29 results back to index

pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

Hiltzik, “23andMe’s Genetic Tests Are More Misleading Than Helpful,” Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2013, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20131215,0,1359952.column. 57. K. Hill, “The FDA Just Ruined Your Plans to Buy 23andMe’s DNA Test as a Christmas Present,” Forbes, November 25, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/11/25/fda-23andme/. 58. L. Kish, “The Social Conquest of Medicine: The 23andMe and Conflict,” HL7 Standards, January 7, 2014, http://www.hl7standards.com/blog/2014/01/07/23andme/. 59. J. Kiss, “23andMe Admits FDA Order ‘Significantly Slowed Up’ New Customers,” The Guardian, March 9, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/09/google-23andme-anne-wojcicki-genetics-healthcare-dna/print. 60. A. Krol, “Show, Don’t Tell: 23andMe Pursues Health Research in the Shadow of the FDA,” Bio-IT World, March 24, 2014, http://www.bio-itworld.com/2014/3/24/show-dont-tell-23andme-pursues-health-research-shadow-fda.html. 61.

Kroll, “Why The FDA Can’t Be Flexible With 23andMe,” Forbes, November 28, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2013/11/28/why-the-fda-cant-be-flexible-with-23andme-by-law/. 62. P. Loftus, “23andMe Stops Genetic Test Marketing,” Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304579404579234503409624522. 63. P. Loftus, “Genetic Test Service 23andMe Ordered to Halt Marketing by FDA,” Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2013: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304281004579219893863966448. 64. P. Loftus and R. Winslow, “23andMe CEO Responds to FDA Warning Letter,” Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303332904579224093983156448. 65. G. Lyon, “Stopping 23andMe Will Only Delay the Revolution Medicine Needs,” The Conversation, November 25, 2013, http://theconversation.com/stopping-23andme-will-only-delay-the-revolution-medicine-needs-20743. 66.

The FDA is demanding sole right to steer the car. Beyond paternalism, the FDA-vs.-23andMe flap brings out another critical and unresolved matter—validity of the genomic results. Validity can be divided into two categories—technical and clinical. As far as technical, the genotyping for 23andMe is done by state-of-the-art equipment in a clinical laboratory known as the National Genetics Institute, a wholly owned subsidiary of LabCorp. In a replication experiment of 23andMe data performed in 2010, of six hundred thousand genotypes there were only eighty-five that were errors—that is a rate of 0.01 percent,54 which is as good as any academic genomics research laboratory. So the question about the accuracy of the genotyping is pretty easy to put aside. Further, in February 2013, 23andMe scientists published, in a well-regarded, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, PeerJ, their results of the individuals who had tested positive for their BRCA tests, which are quite limited to the three mutations prevalent in Ashkenazi Jews.80 There are hundreds of mutations in the BRCA1|2 genes that may be associated with cancer—23andMe only tests for a few of the common ones via what is known as array genotyping, not sequencing.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, connected car, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, disintermediation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, distributed ledger, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fiat currency, future of work, global supply chain, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, social graph, software as a service, special economic zone, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technoutopianism, underbanked, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, young professional

It was through a 23andMe test that Brin learned he had a genetic mutation that increased his risk of getting Parkinson’s to somewhere between 30 and 75 percent, compared to the broader population’s risk of 1 percent. Since then, he drinks green tea and exercises a lot, two activities linked with reducing the risk of Parkinson’s. But while it worked for Brin, 23andMe’s version of sequencing is a much simpler version of what Lukas Wartman underwent. Wartman had both his cancer and his full genome sequenced. The difference here is important. Whereas the full sequencing of a tumor is intensive and extensive, and even more so to have an entire genome sequenced, 23andMe is neither. It’s a much smaller analysis of some genes that have been linked to common diseases. Wojcicki’s 23andMe is just one company offering do-it-yourself genomic tests, but all of them have faced criticism, specifically around their wildly variable genetic feedback.

Though Diaz dismisses 23andMe as “a gimmick” due to its limitations, the company has developed a valuable asset in the form of the genetic material from its 900,000 customers, and it has pivoted its business model in a way that may ultimately produce both commercial and scientific victories. Through a partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, 23andMe built what they called the Parkinson’s Research Community with genetic material from more than 12,000 Parkinson’s patients. This quantity of data is valuable to pharmaceutical companies developing precision medications and led to a $60 million deal for 23andMe with Genentech. As people continue to pay $99 to 23andMe for ancestor information, they will be building a database that 23andMe can commercialize for drugmakers. Another set of concerns about the rise of medicines rooted in our genetics comes from people who worry that the development of next-generation drugs arising from genomics will reduce people’s focus on diet, environment, and lifestyle, which also damage DNA and cause cancer.

Founded by Anne Wojcicki: Katie Hafner, “Silicon Valley Wide-Eyed over a Bride,” New York Times, May 29, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/29/technology/29google.html. the company provides ancestry-related: “How It Works,” 23andMe, https://www.23andme.com/howitworks/. It’s not a full sequencing: “About the 23andMe Personal Genome Service,” 23andMe, https://customercare.23andme.com/entries/22591668. Since then, he drinks green tea: Elizabeth Murphy, “Do You Want to Know What Will Kill You?” Salon, October 25, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/10/25/inside_23andme_founder_anne_wojcickis_99_dna_revolution_newscred/. all of them have faced: Kira Peikoff, “I Had My DNA Picture Taken, with Varying Results,” New York Times, December 30, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/science/i-had-my-dna-picture-taken-with-varying-results.html?src=recg. In late 2013, it demanded: Chris O’Brien, “23andMe Suspends Health-Related Genetic Tests after FDA Warning,” Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/06/business/la-fi-tn-23andme-suspends-tests-fda-20131205.


pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

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23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

Through Google, Larry Page has given over $250,000 to Singularity University and has said that if he were a student, SU is where he’d want to be.67 Interestingly, his wife, Lucy Southworth, is a biologist who has written papers on aging issues, including one titled “Effects of Aging on Mouse Transcriptional Networks,” coauthored with Stanford’s Dr. Stuart K. Kim, who is a well-known aging expert and one of Larry Ellison’s award recipients.68 Sergey Brin is spreading the meme in a more personal way. 23andMe is a genomics company that was cofounded by Brin’s biologist wife, Anne Wojcicki, and has gone a long way toward popularizing the idea of personalized medicine. “Spit parties” are one of the cute marketing techniques the company uses to get the public interested in thinking about their DNA and how it might be fixed to cure disease. One high-profile party took place during New York City’s Fashion Week. Company staffers recounted the event on their blog, saying, “23andMe managed to lure a few hundred people away from the catwalks Tuesday night to consider the beauty that lies within—DNA. Our Fashion Week spit party was sort of like a Tupperware party, except instead of buying plastic containers the guests were invited to deposit a saliva sample into one.

Kim, “Effects of Aging on Mouse Transcriptional Networks,” NLM Informatics Training Conference 2007, Stanford University, Stanford, California, June 26–27, 2007, www.nlm.nih.gov/ep/trainingconf2007agenda.html#22. 69 Matt C, “23andMe Struts Its Stuff in NYC During Fashion Week,” The Spittoon, September 11, 2008, http://spittoon.23andme.com/2008/09/11/23andme-struts-its-stuff-in-nyc-during-fashion-week/. 70 Andrew Pollack, “Google Co-founder Backs Vast Parkinson’s Study,” New York Times, March 11, 2009, www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/business/12gene.html?_r=1. 71 Leena Rao, “While 23andMe Raises $11 Million, Mohr Davidow Sells Stake to Invest in Rival,” TechCrunch, May 4, 2009, http://techcrunch.com/2009/05/04/while-23 andme-raises-11-million-mohr-davidow-sells-stake-to -invest-in-rival/. 72 Thomas Goetz, “Sergey Brin’s Search for a Parkinson’s Cure,” Wired, June 22, 2010, www.wired.com/magazine/2010/06/ff_sergeys_search/. 73 Ibid. 74 Interview with Mike Kope, November 11, 2010. 75 Allen Institute, “Paul G.

“Biotech has gone exponential, like Moore’s law,” notes Andrew Hessel, a well-known synthetic biologist and cofounder of the Pink Army Cooperative, the world’s first cooperative biotechnology company. 45 At the time of the writing of this book, advances in biotech were moving faster than Moore’s law, according to which the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. While the first Human Genome Project cost roughly $2.7 billion and Craig Venter spent about $70 million to sequence his own genome, by 2009 it was possible to get a genome sequenced for $5,000 and the $1,000 genome (or less) is in sight. Indeed, a partial DNA scan can already be had for only $199 at consumer genomics companies like 23andMe, and that company is using its data sets to attempt to link certain diseases to specific genes, important work on the way toward individually tailored pharmaceuticals and cures.46 Given the speed at which prices for new technology are shooting downward, particularly in biotechnology, the time horizon between longevity technology adoption by the rich and then by the poor within developed countries will probably shrink enough that few will consider taking up arms or unduly involving the state in repairing their bodies.


pages: 271 words: 52,814

Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy by Melanie Swan

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23andMe, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, banking crisis, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, capital controls, cellular automata, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative editing, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, friendly AI, Hernando de Soto, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, microbiome, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, post scarcity, prediction markets, ride hailing / ride sharing, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, software as a service, technological singularity, Turing complete, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WikiLeaks

New England Journal of Medicine 361 (July 16, 2009):245–54. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0809578 and discussed in further detail at http://www.genomes2people.org/director/. 141 Regalado, A. “The FDA Ordered 23andMe to Stop Selling Its Health Tests. But for the Intrepid, Genome Knowledge Is Still Available.” MIT Technology Review, October 19, 2014. http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/531461/how-a-wiki-is-keeping-direct-to-consumer-genetics-alive/. 142 DeCODEme. “Sales of Genetic Scans Direct to Consumer Through deCODEme Have Been Discontinued! Existing Customers Can Access Their Results Here Until January 1st 2015.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeCODE_genetics. 143 Castillo, M. “23andMe to Only Provide Ancestry, Raw Genetics Data During FDA Review.” CBS News, December 6, 2013. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/23andme-to-still-provide-ancestry-raw-genetics-data-during-fda-review/. 144 Swan, M.

., exercise and vitamin consumption) as a result.140 Other news accounts continue to chronicle how individuals are seeking their own genomic data and finding it useful—for example, to learn about Alzheimer’s and heart disease risk.141 As a result of paternalistic purview, and no clear government policies for the preventive medicine era, US-based consumer genomics services have closed (deCODEme142), directed their services exclusively toward a physician-permissioning model (Pathway Genomics, Navigenics), or been forced to greatly curtail their consumer-targeted services (23andMe143). In response, blockchain-based genomic services could be an idea for providing low-cost genomic sequencing to individuals, making the data available via private key. One of the largest current transformational challenges in public health and medicine is moving from the current narrowband model of “having only been able to treat diagnosed pathologies” to a completely new data-rich era of preventive medicine for which the goal is maintaining, prolonging, and enhancing baseline health.144 Such a wellness era is now beginning to be possible through the use of personalized big data as predictive information about potential future conditions.

