AI May Soon Replace Even the Most Elite Consultants (made me think)

“According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a new partnership between UBS Wealth Management and Amazon allows some of UBS’s European wealth-management clients to ask Alexa certain financial and economic questions. Alexa will then answer their queries with the information provided by UBS’s chief investment office without even having to pick up the phone or visit a website. And this is likely just Alexa’s first step into offering business services. Soon she will probably be booking appointments, analyzing markets, maybe even buying and selling stocks. While the financial services industry has already begun the shift from active management to passive management, artificial intelligence will move the market even further, to management by smart machines, as in the case of Blackrock, which is rolling computer-driven algorithms and models into more traditional actively-managed funds.

But the financial services industry is just the beginning. Over the next few years, artificial intelligence may exponentially change the way we all gather information, make decisions, and connect with stakeholders. Hopefully this will be for the better and we will all benefit from timely, comprehensive, and bias-free insights (given research that human beings are prone to a variety of cognitive biases). It will be particularly interesting to see how artificial intelligence affects the decisions of corporate leaders — men and women who make the many decisions that affect our everyday lives as customers, employees, partners, and investors.”

AI May Soon Replace Even the Most Elite Consultants
https://hbr.org/2017/07/ai-may-soon-replace-even-the-most-elite-consultants
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Former Talking Heads frontman says consumer tech is working against what it means to be human

It has been about creating the possibility of a world with less human interaction. This tendency is, I suspect, not a bug, it’s a feature. We might think Amazon was about making books available to us that we couldn’t find locally—and it was, and what a brilliant idea—but maybe it was also just as much about eliminating human contact

Former Talking Heads frontman says consumer tech is working against what it means to be human
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608580/eliminating-the-human/
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Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats (nyt)

In Europe, however, the ground is already shifting. Google’s share of the search engine market there is 92 percent, according to StatCounter. But that did not stop the European Union from fining it $2.7 billion in June for putting its products above those of its rivals.

A new German law that fines social networks huge sums for not taking down hate speech went into effect this month. On Tuesday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain said the government was looking carefully at the roles, responsibility and legal status of Google and Facebook, with an eye to regulating them as news publishers rather than platforms.

This war, like so many wars, is going to start in Europe,  said Mr. Galloway, the New York University professor.

Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/technology/tech-giants-threats.html


End of the road: will automation put an end to the American trucker - fascinating story

“The only human beings left in the modern supply chain are truck drivers. If you go to a modern warehouse now, say Amazon or Walmart, the trucks are unloaded by machines, the trucks are loaded by machines, they are put into the warehouse by machines. Then there is a guy, probably making $10 an hour, with a load of screens watching these machines. Then what you have is a truckers’ lounge with 20 or 30 guys standing around getting paid. And that drives the supply chain people nuts,” he says.

The goal, he believes, is to get rid of the drivers and “have ultimate efficiency”.

“I think this is imminent. Five years or so. This is a space race – the race to get the first driverless vehicle that is viable,” says Murphy. “My fellow drivers don’t appear to be particularly concerned about this. They think it’s way off into the future. All the people I have talked to on this book tour, nobody thinks this is imminent except for me. Me and Elon Musk, I guess.””

End of the road: will automation put an end to the American trucker?
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/10/american-trucker-automation-jobs
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Opportunity for everyone - great post by google CEO Sundar Pinchai

“These are tough gaps. For instance, the nature of work is fundamentally changing. And that is shifting the link between education, training and opportunity. Young people already feel this. An Economist survey found that less than half of 18- to 25-year-olds believe their education gives them the skills they need to enter today’s workforce. That’s a significant gap that’s only going to become more urgent. One-third of jobs in 2020 will require skills that aren’t common today.”

Opportunity for everyone
https://blog.google/topics/causes-community/opportunity-for-everyone/?utm_source=MIT+Technology+Review&utm_campaign=f406b201c7-The_Download&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_997ed6f472-f406b201c7-154803941
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How Russia Harvested American Rage to Reshape U.S. Politics (NYT on “cultural hacking”)

““This is cultural hacking,” said Jonathan Albright, research director at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. “They are using systems that were already set up by these platforms to increase engagement. They’re feeding outrage — and it’s easy to do, because outrage and emotion is how people share.””

How Russia Harvested American Rage to Reshape U.S. Politics
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/09/technology/russia-election-facebook-ads-rage.html?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email&referer=
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The Real Problem With Voice Assistants Like Siri Is Your Brain

“The bad news is that the capital-d Dream of a virtual assistant that manages your digital life while you live your real one is probably a lie. The real problem with voice assistants isn't that they're underpowered, or that their neural nets aren't sophisticated enough to intuit our requests. It's that user interfaces will always demand your attention—whether they're graphical, conversational, or, hell, telepathic.

I know this because for the past week, I’ve been using my AirPods to interact with Siri. Not to create timers, launch apps, or add things to my shopping list, but to, you know, get shit done.

In the morning, I slip an AirPod into my ear (just one), double tap it, and ask Siri to read me my emails while I make breakfast, recite the day's schedule while I put away dishes, organize my to-do list while I feed the dog, or help me field and respond to text messages as I pack up my bag and walk to the bus stop. Siri's voice recognition is now strong enough, its neural nets sharp enough, and its access to my personal information complete enough to handle this small handful of tasks quickly and consistently.”

The Real Problem With Voice Assistants Like Siri Is Your Brain
https://www.wired.com/story/multitasking-problem-with-virtual-assistants/
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'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia

“There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.””

'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia
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Rise of the Robolawyers: made me think (via TheAtlantic)

“DoNotPay is just the beginning. Until we see a major, society-changing breakthrough in artificial intelligence, robolawyers won’t dispute the finer points of copyright law or write elegant legal briefs. But chatbots could be very useful in certain types of law. Deportation, bankruptcy, and divorce disputes, for instance, typically require navigating lengthy and confusing statutes that have been interpreted in thousands of previous decisions. Chatbots could eventually analyze most every possible exception, loophole, and historical case to determine the best path forward.

As AI develops, robolawyers could help address the vast unmet legal needs of the poor. Roland Vogl, the executive director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science, and Technology, says bots will become the main entry point into the legal system. “Every legal-aid group has to turn people away because there isn’t time to process all of the cases,” he says. “We’ll see cases that get navigated through an artificially intelligent computer system, and lawyers will only get involved when it’s really necessary.” A good analogy is TurboTax: If your taxes are straightforward, you use TurboTax; if they’re not, you get an accountant. The same will happen with law.”

Rise of the Robolawyers
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/rise-of-the-robolawyers/517794/
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