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Gideon Rosenblatt
Works at The Vital Edge
Attended Wharton School
Lives in Seattle
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Gideon Rosenblatt

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Technology Doesn't Have to be Heartless

There are no shackles that bind technology to the cravings of the human ego. It may feel as though there are, but the truth is that our tools are a neutral extension of us that can hold any of our intentions. That gives us an enormous freedom for the future of technology.

#ego #technology

If we want technology that embraces our humanity, we need to start asking for it.
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Gideon Rosenblatt

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The Great Adventure of Knowing Ourselves

This is a wonderful talk by +Rupert Spira​ on the nature of Consciousness. For many of us, it may cause some creaking and groaning within the mind in order to perceive this understanding of reality.

I believe it's worth the effort.

If you listen very carefully, you will hear me clapping there in the audience at the Science and Non-duality Conference a few months ago. :)

#consciousness
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Wow! +Gideon Rosenblatt thank you!
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When you belong in the funny papers...
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+Gideon Rosenblatt
hehehehehehe very colourful!!! will sleep tonight giggling. ;))))
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Consciousness as Integrated Information

Not for everyone, but if you're into thinking about consciousness and wonder whether it might not just be a universal phenomenon, this paper is for you. ;)

For those uncomfortable with subscribing to a panpsychist theory, a possible way round the problem is to assign an attribute “potential consciousness” to matter at the most fundamental level. Then, the quantity of potential consciousness is simply the quantity of integrated intrinsic information. But only when there is a large amount of intrinsic integrated information with a sufficiently rich structure to be worthy of being compared to a typical healthy adult human waking conscious moment, should we say that the integrated information has “actual consciousness” associated with it. A line could thus be drawn somewhere between the potential consciousness of an isolated electron in a vacuum and the actual consciousness generated by my brain as I write this article. The problem with such a distinction however is that potential consciousness would still be assigned phenomenal content, so it is perhaps more elegant to just use a single term “consciousness” for the whole spectrum of integrated information.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3912322/

Thanks to +Darius Gabriel Black for introducing me to IIT.

#consciousness #panpsychism 
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Doesnt stand scientific or philosophical inquiry. Hence that a boigentic living organism is existing in the elements needed. Conscience is a term to describe awareness since empirically we only have a brain of vast complexity it operates the mind, heart and all organs. Once the brain is unable to function the organs shut down, there is no alt reality, unless we are tripping our brains out in numerous ways one is belief.. hence we are unable to live anywhere else besides earth. Puesdo science nonsense is not science its not provable. Its likewise a universalists view and an y amount of proof will always just be subjective, since humans experience different things in their brains depending on their environments and social circumstances. Doesn't stand to scrutiny just another theory, unlike gravity and evolution its not a fact. I'll wait for that day. 
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Gideon Rosenblatt

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+Medium is having problems with its business model, so they are re-focusing. On this:

We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention. We believe there are millions of thinking people who want to deepen their understanding of the world and are dissatisfied with what they get from traditional news and their social feeds. We believe that a better system — one that serves people — is possible. In fact, it’s imperative.

So, we are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want to get smarter about the world every day.

I really wish them success; especially in a world of #fakefakenews

Details here: https://blog.medium.com/renewing-mediums-focus-98f374a960be#.2wwyh815k
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+Gideon Rosenblatt What I found most useful from that was the daily time-use survey -- 47 and 43 minutes daily for men and women respectively on all reading and computer use. From which all textually-obtained news information is drawn. Given about 3.4 minutes per article (time-on-site for a typical online news site, from other data), this corresponds strongly with what I've been saying for a while to +Yonatan Zunger: that the "news stack" awareness is on the order of ten items per day, or fewer. Possibly a few more headlines seen, but no in-depth story awareness.

I've been focusing far more on the social impacts of changing media types, a field in which there's surprisingly little work. Elizabeth Eisenstein's 1979 The Printing Press as an Agent of Change pretty much sets the field off, though if you look at the field of media studies and its precursors (MacCay's Madness of Crowds, Bernays, Goebbels, MacLuhan, Chomsky, Jerry Mander, Niel Postman, Clay Shirky, danah boyd), there is some good material. Plato and Aristotle with their logic, grammar, and rhetoric as well.

Thanks again.
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A beautiful jewel floating in the dark, with its reflection.


