What’s Next — Robots, Makers, Mentalby Jordan Gonen
by Jordan Gonen
Hey there 👋 what are you thinking about lately? Lots of interesting content in this week’s edition.
Question for you — who do you talk with about the future?
Articles to Read.
[my post from earlier this year]
Just Start. Whatever you do: Build the app. Go for the run. Write the blog post. Record the podcast. Hit publish. You do not need some elaborate plan — you just need to start.
Taste for Makers (2002):
I was talking recently to a friend who teaches at MIT. His field is hot now and every year he is inundated by applications from would-be graduate students. “A lot of them seem smart,” he said. “What I can’t tell is whether they have any kind of taste.”
Taste. You don’t hear that word much now. And yet we still need the underlying concept, whatever we call it. What my friend meant was that he wanted students who were not just good technicians, but who could use their technical knowledge to design beautiful things.
Wall Street is entering a new era. The fraternity of bond jockeys, derivatives mavens and stock pickers who’ve long personified the industry are giving way to algorithms, and soon, artificial intelligence.
A snake-robot designer, a balloon scientist, a liquid-crystals technologist, an extradimensional physicist, a psychology geek, an electronic-materials wrangler, and a journalist walk into a room. The journalist turns to the assembled crowd and asks: Should we build houses on the ocean?
The setting is X, the so-called moonshot factory at Alphabet, the parent company of Google. And the scene is not the beginning of some elaborate joke. The people in this room have a particular talent: They dream up far-out answers to crucial problems. The dearth of housing in crowded and productive coastal cities is a crucial problem. Oceanic residences are, well, far-out. At the group’s invitation, I was proposing my own moonshot idea, despite deep fear that the group would mock it.
Mental Models via Farnam Street:
How do you think the most rational people in the world operate their minds? How do they make better decisions?
They do it by mentally filing away a massive, but finite amount of fundamental, unchanging knowledge that can be used in evaluating the infinite number of unique scenarios which show up in the real world.
That is how consistently rational and effective thinking is done, and if we want to learn how to think properly ourselves, we need to figure out how it’s done. Fortunately, there is a way, and it works.
The technology industry is now a playground for giants. Where 10 or 20 years ago we looked to start-ups as a font of future wonders, today the energy and momentum have shifted almost completely to the big guys. In addition to the many platforms they own already, one or more of the Five are on their way to owning artificial intelligence, voice assistants, virtual and augmented reality, robotics, home automation, and every other cool and crazy thing that will rule tomorrow.
An Evening in Wonderland:
For a couple of hours I had stepped into Wonderland, the moveable center of the crypto currency universe. Seemingly everyone who purports to understand what’s going on is up in this second-floor private dining room. I have a feeling this event will be remembered and talked about for a long time in certain circles.
[video] Finding Your Mission
On July 8, 2017, an AI system built by our research company, OpenAI, beat a semipro human player in solo matches of a battle arena video game called Dota 2. One month later, the same AI system beat a professional gamer ranked in the top 50. Three days after that it defeated the №1 solo Dota 2 player in the world. And it kept getting better: The Aug. 11 version of our AI beat the Aug. 10 version 60% of the time. Our AI learned to trick its opponents, predict what it couldn’t see and decide when to fight and when to flee.
Humans will one day build an AI system with cognitive abilities that far outstrip our own. Such a system could solve scientific problems that have baffled us for decades, cure diseases and transform education. It could very well be the most powerful and beneficial technology ever created. But history is full of powerful entities that caused grave harm in the unchecked pursuit of their goals: logging companies that obliterated rain forests, banks whose complex financial instruments led to global recession.
– Different Worlds
– [guide] How to Get What You Want Professionally
– The More FB, The Worse You Feel
– How Big is Twitter Moments
– The Winding Path of Progress
– How College Sets You Up To FailSee My Full Reading List
You made it to the end! Thanks for reading 👋
– Okay last week I said something “big” was coming this week. Turns out not yet…give me some time!
– Got past a few exams last week. Lots more time ahead to work on more things!
– Crazy that this year is almost over. It has already been a wild year and excited to see what comes next. Let me know if I can be helpful for you at all 🙂
Thanks for reading! Really hope you enjoyed! (If you did, would be really awesome if you could share this link with 5 friends)
Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.