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Building Human-Level A.I. Will Require Billions of People

The Great AI hunger appears poised to quickly replace and then exceed the income flows it has been eliminating. If we follow the money, we can confidently expect millions, then billions of machine-learning support roles to emerge in the very near-term, majorly limiting if not reversing widespread technological unemployment.

Human-directed machine learning has emerged as the dominant process for the creation of Weak AI such as language translation, computer vision, search, drug discovery and logistics management. Increasingly, it appears Strong AI, aka AGI or "human-level" AI, will be achieved by bootstrapping machine learning at scale, which will require billions of humans in-the-loop


How does human-in the-loop machine learning work? The process of training a neural net to do something useful, say the ability to confidently determine whether a photo has been taken indoors or outside, requires feeding it input content, in this case thousands of different photographs, allowing…
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Donald Trump, Entertainer-in-Chief

The days of the presidential presidency are behind us.  

JFK was the first TV President. He and his successors exuded a distinctly presidential vibe as they communicated confidently to the masses, primarily through color video, usually behind a podium or in high-power settings, on a monthly or sometimes weekly basis.

Donald Trump is the first Web & Reality TV President. He spent a decade as host and producer of the hit show The Apprentice and exudes a distinctly colloquial vibe across cable and the web. Trump prefers titanic business settings like board rooms and communicates to the masses at a daily or even hourly rate, even after the election. Twitter is his pulpit.

Trump is a seasoned, self-aware, master content producer AND actor. In sports, the equivalent is a player/coach, a Peyton Manning or LeBron. He's calculatedly sloppy and unpredictable, which appears to boost his authenticity and watchability. Most importantly, he's relentless.

Trump's magic media formula: 

Tru…

IBM Watson AI XPrize Pits AI vs. Human/AI Teams

XPRize and IBM have announced the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, a multi-stage Cognitive Computing Competition with a $5 million purse that challenges "teams from around the world to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful cognitive technologies to tackle some of the world’s grand challenges." Interestingly, the competition will be open to human/AI hybrid and exclusively AI entrants alike. The contest will culminate in 2020 after a series of IBM's annual "World of Watson" prelim events and draw attention to the human-empowering aspects of Artificial Intelligence. 
May the smartest neural array carry the day.
Pre-registration is open now at xprize.org/AI, and detailed guidelines will be announced on May 15, 2016.
TED Blog
XPrize Announcement

Ukraine to Test Transparent, Blockchain-powered Voting System

A handful of Ukrainian government officials, several Ukrainian NGOs and blockchain businesses Ambisafe, Distributed Lab and Kitsoft have announced a partnership to test and gradually implement a transparent, blockchain-based voting system in Ukraine. The move to the blockchain marks a next logical step in Ukraine's recent experiments with e-voting systems.
Press ReleaseAnalysis

Ingress - A Precursor of the World to Come

With over 500K active players, Ingress, the Google-funded augmented reality game for Android, is about to exit Beta and already marks a notable step forward in gaming and interactive media. As it scales, it could have a major psychological and material impact on our world.



Ingress as Indicator: Futurists, tech bloggers, entrepreneurs, investors and sci-fi writers all spend much time scouring the world for interesting signals from the edge to identify emerging trends or even the next big thing. In the past decade, many have zeroed in on gamification, augmented reality and the ongoing mobile explosion as important zones of development. Residing squarely at the intersection of these potent growth areas is Ingress, the quirky augmented reality game that hearkens to visions of the future contained in works like Snow Crash, Otherland and Rainbows End. As I’ve played the game (I’m up to Level 7 of 8), I’ve come to believe that it’s an important precursor of things to come.


Gameplay: Created b…

The World's First Billion Dollar Brain

How much might the highest bidder pay for Steve Jobs' intact brain in a jar? I could see a die-hard collector and history fan dropping 10 or 20 million $ for bragging rights. Maybe more.

But what if that buyer could count on extracting information from the brain? As science continues to better our understanding of functions like memory, intelligence and cognition, and improves brain-scanning and simulation, we're rapidly developing the ability to identify where and how information resides in brains. Researchers have already  distinguished between different recalled memories in brains. So how many more years will pass before mankind can read meaningful portions of the well-preserved brain of a deceased person? 5 years? 10? 20? 50? 100?  
The answer may well be 10-20 years, but even if it's 100 - that could seriously affect the price a person or an organization is willing to pay for a brain. The prospect of retro-active brain reading will surely push up the going rate for pres…

The Massively Multiplying Mini Me

The notion of the Quantified Self has been gaining popularity as people figure out more useful things to do with the data captured via their computers, devices and social networks. Many thinkers and companies (like fitbit) imagine this data can and will be used as a tool for revealing personal heath trends in areas like sleep, exercise, happiness, bodily functions and genetic disease. Some folks like mathematician Stephen Wolfram, who already are mining vast stores of personal data from over the years, believe introducing the appropriate search algorithms and systems to personal data will help us with identifying behavioral tendencies and thus help us be more productive. My friend, ASF President John Smart, takes a bigger more forward-looking perspective, sees a world in which this data will be used to create a Digital Twin for each of us that will fully anticipate our preferences and behavior and greatly assist us in all aspects of life.
I think they're all right.

That said, I beli…