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ANDRÉ CRAMER

… my view of where technology innovation will lead us

Month

December 2016

Solar was the cheapest source of electricity in 2016, and it will further undercut fossil fuels in 2017 (Michael J. Coren)

The renewable energy future will arrive when installing new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas or other options. If you ask the World Economic Forum (WEF), the day has arrived.

Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than new fossil fuel capacity in more than 30 countries, the WEF reported in December (pdf). As prices for solar and wind power continue their precipitous fall, two-thirds of all nations will reach the point known as “grid parity” within a few years, even without subsidies…

Source: Solar was the cheapest source of electricity in 2016, and it will further undercut fossil fuels in 2017 — Quartz

Cheap & Abundant Solar Energy is Coming: In the next 20 years, between 50 to 100 % of the world’s energy production could come from solar (Peter Diamandis)

Today, the global oil and natural gas industry is about a $4 trillion business. It’s big money, and in the US, 67% of the electricity generated in 2015 was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and petroleum).

This is about to change…

Source: Cheap and Abundant Solar Energy is Coming – Medium

What it feels like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet (Going Walden)

Technology has a lot to answer for: killing old businesses, destroying the middle class, Buzzfeed. Technology in the form of the internet is especially villainous, having been accused of everything from making us dumber (paywall) to aiding dictatorships. But Michael Harris, riffing on the observations of Melvin Kranzberg, argues that “technology is neither good nor evil. The most we can say about it is this: It has come.”

Harris is the author of “The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection,” a new book about how technology affects society…

Source: What it feels like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet — Quartz

Virtual Reality Allows the Most Detailed, Intimate Digital Surveillance Yet (Joshua Kopstein)

“Why do I look like Justin Timberlake?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on stage wearing a virtual reality headset, feigning surprise at an expressive cartoon simulacrum that seemed to perfectly follow his every gesture.

The audience laughed. Zuckerberg was in the middle of what he described as the first live demo inside VR, manipulating his digital avatar to show off the new social features of the Rift headset from Facebook subsidiary Oculus. The venue was an Oculus developer conference convened earlier this fall in San Jose. Moments later, Zuckerberg and two Oculus employees were transported to his glass-enclosed office at Facebook, and then to his infamously sequestered home in Palo Alto…”

Source: Virtual Reality Allows the Most Detailed, Intimate Digital Surveillance Yet

Awesome Transcript of a great AI Speech: Superintelligence – The Idea That Eats Smart People (Maciej Cegłowski)

In 1945, as American physicists were preparing to test the atomic bomb, it occurred to someone to ask if such a test could set the atmosphere on fire. This was a legitimate concern. Nitrogen, which makes up most of the atmosphere, is not energetically stable. Smush two nitrogen atoms together hard enough and they will combine into an atom of magnesium, an alpha particle, and release a whole lot of energy: N14 + N14 ⇒ Mg24 + α + 17.7 MeV

The vital question was whether this reaction could be self-sustaining. The temperature inside the nuclear fireball would be hotter than any event in the Earth’s history. Were we throwing a match into a bunch of dry leaves?Los Alamos physicists performed the analysis and decided there was a satisfactory margin of safety…

Source: Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People

The Future of Driving Is Now a Gold Rush (Mark Harris)

Blink and you might miss the moment automated vehicles go mainstream. At some point in 2017, a fully autonomous Tesla will blast across the country en route from Los Angeles to New York. The person sitting in the front left seat — let’s no longer call her the driver — will be free to watch a movie, drink a latte, or wave to locals as she zips past. If Elon Musk has his way, the tech will then roll out to drivers in 2018…

Source: The Future of Driving Is Now a Gold Rush

Great Read on the Future of Human Physical and Cognitive Development: Exponential Growth Will Transform Humanity in the Next 30 Years (Peter Diamandis)

Today’s extraordinary rate of exponential growth may do much more than just disrupt industries. It may actually give birth to a new species, reinventing humanity over the next 30 years.

I believe we’re rapidly heading towards a human-scale transformation, the next evolutionary step into what I call a “Meta-Intelligence,” a future in which we are all highly connected—brain to brain via the cloud—sharing thoughts, knowledge and actions. In this post, I’m investigating the driving forces behind such an evolutionary step, the historical pattern we are about to repeat, and the implications thereof. Again, I acknowledge that this topic seems far-out, but the forces at play are huge and the implications are vast. Let’s dive in…

Source: Exponential Growth Will Transform Humanity in the Next 30 Years

5 predictions for Artificial Intelligence for for the coming year (Stuart Frankel)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has officially gone mainstream. Industry research firm Gartner named AI as its number one strategic technology for a second year in a row. The acquisitions race among giants like Google, IBM, Salesforce and Apple to purchase private AI companies keeps heating up — 2016 alone saw 40 AI-related acquisitions and our own research found that 62% of large enterprises will be using AI-technologies by 2018.Since everyone seems to be talking about AI broadly, we focused our predictions this year on what we see happening with communications and AI…

Source: 5 predictions for artificial intelligence for for the coming year

Your voice will soon become the primary way to interact with all machines (Bryan Healey)

Apple did not invent the mobile application. Phones have had apps since the first time a phone had a screen. These first apps, however, lived in a closed ecosystem; the calendar, web browser and games came preloaded and locked down. If you wanted something more, you needed to buy a new phone. App developers worked for or were close partners of the phone developer, and reach was extremely limited.

Then came the iPhone, and the iOS SDK. Suddenly, the phone was not just a phone, but a platform, a medium in which you could even launch a business…

Source: Your voice will soon become the primary way to interact with all machines – Recode

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