Principles of AI; autonomous vehicles and privacy; America’s cultural rift; AI beats humans at poker; self-driving cars get safer; bots outnumber humans; Facebook’s video bubble; Snapchat.
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Dept of the near future
🔮 The Future of Life institute releases the Asilomar AI Principles on how we should develop AI in future. Will return to these in due course.
🤖 The AI revolution. I just came across the really nice overview of Artificial Intelligence. A lovely refresher/primer from July 2016.
🔭 Autonomous vehicles and the death of privacy: “Advances in computer vision & AI mean this data will be usable at scale, which will revolutionise advertising, law enforcement, and bring us back to a pre-privacy world.”
🇺🇸 On the cultural and economic rifts in America caused by the wage gap between the college-educated and the rest. Great essay. (See also LinkedIn’s US Workplace report which has very strong data on US labour force trends, skills shortages and likely migration patterns.)
👉🏼 EV reader, Carlos Espinal, interviewed me for the Seedcamp podcast. We talk about startups, pivots, machine learning, product ethics and fake news. Hope you enjoy it!
Dept of pay-it-forward
I curate Exponential View on the weekend while my kids do homework. It’s an activity that needs your support.
So a request to more recent subscribers, please do recommend this to three colleagues who you think would enjoy it. (E-mail recommendations work best but tweeting this Twitter message works a treat too.)
Dept of brains & computers
Libratus, an AI poker player, played 120,000 hands of poker against four pros winning $1.76m in chips. “The victory demonstrates how AI has likely surpassed the best humans at doing strategic reasoning in ‘imperfect information.’”
Libratus did not rely on deep neural networks but rather used three independent systems and a healthy dose of reinforcement learning. Some details from Cade Metz here.
- Patients with locked-in syndrome are able to communicate via a brain-computer interface.
- Could BCIs lead to brain hackers stealing your deepest thoughts?
- MIT researchers prototype a wearable that can detect the emotional content of a conversation.
- Watch an AI learn how to play PacMan in OpenAI’s Universe environment.
Department of future transport
We’ve long suggested that electric vehicles will upend the oil industry. Some estimates suggest that 10% of oil demand may be lost as consumers switch to electric vehicles. This would have a significant impact on the oil industry.
There are second-order effects. Many petrol retailers (e.g. garages) run on tiny margins, supported only by the chocolate and drinks bought by passing drivers. As consumer’s switch away from petrol and diesel their need to stop at a local gas station diminishes and with the the sustainability of these small firms. As the local petrol forecourt closes down, owning an ICE vehicle because more inconvenient (as you have to traveller further to fuel it), in turn making owning electric more attractive. And this before we consider the impact of shared-ownership modalities.
Last year saw a 42% rise in sales of Battery EVs (like the Tesla and the Leaf) and PH EVs with nearly 775k shipped worldwide, representing about 1% of all car sales. Good data here.
🚗 Alphabet’s Waymo autonomous vehicles improved significantly. The rate of human intervention declined four-fold between 2015 and 2016. Some data in this FT article shows the scale of Waymo’s lead. (About 8 times better than BMW’s AV and 1500 times better than Tesla.)
- 52% of internet traffic comes from bots. The rest from humans. (Of course, a large part of human traffic is just people clicking on things we have been algorithmically channelled towards. Hardly different from bot traffic.)
- As ISIS struggles to recruit humans, it turns to drones to fill in gaps in military capability.
Short morsels to appear smart at dinner parties
🎫 Customs? Religion? Language? What determines national identity?
Use of Ad blocking approaches 400m users per month.
London AirBnB rentals quadrupled in two years.
👻 Decent teardown on the Snapchat IPO filing.
Massive wind turbine sets a new record (216MWh in just one day).
2016 EV sales - Tesla and Nissan leaf lead (great data)
First video of uBeam’s wireless charging
🤦♂️ Programmed inequality: how discriminatory practices crippled Britain’s early lead in computing after World War 2. (And lessons for today.)
It’s a slightly shorter issue this week. Heavy work travel schedule. Ten flights in sixteen days took its toll on my immune system and I’ve been in bed the past couple of days.
I’ll catch-up once my throat clears & we’ll be back to our usual schedules next week :)
Since you all might have a few spare moments, do take a moment do the following: