#0010: Tax all of the robots
Bill Gates, who I have more and more respect for as he continues his amazing post-Microsoft philanthropy, thinks robots that take workers’ jobs should pay taxes. This is a very clever insight, and one possible source of funds for Universal Basic Income that might be necessary if robots end up taking all of the middle class jobs.
One of my fave interview questions is: “So, Jaffa Cakes: biscuit or cake?”. I throw that in for a bit of a laugh now and again, and also as way to ask an off-kilter question that helps me understand how someone might think. I may have to change that question now because it looks like lawyers may have solved the conundrum. Although, rather than solve it, philosophers think it is a good opportunity to ask the deeper question: “How do our concepts relate to reality?”. What would Wittgenstein say?
Ever wonder what a neural net looks like on the inside? Something like this, apparently.
Uber has hired a veteran NASA engineer to develop flying cars. This should really help them get their P&L back under control.
Why would you ever need to print anything? ‘Computer Show’ asks — and answers — this perplexing question. Although this one is an ad for a HP printer, it really is very, very good. If you’ve not familiar with the rest of the series, check them out here and here.
Do you wonder what Facebook knows about you? Data Selfie analyses your usage to show you what companies can learn about you. Alternatively, you can simply not have an account.
Now, consider what would happen if Facebook changed its policy to take a more interventionist role in the way it presents the timeline. What about if they did an experiment to see if they could control users’ emotions? What about if they experimented with influencing your voting intentions? A lot of ‘what-ifs’ there … and while you’re scoffing, remember, there was no way Trump could ever be president.
Watch what happens when an accident occurs in a tunnel in South Korea.
The ability to self-improve is (arguably) a hallmark of human intelligence. So, what about this: DeepCoder builds programs using code it finds lying around.
After spending about USD$59 million dollars on research, the R3 consortium has decided to abandon blockchain tech alltogether. This is quite a move, which has predictably, startled the rest of the blockchain community. Why it took USD$59m to come to this conclusion is anyone’s guess.
And finally, here are 10 breakthrough technologies for 2017. Nothing too surprising there. The implications of automated trucks on the workforce is potentially more interesting than the tech.
Only in Australia
One thing I noticed coming to the UK (from Australia) was the amount of dogs that you find in your local pub or restaurant. This is just not something you see in nanny-state Australia where there is a rule for everything, including not having your pets in a pub. This French waitress, unfamiliar with the native wildlife, confused a goanna (monitor lizard) for a dog and dragged it out of a NSW restaurant by the tail. I don’t think she realised how dangerous these things can be.
Here’s a cake-based teaser. Well, just because.
Can you divide a cake in 8 pieces with three cuts?
Universal adoration and acclaim to the first correct answer in the comments.