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🔮Immortals, future medicine, AI ethics, Snapchat & more - Azeem's Exponential View - Issue 11

Azeem Azhar
Azeem Azhar
The immortal 1%; Minecraft’s infinite world; medicine’s transistor moment; the Cray 2 on your wrist; ethical dilemmas for AI & more.
Still in beta Thanks to the 14 of you who introduced readers last week. Really appreciate it!
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Dept of the near future
👼 Rich people will become immortal ‘god-like’ cyborgs in 200 years argues one of may favourite historians, Yuval Hariri. We are at least on track to eliminate of poverty
🌏 Minecraft’s digital world is already 4-times bigger than Earth. Couple this with high-quality immersive VR & AI generated worlds and it creates an infinity of possibilities.
💊Medicine’s transistor moment Must read by Bill Maris of Google Ventures on the epochal opportunities in medicine and life sciences.
⌚️ The super-computer on our wrists: Thanks to a 1012 rise in computational power, the Apple Watch has the processing power of a 1985 Cray-2. Gorgeous infographic
💀 The self-driving trolley problem: Philippa Foot’s ethical Gedanken is more relevant than ever before. When faced with difficult choices, how will autonomous vehicles decide alternate paths? And who decides how they will decide? Nice read
Dept of the hard problem
Tononi and Koch have a new theory of consciousness, integrated information theory. It might be measurable. I’m not going to pretend this is an easy read but it is a worthwhile one. It is this is a significant contender for a meaningful explanation of consciousness and one which circumvents Chandler’s “Hard Problem”; and may shed light on some of the harder questions we face as AI gets better and better. 😮Warning: this is a paper from Philosophical Transactions B so it is a somewhat tougher read than a Buzzfeed listicle or tweet.
Dept of deep learning
Why 8-bits is enough for deep learning, says my buddy Pete Warden, a deep learner at Google. The implication is that it can work over a wide variety of hardware architectures.
IBM’s Watson is really on fire.
Google’s deep-learning speech recognition system has an error rate of 8%, representing a 3x improvement in less than 2 years.
Microsoft’s deep learning for automated picture captioning is getting pretty good
Dept of robotics & work
I touched on Moravec’s paradox in the last issue. Increasingly finding more evidence that we are pushing the limits of it.
Robots are getting better and better at folding towels. Can know do better than a ten-year old. (Or better than two-thirds of my household)
Fourteen jobs robots are already doing including anesthesiologists and, most terrifyingly for English lit graduates, acting and waiting on tables.
The robot who taught h[er/im]self to make a salad by watching YouTube vids (or the way I learn). Combine with Watson and…
Short morsels for dinner parties
Is Tesla even disruptive? Asymco suggests not.
How big is Snapchat? More photos are shared on Snapchat that Whatsapp, Instagram or Facebook. Apparently.
YouTube is worth $70bn. Best acquisition ever?
List of funds using AI for trading - not a comprehensive list but a start.
Bionic boot to help you run at 25mph
Modeling AI-creativity using a semantic network of common sense : starts to challenge our traditional assumption of creativity.
Why we over-estimate the long-term but under-estimate the short. Very helpful in the day and age of Exponential change and recalcitrant employees.
For my amazing readers, most of you probably struggle with this: why it is so hard to be clever.
Meet up with me
NOAH Berlin: June 10-11 - Ping me if you are in Berlin The Europas - June 16 - Talking about Artificial Intelligence with Riva Tez, Hanson Robotics and IBM Watson. Brandwatch London offices - If you are building an AI startup, especially in the fields of image, video, text or speech processing, I’m interested in meeting you. Ping me.
End notes
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Azeem Azhar
Azeem Azhar @exponentialview

Every week, I bring you on a journey of transformation as we leave the Industrial Age and enter the Exponential Age.

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