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International news: world must equip women

first_imgInternational news: world must equip womenOn 13 Jun 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. • Minister for Women Margaret Jay told a United Nations special session on gender equality in New York last week that world leaders must improve women’s choices and opportunities in education and training. “We must equip women to play a full and equal part in the 21st century economy by lifelong learning programmes which include the new technologies and the new skills.” At the conference, the minister launched a report of the UK’s work done to improve women’s lives worldwide through its development work. www.undp.org/gender/Good relations with manager keep staff in jobs• A Gallup survey carried out in the US confirms that employees tend to stay in jobs where they are supervised by empathetic bosses. According the poll, employees’ length of tenure is determined by the nature of their relationships with their bosses. Charles O’Reilly, a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, told the New York Times, “It’s taken a tight labour market for employers to think through the social contract they are striking with people. When job opportunities are plentiful, people with crummy bosses leave.”www.shrm.org/ebulletin/issuesAnti-bias moves welcomed – with provisos• The European Union’s economic and social committee said it “broadly welcomes” the European Commission’s package of anti-discrimination measures but has set out six areas for change. It says that in the framework directive on equal treatment in employment and occupation that employers should be liable for harassment only in situations which are clearly under the employer’s control and where the employer knows about the harassment and has allowed the harassment to continue. And it suggests that more effort should be given to researching and developing the benefits which equality of opportunity can bring to business. www.eiro.eurofound.ielast_img read more

