Dept of the near future
🏙️ Crypto networks are like cities. The best will grow from the ground up. And those designed with too much planning will fail. EV reader, Taylor Pearson, presents a very interesting thesis on the evolution of crypto networks with lessons from systems theory, complexity science and urban planning.
Blockchain-based machine-learning market places. Fred Ehrsam argues that the “combination of private machine learning with blockchain incentives can create the strongest machine intelligences.” Interesting idea I’ve been tracking for a while.
🍃 The road to decarbonization. Michael Liebreich on how “[a]stonishing progress is being made on super-efficient industrial processes, connected and shared vehicles, electrification of air transport, precision agriculture, food science, synthetic fuels… in the end, clean technologies will outcompete fossil-fuel-based approaches. They won’t even need a carbon price.” MUST READ
🔎 We live in the ‘reputation’ age: “What a mature citizen of the digital age should be competent at is not spotting and confirming the veracity of the news. Rather, she should be competent at reconstructing the reputational path of the piece of information in question.”
The StackOverflow survey of 100,000 developers is illuminating. High (low) lights: a massive gender skew, about 90% male, generally from highly-educated families, with a growing awareness of their social impact of technologies in particular AI. The world will increasingly be mediated by software, and we need this group of bright sparks to become much more inclusive and diverse. (See also: Ivana Bartoletti: “Women must act now, or male-designed robots will take over our lives”)
Dept of technology and society
💯 Automation is continuing to move income from workers to owners, according to the new study by the Brookings Institute. "[L]abo[u]r displacement need not imply a decline in employment, hours, or wages. Rather, it simply requires that the wagebill—that is, the product of hours of work and wages per hour—rises less rapidly than does value-added." (Full paper)
CEO of the Allen Institute for AI, Oren Etzioni, launches a Hippocratic oath for AI practitioners.
A nice simple introduction to how federated learning could herald privacy-safe AI.
🇨🇳 Chinese academics, companies and government convened recently to discuss AI policy issues. The resulting document shows how seriously China seeks to shape the global governance of AI. (See also, the Chinese government wants to ban people with bad social credit from the transit system.)
Russian hackers are tackling critical US infrastructure.
Short morsels to appear smart at dinner parties
How did #deleteuber change the dynamic of ride-sharing in NYC? (And Lyft users are more likely to be Hillary voters). Fascinating data.
😮 Speakers can be used to compromise air-gapped systems.
When trends collide: hacked retail bots assault customers with porn while demanding bitcoin ransoms.
OpenMeals digitizes sushi, then serves you a perfectly pixelated, 3D printed meal.
💉 An Apple watch sensor detects high potassium levels; if FDA-approved, this could substitute needles.
Meet Nectome, the mind-uploading startup which requires customers to be euthanised.
How false memories form. Fascinating
What you are up to
Long-time EV supporter, Paul Daugherty, has a new book, Humans + Machines, out. Paul and his co-author Jim Wilson have put together a thesis on exactly how AI will transform the jobs people do. I’ve been collaborating with Paul for the past few months. It gave me a chance to read the book early and better understand the ideas first hand. Worth a read.
Exponential View is a tad shorter that normal for two reasons. I had a super busy week with too much flying. And, I’ve started to get my head round gene editing and synthetic biology. I’m approaching this from a cold start so my reading speed is not even pedestrian. Synthetic biology is a topic to which EV will shortly turn. While two years old, the clarity of this short introduction to CRISPR, Rewriting the Book of Life, means it has stood the test of time.
Finally, as a reminder, I am investing more heavily again. I’m particularly interested in early-stage companies working among the themes covered in the newsletter. I’m very focused on exceptional founding teams. Please do get in touch if you are looking at your Seed or Series A. UK marginally preferred, but anywhere works. The best way is via an introduction from one of my trusted friends (unless you are one!).
Have a great week!