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If they think immigrants aren't welcome, tech's future leaders might never come to America

#artificialintelligence

On this episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, Carnegie Mellon's Andrew Moore talks about the future of tech education as fields like artificial intelligence and machine learning take center stage. Moore, the dean of CMU's computer science school, says he's "concerned" that anti-immigrant fervor will deter the next generation of great computer scientists from coming to America, although CMU has not yet seen an impact on its application numbers. "I think it's short-term, and I haven't seen any craziness, though of course, I'm frightened that it'll happen -- on this question of getting really the strongest folks over," Moore said. "If we appear to have a society which doesn't welcome folks from elsewhere then of course any sane brilliant scientist will end up going to Canada or Singapore or Zurich because they'll be able to get the best of both worlds." "Once you're living in an academic community or in a software development office for an exciting company, usually in day-to-day interactions this doesn't come up," he added. "You're so focused on some particular mission. But that perception -- especially among someone who's maybe 16 or 17 in anywhere from Turkey to China to England -- is something I'm concerned about." On the new podcast, he also talks about the often-forgotten importance of electrical and computer engineers, who will develop the sensors that make machine learning advance; how educational programs have been complicit in the lack of diversity in tech; and why he's personally pessimistic that self-driving cars, one of Carnegie Mellon's areas of expertise, will be ready by the early 2020s, as some have predicted. You can listen to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts. Below, we've shared a lightly edited transcript of Kara's full conversation with Andrew. Kara Swisher: Today, I'm delighted to have Andrew Moore on the podcast. He's the dean of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science, which was ranked No. 1 in the world by U.S. News and World Report. And he was previously a vice president of engineering at Google where he was in charge of Google Shopping. Andrew Moore: Happy to be here, thank you. I wanna get your background. I've had various computer scientists on the show who are teaching and like that, and I'd love to get sort of the academic perspective, but you've been in the fray, also. So just let's give your background, where you came from and how you got to Carnegie Mellon and then we'll talk about what's going on there. I grew up in a seaside town called Bournemouth in South of England, and there, in the late '80s, I really got into creating video games, like a lot of kids at the time.


Transcript of interview of Peter Norvig by Lex Fridman

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This is a quick transcript of the interview of Peter Norvig by Lex Fridman. I find this interview so interesting and revealing, that I decided to take on the task of making a transcript of the interview published in YouTube. Lex Friedman: The following is a conversation with Peter Norvig. A Modern Approach", and educated and inspired a whole generation of researchers, including myself, to get into the field of Artificial Intelligence. This is the Artificial Intelligence podcast. Lex Fridman: Most researchers in the AI community, including myself, own all three editions, red green and blue, of the "Artificial intelligence, a modern approach", the field defining textbook. As many people are aware that you wrote with Stuart Russell, how is the book changed, and how have you changed in relation to it from the first edition to the second, to the third, and now fourth edition as you work on it? Peter Norvig: Yeah so it's been a lot of years, a lot of changes. One of the things changing from the first, to maybe the second, or third, was just the rise of computing power, right? So, I think in the First Edition we said: "here's predicate logic but that only goes so far because pretty soon you have millions of short little medical expressions and they can possibly fit in memory, so we're gonna use first-order logic that's more concise." And then we quickly realized: "Oh, predicate logic is pretty nice because there are really fast Sat solvers, and other things, and look there's only millions of expressions and that fits easily into memory, or maybe even billions fit into memory now.


