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Wayne Radinsky
17,825 followers -
Software Design Engineer
Software Design Engineer

17,825 followers
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Larry Summers responds to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's comments on the impact of AI on the job market. Basically he said AI has no effect on the job market and won't for half a century. Summers responded, "I do not understand how anyone could reach the conclusion that all the action with technology is half a century away. Artificial intelligence is behind autonomous vehicles that will affect millions of jobs driving and dealing with cars within the next 15 years, even on conservative projections. Artificial intelligence is transforming everything from retailing to banking to the provision of medical care. Almost every economist who has studied the question believes that technology has had a greater impact on the wage structure and on employment than international trade and certainly a far greater impact than whatever increment to trade is the result of much debated trade agreements."

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Using AI for conservation prompts elucidation of the meaning of conservation. "Exploring hypothetical futures tell us a lot about the concerns of the present. That's science-fiction in a nutshell. Ex Machina, System Shock, and Neuromancer aren't how-to manuals; in their visions of robotic rebellion, they reflect our fears about our own fallibilities. So what happens when we speculate about AI going green instead of going rogue? That tells us something about how the ethical questions that pervade modern conservation, about how we see our role in protecting our remaining wilderness, and about what 'wild' even means."

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Gianluca Mauro reverse-engineered a $500M artificial intelligence company in one week. Well, more accurately, he made a system to take power usage data and classify the users into 6 categories. For example, a restaurant has 3 energy usage peaks, one for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while retail stores or hospitals have energy profiles that look different. A company called Opower did a similar analysis in 2007 and used it to design targeted marketing campaigns, and was acquired by Oracle for $532 million.

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TensorFlow as a distributed virtual machine. "The computation graph, specified with protocol buffers, is much higher level than Java virtual machine (JVM) bytecode. But I think it's interesting to think of the TensorFlow distributed runtime as a sort of virtual machine. This is not a whole system virtual machine, but a process virtual machine, like the JVM, to 'execute computer programs in a platform-independent environment.' The Python API can be like a domain-specific language for programming the TensorFlow graph."

"Unlike the JVM, and unlike any other system I know, TensorFlow lets you directly put computation on multiple machines, pretty much however you want, and then it quietly handles all the details for you. Wherever it needs to, TensorFlow adds send and receive nodes to allow the graph to be executed as specified."

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Tencent, best known for WeChat, China's top messaging app, has an AI lab with 50 people and just poached Tong Zhang, head of Baidu's Big Data Lab, from Baidu.

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Tencent, best known for WeChat, China's top messaging app, has an AI lab with 50 people and just poached Tong Zhang, head of Baidu's Big Data Lab, from Baidu.

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"Psychologists enlist machine learning to help diagnose depression." They're using an old classification algorithm called support vector machines. What's perhaps new and interesting is that they're doing it on brain scans from diffusion tensor imaging, a type of MRI scan that locates white matter pathways. The article does not say which brain regions are implicated in depression, and suggests that that would be misguided because because the way depression is represented in the brain is much more complex than just one or a few areas.

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Elon Musk started a "neural lace" company called Neurallink, it will initially target medical uses to do with brain diseases such as epilepsy, it's funded entirely by Musk, and has hired some experts in neural probes and brain physiology.

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A new device for recording brain activity in high resolution while maintaining an excellent signal to noise ratio has been developed based on graphene field-effect transistors. "Graphene's biocompatibility, chemical stability and flexibility -- alongside its excellent electrical properties -- make it attractive for use in medical devices." "Mechanical compliance is an important requirement for safe neural probes and interfaces. Currently, the focus is on ultra-soft materials that can adapt conformally to the brain surface."

"Neural activity is detected through the electric fields generated when neurons fire. These fields are highly localised, so having ultra-small measuring devices that can be densely packed is important for accurate brain readings. The graphene-based probes are competitive with state-of-the-art platinum electrode arrays and have the benefits of intrinsic signal amplification and a better signal-to-noise performance when scaled down to very small sizes."

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Uber put its self-driving cars back on the road three days after one of its cars was involved in a crash in Tempe, Arizona. "Detective Lily Duran of the Tempe Police Department said the Uber vehicle was not at fault in the collision. Photos and a video posted on Twitter by Fresco News showed a Volvo SUV flipped on its side after an apparent collision involving two other, slightly damaged cars. Uber said the images appeared to be from the Tempe crash scene."
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