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Gideon Rosenblatt has been at 7 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Plus Your Business!12,404*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 Today144,853*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 Network827,732Talk 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 Rockstars3,548 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 Cohen77,857*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 Cohen77,857*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 Cohen77,857*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)

15
comments per post
7
reshares per post
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 50

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2015-06-08 23:06:27 (50 comments, 39 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

Artificial Intelligence as Scientist

This Popular Mechanics article uses what I believe is slightly sensationalist language to describe something that, on its own, is quite sensational. Researchers at Tufts University have figured out how to use machine learning techniques to test a massive number of hypotheses, using a software simulator for genetic regulatory networks. This is something that in the past would have had to be done by people repeating experiments over and over again. Even then, the overwhelming size of the resulting genetic regulatory network data, can often dwarf human capabilities. 

After three days of iterating on the problem, the system came up with a solution to a problem that had puzzled scientists for many decades: how do flatworms regenerate themselves from their parts?

By iterating through vast numbers of potential models, the system... more »

Most reshares: 39

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2015-06-08 23:06:27 (50 comments, 39 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

Artificial Intelligence as Scientist

This Popular Mechanics article uses what I believe is slightly sensationalist language to describe something that, on its own, is quite sensational. Researchers at Tufts University have figured out how to use machine learning techniques to test a massive number of hypotheses, using a software simulator for genetic regulatory networks. This is something that in the past would have had to be done by people repeating experiments over and over again. Even then, the overwhelming size of the resulting genetic regulatory network data, can often dwarf human capabilities. 

After three days of iterating on the problem, the system came up with a solution to a problem that had puzzled scientists for many decades: how do flatworms regenerate themselves from their parts?

By iterating through vast numbers of potential models, the system... more »

Most plusones: 142

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2015-06-13 00:22:26 (25 comments, 26 reshares, 142 +1s)Open 

The Coming App Ecosystem

Steve Jobs once described Dropbox as a feature, not a product. He was more prescient than most realized at the time. We are moving into a world where more and more of our app usage is becoming mediated by other apps, Virtual Assistants and the operating systems themselves. 

To take a simple example, when Google Now tells me what the weather will be like in Seattle today, it's drawing on the http://weather.com service. Lots of other developers are integrating with Google Now as well; you can see a list of over a hundred of them here:
https://www.google.com/landing/now/integrations.html

It's not just about Google Now integrating third party apps into its user experience either. "Google Now on Tap" brings the power of Google Now to other apps. I'm already using (something like) it in mobile Chrome to click on a word... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2015-07-06 18:34:30 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 25 +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, 44 +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, 12 +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, 9 reshares, 63 +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, 28 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, 15 +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, 15 +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 (26 comments, 5 reshares, 35 +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 (15 comments, 10 reshares, 53 +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, 6 reshares, 25 +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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2015-06-26 14:38:43 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

The company will invest $1 billion in the LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre in Denmark, which will have the sole purpose of finding and implementing new sustainable alternatives; they will hire 100 specialists to carry out the task.

What kind of material they will arrive at remains to be seen, and since there is no official definition of a sustainable material there are no technical guidelines to follow, but the company has developed some criteria for their own.

The company will invest $1 billion in the LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre in Denmark, which will have the sole purpose of finding and implementing new sustainable alternatives; they will hire 100 specialists to carry out the task.

What kind of material they will arrive at remains to be seen, and since there is no official definition of a sustainable material there are no technical guidelines to follow, but the company has developed some criteria for their own.___

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2015-06-25 23:49:54 (14 comments, 9 reshares, 14 +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 (24 comments, 4 reshares, 28 +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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2015-06-24 22:20:24 (21 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Expedia Doing Tricky Yield Pricing?

There have been several occasions when I booking travel on Expedia and stop mid-way to then come back to the task a bit later and see that the prices have increased - sometimes by just a bit, sometimes by quite a lot. 

Today, I was booking a car rental and the site kept hanging. After some 10-15 minutes of wrestling, I finally got the transaction to go through and then was met by this message:

We hate it when this happens....The price of your trip has changed from $1,164.07 to $1,281.07. Rates can change frequently. Book now to lock in this price.

First of all, that message strikes me as a little sardonic, don't you think? 

I doubt that $120 hike translates into all that much for Expedia itself, but when they do it across millions of people every day? Perhaps. And that's my question. 

Theai... more »

Expedia Doing Tricky Yield Pricing?

There have been several occasions when I booking travel on Expedia and stop mid-way to then come back to the task a bit later and see that the prices have increased - sometimes by just a bit, sometimes by quite a lot. 

Today, I was booking a car rental and the site kept hanging. After some 10-15 minutes of wrestling, I finally got the transaction to go through and then was met by this message:

We hate it when this happens....The price of your trip has changed from $1,164.07 to $1,281.07. Rates can change frequently. Book now to lock in this price.

First of all, that message strikes me as a little sardonic, don't you think? 

I doubt that $120 hike translates into all that much for Expedia itself, but when they do it across millions of people every day? Perhaps. And that's my question. 

The airlines are masters at using yield management to maximize their returns: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yield_management

One of the keys to yield management is having customers with varying levels of price sensitivity. Business flyers tend to be more willing to pay than people on a family vacation. Business flyers tend to book last minute, so one smart strategy for charging business flyers more is to charge more for reservations that are made closer to departure date. 

So my question is this: might Expedia be using some sort of very subtle yield management model that tracks whether you expressed earlier interest in a flight, hotel or car? Might they slightly jack up that rate based on some real-time analysis of the probability that you really want that particular reservation and aren't that price sensitive? 

For it to work, it would have to be a pretty smart set of algorithms. You'd have to be smart enough about it so that customers didn't just pop over to the airlines' websites and book direct - so that means some sort of coordination between suppliers and distributors. I haven't tried digging into what they're for, but I do have 33 cookies in Chrome that have been set by Expedia.  

This is just me wildly speculating. I have no proof that anything like this is actually happening. But it's happened enough to me that I'm starting to get a little suspicious. ___

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2015-06-23 21:26:53 (30 comments, 2 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

Wanted: Simpler Unfollowing of Collections

I've been thinking about Google's new collection feature of late.* Just through purely anecdotal, unscientific observations of my own stream, I'd say that only some 15-20% of posts are currently being categorized by people into collections. I hope that percentage increases, because when it does it's going to be much easier for us to fine-tune our streams here on Google+ than on any other social media network. 

How so, you ask? Because you might still find some of my posts interesting but really despise my "Stupid Pictures You Won't Like" collection. Do I really have a collection called that? Nope, but think of how people you've circled here can sometimes clog your stream with random stuff, and how for various reasons, it's not really bad enough to un-circle them. I'll let you define what is... more »

Wanted: Simpler Unfollowing of Collections

I've been thinking about Google's new collection feature of late.* Just through purely anecdotal, unscientific observations of my own stream, I'd say that only some 15-20% of posts are currently being categorized by people into collections. I hope that percentage increases, because when it does it's going to be much easier for us to fine-tune our streams here on Google+ than on any other social media network. 