A composite of two separate images, taken Nov. 20 by a high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, was released Friday.
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Super jewel 
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Compensating User-Contributed Data in Machine Learning

We've learned that complex machine learning requires lots of processing power (jet engine) and lots of data (jet fuel). So it's no surprise that the big winners are those companies like Facebook, Google, Uber and others that sit atop massive systems for gathering user feedback.

In this piece, +Alvis Brigis asks whether there is an economic model for compensating end users who contribute to that learning. A couple years back, I spent some time trying to model what that might look like using data from Tsu (remember them??). Color me a bit skeptical. What I learned was that without some mechanisms for concentrating that income (which is what Tsu did through its affiliate system), it's really hard to generate meaningful income for an individual user.

All that said, perhaps if there is enough income coming in from all the different companies benefiting from our work to train these systems, it will serve as at least a meaningful part of the new income-generating solutions (including Basic Income) for generating non-wage income.

HT +Wayne Radinsky.
 
As AI replaces traditional jobs, it will create new jobs in the form of AI trainers, posits Alvis Brigis. "As the companies now trailblazing AI (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Tesla, Uber, etc) have generated more value through machine learning, they've realized that 1) machine learning can be applied to infinitely more domains/problems, 2) that more complex, creative problems require more human-in-the-loop intervention, and 3) that more value can be created by integrating the machine learning they've already done -- a cumulative effect, eg Google's recent breakthrough in translation, which ultimately required billions or trillions of human-in-the-loop (including you, if you ever used Google Translate) machine learning cycles to finally break through to another level of automatic functionality."

"As the Great AI Race heats up and more companies, countries and other actors come to realize the narrow and broader potential of human-in-the-loop machine learning, the demand for machine learning pros, machine learning guides and content workers will grow proportionately, driving up their share of the pie as they help to build more intelligent superstructures brick by brick."

"The amount of value shared with users will depend on the size of the pie. With Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns in full effect, that pie is likely to grow MASSIVELY."

Ok, now that I have summarized the argument (hopefully fairly, but you can go read the whole post and judge for yourself), I'd like to tack on my own commentary. As a counterargument to this, I would posit that:

1) People paid to train AIs already exist; they are the people who work labeling training data on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Rather than repeat that post, I'll just link to it:

https://plus.google.com/+WayneRadinsky/posts/U6vktFsPYFC

But I will summarize the key point, which is that AI training jobs are crappy jobs. The pay is low, the work is dull, and, if you want to make enough money to actually live on, you have to sacrifice a sane sleeping schedule because you have to jump on the jobs fast enough otherwise other people will eat them all up before you have a chance to work on them.

2) It seems unlikely the number of these jobs is going to equal the number of jobs displaced. I realize in saying this that AI automates tasks, which are slices of "jobs", not whole jobs, so this is not a one-to-one correspondence. Even if it does, that situation is temporary, because

3) The endgame is for AI to be able to do everything the human brain can do, and if that's the case, then AI will be able to do all the crappy training jobs as well. (More precisely, the need for such jobs will and must cease to exist at some point.) I realize this is not imminent and probably won't happen in any of our lifetimes, so during our lifetimes we will experience a "transition period," and during that period, the number of AI training jobs will grow until it reaches some maximum at which point it will decline. So the question is whether the maximum is sufficient to generate enough paid jobs for billions of people.

4) To me, this argument seems to stem from the thinking that people who think technology destroys jobs are "Luddites" and are falling for the "Luddite fallacy", while in reality, while jobs are destroyed, other jobs are always created in some other part of the economy. (See also: lump of labor fallacy). There is evidence this time it's different. First, for as long as the data has been tracked, the proportions of GDP going to capital and labor have stayed within a narrow band, but starting in about 2005, it went out of that band, indicating that this time, it's different. This graph shows the labor share going out of its previous band around 2005:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/PRS85006173

Returns to capital is the inverse of this graph, just flip it upside down. Here's a related graph of corporate profits, showing corporate profits are higher than they've been since the World War II period, and there have even been recent years that exceeded the World War II period:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=cSh

(As an aside, anyone who thinks that cutting taxes on corporations will generate jobs is wrong -- corporations already have extremely high profits, and making them higher won't result in more hiring. Apple, to cite one example, is sitting on $237.6 billion in cash. Increasing that to $250 billion or $300 billion won't result in hiring -- if Apple wanted to hire people, they could hire thousands of people with the cash they have right now. But they aren't, and they won't.)

