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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek pledges $1Bn of his wealth to back deeptech startups from Europe – TechCrunch

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At an online event today, Daniel Ek, the founder of Spotify, said he would invest 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) of his personal fortune in deeptech "moonshot projects", spread across the next 10 years. Ek indicated that he was referring to machine learning, biotechnology, materials sciences and energy as the sectors he'd like to invest in. "I want to do my part; we all know that one of the greatest challenges is access to capital," Ek said, adding he wanted to achieve a "new European dream". "I get really frustrated when I see European entrepreneurs giving up on their amazing visions selling early on to non-European companies, or when some of the most promising tech talent in Europe leaves because they don't feel valued here," Ek said. "We need more super companies that raise the bar and can act as an inspiration."


Big Mother Can Be Just As Threatening As Big Brother

Slate

An expert on machine learning responds to Yudhanjaya Wijeratne's "The State Machine." The world of software has a long-held, pernicious myth that a system built from digital logic cannot have biases. A piece of code functions as an object of pure reason, devoid of emotion and all the messiness that entails. From this thesis flows an idea that has gained increasing traction in the worlds of both technology and science fiction: a perfectly rational system of governance built upon artificial intelligence. If software can't lie, and data can't inherently be wrong, then what could be more equitable and efficient than the rule of a machine-driven system?


The United States of Amazon and its Flywheel Economy

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"The tech giants have as much money and influence as nation states." Tech Giants include Apple Facebook, and Google ... but Amazon's unique flywheel makes it the torchbearer. "AWS alone is on track to be worth $1 trillion." The Amazon flywheel fuels a circular, data-driven ecosystem that's bolstered by Open Innovation. This article summarizes two from a series called the Tech Nations project.


A Silver Lining of COVID-19: Innovation Super Evolution - Techonomy

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If the pandemic has taught the world anything, it's that we are capable of moving much, much faster to make change. By one measure, 42 percent of the workforce in America alone was working from home in June. Now, as we seek to combat COVID-19, 155 vaccines are in development, including 10 vaccines undergoing phase 3 trials; many of these teams are already achieving encouraging results in remarkably short order. Several 1,000-bed hospitals were built in China in just over a week. Doctors are seeing 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telemedicine as they did pre-COVID.


Dark skies and bright satellites

Science

Most ground-based observatories require a dark night sky to uncover answers to some of the most fundamental questions about the nature of our Universe. However, a number of companies and governments are in various stages of planning or deploying bright satellites in low-Earth orbit (or LEOsats) in greater numbers than ever before. These “megaconstellations” will fundamentally change astronomical observing at visible wavelengths. Nighttime images will be contaminated by streaks caused by the passage of Sun-illuminated satellites. If proposals calling for 100,000 or more LEOsats are realized, no combination of mitigations will be able to fully avoid the negative impact on astronomy. This threat comes at a time when new technology offers unprecedented scientific opportunities, all requiring access to dark skies. One example is the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, which is nearing completion. Its Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will soon offer a dramatic new view of the changing sky. Rubin Observatory will employ the 8.4-m Simonyi Survey Telescope and the 3200-megapixel LSST Camera to capture about 1000 images of the sky, every night, for 10 years. A single 30-s exposure will reveal distant objects that are about 40 million times fainter than those visible with the unaided eye. The observatory's combination of a large light-collecting area and field of view is unparalleled in the history of astronomy, which is why the project was the top ground-based priority for U.S. astronomers in the 2010 National Academies Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. LSST six-color images will contain data for about 20 billion ultrafaint galaxies and a similar number of stars, and will be used for investigations ranging from cosmological studies of the Universe to searches for potentially hazardous Earth-impacting asteroids. However, the discoveries anticipated from Rubin and other observatories could be substantially degraded by the deployment of multiple LEOsat constellations. The most exciting science to come out of current and planned astronomical facilities may be the discovery of types of objects and phenomena not yet observed or predicted. Such profound surprises have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of every field from exobiology to cosmology. Rubin Observatory's LSST, for example, opens the prospect of observing how ultrafaint objects change over time. It is precisely this kind of astronomy that is most at risk from image artifacts arising from LEOsat megaconstellations. These satellites scatter sunlight for several hours after sunset or before sunrise, are relatively close and bright, and thus can affect ground-based telescopes observing at visible wavelengths. Constellations in orbits well above 600 km will be illuminated by the Sun all night long. Astronomers worldwide are seeking ways to diminish the satellites' most damaging effects—the focus of a recent virtual workshop[*][1] sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation—and are collaborating with SpaceX (in particular, the Rubin Observatory), the first operator to launch a substantial constellation of LEOsats. SpaceX has shown that satellite operators can reduce reflected sunlight through satellite orientation, Sun shielding, and surface darkening. A joint effort to obtain higher-accuracy public data on the predicted location of individual satellites could help astronomers point their instruments to avoid some of the interference. Although all of these measures are helpful, there are no guarantees, and the research community is left to hope for good corporate citizenship. Future constellations owned and operated by foreign governments pose a different sort of challenge. Although there are international regulations covering radio-frequency interference, there are no such regulations in place for visible-frequency light pollution from space. Earth orbit is a natural resource without environmental protections, and we are now witnessing its industrialization. Currently there are about a thousand bright LEOsats, but that may be just the beginning. Proposals to expand telecommunications and data relay to serve new technologies like self-driving cars could lead to a 100-fold increase in the number of LEOsats in the next decade. The American Astronomical Society is working with astronomy stakeholders, commercial satellite operators, and international organizations to begin to forge policy on light pollution from space. It is unclear how long this will take and how effective it can be. What is clear is that without productive industry-observatory collaboration, voluntary operator compliance with best practices for mitigation, and subsequent regulatory action, we are slated to lose a clear view of the Universe and its secrets. [1]: #fn-1


