"There is an analogy to be made between anti-vaxxers and climate-change deniers. Both groups place faith in a gut-level sense of their rightful position on an issue that has far-reaching existential implications. And both groups refuse to acknowledge the vast body of sound scientific literature proving them wrong."
"Some of William Shakespeare’s friends and associates left behind a description of his library. Nor is there a record of it being dispersed at the time of his death. His will refers neither to books nor manuscripts. In fact, it gives no sign of a literary career at all, or even a literate one. Contemporary dramatists such as Francis Beaumont, Thomas Dekker, John Fletcher, Robert Greene, Thomas Heywood, and Ben Jonson all left behind plays in manuscript. No Shakespeare playscript, though, has ever been found. (Part of the manuscript of a play about Sir Thomas More has been attributed to Shakespeare, but the part is small and the attribution contentious.)"
"Walmart and other corporations capable of automating at scale will put even more pressure on low-skilled wage growth. Skyrocketing education costs will make acquiring new skills difficult without massive personal debt. The Slow Robot Apocalypse will be the debt burden borne by workers struggling to stay a step ahead of machines that will be continuously upgraded by employers."
The Theranos scam looks like the Enron scam. Both are black box scams. There are inputs and outputs, but how inputs become outputs is obscured. The perfect black box is one in which what's obscured generates faith instead of suspicion.
The idea that “upskilling”—offering educational opportunities so that people can get better jobs in a more technological economy—has a chance of short-circuiting populist resistance to increasing wealth inequality is an indication that the elite deliberation network is running low on good ideas and may be breaking down as a mechanism for solving social problems created by technological advances.
For Apple, Google, Facebook, and Tesla, the future looks like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Tesla. I’m pretty sure that the future—particularly an AI future—will look nothing like what the tech moguls have already built. They’d be as likely to nail the future of AI as J. D. Rockefeller would be speculating on how to get to the Moon. If this is even sort of true then we should question our expectation that the tech moguls of today know enough to really know whether AI will be beneficial on net or not.
"AI perception management campaigns like Watson, Alexa, Apple, Google, etc. distract us from understanding the true state of the technology. There’s a considerable gulf separating what AI technology can do at this time and what it might be able to do in the future. Though progress in the field has been considerable, much of it builds on breakthroughs that are decades old, which should make us concerned about over-hyping AI’s potential."
The (De)X Files is my (sorta) daily aggregate of a few stories, essays, articles, an academic paper here and there, and (ugh) "think pieces" (only the awesome ones) from as wide a net as I can cast across the web.