How so, you ask? Because you might still find some of my posts interesting but really despise my "Stupid Pictures You Won't Like" collection. Do I really have a collection called that? Nope, but think of how people you've circled here can sometimes clog your stream with random stuff, and how for various reasons, it's not really bad enough to un-circle them. I'll let you define what is random to you - and that's the point. If you don't like my stupid pictures for some reason, and I've taken the very easy short step of putting them in a collection, you can simply unfollow that collection without unfollowing me.

People are doing this (see below), but not on a large scale. Why not? Collections are new and we're still getting used to this cool new feature. It still hasn't become mainstream (yet) in the Google+ culture.

Also, it's still just a bit too much work to unfollow a collection. I'd love to see the drop down you get from individual posts in your stream be expanded to include an "Unfollow this collection" option, for true one-click unsubscribe from a collection, just like we have for removing someone from circles. (See image)

If you're not taking full advantage of collections, I highly recommend that you do. Over time, with enough of us doing it, it's going to vastly improve our experience here, and my guess is that, eventually, it's going to be seen as bad etiquette not to categorize by collection  - because it clogs up people's stream, forcing them to choose between you as a person and having to see certain types of posts you like to post but they don't like to see. 

And yes, this will contribute to the filter bubble problem. But we'll still want to do it because this platform will become way more useful. 

* More:
Filtering with Collections:
https://plus.google.com/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/YTTbn1E6DkQ

What Shows Up in the Google+ Stream?:
https://plus.google.com/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/5T2m6TnATws

     
#collections   #googleplus  ___

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2015-06-22 18:22:08 (45 comments, 3 reshares, 39 +1s)Open 

Filtering with Collections

Yesterday, I published some slides (included below) on when and how public, community and collection posts show up in the stream. Today, I decided to do a little more digging into collections.

My Artificial Intelligence collection seems to have been featured by Google at some point because it has more than 1400 more followers than I have following me here on Google+. That got me curious, and so I looked the number of followers on my other collections, and what I found was that - my Artificial Intelligence collection aside - they were actually smaller than the number of people who've circled me here on Google+. It's not by a huge amount, mind you, and you can see the numbers in the first picture below. To be clear, these numbers represent the number people following each respective collection, minus the total people following my profile here... more »

Filtering with Collections

Yesterday, I published some slides (included below) on when and how public, community and collection posts show up in the stream. Today, I decided to do a little more digging into collections.

My Artificial Intelligence collection seems to have been featured by Google at some point because it has more than 1400 more followers than I have following me here on Google+. That got me curious, and so I looked the number of followers on my other collections, and what I found was that - my Artificial Intelligence collection aside - they were actually smaller than the number of people who've circled me here on Google+. It's not by a huge amount, mind you, and you can see the numbers in the first picture below. To be clear, these numbers represent the number people following each respective collection, minus the total people following my profile here (i.e. people who have circled me).

What this means is that a small percentage of users here are starting to use collections not just to follow a particular collection of posts from someone (without circling them), but people are also using collections to circle someone and then unfollow one or more of that person's particular collections. I'm simplifying a bit, but in my case, there are at least 22 people who unfollowed my "Good Business" collection while still keeping me circled.

Why would someone want to do this? Well, actually, it's pretty handy. I have a handful of people who post interesting posts but then also fill my stream pictures I don't really want to see. If they're good about organizing all those images into collections, I can simply unfollow those collections without un-circling the person. Eleven people unfollowed by "Pretty Pictures" collection, for example.

I think there are still some interesting, unresolved questions about how collections will evolve relative to communities. Collections do fulfill many of the goals of communities without the heavy cost of spam. If you've ever owned or moderated a community here, you will know that this is not a trivial issue.

Bottom line is that I'm quite happy with collections and think it's interesting to see how some people are already using them to better tune their stream. I'm eager to see where Google takes them next.

#collections  ___

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2015-06-22 02:00:24 (9 comments, 12 reshares, 40 +1s)Open 

What Shows Up in the Google+ Stream?

Here are three simple slides for understanding what shows up in the Google+ stream now that we have circles, communities and collections. 

Please let me know if you think I've gotten any of this wrong. 

#collections   #circles   #communities   #stream  

What Shows Up in the Google+ Stream?

Here are three simple slides for understanding what shows up in the Google+ stream now that we have circles, communities and collections. 

Please let me know if you think I've gotten any of this wrong. 

#collections   #circles   #communities   #stream  ___

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2015-06-21 00:05:34 (3 comments, 13 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Constraining Artificial Intelligence

This one hour and twenty-four minute talk by +Steve Omohundro​ is well worth watching. The first thirty minutes is a nice overview of where we are today and what industries, and jobs, are most open to disruption from AI. 

The most interesting part, in my opinion, starts at minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcR_sKM0txk&t=33m06s, where Steve begins digging into the problems associated with constraining these systems to ensure their alignment with human values and human survival. Of particular interest is minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcR_sKM0txk&t=40m00s where he introduces the topic of AI scaffolding and minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcR_sKM0txk&t=49m35s where he talks about various aspects of trusted infrastructure. 

This talk helps bring attention to the some of the potential solutions to thediff... more »

Constraining Artificial Intelligence

This one hour and twenty-four minute talk by +Steve Omohundro​ is well worth watching. The first thirty minutes is a nice overview of where we are today and what industries, and jobs, are most open to disruption from AI. 

The most interesting part, in my opinion, starts at minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcR_sKM0txk&t=33m06s, where Steve begins digging into the problems associated with constraining these systems to ensure their alignment with human values and human survival. Of particular interest is minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcR_sKM0txk&t=40m00s where he introduces the topic of AI scaffolding and minute http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcR_sKM0txk&t=49m35s where he talks about various aspects of trusted infrastructure. 

This talk helps bring attention to the some of the potential solutions to the difficult problems posed by AI. The solutions he proposes are still in their early phases and not yet proven, and of course, the real question is whether the practitioners will actually consent to following these guidelines. But at least there are paths here. People like Steve are very important as we walk this path of figuring what our future looks like in a world of rapidly advancing AI. 

In the last part of the talk, Steve touches on some of the societal issues that are likely to come about with the rise of AI. Of particular note is its impact on wealth distribution, which is something I've written about in the past and is a very important question:

Technology and the Distribution of Wealth:
http://www.the-vital-edge.com/technology_and_the_distribution_of_wealth/


The slides for this talk are here:
http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/steveomohundro/ibm-distinguished-speaker-series-ai-robotics-and-smart-contracts


#ai   #artificialintelligence   #technologicalunemployment  ___

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2015-06-20 18:45:15 (9 comments, 3 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Interesting talk by +Steve Omohundro on where AI is headed. I'm still watching, but wanted to share here for others too.

My talk at IBM, Almaden.___Interesting talk by +Steve Omohundro on where AI is headed. I'm still watching, but wanted to share here for others too.

