autonomous vehicles

55 results back to index


pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chris Urmson, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route

John Markoff, “Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic,” New York Times, October 9, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/science/10google.html. The Google car’s successful driving tests: Mark Harris, “How Google’s Autonomous Car Passed the First U.S. State Self-Driving Test,” IEEE Spectrum Online, September 10, 2014, http://spectrum.iee.org. Idem., “These Are the Secrets Google Wanted to Keep about Its Self-Driving Cars,” Quartz, http://qz.com/252817/these-are-the-secrets-google-wanted-to-keep-about-its-self-driving-cars/, accessed November 18, 2014. Mark Harris, “How Much Training Do You Need to Be a Robocar Test Driver? It Depends On Whom You Work For,” IEEE Spectrum Cars That Think, February 24, 2015, http://spectrum.ieee.org/cars-that-think/transportation/human-factors/how-much-training-do-you-need-to-be-a-robocar-test-driver-it-depends-on-whom-you-work-for. He put a video camera on the dashboard of his car: John Leonard, “Conversations on Autonomy,” presentation, MIT, March 13, 2014.

We know that driverless cars will be susceptible: John Markoff, “Collision in the Making Between Self-Driving Cars and How the World Works,” New York Times, January 23, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/technology/googles-autonomous-vehicles-draw-skepticism-at-legal-symposium.html. Will Knight, “Proceed with Caution toward the Self-Driving Car,” MIT Technology Review, April 16, 2013, http://www.technologyreview.com/review/513531/proceed-with-caution-toward-the-self-driving-car/. M. L. Cummings and Jason Ryan, “Shared Authority Concerns in Automated Driving Applications,” Journal of Ergonomics, S3:001. doi:10.4172/2165-7556.S3-001 how will they rush into the loop quickly enough: Bianca Bosker, “No One Understands the Scariest, Most Dangerous Part of a Self-Driving Car: Us,” Huffington Post, September 16, 2013, accessed July 10, 2014. Google discovered that “people are lazy”: Tom Simonite, “Lazy Humans Shaped Google’s New Autonomous Car,” MIT Technology Review (May 30, 2014), http://www.technologyreview.com/news/527756/lazy-humans-shaped-googles-new-autonomous-car/.

Or a person on the surface might even teleoperate the vehicle when it’s in optical range, then let it do more on its own when out of range or if the optical link is lost. Autonomy then becomes a function of position and bandwidth. Overall, the lines between the human, remote, and autonomous vehicles undersea are blurring. Engineers now envision an ocean with many vehicles working in concert. Some may contain people, others will be remote or autonomous, all will be capable of shifting modes at different times. The recently upgraded Alvin has software originally designed for autonomous vehicles; one day it may connect to the surface with an optical fiber. One day it might even operate unmanned. The challenges are to coordinate all of these machines, keep the humans informed, and ensure the robots’ actions reflect human intentions.


pages: 237 words: 64,411

Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Jerry Kaplan

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, bank run, bitcoin, Brian Krebs, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, Flash crash, Gini coefficient, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, haute couture, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, invention of agriculture, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, Satoshi Nakamoto, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, The Chicago School, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration

See also David Begg, “A 2050 Vision for London: What Are the Implications of Driverless Transport?” Transport Times, June, 2014, http://www.transporttimes.co.uk/Admin/uploads/64165-Transport-Times_A-2050-Vision-for-London_AW-WEB-READY.pdf; http://emarketing.pwc.com/reaction/images/AutofactsAnalystNoteUS(Feb2013)FINAL.pdf 7. According to Brad Templeton, autonomous car consultant to Google, “In Los Angeles, it is estimated that over half of all real estate is devoted to cars (roads and environs, driveways, parking),” personal blog, accessed November 29, 2014, http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/numbers.html. 8. Transportation Energy Data Book, table 8.5, Center for Transportation Analysis, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, accessed November 29, 2014, http://cta.ornl.gov/data/chapter8.shtml. 9. Lawrence D. Burns, William C. Jordan, and Bonnie A. Scarborough, “Transforming Personal Mobility,” the Earth Institute, Columbia University, January 27, 2013, http://sustainablemobility.ei.columbia.edu/files/2012/12/Transforming-Personal-Mobility-Jan-27-20132.pdf. 10.

See shipping depth perception, 42–43 D. E. Shaw and Company, 53, 95, 96, 97 DIDO (distributed input, distributed output), 127 digital recording, 193 Dijkstra, Edgar, 3 dishwashing, 145 Disneyland VIP tour option, 165 doctors. See medical care Dow Jones Industrial Average, 8–9, 61–63 driverless cars. See autonomous vehicles drones, 43, 44 duty-based normative ethics, 82 “Easterlin Paradox,” 225n31 economic system, 7, 10–15 absolute vs. reactive needs and, 186 asset-based, 14–15, 175–87 autonomous vehicles’ effects on, 195, 196 class and, 115, 116, 118 competitive advantage and, 102, 103, 106, 161–65, 181, 186, 187 expansion of, 15, 165 incentives and, 176, 177 inequality and, 12–15, 117–18, 165–66, 174–76 inflation rate, 173, 175 innovation and, 158, 161–64, 186–87 Silicon Valley disruption of, 16 synthetic intellect takeover of, 201–2.

., 200 Rocket Fuel, 64–65, 67–71, 136 founding/current worth of, 72 Rolling Stone (magazine), 170 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 170 Rosenblatt, Frank, 24 Rothschild, Nathan Mayer, 58 R202 (mechanical factotum), 40 Rutter, Brad, 150 SAAS (software-as-a-service), 43 safety: autonomous vehicles, 89, 142, 195 commercial pilots, 151 highway, 44–45, 142, 178 traffic, 195 workplace, 37–38, 44–45 salaries, 116, 120, 145, 172 salespeople, 139 S&P 500 E-mini, 62 San Francisco State University, 121, 158 sanitation, 169 savings. See assets ownership Scheinman, Victor, 35 schools. See education system Schrodinger’s cat, 213n9 science, ix, 114 science fiction, ix–x, xii Seattle, 114 SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), 8, 61–62, 63 segregation, 168, 222n10 self-driving vehicles. See autonomous vehicles self stocking, 40 sensors, 194, 205 applications of, 4, 5 network of, 42–43, 44 recognition by, 39 sex workers and toys, 144–45 Shaw, Dave (King Quant), 51–53, 58, 95, 96, 97, 103 shipping, 39 costs of, 100, 101 delivery and, 141–42, 177 “free,” 101 warehouse stacking and, 144 ShotSpotter system, 43 Silicon Valley startups, x–xi, 64–65, 95–96, 127, 144, 223–24n15 disruption of industries by, 16 personal wealth from, 109 restricted stock vesting by, 184 Simon, Paul, 112 simulated intelligence.


pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight

Eleven fully robotized SUVs and other cars had to navigate a simulated urban course completely autonomously. 9.10 Estimates for the future introduction of fully autonomous military and civilian vehicles from the Urban Challenge presentations of Stanford University’s entry. Whilst driverless cars are unlikely to become available to consumers until 2030 at the earliest, the Urban Challenge robocars are already being displayed at car shows, billed as a way to ‘fortify road safety and eliminate driver error as the most common cause of crashes’.131 The already strong links between militarized robotic combat vehicles (Figure 9.10) and an increasingly militarized society where cars become increasingly automated and surveilled, will likely intensify. One team of Italian military scientists working on these cross-overs said in 2006 that ‘the Urban Challenge will provide some feel of how long it will be before we sit in our own automatic cars’.132 It is also becoming clear that Urban Challenge is a way for the Pentagon to capture the latest civilian technology in robotic vehicles and apply it to its own huge Future Combat Systems programme for the partial robotization of US Army vehicles within urban operating environments.

Widespread campaigns, drawing on a long history of such activism, have targeted the militarized R&D that is carried on in US universities and so firmly underpins securocratic war, ubiquitous bordering, and the Long War.57 Two of the main centres for work on the robotization of weapons–the Robotics Institute and its commercial arm, the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) – are at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and both have been the target of a jamming campaign (Figure 10.13). (In Chapter 9 we already encountered NREC: its ‘robocar’ was the winner of DARPA’s 2007 Urban Challenge competition.) The Carnegie Mellon campaign, labelled ‘Barricade the War Machine’, is challenging the take-over of engineering sciences in the university and the local economy by military-robotics research in the service of the military-industrial-academic complex. It is also raising the key ethical question forced by the shift to fully autonomous weapons systems (see Chapter 5): ‘Who bears moral responsibility for outcomes that are caused by autonomous robotic systems?’

The agency stressed that the aim of the 2007 competition, called ‘Urban Challenge’, was to develop ‘technology that will keep warfighters off the battlefield and out of harm’s way’.127 It was ‘the first time in history that truly autonomous vehicles met and (mostly) avoided each other on the open road’.128 The event required that competing teams build vehicles capable of driving autonomously in traffic, relying entirely on on-board sensors, cameras, radars, computers and GPS systems. These vehicles had to perform turns, mergers, overtaking, and passing, and had to negotiate junctions within a cordoned-off sixty-mile ‘urban’ course in and around a former military base in Victorville, California. To ramp up the challenge, thirty manned vehicles also roamed the course. Urban Challenge was truly groundbreaking, declared DARPA, as it was ‘the first time autonomous vehicles have interacted with both manned and unmanned vehicle traffic in an urban environment’.129 Thirty-five teams from twenty-two US states entered the competition, involving consortia linked to every major high-tech US university, defence company, and computing corporation.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator

To look at this from a more expansive angle, consider that we now live in a world where Google’s autonomous car can cruise our streets safely because of a rooftop sensor called LIDAR—a laser-based sensing device that uses sixty-four eye-safe lasers to scan 360 degrees while concurrently generating 750 megabytes of image data per second to help with navigation.5 Pretty soon, though, we’ll live in a world with, say, two million autonomous cars on our roads (not much of a stretch, as that’s less than one percent of cars currently registered in the United States),6 seeing and recording nearly everything they encounter, giving us near-perfect knowledge of the environment they observe. What’s more, ubiquitous imaging doesn’t stop there. 360-degree LIDAR imaging in Google’s driverless car Source: http://people.bath.ac.uk/as2152/cars/lidar.jpg In addition to these autonomous cars scanning the roadside, by 2020, an estimated five privately owned low-Earth-orbiting satellite constellations will be imaging every square meter of the Earth’s surface in resolutions ranging from 0.5 to 2 meters.7 Simultaneously, we’re also about to see an explosion of AI-operated microdrones buzzing around our cities and taking images down in the centimeter range.

Chapter Three: Five to Change the World 1 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, “Mobile gadgets driving massive growth in touch sensors,” ZDNet, June 18, 2013, http://www.zdnet.com/mobile-gadgets-driving-massive-growth-in-touch-sensors-7000016954/. 2 Peter Kelly-Detwiler, “Machine to Machine Connections—The Internet of Things—And Energy,” Forbes, August 6, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2013/08/06/machine-to-machine-connections-the-internet-of-things-and-energy/. 3 See http://www.shotspotter.com. 4 Clive Thompson, “No Longer Vaporware: The Internet of Things Is Finally Talking,” Wired, December 6, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/12/20-12-st_thompson/. 5 Brad Templeton, “Cameras or Lasers?,” Templetons, http://www.templetons.com/brad/robocars/cameras-lasers.html. 6 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_vehicles_in_the_United_States. 7 Commercial satellite players include: PlanetLabs (already launched), Skybox (launched and acquired by Google), Urthecast (launched), and two still-confidential companies still under development (about which Peter Diamandis has firsthand knowledge). 8 Stanford University, “Need for a Trillion Sensors Roadmap,” Tsensorsummit.org, 2013, http://www.tsensorssummit.org/Resources/Why%20TSensors%20Roadmap.pdf. 9 Rickie Fleming, “The battle of the G networks,” NCDS.com blog, June 28, 2014, http://www.ncds.com/ncds-business-technology-blog/the-battle-of-the-g-networks. 10 AI with Dan Hesse, 2013–14. 11 Unless otherwise noted, all IoT information and Padma Warrior quotes come from an AI with Padma, 2013. 12 Cisco, “2013 IoE Value Index,” Cisco.com, 2013, http://internetofeverything.cisco.com/learn/2013-ioe-value-index-whitepaper. 13 NAVTEQ, “NAVTEQ Traffic Patterns,” Navmart.com, 2008, http://www.navmart.com/pdf/NAVmart_TrafficPatterns.pdf. 14 Juho Erkheikki, “Nokia to Buy Navteq for $8.1 Billion, Take on TomTom (Update 7),” Bloomberg, October 1, 2007, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?

