Here’s what you don’t want to do late on a Sunday night. You do not want to type seven letters into Google. That’s all I did. I typed: “a-r-e”. And then “j-e-w-s”. Since 2008, Google has attempted to predict what question you might be asking and offers you a choice. And this is what it did. It offered me a choice of potential questions it thought I might want to ask: “are jews a race?”, “are jews white?”, “are jews christians?”, and finally, “are jews evil?” Are Jews evil? It’s not a question I’ve ever thought of asking. I hadn’t gone looking for it. But there it was. I press enter. A page of results appears. This was Google’s question. And this was Google’s answer: Jews are evil. Because there, on my screen, was the proof: an entire page of results, nine out of 10 of which “confirm” this. The top result, from a site called Listovative, has the headline: … [Read more...] about Google, democracy and the truth about internet search
Data concerns with self driving cars
You might not expect to find a player named Libratus around a poker table in a high-stakes game of no-limit Texas Hold’em. Yet it was Libratus – an artificial intelligence (AI) – that emerged triumphant from a gruelling 20-day tournament that culminated late last Monday in a dramatic victory over four of the world’s top players. The victory – which saw Libratus pocket $1.7m in fake chips at the expense of the quartet of serious pros – stunned the generally unshockable world of poker. But more than that, it reopened the increasingly urgent debate about the potential – and possible dangers – of AI, or intelligent machines. If machines are clever enough to beat humans at a game that requires intuition, bluffing skills, intelligence as well as a capacity to retain data – then what else is possible? Everyone is betting on AI. As a 2016 Forbes article speculated: “Businesses that use AI, big data and the internet of things … … [Read more...] about AI can win at poker: but as computers get smarter, who keeps tabs on their ethics?
Dusting figures in a wax museum isn’t a typical starting job for business leaders. But that was how Rodney Fong, the new CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, spent his early years. Fong’s family operated a wax museum half a block from Fisherman’s Wharf, and the young man would shine props, adjust lighting and remove lint from the figures’ clothing with masking tape wrapped around his hands. Fong, 53, now needs to dust off something else: The venerable chamber, founded during the Gold Rush, must adjust to the fast-changing character of the city, as tech companies proliferate and street filth and soaring prices threaten companies large and small. Fong hears continuously about how crazy street behavior, feces and drug use make workers feel unsafe. The streaming music company Spotify, for example, left its Mid-Market office last year, with former employees saying the move was motivated in part by an assault on an employee near the building. … [Read more...] about As tech takes over city, SF Chamber of Commerce seeks to adapt
One of the big themes of last week's Fortune Brainstorm Tech was the "future of work"—in other words, how work is changing due to the advent of the "gig economy," the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the need for a more inclusive, more diverse workforce, particularly in the tech industry. I attended a particularly interesting breakfast where attendees discussed the future of employment. McKinsey Global Institute Partner Michael Chui talked about his firm's studies, which indicate that 50 percent of work activities could be automated with current technology, though he expects this will not occur until 2055. Chui noted automation would be "slow in macro, fast in micro," meaning that while it will take a long time for this to impact the full economy, it will affect individuals much faster. New America CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter and Bloomberg Beta head Roy Bahat described a study they ran that envisioned different scenarios for employment, depending on the … [Read more...] about What Does ‘The Future of Work’ Look Like?