lunes, 17 de diciembre de 2018

Second annual AI index report (@verge via @exponentialview)

 an interesting article The AI boom is happening all over the world, and it’s accelerating quickly - The Verge

…findings from a group of experts were published in an ongoing effort to help answer those questions. The experts include members of Harvard, MIT, Stanford, the nonprofit OpenAI, and the Partnership on AI industry consortium, among others, and they were put together as part of the second annual AI Index.

“There is no AI story without global perspective. The 2017 report was heavily skewed towards North American activities. This reflected a limited number of global partnerships, not an intrinsic bias,” reads the 2018 report’s introduction. “This year, we begin to close the global gap. We recognize that there is a long journey ahead — one that involves collaboration and outside participation — to make this report truly comprehensive.”

In that spirit of global analysis, the second AI Index report finds that commercial and research work in AI, as well as funding, is exploding pretty much everywhere on the planet. There’s an especially high concentration in Europe and Asia, with China, Japan, and South Korea leading Eastern countries in AI research paper publication, university enrollment, and patent applications. In fact, Europe is the largest publisher of AI papers, with 28 percent of all AI-related publications last year. China is close behind with 25 percent, while North America is responsible for 17 percent.

When it comes to the type of AI activity, the report finds that machine learning and so-called probabilistic reasoning is far and away the leading research category by a number of published papers. 
Not far behind, however, is work on computer vision, which is the foundational sub-discipline of AI that’s helping to develop self-driving cars and power augmented reality and object recognition, and neural networks, which, like machine learning, are instrumental in training those algorithms to improve over time. Less important, at least in the current moment, are areas like natural language processing, which is what lets your smart speaker understand what you’re saying and respond in kind, and general planning and decision making, which is what will be required of robots when automated machines are inevitably more integral facets of daily life.
China is heavily focused on agricultural science, engineering, and technology, while Europe and North America are focused more on the humanities and medical and health sciences, though Europe is generally more well-rounded in its approach to research.
As far as performance goes, AI continues to skyrocket, especially in fields like computer vision. By measuring benchmark performance for the widely used image training database ImageNet, the report finds that the time it takes to spin up a model that can classify pictures at state-of-the-art accuracy fell “from around on hour to around 4 minutes” in just 18 months. That equates to a roughly 16x jump in training speed. Other areas like object segmentation, which is what lets software differentiate between an image’s background and its subject, has increased in precision by 72 percent in just three years.
AI will only continue to get more sophisticated, but there are a number of hurdles, both technological and with regard to bias and safety, before such software could be reliably used without error in hospitals, education systems, airports, and police departments.



sábado, 15 de diciembre de 2018

Testing the resilience of Europe’s inclusive growth model,

The New McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) research,  focuses on prospects for inclusive growth in the period to 2030—possibly the largest driver of citizens’ life satisfaction.

Europe’s inclusive growth model and the European Union’s (EU) welfare-based social contract appear to be under threat amid limited growth in median income in recent years, falling trust in institutions (both EU and national), discomfort about mass migration, worries about security as well as the resilience of global agreements, and a rise in populist politics that challenges the status quo.

Europe now needs to respond to six global—and interacting—megatrends that could push inequality higher within EU member states and among them and increase social and economic divergence, placing the inclusive growth part of the EU social contract in even more peril.

Given these trends, Europe needs to be proactive about testing new ways in which the social contract might work in the case of the future of work, low-carbon lifestyles, and technology ethics, for instance. Overall, however, we find that Europe may be able to preserve the essence of its welfare-style social contract, if it delivers superbly on all its current initiatives that are linked to, and aim to respond to, the megatrends.

Among initiatives with the best outcomes for inclusive growth, the EU and European countries might have to scale up green and technological innovation and develop new skills. While inequality will likely grow as new social policies unfold, these new approaches might be financed by the returns on those policies, and, in the process, mitigate rising inequality, and helping to head off anti-EU sentiment. Social divergence within member countries is likely to persist and must be tackled with the EU complementing the actions of member states.





It simulates the challenges and opportunities ahead in several scenarios and focuses on the impact of the six megatrends.