In the aftermath of these reports, Foxconn’s president, Terry Gou, said he intended to replace one million workers with robots over the next three years.54 Besides replacing our blue-collar workforce, over the next three to five years, robots will invade a much wider assortment of fields. “Already,” says Dan Barry, “we’re seeing telepresence robots transport our eyes, ears, arms, and legs to conferences and meetings. Autonomous cars, which are, after all, just robots, will [start to] chauffeur people around and deliver goods and services. Over the next decade, robots will also move into health care, replacing doctors for routine surgeries and supplementing nurses for eldercare. If I were an exponential entrepreneur looking to create tremendous value, I’d look for those jobs that are least enjoyable for humans to do. . . .


pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

Or compare it to electricity: All the major technological innovations happened in the 1870s, but it wasn’t until around 1920 that most factories actually switched to electric power.25 Fast forward to today, and chips are doing things that even ten years ago were still deemed impossible. In 2004 two prominent scientists authored a chapter suggestively titled “Why People Still Matter.”26 Their argument? Driving a car is something that could never be automated. Six years later, Google’s robo-cars had already covered a million miles without a mishap. Okay, one mishap – when a human decided to take the wheel. Futurologist Ray Kurzweil is convinced that by 2029 computers will be just as intelligent as people. In 2045 they might even be a billion times smarter than all human brains put together. According to the techno-prophets, there simply is no limit to the exponential growth of machine computing power.


pages: 309 words: 91,581

The Great Divergence: America's Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It by Timothy Noah

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, Bonfire of the Vanities, Branko Milanovic, call centre, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Gini coefficient, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, manufacturing employment, moral hazard, oil shock, pattern recognition, performance metric, positional goods, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, upwardly mobile, very high income, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War

All this is well beyond the ability of a computer.8 Or so it seemed when Levy and Murnane wrote their book. In 2011 their MIT colleagues Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of the Sloan School of Management wrote that this conclusion had become obsolete by the end of 2010. In October of that year Google automated a fleet of Toyota Priuses and put them on the road (with human drivers behind the wheel as safety backups). The robocars navigated from Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters to its Santa Monica office, taking a detour along the way to wind down San Francisco’s Lombard Street (“the crookedest street in the world”). The cars made the 350-mile trip with only a few minor human interventions. “Levy and Murnane were correct that automatic driving on populated roads is an enormously difficult task,” Brynjolfsson and McAfee conclude, “and it’s not easy to build a computer that can substitute for human perception and pattern matching in this domain.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

A young Google engineer, Anthony Levandowski, routinely commuted from Berkeley to Mountain View, a distance of fifty miles, in one of the Priuses, and Thrun himself would let a Google car drive him from Mountain View to his vacation home in Lake Tahoe on weekends. Today, partially autonomous cars are already appearing on the market, and they offer two paths toward the future of transportation—one with smarter and safer human drivers and one in which humans will become passengers. Google had not disclosed how it planned to commercialize its research, but by the end of 2013 more than a half-dozen automakers had already publicly stated their intent to offer autonomous vehicles. Indeed, 2014 was the year that the line was first crossed commercially when a handful of European car manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, and Audi announced an optional feature—traffic jam assist, the first baby step toward autonomous driving.

After a half-dozen miles, the robotic meanderings of the Touareg felt anticlimactic. Stanley wasn’t driving down the freeway, so as the desert scenery slid by, it seemed increasingly unnecessary to wear crash helmets for what was more or less a Sunday drive in the country. The car was in training to compete in the Pentagon’s second Grand Challenge, an ambitious autonomous vehicle contest intended to jump-start technology planned for future robotic military vehicles. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Congress instructed the U.S. military to begin designing autonomous vehicles. Congress even gave the Pentagon a specific goal: by 2015, one-third of the army’s vehicles were supposed to go places without human drivers present. The directive wasn’t clear as to whether both autonomous and remotely teleoperated vehicles would satisfy the requirement. In either case the idea was that smart vehicles would save both money and soldiers’ lives.

Software could generally be designed to choose the lesser evil; however, the framing of the question seems wrong on other levels. Because 90 percent of road accidents result from driver error, it is likely that a transition to autonomous vehicles will result in a dramatic drop in the overall number of injuries and deaths. So, clearly the greater good would be served even though there will still be a small number of accidents purely due to technological failures. In some respects, the automobile industry has already agreed with this logic. Air bags, for example, save more lives than are lost due to faulty air bag deployments. Secondly, the narrow focus of the question ignores how autonomous vehicles will probably operate in the future, when it is highly likely that road workers, cops, emergency vehicles, cars, pedestrians, and cyclists will electronically signal their presence to each other, a feature that even without complete automation should dramatically increase safety.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

“Microsoft’s KinectFusion Research Project Offers Real-time 3D Reconstruction, Wild AR Possibilities,” Engadget, August 9, 2011, http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/09/microsofts-kinectfusion-research-project-offers-real-time-3d-re/ (accessed June 26, 2013). 23. Thomas Whelan et al., “Kintinuous: Spatially Extended KinectFusion,” n.d., http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/71756/MIT-CSAIL-TR-2012-020.pdf?sequence=1. 24. Brett Solomon, “Velodyne Creating Sensors for China Autonomous Vehicle Market,” Technology Tell, July 5, 2013, http://www.technologytell.com/in-car-tech/4283/velodyne-creating-sensors-for-china-autonomous-vehicle-market/. Chapter 4 THE DIGITIZATION OF JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING 1. Nick Wingfield and Brian X. Chen, “Apple Keeps Loyalty of Mobile App Developers,” New York Times, June 10, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/technology/apple-keeps-loyalty-of-mobile-app-developers.html. 2. “How Was the Idea for Waze Created?,” http://www.waze.com/faq/ (accessed June 27, 2013). 3.

This same period is called by others the Second Industrial Revolution, which is how we’ll refer to it in later chapters. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” —Arthur C. Clarke IN THE SUMMER OF 2012, we went for a drive in a car that had no driver. During a research visit to Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters, we got to ride in one of the company’s autonomous vehicles, developed as part of its Chauffeur project. Initially we had visions of cruising in the back seat of a car that had no one in the front seat, but Google is understandably skittish about putting obviously autonomous autos on the road. Doing so might freak out pedestrians and other drivers, or attract the attention of the police. So we sat in the back while two members of the Chauffeur team rode up front.

We were further convinced that year by the initial results of the DARPA Grand Challenge for driverless cars. DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was founded in 1958 (in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite) and tasked with spurring technological progress that might have military applications. In 2002 the agency announced its first Grand Challenge, which was to build a completely autonomous vehicle that could complete a 150-mile course through California’s Mojave Desert. Fifteen entrants performed well enough in a qualifying run to compete in the main event, which was held on March 13, 2004. The results were less than encouraging. Two vehicles didn’t make it to the starting area, one flipped over in the starting area, and three hours into the race only four cars were still operational.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

Also, virtually all the really dramatic predictions about the benefits of driverless cars assume an entirely driverless network—one in which no one drives, and for which virtually driving is done autonomously. This is a nontrivial point: a system that is “only” driverless on expressways, for example, isn’t going to change behavior in large ways, since most trips are less than ten miles in length. And don’t get me started on trying to figure out who gets sued in the event of a collision between autonomous cars. Maybe more plausibly, others have wondered whether autonomous cars, by reducing the pain and misery associated with driving, will therefore make it more appealing—so appealing, in fact, as to reverse the centripetal phenomenon that is now drawing more and more people back into densely populated cities from the sprawling suburbs that attracted their parents and grandparents after the Second World War. In that scenario, a new generation of commuters will be so happy to enter a driverless vehicle—one that allows them to watch movies, read books, or catch up on e-mail without ever having to worry about other drivers, traffic jams, or even missing that exit on Route 124—that they will be quite content to accept commutes that run into hours each day.

They will prevent the driver from . . . turning out into traffic except when he should. They will aid him in passing through intersections without slowing down or causing anyone else to do so and without endangering himself or others. For the next five decades, companies like RCA, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and others worked to bring Bel Geddes’s vision to life. For most of that time, autonomous vehicles were conceived as part of a system that traveled on dedicated roads or tracks, rather than streets, and went by the name of Personal Rapid Transit, or PRT. PRT is generally used to describe a network of small, driverless electrical vehicles—pod cars—traveling on elevated guidewaysh containing sensors and switches that can, in combination, offer point-to-point travel nearly as flexibly as an automobile, but as safely and efficiently as a subway or streetcar.

Google’s versions of the driverless car—refitted Toyotas, Audis, and Lexuses—combine real-time access to all that data with a laser rangefinder that creates and refreshes three-dimensional maps of the area immediately around the car. It has so far succeeded in a dozen different road tests, comprising more than seven hundred thousand autonomous miles without a single self-caused problem (one car did get rear-ended; not, one hopes, by another autonomous vehicle). Though the company admits to a number of limitations to the existing technology, including bad weather, the Google car has done a spectacular job promoting the potential of autonomous driving. For people who believe in the never-ending bounty of digital improvement it seems only a matter of a few years before Google solves the remaining technical obstacles in the path of truly autonomous driving.j (At that point, Google, which invested more than $250 million in Uber back in 2013, will be able to launch its new subsidiary, which I call Goober.)


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

To identify the megatrends and convey the broad landscape of technological drivers of the fourth industrial revolution, I have organized the list into three clusters: physical, digital and biological. All three are deeply interrelated and the various technologies benefit from each other based on the discoveries and progress each makes. 2.1.1 Physical There are four main physical manifestations of the technological megatrends, which are the easiest to see because of their tangible nature: – autonomous vehicles – 3D printing – advanced robotics – new materials Autonomous vehicles The driverless car dominates the news but there are now many other autonomous vehicles including trucks, drones, aircrafts and boats. As technologies such as sensors and artificial intelligence progress, the capabilities of all these autonomous machines improve at a rapid pace. It is only a question of a few years before low-cost, commercially available drones, together with submersibles, are used in different applications.

We have yet to grasp fully the speed and breadth of this new revolution. Consider the unlimited possibilities of having billions of people connected by mobile devices, giving rise to unprecedented processing power, storage capabilities and knowledge access. Or think about the staggering confluence of emerging technology breakthroughs, covering wide-ranging fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the internet of things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage and quantum computing, to name a few. Many of these innovations are in their infancy, but they are already reaching an inflection point in their development as they build on and amplify each other in a fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds. We are witnessing profound shifts across all industries, marked by the emergence of new business models, the disruption1 of incumbents and the reshaping of production, consumption, transportation and delivery systems.

The scale and scope of change explain why disruption and innovation feel so acute today. The speed of innovation in terms of both its development and diffusion is faster than ever. Today’s disruptors – Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba and the like – now household names - were relatively unknown just a few years ago. The ubiquitous iPhone was first launched in 2007. Yet there were as many as 2 billion smart phones at the end of 2015. In 2010 Google announced its first fully autonomous car. Such vehicles could soon become a widespread reality on the road. One could go on. But it is not only speed; returns to scale are equally staggering. Digitization means automation, which in turn means that companies do not incur diminishing returns to scale (or less of them, at least). To give a sense of what this means at the aggregate level, compare Detroit in 1990 (then a major centre of traditional industries) with Silicon Valley in 2014.


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

Nissan has promised the world affordable autonomous cars by 2020. Google will have a hundred of its Google-bugs on Californian test tracks, and possibly roads in 2014; the University of Michigan is building a 32-acre model village to test self-driving ‘connected cars’; Volvo, in conjunction with the city of Gothenburg, has announced a pilot scheme scheduled to commence in 2017, in which a fleet of a hundred of its driverless cars will be set loose on an initial thirty miles of public roads described as ‘typical commuter arteries’. Meanwhile the British city of Milton Keynes has plans to introduce a fleet of self-directed ‘pods’ in 2015, which will run along a dedicated track from its centre to its railway station. Even accountants are getting fired up over autonomous vehicles: the multinational firm KPMG has quantified the potential benefits that might flow from letting computers and servomotors do the driving.

If motorcars could detect each other, could communicate among themselves, and might be programmed to avoid collisions, then rush hours would be far safer. Google, which is leading research in autonomous vehicles, is also motivated by safety. Its informal corporate motto is ‘Don’t be Evil’, and it believes that driverless cars will end the global carnage on the roads that claims more victims each year than warfare. In the same speech in which CFO Patrick Pichette dismissed telecommuting, he also stated that, in an ideal world, ‘nobody should be driving cars… Look at factorial math and probabilities of everything that could go wrong, times the number of cars out there… That’s why you have gridlock… It makes no sense to make people drive cars.’ Google’s ambitions for autonomous vehicles reach beyond safety: Its lead developer Sebastian Thrun, a veteran of the DARPA ’05 Grand Challenge, sums them up as: (1) We can reduce traffic accidents by 90%

According to its twelfth five-year plan for transportation, it will spend US$787.4 billion on building roads between 2011 and 2015, or about the same as the GDP of Holland. While commuting by motorcar looks set to stay for the foreseeable future, there may be significant changes in the way it’s carried out. Although more and more people will be using cars to get to work, it may be as passengers rather than drivers. Driverless or autonomous vehicles have been on futurologists’ radars for longer than telecommuting. The first recorded example was the Achen Motor Company’s ‘phantom motor car’, which it promised to drive around the streets of Milwaukee by radio control in December 1926. The Milwaukee Sentinel waxed lyrical over the ‘ghost’: ‘Driverless, it will start its own motor, throw its clutch, twist its steering wheel, toot its horn, and it may even “sass” the policeman at the corner.’