One example of this is DNA.bits, a startup that encodes patient DNA records to the blockchain, and makes them available to researchers by private key.151 However, it is not just that private health data research commons could be established with the blockchain, but also public health data commons. Blockchain technology could provide a model for establishing a cost-effective public-health data commons. Many individuals would like to contribute personal health data—like personal genomic data from 23andMe, quantified-self tracking device data (FitBit), and health and fitness app data (MapMyRun)—to data research commons, in varying levels of openness/privacy, but there has not been a venue for this. This data could be aggregated in a public-health commons (like Wikipedia for health) that is open to anyone, citizen scientists and institutional researchers alike, to perform data analysis. The hypothesis is that integrating big health data streams (genomics, lifestyle, medical history, etc.) and running machine learning and other algorithms over them might yield correlations and data relationships that could be helpful for wellness maintenance and preventive medicine.152 In general, health research could be conducted more effectively through the aggregation of personal health record data stored on the blockchain (meaning stored off-chain with pointers on-chain).


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

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23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

Nevertheless, personalized genome sequencing will help to usher in a new era in which medicine is increasingly tailored to an individual. Retail genomics Named after the fact that everyone has 23 pairs of chromosomes, 23andMe is a private Californian company that allows ordinary individuals to find out about and understand their personal genomics. The fact that the company is backed financially by Google might seem rather odd to some people, but if Google’s aim is to organize the world’s information, they will clearly need everyone’s DNA. Products available from 23andMe include ancestry testing and healthcare screening, especially with regard to how an individual’s genes might impact on their future health and healthcare costs. The Google-backed biotech company 23andMe was offering individuals gene sequencing for $999 in 2011. At the time of writing (June 2012) the cost had fallen to $299.

At the time of writing (June 2012) the cost had fallen to $299. A decade earlier this would have cost close to $10,000, while James Watson, the codiscoverer of DNA and one of the people behind the Human Genome Project, paid around $2 billion to work out how to make sequencing work. Interestingly, 23andMe plugs into the idea of crowd-sourcing data, too, by sending regular questionnaires to thousands of users asking about them about, for example, specific food allergies. When the responses to such surveys are matched against known genetic information they can potentially find the causes of certain traits in a matter of months rather than years and for minimal cost. Power to the patient What are the main outcomes of being able to access this type of information? For one thing, more accurate diagnosis of common conditions. It also opens the way for individuals to be prescribed certain drugs or to be warned against certain known risk factors or environments associated with particular conditions.

It’s challenging to identify more than links between biology and behavior because of the difficulty of separating them from environmental variables, such as drugs and alcohol or poor diet. Expect the controversy to develop rapidly alongside our knowledge of the workings of the human brain. the condensed idea Genetic prophesy timeline 1997 Release of the movie Gattaca about genetic enhancement 2008 Knome offers genome sequencing to individuals for $350,000 2009 Knome drops its price to $99,500 2012 23andMe offers gene sequencing for $299 2018 Cost falls to $49 via Walmart 2020 Hospitals and insurers offer free genome profiling 2030 Google dating based upon ideal DNA profiles 2050 DNA database creates human underclass 22 Regenerative medicine Is it possible to prevent or reverse the aging process, perhaps by fiddling with tired tissues and cells, or even growing new organs inside a laboratory?


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

Because DNA’s component parts love to snap together in predetermined ways, copies of my own genetic code would have latched on to these probes with varying degrees of connectedness, letting the company know which markers I possess and allowing them to suggest what these might mean for my health. Because our understanding of the interplay of our genes and environment is still evolving, 23andMe attaches confidence ratings to each finding (the higher the rating, the more secure they feel in their analysis). Because I have one genetic marker that a 2007 German study suggests is linked to Tourette’s syndrome, 23andMe let me know I might have an elevated chance of the condition, although they give this a confidence rating of one (out of four). In the two-star category there are potential elevated risks of ‘essential tremor,’ ‘Hashimoto’s thyroiditis’ and ‘Sjögren’s syndrome. The company gives a confidence rating of three to its analysis that I have higher-than-average risks of asthma, atopic dermatitis and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Another is emerging from Google founder Sergey Brin, who is funding a pattern-finding project to assist in the cure for Parkinson’s disease (which analysis of his DNA tells him he has a 30–75 per cent chance of developing). ‘Generally the pace of medical research is glacial compared to what I’m used to in the Internet,’ Brin says. ‘We could be looking lots of places and collecting lots of information. And if we see a pattern, that could lead somewhere.’ So he recruited a group of 10,000 Parkinson’s sufferers, had the company 23andMe (which is largely funded by Google) run their DNA, and set out to find links. It’s one of the many examples Kurzweil cites of information technology ‘invading one field after another.’ Sitting in front of Ray Kurzweil, I’m getting just what I came for. I’m becoming disenthralled from my inclination to think linear. We must understand the power of the exponential, he urges. If we don’t, progress will outrun us, and our personal decisions will be hopelessly out of step with an unfolding reality.

Just behind me is the spot where in 1795 the British Admiralty erected its optical telegraph station to pass signals down the line between coast and capital. Communications have come a long way since 1795. On my lap is a computer, battered and grubby from long hours on the road. Using my mobile phone as a wireless modem I am surfing the Internet. In particular I am looking at my ‘genetic profile’ having just logged on to the website of 23andMe, the Google-funded personal genomics company that Sergey Brin has been using for his Parkinson’s research. Several weeks ago, the company sent me a plastic tube, which I filled with saliva and returned to its laboratories. From this the company extracted cheek cells, out of which they stripped my DNA to be duplicated many times over. These synthetic copies of my DNA were then chopped up and applied to a ‘DNA chip,’ a glass slide with millions of DNA ‘probes’ on its surface.


pages: 304 words: 82,395

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Black Swan, book scanning, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, Erik Brynjolfsson, game design, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, obamacare, optical character recognition, PageRank, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Post-materialism, post-materialism, random walk, recommendation engine, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

As a result, a new industry of individual gene sequencing is cropping up. Since 2007 the Silicon Valley startup 23andMe has been analyzing people’s DNA for only a couple of hundred dollars. Its technique can reveal traits in people’s genetic codes that may make them more susceptible to certain diseases like breast cancer or heart problems. And by aggregating its customers’ DNA and health information, 23andMe hopes to learn new things that couldn’t be spotted otherwise. But there’s a hitch. The company sequences just a small portion of a person’s genetic code: places that are known to be markers indicating particular genetic weaknesses. Meanwhile, billions of base pairs of DNA remain unsequenced. Thus 23andMe can only answer questions about the markers it considers. Whenever a new marker is discovered, a person’s DNA (or more precisely, the relevant part of it) has to be sequenced again.

Working with a subset, rather than the whole, entails a tradeoff: the company can find what it is looking for faster and more cheaply, but it can’t answer questions that it didn’t consider in advance. Apple’s legendary chief executive Steve Jobs took a totally different approach in his fight against cancer. He became one of the first people in the world to have his entire DNA sequenced as well as that of his tumor. To do this, he paid a six-figure sum—many hundreds of times more than the price 23andMe charges. In return, he received not a sample, a mere set of markers, but a data file containing the entire genetic codes. In choosing medication for an average cancer patient, doctors have to hope that the patient’s DNA is sufficiently similar to that of patients who participated in the drug’s trials to work. However, Steve Jobs’s team of doctors could select therapies by how well they would work given his specific genetic makeup.

See measurement “quantified self” movement, [>] quantum physics, [>] rabies vaccine: Pasteur and, [>]–[>] randomness: needed in statistical sampling, [>]–[>] real estate: regulation of illegal conversions, [>]–[>] reality mining, [>]–[>] record-keeping: in the ancient world, [>]–[>] Reuters, [>] Rigobon, Roberto, [>] Roadnet Technologies, [>] Rolls-Royce, [>] Roman numerals, [>]–[>] Rudin, Cynthia, [>], [>] Rudin, Ken, [>] sabermetrics, [>] Saddam Hussein: trial of, [>] Salathé, Marcel, [>]–[>] sales data: analysis of, [>], [>], [>], [>] Salesforce.com, [>] sampling, statistical: big data replaces, [>]–[>], [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>] exactitude necessary in, [>], [>]–[>] Graunt and, [>] limitations inherent in, [>]–[>], [>], [>] Neyman on, [>] in quality control, [>] randomness needed in, [>]–[>] scale in, [>] Silver on, [>] scale: in data, [>]–[>] imprecision and, [>], [>], [>], [>], [>] qualitative functions of, [>], [>]–[>], [>], [>]–[>], [>]–[>] in statistical sampling, [>] scientific method: vs. correlation analysis, [>]–[>] Scott, James: Seeing Like a State, [>] search engines: and mathematical models, [>]–[>] search terms: analysis and reuse of, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>], [>] Seeing Like a State (Scott), [>] Sense Networks, [>], [>] sentiment analysis, [>], [>]–[>], [>] Silver, Nate: on statistical sampling, [>] Skyhook, [>] Sloan Digital Sky Survey, [>] Smith, Adam, [>] social media: datafication by, [>]–[>] social networking analysis: Huberman and, [>] social sciences: data-gathering in, [>], [>] Society for American Baseball Research, [>] speech-recognition: at Google, [>]–[>] spell-checking systems: and data-reuse, [>]–[>] sports: predictive analytics in, [>]–[>], [>] Stasi, [>], [>], [>] statisticians: demand for, [>], [>] statistics: military use of, [>] stock market investment: datafication in, [>]–[>] subprime mortgage scandal (2009): correlation analysis and, [>] sumo wrestling: corruption in, [>]–[>], [>] Sunlight Foundation, [>] Super Crunchers (Ayres), [>] surveillance: by government, [>]–[>], [>]–[>] SWIFT: data-reuse by, [>] tagging: vs. categorization, [>]–[>] Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, [>] Target: predictive analytics by, [>]–[>] Telefonica Digital Insights, [>] Teradata, [>], [>], [>] terrorism: predictive analytics and, [>], [>]–[>], [>] text: correlation analysis of, [>]–[>] datafication of, [>], [>] The-Numbers.com: predicts Hollywood film profitability, [>]–[>] Thomson Reuters, [>] traffic-pattern analysis: by Inrix, [>]–[>], [>] translation, language, [>] Google and, [>]–[>], [>], [>], [>] IBM and, [>]–[>], [>] Microsoft and, [>] transparency: of algorithms, [>] truth: data as, [>], [>] imprecision and, [>] 23andMe, [>] Twitter, [>], [>], [>]–[>], [>] as big-data company, [>], [>]–[>] data processing by, [>] datafication by, [>]–[>] message analysis by, [>] Udacity, [>] Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) system, [>] universe: information as basis of, [>]–[>] “Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data, The” (Norvig), [>] UPS: predictive analytics by, [>] uses geospatial location data, [>]–[>] UPS Logistics Technologies, [>] U.S.


pages: 317 words: 84,400

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner

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23andMe, Ada Lovelace, airport security, Al Roth, algorithmic trading, backtesting, big-box store, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, dumpster diving, Flash crash, Gödel, Escher, Bach, High speed trading, Howard Rheingold, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, medical residency, Narrative Science, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Sergey Aleynikov, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

But had the hospital known Bates’s condition ahead of time, the incident, which could have easily killed her or resulted in serious brain damage, could have been avoided.21 Thanks to services like 23andMe, many of us will be able to head off such occurrences very soon. For $200, the company takes a saliva sample from you by mail and returns a detailed analysis of your DNA, its algorithm teasing out a variety of fascinating factors, from your ancestry to your health risks and potential reactions to medications. To be sure, some doctors and health experts say that 23andMe’s tests offer no useful information and that consumers should save their money. And some states, including New York, have ordered 23andMe and similar services to get approval from the state’s health department, declaring their tests to be medical and therefore open to regulation. Such regulation is “appallingly paternalistic,” says 23andMe, adding that people have a right to information contained within their own genes.

