The Coming Creative Revolution and the Teacherless School

New opportunities for content creators, the teacherless coding school and more in this week’s #BrainBoost. Links to each story below!

Creators Get Paid
The founder of Patreon, Jack Conte, talks about the new digital infrastructure helping creators get paid. See the new TED Talk at http://bit.ly/2gzuV5l

Authenticity Everywhere
When Netflix’s lawyer writes such an approachable, common-sense cease and desist letter you know the world’s getting better. See what I mean at: http://bit.ly/2zjiJNK

Awesome Explainer of the Google / Uber Driverless Car Lawsuit
See how one innovator–Anthony Levandowski–is at the center of this massive battle between Uber and Google. See awesome video created by VICE Media the video at http://bit.ly/2kKwIsM

The Teacherless Coding School
Change is the ONLY constant. See how Ecole 42, the French coding school created by Xavier Niel has… no teachers. It’s amazing. Read the piece at http://bit.ly/2wR3dXM

Marriage Revolution
MIT Technology Review has a fascinating new report about how online dating is revolutionizing society. Read about this huge shift at http://bit.ly/2ykk6gW .

 

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Should Driverless Cars Kill Pedestrians to Save the Car Owner?

 

Big, real questions are starting to bubble up as artificial intelligence and driverless cars get closer to impacting our daily lives.

Here are some of the opportunities to dig deeper into this fascinating mix of philosophy, technology, and society:
The Driverless Car Dilemma (via Radiolab) at http://bit.ly/2xXdXrL [Podcast Episode]
Why DeepMind Established a Coalition on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence (via the DeepMind Blog) at http://bit.ly/2yKejhW [Blog Post]
The Partnership on AI at http://bit.ly/2hQSpXl [Study Group w/ Google, IBM, Apple, + More on AI and Society]
Racism and Predictive Algorithms (via ProPublic) at http://bit.ly/2xZ2tRV [Article]

A major debate was started when Christoph von Hugo, an executive at Mercedes revealed that Mercedes’ programmers had programmed their driverless car to prioritize the life of the owner of the vehicle over those of pedestrians should it ever have to make a decision in the lead-up to a crash. What are the ethics of AI?

Moreover, it turns out that some racist AI applications are already being observed. For example, evidence shows that artificial intelligence in law enforcement has led to an increase in the incarceration of black people.

Now Google’s DeepMind team has launched a team to look at the ethics of artificial intelligence. What’s your take?

Cover Image: Mercedes’ driverless concept car.

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Why You Should Start Talking to Your Devices

 

If you haven’t already started, it’s a good idea to start getting used to interacting with your hardware with voice commands. As Bose releases the Bose QC35 headphones with native Google voice assistant, it’s clear that almost all personal computing hardware is moving towards voice command.

Two other stories we’re paying attention to this week:

• Ethereum is Getting Bigger and Bigger: Recently, the founder of Ethereum said that he believes that the Ethereum network will facilitate around the same number of transactions as Visa, the global credit card processor, by 2020. You can watch a great interview with him to learn more about Ethereum and the future of this arena with AngelList founder Neval Ravikant at http://bit.ly/decentralizeeverything

• Visualizing Google Data: The Google News Lab has just finished a massive collaboration with some of the world’s most creative data visualization artists to come up with beautiful new ways of visualizing data related to culture, news, and sports data and it’s amazing! One Spanish team used data from Google Translate to show the most commonly-translated words from different countries. Worldwide, the most translated word is “beautiful.” That’s rad. You can see the whole collection at http://bit.ly/visualizebygoogle

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Bitcoin: Made in China

The $320,000/day Chinese Bitcoin Mine
Inner Mongolia is now home to the bitcoin mine that produces 5% of the world’s bitcoin supply (the equivalent of around $320k of bitcoin per day). It’s in a region that used to be known for coal mining, but now massive server buildings are filled with computers built by the “bitmine’s” parent company, Bitmain. The machines solely exist to perform the complex math that it takes to create or “mine” bitcoin. There are also huge water tanks and fans that run 24/7 to prevent the computers from bursting into flames. Read more at http://nyti.ms/2y9u56u (via the New York Times).

Tesla to Produce the World’s 1st Electric Big Rig
Tesla has announced that it will produce the world’s first electric-powered big rig. The trucks are expected to cost ~$100k, have autopilot features similar to passenger Tesla models, and be able to travel around 300 miles on a charge while towing a full payload. Most big rigs can now travel around 1,000 before refuelling and Tesla is looking to create a series of battery swap stations to enable the big rigs to stay on the road without much downtime.