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lump of labour, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

[clxxxi] Perhaps we will contract the phrase “autonomous vehicle”, and call them “autos”. Some people are going to hate self-driving cars, whatever they are called: petrol-heads like Jeremy Clarkson are unlikely to be enthusiastic about the objects of their devotion being replaced by machines with all the romance of a horizontal elevator. Some people are already describing a person who has been relegated from driver to chaperone as a “meat puppet”.[clxxxii] The US Department of Transport draws a distinction between (partly) autonomous cars and (fully) self-driving cars.[clxxxiii] The former still have steering wheels, and require a human driver to take over when they encounter a tricky situation. Self-driving cars, by contrast, are fully independent, and the steering wheel has been removed to save space. Autonomous cars will probably be merely a staging post en route to the completely self-driving variety.

utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=@KyleSGibson [clxxvi] The Flynn Effect: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31556802 [clxxvii] WHO "Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013: supporting a decade of action [clxxviii] http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/15/business/tech/human-drivers-biggest-threat-developing-self-driving-cars/#.Vo7D5fmLRD8 [clxxix] http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/the-american-commuter-spends-38-hours-a-year-stuck-in-traffic/272905/ [clxxx] http://www.reinventingparking.org/2013/02/cars-are-parked-95-of-time-lets-check.html [clxxxi] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=autocar [clxxxii] http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/audi-autonomous-car-prototype-starts-550-mile-trip-to-ces/ [clxxxiii] http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/U.S.+Department+of+Transportation+Releases+Policy+on+Automated+Vehicle+Development [clxxxiv] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [clxxxv] http://www.wired.com/2015/04/delphi-autonomous-car-cross-country/ [clxxxvi] http://recode.net/2015/03/17/google-self-driving-car-chief-wants-tech-on-the-market-within-five-years/ [clxxxvii] http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/22/a-new-system-lets-self-driving-cars-learn-streets-on-the-fly/ [clxxxviii] http://cleantechnica.com/2015/10/12/autonomous-buses-being-tested-in-greek-city-of-trikala/ [clxxxix] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-16/google-said-to-make-driverless-cars-an-alphabet-company-in-2016 [cxc] http://electrek.co/2015/12/21/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-drops-prediction-full-autonomous-driving-from-3-years-to-2/ [cxci] http://venturebeat.com/2016/01/10/elon-musk-youll-be-able-to-summon-your-tesla-from-anywhere-in-2018/ [cxcii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/01/11/elon-musk-says-teslas-autopilot-is-already-probably-better-than-human-drivers/ [cxciii] http://electrek.co/2016/04/24/tesla-autopilot-probability-accident/ [cxciv] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35280632 [cxcv] http://www.zdnet.com/article/ford-self-driving-cars-are-five-years-away-from-changing-the-world/ [cxcvi] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [cxcvii] http://www.wired.com/2015/12/californias-new-self-driving-car-rules-are-great-for-texas/ [cxcviii] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [cxcix] It has been suggested that electric cars should make noises so that people don’t step off the pavement in front of them.

[cxcii] In April 2016 he went further, claiming that Tesla’s autopilot system was already reducing the number of accidents by 50% - where an accident meant an incident where an airbag was deployed.[cxciii] Ford reported success in January 2016 with tests of its self-driving car in snowy conditions. Unable to determine its location by the obscured road markings, it navigates by using buildings and other above-ground features.[cxciv] In May 2016 an executive in Ford’s autonomous vehicle team estimated that the remaining technological hurdles would be overcome within five years, although adoption would of course take longer. He said the amount of computing power each car currently required was “about the equivalent of five decent laptops.”[cxcv] At the time of writing, the only accident which a Google self-driving car might be blamed for happened in February 2016. The car was trying to merge into a line of traffic and expected that a bus which was approaching from behind would give way.


pages: 72 words: 21,361

Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Amazon Mechanical Turk, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, combinatorial explosion, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, hiring and firing, income inequality, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Loebner Prize, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, patent troll, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, shareholder value, Skype, too big to fail, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy

The GeoFluent offering from Lionbridge has brought instantaneous machine translation to customer service interactions. IBM is working with Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine to adapt Watson to the work of medical diagnosis, announcing a partnership in that area with voice recognition software maker Nuance. And the Nevada state legislature directed its Department of Motor Vehicles to come up with regulations covering autonomous vehicles on the state’s roads. Of course, these are only a small sample of the myriad IT-enabled innovations that are transforming manufacturing, distribution, retailing, media, finance, law, medicine, research, management, marketing, and almost every other economic sector and business function. Where People Still Win (at Least for Now) Although computers are encroaching into territory that used to be occupied by people alone, like advanced pattern recognition and complex communication, for now humans still hold the high ground in each of these areas.

The “winning” vehicle couldn’t even make it eight miles into the course and took hours to go even that far. In Domain After Domain, Computers Race Ahead Just six years later, however, real-world driving went from being an example of a task that couldn’t be automated to an example of one that had. In October of 2010, Google announced on its official blog that it had modified a fleet of Toyota Priuses to the point that they were fully autonomous cars, ones that had driven more than 1,000 miles on American roads without any human involvement at all, and more than 140,000 miles with only minor inputs from the person behind the wheel. (To comply with driving laws, Google felt that it had to have a person sitting behind the steering wheel at all times). Levy and Murnane were correct that automatic driving on populated roads is an enormously difficult task, and it’s not easy to build a computer that can substitute for human perception and pattern matching in this domain.

This is an impossible question to answer precisely, of course, but a reasonable estimate yields an intriguing conclusion. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis added “Information Technology” as a category of business investment in 1958, so let’s use that as our starting year. And let’s take the standard 18 months as the Moore’s Law doubling period. Thirty-two doublings then take us to 2006 and to the second half of the chessboard. Advances like the Google autonomous car, Watson the Jeopardy! champion supercomputer, and high-quality instantaneous machine translation, then, can be seen as the first examples of the kinds of digital innovations we’ll see as we move further into the second half—into the phase where exponential growth yields jaw-dropping results. Computing the Economy: The Economic Power of General Purpose Technologies These results will be felt across virtually every task, job, and industry.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay

No matter how many years of experience a driver has, her skills will slowly erode if she lets the computer take over. Prajan’s proposal gives us the worst of both worlds: we let teenage drivers loose in manual cars, when they are most likely to have accidents. And even when they’ve learned some road craft, it won’t take long being a passenger in a usually reliable autonomous car before their skills begin to fade. Recall that Earl Wiener said, “Digital devices tune out small errors while creating opportunities for large errors.”21 In the case of autopilots and autonomous vehicles, we might add that it’s because digital devices tidily tune out small errors that they create the opportunities for large ones. Deprived of any awkward feedback, any modest challenges that might allow us to maintain our skills, when the crisis arrives we find ourselves lamentably unprepared

(His oldest son will be sixteen in 2020—Urmson is in a hurry.) There’s a revealing implication in that target: that unlike a plane’s autopilot, a self-driving car will never need to cede control to a human being. True to form, Google’s autonomous vehicles have no steering wheel, though one hopes there will be some way to jump out if they start heading for the ocean.19 Not everyone thinks it is plausible for cars to be completely autonomous—or, at least, not soon enough for Urmson junior. Raj Rajkumar, an autonomous-driving expert at Carnegie Mellon University, thinks completely autonomous vehicles are ten to twenty years away. Until then, we can look forward to a more gradual process of letting the car drive itself in easier conditions, while humans take over at more challenging moments. “The number of scenarios that are automatable will increase over time, and one fine day, the vehicle is able to control itself completely, but that last step will be a minor, incremental step and one will barely notice this actually happened,” Rajkumar told the 99% Invisible podcast.

Pradhan of the University of Michigan.20 It seems likely that we’ll react by playing a computer game or chatting on a video phone, rather than watching like a hawk how the computer is driving—maybe not on our first trip in an autonomous car, but certainly on our hundredth. And when the computer gives control back to the driver, it may well do so in the most extreme and challenging situations. The three Air France pilots had two or three minutes to work out what to do when their autopilot asked them to take over an A330; what chance would you or I have when the computer in our car says “Automatic Mode Disengaged” and we look up from our smartphone screen to see a bus careening toward us? Anuj Prajan has floated the idea that humans should have to acquire several years of manual experience before they are allowed to supervise an autonomous car. But it is hard to see how this solves the problem. No matter how many years of experience a driver has, her skills will slowly erode if she lets the computer take over.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

With the manufacturer that installed the self-driving system? With the programmers who wrote the software? Until such thorny questions get sorted out, fully automated cars are unlikely to grace dealer showrooms. Progress will sprint forward nonetheless. Much of the Google test cars’ hardware and software will come to be incorporated into future generations of cars and trucks. Since the company went public with its autonomous vehicle program, most of the world’s major carmakers have let it be known that they have similar efforts under way. The goal, for the time being, is not so much to create an immaculate robot-on-wheels as to continue to invent and refine automated features that enhance safety and convenience in ways that get people to buy new cars. Since I first turned the key in my Subaru’s ignition, the automation of driving has already come a long way.

Would the program make a different choice if it knew that one of your own children was riding with you, strapped into a sensor-equipped car seat in the back? What if there was an oncoming vehicle in the other lane? What if that vehicle was a school bus? Isaac Asimov’s first law of robot ethics—“a robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm”1—sounds reasonable and reassuring, but it assumes a world far simpler than our own. The arrival of autonomous vehicles, says Gary Marcus, the NYU psychology professor, would do more than “signal the end of one more human niche.” It would mark the start of a new era in which machines will have to have “ethical systems.”2 Some would argue that we’re already there. In small but ominous ways, we have started handing off moral decisions to computers. Consider Roomba, the much-publicized robotic vacuum cleaner.

The company ended up losing almost half a billion dollars, putting it on the verge of bankruptcy. Within a week, a consortium of other Wall Street firms bailed Knight out to avoid yet another disaster in the financial industry. Technology improves, of course, and bugs get fixed. Flawlessness, though, remains an ideal that can never be achieved. Even if a perfect automated system could be designed and built, it would still operate in an imperfect world. Autonomous cars don’t drive the streets of utopia. Robots don’t ply their trades in Elysian factories. Geese flock. Lightning strikes. The conviction that we can build an entirely self-sufficient, entirely reliable automated system is itself a manifestation of automation bias. Unfortunately, that conviction is common not only among technology pundits but also among engineers and software programmers—the very people who design the systems.


pages: 240 words: 65,363

Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Barry Marshall: ulcers, call centre, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Gary Taubes, income inequality, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, medical residency, microbiome, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, transatlantic slave trade, éminence grise

.*) Whatever happened to the carpal tunnel syndrome epidemic? (Once journalists stopped getting it, they stopped writing about it—but the problem persists, especially among blue-collar workers.) Some questions were existential: What makes people truly happy? Is income inequality as dangerous as it seems? Would a diet high in omega-3 lead to world peace? People wanted to know the pros and cons of: autonomous vehicles, breast-feeding, chemotherapy, estate taxes, fracking, lotteries, “medicinal prayer,” online dating, patent reform, rhino poaching, using an iron off the tee, and virtual currencies. One minute we’d get an e-mail asking us to “solve the obesity epidemic” and then, five minutes later, one urging us to “wipe out famine, right now!” Readers seemed to think no riddle was too tricky, no problem too hard, that it couldn’t be sorted out.

If you make an argument that promises all benefits and no costs, your opponent will never buy it—nor should he. Panaceas are almost nonexistent. If you paper over the shortcomings of your plan, that only gives your opponent reason to doubt the rest of it. Let’s say you’ve become a head-over-heels advocate for a new technology you think will change the world. Your argument goes like this: The era of the self-driving car—a.k.a. the driverless car, or autonomous vehicle—is just around the corner, and we should embrace it as vigorously as possible. It will save millions of lives and improve just about every facet of our society and economy. You could go on and on. You could talk about how the toughest challenge—the technology itself—has largely been conquered. Nearly every major automaker in the world, as well as Google, has successfully tested cars that use an onboard computer, GPS, cameras, radar, laser scanners, and actuators to do everything a human driver can do—but better.