Fred Herbert, Looking Back (and Forth): Reflections of an Old-fashioned Doctor (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2003), p. 37. 17. David Leonhardt, “Making Health Care Better,” New York Times Magazine, November 3, 2009. 18. Ibid. 19. Ibid. 20. “What Is Heart Failure?” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/. 21. “The Power of Knowing,” 23andMe, https://www.23andme.com/stories/6/. 22. Andrew Pollack, “DNA Sequencing Caught in Deluge of Data,” New York Times, November 30, 2011. 23. Ewen Callaway, “Ancient DNA Reveals Secrets of Human History,” Nature, no. 476 (August 9, 2011): 136–37. 24. Anna Wilde Mathews, “WellPoint’s New Hire. What Is Watson?” Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2011. CHAPTER 7: CATEGORIZING HUMANKIND 1.

., trial of, 177 sines, 106 Smart Research team, 100 Social Network, The, 199 sound, musical, 82, 86 frequencies of, 106 Southern California, University of (USC), 91, 135, 144 Soviet Union, 18 fall of, 136 space race and, 167, 168, 172 Spain, 77, 78–82 Spears, Britney, 89 speech patterns, 62, 187 speech recognition programs, 54, 178–80, 193 in medical algorithms, 161 speech translation software, 178–79 Spivey, Daniel, 113–20, 124 sports betting, algorithms for, 133–35 Spread Networks, 117–20, 122, 123–24 Square, 199 Stanford University, 92, 97, 161, 189, 207 Cancer Institute at, 154 Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, 97 Hoover Institution at, 136 Stangler, Dane, 208–9 startups, 53, 209 tech, 210–11 statisticians, 62 statistics, in option prices, 27 Steppenwolf, 78 stock exchanges, 27 stock indices, 54, 113 stock market, 130 algorithm dominance of, 48–52 algorithms and, 2–6 base mission of, 51 bots in, 184 decimalization of, 185 see also trading; Wall Street stock options: on big companies, 33 mispriced, 28 Peterffy’s interest in, 27 volatility of, 22 see also options stock prices, nonquantifiable elements in, 27 stocks, 113, 214 golden mean and, 57 splits of, 30 tracking groups of, 40–46 volatility of, 22 Stravinsky, Igor, 91, 96 stress: communication and, 145 soldiers’ reactions under, 168–69 strike prices, 22, 33 style, musical, 86 subconscious, 72 music and, 76–77 subprime mortgages, 65, 202, 216 Sumer, 55 Sun Microsystems, 156 Sweden, 81–82, 89, 204 Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassssss Song, 34 Swigert, John, 165–67 Swiss Bank, O’Connor & Associates bought by, 46 Swisslog, 154 Switzerland, 69, 157 symphonies, written by algorithm, 7 Tacoda, 200 tails, of the bell curve, 63 Tambe, Milind, 135 Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich, 91 “Tears to Gold,” 87 tech crash of 1988, 188 technology, democratization of, 122 technology companies: on PSE index, 40 resurgence in, 198–211 telecommunications business, 186, 194 Telecom Technologies, 176–77 telegraph lines, 122, 123 telesales, personalities and, 193–94 Tellme Networks, 199 tempos, 82, 87 terrorism, 70, 135–40 Tetlock, Philip, 139 Texas, University of, Health Science Center at, 157 Texas hold ‘em poker, 131 Teza Technologies, 190 Thayer, Ignacio, 207, 209 Theory of Political Coalitions, The (Riker), 136 thought, language of, 72–73 thoughts-based people, 173, 174, 175, 176, 180, 194, 196–97 ticker-tape machines, 123 tic-tac-toe, algorithm for, 54 Timber Hill, 31–46, 122 female traders hired by, 32, 33–35 handheld computers for, 36–39, 41, 44–45 name changed to Interactive Brokers, 47 offices of, 42 trading seats for, 30–31 Van Peebles at, 34–35 World Trade Center offices of, 11, 39, 42, 43, 44 Time magazine, 116 Time Warner, 87 tonsillectomies, 159–60 Top 40, algorithms in, 88 Top Gear, 110 Tower Records, 83 Toyota Prius, 215 Tradebot, 49, 116 traders, 113 high-frequency, 54 Peterffy’s elimination of, 11–18, 24 Peterffy’s female, 32, 33–35 as proxies for an algorithm, 34–35, 36, 39 on Wall Street, 11, 20, 27 trading: algorithmic, 2–6, 11–18, 20, 48–52, 112, 119, 189 algorithmic proprietary, 184 automated, 11–18, 115, 216 probability theory in, 67–68 see also Wall Street traffic deaths, algorithm-driven cars in minimizing, 215–16 Transcendent Machine, The (Cope), 99 Transportation Security Administration (TSA), security algorithm for, 135–36 T. Rowe Price, 50 Trump, Donald, 174 Tufts University, 97 “Turn Your Car Around,” 78–79 23andMe, 160 Twitter, 199 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 7 typing machine, automated, 15–16 UCLA, 145 Ukraine, 191 unconscious, Boole’s notion of, 72 Union Square Ventures, 210 United Kingdom, 78 pop charts in, 79 United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), 150–51 United States, 61 average life expectancy in, 153 economy of, 191 health care costs in, 152–54 preterm deliveries in, 158 University College Cork, 72 uranium, weapons-grade, 138 Usher, 89 U.S.


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

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23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

Indeed, Brin premises his information-gathering strategy on the understanding that rich and poor alike can have defective Parkinson’s genes. Brin uses the testing company 23andMe, named after the 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human genome and cofounded by Brin’s wife, to find the genetic roots of Parkinson’s. 23andMe gives its customers, who include this author, an informative but incomplete genetic profile listing their relative risks of getting different types of disease. I have learned, for example, that, compared to the average adult male of my ethnic group, my genes decrease the odds I will get Alzheimer’s but raise the likelihood of my someday contracting coronary heart disease. Brin subsidizes the purchase of 23andMe services for Parkinson’s patients in the hope of convincing many of them to sign up.313 He also requests that the company’s customers fill out a survey asking if they or any members of their family have Parkinson’s or Parkinson’s symptoms, such as balance problems.

Emphasis changed. 302. Shulman (2008). 303. Idea suggested to me by Robin Hanson. 304. Hanson (November 24, 2008). 305. Hanson (May 27, 2011). 306. Lat (2007). 307. Greely (2008b). 308. British Medical Association (2007). 309. Kurzweil (2005). 310. Clark (2007). 311. Boudreaux (2008). 312. Goetz (2010). 313. http://www.parkinson.org/Parkinson-s-Disease/Treatment/Experimental-Therapy---Clinical-Trials/23andMe 314. This estimate doesn’t take into account cryonics. 315. http://www.fightaging.org/archives/2007/08/robert-bradbury-on-longevity-research.php 316. Median expenditures. http://nces.ed.gov/edfin/graph_topic.asp?INDEX=1. Data for 2007-2008. The exact median was $9,786. 317. Coulson (2008). 318. Dillon (2010). 319. Michael Anissimov suggested this example. 320. http://longbets.org/1/ 321.

See also amphetamines (“speed”) Smith, Adam, 135 Smith College Adderall, 102–7, 112, 163 amphetamines use, 102 Dean and Adderall-type drugs for performance-enhancement, 102 student illegal drug use, 101 “study buddy” drugs, 102 survey of illegal cognitive-enhancing drug use among undergraduates, 103–9 socialists, 41 Social Security taxes, 157 sociopath, 22, 93 sociopathic children, 84 Socrates, 91 Socratic questioning method, 215 soft toilet paper, 166 Soviet Union, xiii, 19, 49, 124, 127, 206 spacecraft, 199 species extinction, 29 Stalin, Joseph, 22, 220 standard of living, 76, 123 Stanovich, Keith, 65–66 StarCraft II (video game), 106 stars “turned of” to conserve energy, 199 Star Trek, 171 starvation pressures, 150 Stewart, Potter (US Supreme Court Justice), 38–39 stop signal reaction time, 105 Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth, 65 subjective judgment, 39 sub-Saharan Africa, 173 suicide, 92–93 super genius, 90–91, 95 superhuman intelligence, xiv superintelligence, 21 superintelligence, “alien-like,” 122 super-skyscraper, 181 superweapon, 204 surrogate woman, 194 “survival of the richest,” 81 surviving children, 82 Swift, Jonathan, 88 T Tallinn, Jaan, 35, 215 tampons, 166 Tao, Terence, 91–92 tax on emulations, 150 teleportation device, xi teleportation machine, 138–39 terminal disease, 219 thermonuclear war, 52–53. See also nuclear war Thiel, Peter, x, 35, 170, 186, 214 torsion dystonia, 97–98 toxic garbage dumps, 124 trade with extraterrestrials, 122 Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (Kurzweil), 179 transistors, 4 trial-and-error methods, 30 Trident submarine, 23 True Names. . . and Other Dangers (Vinge), 36 trust, 70 Turing test, 177 23andMe (testing company), 168–69 2001: A Space Odyssey (movie), 210 U Ulam, Stanislaw, xv ultra-AI. See also artificial intelligence (AI) atoms in our solar system, could completely rearrange the distribution of, 187 code, made up of extremely complex, 30 code, might change its code from friendly to non-friendly, 31 in computer simulation run by a more powerful AI, 45–46 “could never guarantee with “probability one” that the cup would stay on the table,” 28 free energy supply, will obtain, 27 friendly, 14, 33, 46, 208 human destruction because of hyper-optimization, 28 with human-like objectives, 29 humans don’t get a second chance once it is created, 30 indifference towards humanity and would kill us, 27 indifferent to mankind and creation of conditions directly in conflict with our continued existence, 28 intelligence explosion and, 31, 35, 121, 187 is not designed for friendliness and could extinguish humanity, 30, 36 lack patience to postpone what might turn out to be utopia, 46 manipulation through humans to win its freedom, 32 martial prowess, 24 military technologies, will discover, 24 morality, sharing our, 29 as more militarily useful than atomic weapons, 47 power used to stop all AI rivals from coming into existence, 24 pre-Singularity investments, might obliterate the value of, 187 progress toward its goals increased by having additional free energy, 27 rampaging, 23 risks of destroying the world, 49 unfriendly (Devil), 30, 35, 46, 202, 208 unlikely events, will plan against, 28 will command people with hypnosis, love, or subliminal messages, 33 ultra-intelligence, 40, 44, 47 unfriendly.


