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Gideon Rosenblatt has been at 7 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Plus Your Business!12,745*This Thursday!* On this week's show I am delighted to be joined by someone I have great respect for when it comes to business,@105103058358743760661. We will discuss the 'intersection of technology and business as a force for good' - 'Social Business'. *What else?* Will it be funny too, you are asking? Well, maybe! We will discuss Amazon's drone delivery system, and whether we need to leave the house by 2035! And there will be PYB Academy tips and some special shout outs to community members too. Hope to see you there. It is going to be a great ride...The 'Plus Your Business' show!2015-02-26 20:00:00119  
Social Media Today144,943*Does Social Business Make Sense?* _Not just for people but for the organizations as well?_ *Social Business is the focus of every business owner and CEO.* As we transition to a world of people, connections and relationships where advertising and traditional marketing do not work like they used to, the trend is to reposition a business to work harder for its employees, better with its customers and for its community. When the traditional model of a business gives us some very strong, clearly defined guidelines, driven by the irrefutable logic of the balance sheet, *does it make much sense to really talk about social business?* Is it a distraction? *And if not, can there be a workable path that can transition a legacy business to a modern, social one?* Discussing some of the key questions will be TEDx speaker and author @105103058358743760661. *A former Microsoft executive and a thought leader in the field of technology, people and organizations,* Gideon will be sharing some of his insights with us. Hosting the discussion will be @115620878851836664537  with @102000982871890720967  and at the controller's helm, making sure that everything runs smoothly will be @100470926227322431614 with @115000108263064481690. *Don't forget to join the conversation!* We want your questions, highlights, and feedback prior to, during, and after the event so make sure to tweet @socialmedia2day using the hashtag #SMTPowerTalk  or leave us comments on the Google+ or YouTube event pages! Let's get this conversation started!Does Social Business Make Sense?2015-01-22 18:00:00206  
Reinventors Network830,875Talk about a fundamental Reinvention! The arrival of Artificial Intelligence could reinvent what it is to be human, to be employed. As we shift many kinds of work, even knowledge work, to machines, we might ultimately need to rethink economic distribution and the social compact among citizens. Join @116416314233992548280 , the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, as we focus this roundtable on this important initial question: What is the early path of commercialization for Artificial Intelligence? In other words, what will be AI’s first killer apps? This will be where regular people initally encounter AI. Let’s get a handle on this powerful enabling technology now. We have a great group of participants taking part in this discussion: @108234610138016658041 , Non-fiction author and historian of technology @107791637874069639914 , CEO of Cycorp @109232706375076896189 , Tech entrepreneur, engineer, innovator @104810569466427874748 , CEO of Bottlenose @104401121686781166984 , Resident Futurist at Boulder Future Salon @116425013055966487482 , Founder of Serial Metrics See more at: http://reinventors.net/roundtables/reinvent-artificial-intelligence/Reinvent Artificial Intelligence with Kevin Kelly2014-04-30 20:00:00220  
Business Rockstars3,703 We are pleased to host @103911563591974976562  in a discussion about the human brain and it's possibilities. *We are taking your questions* Submit your questions in the comments for a chance to have @111480413428119678209 relate them to Dr. Michio Kaku in the Hangout!  The New York Times best-selling author of PHYSICS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, PHYSICS OF THE FUTURE and HYPERSPACE tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain.           For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist.    THE FUTURE OF THE MIND gives us an authoritative and compelling look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics.  One day we might have a "smart pill" that can enhance our cognition; be able to upload our brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; send thoughts and emotions around the world on a "brain-net"; control computers and robots with our mind; push the very limits of immortality; and perhaps even send our consciousness across the universe.             Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about "consciousness" and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness.   With Dr. Kaku's deep understanding of modern science and keen eye for future developments, THE FUTURE OF THE MIND is a scientific tour de force - an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience. ------------ #physics   #michiokaku   #hangoutsonair   #businessrockstars   #thefutureofthemind   #business  SOON: "Add 120+ IQ Points & Time Travel!"2014-03-22 00:00:0064  
Yifat Cohen78,518*Why does the ex-head of American Express Chairman’s Innovation Fund think our future is in “producerism,” not consumerism?* What does it even mean?!? _This Hangout is public so feel free to share and invite your friends._ Using frameworks +Steve Faktor developed such as the 4C’s of Innovation™ - Creativity, Capabilities, Culture, and Context - and the Creativity Cube™, Mr. Faktor deconstructs the current economic environment to reveal innovation opportunities and growth sectors – health and education in particular. *Although his initial scenario suggests doom and gloom for the U.S. and other markets, the future he envisions is ripe with opportunity.* *SO - How do You Get Innovation Right?* Well, if we're lucky (and we usually are), Steve will dive into his latest book Econovation and share with us a future we've taken for granted. *It empowers readers to think big, dream big, and conquer economic conditions that will paralyze others.*  *WE WILL TOUCH ON HOW TO* Capitalize on a market that will go from making nothing to making everything . . . for China. Use psychological pricing and some crafty tricks from Google to reduce reliance on tapped-out consumers. Sell to consumers whose new identities will be based on what they create, not what they buy, click or super-size. Seduce a desperate government to finance your business, then feed you pancakes in the morning. Motivate tomorrow’s employees with social currency instead of the green, depreciating kind. Upgrade your business and your kids with a little help from Mormons and kindergartners with hacksaws. *WHO IS STEVEN?* Developing B2B startups at @109499489972846579596  and corporate speaking about emerging producerism opportunities that I wrote about in my book @116385844146363178305 and Forbes column.  --------------------- #hangoutsonair   #americanexpress   #econovation   #interview   #entrepreneur   #entrepreneurship   #economy   #goodbusiness   #amazon   #fortune500   #gplusgotogal  How Global Trends Will Shape the Future of Innovation.2013-01-17 18:00:0046  
Yifat Cohen78,518*Google+ changes the Truth about social media marketing.* _This is a public Hangout, feel free to share and invite_ Have you noticed the date? *Today the world is ending.* And it's a wonderful, wonderful thing. *Everything you know*, or think you know, about online marketing, social media, engagement and where's the money is online - *is no longer true*. *IN THIS HANGOUTS WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SOME TRULY CONTROVERSIAL CLAIMS* @116901017556394771817 is going to show you why you should pay attention to Google+ now, if you want to make money online.  He'll show you why the *money is no longer in the list* How the conversation have moved from one-to-many to *many-to-many* How you can *broadcast your Hangouts simultaneously on hundreds of sites* And most of all - *how to position yourself in front of this trend that is going to turn the social media world upside down.* *BUT WHO IS ALEX MANDOSSIAN TO BE CLAIMING THIS?* His colleagues and students acknowledge him as the Warren Buffet of the Internet because of his unique ability to teach his students how to make BIG money with very little risk.  Alex has generated $243 million in sales and profits for his small business students, clients and joint venture partners since 1993.   Many of the business strategies you'll learn today transformed his annual income in 2001 to be a monthly income in 2003; and eventually daily income by 2006. These marketing principles helped him grow his student data base from 200 people to 20,000 during his first 2 years in business ... and to over 200,000 during the following 3 years. He has engaged with best-selling authors such as Jack Canfield, @112439370122733503773  @105578574150809713602 and @113217646903708244617 (4-Hr Work Wk) Business leaders such as Donald Trump, Vic Conant of Nightingale Conant and Ivan Misner, CEO of Business Network International, and celebs such as Larry King and Mohammad Ali to name a few. *As a family-centered entrepreneur who works from home*, his goal is to become the world’s 1st "work-at-home" billionaire, not just in Net Worth, but by creating 1,000 other Internet millionaires …The money is no longer in the list, so where is it?2012-12-20 18:00:0059  
Yifat Cohen78,518*How the social revolution is changing the way we do business.* We all keep hearing about how important it is to engage and build relationships - what does it really mean, and what tools are out there to help us master it? When @105103058358743760661 spoke at DreamForce he saw *a vision for a future of business information systems that is entirely based on relationships.* *ENGAGE OR DIE.* In this Hangout On Air, we'll dive into the topic of engagement with @105103058358743760661   as he explains what he calls "engagement leverage." This framework bridges the kind of internal engagement you need with employees with the external engagement you need with customers, suppliers, partners and other external stakeholders. It's a simple, yet surprisingly powerful way for thinking about the way your organization gets work done.  Gideon writes at Alchemy of Change about helping companies bring purpose and technology together into a more powerful source of competitive advantage. Gideon just came back from leading a panel on engagement at Salesforce's Dreamforce Conference (now the biggest tech conference in the world) and so in addition to talking with us about the engagement leverage model, he'll also share some of what he saw at Dreamforce. (http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF12/)DreamForce: what I learned about the relationship revolution.2012-10-04 18:00:0064  

Shared Circles including Gideon Rosenblatt

Shared Circles are not available on Google+ anymore, but you can find them still here.

Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

13
comments per post
9
reshares per post
35
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1,651
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 64

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2015-07-08 15:57:03 (64 comments, 18 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

Research on Keeping AI Safe

The Boston-based Future of Life Institute, backed by a $10 million donation from Elon Musk, recently announced its list of 37 winners of research grants in the field of artificial intelligence. Here is a breakout of some of the top categories of research:

1. Keeping super-smart weapons systems under human control
2. Making AI systems explain their decisions to humans in excruciating detail
3. Aligning the interests of machines and humans
4. Teaching machines about human behaviors and values
5. Ensuring an economic future where humans still have jobs

#ai


Most reshares: 45

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2015-07-27 21:14:32 (35 comments, 45 reshares, 77 +1s)Open 

Pinterest as Google+'s New Target

If it's not abundantly clear already, Pinterest is emerging a much more clear competitive frame for understanding the future of Google+. It's an over-simplification, as there are significant difference, but it's still a useful one. 

A Newly Emerging Google Plus Strategy
The catalyst for this post were some thoughts from Bradley Horowitz just a couple hours ago: 

"Relieved of the notion of integrating with every other product at Google, Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine."

Connecting people around "intereststhey lo... more »

Most plusones: 79

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2015-07-24 14:20:56 (30 comments, 34 reshares, 79 +1s)Open 

Human Behavior, as Guided by Artificial Intelligence

This was a fascinating piece to write. It's about neuroscientist Jeffrey Lin, who is dramatically reducing people’s toxic behavior in online gaming at Riot Games - by using artificial intelligence. This isn't some future vision. They flipped the switch a few months ago and it's working. 

What Riot has built is an artificial intelligence system that automates responses to toxic behavior in its flagship game, League of Legends. Think of it as an artificial immune response system.
 
Though I'm not personally a gamer, I felt compelled to understand how this system came to be. I wanted to understand how it worked and what its implications might be for influencing human behavior in other contexts. 

There are so many interesting facets to this story. I find it frightening in some ways, andvery i... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2015-08-01 00:19:15 (8 comments, 9 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

Go Germany!

What caused the record-breaking numbers? According to Craig Morris, a writer for the German website Energiewende, it was the weather. Morris attributs the rise in wind power to a storm passing through the north of the country, where the majority of Germany's wind turbines stand. It also helped that it was a sunny day in southern Germany, home to most of the country's solar panels.

#windpower   #solarpower  

Go Germany!

What caused the record-breaking numbers? According to Craig Morris, a writer for the German website Energiewende, it was the weather. Morris attributs the rise in wind power to a storm passing through the north of the country, where the majority of Germany's wind turbines stand. It also helped that it was a sunny day in southern Germany, home to most of the country's solar panels.

#windpower   #solarpower  ___

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2015-07-31 19:22:05 (10 comments, 15 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

da Vinci's Viola Organista Vibrates Back to Life

We might not have yet figured out a way to bring velociraptors or woolly mammoths back, but " ...nearly 500 years after da Vinci sketched his plans for a musical instrument he dubbed the Viola Organista, Polish concert pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki spent more than 5,000 hours making da Vinci's idea a reality."

