🔮 How AI will change the enterprise; robot friendships; quantum computing (maybe); Tinder select, time crystals, the connectome++ #104

The Exponential View

Artificial intelligence in the enterprise (actually interesting!) Voice has a way to go. Building friendships with robots. Quantum computing and time crystals. Atheism in the Arab world. Tinder select. The connectome.

Hope this sparks great conversations!

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Dept of the near future

🙊 Ben Evans: Voice & the uncanny valley of AI. “People want voice to be the new thing …. the tech industry is casting around looking for the Next Big Thing. I suspect that voice is certainly a big thing, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the next platform shift.”

👨🏽‍🌾 How superstar firms have shrunk labour’s share of the pie. “These superstars can offer more variety, cheaper prices and convenience, but the bigger chunk of profits that they capture is split among fewer workers.”

👫 Will robots help our hinder the creation and maintenance of meaningful human friendships? John Danaher takes an Aristotelian view.

🌟 Tim Berners-Lee: We need to take control of our data, tackle misinformation and manage political messaging in order to save the Web. (Paradoxically, the Darknet now has a more decentralized structure than the mainstream Internet which may make it more resilient to attack or oligopoly power.)

🔥 Facebook wants more power in our lives, and we should resist, argues Jan Dawson. “It finally recognizes its power and the ways in which that power has caused problems in the world, but its instinct is to wield that power even more, rather than back off.”

Dept of artificial intelligence

Interview with Andrew Ng from Baidu and Neil Jacobstein from Singularity. Says Ng:

Just as about 100 years ago electrification changed every single major industry, I think we’re in the phase where AI will change pretty much every major industry.

And he continues

Things may change in the future, but one rule of thumb today is that almost anything that a typical person can do with less than one second of mental thought we can either now or in the very near future automate with AI.
This is a far cry from all work. But there are a lot of jobs that can be accomplished by stringing together many one-second tasks.

📈 Put this together with Michael Schrage’s argument in Harvard Business Review that “machine learning and AI algorithmic innovation transform analytics … to supercharge the [Pareto 80/20 principle]”, and it paints a picture of how important it is for firms to get the grips with AI’s impact.

In essence, the availability of data across organisations will identify opportunities where the optimisation is not an 80/20 but perhaps a super-pareto (a 99/1). In other words, taking Pareto’s observation that small components may have substantial impact and lasering in on where those effects are more significant.

🔮 To see how this works in practice, I really recommend Danny Lange’s excellent presentation on AI in the enterprise. Lange has run machine learning platforms at Microsoft, Amazon, Uber and Unity. (I recently saw him speak at an excellent Nordic.AI event.)

The arrival of AI is also changing organisational structures in firms.

Many companies are now putting greater emphasis on cultural fit and adaptability, knowing that individual roles will have to evolve along with the implementation of AI.

Both Ng and Schrage describe AI in the terms that Jerry Kaplan calls “potent tools that promise a more prosperous and comfortable future”.  Kaplan reckons that “[p]ublic discourse about AI has become untethered from reality.”

Or as Ines Montani says in this lovely essay: “please, finally, stop using that same old fucking wired brain illustration.

Elsewhere:

Quantum dept of maybe

I’ve been meaning to cover more quantum computing for a few weeks but this week Nature and my buddies at The Economist went to town on it. You can access Jason Palmer’s survey in The Economist here.

Small morsels to appear smart at dinner parties

We are watching more video, just not more TV

The Wintel marriage is falling apart and Microsoft is turning to new chip architectures at Intel’s cost.

Handy brief history of Blockchain

Tesla reckons it can solve South Australia’s energy problems within 100 days.

🇨🇳 China will have more than a quarter of a billion over-60s within 3 years

How blockchain might improve the food (and wider) trade

Your name might affect your facial appearance. (Machine learning meets psychology with a surprising result.)

Is ambiguity a better barometer of market uncertainty than volatility?

UK carbon emissions drop 6% as coal use tails off

Half of all new Norwegian cars are electric or hybrid

🌍 Brian Whittaker: The rise of Arab atheism

Tinder Select is a new invite-only version for highly-rated members. 

👨🏽‍🔬 Gorgeous video of a neuroscientist explain the connectome to five different people (including a five year old kid).

End note

Next week marks the two-year anniversary of _Exponential View. _

Time flies when you are having fun.

Have a great week!

Azeem

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