Dr Pippa Malmgren on Populism, Russia and AI

Dr Pippa Malmgren on Populism, Russia and AI



therefore my groom welcome to trigonometry hello and welcome to trigonometry I'm Francis Foster i'm konstantine kissin and this is a show for you if you're bored of people talking on the internet about subjects they know nothing about at trigonometry we don't pretend to be the experts we ask the experts we're here in a makeshift studio at the world-famous angel comedy club and our amazing expert guest this week is the fantastic Pippa Mangrum who's a former senior economic advisor to President George W Bush a renowned author and the founder of H robotics thermogram welcome to trigonometry PIPA so tell us a little bit about your journey and how you actually ended up doing what you did being who you are how are you here well being an economist I kind of think I sort of snuck in and nobody noticed one of the greatest compliments I ever get his people go you look like an economist you know I was lucky my my dad was the chief trade negotiator for the United States under Kennedy Johnson Nixon and Ford were for both sides never left and so I grew up in a household with my dad explaining you know when your shoes are made the upper part will be made in one country in the lower part in another country and then put together in a third country so I just was always interested in what was going on in the world economy and studied it and somehow ended up working in the White House being president's advisor on economic policy that's when we had Enron WorldCom seven of the nine largest bankruptcies in American history in one year and then we had 9/11 that was very eventful period in my life and in everybody's life and I don't know my thing is really just I'm fascinated by the world economy and the human aspect on the other economists they just love to number crunch and do models and these huge mathematical formula and I'm like yeah but how are they feeling you know I'm more interested in and how does the society respond to what's happening they've gotten this is gonna sound like a really trite question but why is it like working in the White House just going in every day I mean that must be a huge thrill you know it is and I'll tell you what it's interesting my mom studied with j.r.r tolkien Wow she said medieval medieval English we have and I was so struck when I first went to the White House and I realize when you walk into the Oval Office your ego expands so suddenly you're like holy I'm here and the president is asking me my advice and you realize Gollum lives above the door of the Oval Office and when you walk in there he jumps on your shoulder and you're just goes crazy and and it tells you don't tell him what you think tell him what he wants to hear and in that moment I kind of realized oh my god I'm a hobbit right I want to tell the president what he needs to hear not what I think you know not what he would like to hear but what I think he needs to hear and actually a lot of people who work in that environment they don't really operate that way they'll tell him what they think he wants to hear so it must be fascinating over a period of time you must see people's personalities completely change totally I had one chief executive who came into my office he goes the president's policies are terrible and he should fire the Secretary of Treasury and it's all a disaster and he's like great let's go over to tell him and as we're walking he just bombarding me with how bad it is and we arrived at the Oval Office as he crosses the door he turns in this totally obsequious mr. president I am so delighted to meet because why he suddenly has revisions that he is going to be the American ambassador to name the country I love best that he's gonna be invited on Air Force One and this is one of the biggest problems I think for all leaders but heads of state literally you know people get obsessed by the power and the paraphernalia and the my precious and it's a huge danger for all leaders and they have to pick people to be around them who aren't affected by all that stuff talking about obsession with power the question that you probably get more than any what do you make up Donald Trump at the moment and what's been happening the economy seems to be booming under Donald Trump at the moment is it gone to farming what is happening well okay so first of all presidents don't make the economy do stuff but their policy stance does matter it sends a signal but a lot of the things are happening right now I started well before Donald Trump so like for example wages went up in China like five times in the last three or four years so the China Manufacturing pictures not very competitive anymore and in fact the u.s. is very competitive in comparison so the job started moving back to the US now he says you know I did this well actually it kind of was already in motion and you're lucky with that on the other hand it's also true that his policies are they're helpful for that outcome so drawing a line between what a president gets to take credit for I mean basically all presents are entitled to their luck and they all claim credit for stuff that they didn't necessarily actually cause the other awkward thing I mean awkward is putting it mildly today a desire by those who supported him not just to be a change in Washington but literally to burn the whole thing to the drain disrupt it to be a total destroyer distract of the system right in the swamp brainless law burn it down and as he does this the honest truth is well there's some element of truth that had become hugely overgrown it had become almost inoperable like my first job and I know it's really awkward and weird to say my very first job was working for President Reagan how many degrees did you have one of the things you realize from being around that environment is it matters how it's structured so at that time the National Security Council had like literally 50 people today after President Obama was in power it was 450 people now there's not enough time in the day for 450 people on one area and national security that doesn't include the Kannamma counsel that I was in LAN or the Domestic Policy Council or homeland defense to all briefed the president so you know I'm kind of when that sounds so terrible though I've got a with Trump on the you have to make it smaller because it doesn't work but it still needs to work somewhat and he's like well I don't really care whether it works or not I just want to