And since roughly 90 percent of the world’s 1.2 million traffic deaths each year—yes, 1.2 million deaths, every year!—are the result of driver error, the driverless car may be one of the biggest lifesavers in recent history. Unlike humans, a driverless car won’t drive drowsy or drunk, or while texting or applying mascara; it won’t change lanes while putting ketchup on french fries or turn around to smack its kids in the backseat. Google has already driven its fleet of autonomous cars more than 500,000 miles on real roads throughout the United States without causing an accident.* But safety isn’t the only benefit. Elderly and handicapped people wouldn’t have to drive themselves to the doctor (or, if they prefer, to the beach). Parents wouldn’t have to worry about their reckless teenagers getting behind the wheel. People could drink without hesitation when they go out at night—good news for restaurants, bars, and the alcohol industry.


pages: 271 words: 77,448

Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will by Geoff Colvin

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Ada Lovelace, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Black Swan, call centre, capital asset pricing model, computer age, corporate governance, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Freestyle chess, future of work, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Narrative Science, new economy, rising living standards, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs

If it senses that a driver is highly stressed, it can suggest relaxing music and give the GPS guidance a more soothing tone of voice. If the driver is spacing out, it could jar him back to attention by making the steering wheel vibrate. Most intriguingly (or hilariously), the researchers even used special thermochromatic paint to make a car change its external color based on the driver’s emotional state, as a signal to other drivers. Whether this technology has time to be commercialized before the arrival of autonomous vehicles makes it irrelevant is a separate question. The power of computers to sense human emotions means, inevitably, that a machine can outdo us even in detecting our own emotions. It’s surely tempting to suppose that I possess a sense of my own emotional state that no entity standing outside of me, human or electronic, could ever reach. Yet of course it isn’t true. We’ve all had the experience of asking someone why they’re in a bad mood and having that person, eyes flaming, roar, “I’m not in a bad mood!”

Watson could do it at light speed with an electronic signal, so the developers interposed a delay to level the playing field. Otherwise I’d never have a prayer of winning, even if we both knew the correct response. But, of course, even with the delay, I lost. So let’s confront reality: Watson is smarter than I am. In fact, I’m surrounded by technology that’s better than I am at sophisticated tasks. Google’s autonomous car is a better driver than I am. The company has a whole fleet of vehicles that have driven hundreds of thousands of miles with only one accident while in autonomous mode, when one of the cars was rear-ended by a human driver at a stoplight. Computers are better than humans at screening documents for relevance in the discovery phase of litigation, an activity for which young lawyers used to bill at an impressive hourly rate.

This is the kind of work that computers for decades could hardly do at all. An example illustrates the gap in abilities: In 1997 a computer could beat the world’s greatest chess player yet could not physically move the pieces on the board. But again the technology needed only time, a few more doublings of power. The skills of physical work are also not immune to the advance of infotech. Google’s autonomous cars are an obvious and significant example—significant because the number one job among American men is truck driver. Many more examples are appearing. You can train a Baxter robot (from Rethink Robotics) to do all kinds of things—pack or unpack boxes, take items to or from a conveyor belt, fold a T-shirt, carry things around, count them, inspect them—just by moving its arms and hands (“end-effectors”) in the desired way.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

About five million Americans work providing ‘transportation services’, including about half a million cab drivers and nearly one and a half million drivers of freight trucks.13 Autonomous vehicles could eliminate all of that work. But that would only be the beginning. Driverless vehicles might double as nannies, picking up youngsters from school and delivering them to a parent’s office or an after-school activity. They could facilitate the near-complete automation of massive amounts of retail; many grocery shops might vanish as consumers could instead get into the habit of mentioning to their smartphone when a bottle of wine is needed, which could then be ferried from a nearby warehouse by autonomous car. Car ownership might itself become obsolete, since vehicles of any sort could be hailed instantly. Traffic might vanish in the space of a few years, while the massive tracts of land given over to parking lots could suddenly be used more productively.

With a few keystrokes they can see whether rearranging the enormous machines will save time or leave robots banging their metal arms together. Today, automobile manufacturing is first and foremost a software business, as opposed to an industrial operation. The value of the code in the machines becomes relatively more important as cars get smarter; Volvo, like many manufacturers, is working to get autonomous vehicles in regular operation on Swedish streets within the next few years. Already the cars are smart enough to do much of the brainwork involved in driving, from plotting routes to keeping a safe distance from the car ahead. Driverless cars are not yet generating discomfort among the men who drive cabs around central Gothenburg, many of whom are immigrants or the children of immigrants. The hollowing out of the industrial workforce is, however.

Karabarbounis, Loukas, and Neiman, Brent, ‘The Global Decline of the Labor Share’, Quarterly Journal of Economics; Elsby, Michael, Hobijn, Bart, and Sahin, Aysegul, ‘The Decline of the US Labor Share’, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Fall 2013. 3. In Search of a Better Sponge   1. EIA (http://www.eia.gov/beta/international).   2. BLS, State and Metro Area Employment, hours and earnings.   3. Logan, Bryan, ‘Mercedes-Benz’s Self-driving Big-rig Proves that Autonomous Vehicles are Coming Sooner than We Think’, Tech Insider, 5 October 2015.   4. Crooks, Ed, and Hornby, Lucy, ‘Sunshine Revolution: The Age of Solar Power’, Financial Times, 5 November 2015.   5. BLS, Current Employment Statistics.   6. From the author’s own conversations with Michael Mandel.   7. BLS, ibid.   8. ‘The Digital Degree’, The Economist, 28 June 2014.   9. ‘Wealth by Degrees’, ibid. 10. 

Industry 4.0: The Industrial Internet of Things by Alasdair Gilchrist

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, chief data officer, cloud computing, connected car, cyber-physical system, deindustrialization, fault tolerance, global value chain, Google Glasses, hiring and firing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, low skilled workers, millennium bug, pattern recognition, platform as a service, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RFID, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, smart transportation, software as a service, stealth mode startup, supply-chain management, trade route, web application, WebRTC, WebSocket, Y2K

It uses the IIoT for remote asset management and predictive maintenance. By using a strategy of sensors, remote communication, and Big Data analytics, Thames Water can anticipate equipment failures and respond quicker to any critical situation that may arise due to inclement weather. However, other industries have other tactical priorities when deploying IIoT, one being health and safety. Here we have seen some innovative projects from using drones and autonomous vehicles to inspect Oil and Gas lines in inhospitable areas to using autonomous mining equipment. Indeed Schlumberger is currently using an autonomous underwater vehicle to inspect sub-sea conditions. The unmanned vehicle travels around the ocean floor and monitors conditions for anything up to a year powered only by wave motion, which makes deployment in remote ocean locations possible, as they are both autonomous and self-sufficient requiring no local team support.

Ideally, a forklift would communicate with other forklifts, ensuring they were aware of one another to take avoiding action, such as slowing or stopping at blind intersections if another forklift is detected in the immediate vicinity. However, in the developed world it is still far more common to pick-by-paper, which is the term applied to the manual human picking of goods from a shelf. Forklifts, autonomous vehicles, and robots are great for heavy lifting of large pallets, but not much use for picking small intricate articles out of a stock bin. This is where human workers are in their element. Remember all those pedestrians being injured in the warehouse by forklifts? Well those pedestrians are most likely to be the pick-by-paper workforce. These are workers employed to collect individual stock items from a list.

The Control Domain A representation of the control domain is typically a collection of functional units that perform tasks such as reading data from sensors then logic units apply rules, logic, and subsequently applying feedback to the machines in order to exercise control over the process. In an industrial scenario, accuracy and resolution are both critical components of the control functions, and as such, the logic, the compute element, is usually situated as close to the sensors as is technically feasible. Examples of control domains may be in a large IIS system, for example, a control room in a nuclear plant or in smaller IISs a microprocessor in an autonomous vehicle, which controls temperature in a smart office. The control domain is made up of a set of common functions, which may well vary in their complexity. An example could be that the IIS will require sensors and therefore the control domain will require a function to be able to read sensor activity. This could require not just hardware, software but also analytics, as there can be a requirement for recursive sensing, which is a complex feedback mechanism that requires real-time linkage to the IIS.


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

The usual pattern, of course, is that once automation tackles relatively primitive tasks it moves up the ladder of complexity. We see no reason why this wouldn’t happen in surgery over the next couple of decades. Autonomous vehicles are another area of intelligent technology involving physical tasks—moving and getting things around. These vehicles employ a combination of GPS and digital maps, light radar (“lidar”), video cameras, and ultrasonic, radar, and odometry sensors to generate and analyze a massive amount of data about the vehicle’s position and surroundings. We probably don’t have to tell you too much about this area, because it gets more than its share of media attention. But it’s a good bet that autonomous cars and trucks will be commonplace on our streets within the next decade. If they’re not, it will probably be because of slow regulatory change processes, rather than technical limitations.

The second: “A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law.” And the third: “A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.” Plenty of people have pointed out that the laws are problematic, because social situations are complex. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, for example, raised a common question about autonomous vehicles during a forum hosted by the National Automobile Dealers Association. What if, he asked, a toddler runs into the street in front of a self-driving car, and the robot’s only option not to hit that child is to swerve into the path of an oncoming vehicle with four people in it? After that split-second decision is made and fatal accident results, said Buffett, “I am not sure who gets sued.” More deeply, “[I]t will be interesting to know who programs that computer and what their thoughts are about the values of human lives and things.”


pages: 375 words: 88,306

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism by Arun Sundararajan

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, distributed ledger, employer provided health coverage, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, job automation, job-hopping, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Lyft, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, universal basic income, Zipcar

The results of a wide variety of independent study projects undertaken by my NYU undergraduates and MBA students have helped mold my early-stage research and thinking: the ones that stand out were by Humaira Faiz, Sydnee Grushack, Andrew Ng, and Jara Small (on inclusive growth in the sharing economy); Jonah Blumstein, Valeriya Greene and Eric Jacobson (on Airbnb and city regulations); Andrew Covell, Varun Jain, and June Khin (on the organization of sharing economy platforms); Phil Hayes (on surge pricing); Dmitrios Theocharis and Siri Zhan (on the on-demand workforce); Ann Dang, Louise Lai, and Daniella Tapia (on the global variation in regulation); Lauren Tai (on regulating autonomous vehicles); Karl Gourgue, Manasa Grandhi, and Joyce Fei (on decentralized models of research); Arra Malek, Ansh Patel, and Haley Zhou (on apparel rental models); Laura Kettell and Karina Alkhasyan (on peer-to-peer finance); and Keerthi Moudgal (on peer-to-peer retailing). Although I have been captivated by the sharing economy for many years now, the emergence of this book was catalyzed by a series of email messages that my editor at the MIT Press, Emily Taber, sent me in April 2015.

In aiming to strike a balance between practicality and prophesy, I have focused the book more heavily on the immediate future of crowd-based capitalism, rather than on the more distant future. The accommodation, transportation, and freelance labor sectors have been the earliest to see big changes induced by crowd-based capitalism, but commercial real estate, health care provision and energy production and distribution will soon follow. And the digitization of the physical will, over the coming decade, yield mass-market autonomous vehicles in the United States, Western Europe and parts of Asia, radically reshaping the automobile industry, shifting market power away from today’s leading manufacturers and towards a range of technology platforms—Uber, Lyft, Didi Kuaidi and Ola, as well as Apple, Google, and perhaps even Amazon. In parallel, the additive manufacturing revolution will change how artifacts are made, shifting more and more production into the crowd.