Latin America's Growing Artificial Intelligence Wave

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Artificial intelligence offers a chance for the Latin America's economies to leapfrog to greater innovation and economic progress. E-commerce firms have faced a conundrum in Latin America: How can they deliver packages in a region where 25% of urban populations live in informal, squatter neighborhoods with no addresses? Enter Chazki, a logistics startup from Peru, which partnered with Arequipa's Universidad San Pablo to build an artificial intelligence robot to generate new postal maps across the country. The company has now expanded to Argentina, Mexico and Chile, introducing remote communities and city outskirts to online deliveries. That's just one example of how machine learning is bringing unique Latin American solutions to unique Latin American challenges.


Don't write off government algorithms – responsible AI can produce real benefits

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Algorithms have taken a lot of flak recently, particularly those being used by the government and other public bodies in the UK. The controversial algorithm used to award student grades caused a huge public outcry, but national and local governments and several police forces have been withdrawing other algorithms and artificial intelligence tools from use throughout the year in response to legal challenges and design failures. This has quite rightly brought it home to public sector organisations that a more critical approach to AI and algorithmic decision-making is needed. But there are many cases in which government bodies can deploy such technology in lower risk, high-impact scenarios that can improve lives, particularly if they don't directly use personal data. So before we leap full pelt into AI cynicism we should consider benefits as well as risks it offers, and demand a more responsible approach to AI development and deployment.


Making the most of artificial intelligence

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All over the world today, businesses and brands are employing automation to make their operations more efficient and effective while reducing redundancy as much as possible. While this might bring to mind a picture of robots take over jobs, that is not entirely the case as Artificial Intelligence is, in fact, a business asset, enhancing and promoting human capabilities and efforts. Before we can talk about AI and its numerous advantages, we need a clear definition of what it is. In simple terms, AI is all about systems mimicking human intelligence when carrying out tasks, and improving on this intelligence using information garnered from observation and interaction. AI involves data analysis and super thinking to predict patterns using past events.


Artificial Intelligence Could be a Silver Bullet for Tax Systems

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Court documents released in August revealed that Swiss tax officials are investigating art dealer and freeport magnate Yves Bouvier for allegedly concealing CHF 330 million in profits. The Swiss authorities believe that Bouvier used a fictitious residence in Singapore to evade taxes in his home country, and confiscated one of Bouvier's properties, reportedly worth CHF 4.5 million, as a pledge while they continue investigating his finances. The investigation, however, was nearly derailed in its early stages due to a single vulnerable tax official. An escort girl known only as Sarah has testified that in September 2017, Yves Bouvier sent her to a conference to seduce a key official with Switzerland's Federal Tax Administration. Sarah's honeypot adventure took place mere months after Swiss tax officials had begun looking into Bouvier's finances.


Real time data and AI are transforming the healthcare industry. Here's how-

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The healthcare industry has come a long way since its inception a few years back. Long gone are those days when each process in healthcare was running manually. Today, the situation is different. All thanks to the advancement in technology and the wave of digitization, healthcare is experiencing a paradigm shift in its processes like never before. It is a matter of immense pride that today we have the robots performing surgeries, taking care of elderly people, and most of all, helping doctors in more precise decision making.