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2015-06-20 16:36:47 (6 comments, 21 reshares, 45 +1s)Open 

Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Generate Realistic Virtual Imagery 

This has been a big few weeks for machine learning and imagery.(See links below). Now Facebook just published new research outlining a novel approach for generating realistic, artificial images of scenery and things like dogs, planes, deer, ships, trucks, horses, and, of course, cats.

I've tried parsing through the research, but the details are beyond me. What is interesting, however is their use of an approach called "Generative Adversarial Networks" (GAN). Essentially, what they've done is create a kind of feedback loop between two networks, where the first, the "generative network" generates an image from noise. Then the other, "discriminative network," takes that resulting image, and essentially compares it to training data that is based on real images (note:... more »

Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence to Generate Realistic Virtual Imagery 

This has been a big few weeks for machine learning and imagery.(See links below). Now Facebook just published new research outlining a novel approach for generating realistic, artificial images of scenery and things like dogs, planes, deer, ships, trucks, horses, and, of course, cats.

I've tried parsing through the research, but the details are beyond me. What is interesting, however is their use of an approach called "Generative Adversarial Networks" (GAN). Essentially, what they've done is create a kind of feedback loop between two networks, where the first, the "generative network" generates an image from noise. Then the other, "discriminative network," takes that resulting image, and essentially compares it to training data that is based on real images (note: this is a slight simplification). The result is that with each iteration, the generative network is 'tricked' into generating increasingly realistic looking imagery. 

The researchers then testing the resulting images with a group of volunteers and found that 40% of the images were realistic enough to fool a human into thinking they are real images.

What is Facebook likely to do with the results of this research? That's unclear, but with their Oculus Virtual Reality acquisition, it seems reasonable to assume that they are going to need cost-effective methods for generating a massive scale of virtual scenery and objects. Could this research represent early forays into that work?  

Deep Generative Image Models using a Laplacian Pyramid of Adversarial Networks
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1506.05751v1.pdf

* More:

Looking Inside the Image Recognition of Artificial Intelligence:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/gQw9kP8CKzY

Is This the First Computational Imagination?
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/8V82FxXKxXD

#artificialintelligence   #machinelearning   #virtualreality   #facebook  ___

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2015-06-20 13:36:31 (12 comments, 1 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

A giant vending machine, disguised as a convenience store. What's also interesting is that the promoters aim to use this tech to help address the problem of food deserts in urban settings.

#technologicalunemployment

Tks +iPan Darius​

Note: Very little "robotics" involved, more of a giant vending machine, but with many items you wouldn't normally find in a vending machine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC-1PCu69M4___A giant vending machine, disguised as a convenience store. What's also interesting is that the promoters aim to use this tech to help address the problem of food deserts in urban settings.

#technologicalunemployment

Tks +iPan Darius​

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2015-06-19 19:18:21 (31 comments, 9 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

Even with a newly increased rate of background extinction (the rate of extinction outside of mass extinction periods), Paul Ehrlich concludes that extinctions are now running at somewhere between 15 and 100 times that normal rate. Note: based on earlier estimates, this increase is very conservative.

We are madly ushering in an "Anthropocene" where human activities dominate the Earth's ecosystems. The problem is: at the current rate, we will kill off so many species on which we depend that our very ability to survive becomes highly unlikely.

I tend to be fairly bullish about humanity's ingenuity and survival instinct, but we may well be creating an Anthropocene, a human era, quite possibly without humans. Within millions of years, the planet will most definitely recover, but quite likely without anything near the population of bipedal hominids that currently exist here... more »

Even with a newly increased rate of background extinction (the rate of extinction outside of mass extinction periods), Paul Ehrlich concludes that extinctions are now running at somewhere between 15 and 100 times that normal rate. Note: based on earlier estimates, this increase is very conservative.

We are madly ushering in an "Anthropocene" where human activities dominate the Earth's ecosystems. The problem is: at the current rate, we will kill off so many species on which we depend that our very ability to survive becomes highly unlikely.

I tend to be fairly bullish about humanity's ingenuity and survival instinct, but we may well be creating an Anthropocene, a human era, quite possibly without humans. Within millions of years, the planet will most definitely recover, but quite likely without anything near the population of bipedal hominids that currently exist here on this planet.

Maybe our solar-powered machine progeny will carry on without us. Hopefully, they will be smarter about their relationship with the rest of the planet. Or maybe they will help us figure a way out of this mess that we seem to be so intent on continuing to create for ourselves.

#sixthextinction   #biodiversity  

https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Anthropocene 

 ___

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2015-06-18 19:43:29 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

“Technology is like a car,” Yunus said. “It’s the driver who decides where to go.” Today, the profit motive is driving technology. And while that won’t go away (nor should it) Yunus increasingly sees another motivating factor, solving big problems, in the driver’s seat.

http://singularityhub.com/2015/06/17/muhammad-yunus-to-gsp-2015-every-time-i-see-a-problem-i-create-a-business-to-solve-it/

“Technology is like a car,” Yunus said. “It’s the driver who decides where to go.” Today, the profit motive is driving technology. And while that won’t go away (nor should it) Yunus increasingly sees another motivating factor, solving big problems, in the driver’s seat.

http://singularityhub.com/2015/06/17/muhammad-yunus-to-gsp-2015-every-time-i-see-a-problem-i-create-a-business-to-solve-it/___

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2015-06-18 17:40:26 (7 comments, 25 reshares, 102 +1s)Open 

Looking Inside the Image Recognition of Artificial Intelligence

Software is getting harder and harder for humans to decipher. Even the software developers who design a particular Deep Learning approach don't really know exactly how their algorithms work:

"One of the challenges of neural networks is understanding what exactly goes on at each layer. We know that after training, each layer progressively extracts higher and higher-level features of the image, until the final layer essentially makes a decision on what the image shows. For example, the first layer maybe looks for edges or corners. Intermediate layers interpret the basic features to look for overall shapes or components, like a door or a leaf. The final few layers assemble those into complete interpretations—these neurons activate in response to very complex things such as entire buildings or trees."more »

Looking Inside the Image Recognition of Artificial Intelligence

Software is getting harder and harder for humans to decipher. Even the software developers who design a particular Deep Learning approach don't really know exactly how their algorithms work:

"One of the challenges of neural networks is understanding what exactly goes on at each layer. We know that after training, each layer progressively extracts higher and higher-level features of the image, until the final layer essentially makes a decision on what the image shows. For example, the first layer maybe looks for edges or corners. Intermediate layers interpret the basic features to look for overall shapes or components, like a door or a leaf. The final few layers assemble those into complete interpretations—these neurons activate in response to very complex things such as entire buildings or trees."