out of the way the other thing is you know the way he talks is so toxic and I think there are a lot of people who might be aligned with him philosophically make government smaller and have lower taxes more freedom for businesses but we have to insult every possible member of the community that doesn't look exactly like a middle-aged white male yeah see you're troubled by this oh yeah absolutely it's unnecessary no but isn't that how he won though it is well and I would say there's a negotiating style also reflects us right so you know we hear not just stuff like the steel tariffs or he announces you know we're gonna use the entire nuclear arsenal on North Korea and everybody goes to come to the negotiating table I suspect what we'll find on the threat of trade wars as everybody comes to the table so he's like the bully at school who comes up to on the playground and first he just wax you gonna just punch to the chin and when you're lying on the ground you're like totally off-balance then he goes okay let's talk it's literally a style sorry you example and so anyway highly disruptive and this is the way to think about he's literally like an uber phenomena in politics he is disintermediating the traditional power structures for better and for worse depends on your angle do you think yeah I mean this is quite a loaded question do you think that he's do you because he said certain things that can be construed as race for instance some Mexicans are racist right yeah but do you think that is a tactic of his or do you think he genuinely believes those sentiments I don't know him I've been looking up a number of I say you're gonna say I mean lucky I haven't met him my suspicion is that he has this kind of banter that's deliberately designed to be totally provocative it's it's back to the negotiating style but that probably if you really sat down with him he is it is not you know thinking I want to specifically exclude these minorities from having a future but how do you disentangle it this is the question how do you disentangle it and here's an awkward point here well when we look at the numbers voters who supported Trump in the election the numbers of women and minorities both African Americans and Hispanics that supported him was higher than any of the pollsters appreciate you anticipated well higher than Mitt Romney and John McCain actually answer the question why my theory is this in the establishment world there's often not a place for women I mean I left and got some thinking because I felt I could create my own thing and have more freedom and say what I felt about the world and not be constrained so as a woman I left the establishment created my own company a lot of African Americans do the same a lot Hispanics do the same because their opportunity for promotion is not huge right which is something we have to fix but in the meantime what do you do you become an entrepreneur now the moment you're an entrepreneur you're the breadwinner you got to pay the bills and you look at Trump and you go I don't like what he says but if he stands for lower taxes smaller government less regulation I'm gonna vote with my Brent winter hat first and then we can talk about the position I you pie in the society which doesn't in any way forgive this whole business of being as you say racist and almost separatist like everyone is in a separate group with him it doesn't forgive that but it maybe explains some of these voting dynamics I find it incredibly fascinating because my mother is not an American she's from Venezuela and she's a fan of Trump and because the the reason is if she saw a bomber as being a soft touch and she likes the fact that there's a present who was coming who his hardline who says what he believes in inverted commas and it's something that she can you know whether you like him or whether you don't you know what Trump stands for and in a lot of the time with a lot of politicians especially in the UK you look at and you go I don't know what you represent well I hear you and I think it's very interesting that international observers are more afraid of Trump than they've been afraid of previous presidents and it's a stark contrast with President Obama for example when I talk to the Chinese and the Russian leadership their view was they could pretty much do anything and get no reaction from President Obama you know South China Sea interview right where the Chinese of building you know all these sort of military facilities in the middle of the South Pacific and they interviewed the general who was in charge and he said well you know we put a huge building crane on the island and we waited for President Obama to react and then no reaction so then we started using it and then no reaction we sort of building a runway no reaction next thing we're like landing our military jets there are no reaction that causes them to think okay well we can do a whole bunch of things and and basically there's no consequences then Trump comes sanity basically you know threatens to use everything and suddenly everybody on eggshells and so it's it's a strange turn around and interestingly the Chinese in particular view Trump as a one-off in history and that he is our first president who was literally prepared to give away territory so while he's supposedly tough he's a negotiator so it means basically a property guy here he's already got a deal done so for example with North Korea I suspect the part of the way he's managed to get everybody to the negotiating table is he's basically said to the Chinese if you can diminish this North Korean nuclear problem just keep North Korea just just soft annex that thing and that is the message he gave the Russians on Ukraine Frankie said Bo we're not interested we don't have a national strategic interest if you want it you can have it it's the same thing you said about Syria to the Russians you know you want it that's a problem we don't want it and the Chinese are like oh my god he's giving away territory what can we get and from a Chinese point of view to get a greater degree of influence over North Korea it's a huge benefit to them so I was saying it's very interesting that we have a president who is who has said I'm not into foreign policy and yet he seems to be presiding over more movement and foreign policy than we've seen in many years it's all very paradoxical we've talked about Trump let's keep it like this move on to BRICS essentially what is BRICS it and if you could just explain and does