-Much of Europe has returned to growth, but its inclusiveness remains under pressure


-Six megatrends could test the resilience of Europe’s inclusive growth model
  1. Ageing demographics
  2. Digital technology, automation and AI
  3. Increased global competititon
  4. Migration
  5. Climate change and pollution
  6. Shifting geopolitics


-The megatrends may mean that Europe faces higher inequality and more social divergence




-Action in three areas is required to strengthen Europe’s inclusive growth model:
  1. Fully execute a deliver scenario
  2. Complement growth with improved measures to promote income equality within and across countries
  3. Amend the parameters of the social contracts



Executive summary






jueves, 6 de diciembre de 2018

The Spatial Web

The Spatial Web Will Map Our 3D World—And Change Everything In the Process

Over the next two to five years, the world around us is about to light up with layer upon layer of rich, fun, meaningful, engaging, and dynamic data. Data you can see and interact with.

This magical future ahead is called the Spatial Web and will transform every aspect of our lives, from retail and advertising, to work and education, to entertainment and social interaction.

Massive change is underway as a result of a series of converging technologies, from 5G global networks and ubiquitous artificial intelligence, to 30+ billion connected devices (known as the IoT), each of which will generate scores of real-world data every second, everywhere.

…the Spatial Web refers to a computing environment that exists in three-dimensional space—a twinning of real and virtual realities—enabled via billions of connected devices and accessed through the interfaces of virtual and augmented reality.

In this way, the Spatial Web will enable us to both build a twin of our physical reality in the virtual realm and bring the digital into our real environments.

It’s the next era of web-like technologies:
  • Spatial computing technologies, like augmented and virtual reality;
  • Physical computing technologies, like IoT and robotic sensors;
  • And decentralized computing: both blockchain—which enables greater security and data authentication—and edge computing, which pushes computing power to where it’s most needed, speeding everything up.
Geared with natural language search, data mining, machine learning, and AI recommendation agents, the Spatial Web is a growing expanse of services and information, navigable with the use of ever-more-sophisticated AI assistants and revolutionary new interfaces.

– – – – – –
How the Spatial Web Will Fix What's Broken About the Internet

To recap, while Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data, Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and participatory social media, all of these mediated by two-dimensional screens—a flat web of sensorily confined information.

During the next two to five years, the convergence of 5G, AI, a trillion sensors, and VR/AR will enable us to both map our physical world into virtual space and superimpose a digital layer onto our physical environments.

Web 3.0 is about to transform everything—from the way we learn and educate, to the way we trade (smart) assets, to our interactions with real and virtual versions of each other.

And while users grow rightly concerned about data privacy and misuse, the Spatial Web’s use of blockchain in its data and governance layer will secure and validate our online identities, protecting everything from your virtual assets to personal files.

In this second installment of the Web 3.0 series, I’ll be discussing the Spatial Web’s vast implications for a handful of industries:
  • News & Media Coverage
  • Smart Advertising
  • Personalized Retail

The Spatial Web

The Spatial Web Will Map Our 3D World—And Change Everything In the Process

Over the next two to five years, the world around us is about to light up with layer upon layer of rich, fun, meaningful, engaging, and dynamic data. Data you can see and interact with.

This magical future ahead is called the Spatial Web and will transform every aspect of our lives, from retail and advertising, to work and education, to entertainment and social interaction.

Massive change is underway as a result of a series of converging technologies, from 5G global networks and ubiquitous artificial intelligence, to 30+ billion connected devices (known as the IoT), each of which will generate scores of real-world data every second, everywhere.

…the Spatial Web refers to a computing environment that exists in three-dimensional space—a twinning of real and virtual realities—enabled via billions of connected devices and accessed through the interfaces of virtual and augmented reality.

In this way, the Spatial Web will enable us to both build a twin of our physical reality in the virtual realm and bring the digital into our real environments.

It’s the next era of web-like technologies:
  • Spatial computing technologies, like augmented and virtual reality;
  • Physical computing technologies, like IoT and robotic sensors;
  • And decentralized computing: both blockchain—which enables greater security and data authentication—and edge computing, which pushes computing power to where it’s most needed, speeding everything up.
Geared with natural language search, data mining, machine learning, and AI recommendation agents, the Spatial Web is a growing expanse of services and information, navigable with the use of ever-more-sophisticated AI assistants and revolutionary new interfaces.

– – – – – –
How the Spatial Web Will Fix What's Broken About the Internet

To recap, while Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data, Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and participatory social media, all of these mediated by two-dimensional screens—a flat web of sensorily confined information.

During the next two to five years, the convergence of 5G, AI, a trillion sensors, and VR/AR will enable us to both map our physical world into virtual space and superimpose a digital layer onto our physical environments.

Web 3.0 is about to transform everything—from the way we learn and educate, to the way we trade (smart) assets, to our interactions with real and virtual versions of each other.