Indeed, taxi drivers (most of whom in larger cities do not own their cars or “medallions”) switch to Uber every day; we have already seen evidence of a drop of about 30% in the price of a New York City yellow cab medallion.30 And in July 2015, Evgeny Freidman, the largest owner of yellow cab medallions in New York, filed a petition to put many of his medallion-owning companies into bankruptcy.31 And the eventual impact of on-demand transportation will likely be on the automobile industry as a whole, accelerated by autonomous cars becoming a mass-market commercial reality over the next decade. A significant fraction of consumer spending on automobiles will shift to a growing variety of on-demand mobility services. Industrial organization economics teaches us that as product variety increases, people will consume more rather than less. This is partially the case because people who previously were not consuming are able to do so, or to do so more often (and in the case of accommodations, for longer periods of time in a wider variety of locations).


pages: 417 words: 109,367

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, yield curve

Researchers at the University of Texas, devising a realistic simulation of vehicle use in cities that took into account issues like congestion and rush-hour usage, found that each shared autonomous vehicle could replace eleven conventional vehicles. Notionally then, it would take only about 800 million vehicles to supply all the transportation services for 9 billion people. That figure is 200 million vehicles fewer than the current world fleet of 1 billion automobiles. In the Texas simulations, riders waited an average of 18 seconds for a driverless vehicle to show up, and each vehicle served 31 to 41 travelers per day. Less than half of 1 percent of travelers waited more than five minutes for a vehicle. In addition, shared autonomous vehicles would also cut an individual’s average cost of travel by as much as 75 percent in comparison to conventional driver-owned vehicles.

significant gains in energy productivity: Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, “History of Energy Efficiency.” Alliance to Save Energy, January 2013, 4. www.ase.org/sites/ase.org/files/resources/Media%20browser/ee_commission_history_report_2-1-13.pdf. a realistic simulation: Daniel J. Fagnant and Kara M. Kockelman, “The Travel and Environmental Implications of Shared Autonomous Vehicles, Using Agent-Based Model Scenarios.” Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies 40 (March 2014): 1–13. www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0968090X13002581. shared autonomous vehicles: Lawrence Burns, William Jordan, and Bonnie Scarborough, “Transforming Personal Mobility.” The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, 2013. resource consumption trends: Iddo Wernick and Jesse Ausubel, “Making Nature Useless? Global Resource Trends, Innovation, and Implications for Conservation.”

In addition, shared autonomous vehicles would also cut an individual’s average cost of travel by as much as 75 percent in comparison to conventional driver-owned vehicles. This could actually lead to the contraction of the world’s vehicle fleet as more people forgo the costs and hassles of ownership. In addition, a shift to fleets of autonomous vehicles makes the clean electrification of transportation much more feasible, since such automobiles could drive themselves off for recharging and cleaning during periods of low demand. Such vehicles would also be much smaller and packed more tightly on roads, since they can travel safely at higher speeds than human-driven automobiles. Such a switch would imply the construction of far less material-heavy transportation infrastructure. And fewer vehicles means that much of the 20 percent of urban land devoted to parking can be transformed into housing and businesses. Smil worries that energy production and consumption technologies are so capital intensive that humanity will be locked into dependence on increasingly scarce and expensive fossil fuels for decades to come.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

In addition, cities will use the sensors to help manage the transportation infrastructure, including asset management of infrastructure and fleets, monitoring rail line and pavement conditions, generating maintenance plans and budgets, and dispatching repair crews when necessary. What’s truly powerful, the systems work together—intelligent vehicles operating on an intelligent infrastructure. While there will still be business for drivers of shared vehicles, autonomous vehicles will be able to operate safely on city streets with their built-in navigation and safety systems, often interacting with the intelligent infrastructure to find and pay for an accelerated lane, or parking, or to search for and find a preferred route. The ready availability, affordability, and reliability of the autonomous vehicles will significantly reduce the number of private vehicles that, like the commercial real estate example above, are often just parked waiting and unused. And it won’t just be technology or car companies that will make this happen.

It has become clear that concentrated powers in business and government have bent the original democratic architecture of the Internet to their will. Huge institutions now control and own this new means of production and social interaction—its underlying infrastructure; massive and growing treasure troves of data; the algorithms that increasingly govern business and daily life; the world of apps; and extraordinary emerging capabilities, machine learning, and autonomous vehicles. From Silicon Valley and Wall Street to Shanghai and Seoul, this new aristocracy uses its insider advantage to exploit the most extraordinary technology ever devised to empower people as economic actors, to build spectacular fortunes and strengthen its power and influence over economies and societies. Many of the dark side concerns raised by early digital pioneers have pretty much materialized.17 We have growth in gross domestic product but not commensurate job growth in most developed countries.

All you need is a decentralized value transfer protocol to allow them to safely and securely transact with one another. These platforms instill subsidiary rights in all our assets. You need to decide the extent to which you want to assign others usage and access rights—even the right to exclude others from using your assets—and what to charge for those rights. This can work for physical assets too. For example, we’ve heard a lot about autonomous vehicles. We can build an open transportation network on the blockchain where owners each have a private encrypted key (number) that lets them reserve a car. Using the public key infrastructure and existing blockchain technologies like EtherLock and Airlock, they can unlock and use the car for a certain amount of time, as specified by the rules of the smart contract—all the while paying the vehicle (or its owners) in real time for the time and energy that they use—as metered on a blockchain.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

At the very least, as we are shuttled here and there in the vast multitudes of such machines, how human Users are physically positioned and what we spend our time doing will certainly not be the same as it is now.60 As discussed in the Interfaces chapter, as the “car” becomes a Cloud platform, it becomes available to an Apps economy, and to the extent that the Google Car is just a very large Android device with a very large, next generation Google Glass display, there is much for designers to work with. At the same time, such a system would bring potential problems of the same order of magnitude as those it alleviates. The software and sovereignty questions don't abide easy answers. First, the legal identity of this composite User is not immediately clear. Several states have already passed legislation indicating that autonomous vehicles are legal to operate on their roads, thereby establishing the baseline that such machines are at least not criminal. But considering the quantity, complexity, and sensitivity of the data generated by such technologies, all working in concert, as well as the expertise and infrastructure necessary to conduct the rhythms of the swarm safely and effectively, it's not likely that any Department of Motor Vehicles is a likely candidate to govern a network of pilotless vehicles.

For those who honestly don't know, the Google driverless car project is a research initiative to develop cars that can autonomously navigate all roads without human steerage (or much of it), using a combination of laser-guided mapping, video cameras, radar, motion sensors, on-board computing, and other tools. Prototypes to date have mostly used a customized Prius, though the company recently announced plans to work with auto manufacturers to build autonomous vehicles to Google's own specifications, and some early products could be commercially available in a few years, if some very wicked problems can be worked out first. On these see Lee Gomes, “Hidden Obstacles for Google's Self-Driving Cars,” MIT Technology Review, August 28, 2014. 58.  Levy again: “Why is OpenFlow so advantageous to a company like Google? In the traditional model you can think of routers as akin to taxicabs getting passengers from one place to another.

Her absence and lack of interaction is not an absence of information at all; it is information of absence. To the consternation of suspicious persons, the “mobile phone” with a CCD (charge-coupled device) absorbing light and a microphone absorbing sound waves is also a sensor, and for it the principle of information by absence of interaction holds true. One sensor makes use of the information haul of another, such as an autonomous vehicle that can navigate terrain based on LiDAR mapping (a portmanteau of “laser” and “radar”), motion detection sensors, and street maps (among other sensors). Ultimately, as a User experience design problem, the sense of a device's relative autonomy and intelligence will be a key criterion in everyday HRI (human-robotics interaction) but is a separate issue from the actual autonomy or dependence of that device.


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

See also deep learning The Atlantic (magazine), 71, 237, 254, 273 AT&T, 135, 159, 166 Audi, 184 Australian agriculture, x–xi, 24–25 Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR), 24–25 AutoDesk, 234 automated invention machines, 110 automated trading algorithms, 56, 113–115 automation alien invasion parable, 194–196, 240 anti-automation view, 253–257 cars and (see autonomous cars) effect on Chinese manufacturing, 3, 10–11, 225–226 effect on prices, 215–216 health care jobs and, 172–173 information technology and, 52 job-market polarization and, 50–51 low-wage jobs and, 26–27 offshoring as precursor to, 115, 118–119 predictions of effect of, 30–34 reshoring and, 10 retail sector and, 16–20 risk of, 256 service sector and, 12–20 solutions to rise of, 273–278 (see also basic income guarantee) as threat to workers with varying education and skill levels, xiv–xv, 59 of total US employment, 223 Triple Revolution report, 30–31 white-collar, 85–86, 105–106, 126–128 See also robotics; robots automotive industry, 3, 76, 193–194 autonomous cars, xiii, 94, 176, 181–191 as shared resource, 186–190 Autor, David, 50 Average Is Over (Cowen), 123, 126n aviation, 66–67, 179, 256 AVT, Inc., 18 Ayres, Ian, 125 Babbage, Charles, 79 Baker, Stephen, 96n, 102n Barra, Hugo, 121 Barrat, James, 231, 238–239 basic income guarantee, 31n, 257–261 approaches to, 261–262 downsides and risks of, 268–271 economic argument for, 264–267 economic risk taking and, 267–268 incentives and, 261–264 paying for, 271–273 Baxter (robot), 5–6, 7, 10 BD Focal Point GS Imaging System, 153 Beaudry, Paul, 127 Beijing Genomics Institute, 236n Bell Labs, 159 Berg, Andrew G., 214–215 Bernanke, Ben, 37 big data, xv, 25n, 86–96 collection of, 86–87 correlation vs. cause and, 88–89, 102 deep learning and, 92–93 health care and, 159–160 knowledge-based jobs and, 93–96 machine learning and, 89–92 The Big Switch (Carr), 72 Bilger, Burkhard, 186 “BinCam,” 125n “Bitter Pill” (Brill), 160 Blinder, Alan, 117–118, 119 Blockbuster, 16, 19 Bloomberg, 113–114 Bluestone, Barry, 220 Borders, 16 Boston Consulting Group, 9 Boston Globe (newspaper), 149 Boston Red Sox, 83 Boston University, 141 Bowley, Arthur, 38 Bowley’s Law, 38–39, 41 box-moving robot, 1–2, 5–6 brain, reverse engineering of human, 237 breast cancer screening, 152 Brill, Steven, 160, 163 Brin, Sergey, 186, 188, 189, 236 Brint, Steven, 251 Brooks, Rodney, 5 Brown, Jerry, 134 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 60, 122, 254 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 13, 16, 38n, 158, 222–223, 281 Bush, George W., 116 business interest lobbying, economic policy and, 57–58 “Busy child scenario,” (Barrat) 238–239 Calico, 236 California Institute of Technology, 133 Canada, 41, 58, 167n, 251 “Can Nanotechnology Create Utopia?”

., 150n risk, Peltzman effect and, 267–268 RoboBusiness conference/tradeshow, 7 Robot & Frank (film), 155 robotics, 6–8 cloud, 20–23 See also automation; robots robotic walkers, 157 robots in agriculture, 23–26 box-moving, 1–2, 5–6 consumer, 197n educational, 7 elder-care, 155–158 hospital and pharmacy, 153–155 industrial, 1–5, 10–11 personal, 7 telepresence, 119–120, 157 Rolling Stone (magazine), 56 Romney, Mitt, 272 Roosevelt, Franklin, 279 Rosenthal, Elisabeth, 160, 163 Rosenwald, Michael, 107 ROS (Robot Operating System), 6, 7 Russell, Stuart, 229 Rutter, Brad, 101 Sachs, Jeffrey, 60 Saez, Emmanuel, 46 safety, autonomous cars and, 184–185, 187 Salesforce.com, 134 Samsung Electronics, 70n Samuelson, Paul, x Sand, Benjamin M., 127 San Jose State University, 134 Sankai, Yoshiyuki, 156–157 Santelli, Rick, 170 savings, China’s high rate of, 224–225 SBTC. See skill biased technological change (SBTC) Schlosser, Eric, 210 Schmidt, Michael, 108, 109 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 22 S-curves, 66–67, 68, 69, 70–71, 250 secular stagnation, 274n self-driving cars, See autonomous cars Selingo, Jeffrey J., 140, 141 Semiconductor Industry Association, 80 service sector, 12–20 The Shallows (Carr), 254 Shang-Jin Wei, 225 Silvercar, 20 Simonyi, Charles, 71 single-payer health care system, 165–167, 169 The Singularity, 233–238, 248 The Singularity Is Near (Kurzweil), 234 Singularity University, 234 Siu, Henry E., 49, 50 skill biased technological change (SBTC), 48 skills, acquisition of by computers, xv–xvi Skipper, John, 201 “Skynet,” 22 Slate (magazine), 153 Smalley, Richard, 244–245 Smith, Adam, 73 Smith, Noah, 219–220, 273 Smith, Will, 111 social media response program, 93–94 social safety net, 278.

YouTube, Instagram, and WhatsApp are, of course, all examples drawn directly from the information technology sector, where we’ve come to expect tiny workforces and huge valuations and revenues. To illustrate how a similar phenomenon is likely to unfold on a much broader front, let’s look in a bit more depth at two specific technologies that have the potential to loom large in the future: 3D printing and autonomous cars. Both are poised to have a significant impact within the next decade or so, and could eventually unleash a dramatic transformation in both the job market and the overall economy. 3D Printing Three-dimensional printing, also known as additive manufacturing, employs a computer-controlled print head that fabricates solid objects by repeatedly depositing thin layers of material. This layer-by-layer construction method enables 3D printers to easily create objects with curves and hollows that might be difficult, or even impossible, to produce using traditional manufacturing techniques.


pages: 49 words: 12,968

Industrial Internet by Jon Bruner

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, computer vision, data acquisition, demand response, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Google X / Alphabet X, industrial robot, Internet of things, job automation, loose coupling, natural language processing, performance metric, Silicon Valley, slashdot, smart grid, smart meter, statistical model, web application

Automotive Google captured the public imagination when, in 2010, it announced that its autonomous cars had already driven 140,000 miles of winding California roads without incident. The idea of a car that drives itself was finally realized in a practical way by software that has strong links to the physical world around it: inbound, through computer vision software that takes in images and rangefinder data and builds an accurate model of the environment around the car; and outbound, through a full linkage to the car’s controls. The entire system is encompassed in a machine-learning algorithm that observes the results of its actions to become a better driver, and that draws software updates and useful data from the Internet. The autonomous car is a full expression of the industrial internet: software connects a machine to a network, links its components together, ingests context, and uses learned intelligence to control a complicated machine in real-time.