Major Step in the Fight Against Cancer
Carol Bertozzi’s team at Stanford has discovered a new way to detect and treat cancer. It turns out that sugars on the surface of cancerous cells (called Sialic Acids) deceive the immune systems of cancer patients and prevent their bodies from attacking the cancer cells. Ms. Bertozzi’s just-released TED Talk shares these details and how this line of development helped former US President Jimmy Carter beat cancer that had spread to his brain, something that was unheard of only a few years ago.

You can watch the TED Talk at http://bit.ly/2h5y9gk and read more about these therapies at http://bit.ly/2vXb9GJ.

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Direct Brain/Computer Integration is (Really) Close

How soon will human brains and computers be one? The technology is advancing fast. Faster than you might think. Interestingly, advanced human/machine integrations seems to have built a lot of momentum by helping people with disabilities overcome their disabilities and even be stronger by augmenting their human capabilities with machine capabilities.

Modified Humans
Rob Spence is blind in one eye and is a filmmaker so naturally, he decided to replace his eyeball with a camera. Now, he’s one of the many humans who are getting modified. Also, a team at Stanford has successfully enabled a paralyzed woman to type by building direct connections with her brain.

What’s Going on at Facebook’s Building 8
Facebook has been leading the charge in the human/machine integration area and the person leading this effort is a former head of the US Department of Defense’s Innovation squad. Her name is Regina Dugan and you can follow her on Facebook. Currently, they’re building systems that enable people to type at 100 wpm by decoding brain activity, decoding it into “virtual speech,” and deploying it as text. They’re also working on a way for humans to *hear through their skin*!

Towards Computer/Human Oneness
Here are some ways to keep up with what’s happening with computer / human integration:

Follow Facebook Building 8’s Regina Dugan
Connect with Dustin Tyler, an engineering professor who is at the front lines of developing physical objects that can feel, on LinkedIn
Follow Rob Spence, the guy with the camera eye who is working actively on this stuff at and check out his work and TED Talks

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Ethereum is more important than Bitcoin

On June 6th of 2017, people owned $23.4 billion worth of Ether. That’s the cryptocurrency that powers the Ethereum ecosystem–a system that claims that it will be the “new internet.” The people building this ecosystem aren’t crazy, either. Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and Toyota are just a few of the 100+ enterprises betting big that Ethereum is the future of contracts, money, and business management.

Ethereum vs. Bitcoin
Ethereum is a blockchain-based technology like Bitcoin but while Bitcoin is primarily used for transferring money between individuals, Ethereum’s technology includes one huge evolution: Smart Contracts. Smart contracts are basically the combination of agreements between people and automatic flows of money based on the rules of the contract. So, for example, a marketer, a developer, and an investor could all enter into a smart contract that says that each person gets ⅓ of the money created from a new piece of software that the developer builds, the marketer sells, and the investor funds… and all of these distributions will be made automatically… and maybe even outside country-specific financial systems. This dramatic lowering of transaction costs has huge implications for banks, insurance companies, workers, and governments.

Big Companies are Paying Attention
Already, companies like Accenture, JP Morgan, Microsoft, BP, and more than 100 other enterprises have formed the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance which is is connecting these huge companies with startups to find ways of using their technologies at scale. Toyota is even working on using an Ethereum system to manage a fleet of self-driving cars.

How to Learn More 
1: Follow Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, on Twitter
2: Read a post on Ethereum and the DAO or “decentralized autonomous organization” to get familiar with some of the early successes and obstacles of this area of innovation
3: Learn more about the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance
4: Buy yourself a little bit of Ether at Coinbase — just try it out with as little as $5 to get yourself familiar

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How Blockchain will Revolutionize the World’s Data

🎥 Ludell Jones, Eazl’s Marketing Director, has been publishing some awesome vlogs about the day in the life of a modern marketer. Check out her latest installation here 🎥

Big Blockchain Data
We live in a world where owning data is the way that companies compete but as more industries–from finance to insurance to ecommerce–transition to more secure and scalable blockchain-based systems, things in the world of data will change. Some people are calling this “the industrialization of data.” Read more here.

