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.

Fortune

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How Detroit Became a Model for Urban Renewal

Imagine a bustling downtown filled with inviting shops, restaurants, and happy patrons. Just a few blocks away sit neighborhoods with dilapidated houses, buildings, and vacant lots, high unemployment and high poverty rates.

This isn’t the story of any one city. In fact, we see this playing out in far too many urban areas across the U.S. and around the world. Some of the wealthiest cities with vibrant and growing economies have neighborhoods that are struggling from lack of investment, jobs, education, and training.

This situation is urgent, but thankfully there is hope: American cities are excellent laboratories for innovation. And no city better reflects this than Detroit.

Since 2014, we have been working closely with Mayor Mike Duggan and community leaders to solve some of Detroit’s most pressing issues. All of our work–from creating a trained workforce to revitalizing neighborhoods to boosting small business expansion–follows a strategy of inclusive growth that strengthens the economy by helping existing residents.

Thanks to the cooperation and engagement of local leaders, significant progress has been made on these challenges. Take neighborhood revitalization, for example. We recognized early on that Detroit would not fully come back if we did not invest in areas beyond downtown and busy commercial corridors. The neighborhoods–communities surrounding downtown and Midtown Detroit that have been hardest hit by the city’s downturn–needed significant help.

In 2016, public, private, and philanthropic partners jointly developed the Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF), an initiative that brings together community developers and private, philanthropic, and public capital to help distressed neighborhoods.

Over the past two years, the SNF has been using funds to build commercial and residential real estate, preserve and add more affordable housing, and enhance community infrastructure and services such as pedestrian lighting, safer street crossings, park improvements, bike-share lanes, and the removal of blighted homes. The Coe–the first new mixed-use development in West Village in decades–is an example of one such project developed by the SNF. Now, drawing from philanthropic contributions and public subsidies, the SNF is working on raising an additional $ 130 million to revitalize seven more neighborhoods in Detroit, on top of the three it already oversees.

Through partnerships like the SNF, the city has been working to create “20-minute neighborhoods”: areas where residents are a 20-minute walk or a short bike ride away from basic needs and services, including grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools, parks, and public transit. The goal behind this is to remove barriers to opportunity by enhancing convenience and quality of life for residents and creating the conditions for which people at all income levels can and want to live.

Boosting growth of small businesses, particularly those owned by minority entrepreneurs, has also been a critical part of our approach to neighborhood revitalization.

Detroit has the highest percentage of black-owned businesses, 77%, out of America’s 50 most populous cities. Meeting the needs of these entrepreneurs has been vital in unleashing their power as drivers of opportunity and local economic growth. The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund–facilitated by the Detroit Development Fund, with funding from JPMorgan Chase and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation–provides low-cost loans and access to technical assistance to people who can’t obtain traditional forms of capital. This fund has been so successful that in 2018 it attracted new investors, tripling in size to $ 18 million and recently expanding to San Francisco, Chicago, and the South Bronx.

While much work remains to be done, these comprehensive efforts on the ground have yielded a blueprint for addressing the most vexing issues faced by cities around the world.

Recently, JPMorgan took this model to France, announcing a $ 30 million investment across Greater Paris with a particular focus on the region’s neighborhoods with the highest poverty and unemployment rates. The investment will target distressed neighborhoods with the goal of boosting small business growth and providing people the skills training needed to climb the economic ladder.

Our urban renewal model works because it helps provide people with opportunities to improve their lives. The residents I’ve met want civic, business, and community leaders to set aside their parochial interests and work together to solve community problems.

My hope is that more cities will look to our work in Detroit for solutions to stubborn economic challenges. We all have a stake in restoring struggling cities, and we can only get there through meaningful collaboration.

Peter L. Scher is the head of corporate responsibility and chairman of the mid-Atlantic region for JPMorgan Chase.

Fortune

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer Retiring After Season of Scandal and Victories

Urban Meyer, the head coach of Ohio State University’s football team, will reportedly announce his retirement this afternoon at a press conference in Columbus.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Buckeye Extra blog reported Tuesday morning that Meyer’s decision was believed to be due to “health reasons.”

His final game for Ohio State will be the New Year’s Day Rose Bowl vs. Washington. This past weekend, he led the Buckeyes to their 37th Big Ten title. The team is 12-1 and is ranked No. 6 in college football’s rankings.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Urban Meyer retiring as coach of Ohio State

The Rose Bowl will be Urban Meyer’s final game as coach of Ohio State. The school announced on Tuesday morning that Meyer would step away from the program and hand the reins to offensive coordinator Ryan Day. Meyer’s seventh season with Ohio State has been a controversial one that started with a three-game suspension for…
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Lexus Targets Younger, Urban Drivers with All-New 2019 UX

Lexus is expanding the idea of luxury to attract a younger demographic of drivers. The new 2019 UX is a compact crossover SUV built for motorists in their late 30’s to early 40’s who don’t want to trade in their urbane lifestyles for the suburbs or pay premium gas prices to drive a big, costly car.

