Day: October 2, 2017

Billionaire tech CEO Siebel predicts higher permanent unemployment from technology – CNBC

Technology

Billionaire tech CEO Siebel predicts higher permanent unemployment from technology – CNBC

Billionaire technology CEO Tom Siebel foresees even more ethical problems—including widespread job losses—if companies continue to evolve with big data.

CNBC’s Mike Santoli spoke with Siebel in an exclusive interview for CNBC PRO
on the sidelines of the Delivering Alpha conference in New York in September. Santoli asked the big data CEO about his outlook for the industry and its impact on the current labor force.

“Ethical issues that are very problematic are the implications for the job market…ever since the invention of the mechanical loom at the beginning of the nineteenth century, we’ve been using technology to replace jobs,” he said. “The net effect though—there will be unemployment, jobs will be eliminated. The idea that we’re going to train taxi drivers in New York City to be data scientists: I’m not buying it.”

Siebel is the Chairman and CEO of C3 IoT, a fast-growing computer software company that provides a platform for corporations to develop big data operations, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and internet-of-things applications.

“Let’s think about health care where we can do predictive analytics. We’re going to be able to predict disease with very, very high levels of precision: The onset of diabetes, heart disease, different forms of cancer, whatever it may be,” said Siebel. “Soon we will have in these datasets the genome sequence for the population of the United States and insurance companies and the people dealing with these data will know things about these patients that, candidly, patients don’t want to know.”

To be sure, Siebel noted that companies must advance with the help of big data, an area he has been working in for years. As founder of Siebel Systems, he built the foundation of the customer relationship management market.

“You know, many of these companies that do not make this transition to this new kind of generation of what’s going on – candidly, they’re going to be out of business,” said Siebel.

See here for the full CNBC PRO report and interview video
.

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Game Plan For The Week – Cramer's Mad Money (9/29/17)

Finances

Game Plan For The Week – Cramer's Mad Money (9/29/17)

Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money TV Program, Friday, September 29.

September has been a month of selling historically. It brings pre-announcements of slowdowns but it did not happen this time. With that Cramer discussed the game plan for the week.

Monday

Customers will know whether Altice (NYSE:ATUS) and ESPN (NYSE:DIS) reach a conclusion about sports network. “Normally I don’t care about these kinds of things, but I believe this might actually crystallize the debate about cord-cutting and the need for certain programming no matter what,” said Cramer.

Tuesday

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) and Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) will report earnings. Cramer expects Lennar to report a good quarter as 2017 has been a good year for home-builders.

Paychex earnings may get negative rhetoric from analysts like last quarter. “Be aware that these negativists are still lurking and they will try to knock it down again,” he said.

Wednesday

Pepsi (NYSE:PEP) will report earnings and Cramer has faith that CEO Indra Nooyi will perform yet again. “Just be aware that being the best house in a tough neighborhood, though, which it is by far, is a lot more difficult than being the worst home in a fabulous neighborhood,” he added.

Thursday

Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ), Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Yum China (NYSE:YUMC) will report earnings.

Cramer thinks Constellation Brands will deliver yet again. Buy half before the earnings and half after if there is weakness. Costco, on the other hand, is due to see weakness due to Amazon. “I’d be very skeptical of it going into the quarter,” he said. “You need to be able to withstand some selling pressure if you’re going to own this one through the quarter,” said Cramer.

Yum China is up over 50% for the year and this time will be no different.

Non-farm Payrolls

Non-farm payroll number is due on Friday and a good number will set up the bank earnings in the following week.

Artificial Intelligence

Many think that AI will make human jobs obsolete but Cramer begs to differ. “I get the sense that when it comes to the power of artificial intelligence, we’re thinking way too small. We don’t understand that AI might hold the key to all of sales if we simply learn how to harness it,” he said.

Useful data is generated every day and companies that can interpret the data effectively will end up as winners. As of today, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Spotify (Private:MUSIC) are the ones that truly reap benefits from the power of AI. However the race to the top won’t be easy as the total addressable market for AI is large and there are many competitive players.

