How fast will an exponential economy grow? Is increasing wealth enough? Where do startup founders think things are headed? Have we found Satoshi? Can psychology help on the path to AI? Do we care about female robots? Will Viv live up to its billing? How fast can the economy go renewable? And so many more questions … hopefully taking you to some great lunchtime conversations :)
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Dept of the near future (economics special!)
🌟 On exponential growth in the economy: “the next transition will happen sometime in roughly the next century. Within a period of five years, the economy will be doubling every month or faster” MUST READ by EV reader, Robin Hanson.
😃 McKinsey&Co on better capitalism: “Our culture celebrates money and wealth as the benchmarks of success… Suppose that instead we celebrated innovative solutions to human problems.” (See also Harvard Business Review: Economic growth doesn’t bring happiness if it brings inequality.)
💡"What assets were for the industrial firm, network effects are for the post-industrial firm.“ Esko Kilpi on a new growth theory. EXCELLENT
🔮 Here is where entrepreneurs think the world is heading. Analysing start-up applications to Y-Combinator, the world’s top incubator. (Incubators tend to back founders thinking 4-6 years out from the mainstream). STUNNING
💎 Bitcoin’s identity crisis: "if Satoshi himself cannot prove he is Satoshi, there is no chance anyone else can either” Izabella Kaminska’s summary of the state of Craig Wright’s claim to bitcoin authorship. GREAT READ
Dept of AI, robots and interfaces
Gary Marcus argues that we need more than training data and neural networks to build AI. These approaches, easy and appealing that they are, only let us model shadows of the world. “We have to go back to human psychology. How is it that humans, most of the time, navigate the world pretty well?” **THOUGHT-PROVOKING READ **
💥 The team behind Siri launches Viv, a new AI assistant which is an open platform designed to compete with Apple & Google as our starting point. Great profile by Elizabeth Dwoskin in Washington Post.
Can AI invent the next wonder material? The growth of machine learning in materials science promises to be revolutionary. “We’ve moved away from the artisanal era of computational materials science, and into the industrial phase.”
😮 Laurie Penny: “We give robots female names so we don’t need to consider their feelings.”
EV reader Marc Canter: “It won’t be chatbots alone that will replace the interface”
How Facebook is building AI systems to build AI. Slightly confusing article in Wired which conflates machine learning and AI. Overview of how Facebook has tools which generate better machine learning models (simplifying hyperparameter tuning, algorithm selection & validation, presumably).
Dept of renewables & climate change
😎 “It is technically and economically feasible to run the US economy entirely on renewable energy, and to do so by 2050.” Stunning analysis from David Roberts.
It’s hard to understate the demand-side role that Tesla is going to play in all of this. Automotive is such a huge driver of our energy consumption. Tesla, more than any other company, has demonstrated you can move to a new price:performance bundle without petrol. Tesla’s cars aren’t just greener. They are better.
🌞 The price of solar electricity continues to drop. A new record: less than $0.03 per kWh in Dubai. (In EV#22, about 9 months ago, we noted the lowest prices were $0.04/kWh, so this represents a 25% drop in 9 months.)
😞 Profile of America’s first climate refugees. $48m allocated to move an entire community in Louisiana to higher ground. #itbegins
Dept of drugs and therapies
The first commercial gene therapy to cure a disease is going through approval. Strimvelis tackles ‘bubble boy’ disease.
🍀 Legalising weed in Washington state didn’t increase teenage access to cannabis.
Short morsels to appear smart at dinner parties
🌆 What is it that Jane Jacobs made us want to see in the city? The interplay of it’s multiple layers and the importance of the communities at its nodes. FAB
Erik Sandberg-Diment was a tech journalist in the 1980s. He reviews the predictions he got wrong.
With Moore’s Law running out of road, the semiconductor industry looks for an alternative.
Nice profile of Shenzhen where 90% of the world’s electronics are made.
IPG moves $250m of advertising from telly to Youtube. #bigshift
SciHub the ‘pirate bay’ of scientific papers is being used by, well, everyone.
👍🏽 How to make every part of your life better. Super fun read for a Sunday.
What you are up to
Get on yer bike and help kids. Reader, Eze Vidra, runs TechBikers, a charity bike ride taking the tech community from Paris to London. Seventy founders, investors & engineers raising money for kids’ education in the developing world. Several other EV readers are on the ride. June 24th. (If you want to take TechBikers to your city, contact Eze.)
EV reader, Evan Niselsson, is hosting a summit on Digital Vision and Imaging in New York on May 24th and 25th; speakers include Josh Elman & Bijan Sabet. He is offering fellow readers 70% off the event if you use the promo code ExponentialView. Hurry!
Have a sunny weekend.