It was designed for Xennials — those who fall on the cusp of Generation X and the Millennial generation, typically born in the late 70s to the early 80s — with the understanding that, for many in this market, the UX will be their first-ever Lexus and their first luxury vehicle.

Derived from the words “urban” and “X-over” (crossover), the UX is customized for drivers living in densely populated metro areas like Los Angeles and Chicago. The power control unit of the UX is more powerful than similarly-sized Lexus hybrids, yet it’s 20% smaller and 10% lighter. With a 177-inch length and best-in-segment 34-ft curb-to-curb turning diameter, drivers in urban environments will have the ability to make tight U-turns, parallel park, and maneuver through narrow city streets.

Lexus UX Nori Green (Courtesy of Lexus)

The UX also comes complete with high-tech elements made to support customers’ digital lifestyles. This includes a 10.25-inch display screen that is controlled by a laptop-like touchpad, along with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration. The Apple CarPlay feature gives drivers the ability to access Apple Music, Google maps, Waze, and Spotify once they connect their iPhone to the car through a USB cable. Drivers can also make phone calls and send and receive text messages through the multimedia display or with Siri. Plus, UX drivers will be able to lock and unlock their doors, start their engine, and check their fuel level, all from the convenience of using a smartwatch or Amazon Alexa-enabled or Google Assistant-enabled device.

“The Lexus UX is designed for the modern urban explorer seeking a fresh, contemporary and dynamic take on luxury driving,” said Chika Kako, the executive vice president of Lexus International and chief engineer of the UX, in a statement. “We designed the UX to appeal to young buyers who seek not only what is new and exciting, but what is also relevant to their lifestyles.”

Beginning in December, the UX 200 will be available for purchase with a starting suggested retail price of $ 32,000. In January, drivers will have the option to purchase the UX 250h, which will include all-wheel drive, increased power, and better fuel efficiency, for $ 2,000 more.

After giving the UX a test drive in downtown Seattle, Black Enterprise spoke with Michael Moore, the Lexus National Manager for Product Marketing, about the luxury SUV.

Lexus UX

Lexus UX Silver Lining Metallic (Courtesy of Lexus)

BE: What makes the 2019 Lexus UX unique?

It has a very bold design that is unique and different than anything else in its segment. It stands out. It also has a collection of features that make it quite special. The standard LSS, a safety system that is basically best in its class, the LED headlights, and best in class fuel economy. On top of that, there’s also a very engaging driving experience that the UX delivers.

BE: What makes the vehicle appealing to young, urban drivers?

It’s purpose-built for an urban environment. It has a compact size. It has surprising interior space considering its size, but because of the platform its built on and its packaging, it has a turning radius that is ideal in congested environments. For younger buyers in an urban environment, that is going to be very appealing. Having great fuel economy and being able to maneuver in very tight spaces makes it very compatible for an urban environment.

While the UX will certainly appeal to this younger demographic, we also see some people that are a bit older that are moving back to an urban environment, that were maybe in the suburbs raising kids and now they want to come back to the city. They’re ready to come back an urban environment – the UX may appeal to them as well.

BE: As a millennial driver, I found three particular features in the UX to be very appealing: the technology, the pricing, and the fact that the engine takes regular fuel, a rare feature for a luxury vehicle. Can you elaborate about each?

Gas mileage

Lexus has been a leader in hybrid technology for years. We were the first manufacturer to offer a luxury vehicle that was a hybrid, so we have generations of experience with hybrid technology and we’ve built upon that. A lot of that technology and advancement has really proven itself with the UX; we can actually deliver a vehicle that has best in class fuel economy, not just in its segment, but it has better fuel economy than any SUV on the market.

Pricing 

It has a really attractive price, starting at $ 32,000 for the gas model and $ 34,000 for the all-wheel-drive hybrid model. And then for the [Lexus] F SPORT, it’s just $ 2,000 on top of either the gas or the hybrid model. It has a really compelling value story relative to its competitive set.

Technology

The technology, we think, really speaks to this young consumer. CarPlay [and] Alexa are very seamless technologies that allow the owner to stay connected and perform tasks in a very easy simple way.

BE: While in Seattle, I had an opportunity to preview a UX video ad that underscores diversity. Why is it important for Lexus, as a brand, to celebrate diversity and inclusion?

For 23 years, I’ve been associated with the Lexus brand, either on the product development side, or on the advance planning side, or doing what I’m doing now on the marketing side. With my current role here in marketing, the work we do with Walter Isaacson, which is our diversity agency partner, and the way that we communicate to a multicultural audience is really important to us. It is our belief that you need to be a good partner in the communities where you do business. It’s more than just putting a TV ad on and selling a vehicle. It’s connecting with an audience and being part of that community. It’s something that I’ve been very proud of — not just on the work that I do, but being able to connect as a representative of the company to that audience. It’s not just important for me, it’s important to the company.

 


This interview was lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

The post Lexus Targets Younger, Urban Drivers with All-New 2019 UX appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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