This is the standard way of running a Deep Learning approach to image recognition. Recently, MIT Technology Review featured a piece on some work in Japan that reversed this process, perhaps exaggerating a bit in describing the resulting images as a kind of "computational imagination:"
https://plus.google.com/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/8V82FxXKxXD

Now Google researchers, Alexander Mordvintsev, Christopher Olah, and Mike Tyka have published some of their own, similar results:
http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2015/06/inceptionism-going-deeper-into-neural.html?m=1

Here's how they describe what they've done:
"One way to visualize what goes on is to turn the network upside down and ask it to enhance an input image in such a way as to elicit a particular interpretation. Say you want to know what sort of image would result in “Banana.” Start with an image full of random noise, then gradually tweak the image towards what the neural net considers a banana... By itself, that doesn’t work very well, but it does if we impose a prior constraint that the image should have similar statistics to natural images, such as neighboring pixels needing to be correlated."

If you care about image recognition or are even just curious about how neural networks work, it's worth reading this relatively quick post from them. It talks about how, by focusing on different layers of the Deep Learning network, they can isolate either very rudimentary shapes that change an image in ways that look similar to a Photoshop filter effect, or, more interestingly, can even create images embedded with the network's interpretation of things like dogs, fish, insects, and temples.

Because the network's 'understanding' of what these objects 'look like' is learned from lots and lots of source images, when systematic noise is also introduced, well, that also shows up in the network's understanding. As an interesting example, the network's understanding of a dumbbell included some organic, arm-like portions that likely stem from the fact that many of the source images of dumbbells had human arms connected to them.

This is fascinating stuff. As the researchers note, it's not hard to imagine artists using these techniques to generate really interesting new approaches to artwork. Might these same techniques also help us to understand how we humans are able to generate images from scratch in our minds' eyes? That's certainly speculative, but I would be surprised if there aren't some neuroscientists out there already digging into that one.

Thanks to +Jeff Dean for highlighting this research in one of his recent posts here:
https://plus.google.com/+JeffDean/posts/jVBUgDxhbRd

Also - make sure to check out the researchers' collection of network-generated images (which is where I found this video). It's mind blowing:
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipPX0SCl7OzWilt9LnuQliattX4OUCj_8EP65_cTVnBmS1jnYgsGQAieQUc1VQWdgQ?key=aVBxWjhwSzg2RjJWLWRuVFBBZEN1d205bUdEMnhB

#ai #deeplearning #image #imagination___

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2015-06-17 19:47:16 (16 comments, 2 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

MyAlbum is a new, visual storytelling service. It feels a lot like using Medium, but it's aimed at sharing images.

Here's a link to my first album: 
http://beta.myalbum.com/album/W3CmqX8M7Dho

You can also use that to create your own. 

I'm not sure how long-term sustainable this service is on its own, given the intense competition in the image sharing market. Aquihire Google? Could be a nice addition to the new Google Photos service.

#photography   #images   

MyAlbum is a new, visual storytelling service. It feels a lot like using Medium, but it's aimed at sharing images.

Here's a link to my first album: 
http://beta.myalbum.com/album/W3CmqX8M7Dho

You can also use that to create your own. 

I'm not sure how long-term sustainable this service is on its own, given the intense competition in the image sharing market. Aquihire Google? Could be a nice addition to the new Google Photos service.

#photography   #images   ___

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2015-06-17 16:46:13 (1 comments, 20 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Twitter Just Bought Whetlab, for Machine Learning

Here's how Whetlab describes their technology:

"It’s “AI for AI” -- sophisticated machine learning techniques that get your in-house machine learning system off the ground, automatically. Rather than having to hire doctorate-wielding machine learning experts to architect and tune your system, our patent-pending technology helps your engineers -- your team that already understands your data and your needs -- get the latest and greatest deep learning techniques going in days rather than months or years. Moreover, Whetlab doesn’t just replicate expert capabilities, it exceeds them: our technology has repeatedly outperformed the top machine learning researchers in configuring systems for the hardest cutting-edge problems, setting the state of the art for benchmarks in challenging domains such as visual objectrecogni... more »

Twitter Just Bought Whetlab, for Machine Learning

Here's how Whetlab describes their technology:

"It’s “AI for AI” -- sophisticated machine learning techniques that get your in-house machine learning system off the ground, automatically. Rather than having to hire doctorate-wielding machine learning experts to architect and tune your system, our patent-pending technology helps your engineers -- your team that already understands your data and your needs -- get the latest and greatest deep learning techniques going in days rather than months or years. Moreover, Whetlab doesn’t just replicate expert capabilities, it exceeds them: our technology has repeatedly outperformed the top machine learning researchers in configuring systems for the hardest cutting-edge problems, setting the state of the art for benchmarks in challenging domains such as visual object recognition, speech processing, and computational biology."

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2015/06/17/twitter-has-acquired-whetlabs-to-enhance-its-machine-learning/

#artificialintelligence   #ai   #twitter  ___

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2015-06-16 20:30:51 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

"Regenerative business" is a term I've been using for a few years now to describe businesses that continue to invest in the stakeholders and supporting ecosystems that created their success in the first place. 
(http://www.the-vital-edge.com/regenerative-business/)

My inspiration for this term was author, Marjorie Kelly, who wrote the excellent book, The Divine Right of Capital.

I'm thrilled to see someone like John Fullerton expand these notions into the framework that is outlined here and in detail in a 120-page paper (which I've not read yet). 

Thanks +Jeffrey J Davis for calling this one to my attention. 

"Regenerative business" is a term I've been using for a few years now to describe businesses that continue to invest in the stakeholders and supporting ecosystems that created their success in the first place. 
(http://www.the-vital-edge.com/regenerative-business/)

My inspiration for this term was author, Marjorie Kelly, who wrote the excellent book, The Divine Right of Capital.

I'm thrilled to see someone like John Fullerton expand these notions into the framework that is outlined here and in detail in a 120-page paper (which I've not read yet). 

Thanks +Jeffrey J Davis for calling this one to my attention. ___

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2015-06-15 20:36:13 (7 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

The Sound of Your Voice

Several years ago, I went to a vocal coach because I was starting to do more public speaking at the time. One of the problems she identified at the time was that I was a "back speaker," as she called it. That can be irritating to the ear. 

The bad news is that there's a 50/50 chance that your conversational voice is unpleasant to the listener's ear. It may be too nasal, which turns listeners off, or too high pitched, which lacks credibility and authority. Or deep and rough and gravelly, resonant only in the throat. Or not resonant at all–-breathy--and thus difficult to hear.

Luckily, there are things one can do to shift the resonance of our voice. This isn't just for public speaking, of course, but any type of spoken communication, including our conversations outside of Google+. :)

The Sound of Your Voice

Several years ago, I went to a vocal coach because I was starting to do more public speaking at the time. One of the problems she identified at the time was that I was a "back speaker," as she called it. That can be irritating to the ear. 

The bad news is that there's a 50/50 chance that your conversational voice is unpleasant to the listener's ear. It may be too nasal, which turns listeners off, or too high pitched, which lacks credibility and authority. Or deep and rough and gravelly, resonant only in the throat. Or not resonant at all–-breathy--and thus difficult to hear.

