Chris Dixon on competing with Internet giants for budding AI and VR talent

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VC Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz thinks it's a lot harder to predict financial cycles than it is to see a new computing platform coming down the pike. As he noted in a recent post, new cycles tend to begin every 10 to 15 years; assuming the 2007 introduction of the iPhone kicked off the last wave, we're fast heading toward the Next New Thing. Or things, technically, according to Dixon, who we caught up with yesterday. Among the trends that Dixon is watching closely, he says, are virtual reality, augmented reality, IoT, wearables, drones and cars. Not that it'll be easy to make money off these newer technologies.


Obama warns of the danger of AI wiping out jobs

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In an interview with Wired Magazine, Obama spoke of redesigning the social compact and starting a conversation around fair wages. He cited teachers as being underpaid, and called for a reexamination of what we value, and what we'll pay for. Obama addressed basic income, a proposal for all citizens to receive a government stipend in order to meet their costs of living. The idea has gained recent support among some futurists and economists, given concerns over how technology will eliminate jobs and impact salaries in coming years. "Whether a universal income is the right model -- is it gonna be accepted by a broad base of people?


Technical challenges in machine ethics

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Machine ethics offers an alternative solution for artificial intelligence (AI) safety governance. In order to mitigate risks in human-robot interactions, robots will have to comply with humanity's ethical and legal norms, once they've merged into our daily life with highly autonomous capability. In terms of technical challenges, there are still many open questions in machine ethics. For example, what is deontic logic and how can it be used for improving AI safety? How do we fashion the knowledge representation for ethical robots? These are all significant questions for us to investigate. In this interview, we invite Prof. Ronald C. Arkin to share his insights on robot ethics, with a focus on its technical aspects.


Inside the surprisingly sexist world of artificial intelligence

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There's no doubt Stephen Hawking is a smart guy. But the world-famous theoretical physicist recently declared that women leave him stumped. "Women should remain a mystery," Hawking wrote in response to a Reddit user's question about the realm of the unknown that intrigued him most. While Hawking's remark was meant to be light-hearted, he sounded quite serious discussing the potential dangers of artificial intelligence during Reddit's online Q&A session: A superintelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren't aligned with ours, we're in trouble. Hawking's comments might seem unrelated.


Google says robots are going to be bigger than search

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Machine learning is the hot new thing in Silicon Valley. In an interview with the Times, Google cloud executive Urs Hölzle predicted that the business of renting out machine learning capabilities will one day overtake the company's advertising revenue. To put that in perspective, search ads made Google an eye-popping 16.4 billion in profits in 2015. Machine learning is a branch of computer science where algorithms can train themselves in pattern recognition. Crucially, it doesn't require a programmer to orient the algorithm to what works or doesn't work in a given domain -- it can learn on its own.