Machine prejudice & racist algorithms is a must read. Our jobs and robots. The sharing economy. Is there an AI winter coming? Misusing disruption. Hololens impresses. Virtual reality cacophonies. The haptic touch. Apple’s AI strength (or weakness). Making sandwiches. Pitching Oscar the Grouch.
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Dept of the near future
🔥 Machine prejudice: there is software used to predict future crimes, and it is prejudiced against blacks. MUST READ on the algocracy.
🚀 “Our job will be making more jobs for the robots, and that job will never be done” interview with Kevin Kelly on his new book Inevitable. EXCELLENT READ. (See also, Foxconn axes 60,000 factory jobs in favour of robots.)
🌟 The state of the sharing economy: 72% of Americans have used some kind of broadly-defined sharing economy service. GOOD DATA from Pew.
👍🏽 Disruption is not a strategy. Long thought-provoking analysis by Jerry Neumann.
💡 Should two-sided online platforms, like Google & Facebook, be regulated? BRIEF leader in The Economist. (Weak conclusion, IMO, will return to it in future but interesting that the question is being asked.)
Dept of virtual reality
We’re rushing headlong into developing VR and AR technologies, with an investment boom supporting some technical breakthroughs in hardware and software. This discussion in Nature looks at more sober neuroscience view of VR and suggests “data cast doubt on whether the way animals interpret 2D or 3D space can ever be understood using VR under conditions of head or body restriction.”
Brief review of Microsoft’s impressive Hololens which creates a mixed reality integrated apps and information over the physical world.
😮 L'autre main: what mixed reality might be like. Concept video showing the cacophonic dystopia that might be our augmented reality future. RECOMMENDED.
Profile of Ultrahaptics: “We create a technology that lets you feel things in the air without touching anything. It lets you feel buttons and dials and feedback for gestures as well as 3D shapes, objects, and textures in the air without actually touching anything.”
There is a boom in AR/VR funding. Here is what the investors have to say.
Dept of AI
💥 Does AI hold problems for Apple? Marco Arment: “Where Apple suffers is big-data services and AI, such as search, relevance, classification, and complex natural-language queries”
💎 The contrary view: Steve Jobs’ purchase of British firm, Vocal IQ, may herald a vastly more powerful Siri that will wipe the floor with competitors.
AI theorist, Roger Shank takes on IBM: “They are not doing "cognitive computing” no matter how many times they say they are“ and warns an "AI winter is coming soon.”
RECOMMENDED survey of how major firms like Pearson and IBM are planning to use AI to innovate in education. Exemplar: “Pearson is proposing to bypass the cumbersome bureaucracy of mass standardized testing and assessment, and instead focus on real-time intelligent analytics conducted up-close within the pedagogic routines of the AI-enhanced classroom. This will rely on a detailed and intimate analytics of individual performance.” (My emphasis.)
Tesla’s networked intelligence has now acquired 780m miles of driving experience. Quite an incredible data network effect that will provide the firm huge competitive advantage. It even simulates new models against real road conditions. Clever. (I wrote about how this builds sustainable advantage back in October. Also, see this fun read, “I trusted the machine”, on the actual experience of being in a self-driving Tesla.)
Brief profile of Geometric Intelligence, Gary Marcus’s startup which aims to teach ML systems with far less data. (Also has a 17 minute video.)
Augmented cognition: “near-future workers using personal AI to do their jobs better.”
Short morsels to appear smart at dinner parties
👐 What are the fastest growing professions in the US? A heavy skew to ‘hands-on’ health and wellness roles, which is what we might expect given demographics and automation.
Who should design streets? Everyone.
Higher IQ? Lower risk of death.
The Earth’s core is 2.5 years younger than the surface. Thank relativity and the warping of space-time.
Weighing a black hole. We’ve done it – this particular singularity is 660m times heavier than the Sun.
⏳ Six months and $1,500 to make a sandwich. Highlighting the value of trade and specialisation. (links to video)
Pitching Big Bird: Inside Sesame Street’s VC arm “approaches digital technology in the same experimental spirit with which it once approached TV, and to prepare it for future technological shifts.”
Nice read for a Sunday. Joceyln Lei: “Where does confidence come from?”
I’ve had real email delivery problems since I moved the sender address to firstname.lastname@example.org. To increase reliability I have moved back to email@example.com as the sender address while we fix the spam-filtering debacle on the other domain.
It’s a bank holiday weekend! Enjoy the sun and the slightly shorter EV; and please continue with your amazing recommendations & email referrals!