The role of Silicon Valley in creating the industrial internet A new kind of hardware alpha-geek will approach those areas of the industrial internet where the challenges are principally software challenges. Cheap, easy-to-program microcontrollers; powerful open-source software; and the support of hardware collectives and innovation labs[41] make it possible for enthusiasts and minimally-funded entrepreneurs to create sophisticated projects of the sort that would have been available only to well-funded electrical engineers just a few years ago — anything from autonomous cars to small-scale industrial robots. In the same way that expertise in software isn’t necessary to create a successful Web app, expertise barriers will fall in software-machine interfaces, opening innovation to a big, broad, smart community. Neil Gershenfeld, director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT, compares the development of the amateur hardware movement to the development of the computer from mainframe to minicomputer to hobbyist computer and then to the ubiquitous personal computer.


pages: 479 words: 144,453

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

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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!

Fifty years ago this might have sounded plausible, but not in 2016. Several corporations, such as Google and Tesla, are engineering autonomous cars that already cruise our roads. The algorithms controlling the autonomous car make millions of calculations each second concerning other cars, pedestrians, traffic lights and potholes. The autonomous car successfully stops at red lights, bypasses obstacles and keeps a safe distance from other vehicles – without feeling any fear. The car also needs to take itself into account and to communicate its plans and desires to the surrounding vehicles, because if it decides to swerve to the right, doing so will impact on their behaviour. The car does all that without any problem – but without any consciousness either. The autonomous car isn’t special. Many other computer programs make allowances for their own actions, yet none of them has developed consciousness, and none feels or desires anything.6 If we cannot explain the mind, and if we don’t know what function it fulfils, why not just discard it?

So I am using my car for just an hour a day. Why do I need to keep it for the other twenty-three hours? We can create a smart car-pool system, run by computer algorithms. The computer would know that I need to leave home at 8:04, and would route the nearest autonomous car to pick me up at that precise moment. After dropping me off at campus, it would be available for other uses instead of waiting in the car park. At 18:11 sharp, as I leave the university gate, another communal car would stop right in front of me, and take me home. In such a way, 50 million communal autonomous cars may replace 1 billion private cars, and we would also need far fewer roads, bridges, tunnels and parking spaces. Provided, of course, I renounce my privacy and allow the algorithms to always know where I am and where I want to go. Record, Upload, Share!

For instance, early modern scientists who tried to account for the movement of light postulated the existence of a substance called ether, which supposedly fills the entire universe. Light was thought to be waves of ether. However, scientists failed to find any empirical evidence for the existence of ether, whereas they did come up with alternative and better theories of light. Consequently, they threw ether into the dustbin of science. The Google autonomous car on the road. © Karl Mondon/ZUMA Press/Corbis. Similarly, for thousands of years humans used God to explain numerous natural phenomena. What causes lightning to strike? God. What makes the rain fall? God. How did life on earth begin? God did it. Over the last few centuries scientists have not discovered any empirical evidence for God’s existence, while they did find much more detailed explanations for lightning strikes, rain and the origins of life.


pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, c2.com, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

It was a fun, crazy time with a bunch of different folks who were very good at soldering come show off their skills. We had a good time doing that. Coming up in June [2013], we have our autonomous vehicle competition, which is our version of the DARPA Grand Challenge, but on the student level, where it’s much, much cheaper. You can build an autonomous vehicle for two or three hundred bucks, and then come compete against other little autonomous vehicles. This is our fifth year of having that competition. Every year, the autonomous planes show up, and the quadcopters show up, and some really exciting wheeled vehicles show up. Osborn: I just saw a blog post about AVC7 today. It looks like there’s going to be a new course and some interesting things there. Maybe that’s my next project. 6 http://dorkbot.org AVC – Autonomous Vehicle Competition, avc.sparkfun.com 7 43 44 Chapter 3 | Nathan Seidle: CEO, SparkFun Electronics Seidle: It’s a tremendous amount of work and a tremendous amount of fun.


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

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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

Page’s response was cryptic: “What would a Brickhouse for atoms look like?” he asked. We now know what he meant. In launching the Google[X] lab, Google has taken the classic skunkworks approach to new product development further than anyone ever imagined. Google[X] offers two fascinating new extensions to the traditional approach. First, it aims for moonshot-quality ideas (e.g., life extension, autonomous vehicles, Google Glass, smart contact lenses, Project Loon, etc.). Second, unlike traditional corporate labs that focus on existing markets, Google[X] combines breakthrough technologies with Google’s core information competencies to create entirely new markets. We strongly recommend that every big company attempt something similar by creating a lab that is a playground for breakthrough technologies.

Payment systems and money transfer mechanisms haven’t changed for decades, but with Square, PayPal and now Clinkle and Bitcoin, this domain is ready for a major transformation. One form will come via mobile/social wallets and seamless transactions. A second will come via micropayments (probably via the block chain). The ability to move infinitesimal transaction amounts will underpin entirely new business models. Autonomous vehicles Implications: In September 2014, California will issue the first license plates for driverless cars. Starting with delivery vehicles and then taxis, predictions call for existing road capacity to increase 8-10 times once a critical mass of AVs is reached. Ridesharing is an intermediate step toward fully automated transportation, which may have a bigger visible impact on society than anything else, including sustainability, urban planning (almost no parking lots) and fewer traffic fatalities.

., Baxter, Unbounded Robotics, Otherlab). Sustainable production and logistics Greener and more self-sufficient production driven by robo-transport, sensors, AI, flexible solar panels and perovskite solar cells. Nanomaterials (graphene) that can be added to buildings, vehicles, machines and equipment. Transformation in Logistics (road, water and air transport). Autonomous transport and delivery Leveraging autonomous vehicles (e.g., Google’s self-driving car) and drones (e.g., Matternet) for the transport and delivery of supplies and products, especially in remote areas. Full supply chain tracking/monitoring Internet of Things sensors used to monitor the entire supply chain. Location, status, preservation and safety of most substances can be monitored (chemical substance traces, pollution, quality of life). Biological production Biology has the unique trait of being software that can create its own hardware.


pages: 666 words: 181,495

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

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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

Since its earliest days, Brin and Page have been consistent in framing Google as an artificial intelligence company—one that gathers massive amounts of data and processes that information with learning algorithms to create a machinelike intelligence that augments the collective brain of humanity. Google’s autonomous cars are information-collectors, scanning their environment with lasers and sensors, and augmenting their knowledge with Street View data. (Unlike human drivers, they always know what’s around the corner.) “This is all information,” says Thrun. “And it will make our physical world more accessible.” What will Google’s explorations in artificial intelligence eventually yield? Will we routinely cruise in autonomous cars powered by Google—undoubtedly capable of pointing out sightseeing highlights and culinary opportunities as they whisk us to destinations? Will the brain “implant” that Larry Page referred to in 2004 become a Google product at some point?

(In late 2010, introducing the Google Instant search product—once referred to internally as “psychic search”—Sergey Brin had repeated the sentiment: “We want Google to be the third half of your brain.”) Google, after all, was founded on the premise that the best path to success is doing what the conventional wisdom says you cannot do. In an era of unprecedented technology leaps, that has turned out to be an excellent premise. “It’s quite amazing how the horizon of impossibility is drifting these days,” says Thrun. The revelation of the autonomous vehicle program at the end of 2010 had all the earmarks of a Larry Page project—scary ambition, groundbreaking AI, massive processing of information in real time, and rigidly enforced stealth. (Only when a reporter learned of the project did Google agree to talk about it.) The glimpse it provided of Page’s priorities turned out to be more significant than expected when an apparently predestined change in Google’s leaders occurred sooner than observers had expected.


pages: 364 words: 99,897

The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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

See also extinct animals RIKEN, 17 Ripple Labs, 118–19 Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA), 17 Robotdalen award, 25 robotics: agriculture and, 192 autonomous cars, 29–32 Belarus and, 208 car industry and, 16–18, 28–32 caregiving and, 18–19 China and, 218 data and, 73 economy and, 12–13 Estonia and, 211 fear of, 21–22, 180 future of, 6, 42–43, 189, 240, 244, 247–48 growth of industry, 19–21, 187 hacking and, 134 humanizing, 22–28 innovation in, 6, 12 Japan and, 15–18 jobs and, 35–42, 208 medicine and, 32–35 South Korea and, 3 Romney, Mitt, 155 Roubini, Nuriel, 111–12, 220 Rwanda, 83, 237–38, 243 Safaricom, 87 Saidenberg, Douglas, 106–7 schizophrenia, 55, 113, 203, 223. See also mental illnesses Schmidt, Eric, 191, 219, 221, 243, 246. See also Google Schrag, Deborah, 72 Scratch, 247–48 self-driving cars. See autonomous cars Shamoon, 121–23, 125–26, 131 Shapiro, Rob, 221 Shimba Technologies, 71 Silicon Valley Bank, 167, 169 Silk Road, 110 Singapore, 196–97, 216, 221 Singer, Peter, 147–48 Singulariteam, 26 Skolkovo Foundation, 204 Slaby, Michael, 156–57, 185 Smith, Adam, 111 Snowden, Edward, 145 Songhurst, Charlie, 94–95, 104, 114–15, 190–92, 245 Sony, 131, 138 South Korea, 3, 20, 22, 35, 40, 128, 131, 189, 221 Soviet Union, 4, 68, 140, 204–7, 209 spam, 105, 134 Square, 78–81, 83, 87, 113, 170–71, 182, 217 SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), 54.

But on the whole, given how rapidly progress has occurred and how well the Google car has been shown to perform in clear weather, it’s likely that at least partial-robotic driving will arrive in the near future. The feasibility of the Google car depends on a range of technological, legal, safety, and commercial considerations. Will the technology work? Will it actually make the roads safer? Will people trust and purchase it? Will it even be legal? These are not academic questions. While only California, Florida, and Nevada have passed laws as of 2013 permitting autonomous cars on the roads, these already represent huge driving cultures and markets. The driverless car has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the modern automotive industry and all of its various branches. As with every other development in robotics, many people will gain—some, like Google’s executives and shareholders, may gain immensely—but it’s inevitable that others will be displaced. Technology companies have already challenged the automotive market.

See also cancer African Robotics Network (AFRON), 21 aging, 19, 26, 63, 214 agriculture: American Civil War and, 7 Argentina and, 223 Belarus and, 208 data and, 178, 181–82 land and, 152, 178, 185 precision agriculture, 161–66, 181, 191–93 Rwanda and, 238 Soviet Union and, 68 Tanzania and, 235 technology and, 3, 5, 160–62 universal machine translation and, 160 Airbnb, 91–97 AIST, 17 Alexander, Keith, 129 Alibaba, 82, 228 AltaVista, 119 Amazon, 4, 31, 48, 90, 93, 98, 157 Andela, 234–35, 239, 248 Andreessen Horowitz, 105, 116, 119, 123, 149, 164 Andreessen, Marc, 103–5, 113–14, 116, 119, 186–87, 195, 204 antidepressants, 53–55. See also mental illnesses Apple, 36, 79, 87 application programming interfaces (APIs), 168 Apps4Africa, 236 Aramco, 122–23, 138, 224 Argentina, 104, 223 ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility robot), 16–17. See also robotics Ask Jeeves, 119 Atari, 25 Atlantis (Internet), 110. See also cryptocurrency ATMs, 40, 77, 87 autism, 35, 67 Autism Speaks, 67 autonomous cars, 28–31 Avis, 93 Bank of America, 167 Barclays, 167 BaseHealth, 60–61 bearer instrument, 100 Belarus, 205, 208, 212, 214, 222 belief space, 23 Berman, Dror, 191–92 Berners-Lee, Tim, 115 Bezos, Jeff, 93. See also Amazon BGI, 67 Bitcoin: Andreessen on, 103–4, 116–17 benefits of, 102–5, 116–17 blockchain and, 101–6 CoinDesk, 167 criticism of, 111–12 establishment and, 111–15 explained, 98–100 financial system and, 99 future of, 115–17 governments and, 111–15 hacking and, 106–11 micropayments and, 105–6 mining and, 102–3 competitors and, 117–19 Songhurst on, 104 widespread use of, 98 see also blockchain blockchain: Bitcoin and, 101–6 efficiency and, 104 establishment and, 111–15 explained, 101 future of, 120 hacking and, 106, 108–9 law enforcement and, 111 as next protocol, 115–17 regulation of, 103 transaction history and, 114 see also Bitcoin Bloomberg, Michael, 167–68 Booker, Cory, 167–68 Booker T.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

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

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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

The point is an important one because, as it turns out, human beings are terrible drivers and more than thirty-three thousand Americans are killed in car accidents annually. A fully automated, well-functioning autonomous vehicle network could avoid thousands of needless deaths and save billions in associated economic costs. As the price of these technologies plunges, you can expect UPS drivers and taxis to be replaced by autonomous and cheaper non-union alternatives. But modern cars, whether driven by people, artificial intelligence, big data, or sensor networks, are still just computers on wheels, powered by insecure data systems, communicating via entirely hackable transmission protocols. As such, things might not turn out quite as rosy as proponents of autonomous vehicles suggest. When the majority of vehicles join the IoT, it won’t be long before some rogue attacker seizes control of a car and turns it into a multi-ton weapon of metal, glass, and explosive fuel.