pages: 598 words: 134,339

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier

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23andMe, Airbnb, airport security, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, augmented reality, Benjamin Mako Hill, Black Swan, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, congestion charging, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, experimental subject, failed state, fault tolerance, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Firefox, friendly fire, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hindsight bias, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, linked data, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, national security letter, Network effects, Occupy movement, payday loans, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, South China Sea, stealth mode startup, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero day

Watson (10 Oct 2013), “The latest smartphones could turn us all into activity trackers,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/2013/10/the-trojan-horse-of-the-latest-iphone-with-the-m7-coprocessor-we-all-become-qs-activity-trackers. Companies like 23andMe: Thomas Goetz (17 Nov 2007), “23AndMe will decode your DNA for $1,000. Welcome to the age of genomics,” Wired, http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/magazine/15-12/ff_genomics. Elizabeth Murphy (14 Oct 2013), “Inside 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki’s $99 DNA revolution,” Fast Company, http://www.fastcompany.com/3018598/for-99-this-ceo-can-tell-you-what-might-kill-you-inside-23andme-founder-anne-wojcickis-dna-r. personalized marketing: Charles Seife (27 Nov 2013), “23andMe is terrifying, but not for the reasons the FDA thinks,” Scientific American, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/23andme-is-terrifying-but-not-for-reasons-fda. insurance companies may someday buy: Rebecca Greenfield (25 Nov 2013), “Why 23andMe terrifies health insurance companies,” Fast Company, http://www.fastcompany.com/3022224/innovation-agents/why-23andme-terrifies-health-insurance-companies.

Many medical devices are starting to be Internet-enabled, collecting and reporting a variety of biometric data. There are already—or will be soon—devices that continually measure our vital signs, our moods, and our brain activity. It’s not just specialized devices; current smartphones have some pretty sensitive motion sensors. As the price of DNA sequencing continues to drop, more of us are signing up to generate and analyze our own genetic data. Companies like 23andMe hope to use genomic data from their customers to find genes associated with disease, leading to new and highly profitable cures. They’re also talking about personalized marketing, and insurance companies may someday buy their data to make business decisions. Perhaps the extreme in the data-generating-self trend is lifelogging: continuously capturing personal data. Already you can install lifelogging apps that record your activities on your smartphone, such as when you talk to friends, play games, watch movies, and so on.


pages: 233 words: 58,561

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

We’ve used sprints for prioritization, for marketing strategy, even for naming companies. Time and time again, the process brings teams together and brings ideas to life. Over the past few years, our team has had an unparalleled opportunity to experiment and validate our ideas about work process. We’ve run more than one hundred sprints with the startups in the GV portfolio. We’ve worked alongside, and learned from, brilliant entrepreneurs like Anne Wojcicki (founder of 23andMe), Ev Williams (founder of Twitter, Blogger, and Medium), and Chad Hurley and Steve Chen (founders of YouTube). In the beginning, I wanted to make my workdays efficient and meaningful. I wanted to focus on what was truly important and make my time count—for me, for my team, and for our customers. Now, more than a decade later, the sprint process has consistently helped me reach that goal. And I’m superexcited to share it with you in this book.

Adrian Canoso designed the Relay robot on page 14. Heidi Qiao volunteered to sit for the customer test photos on pages 203 to 204. All other photos are by either Jake Knapp, Braden Kowitz, or John Zeratsky. Image postproduction by Braden Kowitz. Illustrations by Jake Knapp. JAKE KNAPP created the Google Ventures sprint process and has run more than a hundred sprints with startups such as 23andMe, Slack, Nest, and Foundation Medicine. Previously, Jake worked at Google, leading sprints for everything from Gmail to Google X. He is among the world’s tallest designers. JOHN ZERATSKY has designed mobile apps, medical reports, and a daily newspaper (among other things). Before joining Google Ventures, he was a design lead at YouTube and an early employee of FeedBurner, which Google acquired in 2007.

., 229 Sharpies, 75n simplicity, in maps, 66 sketching, 16, 60, 102, 103–18 abstract ideas and, 106–7 in Blue Bottle sprint, 24, 103–4, 108, 113 Crazy 8s exercise in, 109, 111–13 in Move Loot sprint, 113 prototypes and, 104–6 of rough ideas, 109, 111 solution sketches in, see solution sketches taking notes in, 109, 110 as working alone together, 107–9 Slack sprint, 129–31, 143–44, 149–58, 175, 216, 217, 220–21, 222, 223 expansion into new markets as challenge for, 129–30 Smithsonian Institute, 228 snacks, for sprints, 45 solution sketches, 109, 114–18 anonymity of, 114–15 in Blue Bottle sprint, 116–17 deciding on, see deciding as explanatory, 114 importance of words in, 115 maybe-laters in, 142, 155 single-scene, 114, 117 in Slack sprint, 130 sticky notes and, 114 storyboard format in, 114, 116 titles for, 115 winners in, 141–42 speed critique: in deciding process, 131, 135–37 Scribe in, 135–36 sprints: checklists for, 232–49 clearing calendars for, 10, 39, 40–41 concept of, 3 daily schedule in, 39, 40–41, 90–91 deciding process in, see deciding façades in, see façades as five-day process, 5–6, 9, 16, 40–41 frequently asked questions about, 251–57 learning from, see interviews, learning from no-devices rule in, 41, 110 origin of, 2–5 prototypes in, see prototypes, prototyping questions to be answered in, see questions, finding answers to; tests, real-world risk-taking in, 166 Rumbles in, 143–47 setting priorities in, 54–55 storyboards in, see storyboarding time allocation in, 38–41 timers for, 46–48 uncovering dangerous assumptions through, 56–57 universal application of, 229–30 versatility of, 5–6, 229–30 wide application of, 5–6 working alone together in, 107–9 work rooms for, 41–45 Squarespace, 186 SquidCo sprint, 30–31, 32, 139 Starting at the End, 5, 53–58 in Apollo 13 rescue, 53–54 in Blue Bottle sprint, 55–56, 57 in Flatiron Health sprint, 62–63 long-term goals and, 55–57, 61, 62–63, 67 questions to be answered in, 55–58, 62–63, 67 in Savioke sprint, 56 setting priorities in, 54–55 startups, 231 sprints and, 4–5, 15–16, 27 Starwood, 9 sticky notes: poster-size, 43, 44 solution sketches and, 114 see also How Might We notes Stitcher, 187, 189 storyboarding, 125, 148–58 “artist” for, 151, 154–55, 156 assigning prototyping tasks from, 188, 189–90 in Blue Bottle sprint, 153, 157, 188 competitors’ products in, 154 copywriting in, 155–56 Decider in, 156 detail in, 156 in Flatiron Health sprint, 153 maybe-laters in, 155 opening scene in, 152–53 resisting new ideas in, 155 risk-taking in, 156 in Savioke sprint, 153, 157 in Slack sprint, 149–53, 156 solution sketches as, 114, 116 test-time limits and, 157 story-centered design, 5 strategy, 70 straw polls, 87–88 in deciding process, 131, 138–40 successes, flawed, 223–24 supervotes, 143, 144 in deciding process, 131, 140–42, 143 surface, as contact point between product and customer, 28 target, 82, 83–88 in Blue Bottle sprint, 84–85, 101 Decider and, 31, 32, 85–88 in Flatiron Health sprint, 85–87, 88 How Might We notes and, 87 key customers in, 85–86 key event in, 85–86 maps and, 84, 85–86 in Savioke sprint, 84 straw polls and, 87–88 Tcho, 97 team processes, 1 teams, 29–37, 218 in Blue Bottle sprint, 22–24, 33 challenges and, 68 choosing members of, 33, 34–36 Deciders in, see Deciders division of labor in, 101–2 experts and, see Ask the Experts Facilitators in, see Facilitators ideal size of, 33 interviews observed by, see interviews, learning from in Ocean’s Eleven, 29–30 in Savioke sprint, 9–11, 33 in SquidCo sprint, 30–31 troublemakers in, 35 tech/logistic experts, 34 “Tenacious Tour, The” (Slack solution sketch), 144, 175, 217, 220–21, 222 tests, real-world, 5, 16, 231 in Blue Bottle sprint, 25 competitors’ products in, 154 Deciders and, 31, 32 in FitStar sprint, 173–74 in Graco sprint, 27–28 interview in, see interviews recruiting customers for, 119–23, 197 in Savioke sprint, 10, 11–13, 15 time units in, 157 Tharp, Marie, 83–84 3D printing, 27, 185, 186 tight deadlines, 109 time, allocation of, for sprints, 38–41 timers, in deciding process, 136, 138 Time Timers, 46–48 Tolkien, J. R. R., 59 Toy Story (film), 149 trade-offs, in sprint process, 31 troublemakers, in teams, 35 Tse, Alison, 12, 178, 179 Turner, Nat, 60–62 23andMe, 6 Twitter, 6 Vision, 175 WalrusCo sprint, 69 Warren, Charles, 89 Washington Post, 15 Waugh, Chris, 180–81 website usability, 197 Weinberg, Zach, 60–61 whiteboards, 72, 89 in sprint room, 42–44 Wieden+Kennedy, 230 Williams, Ev, 6, 224 Willow Garage, 8 Wojcicki, Anne, 6 words, in solution sketches, 115 working alone together, 107–9 Wright, Orville and Wilbur, 227–28, 231 Writer, 187–88 writing, importance of, 115 Yale University, 107 Yaskawa, Izumi, 11 YouTube, 6 Zeratsky, John, 5, 7, 9, 22, 24, 30, 60, 76, 140, 189 Simon & Schuster 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 www.SimonandSchuster.com Copyright © 2016 by John Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.


pages: 299 words: 91,839

What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis

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23andMe, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, cashless society, citizen journalism, clean water, connected car, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, don't be evil, fear of failure, Firefox, future of journalism, Google Earth, Googley, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, peer-to-peer lending, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, web of trust, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In the comments, Chris Cranley took off on Godin’s idea and suggested that just as smarter products may need less insurance, the same may be said of smarter people: “If I knew how to avoid problem X, I would not insure against it.” Education and information become insurance against insurance. Godin took this line of thinking to its extreme when he speculated about opportunities not just for smarter people but—genetically speaking—healthier people as determined by 23andMe, a service that analyzes users’ DNA. (Founded by Brin’s wife, Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe discovered his Parkinson’s gene. Google invested in the company.) Godin said: And while some may not like it, what happens when 23andMe gets a lot smarter and the healthiest gene pool starts their own life insurance coop? U.K. business journalist James Ball agreed with me that insurance is “a glorified betting market” where insurance providers “offer odds against certain outcomes—adverse outcomes—and we pay up the stake.

