Azeem's Exponential View - Free energy, deep learning, Microsoft & Facebook: issue #7

The Exponential View

Three takes on the near future: cities, social credit & super-intelligence; deeper dive into zero-cost clean energy; deep learning & interesting short links. The Justine Musk story is great.

Still iterating - Please do forward this to two friends who might enjoy it.


Dept of the not-so-far future

China to use social sharing to rate citizens in a new 'social credit system'

By crawling social network data and financial records, China aims to hold its citizens accountable for financial decisions and moral choices.

Nick Bostrom: ‘I don’t think the artificial-intelligence train will slow down’

A computer smarter than humans destroys civilization: Interview with the director of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute

Driverless cars will transform cities for the better (cool!)

Nice simulation of what shareable taxi-bots will do for people living in cities: faster commutes the big one. (And as these vehicles will be ZEV, breathable air may return to the cities.)

Dept of deep learning

Deep learning is going to be as essential a part of our daily business toolkit as Microsoft Excel. So in the vane of not escaping it, here are two interesting papers. (Might be hard to follow for the non-specialist.)

Deep learning machine solves the cocktail party problem

Separating a singer’s voice from background music has always been a uniquely human ability. Not anymore.

Deep learning uncovers complex interaction patterns on Twitter and Yelp

When I was running PeerIndex, we identified that there were complex time-series patterns in Twitter (and other time series data sets) that described diffusion and influence of ideas. We got to some of them. Deep learning is allowing us to get to others

The data science ecosystem

Really practical guide to the data science ecosystem, tools, tricks, methods and services.

Dept of energy disruption

Tesla launched a new domestic storage device. But here the link to Musk’s crucial announcement of the home battery. The key takeaway being that renewable, domestic and vehicular, electrical storage and generation is rapidly coming within reach.

The Elon Musk keynote on the new Tesla Battery

It lasts 20 minutes. But pay close attention.

Electric car batteries just hit a key price point

A major reason for the rapid jump in electric vehicles sales around the world is the rapid drop in the cost of their key component -– batteries. Industry leaders, like Nissan and Tesla, have hit a key price point not been expected until 2020 with prices declining around 10% annually.

The insane growth of solar power

The data is one year old, but shows a rapidly asymptoting solar generation capacity in key US states, ultimately this will drive the marginal price of electricity to zero.

Dept of dancing elephants

The secret psychology of Facebook

There is science and psychology that explains why so many of us are glued to Facebook. Researchers have discovered trends that explain just why Facebook addicts us on so many levels.

Microsoft (Yes, Microsoft) Has a Far-Out Vision

The reshaped Microsoft that Satya Nadella, the new chief executive, envisions has fewer internal fiefs and is more willing to favor big bets on new technologies

Microsoft age-guessing tool goes on a metadata-slurping, viral spree

The facial-recognition “How Old” tool guesses age and gender from user-submitted photos.

Short links

Using Virtual Reality to teleport people into different bodies

How to tell how much you relate to another body? Threaten it with a sledgehammer and see if you flinch.

The former Mrs Musk speaks of marriage and divorce to Elon

Truly fascinating interview with Justine Musk

The irrationally undisruptable world of venture capital

VCs may back disruption. But they seem undisruptable.

Why Silicon Valley Will Continue to Rule

The Valley’s premier historian looks back to the past to envision its bright future — with an assist from Steve Jobs. Lessons for city-planners.

Slack’s $2.8 Billion Dollar Secret Sauce

How Slack stole a multi-billion dollar market by becoming everyone’s favorite

What I wrote

Rethinking Ex Machina

After some more discussion, I’ve revised my view on Alex Garland’s Ex Machina

Feedback to me: azeem@azhar.co.uk