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Anything you can do

first_imgAnything you can doOn 18 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. … a computer can do just as well – at least, if you believe thepredictions, it soon will, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. Andit could have a profound and surprising impact on the role of HR. Jane LewisreportsAI – artificial intelligence as opposed to insemination – is suddenly backas a talking point. In fact, it probably has not loomed so large in the publicconsciousness since the days of Metal Mickey and K9. Even if you managed tobypass the recent children’s craze for robotic pets (including a particularlygruesome, “intelligent” giant scorpion as well as morerun-of-the-mill dogs and cats) you’re unlikely to escape the influence of thisautumn’s $90m blockbuster: Spielberg’s A.I: Artificial Intelligence. Best described as a kind of futurist’s Pinocchio, AI recounts the adventuresof a robot child that has been programmed to love. What he wants most, ofcourse, is to become a proper human child. Equally predictably, the baddies ofthe piece are also human – so paranoid about being usurped by more intelligent”mechas” or robots that their only mission is to destroy him. Preoccupations in fiction often reflect what is going on in real life, andAI is no exception. The tech market may be in the grips of the worst downturnit has ever seen but a substantial chunk of any spare capital still floatingaround is now being channelled in this direction. The industry is building onold foundations: the development of AI (aka “intelligent softwareagents”, “softbots” or “expert systems”) was once ahotbed of development talent, generally considered the next Big Thing in theindustry. But it got shoved on the back-burner following the sudden onslaughtof the communications revolution and the Internet. Now a new generation of systems is evolving and futurologists claim we willshortly witness a new wave of AI applications – this time heavily boosted bythe leap forward in communications technology. Intelligent systems will nolonger be standalone entities, so much as networked “agents”, capableof intelligently interacting with other agents and people. The momentum is such that even Japan, a nation currently ground down byeconomic misery, continues to lead the field in robot “pets”, capableof understanding simple verbal instructions, running households and monitoringsecurity. BT’s leading futurologist, Dr Ian Pearson thinks it likely that thesemobile “pets” will feature radio links to a smart computer elsewherein the house and that these devices will become common by about 2010. Systems are certainly getting cleverer in leaps and bounds. We areperiodically startled by their growing prowess in different fields – mostnotably, perhaps, in the ongoing battle of wits between Kasparov and IBM’schess wizard Deep Blue. Futurologists predict that computers will have matchedhuman intelligence by about 2015. But it is clear that in some fields they are already steaming ahead. Earlierthis summer, developers at Hewlett-Packard’s Bristol research centre surprisedeven themselves by creating a robot that outperformed six of the City’s beststock-market experts in a head-to-head joust. The most galling thing about the exercise is that they were not even reallytrying. According to Dave Cliff, who devised the experiment, the”bots” were programmed to be the simplest possible example of a robottrader, with the smallest amount of intelligence. He was highly sceptical abouttheir chances of coming out on top. “I never planned for them tooutperform humans,” he says. In fact, it is becoming obvious that computers are leading the waythroughout the money markets as a whole – both increasing the volume of tradeand the speed with which transactions are undertaken. We may be languishing ina bear market but figures show that the number of stocks and shares exchangedon Nasdaq one supposedly sluggish Friday afternoon this July exceeded the dailyrecord of the boom two years ago. In many ways this is down to a phenomenon of supply and demand thatenvironmental engineers call “induced traffic” – the more capacityyou build to ease congestion, the higher the overall rate of traffic becomes.And the faster computers become, the more they rule out the possibility ofeffective human competition. No human – not even a super-trader – can respondquickly enough in an environment in which heavily traded stocks such asMicrosoft and Intel routinely change value several times a second. But acomputer, programmed to follow certain rules on risk and price, can clean up. The human consequences of this are already apparent: once the programminghas been accomplished, the job is done. “A lot of what we’re doing is justwatching machines talk to other machines,” says one trader. Two othersspent the afternoon desultorily tossing a football back and forth. Back atNasdaq’s computer nerve centre, meanwhile, a solitary technician sat back andsupervised the movement of millions. If the outlook looks gloomy for City traders, the same is true across thespectrum of white-collar work as the next phase of AI – the automation of”mental” work – begins to kick in. Given that this is how 80 per centof us spend our gainful working hours, future prospects look interesting, tosay the least. We have already seen the impact that non-intelligent systems – typicallythose handling routine administrative tasks – has had on the workplace.”We can administrate faster and more effectively using electronic toolsthan we ever could using clerical intermediaries,” says BT’s Pearson. And the same is true of the entire product cycle. According to US think-tankthe World Future Society, the entire design and marketing cycle – idea,invention, innovation and imitation – in companies is continuing to shrinksteadily. As late as the 1940s, the product cycle stretched to 30-40 years.Today it seldom lasts 30-40 weeks. If automating routine tasks alone can achieve such widespread change on thecorporate landscape, imagine the impact that systems designed to mimic humanintelligence – in all its myriad forms – will have. The clear implication, saysPearson, is that large numbers of managerial and professional jobs are next inthe line of fire. And if your job is not actually eliminated completely, youcan bet that some of the “unique” skills and experience you bring toit will be. Who is likely to be affected first? According to the World Future Society,by 2005 expert systems incorporating robotics, machine vision, voicerecognition, speech synthesis and electronic data processing will be commonacross all industries, incorporating every sector from health services throughinsurance underwriting, law enforcement, travel, energy prospecting and whateveraspects of manufacturing and design that have not already been taken over byrobots. But the