DLD Special: CognitionX Saturday Briefing

DLD’s theme this year is “What’s The Plan.” We agree with Steffi and Dominik it’s much more important to ask the questions than to know the answers. Today the Economist called for an “education revolution” to adapt to the rise of A.I. and we are excited to discuss exactly this question and debate ‘The Plan’, with you all on the panel we are hosting and across the event.

Stay tuned on our social media for updates from DLD17.

Impact on the Economy

Equipping people to stay ahead of technological change

When education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart. That fundamental insight seized reformers in the Industrial Revolution, heralding state-funded universal schooling. Later, automation in factories and offices called forth a surge in college graduates. The combination of education and innovation, spread over decades, led to a remarkable flowering of prosperity. Today robotics and A.I. call for
another education revolution. This time, however, working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough. People must also be able to acquire new skills throughout their careers. Come along to our panel “Fixing Education for the A.I. age“, where we will be discussing what can A.I. do to improve the education system and prepare us for the future of work.

Exciting opportunities

Betaworks’ Voicecamp is looking to give voice-powered startups $125K each

Between eight and ten companies will be selected to participate in the voicecamp program, each of which will receive $125,000 in pre-seed funding in the form of an un-capped note. The program will last 11 weeks based on betaworks headquarters in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. Applications for voicecamp begin now, and you can apply for it here.

Education

Facebook’s advice: Create schools with A.I. programs

Facebook recently announced it is working with 17 universities across North America on artificial intelligence and technology projects. Although details about the project were not released, Facebook offered advice to students that want to step into the field.

Tools of the trade

Google’s Cloud Platform gets a new key management service

Google launched a new key management service for its Cloud Platform that will help enterprises — especially in regulated industries like healthcare and banking — create, use, rotate and destroy their encryption keys in the cloud. The aptly named Google Cloud Key Management Service (Cloud KMS) is now available as a beta in select countries, and it’s aimed at getting more enterprises to take a serious look at Google’s Cloud Platform. For the longest time, Google didn’t really go after these companies, but the company is now putting a renewed emphasis on competing in the enterprise cloud business.

Research

AI could raise economic productivity by up to 1.4%

The McKinsey Global Institute has been conducting an ongoing research program on automation technologies and their potential effects. A new MGI report, ‘A future that works: Automation, employment, and productivity’, highlights that automation could raise productivity growth globally by 0.8 to 1.4 percent annually. At a time of lackluster productivity growth, this would give a needed boost to economic growth and prosperity. It would also help offset the impact of a declining share of the working-age population in many countries.

Ethics question for the day

Weaponised AI, IoT hacking among tech threats, says World Economic Forum

Global Risks Report 2017 details some of the key challenges: while the report notes that new technology has the potential to bring great benefit to the world, practices such as connecting more and more business, industrial, and consumer devices to the internet in the name of productivity and efficiency also increases the risk of hacking and data breaches.

Chat Bots, yadda yadda yadda

Why stop at assistants? Facebook has grander ambitions for AI

Facebook will use ML to understand all the content users feed into the company’s infrastructure. These efforts are not some far-off goal: AI is the next platform for Facebook right now. The company is quietly approaching this initiative with the same urgency as its previous Web-to-mobile pivot. (For perspective, mobile currently accounts for 84 percent of Facebook’s revenue). While you can’t currently shout “OK Facebook” or “Hey Facebook” to interact with your favourite social media platform, today plenty of A.I. powers the way
Facebook engages us—whether through images, video, the newsfeed, or its budding chat bots. And if the company’s engineering collective has its way, that automation will only increase.

Podcast

How Deep Learning will reshape our cities

Deep learning promises to do more than just reshape city streets. In this podcast Lynn Richards, president and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism and Charles Marohn, president and co-founder of Strong Towns, discusses how AI will help create more liveable cities. And help put expensive infrastructure where we need it most.

Innovation

CES 2017: BMW sends its new self-driving car out onto public roads

BMW’s self-driving cars have been let out onto public roads in the US — and the Standard came along for the ride. The new 5 Series drives itself when the motorist pushes a button to instruct the vehicle to take control. During CES, the test car headed down a freeway at 60mph while the driver sat with his arms folded for five minutes. BMW said the autonomous system had not crashed during tests, but an engineer had his finger on the handbrake button just in case.

Open Data

Big Data’s unexplored frontier: recorded music

Musicology remains largely old-school, therefore a group of computer scientists based at University College London and Queen Mary University developed the Digital Music Lab (DML) system, a large-scale open-source framework for the analysis of musical data that, crucially, allows for the remote analysis of copyrighted materials.

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