🔮 How AI changed Amazon; bikes vs cars; the rise of the artisan; cloning yourself; panpsychism, talking Orcas and science in North Korea++ #151

How Amazon uses AI; bikes vs. cars; money laundering cryptocurrency; the return of the artisan.
Hope this inspires some great conversations!

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DEPT OF THE NEAR FUTURE

🔶  Amazon’s artificial intelligence flywheel: how the AI team catalysed a company-wide culture change. (Also, nearly half of all American households are Amazon Prime members. And, Ben Thompson analyses Amazon’s move into healthcare provision.)

🚴  EV’s Marija Gavrilov: How bikes will take their revenge on cars and retake the city. MUST READ

🏥  Why AI will not replace radiologists, argues Hugh Harvey: “Radiologists will also be empowered to become more ‘doctor’ than ever before, with productivity gains allowing more time communicating results to both clinicians and patients.” (See also: new initiative MIT IQ set to discover foundations of human intelligence.)

💬  The advertising business is the Internet’s central villain, argues Farhad Manjoo.  EXCELLENT. Also, Umair Haque reckons that advertising killed its own business, and Rishad Tobaccowala predicts that advertising will decline by 30% over the next five years. (Facebook’s news feed changes have already reduced time users spend on site - but they haven’t impacted its advertising business.)

😀 😀  Should you be able to create your own clone?

🎰  The Coincheck hack shows that cryptocurrency may be harder to launder than fiat currencies. (Also: digital money guru, Dave Birch on the differences between virtual, digital and cryptocurrencies.)

📡  Personal data portability will become a significant theme in 2018. Its benefits are not as straightforward as it would seem, as this excellent analysis suggests. (See also: Strava's heatmaps a 'potential catastrophe').

DEPT OF ARTISANS AND WORK

I gave a presentation last year on the rising importance of artisanship in a world of perfect machines. (Video.)

Ryan Avent on the artisanal boom. Does it presage a new structure for the economy?

🍺  Noah Smith: “Craft beer offers one small way in which an enterprising, hard-working individual can bootstrap themselves to the middle- or upper-middle-class and accumulate some capital.”

How is digital fabrication bringing back the principles of artisan economy.

Related:

SHORT MORSELS TO APPEAR SMART AT DINNER PARTIES

Panpsychism is gaining more ground as a theory of consciousness.

🇨🇳  Chinese internet users grow to 772 million;  the growth of mobile payments is particularly fascinating. (See also: Tencent may have launched its social credit system in China.)

Facebook’s Oculus VR unit is on a hiring spree.

🔈 What a quantum computer sounds like.

Gut microbes combine to cause colon cancer.

🐳  Orcas imitate human speech.

When a 10-year-old becomes an executioner in 17th century France. Fascinating short history of the terrifying profession.

Doing science in North Korea.

🕶️  Missing neutrons may lead a secret life as dark matter.

END NOTE

I’m really interested in connecting with AI startups anywhere in the stack: whether you are designing custom ASICs, building model management toolkits, doing core research in novel approaches or applying AI to a specific large-scale (or narrow) problem, please do get in touch.

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Best wishes,
Azeem

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