Category: Technology

Recent Read: “Where do minds belong?” by Caleb Scharf

In case you missed it, Aeon has a great piece by Caleb Scharf (Director of astrobiology at Columbia) on the idea that human consciousness might one day merge with machines. Some excerpts: Superficially, the logic behind the conjectures about cosmic machine intelligence appears pretty solid. Extrapolating the trajectory of our own current technological evolution suggests that with

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Recent Read: “Not even wrong – ways to dismiss technology”

In case you missed it, Andreessen Horowitz’s Bendict Evans has an interesting take on what differentiates tech with game-changing potential from mere novelties. His post is worth a careful read. Some excerpts:   It is unquestionably true that many of the most important technology advances looked like toys at first – the web, mobile phones, PCs, aircraft, cars and

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Recent Read: The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

Excellent piece on MIT Tech Review about how deep learning works. Some excerpts: Already, mathematical models are being used to help determine who makes parole, who’s approved for a loan, and who gets hired for a job. If you could get access to these mathematical models, it would be possible to understand their reasoning. But banks,

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Are We Running Out of Innovation?

I come across a lot of interesting writing in my work, but I have to note that one of the most thought-provoking scholarly pieces I have read recently is the working paper published earlier this year by Nicholas Bloom, Charles I. Jones, Michael Webb (all Stanford) and John Van Reenen (MIT). Their paper is entitled, Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?, and both the question they pose

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NY Times: “Learning to Love Our Robot Co-Workers”

In case you missed it, the NY Times recently ran an interesting piece by Kim Tingley on working alongside robots. Some excerpts:    The more I talked with engineers and civilians alike, the more I came to believe that this feeling was hardly unusual and that it went beyond the perfectly rational fear that a robot might take your

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Silicon Valley’s Startup Autopsy Reports Make For Interesting Reading

One of the more memorable books I’ve read is called Dead Men Do Tell Tales, in which Dr. William Maples takes you inside the world of forensic medicine. As the book points out, you can learn a lot from the dead, which is why one of my favorite web pages to browse is CB Insight’s startup post-mostem page. From cash

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Microsoft’s President Makes the Case For A “Digital Geneva Convention”

In case you missed it, Microsoft’s Brad Smith makes an interesting suggestion in MIT Tech Review for a “Geneva” convention on cyber-security, and idea I have floated in our Security 50 CISO forum. Some excerpts: In recent years, computing and security companies have uncovered or been the victims of malware and network attacks that appear linked with military

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Must Read: “The Future of the Professions”

In 1540 a legendary union took place in England, in which the Guild of Surgeons agreed to merge with the Guild of Barbers to form the Company of Barbers and Surgeons and so give birth to the first professional association in the West. Since that moment, it has been commonplace for “professionals” to try to find each other and

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Orwell’s Past is China’s Future — and Maybe Ours

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” ― George Orwell, 1984   Tucked among all the news stories lat month was a remarkable series of articles in the Wall Street Journal about China’s emerging “Social Credit Score.” This term refers to a system, currently under development, through which all Chinese citizens (and probably visitors) would be assigned a score that

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