Why technology makes us uneasy; the machine intelligence landscape; Magic Leap; the origin of Trump bots; consciousness explored; AI and IP; time to review the sharing economy; peak oil; women scientists & more
Hope this stimulates some great discussion.
Dept of the near future
🌟 Sarah Perry on how technological specialisation makes us uneasy and why so many of us “have a wistful feeling for the simpler, more condensed order of the (imagined) past.” What happens next? BRILLIANT, THOUGHT PROVOKING.
💰 The competitive landscape for machine intelligence: MUST READ overview by EV reader, Shivon Zilis.
🦄 “Magic Leap’s innovation isn’t just a high-tech display–it’s a disruption machine.” FASCINATING write-up of the leader in augmented and mixed reality which has raised more than $1.4bn in venture capital.
🤖 It’s the robot’s wot dun it: “America has lost more than 7 million factory jobs since manufacturing employment peaked in 1979. Yet American factory production, minus raw materials and some other costs, more than doubled over the same span to $1.91 trillion last year.”
🇲🇰 How Macedonia became the global hub of Trump bots. It isn’t the politics, it’s the profit. Generate clicks on Facebook from US visitors is worth a lot. THOUGHT PROVOKING. (Unintended consequences of the global digital village interfacing with capitalism. Almost satire, imagine if the election result was affected by 16-year olds half a world away getting a better CPC.)
👻 EV reader, Anil Seth on consciousness: “We are conscious selves because we too are beast machines – self-sustaining flesh-bags that care about their own persistence.” GREAT READ
🌟 Introducing the Exponential View podcast
By popular demand, we’re experimenting with an Exponential View podcast.
Our first is ‘in conversation’ with Ryan Avent, author of Wealth of Humans and is a brilliant hour on the topic of technological unemployment.
Dept of artificial intelligence
Computers are increasingly autonomous part of the creative process. How do we allocate ownership of IP that is designed by software? What happens when the 🌟 mother of invention is a machine? Argues patent attorney, Ryan Abbott:
A creative singularity in which computers overtake human inventors as the primary source of new discoveries is foreseeable. Creative computers may require a rethinking of the baseline standard for inventiveness, and potentially the entire patent system.
A new deep learning method dreams up new drugs and their potential impact, exploring more intuitively, using chemical knowledge it learned, like a human chemist would. Novelty is, of course, one of the requirements of a patent.
Well respected machine learning expert, Daniel Tunkelang, explores several other cases where AI and IP law are clashing. FASCINATING READING.
- Decent overview on the challenges of getting AI into healthcare (lack of training data; deployment problems; and regulation.)
- As expected, Starcraft, with its messiness and degrees of freedom, is emerging a new playground for AI researchers. Google announced a partnership with Blizzard, Starcraft’s maker. Facebook earlier released TorchCraft, an open-source library to help AI developers working on real-time strategy games.
- AI investment across businesses is forecast to rise by 300% next year according to Forrester Research.
- Simple non-technical intro to deep learning. (Rather good)
Dept of the sharing economy
My post on Uber and regulation received nearly 200,000 views so the question of regulatory-arbitrage-as-a-strategy (RAAAS) is clearly a topical one.
Izabella Kaminska is an FT journalist who is asking some of the toughest questions about the sharing economy. In what she describes as “our rental serf future”:
the path to future profitability lies in the general population never really owning anything but rather having to rent everything or pay a subscription to an intermediary for it
Mark Muro in WSJ argues that suggests that the gig economy is not creating jobs. He argues:
the spreading gig economy (at least in the case of ride-sharing) is, in fact, substituting for some payroll employment, or at least depressing its growth…
and if that is the case
whether it is about benefits contributions by gig-economy companies… or new kinds of safety nets, the conversation needs to widen as fast as the gig economy is growing.
A US government labor (sic) watchdog is pushing Uber to strengthen the rights of Uber drivers.
Cities across the world are increasingly stepping in to moderate the free-for-all in room sharing. (See this recent comment from London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.)
Uber and Lyft passengers face racial and gender discrimination, according to this study. (AirBnB faced similar issues and now has a non-discrimination programme.)
Short morsels to appear smart at dinner parties
The pursuit of super-happiness. Interview with EV reader, Riva Tez, on AI, longevity and human betterment.
👄 Video: Lipnet AI lip reads with 93.4% accuracy (humans <80%)
A British insurance company tried to adjust its premia based on Facebook scores. Facebook blocked it.
😎 Shell: Oil demand may peak in five years.
🎳 Bowling ball vs feather fall in a vacuum (video)
We had a fantastic dinner event with Ryan Avent which you can experience by listening to our podcast. Also, read Aidan Fiztpatrick’s essay on technological unemployment that was inspired by the event.
We’re always looking for speakers for those dinners or guests on the podcast. So if you’d like to be one of them, please just fill out this form.