“To use another baseball analogy, it’s like steroids — once somebody starts juicing, anyone who wants to remain competitive has to jump on the bandwagon. Artificial intelligence is like steroids for your business,” said Cramer. Companies would need top of the line semiconductor equipment and data centers to make it big in their business.

“In other words, artificial intelligence isn’t cyclical. It’s not boom-bust. It really is a secular, long-term transformation, which makes owning anything in the big data space in any way, shape or form the place to be. Not for now. Not for next quarter. But for years to come,” concluded Cramer.

Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU)

The much-anticipated unicorn Roku has priced its offering and the stock has been on fire. Now that the stock has run, is it worth buying? Cramer has the answer.

“Roku’s been growing at a solid clip, and as the maker of the No. 1 streaming platform, this may be the best single play on cord-cutting around,” said Cramer. They stream 4,500 channels including Netflix directly to the television. They also license their operating system to smart TV manufacturers and cable and satellite companies and have a thriving ad business by selling ad spots.

Their business model is good. As consumers opt out from cable and move towards web-based consumption, it benefits Roku. Their user base is growing and the consumers are spending more time on Roku. “I’m a big believer in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), but if you’re buying it as a cord-cutting play, you are out of your mind because the Apple TV just isn’t big enough to move the needle,” said Cramer.

For the negative, Roku is competing with the likes of Amazon, Apple and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL). Competing with these giants is going to be tough for the company. Their profitability also poses a question. Even though their revenue is growing they are losing money for a long time and at the same time competition is increasing. Its hardware business revenue is declining as well.

“So there are a lot of question marks about the company. But as for Roku the stock, well, let me just say I don’t want you to buy it up here,” concluded Cramer.

CEO interview – Pennsylvania REIT (NYSE:PEI)

Pennsylvania REIT yields over 8% and it is down 45% for the year. Cramer interviewed CEO Joseph Coradino to find out what lies ahead for the company.

Coradino said that retail is not dying and the chatter around it is overdone. It is evolving and with that change, there will be winners and losers. The company sold 42% of its underperforming malls and introduced new retailers to its properties. Coradino called it a detox process.

“When you’re done, you feel better, right? And you get stronger. And that’s the way we think about the work that we’re doing at our properties, because we sold off the bad stuff and what we’ve got left is getting stronger,” he added.

Coradino said they are chains, the positive retail trends and getting new clients Zara, experiential outlets like Dave & Buster’s and Whole Foods. “We think, clearly, fast fashion, off-price, discount, dining, entertainment are the direction that we need to head,” he concluded.

Viewer calls taken by Cramer

Synchronoss Technologies (NASDAQ:SNCR): Do not touch the stock.

Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN): Their EBITDA went down but the company has made a good case of a long-term buy. Cramer said one still has to see what happens with the Amazon-Whole Foods deal.

Best (NYSE:BSTI): Cramer prefers Alibaba (NYSE:BABA).

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Buy General Dynamics And Raytheon – Cramer's Lightning Round (9/29/17)

Finances

Buy General Dynamics And Raytheon – Cramer's Lightning Round (9/29/17)

Stocks discussed on the Lightning Round segment of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money Program, Friday, September 29.

Bullish Calls

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD): It’s a buy. Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) is Cramer’s favorite from the group.

MasTec (NYSE:MTZ): It can go up further due to the hurricane rebuild.

Commercial Metals Company (NYSE:CMC): “Yeah, it’s a good company. Commercial Metals is a very good company. I’ve followed it from when I was a hedge fund manager. I like your choice. It’s good.”

Altria (NYSE:MO): Don’t sell. It yields 4%.

Ultra Clean Holdings (NASDAQ:UCTT): It’s a good stock. Cramer likes Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX).

Bearish Call

RPM International (NYSE:RPM): Cramer agrees with Wells Fargo’s research report view that there is concern about the upcoming quarter.

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Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts PLUS: Check out Cramer’s multi-million dollar charitable trust portfolio and uncover the stocks he thinks could be HUGE winners. Start your FREE 14-day trial now!