it make it racist if you vote for breaks it okay I think what it's really about is centralization versus decentralization of power and all over the world people have been damaged by the huge debt burden that's bearing down I kind of think it's the debt burden that's like the huge silent wrecking ball that bears down on the society and it literally breaks the promises that hold the society together so suddenly you realized that government used to say you could retire in you know 65 and now the messages it's gonna be like 93 you used to get your trash picked up by tour no twice a week and now it's like once a month and if you have to pay for it if you want more all these little things cause people to start getting angry and upset and they're like hey what has happened here and then it got worse when we had the financial crisis and suddenly everybody who was rich and powerful got a blank check for having messed up right and everybody else had to pay for it so so the first question that comes up is how does this happened and then the next question is why aren't you in charge now the moment you ask them why are you in charge this is the origin of brexit but frankly Trump populism in general it's also the question behind the move to the right that we're seeing across the European Union China has had its version as well of people challenging the government saying why are you in charge what are you doing oh really yeah definitely it doesn't get as much air time but it's been a very big issue partly why we've seen a tightening of the control of power by Xi Jinping so that's actually a response it was supposed to change is coming in and go I want to do the Russian style lifetime in my view it's absolutely responding the same set of forces so they're all global in nature so I don't actually think that it was a racist impetus behind it it's more that if the finances don't add up and you can't you and the government can't look after me then what are we gonna do with all these other people coming in and it's a kind of demand and request for decision making to not be made so far away but to come back to people I've elected people that I have a connection with and I think that's at the core of it to be honest and it won't end until we get the finances sorted so as long as the problem is there we can expect populism to persist and what I find is people keep thinking that if we elect a one politician like president macron in France that he can somehow like wish it all away and make it better but until you sort the finances problem then the problem is economies can't grow fast enough to deliver on people's aspirations for the future and that makes them frustrated with politicians and they go okay if you can't fix this I Chuck you out until we bring in somebody who can and you get ever more radical results do you think the conservative policy of austerity indirectly led to brexit or do you think that was not really connected you know what I think across the board we're experiencing now this is a very technical economic term that I'm about to use it arises when you know people really well it's when they feel and I'm serious about this they feel castration castration castration castration so that is when you look at your bank account and you realize that more than 50% of your income is needed to cover your rent or your mortgage and that is before your groceries and anything else and at that point you just are so upset and and you are like well I want something to change and I think this is again if you really want to know what's behind populism it's not any specific policy decision it's the inability to get the public past their castration feeling well what about the cultural side of a paper because I'm an immigrant here in the UK I talk about being Russian to my sister Frances everyone involved in this podcast and in this show is an immigrant I will always Paul in this country but my question is this narrative in the run-up to brexit and since brexit has been the British people of these monstrous racist xenophobes which I really haven't found to be my personal experiences now in this country so my curiosity about that is do you think the narrative in the run-up in the last 15 years there has been this narrative in politics this idea that if you bring up the issue of immigration if you're concerned about large numbers of people coming to this country from Poland and from other countries particularly when under Blair's government there was no would you call it the period where the adjustment period when the countries joined all the other countries put restrictions on immigration in the European Union but Britain didn't so that kind of forced everybody who wanted to leave their country Poland or others to come to Britain right there was a period of a large inflow and at that time there was this notion that anyone who brings up the issue of immigration must be racist do you think that is something that pushed a lot of people into the arms of you keep into the arms of the brexit is I also haven't really come across this racist element Oh at the time that brexit was unfolding I had my book at my book signals and I was up in the north and talking to people about how they felt and what they kept saying was I have no problem with immigrants I've had immigrants in my community from all my life my parents life ever since Empire my problem is immigrants getting a check for a new car and I live here and I don't get a check for a new car in other words they were they were aggravated about what the British call queuing that somehow the outsiders were jumping the line and getting an advantage I think that was more the issue but I actually think this whole discussion about immigration is a bit of a red herring it's a much bigger issue what it is is a breakdown of trust in institutions across the board right so we've had you know the media and Trust in the media has broken down the church trust in the churches burned down yeah trust in literally every institution of society and and as that trust breaks then people become more closed in in their thought process immigration is a becomes an element of that in other words I don't know that it's a cause I think it's a response the other thing too is we talk about inequality and everything so this is a really huge problem I think actually there's a slightly different problem that's much more serious and and I say what it is is the elevators are broken and by that what I mean is it you can handle