Luckily, there are things one can do to shift the resonance of our voice. This isn't just for public speaking, of course, but any type of spoken communication, including our conversations outside of Google+. :)___

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2015-06-15 18:06:11 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

This is a fascinating look at what science is now telling us about the evolutionary origin of birds. Lots of new insights are now emerging.

#jurassicworld #birds #dinosaurs

Very interesting!___This is a fascinating look at what science is now telling us about the evolutionary origin of birds. Lots of new insights are now emerging.

#jurassicworld #birds #dinosaurs

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2015-06-14 00:26:31 (2 comments, 8 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

If you're looking for a nice, detailed, overview of what, exactly, Google Now on Tap is, this is your article. Good catch (again), +Matthew J Price. 

A deep dive into Google Now on Tap, the most important new technology in Android M...___If you're looking for a nice, detailed, overview of what, exactly, Google Now on Tap is, this is your article. Good catch (again), +Matthew J Price. 

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2015-06-13 03:53:30 (8 comments, 4 reshares, 33 +1s)Open 

This research is about using machine learning to answer word problems, a very specific solution, but this approach seems like it could be useful for extracting meaning from sentences in broader applications. 

"Human performance on these tests tends to correlate with educational background. So people with a high school education tend to do least well, while those with a bachelor’s degree do better and those with a doctorate perform best. “Our model can reach the intelligence level between the people with the bachelor degrees and those with the master degrees,” say Huazheng and co."

Good catch +Yifat Cohen. 

#ai   #machinelearning   #semantics     

My robot's IQ is higher than yours... And your mama's too.
Deep Learning Machine Beats Humans in IQ Test.

Computers have never been good at answering the type of verbal reasoning questions found in IQ tests. Now a deep learning machine unveiled in China is changing that.

Deep learning techniques are currently sweeping through computer science like wildfire and the revolution they are creating is still in its early stages. There’s no telling where this revolution will take us but one thing is for sure: William Stern would be amazed.

----------------
#deeplearning

___This research is about using machine learning to answer word problems, a very specific solution, but this approach seems like it could be useful for extracting meaning from sentences in broader applications. 

"Human performance on these tests tends to correlate with educational background. So people with a high school education tend to do least well, while those with a bachelor’s degree do better and those with a doctorate perform best. “Our model can reach the intelligence level between the people with the bachelor degrees and those with the master degrees,” say Huazheng and co."

Good catch +Yifat Cohen. 

#ai   #machinelearning   #semantics     

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2015-06-13 00:22:26 (25 comments, 26 reshares, 142 +1s)Open 

The Coming App Ecosystem

Steve Jobs once described Dropbox as a feature, not a product. He was more prescient than most realized at the time. We are moving into a world where more and more of our app usage is becoming mediated by other apps, Virtual Assistants and the operating systems themselves. 

To take a simple example, when Google Now tells me what the weather will be like in Seattle today, it's drawing on the http://weather.com service. Lots of other developers are integrating with Google Now as well; you can see a list of over a hundred of them here:
https://www.google.com/landing/now/integrations.html

It's not just about Google Now integrating third party apps into its user experience either. "Google Now on Tap" brings the power of Google Now to other apps. I'm already using (something like) it in mobile Chrome to click on a word... more »

The Coming App Ecosystem

Steve Jobs once described Dropbox as a feature, not a product. He was more prescient than most realized at the time. We are moving into a world where more and more of our app usage is becoming mediated by other apps, Virtual Assistants and the operating systems themselves. 

To take a simple example, when Google Now tells me what the weather will be like in Seattle today, it's drawing on the http://weather.com service. Lots of other developers are integrating with Google Now as well; you can see a list of over a hundred of them here:
https://www.google.com/landing/now/integrations.html

It's not just about Google Now integrating third party apps into its user experience either. "Google Now on Tap" brings the power of Google Now to other apps. I'm already using (something like) it in mobile Chrome to click on a word and easily pull up definitions, Wikipedia entries and other related information.* Imagine being able to easily do the same with just a tap and a swipe in your EverNote, Twitter, feedly, Google+ and Facebook apps.

That's just the beginning too. Soon, we'll be seeing many more types of interesting integrations. Maps, cameras, messaging and many other features will increasingly be accessible from within apps that currently don't have that functionality. These app developers will find it increasingly easy to strengthen user experience by adding functionality that they don't have to build themselves. Also, by allowing their apps to be indexed by Google, the apps themselves become much more discoverable to users - not just in Google Play Store (or Apple Store), but also via different user contexts (see below). This is strategically quite important to Google, by the way, as it should help to stem some of Facebook's success in mobile app advertising. 

None of this is new, mind you. It's just accelerating. Today, we launch individual apps to extract their specific functionality. Tomorrow the functionality of various apps will be increasingly orchestrated for us, and I see two primary drivers accelerating this shift. 

The first is the rise of Virtual Assistants like Google Now, Siri and Cortana and the growing capabilities of voice recognition. Being able to have a spoken conversation with your phone is pretty natural and very flexible. I now frequently use "OK Google, open X" to open apps that are buried in my apps folder - it's just faster. I'm also getting used to saying things like "OK Google, email CJ" and it launches Gmail with a email ready to go to my wife. These are baby steps but you can see where they will go and why the Virtual Assistant is likely to be a big driver of the app ecosystem. 

The second driver is contextual computing. I see a huge opportunity for "context integrators" who build "context apps" designed specifically for helping us navigate through particular situations. A 'travel context app' might get triggered by Google Now when I wake up on the morning of a big trip. The app knows my routine, and walks me through early online check in at the airport (regardless of what airline I'm on), calling a cab, shutting off my paper while I'm away, turning my Out of Office message on in Gmail, launching a map of the Oakland airport to get me to the rental pick up, and so on. You could imagine many other context-specific symphonies of apps, integrated together by people who've really taken the time to understand what people need around various contexts in their lives. There's a huge opportunity here, I think. Although you can bet that Siri, Google Now and Cortana will be eyeing it too. 

A few years ago, I came up with an interesting mockup for something like this, with context being set by a combination of four variables: place, time, semantics, and relationships. Take a look at the part about the "app canvas" because it hints at what I'm talking about with the app ecosystem: 

"App Canvas is a completely different way of thinking about finding and interacting with apps than what we have today. When the app canvas is opened, we see just those apps that make the most sense of our particular context. Shopping in a grocery store, riding in a car, eating in a restaurant - each of these contexts will load different apps by default."

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/Z7vqRmcj91r

Technology marches on. These changes are going to result in some truly useful functionality. They also raise real questions. For example, today, each of us chooses which app we use for weather. But in a world where we just ask Google Now, does Google just make that choice of app provider for us, or will we have a choice?