Why Uber will win the scooter wars

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On this episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, Kara sits downs with Sunil Paul, the co-founder of Sidecar who recently penned a popular post for this site, "The scooter wars will be a bloodbath, and Uber will win." In this podcast, he elaborates on why that is and shares his thoughts about the broader transportation industry, including self-driving cars, bike-sharing and vertical lift and take-off vehicles like Larry Page's Kitty Hawk "flying car." Now primarily an investor, Paul also talks about why Sidecar couldn't compete with Uber and Lyft -- even though it created ride-hailing features that are now popular parts of their products. You can listen to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts. Below, we've shared a lightly edited transcript of Kara's full conversation with Paul. Sunil Paul: Great to be here. Let's do a little background. You and I have known each other for ... A dog's age, as they say, like since D.C., in the early 90s. Can you explain how you were lucky enough to meet me then? Well, I think I first met you when I was AOL's internet product manager. And then, I started a company. I think you were the demo boy. That's what I think you were, weren't you? You showed me some demos. I think I was a demo boy. I recall demo boy-ing for Steve Case. You were working at AOL. What products did you work on there? How did you get there? What were you doing in D.C.? I came to D.C. to work on a space station. My early career I was an engineer. I helped do the early design for a space station. Then I got really interested in policy because Congress kept mucking around with the space station. I went, spent several years as a policy analyst on the Hill for [the] Office of Technology Assessment. While I was there, I started mucking around with this new thing, that was the early '90s, I started mucking around with this new thing called the internet and that ... Why did you pick AOL?


Why Uber will win the scooter wars

#artificialintelligence

On this episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher, Kara sits downs with Sunil Paul, the co-founder of Sidecar who recently penned a popular post for this site, "The scooter wars will be a bloodbath, and Uber will win." In this podcast, he elaborates on why that is and shares his thoughts about the broader transportation industry, including self-driving cars, bike-sharing and vertical lift and take-off vehicles like Larry Page's Kitty Hawk "flying car." Now primarily an investor, Paul also talks about why Sidecar couldn't compete with Uber and Lyft -- even though it created ride-hailing features that are now popular parts of their products. You can listen to Recode Decode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Overcast or wherever you listen to podcasts. Below, we've shared a lightly edited transcript of Kara's full conversation with Paul. Sunil Paul: Great to be here. Let's do a little background. You and I have known each other for ... A dog's age, as they say, like since D.C., in the early 90s. Can you explain how you were lucky enough to meet me then? Well, I think I first met you when I was AOL's internet product manager. And then, I started a company. I think you were the demo boy. That's what I think you were, weren't you? You showed me some demos. I think I was a demo boy. I recall demo boy-ing for Steve Case. You were working at AOL. What products did you work on there? How did you get there? What were you doing in D.C.? I came to D.C. to work on a space station. My early career I was an engineer. I helped do the early design for a space station. Then I got really interested in policy because Congress kept mucking around with the space station. I went, spent several years as a policy analyst on the Hill for [the] Office of Technology Assessment. While I was there, I started mucking around with this new thing, that was the early '90s, I started mucking around with this new thing called the internet and that ... Why did you pick AOL?


The robots are coming for your office

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As the editor-in-chief of The Verge, I can theoretically assign whatever I want. However, there is one topic I have failed to get people at The Verge to write about for years: robotic process automation, or RPA. RPA isn't robots in factories, which is often what we think of when it comes to automation. This is different: RPA is software. Software that uses other software, like Excel or an Oracle database. On this week's Decoder, I finally found someone who wants to talk about it with me: New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose. His new book, Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation, has just come out, and it features a lengthy discussion of RPA, who's using it, who it will affect, and how to think about it as you design your career. What struck me during our conversation were the jobs that Kevin talks about as he describes the impact of automation: they're not factory workers and truck drivers. If you have the kind of job that involves sitting in front of a computer using the same software the same way every day, automation is coming for you. It won't be cool or innovative or even work all that well -- it'll just be cheaper, faster, and less likely to complain. That might sound like a downer, but Kevin's book is all about seeing that as an opportunity. You'll see what I mean. Okay, Kevin Roose, tech columnist, author, and the only reporter who has ever agreed to talk to me about RPAs. This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. Kevin Roose, you're a tech columnist at The New York Times and you have a new book, Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation, which is out now. Thank you for having me. You're ostensibly here to promote your book, which is great. But there's one piece of the book that I am absolutely fascinated by, which is this thing called "robotic process automation." And I'm gonna do my best with you on this show, today, to make that super interesting. But before we get there, let's talk about your book for a minute. What is your book about? Because I read it, and it has a big idea and then there's literally nine rules for regular people to survive. So, tell me how the book came together. So, the book is basically divided into two parts.