Make sure to watch the video of Zubrzycki actually playing this beautiful instrument. It's a treat. 

More on this amazing instrument, and to see an even more beautiful keyboard view: 
http://www.violaorganista.com/

#design   #music  

da Vinci's Viola Organista Vibrates Back to Life

We might not have yet figured out a way to bring velociraptors or woolly mammoths back, but " ...nearly 500 years after da Vinci sketched his plans for a musical instrument he dubbed the Viola Organista, Polish concert pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki spent more than 5,000 hours making da Vinci's idea a reality."

Make sure to watch the video of Zubrzycki actually playing this beautiful instrument. It's a treat. 

More on this amazing instrument, and to see an even more beautiful keyboard view: 
http://www.violaorganista.com/

#design   #music  ___

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2015-07-31 15:03:52 (8 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

130 million is no spring chicken, but I would have thought that flowing plants were older than that somehow. Really interesting look at the history of flowers, by +Lacerant Plainer​.

How flowers changed the world : Flowers appeared on Earth about 130 million years ago. Before flowers, land plants evolved from a group of green algae, perhaps as early as 510 million years ago, but the evolution of the seed which was deployed for dispersal made plants ubiquitous. And this helped to increase the concentration of Oxygen in the atmosphere. Do watch this video which is kind of fantastic : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXydMRoL9RU (How to grow a planet with prof Iain Stewart.

Recently evolved : If all Earth's history were compressed into an hour, flowering plants would exist for only the last 90 seconds. But once they took firm root about 100 million years ago, they swiftly diversified in an explosion of varieties that established most of the flowering plant families of the modern world.

It's why we exist : Today flowering plant species outnumber by twenty to one those of ferns and cone-bearing trees, or conifers, which had thrived for 200 million years before the first bloom appeared. As a food source flowering plants provide us and the rest of the animal world with the nourishment that is fundamental to our existence. In the words of Walter Judd, a botanist at the University of Florida, "If it weren't for flowering plants, we humans wouldn't be here."

Evolution and Innovation : What allowed flowering plants to dominate the world's flora so quickly? What was their great innovation? Early angiosperms got their start on the margins. In a world dominated by conifers and ferns, these botanical newcomers managed to get a toehold in areas of ecological disturbance, such as floodplains and volcanic regions, and adapted quickly to new environments. Fossil evidence leads some botanists to believe that the first flowering plants were herbaceous, meaning they grew no woody parts. (The latest genetic research, however, indicates that most ancient angiosperm lines included both herbaceous and woody plants.) Unlike trees, which require years to mature and bear seed, herbaceous angiosperms live, reproduce, and die in short life cycles. This enables them to seed new ground quickly and perhaps allowed them to evolve faster than their competitors, advantages that may have helped give rise to their diversity.

Flashy is better : Casting pollen to the wind is a hit-or-miss method of reproduction. Although wind pollination suffices for many plant species, direct delivery by insects is far more efficient. Insects doubtless began visiting and pollinating angiosperms as soon as the new plants appeared on Earth some 130 million years ago. But it would be another 30 or 40 million years before flowering plants grabbed the attention of insect pollinators by flaunting flashy petals.

References and Sources:

http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/prehistoric-world/big-bloom/

http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/flowers-rainfall/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-flowers-changed-world-ecosystems-art-galleries-180956110/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_plants

Gif courtesy (Tumblr) : https://goo.gl/SB578A___130 million is no spring chicken, but I would have thought that flowing plants were older than that somehow. Really interesting look at the history of flowers, by +Lacerant Plainer​.

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2015-07-31 06:40:51 (25 comments, 5 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Big Data, Neo-Behavioralism, and the Mathematics of Human Relationships

Zuckerberg:
"I’m also curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about. I bet there is."

Nicholas Carr:
It’s not hard to understand the source of Zuckerberg’s misperception. Human beings, like ants or chickens, share a certain bundle of tendencies, a certain nature, and if you analyze our behavior statistically that nature will evidence itself in mathematical regularities. Zuckerberg is hardly the first to confuse the measurement of a phenomenon with the cause of the phenomenon. If some amount of data reveals a pattern, then, surely, more data will reveal “a fundamental mathematical law.”

Is there really an algorithmic explanation for the cause of ourbehavior; is... more »

Big Data, Neo-Behavioralism, and the Mathematics of Human Relationships

Zuckerberg:
"I’m also curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about. I bet there is."

Nicholas Carr:
It’s not hard to understand the source of Zuckerberg’s misperception. Human beings, like ants or chickens, share a certain bundle of tendencies, a certain nature, and if you analyze our behavior statistically that nature will evidence itself in mathematical regularities. Zuckerberg is hardly the first to confuse the measurement of a phenomenon with the cause of the phenomenon. If some amount of data reveals a pattern, then, surely, more data will reveal “a fundamental mathematical law.”

Is there really an algorithmic explanation for the cause of our behavior; is that the way things actually work inside us, or is it just something we reflect back to ourselves when we look at ourselves with our computational tools?

More:
The New Behavioralism
http://www.roughtype.com/?p=6376___

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2015-07-30 18:10:03 (14 comments, 13 reshares, 30 +1s)Open 

Ethereum Launches

We may look back on this day in history as the start of something important. Ethereum just went live. 

It's too soon to know just how transformative this new blockchain-based technology platform will prove to be, but I'm excited about its potential. 

#ethereum   #blockchain   #DAO  

Ethereum Launches

We may look back on this day in history as the start of something important. Ethereum just went live. 

It's too soon to know just how transformative this new blockchain-based technology platform will prove to be, but I'm excited about its potential. 

#ethereum   #blockchain   #DAO  ___

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2015-07-29 18:52:50 (3 comments, 6 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

Automating Media Publishing

For those of you who may have missed this piece when it was first published on the Vital Edge, I'm now republishing it on Medium. 

It's longish, so the two sets of people most likely to be interested in this are: 
1) People in media and publishing
2) People interested in automation and technological unemployment

Lots of research went into this one and there are lots of good stats on employment, pricing and other impacts of automation in book, magazine and newspaper publishing. 

#media   #publishing   #technologicalunemployment  

Automating Media Publishing

For those of you who may have missed this piece when it was first published on the Vital Edge, I'm now republishing it on Medium. 

It's longish, so the two sets of people most likely to be interested in this are: 
1) People in media and publishing
2) People interested in automation and technological unemployment

Lots of research went into this one and there are lots of good stats on employment, pricing and other impacts of automation in book, magazine and newspaper publishing. 

#media   #publishing   #technologicalunemployment  ___

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2015-07-29 12:34:22 (5 comments, 6 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

Google is attaching be sensors to its Street View cars in order to monitor pollution levels:

In the first pilot, three Street View cars collected 150 million air quality data points over a month of driving around Denver, Colorado. They measured for chemicals that are hazardous to breathe, like nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Google is attaching be sensors to its Street View cars in order to monitor pollution levels:

In the first pilot, three Street View cars collected 150 million air quality data points over a month of driving around Denver, Colorado. They measured for chemicals that are hazardous to breathe, like nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).___

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2015-07-27 21:14:32 (35 comments, 45 reshares, 77 +1s)Open 

Pinterest as Google+'s New Target

If it's not abundantly clear already, Pinterest is emerging a much more clear competitive frame for understanding the future of Google+. It's an over-simplification, as there are significant difference, but it's still a useful one. 

A Newly Emerging Google Plus Strategy
The catalyst for this post were some thoughts from Bradley Horowitz just a couple hours ago: 

"Relieved of the notion of integrating with every other product at Google, Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine."

Connecting people around "intereststhey lo... more »

Pinterest as Google+'s New Target

If it's not abundantly clear already, Pinterest is emerging a much more clear competitive frame for understanding the future of Google+. It's an over-simplification, as there are significant difference, but it's still a useful one. 

A Newly Emerging Google Plus Strategy
The catalyst for this post were some thoughts from Bradley Horowitz just a couple hours ago: 

"Relieved of the notion of integrating with every other product at Google, Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine."

Connecting people around "interests they love" is another way of saying connecting people through an "interest graph." The battle for the social graph is pretty much over, and Facebook clearly won. Google's new strategy is a clear acknowledgement of this and an indication that it sees the battle for the interest graph as: a) important and b) far from decided. 
 
So, why is the interest graph so important, you ask? 

Supporting the Knowledge Graph 
Google is making a huge bet on its Knowledge Graph, as a central strategy for maintaining the technological superiority of its search engine. In fact, you could say that this service is actually in the midst of transforming from a search engine to a knowledge engine. Google Now is the visible end of this wedge, a wedge which will soon emerge as a Virtual Personal Assistant, and eventually as a much more powerful artificial intelligence agent. 

Understanding which people care about and have influence on particular topics will be one of the very valuable products of deepening Google+ investments in the interest graph. That, in turn, will strengthen the company's ability to execute on its Knowledge Graph strategy. 

The Bigger Battle with Amazon
In the big picture, the real competitive battle that Google faces as a company - is with Amazon. People were recently asked their top three places for researching gift purchases in the holiday season. “Online search” registered 45%, down from 49% a year ago. Meantime, the channel growing the most in popularity was the one that includes Amazon, jumping to 37% from 31%. 

The Google-Amazon battle is actually a battle of business models, with Google running an advertising strategy and Amazon a commerce strategy. Sure, there are exceptions, and the lines can get very blurry with things like "buy now" button ads, but by and large, that is how the competition is falling out. When you think about it, the searches that Amazon is increasingly winning from Google are searches that are most closely tied to actual sales. They are, in other words, some of the most lucrative advertising that Google has. 

Going back to the interest graph, perhaps more than any other company in the world, Amazon has a very detailed and extremely valuable mapping of the products and services you care about. It has, in short, a very lucrative interest graph, deeply embedded into its commerce business model. 

As noted above, monetization isn't the only reason that Google is building its interest graph. That said, it will be monetizing its interest graph, and it will be doing that through an advertising strategy - not primarily a commerce strategy like Amazon's. 

The Pinterest Opportunity
Pinterest was founded in 2010, one of many startups launched around that timeframe based on the premise of the interest graph. The rest have long-since failed, but Pinterest is now valued at $11 billion and its revenue generating potential is just starting to build steam. 

Pinterest's monetization efforts around things like "buy now" buttons are generating lots of intrigue, but I believe the company represents something more than that. They are a kind of fusion between online advertising and a retail environment. Pinterest's CEO Ben Silbermann likes to differentiate Pinterest from Google by noting that the service is about "discovery," not "search." People like to browse collections in Pinterest, to become inspired, to have their interests piqued, to discover stuff through seeming serendipity that they weren't specifically seeking in the first place. In other words, there's a kind of grazing, browsing behavior on Pinterest that does sort of feel like a retail store. 

In other words, Pinterest, with its strength in discovery, falls someplace in between the Amazon and Google commerce and advertising strategies. Just as importantly, behind the scenes, Pinterest is building an interest graph, tied to commercially valuable topics. And unlike Amazon, they're not integrating this interest graph with the core competencies of warehousing, returns, fulfillment and other aspects of a commerce company. In short, they're building the kind of interest graph that's of interest to an advertising giant; an interest graph chock-full with all kinds of insights into what end users care most about. 

Like Google. 

The Differences
Just to be clear: I'm not saying that Google+ will or should suddenly start looking and behaving like Pinterest. Despite the new Collections feature, Google+ is a very different beast. I would be very surprised if we woke up one day to find "buy it now" buttons showing up on Google+. And I don't even think that we'll be seeing many collections of "my favorite lipsticks" or "my favorite dresses" - the kinds of collections that are very common and natural on Pinterest. 

