Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis


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Are Good Ideas Hard to Find?

This academic paper tells us a lot about why innovation has slowed

Few would disagree that ideas are important to innovation and productivity growth. They are needed for new products, processes, and methods for their conception, introduction, and diffusion. One challenge is how new ideas fit together to enable positive outcomes. Is the initial idea for the concept the most important, the ideas for the implementation, or those for the many problems that must be solved over the course of a technology’s lifetime in order that the technology becomes better in any way we define better? An economics paper by researchers from Stanford and MIT tries to make sense of these issues. Published in the American Economic Review, the paper analyzes the number of researchers needed to achieve improvements in the number of Read More ›

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Spies and Lies: China’s Cyberespionage Is on an Unprecedented Level

Chinese cybertheft is an ever-increasing threat.

There’s “normal” nation-state spying, and then there’s the level of spying that China has engaged in for the last two decades. Using cyber espionage, aerial surveillance, and old-fashioned secret agents, the Chinese government not only conducts espionage for national security reasons, as many nations do, but also engages in intellectual property theft, duplicitous and exploitive partnerships, interference in democratic elections, engaging in international media manipulation, and undermining economic competition. Furthermore, China’s government does this through fear tactics particularly among Chinese nationals living abroad, that are contrary to the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the countries where these nationals live. In October, leaders of the spy agencies that make up the Five-Eyes intelligence alliance — the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, Read More ›