Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryBusiness and Finance

Pleasant girl and robot working in the office

Robots Move? Tax Them!

Some policymakers see robots as a direct threat to jobs and hope taxes will slow them down

Jay Richards asks: Just imagine if our government had taxed earlier technological innovations because they threatened jobs. Does anyone think a targeted “tractor tax” would have been a good idea in the early twentieth century?

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Serious Investors Should Embrace the Stock Market Algos!

We can use computers’ inability to distinguish meaning from noise in data to our advantage

Computer algorithms are much, much better than humans at discovering statistical patterns but much, much worse than humans at discerning whether the patterns are meaningful. Wise investors can use the resulting blips to their advantage.

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GPS navigator in desert

AI Should Mean Thinking Smarter, Not Less

We should be all the more engaged when we use technology

Tim Harford points to the Sanchez tragedy to raise an important question: How do we know when a given technology is really helping us? And when we are taking too great a risk or paying too high a price?

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Group Of Businesspeople Identified By AI System

How To Fool Facial Recognition

Changing a couple of pixels here and there can stump a computer

Both computers and humans can be fooled by patterns that appear significant but really aren’t. But the bigger the computer, the more random patterns it can find in the vast swathes of data processed.

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Robot Predicting Future With Crystal Ball

Five AI Predictions to Watch in 2020

We'll check on these a year from now

Some problems experts hope AI can help with may be outside AI's capacities. Some people may simply want to believe doctored images and deepfakes, for example.

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Tesla Motors logo sign

2019 AI Hype Countdown #1: Tesla’s Robotaxis—Tales of a Phantom Fleet

Musk put out a tweet on December 22, saying “Sorry, it's been a bit of a struggle.” At last, a claim we can unreservedly believe

Because Tesla has yet to make a yearly profit in any of its sixteen years of existence, it depends on capital raises of various forms (equity, debt, etc.) to stay in business. Capital raises require big promises and Tesla’s overstatements about its self-driving cars are always good for a few billion.

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The coins are stacked on the ground and the seedlings are growing on top, the concept of saving money and financial growth.

2019 AI Hype Countdown #4 Investment: AI Beats the Hot Stock Tip… Barely

At the end of the day, AI-based investing actually performed like a bad index fund

Artificial intelligence may do well summarizing data, but the new insights that will lead the economy forward cannot be gleaned that way. What we need is not old data but new truths.

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2019 AI Hype Countdown #6: AI Will Replace Scientists!

In May of this year, The Scientist ran a series of pieces suggesting that we could automate the process of acquiring scientific knowledge

In reality, without appropriate human supervision, AI is just as likely to find false or unimportant patterns as real ones. Additionally, the overuse of AI in science is actually leading to a reproducibility crisis.

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2019 AI Hype Countdown #8: Media Started Doing Their Job!

Yes, this year, there has been a reassuring trend: Media are offering more critical assessment of off-the-wall AI hype

One factor in the growing sobriety may be that, as AI technology transitions from dreams to reality, the future belongs to leaders who are pragmatic about its abilities and limitations.

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Smart car, Autonomous self-driving mode vehicle on metro city road IoT concept.

Expert: We Won’t Have Self-Driving Cars For a Decade

Machine Learning rapidly moved self-driving cars from the lab to the roads but the underlying technology remains brittle

Myths are not inherently bad but the real world crushes them. One myth currently taking a beating is “self-driving cars are just around the corner.” Here’s why not. 

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Rows of prison cells, prison interior.

2019 AI Hype Countdown #9: Hype Fought the Law and…

Autonomy had real software but the hype around Big Data had discouraged Hewlett Packard from taking a closer look

Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain was sentenced this year to a five year prison term and a ten million dollar fine because he was held “ultimately responsible for Autonomy's revenues having been overinflated by $193m between 2009 and the first half of fiscal 2011.”

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Smart cars with automatic sensor driving on metropolis with wireless connection

New Federal Regulations Favor a Shift to 5G Cars

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is abandoning the older DSRC protocol for cellular vehicle-to-everything (CV2X)

Auto manufacturers would prefer to just move ahead with 5G but safety watchdogs argue that lifesaving changes could and should be implemented now with DSRC.

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Beautiful mandarin duck on the frozen lake in a park

Just a light frost—or AI winter?

It’s nice to be right once in a while—check out the evidence for yourself

About a year ago, I wrote that mounting AI hype would likely give way to yet another AI winter. Now, according to the panelists at “the world’s leading academic AI conference” the temperature is already falling.

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Bitcoin Is a Classic Bubble Investment

In large data sets, correlations are easy to find. Useful relationships are more elusive

My main interest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is in whether they are sound investments. I’m a value investor—I even wrote a book about that—and the short answer is no.

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Smart car (HUD) and augmented reality navigation technology concept. Empty cockpit in vehicle and Self-Driving mode car graphic screen. Digital matrix blue tone.

Death Spurs Demand for More Oversight of Self-Driving Cars

The National Transportation Safety Board seeks uniform standards for the previously voluntary information provided by carmakers

Despite the hype and a few bad actors, here at the Walter Bradley Institute, we believe in AI. The deployment of any technology—dams, bridges, buildings—requires care and, at times, oversight. Not to slow down progress but to protect us from ourselves. As the great scientist Richard Feynman put it, the easiest person to fool is oneself.

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Student guy is buying tickets for train trip on weekend in tickets vending machine. Bearded male with backpack on his back is choosing the ticket type on a display of self service tickets automat.

Random Comments on the Passing Scene: Carbon Computing and Much More

Child porn traffickers arrested despite their attempts to hide using high tech and Bitcoin

Also, McDonald’s doubles down on self-ordering kiosks, acquires automation firm.

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Inventor? Entrepreneur? Beware the Patent Troll!

Touch screen inventor Hal Philipp shares tips for fending off spurious claims of ownership

Big companies have been known to just pay patent trolls to go away but individual inventors must be more resourceful.

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Autonomous Drive, Self-Driving Vehicle

Would Selling Self-Driving Cars Sooner Save Lives?

Not if we look more closely at the statistics

It’s enough to make you want to run out and buy a smart car today. But just a minute. There are other statistics out there. Let’s look at some of them.

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What Vehicle Would Bob Buy?

Both empirical generalized information (EGI) and the Gini metric can generate useful information

Contrary to traditional Fisherian hypothesis testing, it is possible to create models after viewing the data and still quantify the generality of the model.

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Coffee shop interior design with white chairs and violet of flower.

Why the Millennial High-Tech Urban Lifestyle May Soon Cost More

In the wake of WeWork’s woes, analysts are questioning the business models we love

The problem is, WeWork is not a technology company. Neither is Airbnb or Uber. They all use software via the internet to leverage surplus physical space, whether the space is in an office building, a private home, or a privately owned car. 

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