That just isn't the culture here on Google+. No, I don't see Google attempting to replicate the kind of "retail" environment strategy that Pinterest seems to be headed towards. The management here is smart enough to recognize the culture differences between G+ and Pinterest. Although now that Google+ is freed from its broader corporate mandates, which I think helped it take a pass on revenue-generating expectations, I will go on record here saying that I would not be at all surprised to find Google reversing its policy of 'no ads' here on Google+ - possibly within the next year or two.

What I do see quite clearly is Google moving down a path where Google+ becomes a more powerful addition to its interest graph building capacity. Search is already a very powerful tool for tracking end user interests over time. What it's missing is the ability to note interest in a more passive browsing mode. This is the discovery mode that Pinterest makes so much of, and it maps nicely to the streams, photos and sharing that now describes the team that will be remaking Google+. 


 
Bradley Horowitz post on Google+ changes:
https://plus.google.com/+BradleyHorowitz/posts/Aq59SxzyjWT

Pinterest CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann, talking about Pinterest's strategy and the central importance of the interest graph:
https://business.pinterest.com/en/blog/video-ben-talks-about-interest-graph-and-future-pinterest

The Interest Graph Maps Our Connections to Ideas and Things
http://www.the-vital-edge.com/shared-interest-graph-in-work/

Google’s  Biggest Competitor…is Amazon
https://medium.com/@gideonro/the-google-amazon-slugfest-8a3a07a1d6dd

What is Google+ (Really)?
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/fxp3viNzg9d

#sharedinterestgraph   #pinterest   #amazon   #googleplus  
    ___

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2015-07-26 15:05:47 (2 comments, 5 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

Boosting Creativity with Software that Reduces Social Conformity

The trick is to avoid clustering, where the same people have the same experiences. We want Mike and Beth to see and discuss each other’s ideas, and Beth to interact the same way with Dan, but we don’t want Dan to loop back into Mike’s ideas. No two people see the same batch of ideas, so each person retains an independence that helps to combat social convergence. These partial connections within the overall group of participants provide some diversity while diminishing the pressure for conformity. You still have plenty of interaction, but it’s distributed across the full group, which can be of any size.

Good catch, +John Hagel​.

The paradox of collective intelligence - it can leverage diversity but also increase pressure for conformity___Boosting Creativity with Software that Reduces Social Conformity

The trick is to avoid clustering, where the same people have the same experiences. We want Mike and Beth to see and discuss each other’s ideas, and Beth to interact the same way with Dan, but we don’t want Dan to loop back into Mike’s ideas. No two people see the same batch of ideas, so each person retains an independence that helps to combat social convergence. These partial connections within the overall group of participants provide some diversity while diminishing the pressure for conformity. You still have plenty of interaction, but it’s distributed across the full group, which can be of any size.

Good catch, +John Hagel​.

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2015-07-25 22:55:54 (15 comments, 6 reshares, 41 +1s)Open 

Petrichor: The Smell of Rain
Yesterday, I was outside with my older son as a light rain was just starting to fall - the first rain here in Seattle for a while. We were both struck by the power of that wonderful smell; so much so in fact, that I had to try to understand what it was. I rarely excerpt Wikipedia at length, but in this case, I'll make an exception because it's so awesome. 

Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɨkɔər/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek, petra, meaning ‘stone’, + ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

The term was coined in 1964 by two researchers, Isabel Joy Bear (Australian) and Roderick G. Thomas (British), for an article in the journal Nature. In the article, the authors describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dryperiods, ... more »

Petrichor: The Smell of Rain
Yesterday, I was outside with my older son as a light rain was just starting to fall - the first rain here in Seattle for a while. We were both struck by the power of that wonderful smell; so much so in fact, that I had to try to understand what it was. I rarely excerpt Wikipedia at length, but in this case, I'll make an exception because it's so awesome. 

Petrichor (/ˈpɛtrɨkɔər/) is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek, petra, meaning ‘stone’, + ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.

The term was coined in 1964 by two researchers, Isabel Joy Bear (Australian) and Roderick G. Thomas (British), for an article in the journal Nature. In the article, the authors describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, a metabolic by-product of certain Actinobacteria, which is emitted by wet soil, producing the distinctive scent; ozone may also be present if there is lightning. In a follow-up paper, Bear and Thomas (1965) showed that the oil retards seed germination and early plant growth. This would indicate that the plants exude the oil in order to safeguard the seeds from germination under duress.

Some scientists believe that humans appreciate the rain scent because ancestors may have relied on rainy weather for survival.

Wikipedia on Petrichor: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrichor

#rain  ___

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2015-07-24 14:20:56 (30 comments, 34 reshares, 79 +1s)Open 

Human Behavior, as Guided by Artificial Intelligence

This was a fascinating piece to write. It's about neuroscientist Jeffrey Lin, who is dramatically reducing people’s toxic behavior in online gaming at Riot Games - by using artificial intelligence. This isn't some future vision. They flipped the switch a few months ago and it's working. 

What Riot has built is an artificial intelligence system that automates responses to toxic behavior in its flagship game, League of Legends. Think of it as an artificial immune response system.
 
Though I'm not personally a gamer, I felt compelled to understand how this system came to be. I wanted to understand how it worked and what its implications might be for influencing human behavior in other contexts. 

There are so many interesting facets to this story. I find it frightening in some ways, andvery i... more »

Human Behavior, as Guided by Artificial Intelligence

This was a fascinating piece to write. It's about neuroscientist Jeffrey Lin, who is dramatically reducing people’s toxic behavior in online gaming at Riot Games - by using artificial intelligence. This isn't some future vision. They flipped the switch a few months ago and it's working. 

What Riot has built is an artificial intelligence system that automates responses to toxic behavior in its flagship game, League of Legends. Think of it as an artificial immune response system.
 
Though I'm not personally a gamer, I felt compelled to understand how this system came to be. I wanted to understand how it worked and what its implications might be for influencing human behavior in other contexts. 

There are so many interesting facets to this story. I find it frightening in some ways, and very inspiring in others. 

Riot is clearly out front in applying artificial intelligence in gaming. I predict the next large-scale applications of crowdsourced artificial intelligence will be in social networks. Facebook and Google have snapped up the leaders of a particularly promising type of machine learning called Deep Learning, and Twitter is ramping up its artificial intelligence investments too. Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google’s DeepMind acquisition, recently noted that “In six months to a year’s time we’ll start seeing some aspects of what we’re doing embedded in Google Plus, natural language and maybe some recommendation systems.”

Hassabis made that comment about artificial intelligence here in Google+ just about six months ago. What do you think he was hinting at? Will it be used to better understand and match people's interests here? Also, Google+ is pretty tame on the toxic behavior bar when compared to sites like YouTube, reddit, 4chan, and online gaming, but could something like this be applied here too? Do we need it? Would we want it?

I will probably end up diving back into this story again soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

#humanbehavior   #ai   #artificialintelligence   #leagueoflegends   ___

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2015-07-22 13:42:36 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Google Maps Will Help You Track Your Movements Over Time

Think of it as a personal scrapbook where you can pick and choose which locations you want to save and memories you'd want to preserve -- only you don't have to do much to record those moments. Google will do it for you.

#contextualcomputing #placebasedsoftware 

Google Maps Will Help You Track Your Movements Over Time

Think of it as a personal scrapbook where you can pick and choose which locations you want to save and memories you'd want to preserve -- only you don't have to do much to record those moments. Google will do it for you.

#contextualcomputing #placebasedsoftware ___

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2015-07-21 20:59:29 (9 comments, 4 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Rich Answer Box: Drop Downs

Check out the image below. I'm used to seeing Rich Answer Boxes at this point, but this is the first time for me to see a dropdown "People also ask" related questions in the search results. When I clicked on "Who developed behavioral therapy?", I got a Rich Answer Box for that question. 

cc: +David Amerland and +Mark Traphagen (who have probably already seen this, I'm guessing)

#RichAnswerBox   #Google   #Search   #semanticsearch  

Rich Answer Box: Drop Downs

Check out the image below. I'm used to seeing Rich Answer Boxes at this point, but this is the first time for me to see a dropdown "People also ask" related questions in the search results. When I clicked on "Who developed behavioral therapy?", I got a Rich Answer Box for that question. 

cc: +David Amerland and +Mark Traphagen (who have probably already seen this, I'm guessing)

#RichAnswerBox   #Google   #Search   #semanticsearch  ___

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2015-07-17 18:01:29 (38 comments, 1 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Tighter Belts at Google

Google's new CFO, Ruth Porat, may well represent Google's peace offering to Wall Street. Let's hope this move doesn't mess the company up too badly for the long-haul. 

Google will still pursue long-term projects that have the potential to open new opportunities, Porat added, but she pledged to focus on “tight governance to ensure that the resourcing for them is appropriate.”

Porat developed a reputation for astute budget management while serving as CFO for Morgan Stanley before she defected to Google. Her hiring was widely interpreted as a concession to Wall Street, which had become frustrated with Google’s penchant for free spending. That exasperation was compounded by Google’s power structure, which gives Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin voting control over the company’s direction.

“There are someinvestors wh... more »

Tighter Belts at Google

Google's new CFO, Ruth Porat, may well represent Google's peace offering to Wall Street. Let's hope this move doesn't mess the company up too badly for the long-haul. 

Google will still pursue long-term projects that have the potential to open new opportunities, Porat added, but she pledged to focus on “tight governance to ensure that the resourcing for them is appropriate.”

Porat developed a reputation for astute budget management while serving as CFO for Morgan Stanley before she defected to Google. Her hiring was widely interpreted as a concession to Wall Street, which had become frustrated with Google’s penchant for free spending. That exasperation was compounded by Google’s power structure, which gives Page and fellow co-founder Sergey Brin voting control over the company’s direction.

“There are some investors who have been looking at Google and saying, ‘They spend like crazy and I have zero recourse to change the direction, so I don’t want to be involved with them,’ ” Gillis said. “Their attitude had ruled out a whole class of investors.”


#shareholderprimacy   #DivineRightOfCapital  ___

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2015-07-16 21:35:14 (5 comments, 4 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Web as TV

A worthwhile read from someone who had a forced absence from the web for many years in an Iranian prison. 

One of the central arguments here is this: 

But the Stream, mobile applications, and moving images: They all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication — nodes and networks and links — toward a linear one, with centralization and hierarchies.

Thanks +Leland LeCuyer and +Denis Wallez for catching this one. +Yonatan Zunger, I've got a feeling you will find this one interesting. 

The Web We Have to Save
The rich, diverse, free web that I loved  —  and spent years in an Iranian jail for  —  is dying.
Why is nobody stopping it?

This long essay by +Hossein Derakhshan has not received the notice or attention I believe it deserves. The only person in my G+ Circles who shared this was +Denis Wallez. Why? Derakhshan deserves our full and focused attention if only because of the steep price he paid for reaching out to us. He writes from the authority of experience.

Derakhshan's imprisonment afforded him a Rip van Winkle lens through which to view the direction that the internet is heading. His critique of social media, including Google and G+, ought make us feel uncomfortable with its direction as well as with our own carefree joyride as passengers and sometime drivers. Many criticisms Derakhshan makes echo what I've heard from many of you from time to time, but we lack what the ancient Greeks termed pathe mathos or "the authority of suffering."

Here's a few trends Derakhshan noted:

• People used to carefully read my posts and leave lots of relevant comments, and even many of those who strongly disagreed with me.

• The hyperlink provided a diversity and decentralisation that the real world lacked

• The hyperlink was a way to abandon centralization  —  all the links, lines and hierarchies  —  and replace them with something more distributed, a system of nodes and networks.

• Nearly every social network now treats a link as just the same as it treats any other object  —  the same as a photo, or a piece of text  —  instead of seeing at as a way to make that text richer.

• Social networks tend to treat native text and pictures  —  things that are directly posted to them  —  with a lot more respect than those that reside on outside web pages.