In the same way both Crime, Inc. and crazed exes are targeting computers and mobile phones, it’s only logical that they will go after cars in the future too, bringing scenes like those in Stephen King’s 1983 horror thriller about a possessed car named Christine many steps closer to reality. Law enforcement officials clearly see the threat, and in July 2014 the FBI warned in an internal report that driverless cars could be used as “lethal weapons, with terrorists potentially packing explosives into a self-driving car aimed at a specific destination.” Autonomous vehicles could also potentially be turned off en masse, bringing traffic to a complete standstill in a city or country. To be certain, some of these vehicular attacks require a high degree of computer savvy to pull off, but as we have seen with other exploits, soon there will be point-and-click crimeware options for car hacking as well. Automakers are starting to take notice, particularly as “most hackable car” lists come out.

A 2013 study by Oxford University on the future of work conducted a detailed analysis of over seven hundred occupations and concluded that 47 percent of U.S. employees are at high risk of losing their jobs to robotic automation as soon as 2023. Those working in the transportation field (taxi drivers, bus drivers, long-haul truck drivers, FedEx drivers, pizza delivery drivers) face particular risk, with up to a 90 percent certainty that their jobs will be replaced by autonomous vehicles. But it’s not just low-level positions that are at risk. News outlets such as the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times are using bots and algorithms to automatically write thousands of articles on topics as diverse as homicides, earthquakes, and the latest business earnings. Biopsies can be “analyzed more efficiently by image-processing software than lab techs,” and QuickBooks can handle the majority of tasks performed by an accountant.


pages: 133 words: 36,528

Peak Car: The Future of Travel by David Metz

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, Clayton Christensen, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Just-in-time delivery, Network effects, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, Skype, urban sprawl, yield management, young professional

A segregated highway would allow platoons of driverless cars to operate in synchrony, thus increasing the capacity of the road. There have been successful experimental trials of platooning, but both wide practical implementation and economic attractiveness seem problematic. This is an chicken-and-egg situation: investment in a segregated highway could only be justified if there were a sufficient number of autonomous vehicles wiling to pay tolls for use, but investment in these vehicles could only be justified if the segregated highway existed. My expectation is that driverless cars, to the extent they penetrate the market, will amount to an incremental improvement, not a disruptive innovation—best regarded as robot chauffeurs. One possible application of this technology would be to taxis, if lower fares increased their attraction to passengers (in which case the innovation would be disruptive to taxi drivers).


pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, millennium bug, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

In 2004, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a US$1 million prize for the construction of a self-driving vehicle capable of navigating a 150-mile uncharted route. None of the robot vehicles that took part finished the route that year. The furthest any of the contestants managed was 7.3 miles. Next year, DARPA repeated the challenge. This time five vehicles completed the course, the team from Stanford University gaining first place. Since then DARPA has repeated the robotics challenge, to include autonomous vehicles capable of finding their way in an urban environment, as well as humanoid robots. The contestants have consistently produced better products over the years. This rapid evolution in performance is very telling of how quickly engineers can integrate new systems nowadays, and innovate. Google and others are currently developing prototype commercial driverless cars, which we should expect to become part of our everyday lives by the next decade.

Dick. 1989: Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web. 1990: Seiji Ogawa presents the first fMRI machine. 1993: Rodney Brooks and others start the MIT Cog Project, an attempt to build a humanoid robot child in five years. 1997: Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov at chess. 2000: Cynthia Breazeal at MIT describes Kismet, a robot with a face that simulates expressions. 2004: DARPA launches the Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles. 2009: Google builds the self-driving car. 2011: IBM’s Watson wins the TV game show Jeopardy!. 2014: Google buys UK company Deep Mind for $650 million. 2014: Eugene Goostman, a computer program that simulates a thirteen-year-old boy, passes the Turing Test. 2014: Estimated number of robots in the world reaches 8.6 million.1 2015: Estimated number of PCs in the world reaches two billion.2 NOTES Introduction 1PCs (‘Personal computers’) started becoming widely available in the early 1980s: IBM 5150 in 1981, Commodore PET in 1983.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

In suggesting that driving is no more than a boring, productivity-sapping waste of time, the Valley guys are mistaking a personal bias for a universal truth. And they’re blinding themselves to the social and cultural challenges they’re going to face as they try to convince people to be passengers rather than drivers. Even if all the technical hurdles to achieving perfect vehicular automation are overcome—and despite rosy predictions, that remains a sizable if—the developers of autonomous cars are going to discover that the psychology of driving is far more complicated than they assume and far different from the psychology of being a passenger. Back in the 1970s, the public rebelled, en masse, when the federal government, for seemingly solid safety and fuel-economy reasons, imposed a national fifty-five-mile-per-hour speed limit. The limit was repealed. If you think everyone’s going to happily hand the keys over to a robot, you’re crazy.

We hear of every disaster involving human fallibility—the chemical plant that exploded because the technician forgot to open a valve, the plane that fell from the sky because the pilot mishandled the yoke—but what we don’t hear about are all the times that people use their expertise to avoid accidents or defuse risks. Pilots, physicians, and other professionals routinely navigate unexpected dangers with great aplomb but little credit. Even in our daily routines, we perform feats of perception and skill that lie far beyond the capacity of the sharpest computers. Google is quick to tell us about how few accidents its autonomous cars are involved in, but it doesn’t trumpet the many times the cars’ backup drivers have had to take the wheel to steer the machines out of danger. Computers are wonderful at following instructions, but they’re lousy at improvisation. They resemble, in the words of computer scientist Hector Levesque, “idiot savants” who are “hopeless outside their area of expertise.” Their talents end at the limits of their programming.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, market design, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, Zipcar

Kara Swisher, “Man and Uber Man,” Vanity Fair, December 2014; Jessica Kwong, “Head of SF Taxis to Retire,” San Francisco Examiner, May 30, 2014; Alison Griswold, “The Million-Dollar New York City Taxi Medallion May Be a Thing of the Past,” Slate, December 1, 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/12/01/new_york_taxi_medallions_did_tlc_transaction_data_inflate_the_price_of_driving.html. 3. Swisher, “Man and Uber Man.” 4. Zack Kanter, “How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025,” CBS SF Bay Area, sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/01/27/how-ubers-autonomous-cars-will-destroy-10-million-jobs-and-reshape-the-economy-by-2025-lyft-google-zack-kanter/. 5. Swisher, “Man and Uber Man.” 6. Marc Andreessen, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2011, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424053111903480904576512250915629460. 7. Phil Simon, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business (Henderson, NV: Motion Publishing, 2011). 8.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Most of Sparkfun’s products are open-source hardware, which is to say that their design files are openly shared and can be modified. Many of them were actually designed by customers and simply reviewed and improved by Sparkfun engineers to make them easier to manufacture. It’s a classic community-centric company. The front of its website features not products but its blog, with chatty tutorials and videos from its employees. Its forums are full of customers helping one another. Every year Sparkfun throws an autonomous vehicle competition, featuring a live band playing robot-themed songs of its own composition, and lots of kids chasing self-driving cars (I’ve been competing in the aerial category every year since it started—no wins yet). At Maker festivals around the country, Sparkfun engineers teach people how to solder, which is actually a lot more fun than it may sound. Sparkfun’s employees are young, passionate, and appear to totally love their jobs.


pages: 433 words: 127,171

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog

rainy days and long dark nights: Jake Richardson, “Tesla Powerwall Offered To Vermont Utility Customers … $0 Down,” CleanTechnica, December 9, 2015, https://cleantechnica.com/2015/12/09/tesla-powerwall-offered-to-vermont-utility-customers-for-free/. has always been their charm: Though somewhat scalable and somewhat portable, fuel cells suffer from being expensive and from the fact that they do need constant exposure to their fuel (they need to be plugged into natural gas pipelines, for example). it seems, will be electric: Zack Kanter, “Autonomous Cars Will Destroy Millions of Jobs and Reshape U.S. Economy by 2025,” Quartz, May 14, 2015, http://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2015/05/autonomous-cars-will-destroy-millions-jobs-and-reshape-us-economy-2025/112762/. It sounds a little like Marxism: Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program (Rockville, MD: Wildside Press, 2008 [1875]). “when you are getting it fixed”: quoted in Ryan Koronowski, “Why the U.S. Military Is Pursuing Energy Efficiency, Renewables and Net-Zero Energy Initiatives,” ThinkProgress, April 4, 2013, http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/04/1749741/why-the-us-military-is-pursuing-energy-efficiency-renewables-and-net-zero-energy-initiatives/.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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

The implications? Think of automated disease diagnosis and surgery, military planning and battle command, customer-service avatars, artificial creativity and autonomous robots that predict then respond to crime (a “Department of Future Crime”—see also Chapter 32 and Biocriminology). Self-driving cars Gone are the days when Google was just a search engine and cars needed a driver. Google’s autonomous car project, started by Sebastian Thrun of Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, uses a Toyota Prius equipped with sensors to follow a GPS route all by itself. A robotics scientist sits in the car, but doesn’t actually drive it. Already, seven cars have traveled 1,600km (1,000 miles) with no driver and 225,000km (140,000 miles) with occasional human intervention. Are these examples realistic?


pages: 138 words: 40,787

The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things by Daniel Kellmereit, Daniel Obodovski

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, business intelligence, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, connected car, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Freestyle chess, Google X / Alphabet X, Internet of things, Network effects, Paul Graham, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, software as a service, Steve Jobs, web application, Y Combinator, yield management

Says Astro Teller: Self-driving cars in the not-too-distant future are just going to be meaningfully better than people. It will become irresponsible and antiquated for people to drive cars. That is absolutely going to happen in the next decade. I believe that very strongly. Whether Google does it or not, reasonable people could disagree, but whether that generally is going to happen, that I feel very strongly about. In reality, the Google-X driverless car project has demonstrated that autonomous cars can already navigate traffic and follow the speed limit. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Air traffic control might be another area to see more automation soon, as planes learn to communicate better with the ground and with each other, avoiding humans in the process. Astro says, “I bet you there are a lot of places where that’s going to be one of the big pieces of news — the radically changing rhythms, styles, interaction modalities between people and computers for solving hard, big, distributed problems.”