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A renewed focus on technology can lift Russia's economy – Financial Times

Technology

A renewed focus on technology can lift Russia's economy – Financial Times

If Russia is to remain a globally relevant power in the 21st century, it will have to win one of two bets on technology — or possibly both.

The first was identified by President Vladimir Putin in a recent talk with students in which he discussed how artificial intelligence was creating big opportunities and threats. “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world,” he said.

There is no doubt about Russia’s periodic ability to compete at the leading edge of technology. Think Sputnik. The country still churns out world-class mathematicians and engineers with a reputation for ingenuity.

Martin Reeves, director of the BCG Henderson Institute, who has been mapping the geography of digital power, says Europe is “stone, cold dead” in several areas of technology but boasts some real expertise in AI.

“This is a highly leveraged bet for Russia. You are betting on the quality of your human resources,” he says.

But in spite of Russia’s undoubted human potential in this area, it is not clear that the country will realise it. Many of the best Russian experts in AI are now working in San Francisco, Tel Aviv or London. In terms of scientific citations or patents for AI technologies, Russia scarcely registers.

US tech companies appear leagues ahead of their Russian counterparts in AI research. China, whose economy is eight times bigger than Russia’s, is also moving far further and faster in this field. Some Chinese technologists point to the triumphs of AlphaGo, Google DeepMind’s AI programme, at the ancient game of Go as something of a Sputnik moment for China. AI has become a national strategic priority.

As ever, Mr Putin’s comments are hard to interpret and may simply have been intended as a provocation. Or he may have been alluding to the possible military uses of AI. In asymmetric warfare, it is near impossible to tell how AI is being used. Some experts speculate that AI programmes may even have been deployed during Moscow’s meddling in last year’s US presidential election.

Russia’s decades-old obsession with hardware has restricted its ability to develop the human software needed to compete in the modern economy. After all, the benefits of technology result not so much from inventing stuff as deploying it adroitly. Russia needs to give far more scope to the creativity and initiative of its people than the Kremlin has traditionally allowed.

Moscow’s second big bet is on oil technology. In a recent lecture at Chatham House in London, Professor Thane Gustafson of Georgetown University, one of the leading foreign experts on the Russian oil industry, highlighted three challenges facing the industry.

First, the shale gas revolution in the US has turned the country into the world’s swing oil producer. The industry’s mastery of technologies, such as horizontal drilling, multi-stage fracturing and seismic imaging, as well as extremely flexible production operations have enabled it to cut its break-even price from $90 a barrel to $40.

Second, Russia is rapidly exhausting its low-cost sources of “brown” oil in Western Siberia and will increasingly rely on higher-cost “green” oil from new fields in Eastern Siberia and possibly “blue” oil from the Arctic Ocean.

Third, the accelerating global shift towards electric cars and battery technology will reduce dependence on the combustion engine and demand for oil. In such a world, with only the lowest cost producers able to compete, Russia would struggle.

Mr Gustafson said the only way Russia could escape this vicious circle would be to launch its own US-style shale gas revolution to boost productivity and profitability.

“Something has to widen those margins and that something can only be technology,” he said.

While Russia understood the underlying technology, it did not have the managerial flexibility and knowledge to use it effectively, in Mr Gustafson’s view. That would require a massive change in the Russian oil industry’s structure and culture, reducing the dominance of state-owned groups and encouraging smaller, nimbler operators.

In other words, Russia’s decades-old obsession with hardware has restricted its ability to develop the human software needed to compete in the modern economy. After all, the benefits of technology result not so much from inventing stuff as deploying it adroitly. Russia needs to give more scope to the creativity and initiative of its people than the Kremlin has traditionally allowed.

One London-based Russian entrepreneur, who left because of the insecurity of property rights and the difficulty of running a small business, is hoping his home country wins the first bet and loses the second. Only then will Russia ever be able to realise its full human potential.

“Capital and hard power is not relevant any more. It’s all about the places that can create the most intelligent algorithms,” he says. “Russia will finally have the chance to build its economy based on brains.”

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john.thornhill@ft.com

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