• But hyperlinks aren’t just the skeleton of the web: They are its eyes, a path to its soul.

• When a powerful website  —  say Google or Facebook  —  gazes at, or links to, another webpage, it doesn’t just connect it  —  it brings it into existence; gives it life. Metaphorically, without this empowering gaze, your web page doesn’t breathe.

• But apps like Instagram are blind  —  or almost blind. Their gaze goes nowhere except inwards, reluctant to transfer any of their vast powers to others, leading them into quiet deaths. The consequence is that web pages outside social media are dying.

• The Stream now dominates the way people receive information on the web.

• The Stream means you don’t need to open so many websites any more.

• It feels great not to waste time in finding interesting things on so many websites. But are we missing something here? What are we exchanging for efficiency?

• Not only do the algorithms behind the Stream equate newness and popularity with importance, they also tend to show us more of what we’ve already liked. These services carefully scan our behaviour and delicately tailor our news feeds with posts, pictures and videos that they think we would most likely want to see.

• The diversity of themes and opinions is less online today than it was in the past. New, different, and challenging ideas get suppressed by today’s social networks because their ranking strategies prioritize the popular and habitual.

• The centralization of information also worries me because it makes it easier for things to disappear.

• But the scariest outcome of the centralization of information in the age of social networks is something else: It is making us all much less powerful in relation to governments and corporations.

• Maybe it’s that text itself is disappearing. Are we witnessing a decline of reading on the web in favor of watching and listening?

• But the Stream, mobile applications, and moving images: They all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication  —  nodes and networks and links  —  toward a linear one, with centralization and hierarchies.

• The web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.

• This is not the web I knew when I went to jail. This is not the future of the web. This future is television.

• I miss when people took time to be exposed to different opinions, and bothered to read more than a paragraph or 140 characters. I miss the days when I could write something on my own blog, publish on my own domain, without taking an equal time to promote it on numerous social networks; when nobody cared about likes and reshares. That’s the web I remember before jail. That’s the web we have to save.___Web as TV

A worthwhile read from someone who had a forced absence from the web for many years in an Iranian prison. 

One of the central arguments here is this: 

But the Stream, mobile applications, and moving images: They all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication — nodes and networks and links — toward a linear one, with centralization and hierarchies.

Thanks +Leland LeCuyer and +Denis Wallez for catching this one. +Yonatan Zunger, I've got a feeling you will find this one interesting. 

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2015-07-16 02:50:43 (29 comments, 6 reshares, 34 +1s)Open 

Another hot trend, once again led by Seattle. Grunge, jets, mass market coffee shops, and now colorful armpit hair. 

Sounds like it's pretty much just women leading the way, but I'll be sure to let you know if I jump in.

I'm thinking blue. 

Another hot trend, once again led by Seattle. Grunge, jets, mass market coffee shops, and now colorful armpit hair. 

Sounds like it's pretty much just women leading the way, but I'll be sure to let you know if I jump in.

I'm thinking blue. ___

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2015-07-16 02:41:09 (7 comments, 9 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

"Strange" Robotic Hotel

The Henn na Hotel isn't yet fully automated, but it's getting there. "Henn na" is Japanese for "strange" and, well, that's just what this hotel would appear to be. It's part of an amusement park, but it's designed to test out automation in the hotel industry. 

Sawada, who runs the hotel, is keeping the hotel half-filled for the first few weeks just to make sure nothing goes wrong. But what could go wrong? Especially with a velociraptor for a receptionist? 
 
#technologicalunemployment   #robotics  
 

"Strange" Robotic Hotel

The Henn na Hotel isn't yet fully automated, but it's getting there. "Henn na" is Japanese for "strange" and, well, that's just what this hotel would appear to be. It's part of an amusement park, but it's designed to test out automation in the hotel industry. 

Sawada, who runs the hotel, is keeping the hotel half-filled for the first few weeks just to make sure nothing goes wrong. But what could go wrong? Especially with a velociraptor for a receptionist? 
 
#technologicalunemployment   #robotics  
 ___

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2015-07-15 14:54:38 (5 comments, 11 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

Google Continues to Synch Physical and Virtual Realities

If you missed Google's announcements yesterday about its open source "Eddystone" project and its "Nearby" API, it's worth understanding what these efforts are, and this piece by +Ron Amadeo will get you up-to-speed in no time (ok, well, more like ten or fifteen minutes). 

Briefly, Eddystone is an open source effort to turn objects and locations into broadcasting beacons that make them 'smarter.' A vending machine will automatically pop up an interface for interacting with it via your phone, your bus stop will automatically pop up a real-time update on when the next bus will arrive, and intriguingly, your lost keys play the warmer, warmer, colder game as you get nearer and farther from them. You get the idea: lots of applications and creativity to be unleashed here. It'se... more »

Google Continues to Synch Physical and Virtual Realities

If you missed Google's announcements yesterday about its open source "Eddystone" project and its "Nearby" API, it's worth understanding what these efforts are, and this piece by +Ron Amadeo will get you up-to-speed in no time (ok, well, more like ten or fifteen minutes). 

Briefly, Eddystone is an open source effort to turn objects and locations into broadcasting beacons that make them 'smarter.' A vending machine will automatically pop up an interface for interacting with it via your phone, your bus stop will automatically pop up a real-time update on when the next bus will arrive, and intriguingly, your lost keys play the warmer, warmer, colder game as you get nearer and farther from them. You get the idea: lots of applications and creativity to be unleashed here. It's exciting. 

Yep, this is cool stuff, and though it's similar in function to Apple's iBeacon, Google is opening it up to third parties to develop - so I've a feeling we are going to see some widespread adoption of this toolset. When that happens, we could see some really interesting impacts on the way we interact with the objects and locations that surround us. 

As with any technology, there is also room for abuse here. Beacons could be used by retail outlets to more effectively track customers. I still have to understand the technology a bit better, but it also seems like this stuff could be used for spying on people as well (tracking pings from people who aren't careful with their settings?). 

This is a really interesting announcement, and it comes at the same time as Google's Nearby API, which will offer a whole additional set of functionality, such as allowing you to easily play games or do phone-based whiteboarding with someone standing next to you: 
http://goo.gl/YDpHG9

Big picture here is that Google is working hard to blur the edges between our physical reality and our virtual reality. The other day, I forwarded a piece about how Google is doing this on one end through Material Design and user interfaces that more closely mimic interacting with real-world objects. Now Eddystone is making our surrounding objects and places smart enough to engage us. 

If you're really into this stuff, you might find some of my older musings on this front of interest. These are a few years old at this point, but much of what I was talking about then is now coming true: 
http://www.alchemyofchange.net/place-based-software/

But, do yourself a favor, and first read this piece by Ron. It's more current and really interesting. 

#contextualcomputing   #iot   #eddystone  ___

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2015-07-15 02:23:36 (10 comments, 11 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

Looking More Closely at the Relationship between Humans and Robots

Good piece from +YES! Magazine on the increasingly important relationships that we humans are now forming with robots. It's a trickier topic than you might first assume. 

Some key insights from the article:

Naming a robot makes us care more
There are these boxy things in hospitals that just deliver medicines, and they found out that the nurses, doctors, and employees are much more receptive to them when they name the machines. Putting a license plate on one of the machines that says “Emily” will cause people to bond with them and forgive their mistakes more easily.

Robot brutality may signal broader brutality
If this behavior really does translate the way we think it does in that context, then it might translate from robots to animals or from robots tochild... more »

Looking More Closely at the Relationship between Humans and Robots

Good piece from +YES! Magazine on the increasingly important relationships that we humans are now forming with robots. It's a trickier topic than you might first assume. 

Some key insights from the article:

Naming a robot makes us care more
There are these boxy things in hospitals that just deliver medicines, and they found out that the nurses, doctors, and employees are much more receptive to them when they name the machines. Putting a license plate on one of the machines that says “Emily” will cause people to bond with them and forgive their mistakes more easily.

Robot brutality may signal broader brutality
If this behavior really does translate the way we think it does in that context, then it might translate from robots to animals or from robots to children as well. We’re seeing that people respond to robots like animals. So if people were brutalizing their robots at home, we may want to keep an eye on their animals and children.

Different takes on treating robots nicely
We’re seeing people respond to robots as though they were some lifelike thing, in between an object and an animal. There’s this one camp that says this is awesome—we can create great engagement with people and there are all these other uses in education and health contexts.

Then there’s the other camp that says it’s bad—we should prevent people from seeing robots this way. Neil Richards and Bill Smart are two people in the robot law community that have argued that this bad. They say if we treat robots as something other than the tools then that idea will bleed over into legal regulations.
...
A woman named Julie Carpenter did her Ph.D. thesis on this. She studied these bomb disposal robots that are used in the military. It turns out that soldiers really bond with them and sort of treat them like pets.

_“People are realizing that they feel for these robots.”
P.W. Singer’s book Wired for War has some anecdotes of people risking their lives to save these robots, which is really concerning. These robots aren’t supposed to engage you emotionally. These robots are supposed to be bomb-disposal tools. They detonate land mines. You don’t want people hesitating for even a second to use them the way they’re supposed to be used._


Related:
Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together
http://alonetogetherbook.com/

Unrequited Love in the Time of Technology
http://www.the-vital-edge.com/unrequited-love/

#robotics  ___

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2015-07-14 19:35:10 (34 comments, 8 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

A Web of Lies (and Truths)

I really like serendipitously stumbling onto two thematically intertwined articles, as I just did. In this case, it was Charles Cooke's Aldous Huxley and the Mendacious Memes of the Internet Age, and this:

“An unexciting truth,” Huxley noted in Brave New World Revisited, “may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood,” especially in such circumstances as that truth’s being disseminated across a medium that is “concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant.” When we speak warmly of the Web and its consequences, we imagine that rationality will inevitably prevail. Often, we imagine in vain. Have we been liberated? Or have we been drowned?
Source: http://goo.gl/rSbJBq

So, are we doomed to mendacity and stupidity on the web? And that's where the secondpiece, this on... more »

A Web of Lies (and Truths)

I really like serendipitously stumbling onto two thematically intertwined articles, as I just did. In this case, it was Charles Cooke's Aldous Huxley and the Mendacious Memes of the Internet Age, and this:

“An unexciting truth,” Huxley noted in Brave New World Revisited, “may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood,” especially in such circumstances as that truth’s being disseminated across a medium that is “concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant.” When we speak warmly of the Web and its consequences, we imagine that rationality will inevitably prevail. Often, we imagine in vain. Have we been liberated? Or have we been drowned?
Source: http://goo.gl/rSbJBq

So, are we doomed to mendacity and stupidity on the web? And that's where the second piece, this one from +David Amerland, comes into play. For in this piece, How Google Learns to 'See' the Truth, David outlines what Google is doing to improve the quality of news and other information on the web. 

Google is going upstream to verify trustworthy sources, but as David points out, the company might very well use those signals to then assess who forwards and shares these (and less trustworthy material) in their social media streams.

It's interesting not just at a macro, societal level, but in a direct, applied sense too. Ignore what Google's doing here, and you risk harming your reputation over the long haul. 

"The web is becoming a more truth-orientated place. Just like in the real world, trust takes a long time to develop and is easily lost. If you’re incorporating news sources, video, Tweets or other primary sources of data in your content or sharing activity, being able to verify their provenance is a necessary skill."

"Before you share content from sources you’re not familiar with, you will also have to do your own due diligence to make sure that they’re current and can be trusted, otherwise their mistakes will affect your reputation."

Another point that David makes is how important individuals are to establishing trustworthy information: 

"As an aside, this also shows the weakness of the current stage of development of machine learning. Unless there is a sufficient volume of data for algorithms to work with and begin to organize it into patterns that allow inferences such as “true” or “false” to be made, a human is still better at understanding the context of a piece of information that is entirely new."