Finally, there's this famous graph showing the divergence of the productivity of the economy vs labor income.

https://thecurrentmoment.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/productivity-and-real-wages.jpg

As you can see, starting in the 80s -- actually the first hint was in the late 70s (!) -- productivity and income start to diverge. Labor gets less and less of the fruits of the productivity of the economy.

Applying this to our Mechanical Turk scenario, this suggests that the economic value created by Mechanical Turk workers will go to Google and Facebook shareholders, etc, and not to Mechanical Turk workers.
The Great AI hunger appears poised to quickly replace and then exceed the income flows it has been eliminating. If we follow the money, we can confidently expect millions, then billions of machine-learning support roles to em...
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+Gideon Rosenblatt I agree. The artists are more willing to invest energy than the consumers. It might just take too long to really start growing. The concept and idea behind I like a lot.
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Think of the seven days here more in the Biblical sense - i.e. as a day not necessarily translating into a strict, 24-hour period. I say this not because the technological change of a singularity would be slower, but because the human response to it would not move on the order of days pictured here.

Still, it's an interesting seven minute vision of AI awakening and the potential impact on humans.

HT +Wayne Radinsky
 
7 Days of AI. (From last year but I somehow didn't see until today.) This video in the style of a sci-fi film intro (using sci-fi film clips) shows how in 7 days, DeepMind will lead to fully automated luxury communism (and more).
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Awsome video Gideon thanks
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Knowledge is being replaced by knowing

A great article by +David Weinberger, disguised as a book review.
Here's the link: https://goo.gl/elwSEd

Here's the best quote in this piece:
The net is demonstrating the weakness of knowledge as finished, settled, and static content. It’s doing so by plunging us deeper into knowing.

But there's a lot of other gems to be found here:

The net is making clear how important “echo chambers” are to knowledge and even more so to understanding. If you care about molecular gastronomy and hear about a new technique, you’ll go to your favorite molecular gastronomy sites to learn more. If you’re a supporter of Net Neutrality and there’s a court ruling you don’t understand, you’ll go to a site that shares your values to get the explanation. If you are a feminist and a new pay equity law passes, you’re not going to go to a male supremacy site to find out what it means for you. Knowledge and culture depend on like-minded individuals joining together and iterating over tiny differences. This is how the net works. This is also how traditional knowing works. We did not like to acknowledge that. Now we can’t avoid it.
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Perhaps our chief epistemic avoidance mechanism was turning knowing into the production of a type of content — knowledge — that we convinced ourselves had to be independent of the knower in two senses.
First, we devised methodologies that try to keep the vagaries of the individual out of the process of creating knowledge. The scientific method works. Journalistic objectivity continues to be reevaluated...

Second, we physically separated knowledge from individuals by externalizing it (e.g., books). What started in Greece as a particular class of belief became a body of printed statements that could be called knowledge even if there was no one left to believe them. Obviously, this has been wildly successful for our species, but it also meant that the medium of externalization — paper — has shaped knowledge to fit its peculiarities.
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There’s tremendous value in consulting existing bodies of well-vetted beliefs, and, to their credit, teachers like Professor Lynch expose us to that value. But there is also value in the networking of knowledge in which ideas are linked in their differences. We can go wrong in those networks, but we can also go very right, achieving a new sense of how knowledge goes together even if it never fully coheres.

Much, much more too. It's worth the read.

Related: a talk I gave in Singapore last year that touches on these topics and our "containers of collective intelligence":
http://www.the-vital-edge.com/machine-based-collective-intellige/

#knowledge 
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I deeply appreciate your comments, +Peter Strempel, especially when it sounds like you've got other pressing matters. And yes, a post like this might have gotten much more commenting a few years ago, but I would trade 150 so-so comments for the sustenance of just two very thoughtful comments such as yours.

The picture you paint of human consciousness within the cosmos is most definitely true. I mean to say that it is literally true. All it takes is the ability to slip into that perspective and then you can see that we are an organ of universal consciousness, even if one may not subscribe to our being an organ of Universal Consciousness.