See search-engine optimization Sequoia Capital, 189 Shardanand, Upendra, 35 Shirky, Clay, 50, 60, 151, 191–92, 197, 235–36, 237 Silverman, Dwight, 13 simplicity, 114–16, 236 SimplyHired.com, 39 Sirius Satellite Radio, 131 Skype, 31, 50 Smart Mobs (Rheingold), 106 Smith, Quincy, 38 Smolan, Rick, 140 social business, 158 social graph, 49 socialization, 211–12 social-media, 172–73 social responsibility, 47 social web, 51 Sorrell, Martin, 42 Sourcetool.com, 100 specialization, 26–27, 154 speed, 103–4, 105–6 Spitzer, Eliot, 96 splogs, 43 Starbucks, 60–62 Stern, Howard, 95, 131–32 Stewart, Jon, 95–96 StudieVZ, 50 Supreme Court, 225 Surowiecki, James, 88 talent, 146, 240 Tapscott, Don, 113, 151, 225 targeting, 151, 179–80 teaching, 193, 214–15 teamwork, 217 TechCrunch, 107, 192 Technorati, 15, 20 TechTV, 132 telecommunications, 165–71 Telegraph Media Group, 123 television, 84 cable, 167 decline of, 65–66 listings, 109–10 networks, 135 Television Without Pity, 135 Tesco, 179 Tesla Motors, 175 testing, 214 Threadbanger, 180 Threadless, 57 TimesSelect, 78 Time Warner, 80–81 Tobaccowala, Rishad, 114, 121–22, 145–48, 151, 177 on Apple, 228 toilet paper, 180–81 TomEvslin.com, 31 Toto, 181 Toyota, 174–75 transparency, 83, 97–98 journalism and, 92 PR and, 223 Tribune Company, 129 Trippi, Joe, 238 trust, 74, 170 control v., 82–83 in customers, 83–84 Tumblr, 192 Turner, Ted, 134 TV Guide, 109–10 20 percent rule, 111, 114 23andMe, 205 Twitter, 20, 126 Dell and, 46 mobs and, 107 real time and, 105–6 Tyndall, Andrew, 220 Union Square Ventures, 30 University of Phoenix, 217 Updike, John, 138 The Vanishing Newspaper (Meyer), 125 Vardi, Yossi, 31–32 Vaynerchuk, Gary, 107, 157–61 VC. See venture capital vendor relationship management (VRM), 201–2 venture capital (VC), 189–95 Vershbow, Ben, 138 Virginia Tech University, 105 Virgin Money, 197 Virtual Law Partners, 223 Vise, David A., 114–15 VRM.


pages: 25 words: 5,789

Data for the Public Good by Alex Howard

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23andMe, Atul Gawande, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Hernando de Soto, Internet of things, Network effects, openstreetmap, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, social web, web application

“As some put it, personal data will be the new ‘oil’ — a valuable resource of the 21st century. It will emerge as a new asset class touching all aspects of society.” The idea of data as a currency is still in its infancy, as Strata Conference chair Edd Dumbill has emphasized. The Locker Project, which provides people with the ability to move their own data around, is one of many approaches. The growth of the Quantified Self movement and online communities like PatientsLikeMe and 23andMe validates the strength of the movement. In the U.S. federal government, the Blue Button initiative, which enables veterans to download personal health data, has now spread to all federal employees and earned adoption at Aetna and Kaiser Permanente. In early 2012, a Green Button was launched to unleash energy data in the same way. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson called the Green Button an “OAuth for energy data.”


pages: 532 words: 139,706

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It by Ken Auletta

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bioinformatics, Burning Man, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, death of newspapers, disintermediation, don't be evil, facts on the ground, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet Archive, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, spectrum auction, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, telemarketer, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Upton Sinclair, X Prize, yield management

But even though he was raised as a Jew and attended Hebrew school for a few years, he was nonpracticing, did not have a bar mitzvah, and was put off by traditional Jewish celebrations, which he once told an Israeli reporter he “associated with getting lots of gifts and money, and I was never comfortable with that.” When he was married on an island in the Bahamas in May of 2007 to Anne Wojcicki, cofounder of 23andMe, a genetics research company, the couple stood in bathing suits under a chuppah, the traditional Jewish wedding canopy, but no rabbi officiated. Then, as now, he was uncomfortable with introspection. Asked by the same Israeli reporter if it was a coincidence that his wife was Jewish, he said, “I believe there are lots of nice non-Jewish girls out there. My wife is, I guess, half Jewish.” So was it a coincidence, the reporter pressed, that his wife was half Jewish?

He ruthlessly guards his time, and can treat those who ask him to make a speech or meet reporters as if they were thieves trying to steal his time. A longtime Google employee describes Page this way: “Larry is like a wall. He analyzes everything. He asks, ‘Is this the most efficient way to do this?’ You’re always on trial with Larry. He always pushes you.” While Brin is more approachable than Page, he, too, can be awkward around strangers. His wife Anne Wojcicki’s company, 23andMe, was feted at a fashionable cocktail party in September 2008 that was cohosted by Diane von Furstenberg and her husband, Barry Diller, Wendi and Rupert Murdoch, and Georgina Chapman and her husband, Harvey Weinstein. The event was held at Diller’s Frank Gehry-designed IAC headquarters in Manhattan. Brin appeared wearing a dark crewneck sweater and gray Crocs. He and Google are investors in her company and he is openly proud of her work.

Al Gore was to conclude the conference by interviewing Page and Brin. The three men chatted on stage for a few minutes when Page interrupted to say that Brin wanted ten minutes to share something. Brin stepped to a microphone and riveted the audience for about ten minutes with a precise, impersonal account of his mother’s recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. He explained that his wife, Anne Wojcicki, had cofounded 23andMe to study genetics, including the genetics of Parkinson’s. He said the evidence of a genetic link to Parkinson’s was at first slight, but studies had recently unearthed one gene, LRRK2, in particular a mutation known as G2019S, that in some ethnic groups creates a familial link through which the disease travels. Brin said he had dug deeper, reading genetics journals, searching for pieces of DNA shared with relatives.


pages: 479 words: 144,453

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic trading, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, Chris Urmson, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, European colonialism, experimental subject, falling living standards, Flash crash, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, glass ceiling, global village, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Kevin Kelly, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, mutually assured destruction, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, too big to fail, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, ultimatum game, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

The idea is for Google Fit to feed the Baseline Study with the data it needs.30 Yet companies such as Google want to go much deeper than wearables. The market for DNA testing is currently growing in leaps and bounds. One of its leaders is 23andMe, a private company founded by Anne Wojcicki, former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The name ‘23andMe’ refers to the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes that contain our genome, the message being that my chromosomes have a very special relationship with me. Anyone who can understand what the chromosomes are saying can tell you things about yourself that you never even suspected. If you want to know what, pay 23andMe a mere $99, and they will send you a small package with a tube. You spit into the tube, seal it and mail it to Mountain View, California. There the DNA in your saliva is read, and you receive the results online.