Some of you may already be aware of what Google is doing on the "Knowledge-Based Trust" machine-learning front, but it's clear that the company can't afford to rely solely on that strategy.

More on Knowledge-Based Trust:
Knowledge-Based Trust and the Future of Search and Artificial Intelligence
http://goo.gl/X7TDIi

#trust   #knowledge   #journalism  ___

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2015-07-14 02:12:22 (3 comments, 10 reshares, 20 +1s)Open 

Automating Knowledge Work

Some key excerpts (with comments interspersed from +Marshall Kirkpatrick): 

“Advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural user interfaces (e.g., voice recognition) are making it possible to automate many knowledge worker tasks that have long been regarded as impossible or impractical for machines to perform. For instance, some computers can answer ‘unstructured’ questions (i.e., those posed in ordinary language, rather than precisely written as software queries), so employees or customers without specialized training can get information on their own. [Me: I’m especially interested in things like subjective judgement that used to be exclusively the domain of humans.] This opens up possibilities for sweeping change in how knowledge work is organized and performed. Sophisticated analytics tools can be used to augment thetalents ... more »

The unsung massive 10 year disruptor: Automation of knowledge work

McKinsey said in 2013 that automation of knowledge work is going to have the one of the largest economic impacts around the world of any of the most disruptive technologies over the next 10 years, impacting the $9 trillion dollars that makes up 27% of global employment costs that go to knowledge workers.___Automating Knowledge Work

Some key excerpts (with comments interspersed from +Marshall Kirkpatrick): 

“Advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural user interfaces (e.g., voice recognition) are making it possible to automate many knowledge worker tasks that have long been regarded as impossible or impractical for machines to perform. For instance, some computers can answer ‘unstructured’ questions (i.e., those posed in ordinary language, rather than precisely written as software queries), so employees or customers without specialized training can get information on their own. [Me: I’m especially interested in things like subjective judgement that used to be exclusively the domain of humans.] This opens up possibilities for sweeping change in how knowledge work is organized and performed. Sophisticated analytics tools can be used to augment the talents of highly skilled employees [Me: Now we’re talking! Let’s talk about things that weren’t even possible before!], and as more knowledge worker tasks can be done by machine, it is also possible that some types of jobs could become fully automated.”

If you're looking for additional, related material, here's a piece I did that touches on AI and the future of knowledge: 
http://www.the-vital-edge.com/knowledge-and-artificial-intelligence/

#ai   #knowledgeworker  

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2015-07-14 01:06:13 (3 comments, 3 reshares, 23 +1s)Open 

How Material Design Came to Be

This is a really nice overview of Material Design and just how Google's designers actually went about developing it. It's just so, well, so Google, the way they went about studying what material surfaces should do when they are engaged. Data-driven. It's data-driven design principles, but the data came through shining a bunch of lights on physical things to see how shadows fell upon them. Great stuff. It'll be interesting to see whether other firms adopt and contribute to it. 

HT +David Amerland +Dustin W. Stout 

Google: Making Material Design
___How Material Design Came to Be

This is a really nice overview of Material Design and just how Google's designers actually went about developing it. It's just so, well, so Google, the way they went about studying what material surfaces should do when they are engaged. Data-driven. It's data-driven design principles, but the data came through shining a bunch of lights on physical things to see how shadows fell upon them. Great stuff. It'll be interesting to see whether other firms adopt and contribute to it. 

HT +David Amerland +Dustin W. Stout 

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2015-07-13 16:12:28 (4 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

More on Twitter's Machine Learning Initiatives

By looking at job posts, you can sometimes learn a lot: in this case, it's about where Twitter may be headed with its artificial intelligence work.

The company has reportedly been applying machine learn to its advertising systems and towards helping Twitter remove objectionable material from the network. But now, the company is looking to expand these applications into improving the way it makes content discoverable to users.

A goal of Cortex appears to be “automatic content understanding.” A job listing explains that Twitter basically building the “backbone” of its learning systems, which are intended to automatically label the flood of disparate content that users publish on its social network.

Here’s how Twitter explains in the job listing why it needs artificial intelligence and how itviews the ne... more »

More on Twitter's Machine Learning Initiatives

By looking at job posts, you can sometimes learn a lot: in this case, it's about where Twitter may be headed with its artificial intelligence work.

The company has reportedly been applying machine learn to its advertising systems and towards helping Twitter remove objectionable material from the network. But now, the company is looking to expand these applications into improving the way it makes content discoverable to users.

A goal of Cortex appears to be “automatic content understanding.” A job listing explains that Twitter basically building the “backbone” of its learning systems, which are intended to automatically label the flood of disparate content that users publish on its social network.

Here’s how Twitter explains in the job listing why it needs artificial intelligence and how it views the new Cotex team:

Twitter is a unique source of real-time information, offering amazing opportunities for automatic content understanding. The format of this content is diverse (tweets, photos, videos, music, hyperlinks, follow graph, …), the distribution of topics ever-changing (on a weekly, daily, or sometimes hourly basis), and the volume ever-growing; making it very challenging to automatically and continuously expose relevant content. Manually defining features to represent this data is showing its limits.

#semantic #AI #machinelearning #twitter

cc: +Mark Traphagen​ +David Amerland​___

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2015-07-12 14:23:40 (4 comments, 10 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

I might have filed this story under one of my more tech-oriented collections given that it's about a radical, technological transformation of the building construction market. But I'm filing it instead under my "Business as a Force for Good" collection because of the human interest angle on Zhang Yue, the co-founder and head of Broad Group, who is the dynamo behind this technological transformation.

It's hard to know sometimes what's real with these kinds of pieces; sometimes what a CEO pretends to be and what he or she really is can be a wide gap. But I like what I hear Zhang saying. Between him and Alibaba founder, Jack Ma (who I do believe is the real deal), I have at least some hope for the future of Chinese business, a future which will have a big impact on all of us.

It's also interesting to note, as this article does, that Zhang operates in a world... more »

Zhang's flatpack skyscrapers ... "A Chinese entrepreneur who took just 19 days to build a 57-storey tower says he has triggered a construction revolution. And his dreams soar far, far higher.

On the outskirts of Changsha in southern China stands a new tower. Its size is modest by Chinese standards.

At a mere 204m it's less than a third of the height of Shanghai's tallest. Its blocky glass and steel form may be unlikely to win any architectural beauty awards.

But what is startling is the speed at which it was built. ..."

MORE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-3cca82c0-af80-4c3a-8a79-84fda5015115___I might have filed this story under one of my more tech-oriented collections given that it's about a radical, technological transformation of the building construction market. But I'm filing it instead under my "Business as a Force for Good" collection because of the human interest angle on Zhang Yue, the co-founder and head of Broad Group, who is the dynamo behind this technological transformation.

It's hard to know sometimes what's real with these kinds of pieces; sometimes what a CEO pretends to be and what he or she really is can be a wide gap. But I like what I hear Zhang saying. Between him and Alibaba founder, Jack Ma (who I do believe is the real deal), I have at least some hope for the future of Chinese business, a future which will have a big impact on all of us.

It's also interesting to note, as this article does, that Zhang operates in a world where the government still has the final word on much of what he does. Ma works very much within these same constraints. In China, the party still rules.

Here's Zhang on his he sees his responsibility, particularly around the environment:
"It's all about the details. Engineering serves the people. You ask yourself: ‘What does society need? How can we make products which interfere as little as possible with the environment?’ This needs an unlimited amount of work.”

“I love playing in my helicopter and can even fly it. It’s fun, but uses so much fuel. So I have to tell people: ‘Wealth comes with responsibility.’ And for those of us with environmental consciousness, wealth has no real meaning.”

He lifts a piece of paper. “I always write on both sides, look.”

By the company shop stands one of only three women immortalised in a statue on the campus: American environmentalist Rachel Carson, author of the influential 1962 polemic against pesticides, Silent Spring.

“She changed a lot of misperceptions. She inspired us to think about environment a lot earlier than others,” says Zhang, who sees himself as carrying her flame, and synthesising it with Chinese ancient thought.

#automation #construction #goodbusiness #china

Great catch, +Ralph Roberts​​

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2015-07-11 16:06:06 (9 comments, 8 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

Machine Learning as Competitive Advantage

McKinsey analysts trying to put machine learning into a competitive strategy context. No amazing insights for me in this piece, but it does help to connect machine learning, Big Data and earlier forms of quantitative analysis as applied in business decision making.

This part about automating management itself is of particular interest to me:

"It’s true that change is coming (and data are generated) so quickly that human-in-the-loop involvement in all decision making is rapidly becoming impractical. Looking three to five years out, we expect to see far higher levels of artificial intelligence, as well as the development of distributed autonomous corporations. These self-motivating, self-contained agents, formed as corporations, will be able to carry out set objectives autonomously, without any direct human supervision.S... more »

Machine Learning as Competitive Advantage

McKinsey analysts trying to put machine learning into a competitive strategy context. No amazing insights for me in this piece, but it does help to connect machine learning, Big Data and earlier forms of quantitative analysis as applied in business decision making.

This part about automating management itself is of particular interest to me:

"It’s true that change is coming (and data are generated) so quickly that human-in-the-loop involvement in all decision making is rapidly becoming impractical. Looking three to five years out, we expect to see far higher levels of artificial intelligence, as well as the development of distributed autonomous corporations. These self-motivating, self-contained agents, formed as corporations, will be able to carry out set objectives autonomously, without any direct human supervision. Some DACs will certainly become self-programming."

"One current of opinion sees distributed autonomous corporations as threatening and inimical to our culture. But by the time they fully evolve, machine learning will have become culturally invisible in the same way technological inventions of the 20th century disappeared into the background. The role of humans will be to direct and guide the algorithms as they attempt to achieve the objectives that they are given. That is one lesson of the automatic-trading algorithms which wreaked such damage during the financial crisis of 2008."

#management #machinelearning #bigdata___

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2015-07-11 12:55:26 (1 comments, 5 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

Google's use of machine learning to combat spam in Gmail highlights the growing importance of building high-volume feedback loops into product and service design. Intelligence requires learning, and that means deliberately creating ways to train the code on desirable and undesirable results.

Using, among other things, the data provided by Gmail users when they click the "Report spam" or "Not spam" buttons, Google's machine learning applications have enabled the company to steadily reduce the amount of unwanted e-mails landing in users' inboxes.

"When you click the 'Report spam' and 'Not spam' buttons, you're not only improving your Gmail experience right then and there, you're also training Gmail's filters to identify spam vs. wanted mail in the future," Gmail Product Manager Sri Harsha Somanchi said in a post on the... more »

Google's use of machine learning to combat spam in Gmail highlights the growing importance of building high-volume feedback loops into product and service design. Intelligence requires learning, and that means deliberately creating ways to train the code on desirable and undesirable results.

Using, among other things, the data provided by Gmail users when they click the "Report spam" or "Not spam" buttons, Google's machine learning applications have enabled the company to steadily reduce the amount of unwanted e-mails landing in users' inboxes.

"When you click the 'Report spam' and 'Not spam' buttons, you're not only improving your Gmail experience right then and there, you're also training Gmail's filters to identify spam vs. wanted mail in the future," Gmail Product Manager Sri Harsha Somanchi said in a post on the Official Gmail Blog. "Ultimately, we aspire to a spam-free Gmail experience."

#machinelearning #spam #gmail___

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2015-07-11 01:53:06 (6 comments, 14 reshares, 69 +1s)Open 

Research into a Whole New Platform for Machine Learning: The "Memristor"

Technology continues to accelerate, as new hardware platforms force us to rethink many of our assumptions about computing. One of the interesting developments now in the works of the "memristor," and Alex Nugent hopes to use this new technology to mimic attributes of biological neurons as a path to more powerful machine learning.

