What makes humans unique? Who will control the autonomous car? Better machine learning. Climate change takes hold as our energy mix switches. Regulatory capture and ride-sharing. Drug-loving robots. Why do hipsters all look the same?
Special holiday edition: I’m lucky to be enjoying some time off with the family. But I wanted to make sure we shared some of the great stories this week. So this week we’re presenting an abbreviated special of Exponential View. Happy New Year!
Dept of the near future
👨👩👧👦 Humanity’s uniqueness stems from not from our biology but from the interplay of our culture, environment and society. MUST READ from the Santa Fe Institute
🚗 Who will really control the ethical code of the self-driving car, asks the EXCELLENT Cory Doctorow?
🔥We’re witnessing climate change everywhere. MORALE-SHATTERING evidence from MIT Tech Review.
🔋But 2015 has proved to be a breakthrough year in how we get energy: COP21, storage, decline of coal and the maturation of wind and solar. **REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL. **
✨Marc Andreesen on IoT: “In 20 years every physical item will have a chip on it.”
💰A strategic analysis of blockchain opportunities in financial services. DETAILED READ from William Mougyar.
😟 On regulatory capture as the foe of innovation: how Austin killed ride-sharing.
Dept of machine learning, AI and robots
👍🏽"Commercialism is a forcing factor: it pushes businesses to continually improve their products, to adapt and develop their AI software as they go along. Until, of course, they create an AI that can adapt and develop itself, without human intervention. But that’s still a long way off. Probably.“ Rupert Goodwins soberly debunks some AI myths. (Don’t agree with all of this, but worth reading.)
Gene Kogan: artistic experiments using deep learning can help us understand the hype and risk of this new technology. He says: "we know well by now that the history of computer technology has a familiar theme; public expenditure leads to rapid improvement of an emerging technology, whose faculties become gradually obscured from the public as they become commercially viable. This knowledge imbalance enables those with access to oversell its positive aspects and omit the potentially harmful use cases.”
💡My former colleague Ferenc Huszar on accuracy vs explainability in machine learning. Really helpful way of thinking about the trade-offs between precise black-box models and explicable ones.
Robots learn from YouTube tutorials. Here is a great source of training data.
Deep learning in a nutshell: accessible introduction with helpful graphics, covering the history of deep-learning, back-propagation, parameter selection & more.
Short morsels for Holiday lunch
😂 An explanatory model for why all hipsters look alike. Amusing, actual academic paper.
OPEC faces a mortal threat from electric cars. Excellent argument by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.
New Imperialism: Zimbabwe becomes ‘Chinese colony’ as it adopts Yuan as local currency.
Sex redefined: scientists are looking beyond the binary of male & female. (Feb 2015)
What your innocent metadata says about you. A hell of a lot it turns out. Excellent investigation from 2014.
🐖Homo sapiens, the species which died out because it used all its working anti-biotics on overdosing pigs. Colistin begins to fail. SOBERING.
Thanks for all your support this year. I really hope you have enjoyed reading Exponential View. As always, happy to hear from you. Just hit reply! Please do continue to refer it to friends. Have a great last few days of 2015 and see you next year!