inequality in a society if the elevators work that is to say if people who are up at the top if they screw up they should come down but what we do now is we write a big check and bail them out so they get to stay they get to continue to own all the assets even though they messed up yeah and the people at the bottom the immigrants who don't have the connections the education yeah the doors of opportunity are closed to them and that this is a serious problem because the inequality people could live with that if they knew that we had a fluid ability that you couldn't make it if you worked really hard if you were bright if you put your elbow grease in and that there would be consequences if you messed up but all that is frozen now so I talk to a lot of cheap executives and they complain about populism and I'm always like okay so when is the last time you hired someone who didn't have a university degree or who came from a displaced background in some way and they're like oh I don't hire any of those people and I'm like bully you know you hold the doors of opportunity and if you hold them shut to those people you can't be surprised the populism results and by the way the public is gonna push you out of the way if you don't open the doors of opportunity so that's why I think the immigration question we can focus on it but it's part of a much bigger problem and let's face it in Western Europe we've got aging demographics you know all innovation benefits from diversity of thought from new energy younger people so you know immigration absolutely is working in our favor the question is how do you manage the movement of people and I think that's another thing is to expect immigrants to show up in an entirely new society entirely new culture and that they should just fit in right away and let go get a job yeah this takes some education on the part of the the locals how do you integrate I mean heck in our militaries we're not integrating the former military guys into society right we have a lot of vets who are not employed this is insane right that we can't even integrate people who've come from our society and gone off and fought our Wars so I think there's something about how do we create structures that are more inclusive more generally and so that's why I don't know I just don't think immigration by itself is the either the question or the answer thank you I was gonna say do you envisage brexit becoming a success or do you think it is going to be this financial disaster as it's painted in some of the more left-wing press I think it's paint a disaster in all the press the only one who is saying actually the country is gonna be fine you know my personal view is Britain would have been fine either way it's just easier to have the economy grow more strongly out and I'll explain why but it's not like it's a binary win-lose and also it's not a case that it's either Britain as successful or the European yin both of them can be successful I mean the world economy is full of many economies that are all successful in their own different ways so what really bugs me is this idea that the British economy is gonna slide into the North Sea and just like this is not what happens to the fifth largest economy in the world so here's how I think about it the decisions been made so money is a lot like water it literally flows to wherever it faces the least resistance so unless the British are gonna raise their taxes and their regulatory red tape to be at or above the EU levels which personally I think is an impossible task the bridge couldn't do it even if they want to do so and also if they were to abandon the traditional British rule of law and be comfortable moving to the Napoleonic Code environment that dominates the cotton continent yeah then maybe but the fact is that's not where the British are and so I think actually the economy is turning out to be just fine and we can see the data is all better right employment is higher unemployment is lower growth has gone up but we haven't left yet well I know but you know what markets discount all that in advance so this idea that somehow we just haven't hit that wall yet doesn't really work for me and I'm working with the world's biggest investors right I'm talking to the biggest institutional investor sovereign wealth funds at Petra but here's what they say they say I may not like the uncertainty of brexit but I still can't make any money in Italy in France in Germany because the economies are too slow they're not growing fast enough they're not dynamic enough you don't have enough innovation going on you still have you know in in Italy nearly 40% unemployment of people aged 25 and under which is why they're all in the UK because there's nothing for them to do at home so all that innovation came here so they're all saying you know I'm gonna continue to deploy foreign direct investment into the UK even though brags that has happened so my hope is that what happens in the EU is they move more in the British direction which is to free up and to have less regulatory red tape less sort of top-down state control but I fear they're moving in the other direction and that's something people haven't talked about yet is you know the new EU without Britain may be much more centralizing more centralizing power than before and I think this is partly why we're seeing the voters say no and so you see the rise of the right voters the right wing voters in Italy in Germany in Denmark and Sweden in Austria what is this coming from the blue no it's coming because the more they you try to tighten and centralize and top-down control the more the public says well actually I'd rather have the decisions made at the level of my government where I know so in a sense they're having their own brexit phenomena it may not end in anybody leaving but it's the same set of questions it's the exact same set of questions but I find that fascinating because my father voted for Bracy my dad's not racist he married an immigrant and and I remember talking to him about ye voting he went because Europe want a Federal Republic of Europe and I don't want that you know I love going to Europe I love think but I'm not I don't want that well I think this is the key thing I love Europe I've lived in France for many years I have great admiration for everything that all the European ideals etc I think there's a question about the philosophical direction that the leadership of the Commission has taken and they are moving in a much more