Knowm wants to actually make a system that is based on collections of memristors that do not separate data and processing, but rather use collections of memristors to simulate the synaptic pulses in the brain, which store data and process it. To jumpstart the effort, Nugent is working with researchers at Boise State University, just down the road from memory maker Micron Technology and who used to work with that company on advanced non-volatile memory... more »

Research into a Whole New Platform for Machine Learning: The "Memristor"

Technology continues to accelerate, as new hardware platforms force us to rethink many of our assumptions about computing. One of the interesting developments now in the works of the "memristor," and Alex Nugent hopes to use this new technology to mimic attributes of biological neurons as a path to more powerful machine learning.

Knowm wants to actually make a system that is based on collections of memristors that do not separate data and processing, but rather use collections of memristors to simulate the synaptic pulses in the brain, which store data and process it. To jumpstart the effort, Nugent is working with researchers at Boise State University, just down the road from memory maker Micron Technology and who used to work with that company on advanced non-volatile memory technologies there, to get researchers and application developers some memristors and a complete software development stack so they can start playing with what Nugent calls neuromemristive technology to create artificial intelligence applications, where the hardware itself can adapt and learn, ahead of volume production of memristors, which will be doing the adapting and the learning.

#memristor #machinelearning #AI___

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2015-07-10 16:58:46 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

The threat of old code, making us vulnerable, even with nice, shiny new layers of code sitting on top of it.

Software is eating the world, but what are we going to do about the fact that it sucks? A timely warning___The threat of old code, making us vulnerable, even with nice, shiny new layers of code sitting on top of it.

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2015-07-10 15:15:03 (4 comments, 3 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

This is a short but insightful piece on how Zappos is doing as it phases in Holacracy into its organizational structure.

I tried implementing something similar to this year's ago on my own organization, but running flat is a lot tougher than you might imagine. We lacked the process innovations that Holacracy has since developed, and eventually ended up having to shelve our plans in favor of a more hierarchical structure. Hierarchy gives you management shortcuts and if you're going to do away with them, you need other processes.

That's why Zappos' large-scale adoption of Holacracy is so interesting. Note the three days of training on Holacracy that they have now added onto their already intensive new hire orientation process. Process and culture. Culture and prices. These are the keys to making something like this work.

More than 300 organizations have at... more »

This is a short but insightful piece on how Zappos is doing as it phases in Holacracy into its organizational structure.

I tried implementing something similar to this year's ago on my own organization, but running flat is a lot tougher than you might imagine. We lacked the process innovations that Holacracy has since developed, and eventually ended up having to shelve our plans in favor of a more hierarchical structure. Hierarchy gives you management shortcuts and if you're going to do away with them, you need other processes.

That's why Zappos' large-scale adoption of Holacracy is so interesting. Note the three days of training on Holacracy that they have now added onto their already intensive new hire orientation process. Process and culture. Culture and prices. These are the keys to making something like this work.

More than 300 organizations have at least dabbled in Holacracy over the last decade, including part of the Washington state government and the company of productivity guru David Allen, but Zappos is the largest and most famous business to embrace the philosophy completely.

The transition over the last year and a half has by, many accounts, been rocky. Not everyone at the Amazon-owned shoe retailer shares Zappos Chief Executive Tony Hsieh’s enthusiasm for giving up hard-earned positions on the corporate ladder.

More than 200 employees have left rather than join the new order, urged along by severance pay, equal to three months’ salary, available to anyone who didn’t feel at home in the system.

#zappos #holacracy
___

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2015-07-08 20:26:37 (29 comments, 12 reshares, 47 +1s)Open 

My brain is very metaphorical in the way it works. Turns out, I'm not alone.


“Over the past 30 years, it has become clear that metaphor is not simply a literary phenomenon; metaphorical thinking underlies the way we make sense of the world conceptually. It governs how we think and how we talk about our day-to-day lives.”


HT +Daniel Estrada​

Mapping Metaphor
"14,000 metaphorical connections sourced from 4m pieces of lexical data, some of which date back to 700AD."

“This helps us to see how our language shapes our understanding – the connections we make between different areas of meaning in English show, to some extent, how we mentally structure our world”

"metaphorical thinking underlies the way we make sense of the world conceptually"

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jun/30/metaphor-map-charts-the-images-that-structure-our-thinking

http://mappingmetaphor.arts.gla.ac.uk/___My brain is very metaphorical in the way it works. Turns out, I'm not alone.


“Over the past 30 years, it has become clear that metaphor is not simply a literary phenomenon; metaphorical thinking underlies the way we make sense of the world conceptually. It governs how we think and how we talk about our day-to-day lives.”


HT +Daniel Estrada​

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2015-07-08 19:08:26 (1 comments, 7 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

Another example of Deep Learning-based image generation.

On day two, this video shows the fractal nature of Deep Dream's AI mind.

https://youtu.be/41dkD-xR6hQ

The way this work is the scientists ask the AI what the source picture reminds it of. The AI draws or paints an image, which is then fed back into the AI and it is again asked what this new image reminds it of. And so on.___Another example of Deep Learning-based image generation.

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2015-07-08 15:57:03 (64 comments, 18 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

Research on Keeping AI Safe

The Boston-based Future of Life Institute, backed by a $10 million donation from Elon Musk, recently announced its list of 37 winners of research grants in the field of artificial intelligence. Here is a breakout of some of the top categories of research:

1. Keeping super-smart weapons systems under human control
2. Making AI systems explain their decisions to humans in excruciating detail
3. Aligning the interests of machines and humans
4. Teaching machines about human behaviors and values
5. Ensuring an economic future where humans still have jobs

#ai


Research on Keeping AI Safe

The Boston-based Future of Life Institute, backed by a $10 million donation from Elon Musk, recently announced its list of 37 winners of research grants in the field of artificial intelligence. Here is a breakout of some of the top categories of research:

1. Keeping super-smart weapons systems under human control
2. Making AI systems explain their decisions to humans in excruciating detail
3. Aligning the interests of machines and humans
4. Teaching machines about human behaviors and values
5. Ensuring an economic future where humans still have jobs

#ai
___

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2015-07-06 18:34:30 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 



"Leibler and his team of researchers at the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie at ESPCI ParisTech have invented a new class of plastics that contain glass-like properties within its fabric. What makes this invention significant is that it not only maintains sturdiness while being moldable, given the right temperature, but will subsequently self-repair itself indefinitely whenever it’s damaged. Not only does this paint a bright future for all cellphone screens, it equally does so for all plastic materials that are used in our hospitals and construction."



"Leibler and his team of researchers at the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie at ESPCI ParisTech have invented a new class of plastics that contain glass-like properties within its fabric. What makes this invention significant is that it not only maintains sturdiness while being moldable, given the right temperature, but will subsequently self-repair itself indefinitely whenever it’s damaged. Not only does this paint a bright future for all cellphone screens, it equally does so for all plastic materials that are used in our hospitals and construction."___

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2015-07-06 15:50:19 (17 comments, 3 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Interesting thoughts from Fred Wilson on the difficulty of balancing on the edge of user-contributed - and moderated - media networks. Note that he believes the time may soon be here when a fully distributed version of such a network may be viable, thanks, in part, to blockchain technology. The +Synereo ​team has been ahead of the curve on this front.

“It may be that there is no viable middle ground between a centrally controlled media platform and an entirely decentralized media platform,” he noted, referencing the type of entity he believes Reddit is becoming versus the type of platform many of its users want it to be. “You are either going to police the site or you are going to build something that cannot be policed even if you want to.”

That uncontrollable site is coming, he says, and will “most likely will be built on the blockchain.”
...

“But thereis also a very ... more »

Interesting thoughts from Fred Wilson on the difficulty of balancing on the edge of user-contributed - and moderated - media networks. Note that he believes the time may soon be here when a fully distributed version of such a network may be viable, thanks, in part, to blockchain technology. The +Synereo ​team has been ahead of the curve on this front.

“It may be that there is no viable middle ground between a centrally controlled media platform and an entirely decentralized media platform,” he noted, referencing the type of entity he believes Reddit is becoming versus the type of platform many of its users want it to be. “You are either going to police the site or you are going to build something that cannot be policed even if you want to.”

That uncontrollable site is coming, he says, and will “most likely will be built on the blockchain.”
...

“But there is also a very interesting opportunity to build a truly decentralized media platform,” he added. “I am not sure it will be a good business. I am not sure it will even be a business. But it can be a very powerful community and platform.”___

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2015-07-03 23:33:20 (13 comments, 8 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

Reddit's Current Meltdown and Its Reliance on Unpaid Moderators

Reddit is having a bit of a meltdown right now, and it illustrates beautifully the risks of relying on end users for an unpaid workforce:

"When moderators feel disrespected by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian or interim CEO Ellen Pao, they can voice their frustrations by effectively shutting down the website. Reddit doesn’t have much, if any, leverage, because they don’t actually employ moderators, which means it has no control over people who effectively run key, public-facing parts of the company."

"Everything about which Reddit talks a big game — curbing abuse, protecting free speech, being the “front page of the Internet” — is directly tied to a model of content curation over which the company has little authority."

#reddit #thirdorderengagement#moderators<... more »

Reddit's Current Meltdown and Its Reliance on Unpaid Moderators

Reddit is having a bit of a meltdown right now, and it illustrates beautifully the risks of relying on end users for an unpaid workforce:

"When moderators feel disrespected by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian or interim CEO Ellen Pao, they can voice their frustrations by effectively shutting down the website. Reddit doesn’t have much, if any, leverage, because they don’t actually employ moderators, which means it has no control over people who effectively run key, public-facing parts of the company."

"Everything about which Reddit talks a big game — curbing abuse, protecting free speech, being the “front page of the Internet” — is directly tied to a model of content curation over which the company has little authority."

#reddit #thirdorderengagement #moderators
___

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2015-07-03 12:17:23 (36 comments, 3 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

And just in case you didn't think Facebook was interested in the technology for getting inside your head...

Mark Zuckerberg:
"One day, I believe we'll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you'd like. This would be the ultimate communication technology."

And just in case you didn't think Facebook was interested in the technology for getting inside your head...

Mark Zuckerberg:
"One day, I believe we'll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You'll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you'd like. This would be the ultimate communication technology."___

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2015-07-03 02:35:49 (10 comments, 3 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Shallow Learning: Using AI to Find a Partner - Based on Looks Alone

It's perhaps a bit ironic to use Deep Learning for a somewhat shallow purpose, but here's an interesting experiment using AI to identify attractive profiles on online dating sites. Let's set aside the question of whether looks alone is the best way to decide compatibility...

What's interesting here is the way the training set was handled and the fact that training based on distinguishing all kinds of animals, plants and vehicle outperformed a more targeted training set designed to distinguish between make and female profiles.

We're going to see AI and Deep Learning applied to all sorts of problems. Online dating will certainly be a big one. Let's hope we move beyond using deep purely for shallow.

#dating #AI #deeplearning



HT +Ward Plunet​

Can deep learning help you find the perfect women?

The time that you were predetermined to marry one of the 50 girls/boys of your town is over. New technologies will continue to change the way how we find our romantic partners. Although randomness sometimes determines love, we should embrace the great opportunities in machine learning to help anyone looking for a soulmate!

can a computer learn to which girls I'm attracted? I have tried by labeling over 9K profile pictures on Tinder and using deep learning, the latest revolution in artificial intelligence. In this blog post, I will provide a high-level view how I used these techniques to predict my Tinder swipes. You can find the technical details in this paper, which was accepted for the ICML deep learning workshop.___Shallow Learning: Using AI to Find a Partner - Based on Looks Alone

It's perhaps a bit ironic to use Deep Learning for a somewhat shallow purpose, but here's an interesting experiment using AI to identify attractive profiles on online dating sites. Let's set aside the question of whether looks alone is the best way to decide compatibility...

What's interesting here is the way the training set was handled and the fact that training based on distinguishing all kinds of animals, plants and vehicle outperformed a more targeted training set designed to distinguish between make and female profiles.

