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Gideon Rosenblatt
51,619 followers -
Explorer of work and the human experience in an era of machine intelligence.
Explorer of work and the human experience in an era of machine intelligence.

51,619 followers
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A New Take

Those of you who know my writing might be forgiven for being confused about what it is that I focus on. Is it technology and AI or is it mission-driven, stakeholder-friendly organizations?

The answer is both. And I've now taken a short crack at how these two topics connect on the new "About" page for the Vital Edge.

This website features a seemingly incongruous combination of writings about the future of technology and the need for us to reform human organizations. The reason for this pairing is that I believe that today’s organizations are the seedbed from which the future of planetary intelligence now grows. It is my belief that our single greatest point of leverage for ensuring a positive future for humanity and the planet rests with the “code beneath the code” of today’s organizations.
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BlackRock CEO, Laurence Fink is taking the radical step of applying a social good filter to their investment selection processes:

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” he wrote in a draft of the letter that was shared with me. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Why, and why now? Because he perceives that governments are not adequately looking after the common good:

In a candid assessment of what’s happening in the business world — and perhaps taking a veiled shot at Washington at the same time — Mr. Fink wrote that he is seeing “many governments failing to prepare for the future, on issues ranging from retirement and infrastructure to automation and worker retraining.” He added, “As a result, society increasingly is turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges.”

Wow, I'm just not sure whether to be happy or sad about this. OK. I'm happy. It's good to see a company like this signaling that there is more than just the unrelenting quest for profits.

It will be very interesting to see how they actually assess social impact.

HT +Alex Steffen (over on Twitter)
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When Dreams May Come

This morning, I was wondering about some research done at UC Berkeley several years ago that recorded brain signals from research participants as they watched movies. The researchers then used algorithmic techniques to reconstruct the internal imagery.

What I was wondering was whether the technique could be used to capture dream imagery. Film director Wim Wenders' wonderful 1991 movie, Until the End of the World, explores this idea. Here's what the researchers said about this possibility:

Neuroscientists generally assume that all mental processes have a concrete neurobiological basis. Under this assumption, as long as we have good measurements of brain activity and good computational models of the brain, it should be possible in principle to decode the visual content of mental processes like dreams, memory, and imagery. The computational encoding models in our study provide a functional account of brain activity evoked by natural movies. It is currently unknown whether processes like dreaming and imagination are realized in the brain in a way that is functionally similar to perception. If they are, then it should be possible to use the techniques developed in this paper to decode brain activity during dreaming or imagination.

More:
http://gallantlab.org/index.php/publications/nishimoto-et-al-2011/

#BrainComputerInterface #Dreams



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“These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system,” said Mr Amin.

#energy #sustainabilty
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My wife is in Hawaii right now. I had my phone notifications off and she was sending me farewell messages, just in case. It's heartbreaking to read them.

Trump's and Kim's shared lunacy are moving us to the brink and putting us all on edge in the process.
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Nice summary of recent breakthroughs in technology for ecological protection.
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Understanding the Chasm in Assessing the Risks of AI

This is a really thoughtful overview of three categories of criticism against Nick Bostrom's long-term concerns over the possibility of Artificial Super Intelligence. They are framed in terms of misconceptions over what Bostrom is arguing, and include:

1- Worrying about AGI means worrying about narrow AI
2 - Worrying about AGI means being confident it’s near
3 - Worrying about AGI means worrying about “malevolent” AI

"Until we have a better grasp on the problem’s nature, it will be premature to speculate about how far off a solution is, what shape the solution will take, or what corner that solution will come from. My hope is that improving how well parties in this discussion understand each other’s positions will make it easier for computer scientists with different expectations about the future to collaborate on the highest-priority challenges surrounding prospective AI designs."
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Facebook is adjusting its News Feed algorithm to greater prioritize posts from family and friends. The company will absorb the hit to advertising revenue as an investment in longer-term user satisfaction - and possibly as part of their penance for their role in fake news problems in the 2016 election.
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Automating machine learning system design.

“I think the world has an opportunity to focus more on the meaning of things and not on the laborious tasks of just fitting a model and finding the best features to make that model.”
The prospect of artificially intelligent machines creating other artificially intelligent machines took a big step forward in 2017 - AI uses supercomputer to create deep neural nets in less than a day
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Amazing stories of dolphin intelligence. Intelligence is so much bigger than we assume.
"All the dolphins at the institute are trained to hold onto any litter that falls into their pools until they see a trainer, when they can trade the litter for fish. In this way, the dolphins help to keep their pools clean. Kelly has taken this task one step further. When people drop paper into the water she hides it under a rock at the bottom of the pool. The next time a trainer passes, she goes down to the rock and tears off a piece of paper to give to the trainer. After a fish reward, she goes back down, tears off another piece of paper, gets another fish, and so on."
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"One day, when a gull flew into her pool, she grabbed it, waited for the trainers and then gave it to them. It was a large bird and so the trainers gave her lots of fish. This seemed to give Kelly a new idea. The next time she was fed, instead of eating the last fish, she took it to the bottom of the pool and hid it under the rock where she had been hiding the paper. When no trainers were present, she brought the fish to the surface and used it to lure the gulls, which she would catch to get even more fish. After mastering this lucrative strategy, she taught her calf, who taught other calves, and so gull-baiting has become a hot game among the dolphins."
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