as you say Federalists you know and the first speeches after brexit we're gonna one european army one european you know policy stance and you know countries like Ireland they're like wait does that mean we have to raise our tax rates to be the same as the rest of Europe and the answer's yes that's what they want to have happen and it's so if you believe there should be competition between these nations to see who can be most competitive then you're not really comfortable with where the European Union is going but that doesn't mean you don't love Europe or you don't admire the ideals of a unified Europe the question is what is the right direction and the voters in Europe are gonna express themselves and we're seeing that so that's totally their called where they want to go with that because it's fascinating how I mean because working in comedy in the comedy industry it's incredibly left-wing and a number of people I mean I voted remain but a lot of people were saying well we should have another referendum and that to me is undemocratic do you agree with that or do you think we should absolutely stand by the referendum yeah I find it you know hard to imagine going to another referendum I don't see I don't see how it would make things better and I could see how it makes things worse my big question is why they threw it out on the table to begin with you know and I don't think enough people kind of go back and ask David Cameron what were you thinking what was that about exactly and it's a good example of politicians who assumed they just assumed and actually the public's in a different place from what they assumed and this is part I think he thought he was gonna win and everybody working in office was like we were completely shocked totally shocked have you been outside of London at all you know all you have to do is get outside of London and you hear it right away you know it's a question of perspective I think that's one of the problems I've just I'm just finishing a book on leadership leadership in the 21st century and and one of the things that's interesting is we move so fluidly right we get on a plane we go to China we're in the United States so we go oh I know what's happening but just because you go somewhere doesn't mean you know what is happening and I think that's one thing we've all got to be better at is to not just go and assume but to go and listen and you'll hear people tell you things that won't be consistent with what you thought well it's fascinating and we'll make this the final point on brexit he's fascinating to me because the reason we're doing the show is that for us I think brexit and trumpet there were massive wake-up calls I can certainly speak for myself it was it was like I knew what was the truth and then suddenly the next day wasn't true anymore we and I realized in how much of an eco chamber we've been living and that's why we really want to talk to different people who have different ideas and different input on these issues because I feel like if you just go online for your news like we have been doing you are really not getting a full picture at all no not at all so this the reason I started to write my book signals because I feel like what what happens is it's literally like everybody's going through life blind in one eye because they'll only look through a mathematical lens at data and models this deep almost religious belief that all the answers are things that can be quantified and all of the models missed what has happened and I'm like okay so why we opened the other eye that just looks at all the common-sense things right in front of you and begins to detect you know how much pain are people feeling I mean show me a metric that measures the amount of pain people are feeling but if your rent is going up and your job security is going down you're gonna feel pain so I'm very big on reintroducing into the study of economics the discussion of economics the qualitative factors which should weigh just as much and count for just as much as the quantitative factors but it's a really hard argument because everybody in economics is like these quantum ass guys and they want to all argue about the numbers and at point zero four and you're like but the person is crying you're clearly in pain about their situation how do you put that in the model so rush has been in the news as you know I'm from Russia and obviously by the time this podcast goes out we could be in the safe World War 3 we could all be dead who knows right but Russia has been in the news and just looking at the broad picture of what's been happening visa vie Russia and the West what is going on so first thing is there's such a disparity in the way Russia is viewed so for example the Russians were said in recent years that they want to establish a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean right right and that's connected to their presence in Syria and the view you get from the Americans you know the Pentagon guys is well do you think their ships will sink on the way or on the way back tiny rinky-dinky little country that happens to have nuclear weapons and Russia's view is we are super power and the fact their economy is not functioning very well is by the by we are a nuclear superpower so it creates this disparity and a perception gap I'm sorry I appreciate you not doing a Russian accent there by the way there's this tendency to view Russia as a small player not really very significant I think also means that we missed some materially important events like we're seeing something that the deputy head of NATO called the arc of Steel which is the Russians are building physical military bases through the Arctic they're becoming much more confrontational and aggressive in the Baltics Lithuanian Sweden have reintroduced conscription they're so nervous about what's happening and all the way through down into the Mediterranean we see the first Russian military exercises in Libya in Egypt places that we don't normally think of Russians being present so there's definitely something up right geopolitics is definitely back on the landscape the peace dividend has diminished right and there's no question we're still in nuclear world and one of the things I find interesting is younger people who have no memory of the Cold War and mutual assured destruction they don't take this very seriously they're like don't be ridiculous nobody's actually gonna use these things and I'm like you know I remember because my dad was in