Dorset that is full to the brim with rolling fields, glorious parks, woodland valleys, and impressive gardens filled with rare and beautiful flowers. The village is also famous for its paintings, artwork and wood carvings, so you won’t be able to leave without taking a bit of Abbotsbury with you!

Looking to take a trip to Blighty? England is well known for its idyllic countryside, so if you’re vacationing there then you need to check out these rural villages. Picturesque doesn’t even cut it!


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