(game show) 315–16, 315 Jesus Christ 91, 155, 183, 187, 271, 274, 297 Jews/Judaism: ancient/biblical 60, 90–1, 94, 172–3, 174, 181, 193, 194–5, 268, 390; animal welfare and 94; expulsions from early modern Europe 197, 198; Great Jewish Revolt (AD 70) 194; homosexuality and 225–6; Second World War and 164–5, 165, 182 Jolie, Angelina 332–3, 335, 347 Jones, Lieutenant Henry 254 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 354–5 Joyce, James: Ulysses 240 JSTOR digital library 383 Jung, Carl 223–4 Kahneman, Daniel 294, 295–6, 338–9 Kasparov, Garry 320–1, 320 Khmer Rouge 264 Khrushchev, Nikita 263, 273–4 Kurzweil, Ray 24, 25, 27; The Singularity is Near 381 Kyoto protocol, 1997 215–16 Lake Fayum engineering project, Egypt 161–2, 175, 178 Larson, Professor Steve 324–5 Law of the Jungle 14–21 lawns 58–64, 62, 63 lawyers, replacement by artificial intelligence of 314 Lea, Tom: That 2,000 Yard Stare (1944) 244, 245, 246 Lenin Academy for Agricultural Sciences 371–2 Lenin, Vladimir 181, 207, 251, 271, 272, 273, 375 Levy, Professor Frank 322 liberal humanism/liberalism 98, 181, 247; contemporary alternatives to 267–77; free will and 281–90, 304; humanism and see humanism; humanist wars of religion, 1914– 1991 and 261–7; individualism, belief in 290–304, 305; meaning of life and 304, 305; schism within humanism and 246–57; science undermines foundations of 281–306; technological challenge to 305–6, 307–50; value of experience and 257–9, 260, 387–8; victory of 265–7 life expectancy 5, 25–7, 32–4, 50 ‘logic bombs’ (malicious software codes) 17 Louis XIV, King 4, 64, 227 lucid dreaming 361–2 Luther, Martin 185–7, 275, 276 Luther King, Martin 263–4, 275 Lysenko, Trofim 371–2 MAD (mutual assured destruction) 265 malaria 12, 19, 315 malnutrition 3, 5, 6, 10, 27, 55 Mao Zedong 27, 165, 167, 251, 259, 263, 375 Maris, Bill 24 marriage: artificial intelligence and 337–8, 343; gay 275, 276; humanism and 223–5, 275, 276, 291, 303–4, 338, 364; life expectancy and 26 Marx, Karl/Marxism 56–7, 60, 183, 207, 247–8, 271–4; Communist Manifesto 217; Das Kapital 57, 274 Mattersight Corporation 317–18 Mazzini, Giuseppe 249–50 meaning of life 184, 222, 223, 299–306, 338, 386 Memphis, Egypt 158–9 Mendes, Aristides de Sousa 164–5, 164 Merkel, Angela 248–9 Mesopotamia 93 Mexico 8–9, 11, 263 Michelangelo 27, 253; David 260 Microsoft 15, 157, 330–1; Band 330–1; Cortana 342–3 Mill, John Stuart 35 ‘mind-reading’ helmet 44–5 Mindojo 314 MIT 322, 383 modern covenant 199–219, 220 Modi, Narendra 206, 207 money: credit and 201–5; Dataism and 352, 365, 379; intersubjective nature of 144, 145, 171, 177; invention of 157, 158, 352, 379; investment in growth 209–11 mother–infant bond 88–90 Mubarak, Hosni 137 Muhammad 188, 226, 270, 391 Murnane, Professor Richard 322 Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar 64 Muslims: Charlie Hebdo attack and 226; Crusades and 146, 147, 148, 149; economic growth, belief in 206; evaluating success of 174; evolution and 103; expulsions of from early modern Europe 197, 198; free will and 285; lawns and 64; LGBT community and 225 see also Islam Mussolini, Benito 302 Myanmar 144, 206 Nagel, Thomas 357 nanotechnology 23, 25, 51, 98, 212, 269, 344, 353 National Health Service, UK 334–5 National Salvation Front, Romania 136 NATO 264–5 Naveh, Danny 76, 96 Nayaka people 75–6, 96 Nazism 98, 164–5, 181, 182, 247, 255–7, 262–3, 375, 376, 396 Ne Win, General 144 Neanderthals 49, 156, 261, 273, 356, 378 Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylonia 172–3, 310 Nelson, Shawn 255 New York Times 309, 332–4, 347, 370 New Zealand: Animal Welfare Amendment Act, 2015 122 Newton, Isaac 27, 97–8, 143, 197 Nietzsche, Friedrich 234, 254, 268 non-organic beings 43, 45 Norenzayan, Ara 354–5 Novartis 330 nuclear weapons 15, 16, 17, 17, 131, 149, 163, 216, 265, 372 Nyerere, Julius 166 Oakland Athletics 321 Obama, President Barack 313, 375 obesity 5–6, 18, 54 OncoFinder 323 Ottoman Empire 197, 207 ‘Our Boys Didn’t Die in Vain’ syndrome 300–3, 301 Page, Larry 28 paradox of knowledge 55–8 Paris Agreement, 2015 216 Pathway Pharmaceuticals 323 Petsuchos 161–2 Pfungst, Oskar 129 pharmacists 317 pigs, domesticated 79–83, 82, 87–8, 90, 98, 99, 100, 101, 231 Pinker, Steven 305 Pius IX, Pope 270–1 Pixie Scientific 330 plague/infectious disease 1–2, 6–14 politics: automation of 338–41; biochemical pursuit of happiness and 41; liberalism and 226–7, 229, 232, 232, 234, 247–50, 247n, 252; life expectancy and 26–7, 29; revolution and 132–7; speed of change in 58 pollution 20, 176, 213–14, 215–16, 341–2 poverty 3–6, 19, 33, 55, 205–6, 250, 251, 262, 349 Presley, Elvis 159–60, 159 Problem of Other Minds 119–20, 126–7 Protestant Reformation 185–7, 198, 242–4, 242, 243 psychology: evolutionary 82–3; focus of research 353–6, 360–2; Freudian 117; humanism and 223–4, 251–2; positive 360–2 Putin, Vladimir 26, 375 pygmy chimpanzees (bonobos) 138–9 Quantified Self movement 331 quantum physics 103, 170, 182, 234 Qur’an 170, 174, 269, 270 rats, laboratory 38, 39, 101, 122–4, 123, 127–8, 286–7 Redelmeier, Donald 296 relativity, theory of 102, 103, 170 religion: animals and 75–8, 90–8, 173; animist 75–8, 91, 92, 96–7, 173; challenge to liberalism 268; Dataism 367–97 see also Dataism; defining 180–7; ethical judgments 195–7; evolution and see evolution; formula for knowledge 235–7; God, death of 67, 234, 261, 268; humanist ethic and 234–5; monotheist 101–2, 173; science, relationship with 187–95, 197–8; scriptures, belief in 172–4; spirituality and 184–7; theist religions 90–6, 98, 274 revolutions 57, 60, 132–7, 155, 263–4, 308, 310–11 Ritalin 39, 364 robo-rat 286–7 Roman Empire 98, 191, 192, 194, 240, 373 Romanian Revolution, 1989 133–7, 138 Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare) 365–6 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 223, 282, 305 Russian Revolution, 1917 132–3, 136 Rwanda 15 Saarinen, Sharon 53 Saladin 146, 147, 148, 150–1 Santino (chimpanzee) 125–7 Saraswati, Dayananda 270, 271, 273 Scientific Revolution 96–9, 197–8, 212, 236–7, 379 Scotland 4, 303–4, 303 Second World War, 1939–45 21, 34, 55, 115, 164, 253, 262–3, 292 self: animal self-consciousness 124–7; Dataism and 386–7, 392–3; evolutionary theory and 103–4; experiencing and narrating self 294–305, 337, 338–9, 343; free will and 222–3, 230, 247, 281–90, 304, 305, 306, 338; life sciences undermine liberal idea of 281–306, 328–9; monotheism and 173, 174; single authentic self, humanist idea of 226–7, 235–6, 251, 281–306, 328–41, 363–6, 390–1; socialism and self-reflection 251–2; soul and 285; techno-humanism and 363–6; technological challenge to liberal idea of 327–46, 363–6; transcranial stimulator and 289 Seligman, Martin 360 Senusret III 161, 162 September 11 attacks, New York, 2011 18, 374 Shavan, Shlomi 331 Shedet, Egypt 161–2 Silico Medicine 323 Silicon Valley 15, 24, 25, 268, 274, 351, 381 Sima Qian 173, 174 Singapore 32, 207 smallpox 8–9, 10, 11 Snayers, Pieter: Battle of White Mountain 242–4, 243, 246 Sobek 161–2, 163, 171, 178–9 socialist humanism/socialism 247–8, 250–2, 256, 259–60, 261–2, 263, 264, 265, 266–7, 271–4, 325, 351, 376 soul 29, 92, 101–6, 115–16, 128, 130, 132, 138, 146, 147, 148, 150, 160, 184–5, 186, 189, 195, 229, 272, 282, 283, 285, 291, 324, 325, 381 South Korea 33, 151, 264, 266, 294, 349 Soviet Union: communism and 206, 208, 370, 371–2; data processing and 370, 370, 371–2; disappearance/collapse of 132–3, 135, 136, 145, 145, 266; economy and 206, 208, 370, 370, 371–2; Second World War and 263 Spanish Flu 9–10, 11 Sperry, Professor Roger Wolcott 292 St Augustine 275, 276 Stalin, Joseph 26–7, 256, 391 stock exchange 105–10, 203, 210, 294, 313, 369–70, 371 Stone Age 33–4, 60, 74, 80, 131, 155, 156, 157, 163, 176, 261 subjective experience 34, 80, 82–3, 105–17, 143–4, 155, 179, 229, 237, 312, 388, 393 Sudan 270, 271, 273 suicide rates 2, 15, 33 Sumerians 156–8, 159, 162–3, 323 Survivor (TV reality show) 240 Swartz, Aaron 382–3; Guerilla Open Access Manifesto 383 Sylvester I, Pope 190–1 Syria 3, 19, 149, 171, 220, 275, 313 Taiping Rebellion, 1850–64 271 Talwar, Professor Sanjiv 286–7 techno-humanism: definition of 352–3; focus of psychological research and 353–9; human will and 363–6; upgrading of mind 359–66 technology: Dataism and see Dataism; inequality and future 346–50; liberal idea of individual challenged by 327–46; renders humans economically and militarily useless 307–27; techno-humanism and see techno-humanism Tekmira 203 terrorism 14, 18–19, 226, 288, 290, 311 Tesla 114, 322 Thatcher, Margaret 57, 372 Thiel, Peter 24–5 Third Man, The (movie) 253–4 Thirty Years War, 1618–48 242–3 Three Gorges Dam, 163, 188, 196 Thucydides 173, 174 Toyota 230, 294, 323 transcranial stimulators 44–5, 287–90, 362–3, 364 Tree of Knowledge, biblical 76–7, 77, 97, 98 tuberculosis 9, 19, 23, 24 Turing, Alan 120, 367 Turing Machine 367 Turing Test 120 23andMe 336 Twitter 47, 137, 313, 387 US Army 287–90, 362–3, 364 Uganda 192–3, 195 United States: Dataism and 374; energy usage and happiness levels in 34; evolution, suspicion of within 102; Kyoto protocol, 1997 and 215–16; liberalism, view of within 247n; nuclear weapons and 163; pursuit of happiness and 31; value of life in compared to Afghan life 100; Vietnam War and 264, 265; well-being levels 34 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 21, 24, 31 Urban II, Pope 227–8 Uruk 156–7 Valla, Lorenzo 192 Valle Giulia, Battle of, 1968 263 vampire bats 204–5 Vedas 170, 181, 270 Vietnam War, 1954–75 57, 244, 264, 265 virtual-reality worlds 326–7 VITAL 322–3 Voyager golden record 258–9 Waal, Frans de 140–1 Walter, Jean-Jacques: Gustav Adolph of Sweden at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) 242, 243, 244–5 war 1–3, 14–19; humanism and narratives of 241–6, 242, 245, 253–6 Warsaw Pact 264–5 Watson (artificial intelligence system) 315–17, 315, 330 Watson, John 88–9, 90 Waze 341–2 web of meaning 143–9 WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) countries, psychology research focus on 354–5, 359, 360 West Africa: Ebola and 11, 13, 203 ‘What Is It Like to Be a Bat?’


pages: 272 words: 64,626

Eat People: And Other Unapologetic Rules for Game-Changing Entrepreneurs by Andy Kessler

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23andMe, Andy Kessler, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computer age, disintermediation, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fiat currency, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Netflix Prize, packet switching, personalized medicine, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social graph, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, transfer pricing, Yogi Berra

Privacy is obviously an issue, but the ability to create databases of symptoms and diseases and drugs and side effects can be enormously valuable, with so much of the Intelligence at the Edge, with doctors and especially with patients. The biggest nearterm gain will probably be seen by networking researchers. Sage Bionetworks allows researchers around the world to contribute to and draw from an open database of clinical and molecular data so they can “build innovative new dynamic disease models.” But it’s not just for scientists; 23andMe analyzes your DNA and then compares it with others’ to identify your potential predisposition to various diseases. Lots of issues need to be worked out, not the least of which is, what does “your DNA suggests a 27 percent probability of contracting liver cancer” even mean? The Personal Genome Project, meanwhile, lets individuals upload their DNA sequencing for researchers to probe, privacy be damned.

Stroud number StubHub Sustainability, and efficiency Sun Microsystems Sunstein, Cass Super Sloppers Supply and demand Taranto, James Taxation Teachers, public school, as Thieves Technology adapting to humans next big move, recognizing personalized recommendations to customers Telecosm (Gilder) Television content, over virtual pipe Telmex Thaler, Richard Thieves TiVo Town, Phil Toyota Prius Trade secrets, versus patents Trophy Generation Turner, Ted 23andMe Twitter Union workers, as Sponges United Auto Workers United States as horizontal enterprise Jetsons to Flintstones analogy Universities, and exceptionalism U.S. Steel Vanderbilt, Cornelius market entrepreneurship of Vardi, Yossi Veach, Eric VentureBeat Vertical integration Apple as example examples of media companies negative aspects of signs of situations for Soviet Union example Video games companies virtual pipe of next wave, recognizing through online gaming, virtual pipe of Virtual pipe of Apple control, profitability of creating, examples of economic model for relationship to media of social networking Vital Few Voice mail Voice recognition Wagner, Todd Walker brothers Wall Street commissions, lowering Slimers on Wal-Mart Walton, Sam Waste benefits of versus efficiency Watt, James Wealth and abundance versus scarcity comes from productivity.


pages: 336 words: 93,672

The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists by Gary Marcus, Jeremy Freeman

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, bioinformatics, bitcoin, brain emulation, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Glasses, iterative process, linked data, mouse model, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, semantic web, speech recognition, stem cell, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, Turing machine, web application

Such issues need to be resolved sooner rather than later. Consider a company formed with the promise of offering customers interesting information about their thoughts and/or predictive information about brain diseases they might be at risk of acquiring. Many such companies, some more legitimate than others, are operating now in the sphere of genomics. Some are huge and have proven profitable, like deCODE and 23andMe. Others are small and often make claims that are on the fringes of genomic science. Building on preliminary and incomplete information coming out of the brain mapping projects and related research, we can predict with certainty that new “brain diagnostic,” “truth assessment,” and “brain detective companies” will begin to proliferate on the web and elsewhere. The emergence of companies that purport to be able to conduct neuromarketing without much in the way of evidence to ground their claims shows what is likely to be in store in short order regarding “truth” analyses.