And while users grow rightly concerned about data privacy and misuse, the Spatial Web’s use of blockchain in its data and governance layer will secure and validate our online identities, protecting everything from your virtual assets to personal files.

In this second installment of the Web 3.0 series, I’ll be discussing the Spatial Web’s vast implications for a handful of industries:
  • News & Media Coverage
  • Smart Advertising
  • Personalized Retail

domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2018

Microsoft Is Worth as Much as Apple. How Did That Happen?

via @azeem's @exponentialview
Microsoft Is Worth as Much as Apple. How Did That Happen? - The New York Times

It was big and still quite profitable, but the company had lost its luster, failing or trailing in the markets of the future like mobile, search, online advertising and cloud computing. Its stock price languished, inching up 3 percent in the decade through the end of 2012.

It’s a very different story today. Microsoft is running neck and neck with Apple for the title of the world’s most valuable company, both worth about $850 billion, thanks to a stock price that has climbed 30 percent over the last 12 months. At the end of trading Friday, Microsoft was just ahead of its longtime rival.

When Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile phone business in 2013, Mr. Ballmer hailed the move as a “bold step into the future.” Two years later, Mr. Nadella walked away from that future, taking a $7.6 billion charge, nearly the entire value of the purchase, and shedding 7,800 workers.

Microsoft would not try to compete with the smartphone technology leaders, Apple, Google and Samsung. Instead, Microsoft focused on its developing apps and other software for business customers.

Microsoft does have a successful consumer franchise in its Xbox video game business. But it is a separate unit, and though it generates revenue of $10 billion, that is still less than 10 percent of the company’s overall sales.

Microsoft products, in the main, are about utility — productivity tools, whether people use them at work or at home. And its Azure cloud technology is a service for businesses and a platform for software developers to build applications, a kind of cloud operating system.

Mr. Nadella’s big acquisitions have been intended to add to its offerings for business users and developers. In 2016, Microsoft bought LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, for $26.2 billion.

“It’s really the coming together of the professional cloud and the professional network,” Mr. Nadella explained at the time.

Under Mr. Nadella, Microsoft has loosened up. Windows would no longer be its center of gravity — or its anchor. Microsoft apps would run not only on Apple’s Macintosh software but on other operating systems as well. Open source and free software, once anathema to Microsoft, was embraced as a vital tool of modern software development.

Mr. Nadella preached an outward-looking mind-set. “We need to be insatiable in our desire to learn from the outside and bring that learning into Microsoft,” he wrote in his book “Hit Refresh,” published last year.

The company’s financial performance — and its stock price — suggest that the Nadella formula is working.

“The old, Windows-centric view of the world stifled innovation,” said Michael A. Cusumano, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. “The company has changed culturally. Microsoft is an exciting place to work again.”

sábado, 1 de diciembre de 2018

Loneliness – Quartz Obsession — Quartz

“Amidst the glossiness of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feeling—depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage—are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice.”
Olivia Laing, The Lonely City

“According to the surgeon general, the biggest risk facing the country is not smoking or second hand smoke—it’s isolation and loneliness. When people get off social media and connect #IRL, their oxytocin goes up and their cortisol (stress) goes down. We should all try this experiment and see how we feel!”
Erica Keswin, Founder at Spaghetti Project

                   Loneliness – Quartz Obsession — Quartz

sábado, 24 de noviembre de 2018

La inteligencia artificial nos obliga a revisar nuestra idea de justicia. (@dweinberger)

“Ya no se trata de lograr una IA justa, sino que la propia IA está haciendo mucho por nosotros porque nos obliga a revisar las diferentes ideas de justicia que tenemos las personas”

