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13 February 2019



So far as I can tell, the main problem with AI aimed at social issues is that it's not biased. Everyone seem to demand a knob you can turn so that the desired results pour forth.

Next thing you know, they'll notice that most crimes are committed by young males.


The impact of AI has intrigued me for some years, starting with a project I proposed to Air Force Research and Development to use AI in the analysis of communication jamming signals. The project was funded; unfortunately, I did not get to participate in the execution. However, the assigned engineering got a perfect 10/10 score, the highest rating for that year — ten for the idea and ten for performance.

My interest continues, focusing now the long term impact on education and employment. My most recent reading:

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee—one of the world’s most respected experts on AI and China—reveals that China has suddenly caught up to the US at an astonishingly rapid and unexpected pace.

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence

In Prediction Machines, three eminent economists recast the rise of AI as a drop in the cost of prediction. With this single, masterful stroke, they lift the curtain on the AI-is-magic hype and show how necessary tools from economics provide clarity about the AI revolution and a basis for action by CEOs, managers, policymakers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

Artificial Intelligence: A Roadmap for California

Artificial Intelligence: A Roadmap for California is not merely a [Little Hoover] Commission report—it is a call for action. Other states, cities, and countries are surging forward with strategic plans to harness the power of artificial intelligence in ways that will improve their economy, public health, and safety, jobs and environment. The race to develop and use AI for good is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. It is fast paced and highly competitive, and one that California should be leading but is not.


My conclusion is that commercial AI development is evolving faster than the policymakers and government bureaucrats can comprehend. The Little Hoover Commission agrees. AI is becoming an everyday part of our lives, yet they are invisible to the user. Examples include document retrieval, text classification, fraud detection, recommendation systems, personalized search, social network analysis, planning, diagnostics, and testing -- advances that have powered Google, Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon. Machine learning an AI subset is having significant success in computer vision, speech recognition, game-playing, and robotics.

AI is here, and it is happening. The best role of government is to get out of the way and not create stupid rules to control imagined bias, lack of diversity and demand unrealistic transparency that slows down the development progress. China is not worrying about those social constructs.


Sutter Health adopts AI platform for symptom checking

Those early stages of onset are some of the most critical in setting the stage for care, which is why Sutter Health says it's adding a new artificial intelligence-driven symptom checker. The Sacramento-based health system is partnering with application developer Ada Health to build a symptom check platform into Sutter Health's website by the end of February.

London-based Ada Health has been making global strides with its health app since its founding in 2011. The company boasts about 5 million users and has partnerships with Amazon, Germany's largest health insurer and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The app leads users through questions about their medical history and the severity of their symptoms, and then uses AI to present potential causes and next steps for care, which can span from a home remedy or a trip to the emergency room.



,,,people have already been boycotting the self checkout lanes at the markets and stores saying that those machines are killing jobs. ATMs are convenient but it can be annoying to go into a bank with fewer tellers...and these first world issues don’t even scratch the surface of the A.I dilemna

George Rebane

Bocephus 740am - ... and your point??


,,,just adding to the conversation,,,shades of the coming anti -A.I. revolt???

George Rebane

Bocephus 902am - OK. However, compared to the larger scope of AI's advent into our lives and commerce, such 'boycotts' are truly negligible. The Rebanes, no shrinking violets where new technologies are concerned, avoid the self-checkouts only because their design and function is still clutsy. But that will improve in due course, and it will replace a lot of the workforce in retail stores. And the speed of adoption will be a function of how well union-lobbied govts mandate ever higher wages for humans who deliver no more productivity - in fact, providing the same service for more cost actually serves to lower productivity, thereby raising prices for customers.

The systemic unemployment problem should not be folded into or hidden under other social problems - it should stand alone and be addressed head-on after a considerable national debate that must start sooner than later. RR has covered it for over a decade, and I have discussed it with our politicians. No one wants to touch it (yet). We should not wait for blood in the streets and imitate the proto-communist histories of eventual tyrannies.


,,,it has always been about corporate greed and stiffing the worker,,,hence the off-shoring of our manufacuring, layoffs, etc.

George Rebane

Bocephus 1048am - How do you respond to the seminal premise of capitalism that the capitalist undertakes the risk of losing his investment in order to make a profit, and, of course, as much profit as possible. In the Revenues - Costs = Profit, it is clear how minimizing costs increases the expected profits and therefore helps justify the risk taken. Then when owners of an enterprise reduce costs by minimizing the cost of labor, do you then consider that action is the result of character deficiencies such as 'greed'? This has been the message of socialists and communists since the days of Marx; do your sentiments align with those ideologies?