We're going to see AI and Deep Learning applied to all sorts of problems. Online dating will certainly be a big one. Let's hope we move beyond using deep purely for shallow.

#dating #AI #deeplearning



HT +Ward Plunet​

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2015-07-02 15:15:53 (14 comments, 11 reshares, 74 +1s)Open 

Carl Jung, where are you when we need you most?

More artwork, generated by deep learning networks. I think it's interesting how people have taken to calling this AI imagination or dreaming. I also dig the #deepdream hangtag.

HT +Jeff Dean​

Using neural network dreaming on fractal art - #deepdream___Carl Jung, where are you when we need you most?

More artwork, generated by deep learning networks. I think it's interesting how people have taken to calling this AI imagination or dreaming. I also dig the #deepdream hangtag.

HT +Jeff Dean​

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2015-07-02 14:27:21 (24 comments, 36 reshares, 40 +1s)Open 

It was only a matter of time...

"Think of this challenge as being the “first shot heard around the world!” With this challenge, the integration of robots into sports entertainment will forever change as new companies emerge to design their own battle-ready giant robot. People will be packing large stadiums just to catch a glimpse of these robots, cheering them on as piece-by-piece fills the ground floor. If you thought boxing and MMA fights were popular, you haven’t seen anything yet!"

It was only a matter of time...

"Think of this challenge as being the “first shot heard around the world!” With this challenge, the integration of robots into sports entertainment will forever change as new companies emerge to design their own battle-ready giant robot. People will be packing large stadiums just to catch a glimpse of these robots, cheering them on as piece-by-piece fills the ground floor. If you thought boxing and MMA fights were popular, you haven’t seen anything yet!"___

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2015-07-02 02:16:07 (4 comments, 3 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

Facebook Maps How Social Change Flows Through Social Networks

Facebook claims that they were not running a test this last week with an intern-created feature that allowed users to easily change their profile image on the network to show their support/enthusiasm for last week's Supreme Court decision by same sex-marriage. It's probably true and just a coincidence that they just recently published a story on network analysis of a very similar show of profile support in 2013 with red equals signs for the Human Rights Campaign:

To test these competing hypotheses and develop a new model for how solidarity spreads from person to person, Facebook’s researchers classified profile images from over 3 million users in March 2013, along with 106 million users who were exposed to those changed profiles. Next, they predicted the likelihood of someone changing their profile to ane... more »

Facebook Maps How Social Change Flows Through Social Networks

Facebook claims that they were not running a test this last week with an intern-created feature that allowed users to easily change their profile image on the network to show their support/enthusiasm for last week's Supreme Court decision by same sex-marriage. It's probably true and just a coincidence that they just recently published a story on network analysis of a very similar show of profile support in 2013 with red equals signs for the Human Rights Campaign:

To test these competing hypotheses and develop a new model for how solidarity spreads from person to person, Facebook’s researchers classified profile images from over 3 million users in March 2013, along with 106 million users who were exposed to those changed profiles. Next, they predicted the likelihood of someone changing their profile to an equality image, depending on how many friends they had seen make the change. State and Adamic found that while someone’s likelihood to participate varied based on several factors—a person’s political affiliations, religion, and age, for example—the likelihood to change one’s profile image was greater with more exposures to changes by friends. According to State and Adamic, this likelihood increased “only for the first six exposures.” After the sixth exposure, the relationship “becomes virtually flat.”

But the surprising thing is that profile-image changes don’t seem to move across networks the way, say, a viral cat video might. State and Adamic found a profound difference between how most information spreads on Facebook and the adoption of the marriage equality profile images. While users are quick to share funny pictures and text, the influence of a typical meme on individuals doesn't build over time. But with the marriage-equality profile images in March 2013, users apparently needed “social proof”—they needed to see that others also supported marriage equality—before joining in. As more people changed their profiles, individuals who had seen their friends change their photos were more likely to do the same themselves.

This is an interesting look at how social change campaigns flow through an online social network. Are efforts like changing one's profile simply low-level "slacktivism" with no real impact on the world, or do these efforts help to shift social perception? I believe they do matter, especially in causes that entail shifts of social norms.

Whether Facebook did it did not engineer last week's feature as another of its famous psychological experiments is something we'll probably never learn. Social change campaigns matter a lot to people on Facebook, and are some of the most important content flowing through the network for a number of people. My guess is that that is why Facebook is trying to understand this.

As someone who used to spend a lot of time working on online social change initiatives, I believe that what the company learns here -- and what they do with that knowledge is going to matter a lot to society.

#socialchange #facebook___

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2015-06-29 22:31:26 (21 comments, 5 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

An interesting idea:

What you’re left with is, instead of a car, a mobile space. Literally a platform, in the case of GM’s too-far-ahead-of-its-time Hy-wire concept. It sounds like marketing, but imagine for a moment that travel by car could become all about what you’re going to do along the way, instead of how long it takes to get there.

HT +michael barth 

___An interesting idea:

What you’re left with is, instead of a car, a mobile space. Literally a platform, in the case of GM’s too-far-ahead-of-its-time Hy-wire concept. It sounds like marketing, but imagine for a moment that travel by car could become all about what you’re going to do along the way, instead of how long it takes to get there.

HT +michael barth 

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2015-06-29 17:23:46 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 16 +1s)Open 

“What I’m looking forward to is combining Google Earth with the kind of dynamic data coming out of Earth Engine—data on deforestation, floods, temperatures,” Moore says. “If you render that kind of information on Google Earth, it becomes a living, breathing dashboard of the planet. You can put in everyone’s hands, not just charts and graphs of what’s going on, but high-resolution information that’s sitting, almost literally, on the surface of the earth.” It’s like Askay’s work at the James Reserve. But on much larger scale.

Paired with AI and VR, Google Earth Will Change the Planet

virtual reality—as exhibited by headsets like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard—is bringing a new level of fidelity and, indeed, realism to the kind of immersive digital experience offered by Google Earth. Today, using satellite imagery and street-level photos, Askay and Google are already building 3-D models of real-life places like Prague that you can visit from your desktop PC (see video at top). But in the near future, this experience will move into Oculus-like headsets, which can make you feel like you’re really there.___“What I’m looking forward to is combining Google Earth with the kind of dynamic data coming out of Earth Engine—data on deforestation, floods, temperatures,” Moore says. “If you render that kind of information on Google Earth, it becomes a living, breathing dashboard of the planet. You can put in everyone’s hands, not just charts and graphs of what’s going on, but high-resolution information that’s sitting, almost literally, on the surface of the earth.” It’s like Askay’s work at the James Reserve. But on much larger scale.

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2015-06-27 19:42:03 (4 comments, 2 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

One of the more creative applications of 3D printing I've seen lately: 

Teresa and Rudy run a design studio in Tucson. They create 3D art for film, album covers, and their own personal projects. 3D scanning, sculpting, and printing are central to their process. Their latest project, inspired by the cheap, plastic green army men figurines, evolved from their original plan, which was to transform the figures by putting them into unusual poses. However, as they began photographing local artists, business owners, and friends for the project, they realized that what they were building was a kind of cultural army.

Each time a new person came in, it became clear that the project was about emphasizing just how unique each member of the community was. “Every experience is different,” Rudy explained, “because each person is unique in their own way.” Among the 3D printed figuresthey’ve ... more »

One of the more creative applications of 3D printing I've seen lately: 

Teresa and Rudy run a design studio in Tucson. They create 3D art for film, album covers, and their own personal projects. 3D scanning, sculpting, and printing are central to their process. Their latest project, inspired by the cheap, plastic green army men figurines, evolved from their original plan, which was to transform the figures by putting them into unusual poses. However, as they began photographing local artists, business owners, and friends for the project, they realized that what they were building was a kind of cultural army.

Each time a new person came in, it became clear that the project was about emphasizing just how unique each member of the community was. “Every experience is different,” Rudy explained, “because each person is unique in their own way.” Among the 3D printed figures they’ve created thus far, there is a violinist, Serena Rose, who is absorbed in playing her instrument. A magician, Magic Kenny Bang! Bang! holds a rabbit in midair as though he’s just pulled it from a hat. A bartender, Barb Trujillo, mixes a martini in a silver shaker.

Cool. 

#3dprinting  ___

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2015-06-27 17:55:11 (27 comments, 6 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

The Unconscious King

Interesting frame for the mind. I've been meditating a lot more recently, and I have to say that as I tune more and more into the thoughts that are going through my mind, it's quite clear that very little of it is conscious. 

The one Morsella and his colleagues came up with is something they call “Passive Frame Theory,” and their provocative idea goes like this: nearly all of your brain’s work is conducted in different lobes and regions at the unconscious level, completely without your knowledge. When the processing is done and there is a decision to make or a physical act to perform, that very small job is served up to the conscious mind, which executes the work and then flatters itself that it was in charge all the time.

The conscious you, in effect, is like a not terribly bright CEO, whose subordinates do all of the research,draft ... more »

Why You’re Pretty Much Unconscious All the Time
by Jeffrey Kluger - Time
#neuroscience

In a new paper published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a group of researchers led by associate professor of psychology Ezequiel Morsella of San Francisco State University, took on the somewhat narrower question of exactly what consciousness is—and came up with a decidedly bleaker view: It’s pretty much nothing at all. Never mind the five characters controlling your thoughts, you barely control them. It’s the unconscious that’s really in charge.

http://goo.gl/oj2y8f___The Unconscious King

Interesting frame for the mind. I've been meditating a lot more recently, and I have to say that as I tune more and more into the thoughts that are going through my mind, it's quite clear that very little of it is conscious. 

The one Morsella and his colleagues came up with is something they call “Passive Frame Theory,” and their provocative idea goes like this: nearly all of your brain’s work is conducted in different lobes and regions at the unconscious level, completely without your knowledge. When the processing is done and there is a decision to make or a physical act to perform, that very small job is served up to the conscious mind, which executes the work and then flatters itself that it was in charge all the time.

The conscious you, in effect, is like a not terribly bright CEO, whose subordinates do all of the research, draft all of the documents, then lay them out and say, “Sign here, sir.” The CEO does—and takes the credit.


HT +Walter H Groth 

#unconscious   #mind  

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2015-06-27 13:29:28 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Algorithms train us to behave in particular ways by creating behavior modification feedback. Give us lots of likes or a plusses for certain types of social media posts, and we'll generally start churning out more of those kinds of posts. Now Amazon is proposing a new compensation system for its Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners' Lending Library: one that rewards authors based on how much of their books are actually read: 

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A156OS90J7RDN

Like all systems, this one has its rules, rules that will undoubtedly impact the way that published content now gets generated, and this is one of the dangers of the current fusion now underway between writing and technology. 

Ursula K. Le Guin put it well recently when she noted that: "Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and thep... more »

Algorithms train us to behave in particular ways by creating behavior modification feedback. Give us lots of likes or a plusses for certain types of social media posts, and we'll generally start churning out more of those kinds of posts. Now Amazon is proposing a new compensation system for its Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owners' Lending Library: one that rewards authors based on how much of their books are actually read: 

https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A156OS90J7RDN

Like all systems, this one has its rules, rules that will undoubtedly impact the way that published content now gets generated, and this is one of the dangers of the current fusion now underway between writing and technology. 

Ursula K. Le Guin put it well recently when she noted that: "Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art." 
http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/ursula-k-le-guin-calls-on-sci-fi-and-fantasy-writers-to-envision-alternatives-to-capitalism

In the meantime, Nicholas Carr bitingly breaks down for us, how to maximize your returns per word if you're an author. Oh, and yeah, goodbye poetry. You're too dense. 

