Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I Will Vote


jimf said...

> We are living in dark times. . . But I know better times are ahead. . .

So does the New York Times.
While You Were Sleeping
Thomas L. Friedman
JAN. 16, 2018

. . .

I pause today to point out some incredible technological changes
happening while Trump has kept us focused on him — changes that
will pose as big an adaptation challenge to American workers as
transitioning from farms to factories once did.

Two and half years ago. . . [a]fter my IBM hosts had shown me
Watson at its Yorktown Heights, N.Y., lab, they they [showed] me. . .
something futuristic called “quantum computing.” They left
me thinking this was Star Wars stuff — a galaxy and many years
far away.

Last week I visited the same lab, where my hosts showed me the
world’s first quantum computer that can handle 50 quantum bits,
or qubits, which it unveiled in November. They still may need
a decade to make this computer powerful enough and reliable
enough for groundbreaking industrial applications, but clearly
quantum computing has gone from science fiction to nonfiction
faster than most anyone expected. . .

The result is computers that may one day “operate 100,000 times
faster than they do today,” adds Wired magazine. . .

[L]ook at where we are today thanks to artificial intelligence
from digital computers. . . and then factor in how all of this could
be supercharged in a decade by quantum computing. . .

Anyway, I didn’t mean to distract from the “Trump Reality Show,”
but I just thought I’d mention that Star Wars technology is coming
not only to a theater near you, but to a job near you. . .

Farhad Manjoo must be on vacation today.

OTOH, _The Register_ is its usual cynical self:
Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)
Nice tech, but shame on Microsoft, Alibaba's spinners
By Katyanna Quach
17 Jan 2018

Researchers from Microsoft and Chinese cyber-souk Alibaba separately
claimed this week that their artificially intelligent software is
as good as, if not better than, humans at understanding the written word.

Journos fell over themselves to breathlessly report that, for instance,
Real headline.

But don’t be fooled. It’s just more drivel pumped out by corporate spin
doctors to boost share prices, attract customers, and claim bragging rights. . .

Global warming? Fuggedaboudit!

Speaking of which, it crossed my mind the other day to check how much
the global human population had increased since 1969 when I first read
(and was spooked by) Paul Ehrlich's _The Population Bomb_.
(via a quick Google) gives 3.6 billion in 1969, 7.4 billion today.
So more than double. (And 8.1 billion by 2027 when "all of this
artificial intelligence could be supercharged by quantum computing").

Dale Carrico said...

Wake me up when a futurist comes up with a new con for once.

jimf said...

> Wake me up when. . .

Steve Winwood - Wake Me Up On Judgement Day