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August 2016

Electric vehicles – It’s not just about the Car (Michael Liebreich, Angus McCrone)

One of the key characteristics of complex systems, such as the world’s energy and transport sectors, is that when they change it tends not to be a linear process. They flip from one state to another in a way strongly analogous to a phase change in material science. We have written about this before, for instance here and here.A second important characteristic of this type of economic phase change is that when one major sector flips, the results rip through the whole economy and can have impacts on the societal scale…

Source: Liebreich and McCrone: Electric vehicles – It’s not just about the car – Bloomberg New Energy Finance

An Exclusive Look at How AI and Machine Learning Work at Apple (Steven Levy)

The iBrain is here — and it’s already inside your phone…

On July 30, 2014, Siri had a brain transplant. Three years earlier, Apple had been the first major tech company to integrate a smart assistant into its operating system. Siri was the company’s adaptation of a standalone app it had purchased, along with the team that created it, in 2010. Initial reviews were ecstatic, but over the next few months and years, users became impatient with its shortcomings. All too often, it erroneously interpreted commands. Tweaks wouldn’t fix it…

Source: An Exclusive Look at How AI and Machine Learning Work at Apple – Backchannel

Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology (Chris Dixon)

In the year 1820, a person could expect to live less than 35 years, 94% of the global population lived in extreme poverty, and less that 20% of the population was literate. Today, human life expectancy is over 70 years, less that 10% of the global population lives in extreme poverty, and over 80% of people are literate. These improvements are due mainly to advances in technology, beginning in the industrial age and continuing today in the information age…

Source: Eleven Reasons To Be Excited About The Future of Technology — Medium

Facebook 2026: Mark Zuckerberg on his plan to bring the internet to every human on earth (Casey Newton)

By nearly any measure, Facebook has had a remarkable year. More than 1.65 billion people use the service every month, making it the world’s largest social network by a considerable margin. Its advertising business has grown significantly faster than analyst expectations, powered by sophisticated targeting capabilities that rivals struggle to match. And in April, CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out an ambitious 10-year vision that places the company at the frontier of computer science, making aggressive moves in bringing artificial intelligence and virtual reality to the mainstream.

Source: Facebook 2026

Awesome & insightful Q&A Session with Yann LeCun, Director of AI Research at Facebook and Professor at NYU (Quora)

What are some recent and potentially upcoming breakthroughs in deep learning?

There are many interesting recent development in deep learning, probably too many for me to describe them all here. But there are a few ideas that caught my attention enough for me to get personally involved in research projects.

The most important one, in my opinion, is adversarial training (also called GAN for Generative Adversarial Networks). This is an idea that was originally proposed by Ian Goodfellow when he was a student with Yoshua Bengio at the University of Montreal (he since moved to Google Brain and recently to OpenAI)

This, and the variations that are now being proposed is the …


Source: Yann LeCun – Session on Jul 28, 2016 – Quora

Very insightful Read: Facebook’s really big plans for Virtual Reality (Bryant Urstadt, Sarah Frier)

The office building on Facebook Way is in the unfinished style that honors materials like plywood, concrete, and steel. The I-beams supporting its soaring walls still have the builders’ chalk placement instructions on them. It takes a business making billions of high-margin dollars to make plywood and concrete seem so appealing. The merely ordinary have to put up drywall.

Facebook’s spokeswoman calls its headquarters the largest single room in the world. Maybe. It feels like it, anyway. The space isn’t square, so it doesn’t seem pointedly vast; it’s long and narrow. Heading to meet Mark Zuckerberg, the wizard of this open-plan office, you wind through it like an Ikea, following a painted path…

Source: Facebook’s really big plans for virtual reality

Why Virtual Reality Will Be the Most Social Computing Platform Yet (Kyle Russel)

The future of immersive virtual reality is often depicted as a dystopian view of millions of people spending hours alone each day, with huge gadgets stuck to their face, enraptured by fantastical worlds.

But it’s going to be millions of people spending time together — with friends, family, colleagues, and new acquaintances — experiencing moments together no matter the physical distance between them…

Source: Why Virtual Reality Will Be the Most Social Computing Platform Yet — Medium

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