HT +Matthew J Price​​​ 

#apps   #virtualassistant   #googlenow  


* Across a range of search-related fronts Google is adding convenience, utility and some gee-whiz features to make search more useful and engaging to smartphone owners. Now on Tap, in-app deep-linking and touch-to-search are all part of this multi-pronged initiative.
http://searchengineland.com/google-now-on-tap-finds-answers-navigates-between-apps-without-search-222780___

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2015-06-11 14:14:56 (8 comments, 6 reshares, 22 +1s)Open 

Crowd-sourced blacklists, an interesting idea, and a sign that Twitter is taking its troll problem more seriously.

I wonder though what kind of abuse this leaves the platform open to. Imagine an innocent person being thrown onto a list like this for some reason (spite, revenge, blackmail) and the list becoming widely distributed. What recourse would they have?

Mute and block are tools to help you control your Twitter experience. While many users find them useful, we also recognise that some users — those who experience high volumes of unwanted interactions on Twitter — need more sophisticated tools. That’s where this new feature comes in. You can now export and share your block lists with people in your community facing similar issues or import another user’s list into your own account and block multiple accounts all at once, instead of blocking them individually. We alsohope the... more »

Crowd-sourced blacklists, an interesting idea, and a sign that Twitter is taking its troll problem more seriously.

I wonder though what kind of abuse this leaves the platform open to. Imagine an innocent person being thrown onto a list like this for some reason (spite, revenge, blackmail) and the list becoming widely distributed. What recourse would they have?

Mute and block are tools to help you control your Twitter experience. While many users find them useful, we also recognise that some users — those who experience high volumes of unwanted interactions on Twitter — need more sophisticated tools. That’s where this new feature comes in. You can now export and share your block lists with people in your community facing similar issues or import another user’s list into your own account and block multiple accounts all at once, instead of blocking them individually. We also hope these advanced blocking tools will prove useful to the developer community to further improve users’ experience.”

#twitter #trolls #speech

___

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2015-06-11 01:34:59 (45 comments, 5 reshares, 32 +1s)Open 

Meat: The Habit We Don't Want to Give Up (or Talk About)

Eating meat tastes great. At least I think so. There's debate about what a meat-heavy diet does to our body, of course, but the part that's less controversial is what it's doing to our planet - especially as growing markets like China develop more of a hankering for it. 

What I didn't realize is that Silicon Valley is investing in a number of startups right now aimed weaning humans from our meat-heavy diets: 

“The way to win is the awesome power of the free market,” Brown says. Meat, he adds, “is like the horse-and-buggy industry at the turn of the century: It’s obviously doomed, and it’s just a question of who takes it down and how soon.” You might be able to guess who he says will help him do that: “Our target market is not vegetarians. It’s not vegans. It’s not fringyhealth nuts. It’s n... more »

Meat: The Habit We Don't Want to Give Up (or Talk About)

Eating meat tastes great. At least I think so. There's debate about what a meat-heavy diet does to our body, of course, but the part that's less controversial is what it's doing to our planet - especially as growing markets like China develop more of a hankering for it. 

What I didn't realize is that Silicon Valley is investing in a number of startups right now aimed weaning humans from our meat-heavy diets: 

“The way to win is the awesome power of the free market,” Brown says. Meat, he adds, “is like the horse-and-buggy industry at the turn of the century: It’s obviously doomed, and it’s just a question of who takes it down and how soon.” You might be able to guess who he says will help him do that: “Our target market is not vegetarians. It’s not vegans. It’s not fringy health nuts. It’s not food-fad faddists. It’s mainstream, mass-market, uncompromising, meat-loving carnivores.” Citing a U.N. calculation that 30 percent of the planet’s land is used for animal agriculture, he hopes his plan will “change the way Earth looks from space.” “The way that we’re going to monitor our progress,” he says, “is by looking at Google Earth, basically.”
....
You may not have heard of Brown’s own start-up, which is trying to do the same thing, because he has spent four years working mostly in secret, tweaking the user experience like his iPhone-making counterparts in Cupertino. But what he has done, he says, is spectacular: He has cracked meat’s molecular code. Which means that by sometime next year, he intends to sell what he calls a “shock and awe” plant-based burger that bleeds like beef, chars like it, and tastes like it (and eventually, critical to its long-term prospects, costs less).
...
Brown had a singular advantage, an ingredient no other meat-replacing army had deployed. He led the way to a room of incubators, where a scientist held up a flask of what looked like pink juice: a slurry of genetically modified yeast. Its DNA had been rewired to produce leghemoglobin, a protein found in nodules attached to the roots of leguminous plants — and similar to both myoglobin and hemoglobin, which turns blood red. They all possessed what most people call heme, which Brown called “the molecule that makes meat meat.”

So, why is this issue important? The ecological impact of animal husbandry are mind-numbingly disturbing. What's more, it has a very powerful set of economic forces with lots to lose from a meatless diet. For background, check out:
http://www.cowspiracy.com/infographic

I have not yet watched the Cowspiracy documentary, so I can't vouch for it myself, but it looks very intriguing. Some information from their website:

* Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

* Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2.

* Methane has a global warming power 86 times that of CO2.

I am very intrigued by these new investments in meat substitutes. I like the taste of meat, I love it, actually, but it's getting harder and harder for me to justify when I better understand what it's doing to the world we will leave for our future generations. These new ventures are a source of hope. 

I'm eager to try what they create. You?

#food   #meat  ___

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2015-06-10 23:43:02 (24 comments, 14 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Peer Instruction and the Curse of Knowledge

This is a great explanation of peer instruction by Harvard physics professor, Eric Mazur. He tells the story of what a great lecturer he was early on in his career, and how, one day after reading about some research, his world came crashing down. What he learned from that research was that students in the southwest U.S. tended not to remember anything from their physics classes. 

Mazur then explains how, by accident, he stumbled onto a new approach to teaching, something that he and others call peer instruction. One of the key insights was that students were simply memorizing 'recipes' that were useful on tests, but never really seep into the level of deeper understanding.

The problem, he notes, centers on what Steven Pinker calls "the curse of knowledge" - the tendency for those who've long mastered a... more »

Peer Instruction and the Curse of Knowledge

This is a great explanation of peer instruction by Harvard physics professor, Eric Mazur. He tells the story of what a great lecturer he was early on in his career, and how, one day after reading about some research, his world came crashing down. What he learned from that research was that students in the southwest U.S. tended not to remember anything from their physics classes. 

Mazur then explains how, by accident, he stumbled onto a new approach to teaching, something that he and others call peer instruction. One of the key insights was that students were simply memorizing 'recipes' that were useful on tests, but never really seep into the level of deeper understanding.

The problem, he notes, centers on what Steven Pinker calls "the curse of knowledge" - the tendency for those who've long mastered a topic to forget what is actually hard to understand the topic when approaching it for the first time. It's much easier for someone who's just recently learned the topic to explain it to someone else who's just learning it for the first time. 

Mazur is a good storyteller, and by listening to this 13-minute video, you'll come away with a solid understanding of peer instruction and the concrete steps that Mazur uses in his classroom at Harvard to put it to work. Great stuff. 