See also Human Brain Project (HBP); SyNAPSE project (IBM); whole-brain simulation simulome, 183 Skinner’s behaviorism, 206 Sligte, Ilja, 166 Smith, Stephen, 14 Society for Neuroscience, 258 Solstad, Trygve, 75 songbirds: FOXP2 gene, 155–56 Spaun (Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network): architecture of model, 130f; behavior and brain model, 126–27, 129, 131–32; flexible coordination, 132–33; neural firing patterns, 129; neurons, 127; reverse engineering, 133–34; serial working memory task in, 128f, 131 speech, 140; computational neuroanatomy of, 146; FOXP2 gene mutation, 151–52, 155; information, 145; perception, 144–46; production, 146, 187, 190 spinal cord injury, 229 Sporns, Olaf, 11, 65, 90–99 standard operating procedures (SOP), 33 star-nosed mole, 187 Stensola, Hanne, 72 Stensola, Tor, 72 stimulation: electrical, 11, 79, 195, 225–26 stroke, 229, 243 style computing, 213 subjective feelings, 269 Südhof, Thomas, 207 supercomputer: human brain as, 94 supervised learning, 206 SyNAPSE project (IBM): brain simulation, 125–26 synaptic connections: brain, 50 synaptic plasticity, 119, 221, 241 synaptic proteins: in situ immune microscopy of, 60–61 synchronization: neuronal interactions, 93 syntactic theory: language computations, 143–44; minimalism, 144 syntax, 140, 141, 147–48 Talairach, Jean, 5 Talairach Atlas, 10 Tank David, 19 Taube, Jeff, 75 Technical University of Munich, 121 technological innovation, 79 Thunder, 104 Tonegawa, Susumu, 259 top-down modeling, 85f, 112, 162, 171f, 267 touch receptors, 67 Tournoux, P., 5 transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), 228 transcriptome, 48 transducer, 246, 250 transistor, 82, 84, 85f, 86–88, 135, 177, 181, 183, 210, 221, 245, 250 traumatic brain injury, 194, 266 trilevel hypothesis: brain, 84–85 Tsuchiya, Nao, 168, 169 tuberculosis, 171 tuberous sclerosis, 241 tumors, 266 Turing machine, 26 23andMe, 198 Twitter, 103 two-photon imaging: mouse cortex, 107 two-photon microscopy, 32 two-photon tomography, 34 ulcerative colitis, 234 ultrasonic frequencies, 246 ultrasonic waves, 249 ultrasound, 250 Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 116 University College London, 122, 177 University of California–San Diego, 177 University of Edinburgh, 115 University of Oslo, 115, 116 US BRAIN Initiative, 113, 124 US Human Connectome Project, 113 Vallortigara, Giorgio, 207 Vandenbroucke, Annelinde, 166 Van Essen, David, 12 variable binding: brain, 213–14; language, 212 Venter, Craig, 256 Vesalius, Andreas, 3, 4f vestibular system, 22 virtual brains: building, 97–99 virtual reality: whole brain neuroimaging and, 17–24 vision: restoration, 227, 230 Vision (Marr), 181 visual processing: stimuli, 163 visual responses: brute-force data collection, 105 visual-spatial extinction, 163–64 visual system: primates, 104–5 visual thalamus, 264 Vogt, Karl, 91 Vogt, Marthe, 4 von Economo, Constantin, 4 von Neumann, John, 208, 212–13 V2 neurons: hypothesis, 105–6 Waddington, Conrad, 189 Watson, James, 7, 46 Waxholm Space, 115 Werbos, Paul, 41 White, John, 12 whole-brain neuroimaging, 20–21, 17–24 whole-brain neuroscience: behavior as brain output, 121–22; building the brain, 118–19; ethics, 123; global collaboration, 123–24; global effort to understand brain, 124; modeling brain disorders and diseases, 122; unifying brain models, 120–21; validity of model, 119–20 whole-brain simulation: creating to understand, 111–13; neuroinformatics for computing, 113–15; next generation brain atlases, 115–17; ongoing debate, 267–68; predictive neuroscience, 117–18.


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

As a daily jogger, she’d be inhaling a lot more pollution than most people, and she figures her genes have already been restyled just by growing up among the master trailblazers of the Human Age. But she is tempted to read the book of her genes, and discover more about her lineage and genetic biases. For a truly personal profile, all our redhead would need is a vial of her blood and between $100 and $1,000. Such companies as Navigenics or 23andMe will gladly provide a glimpse of her future, a tale still being written but legible enough for genetic fortune-telling. She may have a slightly higher than normal risk of macular degeneration, a tendency to go bald, a gene variant that’s a well-known cause of blood cancer, maybe a different variant associated with Alzheimer’s, the family bane. If she read the report herself, she might not handle that information well.

., 87 Stanley Park, 78 starlings, 153, 165–66 Star Trek, 232, 253, 260 Statue of Liberty, 59 steam engine, 34 Steel Pier, 47 stem cells, 13, 150 Stockholm, 96–97 Stoermer, Eugene, 313 stomata, 91 Stony Creek harbor, 56–57, 66–67 storks, 124 Strauss, Richard, 269 suburban sprawl, 116 succulents, 83 sugar, 239 Suharto, 313 sulfur, 99 Summit, Scott, 236–37 sustainability, popularity of, 108 Sustainability Revolution, The (Edwards), 88 Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 154–55 Svensson, Tore, 101 Sweden, 96–97, 98–101, 106, 132 Swiss chard, 89, 90 Switzerland, 78, 132 swordfish, 65 sycamores, 111, 113 SyNAPSE, 256, 318 Taft, William Howard, 58 Tahiti, 159 Taiwan, 83 Taliban, 146 Tasmanian devils, 151, 164 taste, 211–12 Taylor, Robert, 89 technical nutrients, 87 technology, 10, 13–14 nature and, 188–200 Technology University, 104 Teitiota, Ioane, 49 Tel Aviv University, 293 telekenesis, 203 telephones, 171 telescopes, 171 televisions, 87, 191 temperate zones, 80 Tennessee, 46 termites, 92–93 Texas, 41 texting, 190 by plants, 205–7 Thailand, 79, 180 Thames Barrier, 50–51 theory of mind, 216–17, 218–19 Thimble Islands, 58 Thimble Island Salts, 62 “Thousand Dreams of Stellavista, The” (Ballard), 231 3D printing, 232–39, 244 Three Gorges Dam, 101 Thumb, Tom, 58 Thus Spake Zarathustra, 269–70 thyme, 90 Tiananmen Square, 271 tiger mosquitos, 132 time-rock, 32–33 titanium dioxide, 181 toads, 125 Tohoku, 46 Tokyo, 78 tomatoes, 89 Tom Jones (film), 294 Tonga, 158 tools, 171 human use of, 7, 9 orangutan use of, 5 tornadoes, 41 Toronto, Canada, 78 touch, 178 “Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, The” (Aesop), 115 Toxoplasma gondii, 296–99 trains, 102 transparent aluminum, 34 tree lizards, 80 trees, 83 trilobites, 29–30 trumpeter swans, 135 tube worms, 37–38 TU Delft, 104, 105 tuna, 65 Tushi, 272 Tuvalu, 48–49 23andMe, 271 twins, 282 Twitter, 317 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 269–70 Tybee Island Ocean Rescue, 65 typewriter, 191 typhoons, 46 Uganda, 72 United Kingdom, 83, 298 cities in, 72 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 99 United Nations Panel on Climate Change, 41–42 United States, 83 urban beekeeping, 88 urban eyes, 192 urbanization, 154 U.S. Hardiness Zone Map, 38 Vancouver, Canada, 78 Vawter, Zac, 254–55 vegetable gardens, urban, 74 Venice, Italy, 50 veronicas, 125 vertical farming, 74 in sea, see mariculture vervet monkeys, 131 Viking, 220 Vikings, 42 violence, 286 Viridity Energy, 102 Virtual Dissection, 197 Virtual Interactive Presence in Augmented Reality, 261 viruses, 172, 289–90 vitamin D, 192 volcanic archipelagos, 157–58 voles, 115 Voronoff, Serge, 264 Voyager, 220 Wade, Chris, 157–67 Wageningen UR, 104 Wake Forest, 185 Wakodahatchee Wetlands, 75–76 walking, 259–60 walls, 92 walruses, 134 war, 141–48, 285 War Horse, 141–42 Warner, Sabrina, 47–48 Washington State University, 238 water lettuce, 132 water moccasins, 117–18 water purification, 74–75 water-purifying tea bags, 181 Watson, James, 274 waxbills, 79 Wells, H.


pages: 836 words: 158,284

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

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23andMe, airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Buckminster Fuller, carbon footprint, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Dean Kamen, game design, Gary Taubes, index card, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, microbiome, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, placebo effect, Productivity paradox, publish or perish, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Thorstein Veblen, wage slave, William of Occam

One acquaintance removed almost every food from his diet—“I’m allergic to them all!”—without realizing that food allergy testing is notoriously error-prone. If you get an alarming result, repeat the test. If you have the budget, consider using a different lab or, better still, sending two identical samples to the same lab under different names. I did the latter with several tests, including 23andMe, to ensure the results were consistent. 23andMe passed, but many others did not. Get a second opinion before doing anything drastic. I owe special thanks to Dr. Justin Mager for helping me navigate the world of testing. THE MENU Insurance will often cover the first one or two comprehensive tests you have performed, and I encourage you to speak with your doctor about this option. I prefer to keep my testing activities (and results) out of insurance files and usually pay with a credit card.

Good pre-dinner motivation for overfeeding. Arthur Jones Collection (www.fourhourbody.com/jones) This site, compiled by Brian Johnston, is a collection of the writing and photographs of the legendary Arthur Jones, including the original Nautilus Bulletins, “The Future of Exercise,” and unpublished works. End of Chapter Notes 8. I’ve since confirmed this finding with three separate genetic profiles through 23andMe (two tests with different names to ensure consistent results) and Navigenics. 9. I’ve since learned to worry less about cholesterol if HDL is high enough and triglycerides are low enough. 10. Compiled with a combination of the lowest and highest measurements from both locations. 11. To give my adrenal glands and adrenergic receptors a rest, I didn’t consume NO-Xplode on Sundays. 12. I recommend the squat for those who have access to a Safety Bar, which provides a yolk-like shoulder harness. 13.


pages: 527 words: 147,690

Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection by Jacob Silverman

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23andMe, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Brian Krebs, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, game design, global village, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Minecraft, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, pre–internet, price discrimination, price stability, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, social graph, social web, sorting algorithm, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telemarketer, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, unpaid internship, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Perhaps we’d join Miinome, “the first member-controlled, portable human genomics marketplace,” where you can sell your genomic information and receive deals from retailers based on that same information. (Again, I think back to HSBC’s “Your DNA will be your data” ad, this time recognizing it not as an attempt at imparting a vaguely inspirational, futuristic message, but as news of a world already here.) That beats working with 23andMe, right? That company already sells your genetic profile to third parties—and that’s just in the course of the (controversial, non-FDA-compliant) testing they provide, for which they also charge you. Tellingly, a version of this proposal for a data marketplace appears in the World Economic Forum (WEF) paper that announced data as the new oil. Who could be more taken with this idea than the technocrats of Davos?