greatest change of all will come in the structure of futurecommercial institutions, which – thanks to AI – will bear very littleresemblance to their original forms, says Pearson. “We will move fromtraditional companies with management and workers, to virtual companies withcore management and project teams only.” Smart technology will ensure that these new-look, sparsely populatedcompanies will be lithe and highly adaptive – capable of being re-jigged anddisbanded at the drop of a hat to take advantage of the emerging market nichestheir super-sensitive expert systems have identified for them. The overalleffect will be to “generally disintermediate” the entire managementinfrastructure of a company” says Pearson. Some companies won’t be neededat all. It will be an environment in which the élite will thrive – often working forseveral companies at a time for high rewards. But the bulk of people will ineffect become commodity items, with a global supplier base. Nonetheless, the democratising aspect of systems means there will also beroom for some plodders – at least in the early days. Smart systems mean that asemi-educated clerk will be able to perform many of the functions previouslyreserved for professionals. And because budding entrepreneurs will not have toworry about all the administrative functions entailed in managing staff, itwill also be much easier to set up companies, says London Business Schoolresearch fellow, David Cannon. “AI means computers can learn very quicklyhow you are and how you operate, and adopt systems to match,” he says Almost certainly AI will also lead to enormous boosts in productivity. Infact, says Pearson, “It will go through the roof – so we will all be muchwealthier”. But the question hanging in the air, especially if you are anHR professional, is what on earth will happen to all those large numbers ofhumans who will no longer be needed to operate the productive side of theeconomy? More to the point, how do you decide which individuals and roles toretain, and which to consign to the scrapheap? Clearly in the first stages of the cycle, demand for engineers andtechnicians – as well as for computer-literate managers – is likely to growexponentially. But it is easy to predict a scenario in the not-too-distantfuture where even these “knowledge workers” in effect program them-selves into redundancy by creating electronic Frankensteins capable ofprogramming, regenerating and improving themselves indefinitely. In the long term, therefore, the only skills worth honing if you aredetermined to stay in the workplace (rather than sloping off to enjoy yourselfon the back of the predicted AI-inspired productivity boom) will be those leastcapable of being replicated by computer. “We’ll need a few ‘ideascreators’ and a few ‘assimilators’ to package their ideas into useful anddesirable products,” says Pearson airily. And it’s difficult to envisage ascenario in which expert human marketers will not be necessary – until, thatis, computers learn to experience and convey emotion. But the really irreplaceable jobs will be those majoring on intensely human,interpersonal attributes which involve caring and empathy. In the barren landscapeof a grey electro-world, these kind of skills will be like gold dust, saysPearson. And we will be prepared to pay a premium for them. “We will valuethe human as a human, not as a cog in the machine,” he says. Machines will liberate people to cope with much higher value transactions,aimed primarily at making life more pleasant. But we will pay through the nosefor such luxuries. According to one pundit, the time will come when dining in arestaurant, on food hand-cooked and served by humans, will be the ultimate inhigh living. Pearson believes that as technology gradually automates much of theintellectual side of work, people will find alternative channels for theirbrain power and competitive instincts. One prediction is that community activitywill become a much more important facet of life as people try to impose someorder on all those long, leisure-strewn hours. A possible result, he says, is that people may begin to form their sense ofidentity from their place and relationships in the community rather than fromtheir job – a process, one might argue, that is already well underway in thecelebrity industry. Taken to its logical conclusion, then, the shift into the AI era willclearly have a profound impact on almost every aspect of society and theeconomy – and on how our institutions are structured and run. Be prepared toturn current ideas about the status quo upside down. A good example Pearson cites is healthcare. At present the group at the topof the pecking order – both in terms of status and reward – are those who canboast the greatest expertise and experience, typically consultants andsurgeons. “But expert judgement and high precision accuracy willeventually become redundant skills, because they will lie firmly in the machinedomain”, he says. So who will be the new high earners? Those currently at the bottom of thepile – the nurses and carers whose intuitive actions and tender brow-moppingscannot be machine-replicated. From this perspective, as Pearson points out,”The current practice of sending nurses on degree courses is completelythe wrong direction to take.” The HR profession could be said to be equally short-sighted, as it tries toshed its role as hand-holding people in favour of areas such as generalstrategy and business management. But the ability to get the best out of peoplewill be huge in the new economy, says Cannon at London Business School. A highly symbolic change will be the way people interact with each other, hesays. “When people in this highly automated, virtual world actually meet,it will be something really big. That’s going to force greater pressure onpeople. “There will be a new kind of networking – not about informationswapping so much as “whether I can trust you or whether we have some kindof mutual benefit,” he adds. “The pressure on leadership will changeto emphasise areas like this ability to inspire trust.” Pearson is the first to admit that the new world order he outlines –particularly the elimination of all but a few people from most of the businesscycle – may seem difficult to get to grips with. But similarly strange thingshave happened before. As he points out, “If you’d told someone in the1920s that 80 per cent of the entire economy would be based on services by theend of the century, they would not have believed you.” So what sort of timescale are we looking at? The replacement of theinformation economy by the “care economy” will begin in earnestbetween 2015 and 2020, predicts Pearson – just at the point when AI broadlyapproaches the human equivalent. That should give you enough time to dust offthose lucrative tea-and-sympathy skills. Just make sure you don’t forget aspare clean hanky. last_img read more

