Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Will Latin America take advantage of information age?

Latin America map obhe ac uk

I hope Latin America will wake up and adopt policies that allow its people to grow in knowledge and productivity. Because increasing their productivity will improve their lives, both in basic economic value and in quality. Not doing so will result in continued stagnation.

LAM has mixed economic growth to the point of making very little progress while most of the world races ahead. Productivity is little improved since the 1950s. [World Bank] As we know, the world is changing in how income is earned. LAM can greatly improve its competitiveness if regional and national leaders take adopt policies that allow and encourage business even when they do things completely differently. I hope they will.

Source: Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, calls the change the Second Machine Age, after a book of that title. (Why emphasize machines when it’s information processing that is driving the changes? Because of a book title, evidently.)

Projected Syndicate


The MIT economists Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, among others, identify the Second Machine Age with the rise of new automation technologies and artificial intelligence. While optimists predict that these innovations will usher in an era of unprecedented abundance, less sanguine analysts estimate that nearly half of all jobs currently performed by humans are vulnerable to replacement by robots and increasingly sophisticated software. Carl Benedikt Frey

Advanced technologies are already making inroads into some of Latin America’s principal industries. For example, carmakers, which employ hundreds of thousands of people across the region, are rapidly deploying robots that are more efficient and precise than humans. In South America’s grain belt, GPS-guided machinery is diminishing the need for farmhands, even as output increases.

Service industries, which already account for two-thirds of all jobs in Latin America, are particularly vulnerable. One Brazilian startup’s tax-management software, for example, can perform in seconds operations that would demand thousands of billable hours from an army of accountants. Other sectors that currently account for a large share of employment in lower-income countries – including apparel, light manufacturing, logistics, and call centers – are forecast to undergo increasing automation.

Via WR Meade at The American Interest

Graphic from “The Observatory." In the Caribbean they show Jamaica which is not “Latin."


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