When I first heard that Amazon was going to start paying its Kindle Unlimited authors according to the number of pages in their books that actually get read, I wondered whether there might be an opportunity for an apocalyptic intra-Amazon arbitrage scheme that would allow me to game the system and drain Jeff Bezos’s bank account. I thought I might be able to start publishing long books of computer-generated gibberish and then use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to pay Third World readers to scroll through the pages at a pace that would register each page as having been read. If I could pay the Turkers a fraction of a penny less to look at a page than Amazon paid me for the “read” page, I’d be able to get really rich and launch my own space exploration company.

Now, turning to prose, where the prospects are brighter, it’s pretty clear that the key is to keep the reader engaged without challenging the reader in any way. To maximize earnings, you need to ensure that the reader moves through your pages at a good, crisp, unbroken clip. You want shallow immersion. Any kind of complication or complexity that slows a reader down is going to take an immediate bite out of your wallet. What you most want to avoid is anything that encourages the reader to go back and re-read a passage. Remember: you only get paid the first time a page gets read. If you inspire the reader to read any of your pages more than once, you’re basically burning cash.

#publishing   #writing   #amazon   #kindle  ___

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2015-06-27 04:31:09 (18 comments, 14 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 


According to a new study by Elliott Campbell, a professor at the University of California, Merced, it is. In his research, he found that in fact, 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes.

Using data from a farmland-mapping project supported by the National Science Foundation and data about land productivity from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Campbell and his students at the university looked at the farms within a local radius of every American city. Next, they calculated how many calories the farms could produce and then estimated the percentage of the population that could be sustained entirely by food grown by those farms.


According to a new study by Elliott Campbell, a professor at the University of California, Merced, it is. In his research, he found that in fact, 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes.

Using data from a farmland-mapping project supported by the National Science Foundation and data about land productivity from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Campbell and his students at the university looked at the farms within a local radius of every American city. Next, they calculated how many calories the farms could produce and then estimated the percentage of the population that could be sustained entirely by food grown by those farms.___

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2015-06-26 18:40:45 (32 comments, 7 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

With a Head Transplant Surgery, Who Emerges from the Operation?

Two years from now we may well see the world’s first full head transplant. Italian neuroscientist, Dr Sergio Canavero hopes to perform this operation on wheelchair-bound Valery Spiridonov, who suffers from a debilitating muscle-wasting disease and has volunteered for the day-long operation.

This article poses some really interesting questions about who exactly will emerge from the operation should it be successful. Will it be Spiridonov, the body donor, some mix of the two or somebody else entirely? Despite whatever philosophical, religious or scientific beliefs you might hold, the simple answer is that we really don't know. 

There is something very disturbing to me about this operation, like we are passing through some threshold only glimpsed in science fiction and horror tales. And yet, here is asc... more »

With a Head Transplant Surgery, Who Emerges from the Operation?

Two years from now we may well see the world’s first full head transplant. Italian neuroscientist, Dr Sergio Canavero hopes to perform this operation on wheelchair-bound Valery Spiridonov, who suffers from a debilitating muscle-wasting disease and has volunteered for the day-long operation.

This article poses some really interesting questions about who exactly will emerge from the operation should it be successful. Will it be Spiridonov, the body donor, some mix of the two or somebody else entirely? Despite whatever philosophical, religious or scientific beliefs you might hold, the simple answer is that we really don't know. 

There is something very disturbing to me about this operation, like we are passing through some threshold only glimpsed in science fiction and horror tales. And yet, here is a scientist talking about really attempting this procedure within the next two years. 

One of the interesting twists in this article is the reference to animalist philosophy, which I'd not heard of before. 

The animalist asserts simply:

We are animals.
Despite its plainness, (this statement) should not be taken to assert that all persons are animals; the possibilities of both non-animal people (e.g., robots, angels, aliens, deities) and human animals that are not people (e.g., patients in persistent vegetative states, human fetuses) are left open. ... animalism is not the view that each of us is “constituted by” a particular organism (in the way that a statue is sometimes said to be non-identically constituted by the hunk of matter with which it coincides). Nor still should (1′) be understood to claim that each of us has a body that is an animal—as if you were one thing and your animal body another. Finally, ‘animals’ refers to biological organisms—members of the primate species Homo sapiens. While participants on both sides of the debate over animalism tend to treat these terms interchangeably, some prominent critics distinguish ‘animals’ from ‘organisms’ and deny that these terms co-refer.
http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2014/entries/animalism/

#mind   #body   #soul   #animalism  ___

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2015-06-25 23:49:54 (14 comments, 9 reshares, 17 +1s)Open 

What We Perceive is Not Necessarily What We Receive

This is one of those mind-blowing talks that could really upset the way you think about reality.

I thought that the beetle example he uses was an excellent way to illustrate what he's proposing here, which is that

"Evolution has given us an interface that hides reality and guides adaptive behavior"

Human minds are quite adept at filtering reality - deleting and distorting it in countless ways. That evolution might do precisely what Hoffman is talking about here doesn't strike me as all that radical. Really. Certainly he develops this idea further than I've seen it developed, and it leads to a shocking, disorienting conclusion - a conclusion that is not very far off from ancient Indian and Daoist concepts. 

#reality   #evolution   #perception  

Thank you forsha... more »

On Reality and the Truth of Your Conscious Perception Thereof
This talk should be watched with the following passage from Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence firmly in mind:

Normal human adults have a range of remarkable cognitive talents that are not simply a function of possessing a sufficient amount of general neural processing power or even a sufficient amount of general intelligence: specialized neural circuitry is also needed. This observation suggests the idea of possible but non-realized cognitive talents, talents that no actual human possesses even though other intelligent systems—ones with no more computing power than the human brain—that did have those talents would gain enormously in their ability to accomplish a wide range of strategically relevant tasks. were we to gain some new set of modules giving an advantage comparable to that of being able to form complex linguistic representations, we would become superintelligent.

And keep considering this passage when the talk delves into the perception of the beetle and contrasts that to the perception of us humans. 

In many ways this is a subtle talk that tries to delve into subtle but very profound points. Personally I swayed throughout the talk, with him then against him, agreeing then disagreeing. But this is understandable because Donald advocates abandonment of the concrete reality that I believe exists, and instead suggests consciousness as a primary causal entity in a deeper underlying reality; this may make some of you dismiss the talk as unworthy but trust me and give Donald 20 minutes of your time to try and sway you. At the end I’d tentatively stepped up onto the fence with one foot certainly dangling on his side, and mainly by considering the plausibility of the above passage from Superintelligence. 

The potential and importance of our ability to eventually create new cognitive modules (either for ourselves or our machine descendents) that are able to perceive the world in a more realistic way, able to strip away the previous illusory interface we take for granted and so peer deeper and more truly at the underlying reality that we inhabit. At times like this it seems as if our development and growth has only just begun and we have so very much farther to go. 

This metaphor paints superintelligent agents with superperception as comparable to us, as we are comparable to the beetle, and questions how different and how grand reality must appear from such an omnipresent viewpoint. There are also one or two places in the talk that paint the following passage from Superintelligence in an entirely different light:

We could thus imagine, as an extreme case, a technologically highly advanced society, containing many complex structures, some of them far more intricate and intelligent than anything that exists on the planet today—a society which nevertheless lacks any type of being that is conscious or whose welfare has moral significance. In a sense, this would be an uninhabited society. It would be a society of economic miracles and technological awesomeness, with nobody there to benefit. A Disneyland without children. 

I’m referring of course to the experiments on the evolution of fitness, always at the expense of accurate and truthful representations and perceptions of reality, and indeed driving to extinction accurate perceptions of reality. For if we are to a being with superperception as a beetle is to us, then is our cherished reality only a tiny bit better than a Disneyland without children in any case?

Donald Hoffman’s page at the University of California, Irvine http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/ has a great list of related resources and media to access, from talks to accessible publications like this recent one http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00577/full that delves into more academic detail the topics and themes covered in this talk. 

Key parts of the talk:

➜ Listen very carefully to what is said between 16:00 and 18:00. 

➜ There is something that exists when you don’t look at it, but it is not spacetime and physical objects.

➜ Perception is not about seeing truth, it’s about having kids. 

#consciousness   #reality   #perception  ___What We Perceive is Not Necessarily What We Receive

This is one of those mind-blowing talks that could really upset the way you think about reality.

I thought that the beetle example he uses was an excellent way to illustrate what he's proposing here, which is that

"Evolution has given us an interface that hides reality and guides adaptive behavior"

Human minds are quite adept at filtering reality - deleting and distorting it in countless ways. That evolution might do precisely what Hoffman is talking about here doesn't strike me as all that radical. Really. Certainly he develops this idea further than I've seen it developed, and it leads to a shocking, disorienting conclusion - a conclusion that is not very far off from ancient Indian and Daoist concepts. 

#reality   #evolution   #perception  

Thank you for sharing it, +Mark Bruce. 

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2015-06-25 01:12:20 (27 comments, 5 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

At Facebook, artificial intelligence researchers recently demonstrated a system that can read a summary of The Lord of The Rings, then answer questions about the books. Using a neural networking algorithm called Word2Vec, Google is teaching its machines to better understand the relationship between words posted across the Internet—a way of boosting Google Now, a digital assistant that seeks to instantly serve up the information you need at any given moment. Yann LeCun, who oversees Facebook’s AI work, calls natural language processing “the next frontier.”

... “This is similar to web search,” Socher says, “except you give the actual answer rather than just a bunch of links.”

The system does all this using what Socher calls “episodic memory.” If a neutral network is analogous to the cerebral cortex—the means of processing information—its episodic memory issomething akin to hippo... more »

AI's next frontier: Machines that understand language

the AI startup MetaMind has published new research detailing a neural networking system that uses a kind of artificial short-term memory to answer a wide range of questions about a piece of natural language. According to MetaMind, the system can answer everything from very specific queries about what the text describes to more general questions like “What’s the sentiment of the text?” or “What’s the French translation?” The research, due to appear Wednesday at Arxiv.org, a popular online repository for academic papers, echoes similar research from Facebook and Google, but it takes this work at step further.

“This is a very hot topic, on which the authors of this paper approach or pass the state-of-the-art results on several benchmarks,” says Yoshua Bengio, a professor of computer science at the University of Montreal who specializes in artificial intelligence and has reviewed the MetaMind paper. “Their architecture is also interesting in that it is aiming at something potentially very ambitious, trying to sequentially parse a large amount of facts—hopefully one day the whole of Wikipedia and more—in such a way, via a learned semantic representation, that one can answer questions about them.”___At Facebook, artificial intelligence researchers recently demonstrated a system that can read a summary of The Lord of The Rings, then answer questions about the books. Using a neural networking algorithm called Word2Vec, Google is teaching its machines to better understand the relationship between words posted across the Internet—a way of boosting Google Now, a digital assistant that seeks to instantly serve up the information you need at any given moment. Yann LeCun, who oversees Facebook’s AI work, calls natural language processing “the next frontier.”

... “This is similar to web search,” Socher says, “except you give the actual answer rather than just a bunch of links.”

The system does all this using what Socher calls “episodic memory.” If a neutral network is analogous to the cerebral cortex—the means of processing information—its episodic memory is something akin to hippocampus, which provides short-term memory in humans. In the example of the garden and the the milk, the system must “remember” that Daniel is in the garden before determining where the milk is. “You can’t do transitive reasoning without episodic memory,” Socher says.

#nlp   #machinelearning   #ai  

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2015-06-24 23:23:11 (34 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

The U.S. has a serious problem. Will we find the political will to finally address it? 

http://www.upworthy.com/one-minute-of-fed-up-celebrities-talking-about-guns-is-actually-worth-your-time?g=3

HT +Alex Grossman 

#gunviolence  

The U.S. has a serious problem. Will we find the political will to finally address it? 

http://www.upworthy.com/one-minute-of-fed-up-celebrities-talking-about-guns-is-actually-worth-your-time?g=3

HT +Alex Grossman 

#gunviolence  ___

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