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Labour and Tories woo workers, leaving the Lib Dems to buddy up to business

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Labour and Tories woo workers, leaving the Lib Dems to buddy up to businessBy Michael Millar on 10 Oct 2006 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The hot air of the political conference season has gone, to be replaced by the cold winds of autumn. But what did the respective party get-togethers have to say on the future of the UK workplace?Perhaps the biggest lesson business could learn from Labour in Manchester was how not to conduct succession planning, with the Gordon Brown/pretty-much-anyone-on-the-front-bench leadership race that dominated proceedings.Education and skills secretary, Alan Johnson, said all GCSE coursework would be removed from maths, and that other subjects would be supervised. He also promised an apprenticeship to every “young qualified person” who wants one. Though it seems the minister has not heard about age discrimination.Pensions secretary, John Hutton, reminded everyone of the forthcoming pensions reforms. Meanwhile, industry secretary, Alistair Darling, listed all the new rights workers have gained under a Labour government, and promised more to come.Employers will welcome the focus on skills, but the debate rages on about the 600 or so pieces of business legislation enacted since Labour came to power.For the Tories, the word ‘family’ – at 23 mentions – was pipped at the post by ‘NHS’, in David Cameron’s keynote speech in Bournemouth. He also called for greater understanding of workers’ need to “disappear at a moment’s notice” to look after their children. Employers had better start limbering up now if they don’t want to pull a muscle implementing this ultra-flexible vision of the future.Shadow work and pensions secretary, Philip Hammond, said a Conservative future would mean “work tailored to the circumstances of the would-be workers, not workers squeezed into jobs that they don’t fit”.In his speech to the party’s Brighton conference, Lib Dem leader, Menzies Campbell, outlined the issues “that matter to people – public services, the environment, crime, taxation – a fairer and more peaceful world”. No mention of employment matters at all. Lib Dem education spokeswoman, Sarah Teather, called for A-levels to be scrapped in favour of a European-style system of diplomas recommended in the Tomlinson report. It was left to the party’s trade and industry spokesman, Edward Davey, to tackle deregulation, promising to repeal unnecessary legislation and ensure future laws are properly assessed and fit for purpose. It all sounds good, but will Ming ever be given the chance to be merciless on business red tape?last_img read more

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Council rejects pleas to keep Polish monument at Exchange Place

first_imgDespite pleas by by scores of Polish-Americans and others, the City Council approved an ordinance to move the Katyn Memorial in Jersey City. ×Despite pleas by by scores of Polish-Americans and others, the City Council approved an ordinance to move the Katyn Memorial in Jersey City. JERSEY CITY – Pleas by scores of Polish-Americans and others not to relocate a monument to thousands of Poles massacred by the Soviet Union during World War II fell largely on deaf ears at the June 13 council meeting as the City Council adopted an ordinance that would allow the statute to be relocated one block south to York Street.Protestors filled the council chambers waving Polish flags and bearing signs opposing the move. They raised questions about the cost and who would actually pay for the move, and whether there was a risk of damage to the statute.The Katyn Massacre monument has been located at its current site in the Exchange Place Plaza for 27 years. Because it depicts an extremely violent act as tribute to the 22,000 Polish who were killed in the Katyn Forest during World War II leaders of the SID decided it was inappropriate for a park that would include play areas for young kids.Councilmen Richard Boggiano and Michael Yun voted against moving the statue.When first proposed, Mayor Steven Fulop said the city would pay part of the cost to relocate the statue and the construction of a new park. But City Business Administrator Brian Platt said at the June 13 meeting that taxpayers would incur no cost in moving the statue or developing the new park, but would be responsible for maintain the York Street memorial park once the statue was relocated there.The Exchange Place Special Improvement District – which is supposed to pay for the construction of the new Exchange Place Park as well as the York Street memorial park – did not supply cost estimates or specific plans that several council members requested.Some protestors also pointed out that the statue is being moved to accommodate a new Exchange Place Park and several new luxury rental and hotel projects, not the general public.Also the city, the SID, and a committee associated with the statue were supposed to come up with a memo of understanding that would detail responsibilities of all parties involved. But not memo has yet been signed.last_img read more

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GUALARIO, JOSEPH THOMAS

first_imgA funeral mass was held Sept. 4 at Saints Peter & Paul Church, Hoboken, for Joseph Thomas Gualario, 65. He passed away Aug. 30 after a long illness, surrounded by his family. Joseph was a life-long Hoboken resident and will be sadly missed by his wife of 42 years, Grace Gualario, his daughters Lea DiVincent and her husband Stephen, Christina Gualario and her fiancé, Mark Mautone, and his three grandchildren, Sophia Hope, Stephen Arthur, and Christian Joseph. Also surviving are his brothers Anthony and his wife Diana, James and his wife Linda, Michael and his partner Lisa, and John, and his nieces and nephews, Michael, Tony, James, Lindsay, and Erica. He was employed with Wakefern Food Corporation (Elizabeth) for 32 years until his retirement in 2014. He enjoyed summers spent at the Jersey Shore, traveling to Florida to visit with his family and walking his dogs. Besides playing football in high school as a Hoboken Redwing, Joe loved watching professional and college football, especially when his favorite teams Michigan University and the New York Giants played. Services arranged by the Lawton-Turso Funeral Home, Hoboken.last_img read more

