Saturday, January 09, 2021

Will robots and AI take over jobs and cause people to be unemployed?

It will. More people will be unemployed when their jobs are taken over by automation.

However, this problem can be addressed. 

Instead of getting people to work 8 hours a day, the norm can be changed to 6 hours a day or even 4 hours a day. The rest of the work will be taken over by robots.

Automation and AI can lead to a better life for the people. They will have more leisure time to pursue personal interest. 

However, the economic system has to change. We have to start by reducing the number of hours in the work day.

Use of robots and AI in farming

Farming is hard work. It is back breaking. It is usually done under the hot sun.

In the future, the hard work will be done by drones. They will run around the farm to plant the seed, water the plants and break the soil.
This does not mean that farmers will be out of work. We still need people to do the work that drones are not able to do. For example, to collect the fruits and vegetables and store them.
Drones can be programmed to do the repetitive work that are strenuous and under the hot sun.
The people can do the work that are more complicated and less repetitive. The work of farming will be more comfortable.

New law on the use of the Trace Together data

The government is presenting a new law for Parliament to stop the police from getting access to the Trace Together data except for "serious crimes".

The intention of this new law is to give assurance to the public that the Trace Together data will be kept private and will only be used for contact tracing to prevent the spread of the virus.
I find it ridiculous to take so much trouble over a small issue.
This is the alternative approach.
The Police can make a statement that they will not be asking for the Trace Together data in the normal course of investigation. The data is hardly to be of any use anyway.
The Police already had the power to confiscate a person's mobile phone, personal computer and physical files in the course of their investigation. The access to the Trace Together data is very low in priority and is unlikely to be useful or needed.
There are many other updates that are needed to our other laws. Some of these laws, including littering and jay walking, are outdated and are not being enforced. It is better for these laws to be updated, as they affect the daily lives of the population. We need certainty in the laws.
The use of the Trace Together data can be explained by an administrative instruction from the Police. I do not envisage any situation where the Police will abuse their existing power to require the access to the Trace Together data.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Should Trump's cabinet secretaries ignore his orders, if they appear dangerous?

2. PM Lee took the covid vaccine.

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WOTC - Safety of the vaccine

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 63% of the respondents are worried about the safety of the covid vaccine.

WOTC - Taking the vaccine

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 89% of the respondents said that they will delay taking the vaccine for as long as possible.

My investment in Bionano Genomics (BNG)

I bought 10,000 BNGO stock at $4.28. It had dropped from a high of $5 the previous day due to the issue of new stock at a price below the market.

I observed that another stock, Nano Dimension (NNDM) had seen a sharp drop when new stock was issued, but it had recovered strongly.
I believed that BNGO would recover within a day from the sharp drop. My hunch was correct. BNGO recovered to $4.70 at market close and moved further to $5.10 in the after market. 
BNGO is a genome stock. It increased sharply due to strong investor interest during the past two weeks.
This video explain the sharp increase in BNGO stock yesterday.
This video explains the business of BNGO. (Note, this is just one person's view. The stock may or not behave as he predicted).
You can view the financial information of BNGO here.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Police access to Trace Together data

 It was unwise (I would not say "stupid") for this minister of state to make this statement and cause alarm about the privacy of the Trace Together data.

Why? The MOS should know that the TT data would be of no use. Furthermore, the power given to the Police to gather evidence applies to many documents and data that are found in all kinds of devices - mostly on personal computers. Quote The Singapore Police Force (SPF) is allowed to obtain data from TraceTogether, the country's COVID-19 contact-tracing technology, for criminal investigations, Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan said in Parliament on Monday (Jan 4). In reply to a question by MP Christopher de Souza, Mr Tan said that, under the Criminal Procedure Code, SPF is empowered to obtain any data, including TraceTogether data. He added that "stringent measures are put in place to safeguard this personal data".

Preparing for the stock market crash

Mr. Tan,
What are your preparation in case there is a stock market crash?

I have taken the following steps.

1.  About 30% of my assets are held in cash. I can use the cash to buy stock if the prices come down to a lower level after the crash

2. Most of my stocks are invested for long term value - i.e. low price earning ratio with high dividend yield. I have also invested in the stock with past savings and do not use any leverage. The crash will not affect me.

A small proportion (about 25%) of my stock are more speculative. I monitor them closely. I should be able to sell them in the event of a crash, at a loss. The impact will be small.

I believe that many stocks are at an insanely high level and are subject to the risk of a severe crash. We do not know when the crash will occur, but it can come at any time.

WOTC - Safe entry recording

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 55% of the respondents said that safe entry recording should be stopped. 45% said that it should be continued as it is important for contact tracing.

WOTC - Was Donald Trump cheated in the election?

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 77% of the respondents said that the election was carried out fairly. 23% said that it was unfair to Donald Trump.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Which is the biggest problem under PAP for the past three decades?

2. Should Donald Trump be voted out of office for causing the riot in Washington DC?

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Thursday, January 07, 2021

WOTC - Donald Trump in 2024

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 24% of the respondents said that Donald Trump will return to contest the 2024 presidential election. The other 76% disagree.