#learning   #knowledge   #understanding   #teaching  

cc: +George Station +Laura Gibbs ___

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2015-06-08 23:06:27 (50 comments, 39 reshares, 46 +1s)Open 

Artificial Intelligence as Scientist

This Popular Mechanics article uses what I believe is slightly sensationalist language to describe something that, on its own, is quite sensational. Researchers at Tufts University have figured out how to use machine learning techniques to test a massive number of hypotheses, using a software simulator for genetic regulatory networks. This is something that in the past would have had to be done by people repeating experiments over and over again. Even then, the overwhelming size of the resulting genetic regulatory network data, can often dwarf human capabilities. 

After three days of iterating on the problem, the system came up with a solution to a problem that had puzzled scientists for many decades: how do flatworms regenerate themselves from their parts?

By iterating through vast numbers of potential models, the system... more »

Artificial Intelligence as Scientist

This Popular Mechanics article uses what I believe is slightly sensationalist language to describe something that, on its own, is quite sensational. Researchers at Tufts University have figured out how to use machine learning techniques to test a massive number of hypotheses, using a software simulator for genetic regulatory networks. This is something that in the past would have had to be done by people repeating experiments over and over again. Even then, the overwhelming size of the resulting genetic regulatory network data, can often dwarf human capabilities. 

After three days of iterating on the problem, the system came up with a solution to a problem that had puzzled scientists for many decades: how do flatworms regenerate themselves from their parts?

By iterating through vast numbers of potential models, the system discovered a model that explains how flatworms do their thing. The answer to this puzzle, just by itself, could yield important breakthroughs to how we think about tissue regeneration and a number of other important topics in biology. But what these scientists did has even broader implications. As they put it:  

"Beyond the planarian (the flatworm being researched) data, our approach is readily generalizable to facilitate the discovery of testable regulatory networks in developmental biology and biomedicine, and represents the first developmental model discovered de novo from morphological outcomes by an automated system."

So did a computer really just 'come up with a scientific theory'? I think that is overstating what just happened. Two humans thought through and then set up a system that allowed a machine to automate what humans can't do anywhere near as well as a machine does. The machine didn't somehow develop the initiative or will to tackle this problem. It didn't organize itself to solve this problem. It simply cranked through lots and lots of models, iterating and iterating until it found something that, in all likelihood, we humans wouldn't have found. That in itself is very, very impressive and it paints a picture of how science is increasingly going to be done in the decades ahead.

Machines won't become the scientists - but they will be their lab assistants. At least for the foreseeable future. :)

Link to the original research paper: 
http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004295

Edit: Another article, that's actually more informative than the Popular Science piece (courtesy of +Wayne Radinsky):
http://www.kurzweilai.net/planarian-regeneration-model-discovered-by-ai-algorithm


#ai   #machinelearning   #science   #flatworms  ___

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2015-06-08 21:29:48 (7 comments, 12 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

I've no idea how realistic these technologies are right now, but I share this vision of this proposed "Hydrolemic System" mostly to show the resilience of the human species. It's basically a set of ideas for radically reducing human intake requirements for water. 

Having just watched the new Mad Max yesterday, societal and ecological meltdown scenarios are on my mind today. About ten years ago, I came to the personal conclusion that the Earth is much more likely to go on without us than we are without her. I still believe that to be true.

What's interesting about this technological vision is that it represents advanced planning for ecological breakdown scenarios on a level I don't recall seeing before. We humans are resilient, to be sure. Resilient enough is the question though.

I've no idea how realistic these technologies are right now, but I share this vision of this proposed "Hydrolemic System" mostly to show the resilience of the human species. It's basically a set of ideas for radically reducing human intake requirements for water. 

Having just watched the new Mad Max yesterday, societal and ecological meltdown scenarios are on my mind today. About ten years ago, I came to the personal conclusion that the Earth is much more likely to go on without us than we are without her. I still believe that to be true.

What's interesting about this technological vision is that it represents advanced planning for ecological breakdown scenarios on a level I don't recall seeing before. We humans are resilient, to be sure. Resilient enough is the question though.___

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2015-06-07 01:22:03 (21 comments, 10 reshares, 85 +1s)Open 

Using Image Recognition AI to Identify Birds

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Visipedia are collaborating to develop computer vision technology to identify birds in photos. I just spent an hour or so with it and a related Android app in order to test out its image-recognition software - and because I'm very interested in crowd-sourced, citizen science. 

The image recognition capabilities are still hit-or-miss, for me at least. Part of the problem may be that I was using some images from a trip to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but even the ones I tried from North America were a bit spotty. It recognized a robin and a rock pigeon...but then so do I. 

Still, the potential is there for this application to eventually be capable of really helping people to ID birds in the field through one's mobile device. The app downloads at over 600MB; I imagine so thatp... more »

Using Image Recognition AI to Identify Birds

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Visipedia are collaborating to develop computer vision technology to identify birds in photos. I just spent an hour or so with it and a related Android app in order to test out its image-recognition software - and because I'm very interested in crowd-sourced, citizen science. 

The image recognition capabilities are still hit-or-miss, for me at least. Part of the problem may be that I was using some images from a trip to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but even the ones I tried from North America were a bit spotty. It recognized a robin and a rock pigeon...but then so do I. 

Still, the potential is there for this application to eventually be capable of really helping people to ID birds in the field through one's mobile device. The app downloads at over 600MB; I imagine so that people can use it in remote locations without reliable connections. The mobile app does not yet support the image-recognition capabilities, which may actually be a good thing at this point because I'm just not convinced that what they're using right now is that good.

I'd love to see these folks team up with Google's image recognition folks to see what they could pull together between this massive library of tagged bird images and Google's excellent capabilities in image recognition. 

The website for experimenting with the image recognition:
http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/photo-id-help/

The App (again, without image recognition):
http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/#_ga=1.39816931.1388139106.1433635992

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: 
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/

#machinevision   #birds   #citizenscience  

+Jeff Sayre, you'll probably find this interesting as an intersection of your two worlds. ;)___

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2015-06-06 02:20:48 (27 comments, 10 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

Ursula Le Guin telling it like it is to authors, publishers and Amazon (though not by name). Basically, she's questioning how writing turned from art to commodity. So great to see someone like her asking these tough questions. 

“We live in capitalism,” said Le Guin, “Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.”

#publishing   #goodbusiness  

Ursula Le Guin telling it like it is to authors, publishers and Amazon (though not by name). Basically, she's questioning how writing turned from art to commodity. So great to see someone like her asking these tough questions. 

“We live in capitalism,” said Le Guin, “Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings.”

#publishing   #goodbusiness  ___

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2015-06-06 00:42:16 (11 comments, 2 reshares, 56 +1s)Open 

A year or so ago, I was starting to wonder whether Google's Knowledge Graph would give the company a new source of competitive dominance similar to its original search technologies. Now, as +David Amerland points out, competition is emerging that might just prevent that kind of dominance. "Might", I said. 

