Quick Bytes – Oct 27th: ICO Funding & Project Loon in Puerto Rico
A look at the most interesting startup and business-related news stories of the week.
ICOs to fund new generation of open internet protocols
The future of the internet will be a decentralized one if ICOs have anything to do with it. Historically, we’ve benefited from the free ride given to us by people who want to build open internet protocols. In the startup community, we know that feeling all too well – the drive to build something purely because we want to see it created. With the advent of ICOs, traditional stock markets are being circumvented allowing the next generation of these volunteers and academics to be funded for their creations. As @naval puts it, “They might create more good for humanity than venture.” Source: Twitter
Goodbye Cupid, Hello Algorithms
We’re heading into the next wave of questions around data mining for good over evil. Online dating is the perfect example, where technology is attempting good by overcoming traditional barriers to create connections. Data from dating apps, websites and research tells us that people often proclaim one thing, while their online activity says another. So what’s a data miner or software developer to do? External matchmaker, Bernie.ai, has since been shut down by Tinder, but in its heyday this bot modeled user’s individual tastes and lifestyles to ‘better connect’ people. But software like this also has the ability to create algorithms that automatically reject individuals because of mental illness, multiple marriages and other subjective variables. Gizmodo investigates the future of algorithmic dating.
The Full Story
When I give the dating app LoveFlutter my Twitter handle, it rewards me with a 28-axis breakdown of my personality: I’m an analytic Type A who’s unsettlingly sex-focused and neurotic (99th percentile). Read the Full Article Here
Tech leaders divided on AI
Killer robots is finally on the UN agenda. On the side of Team Regulate are Hawkings and Musk who believe that the risk AI poses to humanity demands management. On the other hand, the team who probably want to be known as Team Innovate for their view that researchers are subject to enough limitations researchers already that slow progress, currently consists of Zuckerberg, Gates, and interestingly, Woz, who despite last year calling for regulation, has now decided there’s nothing to be afraid of.
The Full Story
Some people are afraid that heavily armed artificially intelligent robots might take over the world, enslaving humanity — or perhaps exterminating us.
These people, including tech-industry billionaire Elon Musk, a founder and CEO of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and SpaceX, and eminent physicist Stephen Hawking, say artificial intelligence technology needs to be regulated to manage the risks. Read the Full Article Here
Heightened caution in the wake of Scoble scandal
Robert Scoble’s claims that he lacked the power to sexually harass women in the tech industry have been lambasted by those in and outside the industry. But its the unintended consequences that these, and other allegations, present that the industry needs to start being mindful of. A spotlight by NYT (albeit possibly quite a small one) has highlighted an issue where men are employing heightened caution around traditional relationship building situations with women – dinners, meetings etc – in the wake of these allegations.
The Full Story
In Silicon Valley, some male investors have declined one-on-one meetings with women, or rescheduled them from restaurants to conference rooms. On Wall Street, certain senior men have tried to avoid closed-door meetings with junior women. And in TV news, some male executives have scrupulously minded their words in conversations with female talent. Read the Full Article
Humanitarian crisis forces Project Loon’s hand
Tipped to revolutionize Internet connectivity, particularly in remote and rural areas, Alphabet’s Project Loon rapidly deployed the technology its currently testing, in the wake of the disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico. The Internet-beaming balloons, in conjunction with aviation authorities and AT&T, are “now supporting basic communication” for “some people with LTE-enabled phones.”.
The Full Story
Thanks to a new partnership with AT&T, Alphabet Inc.’s moonshot Project Loon has debuted its Internet-beaming balloons in the U.S. as it aims to get Puerto Ricans back online in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
In the weeks following the category 4 hurricane, the Project Loon team began working with government aviation authorities and air traffic controllers to send small sets of balloons from its launch site in Nevada to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the company confirmed over the weekend. Read the Full Article
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