“La inteligencia artificial nos obliga a revisar nuestra idea de justicia” – David Weinberger, Doctor en Filosofía | EL PAÍS Retina
Ya en 1999 fue coautor del Manifiesto Cluetrain, definido como un manual sobre marketing online y en el que se abordaban las nuevas formas de comunicar y de compartir conocimientos e impresiones en internet. Casi 20 años después, al analizar cómo han evolucionado esas conversaciones, se muestra optimista: “Mucho de lo que estamos consiguiendo es positivo, a pesar de que resulta duro escuchar algunas conversaciones globales de las que no podemos estar orgullosos y que son fruto de la estupidez y de los privilegios de algunos. Además, existen conversaciones manipuladas, discontinuas u ofensivas que sería necesario erradicar, pero aun así no quiero subestimar la capacidad de internet como herramienta de comunicación”. 
…centrado en su labor como investigador del Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society de la Facultad de Derecho de Harvard, la actividad de Weinberger intenta dar respuestas a cómo está cambiando la tecnología las relaciones humanas, la comunicación, el conocimiento y la sociedad.
Weinberger señala que hay dos aspectos “apasionantes” a la hora de investigar los avances del aprendizaje automático (el consabido machine learning) de las máquinas: los nuevos conjuntos de reglas creados por la propia IA y la redefinición del concepto de imparcialidad. 
…el tecnólogo se pregunta qué significaría para nosotros si esos modelos con los que el aprendizaje automático entiende el mundo resultaran ser más precisos o veraces que nuestra propia manera de analizar cómo funciona el mundo.

Según Weinberger, es necesario seguir trabajando en este concepto, lo cual ya está generando un debate que le resulta muy enriquecedor: “Admito que la IA puede amplificar las injusticias en la sociedad y que es posible que eso sea algo muy difícil de evitar, por lo que supone un problema urgente. Pero personalmente quizás esté más interesado en lo que los humanos estamos aprendiendo sobre nuestro propio concepto de imparcialidad gracias a nuestro trabajo con la IA”.

domingo, 18 de noviembre de 2018

Is getting rid of rules and leaders making any movement more open and fair? (by @wired)

excerpts from A 1970s Essay Predicted Silicon Valley's High-Minded Tyranny | WIRED

while this rhetoric of personal empowerment has been great for Silicon Valley, for the rest of the world it has produced a deeply painful reality: greater disparity in wealth and power, fewer tools for reversing these conditions, and a false sense that we are personally to blame for our own difficult circumstances.



The women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s was rebuilding the world in a consciously different way: no designated leaders and no rules on what you could say and when you could say it. Yet Freeman wondered if getting rid of rules and leaders was actually making feminism more open and fair.

After a hard think, she concluded that, if anything, the lack of structure made the situation worse: Elite women who went to the right schools and knew the right people held power and outsiders had no viable way of challenging them. She decided to write an essay summing up her thoughts. “As long as the structure of the group is informal, the rules of how decisions are made are known only to a few and awareness of power is limited to those who know the rules,” she wrote in the piece, published in Ms. magazine in 1973. “Those who do not know the rules and are not chosen for initiation must remain in confusion, or suffer from paranoid delusions that something is happening of which they are not quite aware.”

More than 40 years later, Freeman’s essay, “The Tyranny of Structurelessness,” continues to reverberate, especially in Silicon Valley, where it is deployed by a wide range of critics to disprove widely held beliefs about the internet as a force of personal empowerment, whether in work, leisure, or politics

The reality, of course, is a bit different. Bitcoin is dominated by a small cadre of investors, and “mining” new coins is so expensive and electricity-draining that only large institutions can participate; Facebook’s advertising system is exploited by foreign governments and other malevolent political actors who have had free rein to spread disinformation and discord; and Google’s informal structure allows leaders to believe they can act in secret to dispense with credible accusations of harassment.

In Freeman’s unstinting language, this rhetoric of openness “becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others.”

Because “Tyranny” explains how things work, as opposed to how people say things work, it has become a touchstone for social critics of all stripes. During the Occupy movement, Freeman’s essay was on the organizers’ minds when they sought to eliminate hierarchy without introducing a hidden hierarchy. … digital culture is where Freeman’s work has the most currency these days.

Benjamin Mako Hill, a fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, where he is studying how free software projects operate, said Freeman’s essay was “really an inspirational thing.” In many of the communities he researches, Hill said (refering to Jo Freeman's essay), participants reject any hint of formal structures or authority only to discover that “10 years later, there really are a lot of leaders and structures.” Because the leaders and structures arrived informally, he said, they are much harder to uproot.

“Tyranny” was a healthy reminder that Silicon Valley’s rhetoric of openness and meritocracy doesn’t match the reality. “I’ve felt that paranoid delusion myself,” Taylor wrote in her book about the internet, The People’s Platform
“How do you explain inequalities in a system where explicit discrimination doesn’t exist? 
How do you make sense of homogeneity when there’s no sign on the door excluding different types of people?”