charge of the missile trajectories during the Cuban Missile Crisis and at one point we were down to about four hours and that was the window and they literally started preparing on both sides to evacuate for a direct nuclear hit and interestingly that's the moment when it all stopped because everybody in government went can I take my at that time wife and children right because all guys and charge me and and they all went well I'm not going if I can't take my family and as soon as they reach that point they all went okay let's get this thing to stand down which I think itself is fascinating but today what do we have we have hypersonic weapons I mean you won't have four hours right this is a totally different world with much faster speed and so I think it is important we need to take this these nuclear issues seriously and I think that this is partly what makes the discussion so difficult because from a Russian point of view everything is about them as a nuclear power and for the American side everything is about Russia being a rinky-dinky tiny little nothing of an economy and this is an impasse that they cannot get past and the Russians try to demonstrate their power in other ways we've seen some of that lately and I think they will continue to so and interestingly you know in this new book I'm writing on leadership I wanted to use the phrase the new Cold War and my editor said well we're really kind of uncomfortable with that and you're like well what do we call it and you realize we don't really have a word or phrase for this new phase that we're in and it's partly collaborative it's partly confrontational it's not just between the west and Russia it's also between the US and China we're having actual military incidents I mean we under Obama we had this unbelievable moment where Obama and Xi Jinping actually signed a Memorandum of Understanding that prohibits the military pilots on both sides from making obscene hand gestures while flying okay wait how close do you have to be to the other fighter jet to see the other guys obscene hand gesture and the answer is like two coats of paint and that's how close we flying next to each other giving each other the finger it was not made up this is for real so we're in a band very very important time in geopolitics and I don't think we have enough people really focused on it because it was not a topic for the last Deborah since the Berlin Wall fell it went away as a subject so I mean how risk are we of war at the moment so I don't think we're at risk of war however I would say we used to talk about the European theater of war and the Pacific Theater right in World War two these euphemisms today the theater has moved offstage where are the confrontations occurring they're typically occurring in places the public and the media can't see so the race for high altitude military satellites and who can knock out the other guys military satellites at high altitude it's occurring in places like the South China Sea that are out of the visibility of the COS extraterritorial locations it's occurring in the form of a technology race right President Putin recently said artificial intelligence is the new space race and he's right about that so this race that actually the public doesn't really understand is occurring and it's huge the Chinese have just announced they're building it's incredible this four million square foot facility and on high it will have when they're done it'll be the world's largest quantum computer which is what you need for artificial intelligence and it will literally have 100 million times no I'm sorry 1 million times the computational capability of the entire planet today when it's finished in three years so when you say you like that guy from Austin Powers there but here's keeping our we in a war we have to change what is our definition of war because I don't think we're gonna be in a world where it's the kind of boots on the ground that we've been accustomed to but it can be equally important what is occurring now in the high-tech arena so you working your businesses in this area isn't it and one of the things that's scary as hell about all this stuff is there's technology now that they can basically switch off the brakes in your car is there some course absolutely there's stuff that can just give you a heart attack and no one can tell why you had one we have innovation happening on every possible front and we're more and more entering what I would call them a new dimension of reality okay now you're gonna think she's lost her we have ubiquitous sensors cameras the signature on your cell phone the RFID chips and the seams of your clothes I mean everyone does chips in this yeah seems low voice yeah and they're literally 1/3 of the size of the dimple of a golf ball so even if you wanted to rip them all out you'll never find out I'm officially triggered okay and what's happening is all this data goes up into the cloud which nobody understands the cloud now that works right and artificial intelligence triangulates and it connects the dots and it creates almost like a holographic data spear so that you can see reality with far more precision than if you are looking at reality with your own eyes she knows something paper there is one guy watching this on the internet who smokes a lot we used to talk about black boxes data-driven black box yeah this is literally like almost a crystal ball because it has so much information so for example imagine that you guys have no fitness apps course we do have moment you don't have any fitness apps your phone is still tracking the gait of your walk the way you walk and apparently Apple can literally tell who is about to have a heart attack because the way you walk changes now that information is you know going up or here's another one there's a guy some guy literally burned his house down right he poured the gasoline petrol all over all over the place and then he said I wasn't there I was at this other location what he totally forgot is that he has a pacemaker that's broadcasting not only his physical location but the fact that his heart rate has gone through the roof while he's pouring the petrol around so we have to forget all of us are being were broadcasting all the time even when we don't realize it and this will happen more and more with technological innovation now on the one hand it brings good things because you can answer questions and you can solve cancer you can fix problems you can make traffic in urban areas