Monday, October 24, 2016

AI used for "computational propaganda" and scaleable crime

John Markoff has some troubling insights about the potential for AI, via chatbots to manipulate us humans. This could be used for political purposes, business and criminal enterprises. 

Here's a key paragraph:
In a recent research paperPhilip N. Howard, a sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Bence Kollanyi, a researcher at Corvinus University of Budapest, described how political chatbots had a “small but strategic role” in shaping the online conversation during the run-up to the “Brexit” referendum.
We should expect the technology soon to be turbocharged with voice recognition and speech synthesis. 
“The thing people don’t get is that cybercrime is becoming automated and it is scaling exponentially,” said Marc Goodman, a law enforcement agency adviser 
Meanwhile, the white hats are trying to improve our defenses in order to keep up with the AI arms race. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Two New Reports on AI and Society

Two new reports on artificial intelligence and its effects on society came out early this month.

1. The White House Report on Preparing of the Future of AI:

2. The inaugural Report of the 100 Year Study on AI

The are each full of sensible insights and recommendations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Video on AI and the future of jobs: Humans Need Not Apply

Deb Olsson shares the video below. While it may be viewed as somewhat pessimistic about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on jobs in the future, it contains many good points.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Congrats to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom on the Nobel Prize

Congratulations to my friends and advisors Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom on winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Oliver was on my PhD thesis committee back when he taught at MIT and helped me understand the Theory of the Firm. I used his work a lot in this paper of mine "Information Assets, Technology and Organization" but my biggest contribution to economic science might be the small bit of feedback I gave Oliver on his paper "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm".

Bengt is colleague at MIT and we share common interests on how information affects economic organization. I remember getting advice from him when I was working on my thesis and Bengt was a professor at Yale.

It seems like Nobel Prize winners are disproportionately very nice people. Oliver and Bengt certainly fit that mold.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Amazon Prime benefits keep growing

Amazon has just added free books to it's Prime offering. For more info, check out this article shared by Dennis Schwedhelm.

A summary of Google's strategies

Jacob Loewenstein shared this article with us summarizing some of Google's most recent announcements. It's particularly interesting how they describe Google as competing directly with Apple, Amazon, Samsung and others.

Another article sent in by Christian Umbach takes a somewhat more pessimistic view on Google's strategy that points out some of the upcoming challenges they face.

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Blurring Lines Between the Tech Titans

The tech titans are all getting into each others' core businesses.
Here's the latest example: Facebook launches "marketplace"

Facebook launches Marketplace, a friendlier Craigslist