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra

That’s a pretty good driving record for six years.) So when I confessed to the Google engineer in the front seat of the autonomous vehicle driving me around how relaxed I felt, she calmly turned away from her laptop—which was tracking every move the car made—and gave me a quote I had never heard as a reporter. “Mr. Friedman,” she said, “the car has no blind spots. Almost all the accidents are drivers rear-ending us because they were not paying attention.” This car has no blind spots! I wrote that down in my reporter’s notebook. Google’s cofounder Sergey Brin picked up the tour when we returned back to X’s headquarters. There, he showed me Google’s prototype of a two-person autonomous vehicle. It does not yet have a name, but it looks like a big egg on wheels or something you would ride up a mountain in on a ski lift.


pages: 295 words: 89,430

Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, big-box store, correlation does not imply causation, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Richard Florida, rolodex, self-driving car, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, too big to fail, urban sprawl

The pedestrian in front crossed the street safely, at which point the Google car was rammed from behind by a second non-Google automobile. Later, another self-driving Google car found that it wasn’t able to advance through a four-way stop, as its sensors were calibrated to wait for other drivers to make a complete stop, as opposed to inching continuously forward, which most did. Noted the Times, “Researchers in the fledgling field of autonomous vehicles say that one of the biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which humans don’t behave by the book.”15 As accurate, then, as big data can be while connecting millions of data points to generate correlations, big data is often compromised whenever humans act like, well, humans. As big data continues helping us cut corners and automate our lives, humans in turn will evolve simultaneously to address and pivot around the changes technology creates.


pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Does the scenario we’ve just sketched sound like nothing beyond science fiction? If so, consider that since the turn of the twenty-first century, rapidly accelerating technology has shown a distinct tendency to turn the impossible into the everyday in no time at all. A few years back, IBM’s Watson, an artificial intelligence, whipped the human champion, Ken Jennings, on Jeopardy. As we write this, soldiers with bionic limbs are fighting our enemies and autonomous cars are driving down our streets. Yet most of these advances are small in comparison to the great leap forward currently underway in the biosciences — a leap with consequences we’ve only begun to imagine. More to the point, consider that the Secret Service is already taking extraordinary steps to protect presidential DNA. According to the Daily Mail, in May 2011, when Barack Obama stopped off for a pint of Guinness at Ollie Hayes’s pub in Moneygall, Ireland, his service detail quickly removed the glass from which he’d drunk.


pages: 252 words: 73,131

The Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us by Tim Sullivan

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, airport security, Al Roth, Andrei Shleifer, attribution theory, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, continuous double auction, deferred acceptance, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, experimental subject, first-price auction, framing effect, frictionless, fundamental attribution error, George Akerlof, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, helicopter parent, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, late fees, linear programming, Lyft, market clearing, market design, market friction, medical residency, multi-sided market, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, pre–internet, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, proxy bid, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, school choice, school vouchers, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Market for Lemons, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, two-sided market, uranium enrichment, Vickrey auction, winner-take-all economy

More recently, the much-vaunted internet of things is bringing us yet another generation of platform business models, some amazing, some terrifying, and some, like internet-enabled cars, a bit of both. As cars move from being internal combustion engines with wheels to software platforms that are connected to the internet and to one another, we can imagine all sorts of potential for them, some of which will make our lives better (fewer accidents with autonomous cars and more apps that plug into them) and some of which will make us even more vulnerable (long-distance software hacks). But regardless, they’ll be governed by the same rules that make other platforms tick. Currently, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists—spurred by the success of Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, and many others—are pouring money into new platform businesses. But not every market is suited to a platform model.

Big Data at Work: Dispelling the Myths, Uncovering the Opportunities by Thomas H. Davenport

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, cloud computing, data acquisition, Edward Snowden, Erik Brynjolfsson, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, New Journalism, recommendation engine, RFID, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Tesla Model S, text mining

GroupM’s use of big data is described in Joel Schectman, “Ad Firm Finds Way to Cut Big Data Costs,” Wall Street Journal CIO Journal website, February 8, 2013, http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2013/02/08/ad-firm-finds-way-to-cut-big-datacosts/. Notes.indd 212 03/12/13 1:13 PM Notes  213 4.  Kerem Tomak, in “Two Expert Perspectives on High-Performance Analytics,” Intelligence Quarterly (a SAS publication), 2nd quarter (2012): 6. 5.  The interview of this manager, who wished to remain anonymous, was ­conducted by the author by telephone on March 19, 2013. 6.  Tom Vanderbilt, “Let the Robot Drive: The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here,” Wired, January 20, 2012, http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ ff_­autonomouscars/. 7.  Joe Jimenez interview with Geoffrey Colvin, “Joe Jimenez Lays Out His Path to Business Longevity,” Fortune, March 21, 2013, http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/21/ news/companies/novartis-joe-jimenez.pr.fortune/index.html. 8.  In-person and e-mail discussions between author and Joey Fitts of Matters Corp., September 2013.


pages: 549 words: 116,200

With a Little Help by Cory Doctorow

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

autonomous vehicles, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, death of newspapers, don't be evil, game design, Google Earth, high net worth, margin call, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Ponzi scheme, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, sensible shoes, skunkworks, Skype, traffic fines, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban planning, Y2K

It allows creators to specify ahead of time what sorts of uses they'd like to allow for the things they create. For me and for Cory this means allowing people to share our work freely, and to re-use it to create new things. The first time the concept was explained to me I felt as though someone had set my brain on fire - it was the most exciting idea I had ever heard. 32 In my head, songs became little autonomous vehicles that I could release into the wild, letting them bounce around and find their way to the people who would enjoy them. It was a way to let this new "Internet" thing do all the heavy lifting, an organic and efficient method of targeting an audience of fans who did not yet know they were fans. On top of that, it was a perfect expression of what I had always felt about art, this idea that everything ever created owes its existence to something that came before.


pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey

Available at http://web.archive.org/web/20090615040912/http://www.aeiveos.com/~bradbury/MatrioshkaBrains/MatrioshkaBrainsPaper.html. Brinton, Crane. 1965. The Anatomy of Revolution. Revised ed. New York: Vintage Books. Bryson, Arthur E., Jr., and Ho, Yu-Chi. 1969. Applied Optimal Control: Optimization, Estimation, and Control. Waltham, MA: Blaisdell. Buehler, Martin, Iagnemma, Karl, and Singh, Sanjiv, eds. 2009. The DARPA Urban Challenge: Autonomous Vehicles in City Traffic. Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics 56. Berlin: Springer. Burch-Brown, J. 2014. “Clues for Consequentialists.” Utilitas 26 (1): 105–19. Burke, Colin. 2001. “Agnes Meyer Driscoll vs. the Enigma and the Bombe.” Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved February 22, 2013. Available at http://userpages.umbc.edu/~burke/driscoll1-2011.pdf. Canbäck, S., Samouel, P., and Price, D. 2006.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Zipcar

Power and Associates, April 26, 2012, http://autos.jdpower.com/content/press-release/gGOwCnW/2012-u-s-automotive-emerg ing-technologies-study.htm (accessed June 3, 2013). 25. Jack Ewing, “A Benz with a Virtual Chauffeur,” New York Times, May 16, 2013, http://www.ny times.com/2013/05/19/automobiles/a-benz-with-a-virtual-chauffeur.html?pagewanted=all& _r=0 (accessed May 28, 2013). 26. Emi Kolawole, “A Win For Google’s Driverless Car: Calif. Governor Signs a Bill Regulating Autonomous Vehicles,” Washington Post, September 25, 2012, http://www.washingtonpost.com (accessed June 2, 2013). 27. Jeremy Rifkin, The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism Where All of Life Is a Paid-For Experience (New York: Tracher/Penguin, 2000), 6, 14. 28. Matthew Ruben, “Forgive Us Our Trespasses? The Rise of Consumer Debt in Modern America,” ProQuest, February 2009, http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/debt/review.php (accessed February 3, 2014). 29.


pages: 742 words: 137,937

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

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

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

Is it not remarkable, therefore, that Google has developed a small fleet of self-driving cars just one decade later? In ten years robots have moved ‘from making cars to driving them’.55 By 2014, Google’s vehicles had travelled almost 700,000 miles, with only one incident (said to be caused by a car driven by a human being). In the United States legislation has been passed in four states and in Washington, DC, allowing driverless cars.56 By 2020 most major car manufacturers also expect to be selling autonomous vehicles. Our guess is that, in due course, people will look back with incredulity and say, ‘it’s amazing people actually used to drive cars’. Other illustrations of advanced robotics abound. Every year, in manufacturing, an additional 200,000 industrial robots are installed (adding to an expected total of 1.5 million robots in 2015).57 In 2014, for example, Amazon had more than 15,000 robots in ten of its warehouses.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Shanghai is now connected via the thirty-two-kilometer Donghai Bridge to the Yangshan Island mega-port, which features state-of-the-art traffic control towers, management nerve centers tracking hundreds of ships, tens of thousands of containers, and hundreds of (soon driverless) trucks at the same time. From Yangshan to Melbourne to Long Beach, terminal operators are using electronic data interchange software to optimize berthing schedules, deploying autonomous vehicles and virtual reality to accelerate their loading and unloading speeds, and partnering with logistics companies such as Shipwire to coordinate warehouse inventories with freight rail to efficiently distribute goods like blood vessels through the planetary circulatory system. Throughout history, competition among port cities has revealed who is winning the supply chain tug-of-war. Since ancient times, ports have fortified harbors to ward off invaders and levied import taxes to profit from their role as conduits to the hinterland.


pages: 486 words: 132,784

Inventors at Work: The Minds and Motivation Behind Modern Inventions by Brett Stern

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Build a better mousetrap, business process, cloud computing, computer vision, cyber-physical system, distributed generation, game design, Grace Hopper, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart transportation, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the market place, Yogi Berra

One of the things that I’m really looking forward to in my life is when cars become autonomous, eliminating the risk and waste in how people drive—stepping on the accel­erator, swerving, and texting. You live in Oregon, right? Stern: Portland. Swider-Lyons: Not too bad. Stern: We ride bikes all day. Swider-Lyons: Yeah, here it’s different. I drive on Interstate 395 to get to work. And you don’t have the weather we have here either. Either snowing or 100 degrees is not good biking weather. But if you have people in autonomous cars? If you have a satellite or maybe a series of UAVs for a secure uplink, then you could literally just hand over your car and then it would drive. There are sensors on the car so you don’t get in accidents and you don’t get in traffic jams. You don’t have sixteen-year-olds dying while texting, and it helps older people, too, because they could actually have a lot more freedom. I don’t know how to do autonomy, personally, but lots of people are working on it all over this place.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

This scenario may send shivers down spines (including mine), but it makes cold sense from the perspective of policy makers. If collateral damage can be blamed on the decisions of machines, then military mistakes are less likely to dampen someone’s election chances. Moreover, if minded machines can be overhauled or removed—machine “punishment”—people will feel less need to punish those in charge, whether for fatalities of war, botched (robotic) surgeries, or (autonomous) car accidents. Thinking machines are complex, but the human urge to blame is relatively simple. Death and destruction compel us to find a single mind to hold responsible. Sufficiently smart machines—if placed between destruction and ourselves—should absorb the weight of wrongdoing, shielding our own minds from others’ condemnation. We should all hope that this prediction never comes true, but when advancing technology collides with modern understandings of moral psychology, dark potentials emerge.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Services have proven difficult to mechanize. Customers want freshness, variety, creativity, spontaneity and friendliness, and those are difficult values to deliver through automation. We can automate the assembly of an engine; so far, it’s proven harder to automate the assembly of a good haircut, or a good book. Thanks to recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, that’s changing. In 2004, autonomous cars seemed unlikely: “Executing a left turn against oncoming traffic involves so many factors that it is hard to imagine discovering the set of rules that can replicate a driver’s behavior,” stated a pair of prominent economists.66 Six years later, Google announced that it had done so. Other cognitive tasks that were once deemed too complicated to automate, but which machines can now do, range from showing empathy to mental health patients, to writing routine news stories, performing surgery, making financial trades, teaching themselves how to play Space Invaders and winning Jeopardy (IBM’s Watson system, which did so in 2011, now has a job diagnosing cancer patients and suggesting treatment plans).


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator

Selfish routing’s low price of anarchy may explain, for instance, why the Internet works as well as it does without any central authority managing the routing of individual packets. Even if such coordination were possible, it wouldn’t add very much. When it comes to traffic of the human kind, the low price of anarchy cuts both ways. The good news is that the lack of centralized coordination is making your commute at most only 33% worse. On the other hand, if you’re hoping that networked, self-driving autonomous cars will bring us a future of traffic utopia, it may be disheartening to learn that today’s selfish, uncoordinated drivers are already pretty close to optimal. It’s true that self-driving cars should reduce the number of road accidents and may be able to drive more closely together, both of which would speed up traffic. But from a congestion standpoint, the fact that anarchy is only 4/3 as congested as perfect coordination means that perfectly coordinated commutes will only be 3/4 as congested as they are now.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

One of AI's leading roboticists, Hans Moravec, has founded a company called Seegrid to apply his machine-vision technology to applications in manufacturing, materials handling, and military missions.203 Moravec's software enables a device (a robot or just a material-handling cart) to walk or roll through an unstructured environment and in a single pass build a reliable "voxel" (three-dimensional pixel) map of the environment. The robot can then use the map and its own reasoning ability to determine an optimal and obstacle-free path to carry out its assigned mission. This technology enables autonomous carts to transfer materials throughout a manufacturing process without the high degree of preparation required with conventional preprogrammed robotic systems. In military situations autonomous vehicles could carry out precise missions while adjusting to rapidly changing environments and battlefield conditions. Machine vision is also improving the ability of robots to interact with humans. Using small, inexpensive cameras, head- and eye-tracking software can sense where a human user is, allowing robots, as well as virtual personalities on a screen, to maintain eye contact, a key element for natural interactions.