🔮 Crypto tokens emerging; fair algorithms; stumbling robots; the $7 trillion transport opportunity; programmable matter, macaques, brains++ #116

🔮 Crypto tokens emerging; fair algorithms; stumbling robots; the $7 trillion transport opportunity; programmable matter, macaques, brains++ #116

The state of the internet economy. The emergence of crypto tokens. Robots hit hurdles. Understanding fair algorithms and much more.

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👍 Supported by SVB, Silicon Valley Bank


🎣 Notes from an emergency. Entrepreneur MaciejCeglowski warns “of a vigorous ethnic nationalism in Europe and America. This nationalism makes skillful use of online tools, tools that we believed inherently promoted freedom, to advance an authoritarian agenda.” (See also: how Twitter is being gamed to promote misinformation.)

🍭 Mary Meeker’s annual must read presentation on Internet trends is available. Wearables, Voice, Immigrants all featured highly. (See also this extract which analyses Mary’s “end of TV” theme.)

🛴 The passenger economy, as Intel is calling the reinvention of transport, will be a $7 trillion opportunity.  (Excellent full report here.)

🔍  Can crypto tokens  re-decentralise the web and save us from the dominant mega-platforms? A16Z’s Chris Dixon argues:

[They] are currently niche and controversial. If present trends continue, they will soon be seen as a breakthrough in the design and development of open networks, combining the societal benefits of open protocols with the financial and architectural benefits of proprietary networks.

🔐 Exponential View hosted another event in London. Carole Cadwalladr, Luciano Floridi, Hari Kunzru, and Tom Loosemore joined me for a discussion on whether democracy has been hacked, and what we can do to hack it for better. Give it a listen.


McKinsey: "the ‘robotics evolution’ has not been a slam dunk for many [executives], especially when companies try to scale the localized proofs of concept” because of heterogenous environments, brittle interfaces, and changing requirements.

Morgan Stanley launches “next best action”, a suite of ML tools to help brokers do their jobs better.

Interactive: Will robots take my job? 😜

Joy Buolamwini: Algorithms aren’t racist. Your skin is just too dark.

Julius Adebayo of FastForwardLabs: how to audit black box models for fairness. EXCELLENT

Andrej Karpathy: Putting AlphaGo in context. (It is still an example of narrow AI.)

How long until super intelligence? Between 12 and many hundreds of years according to the top experts in the field.

💡 Wonderful infographic on the past and future evolution of machine learning.

Using social media data + machine learning to predict substance addiction.

Apple is manufacturing a Siri speaker.

How brains recognise faces: Researchers have reverse-engineered signals from brain cells in macaques to reconstruct faces. AMAZING.

Jennifer Hasler on how we could build an artificial brain right now using existing technology.


Balaji Srinivasan on exactly why tokens are more than simply a currency and how they may reorganise the flow of value around the web, reinvent the advertising ecosystem, reshape how companies are financed, and more. 💣

The Brave Browser initial coin offering (ICO) raised $35m in 30 seconds. The cryptocurrency, the Basic Attention Token, will support a new digital advertising ecosystem.

📂 Building on Chris Dixon’s thesis above, Blockstack releases a decentralised browser.

EV reader, Trent McConaghy argues that lblockchains could transform AI starting by facilitating sharing and attribution of data and models. (We talked about Trent's data partnership with Toyota in EV#115).

Handy map of the Ethereum token ecosystem.


🤔 How bad was Donald Trump’s decision to leave the Paris accords? Climate guru, Michael Liebreich, isn’t too pessimistic in this tweetstorm.

The same day of Trump’s decision, the world’s first large-scale carbon capture plant went into operation. 1000x more effective than photosynthesis.

India is greening fast as Prime Minister "Modi believes it is good economics and politics." (New coal plants are on hold.)

Modern wind turbines generate 21x the power output of their 1990 ancestors, representing a 12% compounded annual learning rate.

Electricity Map: a fun iPhone app which allows you to track real-time electricity output by source across Europe.


🃏 Indian women look set to gross $9bn in sales using WhatsApp & Facebook.

QR codes are driving the end of cash in China 💸

Nir Eyal on addictive apps “We Can’t Let Silicon Valley Become Las Vegas

📈 Venture capital firms with more teenage daughters perform better (because it reduces partners’ bias against women entrepreneurs).

US visa authorities to investigate five years of social media history. #blackmirror

Great primer on programmable matter (h/t Nick Pinkston).

☢️  Lead exposure correlates with increasing crime rates in the US.

🐟  This fish fathered a near clone of itself.

Here's your ticket for a leisure flight above Mars.


We’ve got elections in the UK on Thursday. Wish us the best :)

Finally, I wanted to mention that if your firm is interested in supporting the Exponential View mission as a commercial partner, please drop Petra Johansson an email.

Have a great week


This week's issue is brought to you with support from our partner, SVB


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