…r stewards, and how can we most fully achieve its potential fo…r stewards, and how can we most fully achieve its potential for enhancing the welfare of societies. We should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but nor should we let the good stand in the way of the better.
…ere holding a referendum on whether technological progress and the internet are good or bad things. The …ere holding a referendum on whether technological progress and the internet are good or bad things. The internet is a remarkable tool for expanding communications and access to information in a truly transformational manner. The question is: can we be better stewards, and how can we most fully achieve its potential for enhancing the welfare of societies. We should not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, but nor should we let the good stand in the …
Those robots are a very different breed from the old, and the trade-off space will be vastly different. Formerly, we got precision from adding tighter motor control or heavier arms.. This new class of robots have cheaper, lighter arms and still get the precision back by relying on visual servoing. In essence, it means the vision system is able to correct the robotic arm as it gets close to the object we wish to manipulate. A robot arm capable of doing human tasks should not weigh any more than a human arm does and then scale sub-linearly from there. This makes this next generation of robots cheaper, able to handle very flexible tasks, and deal with environments that have been thought as impossible in robotics before.
Digitisation gives us better information, and more of it, for a lower cost. It automates processes that would otherwise have been laborious and slow. One might think that this would reduce society’s expenditure on the activity in question — we can get the same amount of stuff for less money! — but in practice this tends not to be so. Make graphic design cheaper and we make graphic design more affordable to more consumers, with the result that many more instances of elaborate graphic design are created than before. Of course, none of this is news to economists — it’s known as the Jevons Paradox.
When people think of digitisation of a particular field or industry, they tend to think of automation — “robots taking the jobs”. But this is somewhat ahistorical. Digitisation of architecture in the form of Computer-Aided Design has not led to the robotisation of architecture, but to the creation of new concepts and better tools that enable new kinds of buildings. The architect is set free to consider new problems by the elimination of old ones. The same is true for graphic design, accountancy, aeronautics, biology and many other fields.
…ockchain, and crypto-currency, finally allows me to indulge my two main interests at the same time. In many cases, what people mean by “the blockchain” is just “economics, on computers” (seriously, try it — any time someone says that the blockchain will solve a problem, substitute in “economics, on computers” for “the blockchain” and the statement generally makes way more sense). As someone with a combined interest in economics and computer science, this looks like fun.
None of this would be enough if the world’s population was still booming at the rates that caused alarm in the 1960s. But it is not; population growth has been in steady decline for half a century. If the number of people on the planet stabilises, and the efficiency with which we use resources increases, there is nothing implausible about a continued rise in the standard of living.
There are three fundamentally different characteristics of this civilization: One, it will be run totally on digital technologies, smarter and smarter, more and more interconnected computers. Two, it will be totally global and operate on a planetary scale. And three, it will have to be sustainable, in its energy usage and its impact on the planet.
… the tools and services that support it, such as services, analytics, and machine learning systems. Every company in the world is a data company (whether they know it or not), and in 2018, the transfer and elevation of a company’s data will become its greatest asset, so long as a company knows how to use the data. — Jason Warner, SVP of Technology at GitHub
“AI is still something of a novelty for the enterprise. Business processes have always created vast floods of data, but only now can the enterprise use AI and machine learning to understand and contextualize both structured and unstructured data and extract its true value. For the enterprise, AI is essentially a digital soothsayer. It can effectively predict the future, analyzing patterns and trends to offer more effective microsecond buying recommendations, and augmenting next-step actions with invaluable insights. By 2020, we expect domain experts and data scientists to embed AI into existing products, expandin…