WOTC - Recall of cruise ship

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 80% of the respondents said that it is not necessary to call the ship to return to port due to the discovery of an infected passengers. They are better ways to deal with the problem.

Access to the data in Trace Together device

 I give my views about the access to the data in the Trace Together device (i.e. the token or the mobile app).

The device record the token ID of the two devices that have been in close contact within a close proximity and for a certain period of time. It does not store the location and the name of the parties.

The data is stored in the device and is not uploaded to the government server. 

This is a separate system from the Safe Entry that is recorded contains the location, time and identity of the person and is stored in the government servers. 

In this respect, the data in the Trace Together device is quite private. 

If a person is found to be infected with the coronavirus, the ministry of health can download the TT data and retrieve the token ID of the people that the infected person had been in close contact over the past 14 days. 

The health authority can get the name and telephone number of the contacted persons, using the token ID, and send an alert to alert them to go for testing. 

The government has declared that the TT data will only be used for this purpose.  I trust their intention.

It is true that the current Criminal Procedure Code allow the police to confiscate computers, devices and documents to gather evidence in connection with a crime. 

This power, which has been around for several decades, is not restricted to the TT data. It covers a very large scope.

If there is any concern about the powers of the police, it should be directed at the more sensitive information that can be confiscated. The TT data is probably rather unimportant.

If a person to be engaged in a meeting that they don't want to be recorded, he or she can turn off the Trace Together recording for that duration. 

For the large majority of law abiding citizens, there is no need to fear about the loss of privacy.​​​​​​​

Is the data in Trace Together private?

 Is the data in Trace Together private?

Minister Balakskrishnan (VB), who is in charge of the Smart Nation initiative, said a few months ago that the data collected under Trace Together (TT) app is not stored in the government servers and that kept privately in the user's mobile phone.

Minister of State of Home Affairs Desmond Tan (DT) said in Parliament that the government is empowered, under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), to access the data on the mobile phone.

This cause an uproar. The citizens said that they have been misled by the government on the privacy of the data. Some people said that they will stop using the Trace Together app.

This caused minister VB to have "sleepless nights". He realized that had "misspoke" about the privacy of the data in the TT app.

Here is my perspective about the whole issue.

I think it can be described as "making a mountain out of a molehill". It is exaggerating a small problem and making it appear to be a big problem.

Under the CPC, the police is empowered to confiscate the personal computer of the suspect. The personal data that is stored in the computer is more sensitive and richer than the data in the Trace Together app.

If there is privacy concern about police investigation, it should be targeted at the confiscation of the computer and documents that are being accessed, rather than the TT data.

The extension of the power of the police to the TT data is quite a small issue.

What can the police see when they access the TT data? They can know who are the people that were in close contact with the suspect during the past 14 days. This data excludes the physical location of the data that was captured.

The possibility of the data being useful for the police investigation was so low that it was not worth considering. Why should it cause one minister to have sleepless nights and another minister to declare that he has the power to access the data?

I find this situation to be quite ridiculous.

I am concerned that it reflects poorly on the quality of the thinking and logic of the two ministers. Is this the quality of our ministers?

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues


1. Protesters stormed the Capitol Building in Washington
2. Should President Trump be held responsible for inciting violence

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WOTC - Rollout of TraceTogether tokens

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 93% of the respondents said that there was problem and mess in the rollout of the TraceTogether tokens.

WOTC - China's action towards smaller countries

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 86% of the respondents said that China does not react aggressively to smaller countries.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. Is it wise for Singapore to host the World Economic Forum in May?
2. Is it risky to relax the control measures on the covid pandemic?

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WOTC - Sexual harassment in NUS

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 33% of the respondents said that sexual harassment in NUS is probably worse than other universities.

WOTC - President Trump's pardon

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 60% of the respondents said that President Trump should not pardon himself.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

WOTC - LHL's claim for damages of $150,000

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 90% of the respondents said that LHL's claim for $150,000 in damages for defamation is excessive.

WOTC - Sexual harassment in NUS

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 57% of the respondents said that sexual harassment is a problem in NUS. The other 43% said that the public over reacted to the problem.

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

 1. How do you describe America's active role as a global leader

2. How do you describe Donald Trump's four years as president.

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Monday, January 04, 2021

Wisdom of the Crowd - New Issues

1. How do you describe Singapore's response to the covid pandemic?
2. How do you describe the government ministers of Singapore.

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WOTC - Executive remuneration

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 91% of the respondents said that the executive remuneration of listed companies and state owned companies. should be disclosed.

WOTC - Is Singapore an innovative country?

 Wisdom of the Crowd: 81% of the respondents said that Singapore is not innovative. 19% said that Singapore is.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Tesla hits its sales target of 500,000 vehicles for 2020

 Tesla hits its sales target of 500,000 vehicles for 2020. This was good news, as there was some uncertainty about this performance.

However, I expect the price of Tesla to drop tomorrow, and may take a short position.

Here are my reasons

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