more fluid and free but it also brings this problem of societal control and it's a two-edged short and I think this is the big economic issue that we're all walking into that we need to think about what we're running out of time and we've got one way sure that we want to cover but this has rapidly become the most depressing podcast to go by so there is literally trekkers in our clothes yes absolutely and just every type of Club so you go tonight there'll be trackers you'll go to absolutely and you're in your sneakers and then your wallet and literally every out of your glasses there's a company now that's putting trackers in eyeglasses yeah I was talking to the head of a clothing company recently and he's like I know which of my customers goes to synagogue on Sunday I know who goes to church Sons on sorry City going on Saturday church on Sunday I know who likes which bar because you can see where they go they put on their best clothes so yeah this idea that we're constantly being tracked and broadcast this is a real phenomena we're way beyond privacy but let me finish my donut beat now look at my ears I know that people haven't really clocked this it's it's it's it's the whole point of all these sensors that are going in everywhere hotel rooms right now they're putting the sensors in the floor so they can actually see how you use the hotel room space and I'm like this must be hilarious when I go to hotel room because the first thing I do is I want to plug my computer in and where do they put the plug they put it like under the desk so the first thing I do is I get down on my hands and knees on the floor that's just got to give the wrong impression about what she's doing with everything literally the walls everything a lot of office buildings now they've got cameras in the walls that are tracking how you use the space during the day so anyway I don't listen let me get to the good part all right the good part is we really are in an in an extraordinary industrial revolution the magnitude of innovation that's occurring is truly epic it's so much people can't even comprehend and I'm very optimistic about this and the betterment of society I actually think also that the stock markets and asset prices are not gonna crash every economist is like it's imminent doom gloom it's tomorrow I think quite the opposite whatever the old all-time high was it's now much higher and for two reasons one because this incredible innovation and the cost savings and I know you know I have a robotics company we make commercial drone so I can see just that alone the cost savings and the better management of environmental issues oh that's good stuff but in addition you know where everybody remembers this with this awkward phrase quantitative easing right what that was is we threw 20 trillion dollars at the world economy and governments have not taken it back right they've said well we'll do a couple of rate hikes but it's like taking a cup of water out of the Atlantic Ocean right they are not taking twenty trillion off the table so it's still there and that means it's got to go somewhere and now we're getting a tiny bit of inflation which everybody is feeling right because the cost of the beer you know down the pubs going up right so you're like that means I got to get out of cash because you get killed if you're holding cash with inflation so what does everybody do they start to buy equities they start to invest in the economy they buy property so I actually think the risk is that we're gonna have what they call melt up not a meltdown everybody's waiting for this huge meltdown disaster on a scale of what the 2008 crisis was like I think the bigger risk is that we're all going oh my god it's gonna crash it's a disaster and in fact what's in front of us is an amazing landscape and this pessimism is wrongly placed well there's one other issue that we want to talk about and actually I mean the stuff you were just talking about there if you ever happy enough to come back I think we could talk about robotics of that for a whole hour there's been a lot in the media and also with it obviously with a me-too movement as well about the gender pay gap for instance so if you could clarify for us what the gender pay gap is and does it exist and if it does exist why does it exist well the gender pay gap is basically you pay someone because they're female typically less than you pay someone who's male I think it extends actually beyond gender you might be paying people of minority backgrounds less than your we're paying some guy who's been doing it so I think it's part of again this bigger issue of of distrust in authority in authority and questioning how why are the rules like this how come this works this way I mean a couple of years ago I do a lot of public speaking and literally two or three years ago I had a public speaking agency say to me we can't get you the same price as your male peers even though you're getting higher scores with audiences and it's because you're female and I'm like well then you and I cannot work together anymore so you're not representing me anymore there's anybody who thinks this is crazy now on the other hand do I have to did I have to change in order to get my my fees up and to get paid what the guys get paid yes I did and that meant I had to be a lot tougher and it was something as a as a woman I might not have been so comfortable with but you know if you will really want to get to the top it's a competitive space and you got to punch your way there to a degree so some of it and you know it's hard to attribute what's the cause what's the bottom line is very few people are willing to accept it anymore and I think we're seeing good signs that that it's gonna go away like Blackstone which is the world's largest asset manager they came out and said any company that doesn't have at least two women on the board we're not going to invest in them and suddenly everybody's like oh okay well then we better do this but one issue I have as well as you know as a person who gets recruited to be a non-executive director quite a lot sometimes I feel like you know they really want and this is gonna be so controversial I probably good thing but they're like what they really want is a man in a dress in other words they want to say see we got a woman but do I really want you to bring all of the things that you might bring which might be a focus on things that are not so you know P&L right as a woman I might say well you know empathy