😎 Building consciousness; the end of capitalism; robokillers & future food++ Issue #18

The Exponential View

John Markoff argues the future is further away than we think. Jean-Louis Gassée on curation. How to build a brain and the industrialisation of killer robots.

This is one of the first summer specials with more long-form features for you to enjoy on the beach 😍.

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Dept of the near future

🔮 Not so near. “Things are slowing down. In 2045, it’s going to look more like it looks today than you think” argues NY Times veteran, John Markoff. Excellent read

😍 Human curation is back. Jean-Louis Gassée argues we’re hitting the limits of human curation in news, media and culture, prompting an opportunity for the curator. (Also discriminatory algorithms, below)

🔫 Excellent BBC feature on South Korea’s killer robots explores the key ethical questions. (Also for hackers, build your own attack robot using Arduino & OpenCV. Video here.)

👑 Is consciousness an engineering problem? Accessible piece by Michael Graziano on his ‘attention schema’ and a blueprint for an engineering approach to consciousness. Hard read

🌐 Is the end of capitalism approaching? Long-read highly recommended extract of Paul Mason’s new book on post-capitalism.

😮 The cadence of Moore’s Law is approaching 2.5 years according to Intel.

💫 Do entrepreneurs have a risk taking gene or just families with money?

☀️ June 2015 was the hottest on record.

Exponential Dinner 2: The ethics of AI

We have a second for readers of Azeem’s Exponential Digest to discuss the ethics of AI.
This dinner is on September 21st at 630pm in London, UK. If you are interested in attending please email me.

Dept of future eating

The ‘big food’ industry lost market share last year in the US and consumers sought food products with different attributes: either more sustainable, more ethical, more artificial/optimised or more artisanal. Venture capital is funding the shift.
This excellent essay in Slate reviews the charges against GMO-food and concludes that the opponents of GMO have fought a dirty, unhelpful and usually muddle-headed battle: GMO foods are safe.
This paper argues that widespread gene-editing is the best way of tackling global hunger
Philips is experimenting with new LED lights for farms which can optimise the light needs for particular plants, encouraging their growth.

Short morsels for dinner parties

🍹 When algorithms discriminate; I’ll return to this question of discrimination from poor system design at length in the future but here is a good starter to the debate.

Non-invasive cancer biopsies via blood tests look cool.

The view from the Google Self-Driving car. Includes some internal footage of the car being rear-ended.

Why electric cars will take over soon. Interesting view of the downward spiral on petro-convenience that even a small increase in electric cars will create. Nice read

Self-driving cars could save you as much as $1,000 per year on insurance.

Meet the faces of Japan’s first robot-staffed hotel, including English-speaking dinosaur.

Boeing’s laser fusion aircraft engines.

Art piece: Gun-toting Raspberry Pi signifies every death from a drone strike.

Is the start-up accelerator the new MBA? Possibly. (See also: EntrepreneurFirst expands to support new grads to build startups.)

🌈 Beautiful. A colour-blind man wears EnChroma glasses and sees purple for the first time.

End notes

Remember: email me stories or just if you want to chat ;)