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China’s influence on world markets far outweighs the degree of integration of its own banks and financial markets with the rest of the world. While the country has only gradually eased controls on its capital account and foreign exchange markets, illicit flows of capital are playing an outsized role in some overseas markets and industries. This will change. But how and when? The “New Silk Road” project underlines Beijing’s ambition to keep promoting globalization, in a sharp contrast with the rise of protectionism in the US. But the pace of reforms needed to push that process forward has been slowing. Most than anything, Chinese authorities fear the volatility associated with a higher degree of integration.

An overview of renewable marine energy

Industries June 22nd, 2017, Jean Dubranna / Research Engineer, Centre observation, impacts, énergie, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

Renewable marine energy takes the form of kinetic energy (winds and currents), potential energy (tidal amplitude), mechanical energy (waves), and even thermal potential or even osmotic pressure. There is still long way to go from theory to practice for this power to unleash its full economic, societal and environmental potential. But some companies are already taking their chance.

When the “Open Wash” comes with “Open Everything”

Science and Technology June 19th, 2017, Luis Felipe R. Murillo / Post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Sociologie Économique (LISE/CNRS)

The landscape of open projects has expanded substantially, it was (partially) internationalized and became more complex, and different positionings about the future are in dispute among digital technologists vis-à-vis their “non-technical” users/others. This sea-change not only promoted a massive shift toward a business vision and prospect for Free Software, but also undermined a narrative that was anchored on the conceptualization of collaborative software development as a form of practical ethics.

The crisis of liberalism and progressivism is shaking the very foundations of Modernity. Our ability to imagine and build a collective future is under threat. The rise of neuroscience, and more specifically neuropsychology, can help us “relaunch” our societies.

New materials: when chemistry combines metals and organic molecules

Science and Technology June 12th, 2017, François-Xavier Coudert / Researcher at Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris (CNRS / Chimie ParisTech PSL University)

Since the 1990s, chemistry has been able to successfully synthesize hybrid polymers by combining metals with organic molecules. Laboratories are racing to identify the most interesting new nanoporous materials and patent their synthesis processes while new industrial uses are being explored.

To most people, the term “predictive justice” refers to a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick titled The Minority Report in which precogs predict future crimes. But it also covers a complex reality. In the United States, judges use software to assess a suspect’s likelihood of reoffending. Elsewhere in the world, emerging start-up offer to anticipate litigation outcomes and their potential compensations. Legal Tech offers many advantages (automation of repetitive tasks for lawyers, diversion, reduction of judicial risk, etc.) but this isn’t without risk. Indeed, justice could become sheeplike, unfair and dehumanized.

What’s to fear about artificial intelligence?

Science and Technology June 6th, 2017, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia / Professor at Pierre et Marie Curie University, Researcher in AI, Chairman of the Ethics Committee, CNRS

If there is cause for concern about artificial intelligence, it doesn’t stem from the dangers it allegedly poses to humanity but rather from its current applications in our societies.

The New Silk Road: an expansionist project or a new worldview?

Business May 31st, 2017, Hervé Machenaud / President, Paris Innovation Review's Chinese Edition

The Chinese initiative continues to raise many questions and no less controversial issues four years after its creation. What is its exact nature? What economic and political goals does it hide?

AI Regulation: understanding the real challenges

Science and Technology May 25th, 2017, Jia Kai & Tao Tong / Fullbright Visiting Scholar at the University of California in Davis & Cofounder of Komolstar

From Stephen Hawking to Elon Musk, frequent proposals have called for government regulations on AI development. How do we impose effective, but not overly aggressive regulations on a threat that, for now, is imagined, one that has not yet become a reality? In fact, the dilemma of regulation is not how to balance the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, but how to thoroughly understand and contain the potential threats generated by artificial intelligence.

To remain a leader, a company must out-perform the world’s smartest executives at billion-user platforms. But a new disruption could produce a flip of today’s pyramid to people-first. That would help everyone advance, and add a people-first ecosystem that makes everyone a winner, with many people-first companies at the top.

Superalloys: the technological frontier of the metal industry

Science and Technology May 19th, 2017, Nathalie Bozzolo / Professor in Physical Metallurgy at Mines ParisTech PSL Research University, holder of ANR Industrial Chair Safran Opale

Studying metals at a mesoscopic scale is both a major scientific breakthrough and a competitiveness challenge for the aeronautics industry. A research team is involved in this change of scale which resulted in significant progress in terms of industrial control.

