Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

CategoryBusiness and Finance

Photo by Daniel Olah

Is Google a Cult? Or Does It Just Act That Way?

Project Veritas announces that a new rebel Googler has sent nearly 1000 documents on algorithm bias to the DOJ

While we prepare a news story on Zach Vorhies' revelations, it may be worth asking why one of the world’s largest companies has developed what appears to be the atmosphere of a political cult.

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A Silicon Valley Insider Asks the Awkward Questions

Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, speaking at COSM in October, has a history of challenging Valley orthodoxies

His question, “How can Google use the rhetoric of ‘borderless’ benefits to justify working with the country whose ‘Great Firewall’ has imposed a border on the internet itself?”, is timely. China’s government uses high tech for, among other things, sophisticated racial profiling.

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4er Golf flight

The Paradox of Luck and Skill

Why did Shane Lowry win the British Open golf championship? Because someone had to

In any competition including academic tests, athletic events, and company management where there is an element of luck that causes performances to be an imperfect measure of ability, there is an important difference between competitions among people with high ability and competitions among people of lesser ability.

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Why Was IBM Watson a Flop in Medicine?

Robert J. Marks and Gary S. Smith discuss how the AI couldn’t identify which information in the tsunami of medical literature actually MATTERED

Last year, the IBM Health Initiative laid off a number of people, seemingly due to market disillusionment with the product.

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Photo by Erik Mclean
Supreme money gun

Why Is DeepMind In Deep Water Financially?

Market analysts are wondering if the money is as smart as the machine

In an all-out botwar with the other tech Bigs, DeepMind could simply be paying top minds not to work for the competition while readying AI tools that pay better than winning at board games. Maybe.

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Self-driving Cars: Following the Money up a Cooling Trail

The market for lithium for electric car batteries is slowing

One way we can assess entrepreneurs’ claims (think Elon Musk) is to ask, what physical components does the product require and how is the market responding?

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Even Elon Musk Can’t Get a Robotaxi These Days

His recent earnings call makes clear that few think his promised million-taxi fleet is real-world
I get the feeling that even Musk's faithful followers are beginning to doubt the hype and are instead focusing on the core business aspects, the questions Musk dismissed last year as boring. Read More ›
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George Gilder talking with Peter Robinson at the Hoover Institution

George Gilder on the Real-Life Prospects — and Limits — of AI

Gilder, who is organizing the COSM conference in Bellevue, Washington, in October, clears the fog about “the cloud”

The “cloud” of cloud computing, that Gilder predicted, is things, not ideas. Thus it is subject to the limits of things, as opposed to the limits of ideas. It’s reasonable to ask where that limit is. It is probably both a question and an answer that we can understand.

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Car top taxi sign

Even Uber didn’t believe in Uber’s self-driving taxis

We found that out after Google’s Waymo sued the company

Optimism is not driving the recent collaboration and corporate consolidation in the self-driving car industry. Rather, their retrenchment is protection against an uncertain future.

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You Think You Have Nothing To Hide?

Then why are Big Tech moguls making billions from what you and others tell them?

The bottom line is this: if you think you don’t have anything to hide, then you don’t understand how the modern data economy really works, nor the impact of being caught in a riptide of public opinion.

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都市と技術

Will Money Be “Real” in an Information Society?

Now that Facebook is proposing Libra, a cryptocurrency, this might be a good time to ask

Many of us know cryptocurrencies only from passing headline news. Yet thoughtful people argue that such currencies will help shape an information society. Why?

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Could Huge Chunks of Asteroid Gold Wreck Our Economy?

16 Psyche’s gold illustrates how AI affects jobs. Not the way many think…

“By lowering the price of gold, it would create new, currently nonexistent, markets for other uses of gold,” says Jay Richards. In the same way, AI creates new, currently nonexistent, markets for human time and creativity.

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Self driving car on a road. Autonomous vehicle. Inside view.

Elon Musk: You Are Liable for My Malfunctioning Code!

He hopes to put the blame for self-driving mishaps in parking lots on customers

At Mind Matters News, we have criticized his approach on numerous grounds. One problem that keeps getting left out is, who assumes moral responsibility and legal liability for self-driving vehicles?

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COSM: George Gilder Hosts Top Tech Guys, To Ask, Where Is All This Going?

Are machines replacing or helping us and how will we know the difference?

The October 23-25 conference is aimed at CEOs, CTOs, and CIOs, investors, researchers, technologists, and anyone for whom the $950 Early Adopter Rate (before July 23) would be a good investment in their future.

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Facebook Building Cryptocurrency-Based Payments System - 3D Rendering

Facebook “Likes” Cryptocurrency

We asked Jonathan Bartlett, what the new coin, Libra, means for Facebook? For crypto?

Avoiding having to judge between currencies "solves a political problem for Facebook, but I don't see that it solves problems for anyone else," Bartlett says.

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Tap-Tap Busse, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Haiti Calling … Reaching Out, Touching the World

Baylor Engineering prof Brian Thomas has been helping Haitians establish businesses to recharge cell phones, using solar panels

In Haiti, 40% of the population (eleven million) still depends on subsistence agriculture. But cell phones allow them to leapfrog many traditional stages of technological development.

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Can the Newest Technology Liberate the Poorest Communities?

In Haiti, new technology bypasses many development pitfalls

In 2011, roughly 10% of Haitians had bank accounts. But by 2013, mobile digital banking via cell phones was starting to stand in for bricks-and-mortar banks.

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Bitcoin: Is Lack of Trust the Biggest Security Threat?

It’s almost a parable: Everyone can see, no one can access, the millions trapped in the ether by a password known only to a dead man

Is this the future of currency? Seems like the Dark Ages to me. Bitcoin is a clever idea, but it is perhaps too clever for its own good.

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Facebook is said to be exploring minting its own cryptocurrency

If Facebook wants to mint private currency, can it still be the judge of morals and manners among users?

A software engineer and tech blogger sees ideas sprout up all over, including both the absurd and the brilliant, as traditional companies try to incorporate cryptocurrencies into their business model.

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Personal Bitcoin Wallet with euro coins

How Do Bitcoins Work Anyway?

And what's their future? A roundup for non-geeks

Everywhere these days one hears people foretelling the fortunes of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin—like so many fairies, good and bad, wishing around a cradle. Most people, including New Yorker staff writer Nick Paumgarten, have hoped to just avoid the scene, partly because few enthusiasts can even explain what the cryptocurrencies are or why they exist. But Paumgarten dove in and his recent long form article offers helpful explanations along with illuminating profiles of digital currency pioneers. First, why? Bitcoin and Ethereum enthusiasts want, in Paumgarten’s words, “a better, decentralized version of the World Wide Web—a Web 3.0—more in keeping with the Internet’s early utopian promise than with the invidious, monopolistic hellscape it has become. They want to seize back the tubes, and Read More ›