might be a corporate consideration that or I might say okay chief executives totally focused on the the company being profitable yeah but we our social media position is terrible and we could lose the reputation of this company in an hour on social media if we don't pay attention to that that might be seen by some people as a very feminine approach you know focusing on the soft stuff my view is actually all people who are in leadership or who want to be they need to play the whole keyboard you there are times when this more masculine way of thinking is appropriate even for a woman there are times when a more feminine way of thinking is more appropriate even for a man and what you want is to know how to fluidly move back and forth and in the right moment in order to achieve the right outcome but the old-fashioned kind of binary as long as we're profitable everything is good yeah that doesn't really work anymore and adding women to your board if that's your attitude this doesn't change anything so you don't benefit from any diversity so I guess what I'm saying is it's what matters is the diversity of thinking and that doesn't get fixed only by having women it gets fixed by having people of totally different backgrounds completely different angles different life experiences different genders different races different cultures if you mix all that up now we're talking mm-hmm so would you be in favor of positive discrimination I'm not in favor I I don't think it works too forcefully mandate so for example the difference between what the Norwegians have done where they say by law every company has to have certain number women on the board I think the in Iceland they've said it has to be more than 50% I think it works better when Blackstone says we're not investing unless you have at least a couple in other words the market starts to take care of it itself and I have to say I still absolutely believe in meritocracy so I think people should be put in place because they're meritorious what's wrong is to take people who have merit and close the doors of opportunity to them and that is happening still way too much I mean we still get crazy outcomes I think this last year somebody reviewed the intake of new graduates coming into Oxford University and they discovered there wasn't a single British black kid admitted and then in the year I mean that's just crazy that doesn't make any sense so I don't know how we resolved this but what I am confident about is everybody gets it now and so it won't I won't go it won't just fade away it'll get addressed well I think that's we're coming to the end of the podcast well the show I think it's been absolutely fascinating thank you so much and before we let you go is there anything that you think no one is talking about that we absolutely should be talking about you know the thing that I feel is most important is this business about robotics and everybody fearing that robots gonna replace me and my life and and I don't see that at all I mean let's think about it this way we've had a hundred and fifty years of automation and more robotics being introduced and what is the end result record level employment record level employment so what robotics and automation do is they augment human beings and yes they will replace some of the jobs frankly what the jobs are gonna replace are the ones that are really repetitive incredibly boring so if you are an accountant doing repetitive work or a lawyer doing repetitive work yes you've got a problem but these people are together enough they can figure out how to go reinvent themselves and find something new and interesting to do what it'll do is force us all to become much more creative and build new businesses new ideas come up with entirely new sectors in the economy and we do this all the time I mean if you'd ask anybody four years ago they would never have thought of marijuana as an entire sector of an economy they would never have thought of blockchain as an entire second but here we are it exists you know 20 years ago who had ever really heard of a coder nobody so it always innovate and so I'm very confident that actually we will continue to have fantastic levels of employment and innovation and robotics will work with us to that end so I just think a little bit of optimism on that front you know again why are we all preparing for a car crash when in fact we're about to have the best assistance we've ever had in history well I think that's the most amazing way to end a show thank you for coming in and PIPA thank you before we go that you would like to tell the audience about whether it's your Twitter handle or your books or whatever else sure yes twitter handle is dr. Pippa M and that was deliberate because I wanted to put Pippa M because nobody can pronounce Mellon grin you know too many constants but Pippa em you get photographs of Pippa Middleton's rear-end yeah which well though it's a good look to be associated with this is not the wine I was after so I had to put the doctor in front anyway dr. Pippa M and I try to put stuff up all the time about what's going on in the world economy and I have a book called signals that's out the paperback version is the most up-to-date and that kind of explains populism and how we got here and how we're gonna go forward with a very optimistic take and I have a book on leadership coming out on September 4th we'll be getting that thank you very much for coming in pip I think thank you

7 thoughts on “Dr Pippa Malmgren on Populism, Russia and AI

  1. Even if you went in and around London, excluding central London (isn't really reflective of the city), you'd know Brexit was popular among various folks.

    Anyone surprised about Trump's victory hadn't been following the social trends in the US. It was obvious to those who looked broadly..,".

  2. Saying 'Some Mexicans are rapists' is simply a statement of fact. Some Mexicans ARE rapists. Ask the Mexican justice ministry. Even if Mexicans were a race and not a nationality, the fact that the statement included the word 'some' means that it would still not be racist. Stop repeating this ridiculous mantra that Trump is a racist. You just make yourself look like a partisan, Trump deranged hack.
    Edit: Please don't take this as a destructive criticism. I very much enjoy these interviews and am working my way through them all. I've just noticed you saying that in pretty much every one and it irked me.

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