Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryBusiness and Finance

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Does the Information Society Need a Free Market?

The Gilder Fellows’ July Seminar will wrestle with why Millennials favor socialism

Many Millennials yearn for socialism but, according to the Gilder Fellows scholars, socialism is—at best—irrelevant to the challenges of an information society.

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Is There a Gold Mine in Electronic Waste?

Yes, and it is much bigger than most of us realize

Recovering more precious metals from our departed electronics would help both economic growth and sustainable development at once.

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Photo by Michal Mrozek

So Is an AI Winter Really Coming This Time?

AI did surge past milestones during the 2010s but fell well short of the hype

Maybe both. AI will require more from us, not less, because how we choose to use these tools will make an increasingly stark difference between benefit and ruin.

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Can AI Help Hollywood Predict the Next Big Hit?

AI analysis sifts the past finely. But how well does the past predict the future?

AI does pose at least one threat to filmmaking. It could intensify the very tone-deafness that studios hope it can fix: Too much reliance on ever more finely grained analysis of the patterns in past data could blind decision makers to the real risks, volatility, and opportunities in the future. That’s a recipe for losing money and inflicting “Oh, not that again!” on audiences.

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Photo by Austin Distel

EVERYONE Can Beat the Market!

We’ve all heard: “No one can beat the market.” Is that true? Let’s look a little deeper

Using your talents to identify and invest in high-quality assets and pull money away from low-quality assets is a benefit to everyone involved in the market and, on the larger scale, the market’s future. If you invest in this way, you will beat the market.

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Photo by Jeremy Bishop

AI Goes to Hollywood

Warner Bros. hopes Cinelytic's AI will save time while making more reasonable financial estimates, thus forestalling expensive box office blunders

Cinelytic’s AI does is what every AI does at its most basic level. It collects and sifts large amounts of data to find patterns that can be used to make predictions. AI excels at pattern recognition because that is its only purpose. Humans aren’t so linear or predictable.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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