AI is here and it may be dangerous!

The creators of a revolutionary AI system that can write news stories and works of fiction – dubbed “deepfakes for text” – have taken the unusual step of not releasing their research publicly, for fear of potential misuse.

OpenAI, an nonprofit research company backed by Elon Musk, says its new AI model, called GPT2 is so good and the risk of malicious use so high that it is breaking from its normal practice of releasing the full research to the public in order to allow more time to discuss the ramifications of the technological breakthrough.

At its core, GPT2 is a text generator. The AI system is fed text, anything from a few words to a whole page, and asked to write the next few sentences based on its predictions of what should come next. The system is pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible, both in terms of the quality of the output, and the wide variety of potential uses.


Media just laid off 2,000 reporter and editors since the first of the year, with this machine they can lay off even more and still generate high-quality fake news. OMG do I love technology?


MIT Technology Review has a gloomy review of the impact AI will have on many medium to small companies, most lack the needed financial and human resources.

A.I. might eventually transform the economy — by making new products and new business models possible, by predicting things humans couldn’t have foreseen, and by relieving employees of drudgery. But that could take longer than hoped or feared, depending on where you sit. Most companies aren’t generating substantially more output from the hours their employees are putting in. Such productivity gains are largest at the biggest and richest companies, which can afford to spend heavily on the talent and technology infrastructure necessary to make A.I. work well.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that A.I. is overhyped. It’s just that when it comes to reshaping how business gets done, pattern-recognition algorithms are a small part of what matters. Far more important are organizational elements that ripple from the IT department all the way to the front lines of a business. Pretty much everyone has to be attuned to how A.I. works and where its blind spots are, especially the people who will be expected to trust its judgments. All this requires not just money but also patience, meticulousness, and other quintessentially human skills that too often are in short supply.

The full article is on Medium--https://medium.com/mit-technology-review/this-is-why-a-i-has-yet-to-reshape-most-businesses-2f029d83b8d5


The true cost of AI: think Thailand, not truck drivers

Consider, for instance, framing the question of artificial intelligence in the context of inter-country inequality. There are a variety of reasons why developing countries are likely to struggle rather than thrive as the AI Revolution gets properly underway. The first is the rapid erosion of the developing world’s traditional labour cost advantage. Notwithstanding just how low the cost of labour is in many developing countries, AI-powered robots and machinery are already at the tipping point of cost efficiency compared to human workers. As technology continues to improve, the sheer economics of AI will see a whole swathe of companies replace their factories and operations in the developing world with new AI-powered facilities staffed with robots. This wave of ‘reshoring’ (the rolling back of ‘offshored’ work) has been flagged even by the World Bank in their 2019 World Development Report.

This decimation of manufacturing jobs in the developing world will be particularly harsh for states reliant on ongoing investment from foreign corporates in manufacturing, like Vietnam and Thailand. Not only do those countries rely more heavily on sectors like manufacturing that are most prone to automation and disruption, but job losses within those sectors are disproportionately felt by developing countries. When Nike eventually decides to automate its manufacturing processes, heads are hardly likely to roll in its plush headquarters in Washington County. Rather, the hundred thousand men and women working in Nike factories in Indonesia will be left with bereft prospects.

Neither is the damage likely to stop at manufacturing. Cheap, ubiquitous robots combined with intelligent AI systems will disrupt industries of all kinds, but particularly those reliant on manual labour or repetitive work like agriculture and energy. Again, developing economies are disproportionately reliant on those industries at the most immediate risk of large-scale redundancies brought about by automation.

Read the rest HERE:


Conclusion: At this stage, however, these dark scenarios remain hypothetical. The histories of our time have not been written yet. But what seems plausible, if not downright likely, is that developing countries will soon face one of the most difficult economic challenges imaginable. How will states react if 10, 20, 50% of their working population become redundant over a decade? What happens to the relative stability of the global order? We had better start thinking about answers, and quickly.

George Rebane

Russ 809am - Yes, no one has denied that the systemic unemployment problem is restricted to the US. However, we have to take care of it first here, or we will be in no position to even consider, let alone impact, the labor problems that will occur in less-developed countries. The near term solution is to remain sufficiently wealthy and militarily strong enough to protect our citizens and sovereignty.

Since we have not given much thought to systemic unemployment within our borders, now is NOT the time to start using our limited political bandwidth and worry about Thailand, but focus on our truck drivers.

Bill Tozer



Russ Steele

George, Agree USA first

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