Facebook’s Data Factory
Facebook’s collection of data makes it one of the most influential organizations in the world and Serbian CS professor Vladan Joler has been leading a massive project to map the massive Facebook data collecting machine. See tons of beautiful maps and original articles about his team’s findings here.

AI-proof Jobs
The new mantra in the labor market is that robots and artificial intelligence are going to take over everything. But for those who don’t want to work in artificial intelligence or robotics, there are some “robot-proof” careers, at least for now. According to some experts, they are: creative folks, healthcare practitioners, child care workers, engineers, teachers, human resources executives, and traditionally blue-collar jobs like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Read about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg’s take here.

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Are Voice Assistants Bad for Young Children?

Roughly 25 million voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home are expected to sell in the US in 2017 and researchers are noticing that infants who grow up around these devices are having developmental challenges. For example, kids who grow up with voice assistants tend to have less regard for people’s feelings because they’re used to interacting vocally with an object without emotions. They also tend to place less value on developing vocabulary because it’s more efficient for them to retrieve information from Google Home or Alexa with simple commands.

Also in this Brain Boost:
• The First Ever 3D Printed Building was Printed this Week
• San Francisco CTO Captures Some Crazy Job Search Data

Links mentioned in the video:
• Apis Cor’s 3D printed building video
• Jeff Kolesky’s technical job search data analysis

⍾ Build Your Own Artificially-intelligent Twitter Bot in a New Project-based Course from Eazl

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Top Content on Chatbots and AI from Eazl

Chatbots and AI

We’ve been reporting on -and making content for- chatbots and AI for about a year now.  From Brain Boosts and courses to great content we’ve found online, here’s our current list of Top Content on Chatbots and AI.

1. Bots Can Now Power Your Business
How a company serves more than 5 billion downloads and streams with only 3 employees.

2. How to Create a Facebook Messenger Bot
Interested in using a chatbot for customer service and marketing? Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more.

3. Build a Twitter Bot in 90 Minutes
In this course, you’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets.

4. Chatbots are the Future of Online Marketing
We’ve gathered up all the resources we have for you on bots at the moment and put them all here so you can catch up with what’s happening in the world of bots and maybe even make one yourself!

5. The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence People and Places on the Web
AI is on track to change everything around us. In this Brain Boost: the top 10 artificial intelligence people and places on the web.

6. A New Milestone in Artificial Intelligence
A collaboration is happening between Google’s Deepmind team in the UK and Oxford University. They have been developing an AI platform designed to read lips and, recently, they published their astonishing results.

7. Are You Debating Robots on Twitter?
Researchers and data scientists at the University of Southern California have found that roughly 400,000 bots were tweeting and retweeting during the 2016 United States presidential election, responsible for roughly 20% of all of the election-related content on Twitter.

8. Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting the Job Search
Increasingly, software built on machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence determines the desirability of a candidate.

9. Monetizing Chatbots
Sponsored recommendations are likely to come in-stream with responses from these AI assistants in the future.

10. Adidas Robots, AI + Humans, and Getting Started with Crowdfunding
Professor Sandy Pentland of MIT, says that artificial intelligence is best used in collaboration with humans. 

11. OpenAI and Shocking AI Salaries
OpenAI’s team of researchers were reportedly mobbed with huge employment offers from some of the tech world’s biggest firms.

12. Jobs and AI
The Financial Times has released an extensive new report on career management in age of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation.

Build an AI Twitter Bot Powered with IBM Watson (No Coding!)

*Check out the full course here*

Build Cool AI Technology in ~90 Minutes and Learn by Doing (No Coding!)
If you’re reading this, you probably know that, arguably, artificial intelligence is the most significant technological developments of our time. There will be people who are able to use AI to do incredible things and others who watch technology and the world change around them at a blistering pace without understanding fully what’s going on. If you’re someone who stays “in the know,” you need to learn about AI. We think that you can best learn by doing. Plus, it’s fun! And you’ll get some pretty amazing technology that you can use for free forever.

Create a Customizable “Smart” Twitter Bot Powered by IBM Watson Step by Step
You’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets. We’re calling it the Prospector Bot and this bot has practical uses for businesses, personal use, non-profits, government, and more. Through completing the project, you’ll learn:

*How to build apps (no coding required) in IBM Bluemix

*How to train IBM Watson’s Natural Language Classifier, a Watson service built on machine learning, to curate Tweets on your behalf

*How to use Twitter’s Advanced Search functions

*How to use Google Sheets as an automation hub / bot headquarters
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