China’s rising star in AI

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Nice article in the Economist about China’s rising star in AI. A few points that caught my eye:

  • China has ~40% of the world’s trained AI scientists.
  • China has a leg up on data: It has more internet users (~700M) than any other country.

Worth a read.

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TensorFlow on fire

A snippet from an article in MIT’s tech review magazine on Google’s efforts to beat AWS and Azure via its ML prowess caught my eye

At the University of Toronto, an AI center that has schooled many of today’s leading researchers, lecturer Michael Guerzhoy teaches TensorFlow in the university’s massively oversubscribed introductory machine-learning course

Steve Ballmer was right. It’s all about the (next generation of) developers.

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A cool (dumb) phone for smartphone addicts

light phoneFor those who are constantly addicted to their smartphones help may be on the way in the shape of a $150 “dumb phone” from Light. The phone itself looks super cool and is designed to be minimalist: just calls, no texts, no tethering, no wifi, under 40 g, 3 day battery standby. The price includes 5 months of service (@ $5/month) built in. Who knows, this may even allow humans to speak to each other again.

It’s true. Everybody lies.

everybody liesThat the world is awash is data is nothing new. That companies like Google and Facebook know more about us is also of course well known. But now someone with access to that data has published a book  (Everybody Lies) on what our searches really tell us about who we are and what we like. The answers are not pretty. Far from the Facebook pretense that many put on, our searches on Google and other sites are far more revealing than we would imagine. The book has examples on sex, hate and prejudice, careers, betting etc.

My key takeaway for enterprises would be to double down and weight more heavily the “digital trails” of what your customers do, rather than what they just say / buy.

Worth a quick read.

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Funny: Open floor plans

Another funny one from the New Yorker. I’m surprised the guys at WeWork haven’t capitalized on this yet.

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Nice talk on blockchains vs. databases

I always find it refreshing when someone does a good job at cutting through the smoke and getting to the essence of the issue. Gideon Greenspan (CEO of Multichain), does a great job in doing just that in this video explaining the essential difference between a database and Blockchain. If you like this, you may also want to check out some of their posts on their blog.

Drones ≠ Delivery

Interesting long piece in the Economist about drones from last week.

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Key points that were interesting for me:

  • Commercial drones are taking off faster than military ones (see chart)
  • The US armed forces have about 11k drones, dramatically up from a few in 2001
  • Most of the interesting uses are not in delivery (despite all the hype in the popular press), but rather in imaging
  • The future of drones may be “multi modal” – i.e. drones that operate on the ground and fly rather than just do one thing

And if you are bored reading about this and want to watch some fun drone tricks, try this TED talk from a few years ago. It’s cool to watch.