🔮What is AI? On the death of banks; light sabers; how we created the economy; autonomous weapons++ #40

Revue
 
Improving how machines learn. The coming earthquake in financial services. Autonomous vehicle safety
 
December 20 - Issue #40
The Exponential View
Improving how machines learn. The coming earthquake in financial services. Autonomous vehicle safety records. The growth of practical AI bots. Building light sabers & more. 
Please recommend EV to your friends: Twitter (good) | Facebook (better)

Dept of the near future
👶🏼 Gary Marcus and Zoubin Gharani want to improve machine learning by understanding how humans learn (as opposed to the current vogue of massive training sets and deep-learning.) LONG, EXCELLENT OVERVIEW
🌟EV reader, Albert Wenger: what is artificial intelligence? HELPFUL Q&A.
🔥Brett King: the death of bank products is hugely under-exaggerated. SUPERB overview of the transformation/disruption in financial services. MUST READ. (Supporting this: 100,000 bankers lost their jobs this year.)
💡Matt Ridley: Human action, not human design created the economy. FABULOUS EXCERPT of his new book. 
😎2015 is the hottest year every. ALARMING series of graphs
Dept of pay-it-forward
I curate Exponential View on the weekend while my kids do homework. It’s a hobby that needs your support. So a request to more recent subscribers, please do recommend this to three friends or colleagues who you think would enjoy it. (E-mail recommendations work best but Twitter and Facebook a double bonus.)
Dept of autonomous vehicles & AI helpers
Some new data on accident rates of self-driving cars. Much safer or not? Well, it turns out self-driving cars get into more prangs than those with human drivers. The twist? Autonomous vehicles are responsible for fewer of those crashes. Humans are slamming into these cars, possibly because they drive too meticulously.
Google’s Chris Urmson takes on California’s proposed rule that self-driving cars should have a driver in them at all time. (Quirky, recidivist rule - reminiscent of rules requiring lifts to have operators.)
♻ Tesla’s quest for lithium (our EV and fossil-free future is going to need a lot of lithium.)
The AI-based virtual assistant market may grow to $3bn in five years says some market research firm. (Sceptics alarm bells ringing.)
Japanese school-girl bot, @ms_rinna, goes on Twitter. (H/t @eshioji - apparently, people love the Microsoft/Line bot.) *Warning: in Japanese*
Canada has (rather had) a deep bench of AI talent. Less so today thanks to Google’s talent raids.
Short morsels for Christmas lunch
💰Technology adoption trends are more important than the machinations of central bank pronouncements, argues a Blackrock investment strategist. (SHORT, EXCELLENT).
🐮Nearly 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from animal agriculture, more even than transport. Why was COP21 silent about it? RECOMMENDED
Ramez Naam’s pragmatic, optimistic take on COP21 is worth reading.
💋Sex, love and robots: is this the end of intimacy? 
China, the new research powerhouse. There is a meteoric rise in high-quality science in the Middle Kingdom.
Long, excellent: why ISIS is a real revolution, and we should treat it as such by Scott Atran. (15 minute read by very insightful.)
Measuring the increasing sexualisation of images in the American media
What you wrote
EV reader Doc Searls on ad blocking and the end of the internet marketing as we know it. 
End notes
A favourite news aggregator, Prismatic, shut down this week. It was a key source for identifying stories for EV, and a great time saver. Unfortunately, the market for news aggregation and discovery is a tough one, as the corpses of many of wonderful product will attest. Fine tuning my filters now - but open for other recommendations.
This might be the last EV of 2015 because of the way that Christmas and New Year fall… let’s see what Santa has in store for us!
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