Freeman takes the long view about her argument, seeing it as part of a permanent push-pull between structure and structurelessness. There may be particular reasons why Silicon Valley leaders have an aversion to outside authority and rules, but mainly she thinks they embody the excessive enthusiasm of any group who gains a foothold in a new field—whether in oil exploration or railroads or the internet—and decides they are uniquely fit to hold that powerful position. In the early days of the internet, she says, “it was highly inventive, it was highly spontaneous, but we’re past that. As long as you reject the idea that any organization is bad you are never going to have the discussion about the best organization for whatever it is you are trying to do.”

And while this rhetoric of personal empowerment has been great for Silicon Valley, for the rest of the world it has produced a deeply painful reality: greater disparity in wealth and power, fewer tools for reversing these conditions, and a false sense that we are personally to blame for our own difficult circumstances.



Excerpts from The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman

Formal and informal structures

Contrary to what we would like to believe, there is no such thing as a structureless group. Any group of people of whatever nature that comes together for any length of time for any purpose will inevitably structure itself in some fashion. The structure may be flexible; it may vary over time; it may evenly or unevenly distribute tasks, power and resources over the members of the group. But it will be formed regardless of the abilities, personalities, or intentions of the people involved. The very fact that we are individuals, with different talents, predispositions, and backgrounds makes this inevitable. Only if we refused to relate or interact on any basis whatsoever could we approximate structurelessness -- and that is not the nature of a human group.


The nature of elitism

"Elitist" is probably the most abused word in the women's liberation movement. It is used as frequently, and for the same reasons, as "pinko" was used in the fifties. It is rarely used correctly. Within the movement it commonly refers to individuals, though the personal characteristics and activities of those to whom it is directed may differ widely: An individual, as an individual can never be an elitist, because the only proper application of the term "elite" is to groups. Any individual, regardless of how well-known that person may be, can never be an elite.


Political impotence

Unstructured groups may be very effective in getting women to talk about their lives; they aren't very good for getting things done. It is when people get tired of "just talking" and want to do something more that the groups flounder, unless they change the nature of their operation. Occasionally, the developed informal structure of the group coincides with an available need that the group can fill in such a way as to give the appearance that an Unstructured group "works." That is, the group has fortuitously developed precisely the kind of structure best suited for engaging in a particular project.

There are almost inevitably four conditions found in such a group;
1) It is task oriented. Its function is very narrow and very specific, like putting on a conference or putting out a newspaper.
2) It is relatively small and homogeneous. Homogeneity is necessary to insure that participants have a "common language" for interaction.
3) There is a high degree of communication. Information must be passed on to everyone, opinions checked, work divided up, and participation assured in the relevant decisions. This is only possible if the group is small and people practically live together for the most crucial phases of the task.
4) There is a low degree of skill specialization. Not everyone has to be able to do everything, but everything must be able to be done by more than one person. Thus no one is indispensable.


Principles of democratic structuring

1) Delegation of specific authority to specific individuals for specific tasks by democratic procedures.
2) Requiring all those to whom authority has been delegated to be responsible to those who selected them.
3) Distribution of authority among as many people as is reasonably possible.
4) Rotation of tasks among individuals.
5) Allocation of tasks along rational criteria.
6) Diffusion of information to everyone as frequently as possible. Information is power. Access to information enhances one's power.
7) Equal access to resources needed by the group. A member who maintains a monopoly over a needed resource (like a printing press owned by a husband, or a darkroom) can unduly influence the use of that resource. Skills and information are also resources.

miércoles, 14 de noviembre de 2018

19 Strategies To Drive Innovation in your Corporation (@CBInsights)

 Hilarious
A Guide To Corporate Innovation - CB Insights Research

Here they are, 19 strategies to make your corporation look more innovative:
1. Do the Silicon Valley petting zoo thing 
2. Launch an accelerator 
3. Have a brainstorming meeting that uses lots of Post-It Notes 
4. Take someone who has plateaued in their career and give them “innovation” 
5. Start a corporate VC 
6. Talk about bringing learnings from the outside in 
7. Don’t give metrics to innovation / growth-focused teams 
8. Have multiple groups with similar but different enough mandates 
9. Invest in VCs as an LP to “access innovation” 
10. Expect returns within 12 months
11. Invent new senior titles 
12. Move to an open floor plan 
13. Start talking like how you think startups talk 
14. Hire a huge management consulting firm 
15. Hire some Xooglers 
16. Have rooms that are painted with whiteboard paint 
17. Hire a chef and offer free meals 
18. Spend lots of time defining your stage-gate process
19. Adopt a casual dress code

martes, 13 de noviembre de 2018