Is the Era of Free Streaming Music Coming to an End? With streaming services asserting their market dominance, the music industry must now try to convince an entire generation raised on free to start paying up—without scaring them off.
Brian Forde, director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab, wants you to imagine the typical ticket-buying experience. You purchase a concert or a sports ticket online, usually on Craigslist, StubHub, Ticketmaster, or from a friend. On the day of the event, you walk up to the gate with your printed ticket. Maybe you're 95 percent sure the ticket will scan and you'll see a green "Go" arrow. But there's that other 5 percent that prompts butterflies in your stomach because you know there's a chance the ticket might have been duplicated.
Now, if you pulled up an e-ticket on your phone (bought with digital currency transferred directly from your wallet to the seller's), the ownership history of that ticket would sit right there in the blockchain ledger.Blockchain is most commonly known as the distributed data technology underlying bitcoin. But in a keynote entitled "Business Decentralized" at Singularity University's Exponential Finance conference this week, Forde stressed that blockchain is a way to take any digital asset—from a ticket or a song to all manner of money and data—and transfer it from one party to another without a centralized intermediary.
Can machines be creative? Recent successes in AI have shown that machines can now perform at human levels in many tasks that, just a few years ago, were considered to be decades away, like driving cars, understanding spoken language, and recognizing objects. But these are all tasks where we know what needs to be done, and the machine is just imitating us. What about tasks where the right answers are not known? Can machines be programmed to find solutions on their own, and perhaps even come up with creative solutions that humans would find difficult?
One of today’s hottest trends is fostering innovation. It’s real important! There are books, conferences, certified experts and all sorts of things. Let’s do two things: (1) look at the origins of today’s acknowledged tech leaders; and (2) see how those tech leaders innovate today.
The origins of today’s tech leaders What would we find if we looked at the origins of some important organizations that took the market by storm, grew rapidly and became part of the modern landscape? Did they come from people following the popular methods for fostering innovation? Let’s look at some big, successful tech companies, and find out how they got started. There are two possibilities:
It is hard to miss the warnings. In the race to make computers more intelligent than us, humanity will summon a demon, bring forth the end of days, and code itself into oblivion. Instead of silicon assistants we’ll build silicon assassins. The doomsday story of an evil AI has been told a thousand times. But our fate at the hand of clever cloggs robots may in fact be worse - to summon a class of eternally useless human beings. At least that is the future predicted by Yuval Noah Harari, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, whose new book says more of us will be pushed out of employment by intelligent robots and on to the economic scrap heap. Harari rose to prominence when his 2014 book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, became an international bestseller. Two years on, the book is still being talked about. Bill Gates asked Melinda to read it on holiday. It would spark great conversations around the dinner table, he told her. We know because he said so on his blog this week. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari – review A swash-buckling account that begins with the origin of the species and ends with post-humans, writes Galen Strawson Read more When a book is a hit, the publisher wants more. And so Harari has been busy. His next title, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, is not out until September but early copies have begun to circulate. Its cover states simply: “What made us sapiens will make us gods”. It follows on from where Sapiens ends, in a provocative, and certainly speculative, gallop through the hopes and dreams that will shape the future of the species.
A team of engineers from Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have moved one step closer to a consumer version of a soft, assistive exosuit that could help patients with lower limb disabilities walk again. The Wyss Institute announced today that the university is collaborating with ReWalk Robotics to bring its wearable robotic suit to market.
The soft exosuit was designed by Dr. Conor Walsh along with a team of roboticists, mechanical and biomechanical engineers, software engineers and apparel designers. What really makes the Wyss exosuit stand out from other exoskeletons and robotic suits, is its form-fitting and fabric-based design. While the setup might not be powerful enough to fight off Xenomorphs, it is a much more elegant solution for stroke, MS and elderly patients who still have partial mobility, but need additional assistance.
The first Industrial Revolution brought steam power and factories. The second produced railroads and electricity. The third gave us the Internet, digital computers, and the conveniences of the modern world. Each of these revolutions began and finished with the creation of better, more efficient machines. But the fourth revolution, predicated upon the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is nearly here, and it won’t follow so closely in the tracks of its older brothers. The fourth revolution won’t center on machinery that’s simply stronger and faster: It’ll revolve around machines that process, share, and act upon information without us, fundamentally modifying our relationships to our tools, our world, and one another.
Trudy Raymakers's insight:
The fourth industrial revolution is fundamentally different from the others.
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