See also targeting individuals traffic models, 140 transparency, 310 Transportation Security Administration, 215 trending overview, 82–84 and analytics team for Bleacher Report, 127 business incentives behind, 84–85 buying Twitter followers, 85–87, 88–89 fallacy of, 111 fractional workers sorting through queries on Twitter, 229–30 identifying trends, 88–91 and journalists, 97, 101 newsworthiness vs., 124–25 value of supposed trend, 84 tribalism, 63 trolls, 252 trust economy, 282 trust, management of, 234 Tseng, Erick, 324, 324n Tumblr social media site, 27–30, 59, 170–72, 257 Turkle, Sherry, 156 Turow, Joseph, 293, 308, 309, 326–27 23andMe, 328 twentysomethings and photographs, 58 Twitch app for Androids, 260 Twitter AP account hack, 39 bot posts, 38 Connect tab, 351 fractional workers contracted by, 228, 244 investments and sentiment analysis, 37 metrics, 87, 96–97, 147 newscasters reading from tweets, 110 reasons for success, 16 response statistics, 52 secondary orality, 63 sponsored tweets, 174, 200n as triumph of humanity, 6 “Tweets of Privilege,” 170–72 Weird Twitter, 352–53 YesYoureRacist account, 172–73 See also followers; trending Twitter users any user messaging any other user, 360 Bieber, 147–48 celebrity death hoaxes, 348–49 deleting tweets with insufficient responses, 53 devaluing your data, 351–53 Glitchr, 353 and influence rating, 196 lurkers, 49 New York Comic Con tweets posted by convention promoters, 34 reciprocity for retweets, 54–55 recognizing when you’re done, 258 surfacing examples of abuse and injustice, 170 thinking in tweets, 341 user rights, 311 Twopcharts, 87 typeface, OCR-proof, 358 Uber customer rating system, 187–88 driver rating system, 187, 191 drivers for, 241–42, 243, 331 long-term plan, 242 money trail, 236 and New York City, 237 and smartphones, 235 surge pricing, 241 unemployment, 220–26, 331–32.


pages: 238 words: 77,730

Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker

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23andMe, AI winter, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, computer age, Frank Gehry, information retrieval, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, job automation, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, theory of mind, thinkpad, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

There, a medical Watson could diagnose diseases, suggest treatments that have proven successful, and steer doctors away from those that have led to problems. Such analyses could save lives, Jasinski said. ”We kill a hundred thousand people a year from preventable medical errors.” In fact, the potential for next-generation computers in medicine stretches much further. Within a decade, it should cost less than $100 to have an individual’s entire genome sequenced. Some people will volunteer to have this done. (Already, companies like 23andMe, a Silicon Valley startup, charge people $429 for a basic decoding.) Others, perhaps, will find themselves pressed, or even compelled, by governments or insurers, to submit their saliva samples. In either case, computers will be studying, correlating, and answering questions about growing collections of this biological information. At the same time, we’re surrounding ourselves with sensors that provide streams of data about our activities.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

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23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

The machine can handle various tasks, but an important one is gene sequencing. At Mount Sinai, they are sequencing entire genomes—looking at all three billion nucleotides, the basic structural unit of DNA. Within that deluge of nucleotides, scientists have identified about ten million DNA segments called SNPs (pronounced snips), for single nucleotide polymorphisms, that have been linked to diseases in research studies. Consumer gene-testing services, like 23andMe, look at fewer than a million SNPs. At Mount Sinai, the ambitions are larger. They want to see the whole picture, the entire genome sequenced. To really advance research and treatments at Mount Sinai, it will have to do a lot of it, very quickly. The goal, Kovatch says, is to compress the time it takes from days down to an hour. She has named her supercomputer Minerva, for the Roman goddess of wisdom.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy

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23andMe, AltaVista, Anne Wojcicki, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business process, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, discounted cash flows, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, El Camino Real, fault tolerance, Firefox, Gerard Salton, Google bus, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Googley, HyperCard, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Potemkin village, prediction markets, recommendation engine, risk tolerance, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, search inside the book, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, social graph, social software, social web, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, trade route, traveling salesman, Vannevar Bush, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

You could even spot an occasional Dilbert cartoon on a cubicle. Many cheeky activities that had once seemed so refreshing began to assume an aura of calculation when they became routine. How many scavenger hunts can you attend before it becomes a chore? Page and Brin themselves had grown in the decade since they founded Google. Both were now married and within a year of each other fathered sons. Brin’s wife, Anne Wojcicki, was a cofounder of 23andMe, a company involved in personal DNA analysis. Brin defied corporate propriety when he shifted his personal investment in the firm to a company one. Google’s lawyers made sure the transaction passed formal muster. The normally gregarious Brin could turn icy when an unfamiliar person referred to his private life—for example, when a reporter offered congratulations at a Q and A at the Googleplex soon after his wedding, he changed the subject without acknowledging the remark.

But Brin was genuinely open and emotional during a session of the 2008 Google Zeitgeist. Brin put aside talk of commerce to explain that he had examined his own genome with the help of his wife’s DNA-testing enterprise. Since his mother, Eugenia, had previously been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he had looked specifically for an anomaly on the genetic location known as LRRK2—and discovered a mutation known as G2019S, associated with Parkinson’s. His mother, also a 23andMe customer, had the same mutation. (“She’s okay,” he assured everyone. “She skis.”) Brin immediately began researching the implications of this signal; “I found it fairly empowering,” he said. He also became involved with charities trying to find a cure for Parkinson’s, such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation. He showed rare public emotion as he thanked his wife for her help, support, and genomic expertise.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator

Indeed, its emergence as one of the top financiers of startups may be a first for a corporate venture fund. While tech companies have long backed startups, their venture arms have a history of terribly subpar returns, mainly because there was no real independence from the parent company. Google Ventures has invested in more than 225 portfolio companies encompassing all stages and industry sectors, including such rising stars as Uber, Nest, 23andMe, Cloudera, Optimizely, TuneIn, Homejoy and High Fidelity. As a result of its many successes, Google Ventures opened a London office in 2014, with $100 million to invest in European startups. Although Google provides the funds for Google Ventures, invested companies don’t have to benefit Google. That means portfolio companies stay independent and can be acquired by competitors. A downside of this structure, of course, is that Google Ventures might well remain in the dark about potential deals being undertaken by its parent company.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog

With its mobile sensors and apps and visualizations, this movement is tracking and measuring exercise, sleep, alertness, productivity, pharmaceutical responses, DNA, heartbeat, diet, financial expenditure—and then sharing and displaying its findings for greater collective understanding. It is using its tools for clustering, classifying, and discovering rules in raw data, but mostly it is simply quantifying that data to extract signals—information—from the noise. The cumulative rewards of such thinking will be altruistic rather than narcissistic, whether in pooling personal data for greater scientific understanding (23andMe) or in propagating user-submitted data to motivate behavior change in others (traineo). Indeed, as the work of Daniel Kahneman, Daniel Gilbert, and Christakis and Fowler demonstrate so powerfully, accurate individual-level data tracking is key to understanding how human happiness can be quantified, how our social networks affect our behavior, how diseases spread through groups. The data is already out there.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

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23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Instead of money, ‘peer producers who create the stuff gain credit, status, reputation, enjoyment, satisfaction and experience’. People are willing to share their photographs on Flickr, their thoughts on Twitter, their friends on Facebook, their knowledge on Wikipedia, their software patches on Linux, their donations on GlobalGiving, their community news on Craigslist, their pedigrees on Ancestry.com, their genomes on 23andMe, even their medical records on PatientsLikeMe. Thanks to the internet, each is giving according to his ability to each according to his needs, to a degree that never happened in Marxism. This catallaxy will not go smoothly, or without resistance. Natural and unnatural disasters will still happen. Governments will bail out big corporations and big bureaucracies, hand them special favours such as subsidies or carbon rations and regulate them in such a way as to create barriers to entry, slowing down creative destruction.


pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

Researchers are creeping towards printing entire organs.46 This matters—on average, twenty-one people a day die in the United States, and just under three in the United Kingdom, waiting for spare organs.47 Increasing computational power has meant that certain fields, previously conceivable in theory but impossible in practice, are now thriving. Genomics, the science of scanning a patient’s DNA to personalize medical treatment and anticipate future disease, is one example. In 2007 it would have cost around $10 million to read a human genome. Now it costs a few thousand dollars.48 Companies like 23andMe, Navigenics, and deCODE offer commercial testing services from $99.49 In the field of ‘genome editing’, scientists search for problematic genes and actively intervene to change or remove them. Nanomedicine, the use of nanotechnology in a medical setting, is another field. Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman’s seventy-year-old prediction that we might one day ‘swallow the surgeon’50 has come true—there are already small nanobots that are able to swim through our bodies, relaying images, delivering targeted drugs, and attacking particular cells with a precision that makes even the finest of surgeons’ blades look blunt.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Quickly, the cost of sequencing a full human genome fell from about $3 billion in 2000 to $1 million in 2006 and to $100,000 by 2008. Then, in 2008, something astounding happened: the creation of so-called next-generation sequencers caused the price of decoding human genomes to plummet. As a result, improvements in genetic sequencing outpaced advances in computing by five times. By 2014, we had reached the age of the $1,000 whole-genome mapping. Companies such as 23andMe were offering home DNA test kits to the general public for $99 or less, allowing them to merely spit into a plastic tube, ship it off via a prepaid envelope, and a week or two later receive health, ancestry, and genealogy results online. Looking forward, the trend in DNA sequencing suggests that in a few years the price of DNA sequencing will drop to the point that some company will pay to sequence new customers, reducing the out-of-pocket costs to free—a widely used business model in computer technology.


pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More

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23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

Advances in human whole genome testing will likely become available by 2014 so that every person’s entire complement of genes can be scanned and known at his or her physician’s office for as little as $1,000 (National Cancer Institute 2009). Once whole genome testing is perfected we will all learn what even our randomly conferred genes may predispose us to do and from what future ills we are likely suffer. Already, my relatively inexpensive genotype scan from 23andMe tells me that I have alleles that give me a somewhat greater risk of developing celiac disease, a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and a gene variant that some studies suggest can increase my risk of substance abuse (of both alcohol and “street” drugs) fourfold. With ­accumulation of genetic understanding, human freedom will then properly be seen as acting to overcome these predispositions, much like a former alcoholic can overcome his thirst for booze.