Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #676

Posted by

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: 

  • Thread on “stealth camping” – @shagbark_hick – Twitter. “A fascinating megathread on living without a home, hiding in plain sight, and the tradecraft of being a nomad in a surveilled, structured society by @shagbark_hick. He lived for seven years on the road, traveling for five. He slept outside over 2,000 times and was caught on fewer than ten of those nights. Here’s how he did it.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Kurt Vonnegut – The Euphio Question – BBC Radio 4 Extra. “This Kurt Vonnegut short story was a bit frightening when he wrote it; today, it’s downright prescient. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s a good horror story for those of us who think too much about tech and society. I couldn’t find a legitimate printed copy online, but the BBC published it as a radio play!” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Jumpin’ Jive – Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers – LaughLand – YouTube. “Who wants to see some tap dancing to Cab Calloway‘s big band?” (Hugh for Alistair and video below).
  • US air force denies running simulation in which AI drone ‘killed’ operator – The Guardian.US Air Force colonel gave a presentation describing a simulation in which an AI decided to kill its operator, since the AI got points for killing targets, and the operator told the AI not to kill a certain target. They then programmed the AI not to kill its operator (good innovation!), so instead the AI destroyed the communication towers so the operator wouldn’t interfere with it getting maximum target points. The US air force says the colonel’s remarks were taken out of context.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why AI Will Save the World – Marc Andreessen – Andreessen Horowitz. “I should just call my weekly links ‘Opposing Opinions On AI’ and be done with it. Am I a glutton for punishment? Am I going through some low-level depression about the future? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is this: How can this many brilliant people (who actually know the power of artificial intelligence) be this divided on how the world should proceed in the development and deployment of this increasingly scary technology? In this corner, we have Marc Andreessen – one of the world’s most highly-regarded tech investors (who is also a computer engineer and co-creator of the first widely-used web browser, and so much more) making the argument that AI will save the world. Here’s a taste: ‘My view is that the idea that AI will decide to literally kill humanity is a profound category error. AI is not a living being that has been primed by billions of years of evolution to participate in the battle for the survival of the fittest, as animals are, and as we are. It is math – code – computers, built by people, owned by people, used by people, controlled by people. The idea that it will at some point develop a mind of its own and decide that it has motivations that lead it to try to kill us is a superstitious handwave.’ He might be right, but then again…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Ex-Google Officer Finally Speaks Out On The Dangers Of AI! – Mo Gawdat – The Diary Of A CEO. “… Marc Andreessen could be wrong, if you ask Mo Gawdat. Gawdat is the former chief business officer for Google X and the author of several books. He is both an engineer and MBA grad, and someone who knows and understands more about artificial than most. He argues (rather passionately and intelligently) that AI is the greatest existential threat to humaninty, at this moment in time… more than the climate crisis. So, all of this begs the question: Who is right and how are we (the commoners) supposed to make heads or tails of this… and, perhaps more importantly, how can we expect governments to step in and regulate when the experts can’t agree? Oh, and when I say ‘can’t agree’, it’s hard not to see the chasm between ’this is nothing to worry about’ to ‘it’s going to kill us all!’. Oy vey…” (Mitch for Hugh and video below).

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