Silica aerogels: superinsulators of the future?

Science and Technology May 12th, 2017, Patrick Achard / Senior scientist at PERSEE (Centre Processes, Renewable Energies and Energetic Systems), a research lab of Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

Aerogels? Imagine cloud chunks. This family of surprisingly light nanostructured materials has finally moved from research labs and entered the operational phase at industrial scale. Known since the 1930s, they took off some thirty years ago – three challenging and exciting decades for the researchers involved in their development. Three decades of hard work as well, that ultimately paid off.

Clouds in the Cloud: how solar radiation has become an online service

Industries May 10th, 2017, Thierry Ranchin / Professor at Mines ParisTech PSL Research University, Managing Director of Centre Observation, Impacts, Energie

SoDa, for SOlar radiation DAta, is a provider of online data and services on solar radiation. It is both a platform guided by the needs of its users, a pivotal tool for several international institutional networks, and the endeavor of two generations of researchers, alert to the opportunities that arise in the interstices between major disciplines.

In Europe or in the US, people often wonder how they could even live before Amazon or Uber, etc. I want our customers to think the same about Jumia, says Sacha Poignonnec, founder of the first African unicorn.

The C-K theory: a model for creativity

Science and Technology April 28th, 2017, Pascal Le Masson / Professor at Mines ParisTech PSL Research University, Deputy Director of the Centre for Management Science

The C-K theory encompasses methods widely implemented in the industrial world and that have achieved several notable successes. Ultimately, this theoretical breakthrough has revolutionized our approach to design.

Is despair killing America’s white working class?

Society April 24th, 2017, Angus Deaton / Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Princeton University, Nobel Prize for Economics in 2015

Working class Americans in midlife's mortality rate, after 100 years of declining, has turned the wrong way or at least flattened out. This is not happening to other groups in the US. It’s not happening to Hispanics. It’s not happening to African-Americans. And it’s not happening in any other rich country in the world. Angus Deaton tried to make sense of a trend closely associated with the rise of populism in the US.

The meaning of Facebook

Society April 19th, 2017, Benjamin Hoffmann / Assistant Professor of Literature, Ohio State University

Facebook heralds the advent of a society that mirrors what the social network claims to promote. Not a society of democratic exchange, where people interact within a virtual agora by opposing arguments, but a society divided by antagonism and defiance, one that is partitioned in isolated bubbles; not a society of free sharing of information but of commercial exploitation of the data we deliver each time we visit Facebook. Should we turn away from this social network and all those who promote its paradigm?

Quantum control: when automatic control supports experimental quantum physics

Industries April 11th, 2017, Pierre Rouchon / Professor at Centre automatique et systèmes, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

In September 2011, Nature published a paper about the first experiment involving quantum state feedback. This breakthrough offers many perspectives: the ability to monitor in real-time typical quantum states without disrupting them opens new paths, both in terms of basic research and practical applications. Gathered around the specialist of quantum mechanics, Serge Haroche, the experiment was carried out in combination with other disciplines. Here's the story of this collaboration.

A philosophy of data

Science and Technology April 10th, 2017, Bruno Teboul / Senior Vice President of Science and Innovation, Keyrus Group

Ongoing digitization has placed data at the center of economic and social life. We are producing a growing amount of data that are exchanged, secured and analyzed by increasingly sophisticated technologies. Data economics defines the value of these operations. Data policies are implemented both by governments and large corporations. An emerging business revolves around big data. But the precise nature of a datum remains unclear. A philosophical approach, as led by Luciano Floridi, can help us refine the definition.

A revolution in US corporate tax

Business April 7th, 2017, François Meunier / President, Alsis Conseil, Associate Professor of Finance, ENSAE ParisTech

As reported by the media, US Republicans in the House of Representatives have launched an initiative to lower corporate tax to 20%, instead of 35% today, one step further in the tax competition between countries. The Trump administration seems to support the project. Donald Trump himself even mentioned the possibility of lowering this rate to 15%. As worrying as is seems for the United States' trading partners, this drop isn't even the most important part of the reform. In reality, the measure forms part of wider radical project that will give corporate tax the same features as a tax that doesn't exist in the United States, namely, VAT or value-added tax, probably the most innovative and popular tax (as far as governments are concerned) since the 1950s.

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