🔮 Uber and leadership; emotions at work; Apple's secrecy; quantum computing; McJobs, and electric planes ++ #119

🔮 Uber and leadership; emotions at work; Apple's secrecy; quantum computing; McJobs,  and electric planes ++ #119

Emotions and smarts at work; quantum computing; autonomous driving challenges; Uber and lessons about leadership; the end of the McJob; robot baby strollers; Netflix vs cable. Have great conversations.

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👐  The future is emotional: “Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable” argues Livia Gershon. (See also: "In the AI age, smart will mean something different".)

⚔️ Economic growth has gone hand in hand with rising inequality for more than 9,000 years. Inequalities have only narrowed through war or plague. History offers very little comfort to those in search of peaceful leveling. Is there one? (See also Piketty's 2014 essay, a global, progressive wealth tax is the best solution to spiraling inequality.)

🗜️ The real threat of AI. Kai-Fu Lee: "most of the money being made from artificial intelligence will go to the United States and China. A.I. is an industry in which strength begets strength … [other nations] will essentially become [those] country’s economic dependent, taking in welfare subsidies in exchange for letting the “parent” nation’s A.I. companies continue to profit. A.I. is presenting us with an opportunity to rethink economic inequality on a global scale.”

🌀 Quantum computing might be here sooner than you think. (See also: nice profile of Rigetti Computing, a quantum computing startup and A16Z’s overview of their investment in Rigetti.)

🕶️ How Microsoft got its artificial intelligence mojo back. (Intelligent agents, chatbots, university relationships, ethics committees and more.)

🍔 McDonald's introduction of digital kiosks is credited with a 26% increase in the firm's share price. Here is the ineluctable economics of digitising this type of work and getting rid of even low-paid employees.


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If you’re looking for one radical impact of machine learning, it’ll be in computer vision, the ability for computers to interpret what is in images. It was the computer vision challenge, ImageNet 2012, which was won handsomely by a convolutional neural network 8-layers deep running on 2 GPUs that marks a watershed moment in our current AI summer.

Computers use CMOS sensors to capture images. Shipments of CMOS sensors will increase to 6bn units per year by 2019 (up from 2bn per year in 2009). Image resolution follows a 50-60% annual improvement curve called Hendy’s Law. Combining a flood of CMOS sensors within the internet of things will be one way we’ll deliver intelligent and responsive environments. (Consider the Amazon Go self-service shop which relies heavily on computer vision to understand what a shopper is doing.)

Eyes of things is a proposal for computer vision platform to support embedded computer vision applications on internet of things. (Somewhat technical.)

EV reader, Moritz Mueller-Freitag, on the benefits of teaching AI systems about the world through video.

Using deep learning to estimate calories in food (technical paper).

IKEA will allow you to simulate furniture in your own home using Apple's recently announced ARKit tools.

Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Apple's CoreML. (Quick to start, limited in power, currently no support for federated learning.)

Rodney Brooks explores the edge cases in driverless cars, which gives a flavour for some of the challenges to overcome:

None rise to the moral level of the so called trolley problem... but unlike the trolley problem variants of these edge cases are very likely to arise, at least in my neighborhood. There will be many other edge case conundrums in the thousands, perhaps millions, of unique neighborhoods around the world

Chinese VCs put $900 in driverless tech.

DARPA is teaching its robots manners and social norms.


Personal power seems to reduce leader's mental capacities for empathy.

Kalanick is stepping downfrom Uber, yet the Silicon Valley machine is in dire need of fixing.

How a single courageous voice sparked a torrent of change at Uber.

Uber is so broken it just needs to be shut-down, argues HBS professor, Benjamin Edelman:

Participation in the global community requires respect for and compliance with the law. It is tempting to discard those requirements when a company brings radically improved services, as many feel Uber did. But in declining to enforce clear-cut rules ... we reward lawbreaking and all its unsavory consequences. Uber’s well-publicized shortcomings show all too clearly why we ought not do so.


Doodling activates the brain's reward pathways.

📺 Netflix overtakes cable by subscribers. (Also, secrets of how Netflix manages to stream content so effectively.)

EV reader, Eric Wahlforss' SoundCloud has become the home of new underground rap.

How Apple tackles leakers.

Boom SuperSonic gets 76 pre-orders for its supersonic jet.

An all-electric plane powered by an aluminium-air battery has a 600-mile range.

🌶️ Too hot to fly: Climate change takes a toll on air travel.

"Designed in California" is older than Apple; tracing the slogan.

198m voter records lost by Republican political consultancy.

Obama's secret struggle to punish Putin for the attack on US democracy.

Who Americans spend their time with. (Nice graphic.)

🔦 After few failed attempts, new robot will propel its way into the Fukushima reactor to explore the flooded parts.

We’re not alone. Kepler finds 10 Earth-like exoplanets found.

😞 Personal report from a firefighter at Grenfell Tower blaze (harrowing).

Are thought and knowledge community efforts? (Worth reading.)

Thanks to everyone who dropped me a note about the space/satellite industry. Very helpful and hopefully a subject to which to return in a few weeks. Always open to your recommendations, so just hit reply.

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