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Mission Foods offers musical promotion

first_imgWrap manufacturer Mission Foods has teamed up with the hit West End Musical We Will Rock You for its latest on-pack promotion.The wraps will offer consumers a guaranteed 2-for-1 ticket with every pack. This will be combined with the chance to win a number of prizes, including luxury weekend theatre packages. A digital media campaign will also be offering the chance for someone to win a walk-on part in the show.Mission Foods marketing director Ian Job said the partnership was an exciting opportunity which would resonate with consumers and “inject some fun and excitement into the category”.The manufacturer has a 43% share of the wrap market and is currently outperforming the category with growth of 28%, according to Mission Foods.last_img read more

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Eric Krasno & Friends Announce Northern California Wildfire Relief Benefit Concert

first_imgEric Krasno has organized a stellar band for the upcoming Community Jam Volume II: A Wildfire Relief Benefit concert at Slim’s in San Francisco, California. On September 24th, the guitarist/vocalist will be joined by bassist Bobby Vega (Sly Stone), trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band), keyboardist Wil Blades, guitarist Grahame Lesh (Midnight North, Terrapin Family Band), and drummer Scott Amendola to raise funds for cannabis cultivators affected by the Northern California wildfires.As The OutCrowd Group notes in the event page, “The Northern California wildfires have taken lives, destroyed homes and businesses, and are a continued threat to the state. Cannabis cultivators are amongst those who have been impacted by the loss of home and livelihood. Recovery for these cultivators has been difficult because cannabis is an under-insured crop. Bureaucratic complications prevent growers from getting loans or qualifying for federal recovery funds.”To purchase tickets to the event, as well as the option for dinner, head to the ticketing page here.last_img read more

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Wendel To Update Public On COVID-19 At 4 p.m. Press Conference

first_imgWatch us LIVE at WNYNewsNow.com/live MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive Paul Wendel, Jr. will update the public on the evolving COVID-19 situation at a press conference today, Sunday March 15, at 4 p.m.The press conference will be streamed live on WNYNewsNow Facebook page.Wendel will be joined by Commissioner of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler, Sheriff James Quattrone, and Director of Emergency Services John Griffith. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),About time the sound of silence coming from mayville has been deafening.last_img read more

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The Glass Menagerie Revival, Starring Cherry Jones & Zachary Quinto, Recoups Broadway Investment

first_img Cherry Jones Star Files Zachary Quinto Directed by Tony winner John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie follows the struggles of the Wingfield family. Jones stars as Amanda, a southern belle past her prime who lives with her two grown children in a small St. Louis apartment. While Amanda dreams of a better life for her shy daughter Laura (Keenan-Bolger), she coerces her son Tom (Quinto) into finding his sister a “gentleman caller.” When the caller (Smith) arrives, the family’s fantasies begin to crumble. Related Shows Brian J. Smith Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 23, 2014 It didn’t go to the moon, it went much further! The starry and critically-acclaimed revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie has recouped its initial $2.6 million investment, producers announced on January 7. Starring two-time Tony winner Cherry Jones, Zachary Quinto, Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger and Brian J. Smith, the show opened at the Booth Theatre on September 26, 2013 and will run through February 23. View Comments The Glass Menagerie Tiffany’s production of The Glass Menagerie premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA in February 2013. The show features set design by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Clive Goodwin, movement by Steven Hoggett and original music by Nico Muhly. Celia Keenan-Bolger View All (4)last_img read more

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Sienna Miller Begins Performances as Sally Bowles in Cabaret

first_img Miller made her Broadway debut in 2009 in Roundabout’s After Miss Julie; her other stage credits include As You Like It and Flare Path. She can currently be seen in movie theaters co-starring opposite Bradley Cooper in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. Additional screen credits include Layer Cake, Interview, The Edge of Love, Factory Girl, Casanova, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Girl, Foxcatcher and the upcoming Unfinished Business and High Rise. Willkommen back to Broadway, Sienna Miller! The Brit stage and screen star will begin performances as Sally Bowles in Cabaret on February 17. Miller replaces Emma Stone, who completed her run in the Roundabout Theatre Company production on February 15. Miller will remain with the revival until it ends its limited engagement on March 29 at Studio 54. Cabaret Related Shows The musical currently stars Alan Cumming as the Emcee and features Linda Emond as Fraulein Schneider, Danny Burstein as Herr Schultz, Bill Heck as Cliff, Aaron Krohn as Ernst and Hani Furstenberg as Fraulein Kost. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on March 29, 2015last_img read more

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