Companies like Diffbot and Yeb are aiming to some degree replicate Google's Knowledge Graph. That's a good thing. Competition is a good thing, even for Google itself (I say that as someone who used to work for Microsoft in the 90's). 

I'm still not convinced though that these smaller companies, on their own at least, will be able to compete with Google though. Why? Because access to data - lots and lots of fresh user data - is absolutely critical to the success of these systems over time. It's how they learn and get smarter. In other words, therewi... more »

Why Google Does Not Have it All its Own Way

It might be sunny behind the glass facade of the Googleplex in California but Google has competitors barking at its heels and technology is evolving in unanticipated ways. Consider how in a very short space of time a new srtaup called Diffbot is promising to revolutionize how semantically indexed data is used across the web by having a Google-like Knowledge Graph that is accessible to app developers: http://goo.gl/RGeQFl. 

This will not only accelerate the way some semantic technologies develop but also open up the market on apps that provide meaningful data that has a practical usage and do not rely on search. 

As if that weren't enough new startup Yebol promises to index every entity out ther by November this year and do what neither Yahoo! nor Microsoft could, and provide an alternative to Google's semantic search: http://goo.gl/Z6LB6U. 

In the meantime a group of ex-Googlers are opening the doors to some of the secretive google technology (i.e. relational databases) that give Google its competitive edge: http://goo.gl/ksDyCt. 

So, it really is far from easy at the top. :) Things are moving fast this year.___A year or so ago, I was starting to wonder whether Google's Knowledge Graph would give the company a new source of competitive dominance similar to its original search technologies. Now, as +David Amerland points out, competition is emerging that might just prevent that kind of dominance. "Might", I said. 

Companies like Diffbot and Yeb are aiming to some degree replicate Google's Knowledge Graph. That's a good thing. Competition is a good thing, even for Google itself (I say that as someone who used to work for Microsoft in the 90's). 

I'm still not convinced though that these smaller companies, on their own at least, will be able to compete with Google though. Why? Because access to data - lots and lots of fresh user data - is absolutely critical to the success of these systems over time. It's how they learn and get smarter. In other words, there will be a kind of network effect at work here, I think: one that makes lots of data create better results, which then generates more data. 

Diffbot is already working with Microsoft for this very reason. In the end, my guess is that we will have 3-6 of these large (Internet-scale), general-purpose knowledge graphs out there (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and probably Apple and Yahoo - Amazon will have a more commerce-oriented version). But hey, that's still competition, and that's good. 

The question that emerges, however, is whether app developers will have to pick just one to integrate with their services, or whether a more plug-n-play ecosystem will emerge. If the former, then we're likely to see those network effects kick in big time. 

Lots of interesting stuff happening in this area right now. Thanks to +David Amerland for catching and framing this up. This is really important stuff. It will have a huge impact on artificial intelligence and the future of human knowledge. 

In addition to the links in the original post below, here's some background I wrote last fall for a little more context: 
http://www.the-vital-edge.com/knowledge-and-artificial-intelligence/

#knowledgegraph   #google   #artificialintelligence  

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2015-06-05 01:27:27 (2 comments, 7 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

So, what's not new here is the idea of reconstructing images based on the features that deep learning algorithms discover within images. Others have experimented with that. What does appear to be new here is the ability to stitch those features together in ways that recognize adjoining other features so that the resulting whole makes sense. Otherwise, what you get is a bit of a mess that doesn't make sense to the human eye. The researchers describe it as somewhat akin to putting together the image embedded in a jigsaw puzzle. 

Is this really 'computational imagination'? I'm not sure I'd go that far, but this is very interesting work. The original paper is here:
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1505.05190v1.pdf

#deeplearning   #images  

So, what's not new here is the idea of reconstructing images based on the features that deep learning algorithms discover within images. Others have experimented with that. What does appear to be new here is the ability to stitch those features together in ways that recognize adjoining other features so that the resulting whole makes sense. Otherwise, what you get is a bit of a mess that doesn't make sense to the human eye. The researchers describe it as somewhat akin to putting together the image embedded in a jigsaw puzzle. 

Is this really 'computational imagination'? I'm not sure I'd go that far, but this is very interesting work. The original paper is here:
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1505.05190v1.pdf

#deeplearning   #images  ___

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2015-06-05 01:00:18 (25 comments, 2 reshares, 28 +1s)Open 

Search for Collections

I'm betting this is coming, but if not, we really need the ability to search for collections. That would just add so much more power to the collection feature - and it would much more powerfully expose our shared passions. 

#sharedinterestgraph   #collections  

Search for Collections

I'm betting this is coming, but if not, we really need the ability to search for collections. That would just add so much more power to the collection feature - and it would much more powerfully expose our shared passions. 

#sharedinterestgraph   #collections  ___

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2015-06-04 16:50:25 (20 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

On the importance of engaging with people you don't always agree with. Civil doesn't have to mean off-limits, as some top-down deciders seem to be advocating.

#conversation  (esp. about 9 minutes into the video until about 15 minutes in... for the "conversation & engagement" part... but I ran the whole event in the background and even the Q&A was interesting.)

+John Kellden +David Amerland +Gideon Rosenblatt 

On the importance of engaging with people you don't always agree with. Civil doesn't have to mean off-limits, as some top-down deciders seem to be advocating.

#conversation  (esp. about 9 minutes into the video until about 15 minutes in... for the "conversation & engagement" part... but I ran the whole event in the background and even the Q&A was interesting.)

+John Kellden +David Amerland +Gideon Rosenblatt ___

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2015-06-02 20:27:43 (17 comments, 3 reshares, 25 +1s)Open 

A thought-provoking post on the bigger implications of distributed ledgers and the emerging field of crypto-economics. Good stuff. 

HT +Ferananda Ibarra 

Attn: +Gregory Esau and +Rick Heil 

How society will be transformed by crypto economics

This is a fabulous vision!

People of the free internet, we now have the opportunity to create a world where we choose to work a 4 hour work week at our whim, collaborating globally with whom we like, freely choosing compensation in currency or equity, frolicking in our hyper-creative and artistic, fractally self-organized fluid work groups, protected from catastrophic risk by a basic income provided by our egalitarian peer to peer protocols.

In this vision the tragedy of the commons is stamped out like polio by a collaborative network of trust and enforced by a consensus-based cryptographic protocol that ensures our aligned incentivization towards the expression of our personal and collective purpose.

Are you in? Ground control to Major Tom?

The best of this vision is the whole article that comes with it.  Go ahead and be part of the crypto economic revolution

#crptoeconomy #bitcoin #blockchain #visions

I think you will love it +Gideon Rosenblatt

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Shared for free via +Do Share___A thought-provoking post on the bigger implications of distributed ledgers and the emerging field of crypto-economics. Good stuff. 

HT +Ferananda Ibarra 

Attn: +Gregory Esau and +Rick Heil 

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