There is great beauty in this way of seeing the world, and I, like you believe that it transcends the strict limits of mechanistic descriptions. There is something more here and I am learning to set aside my earlier hesitations and call it "Soul." It is a far more complex topic than can be contained in a comment like this. What I would say, however, is that I believe we humans are a wonderful combination of "Heaven and Earth" - we grew out of great biological wisdom and yet we reach for the abstract knowledge of the stars. The schools of thinking that best describe for me that latter form of wisdom are those of the non-dualist teachers (Advaita) - though I admit to only just now beginning to dive into these rich teachings.

OK. That's it for now. Dinner is calling. Thanks again for the deep dive. 
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Asgardians Unite!

We are getting closer to understanding the biological origins of multicellular organisms. How cool is that?

Very.

Eukaryotic cells are generally much bigger than either bacteria or archaea. They also have larger genomes. They have internal compartments that act like our organs, each with its own special job. They have an internal skeleton that acts as a transport network for molecules. There’s this huge gulf of complexity that separates them from the other two domains. It’s a gulf that has only ever been crossed once in life’s history. Bacteria and archaea are capable of amazing feats of evolution, but in over 3.7 billion years of existence, none of them have ever evolved into anything approaching a eukaryote-like cell—except that one time.

Thanks +John Hagel
 
Have we discovered the microbes that we've evolved from? We're getting closer as the evidence mounts . . . 
A group of newly discovered microbes, named after Norse gods, may belong to the lineage from which we evolved.
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Asgardians Unite!

We are getting closer Cùng giúp nhau bạn nhé 
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Fixing Web Publishing

Yeah, it's pretty broken right now. We have an ecosystem that isn't that healthy, where most of the profits from online publishing are increasingly concentrated into the hands of the platform owners. Is there a way to resuscitate the golden days of web publishing? Given what we have today, how do we fix this mess? +John Battelle asks some important questions.

HT +Teodora Petkova over on +Medium

#publishing
Let’s discuss the rather sorry state of Internet publishing.
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Brovo. Thanks for sharing, +Gideon Rosenblatt
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The sad, sad story of how the CEO of Sears is killing this American institution. 
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Good riddance... And take jcp bealls Kmart true value and all the rest with you. Radio shack on the way out too. Time for a nature cleanse 
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Gideon's Collections
Work
Occupation
I write about the future of the human experience in an era of machine intelligence.
Employment
  • The Vital Edge
    Writer, 2013 - present
    The future of the human experience.
  • Alchemy of Change
    Writer, 2010 - 2012
  • Groundwire.org
    Executive Director, 2001 - 2010
    Mission-driven technology.
  • Microsoft
    Product Unit Manager, 1991 - 2001
  • US China Business Council
    1985 - 1989
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Seattle
Previously
Beijing - Tokyo - Philadelphia - Washington, DC - Salt Lake City
Story
Tagline
Grounding Machines in Humanity
Introduction
I'm a writer with a background in technology, business and social change. 

Most of my writing these days is at The Vital Edge, where I explore how technology affects organizations and the way people work. I am particularly interested in artificial intelligence, automation and networks and what they hold for the future of humanity. 

I believe in the human soul, and I believe it deserves a place in our understanding of organizations and technology. I have no interest in pushing religion or any particular spiritual point of view, but I do believe in exploring technology and human organization on a deeper level than is typical for these topics today. 

When it comes to my presence on Google+, most of my effort here is really aimed at connecting with people who are drawn to the questions I explore through my writing. I am active on Twitter (@gideonro) as well, and share content more frequently there, but my deepest online engagement is still here on Google+. 


My Story
For nine years, I ran Groundwire, a mission-driven technology consulting group, dedicated to building a more sustainable world. Groundwire specialized in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases, websites, social media communications, and engagement strategy as a way to help organizations mobilize people around sustainability causes.

Prior to Groundwire, I worked at Microsoft for ten years (back when it was cool), in various marketing, product development and management positions. While there, I developed CarPoint, one of the world's first large-scale e-commerce websites. I also marketed the world’s first digital encyclopedia and dictionary, and other innovative multimedia works.
 
I was raised in Utah, lived and worked in Japan and China for several years, and now live in Seattle with my wife, CJ, and two boys. Oh, and I am a proud board member of YES! Magazine.


#AI #automation #organization #technology #GoodBusiness #soul 
Education
  • Wharton School
    MBA, 1989 - 1991
  • Lewis and Clark College
    International Relations
Basic Information
Gender
Male