Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #315

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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 (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) 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: 

  • My four months as a private prison guard – Mother Jones. “It’s been a depressing week. But none of the news shook me as much as reading this. It took me hours. I kept forcing myself to re-read paragraphs, to really understand them. For four months, a reporter worked as a guard in a private prison. Then he spent eighteen months working on the story. It’s a complete indictment of what we call justice. At times, I found myself physically hurt by reading parts of it, thinking of the lives lost and wasted. It’s not an easy read, but you should find two hours to go through it anyway. This is the kind of story that can, and should, change nations.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • AI, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning: A Primer – Andreessen Horowitz. Google‘s shifting its entire business model to embrace machine learning. Andreessen Horowitz‘s Frank Chen put together a great 45-minute primer that explains the history and possible futures of AI, starting with three of the ‘AI winters’ when the peaks of expectations led to massive disillusionment. A must for anyone who needs to be conversant in the topic — and good content to send to friends who ask.” (Alistair for Mitch). 
  • Reaping the Whirlwind – Crooked Timber. “Making sense of #brexit (and Trump for that matter), from a lefty viewpoint, this seems to do a good job.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Teaching Robots to Feel: Emoji & Deep Learning – Dango. “Title says it all.” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • Smart Dust Is Coming: New Camera Is the Size of a Grain of Salt – Singularity HUB. “I love science and technology. It’s hard to not read a story like this and wonder if you’re reading science fiction. Well, it turns out that this is non-fiction. Wow. It’s hard not to read this and wonder just how long it will be until this type of technology is everywhere? I’m guessing it won’t be soon. I’m guessing it will also become ubiquitous, at some point, and it will feel like everything changed within the blink of an eye. Lots of bad news in the media, this past week. Here’s something that gives us hope. Innovation. It’s a pretty amazing thing.” (Mitch for Alistair). 
  • Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock, dies aged 87 – The Guardian. “If you ever want to see me squirm, watch my reaction when someone calls me a ‘Futurist’. I always, jokingly, correct them, as I call myself a ‘Presentist’. I do this, because I have been historically not so great at having a vision of which technology would do best. I do this, mostly because I’ve spent a lot of time reading and studying the work of Alvin Toffler, who sadly passed away this week. Have you read Future Shock? What about The Third Wave? What about Powershift? Talk about vision. Talk about someone who understood society, our culture, technology and the media. He will be missed.” (Mitch for Hugh). 

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