Six Links That Make You Think #718

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, Interesting Bits, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, FWD50, and Scaletechconf; author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (Rebus Foundation, PressBooks, LibriVox) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see.”

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • How I Came To Write Frank Herbert – O’Reilly. Tim O’Reilly, Internet prognosticator and founder of the eponymous publisher to whom I owe much of my career, wrote a book about Frank Herbert (he even wrote one with Frank). It’s now available free, online.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Before The Crowd Shows Up – Working Theorys. “Marketers talk a lot about first-mover advantage. Sometimes it works (Gillette invented the disposable razor and dominated that segment for a century) and sometimes it doesn’t (Xerox invented the fax machine and graphical user interface but failed to execute on both). Common marketing wisdom holds that if the technology evolves slowly, it’s easier to maintain an early head start. I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the last strokes of Just Evil Enough, and once I’d wrapped that section I – of course – found an article that said it better than I could, with a particular eye to digital platforms and how they’re unique.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • “Will Digital Intelligence Replace Biological Intelligence?” – Prof. Geoffrey Hinton – Romanes Lecture – YouTube. Geoffrey Hinton, University of Toronto professor and the ‘godfather of neural networks’, explains in clear language the risks posed by AI. His main thesis is: Human intelligence is mortal, and limited. Digital neural networks are immortal and (roughly) unlimited, so it can learn infinitely faster than humans. AIs will start to compete with each other for resources (information, compute) – possibly directed by bad-actor humans.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • A Digital Twin Might Just Save Your Life – Noema. “If indeed we are in a simulation, this seems a plausible path for us to get here. Or there.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • What If Generative AI Turned Out To Be A Dud? – Gary Marcus. “In our times, the most interesting thing a human can do is spend some time with very smart people who think the exact opposite of your views. In this case, I’m more aligned with Gary Marcus than not, but I’m not sure that trying to unlink Generative AI’s current capacity from the future capacity of AI is the right position to take. ‘… what has me worried right now is not just the possibility that the whole generative AI economy — still based more on promise than actual commercial use — could see a massive, gut-wrenching correction, but that we are building our entire global and national policy on the premise that generative AI will be world-changing in ways that may in hindsight turn out to have been unrealistic.’ I believe that Generative AI is a bridge technology… something unique that we can all see and understand until AI tools develop and become a part of every system. For my dollar, the market corrections that we might see are frequently detached from the actual work and functionality of evolving technology (think about the boom, bust and echo of the early Web). Valuations and hype are par for the course… and I would be surprised if Generative AI turns out to be a dud.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • ‘Secret’ RCMP Report Forecasts A Bleak Future In Canada – CTV. “For as long as I can remember I have always felt safe in Canada. It’s not perfect. No country is. I have countless issues with our government and how our social infrastructures have been neglected as our taxes and interest rates keep spiking. It’s not easy… still… I have always felt like the world may not realize what Canada (truly) is… and its potential has never been fully realized. Now, it seems our world is on fire. Both literally (climate change) and philosophically (is there anything any of us can agree on without taking an extreme side?). I found it strange… weird… and wild that this news item and report came out in the news cycle and disappeared… with a whisper and not a bang. Everything from the end of abundance to bleak economic forecasts and more. This is, literally, the ‘Lions and tigers and bears oh my!’ report about a country that everyone knows to be livable, peaceful, open and secure. Now, we get nothing but an erosion of trust mixed with paranoid populaism and a dash of climate devastation. So… where do we go next?” (Mitch for Hugh). 

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on XFacebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

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