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Artificially Intelligent

The place where we discuss AI and its impact on business and economics.
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Artificially Intelligent
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Dec 9, 2019

The AI hype train rolls on through 2019 with trumpeted breakthrough's in autonomous vehicles, natural language processing, robotics, and more. We take a look at some of the most outlandish stories and reports of the year to try to bring some balance and much-needed nuance to the discussion of AI development.

Links:

Magic Leap Glasses: Funding Woes and Staff Exits

The Economist Interviews GPT-2

Episode 87: The Coming Crash of Tech Bubble 2.0

Episode 31: The Magic Leap of AI Investment

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Learn Economics at Liberty Classroom

Dec 2, 2019

Renaissance Technology has returned an incredible amount of cash to its investors over the years - far outperforming all other hedge funds in the industry. Their secret has been the early adoption of machine learning and hiring talents from IBM and elsewhere with computer science and mathematical backgrounds to build algorithms to beat the market.

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The Man Who Solved the Market

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Learn Economics at Liberty Classroom

Nov 18, 2019

Whether Epstein killed himself or not, his death has brought a number of AI companies focused on data collection and predictive policing to the public's attention. He was an investor in Carbyne911 - an Israeli company offering next gen 911 response technology that also collects all of the data on your phone. Carbyne911 isn't alone in this as Palantir has been piloting predictive policing efforts in major cities around the US and the attorney general has stepped up his calls for this new technology.

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Barr's Orwellian Pre-Crime Program

Can 'predictive policing' prevent crime before it happens?

 

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Learn Economics at Liberty Classroom

Nov 11, 2019

You could get thousands of dollars for your face being used in a data set published by the University of Washington to train facial recognition algorithms. MegaFace is the data set in question, which was put together by Yahoo and Flickr in 2014 before being used by UW (with some changes) in a facial recognition competition. Now a lawsuit is being brought forward under an old Illinois privacy law to go after the companies who took part in this.

Links:

How Photos of Your Kids Are Powering Surveillance Technology

Episode 80: Data Privacy with Peter Klein

Episode 77: The State of Facial Recognition

Elon Musk and David Einhorn Fraud Accusation 

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Learn Economics at Liberty Classroom

Nov 4, 2019

OpenAI recently announced a new achievement, solving a Rubik's Cube with a one-handed robot using reinforcement learning! After all of the fanfare, a lot of people are pushing back on their paper and results, arguing that the claims are highly misleading.

On top of that we talk about Tesla's recent return to profitability and reveal a new change to the show!

Links:

OpenAI  Solving a Rubik's Cube

Episode 84: OpenAI's Emergent Agents

Episode 58: Beaten at our Own Games

Gary Marcus' Response

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Learn Economics at Liberty Classroom

Oct 14, 2019

2019 has been the worst year for IPO's and more companies that rely on technology and AI have been struggling. Is this the coming of AI Winter III and the end of the tech bubble? What can you do if you're working as a data scientist or machine learning engineer to protect yourself?

Links:

2019 Tesla Crash Compilation

75: Tesla's Autonomy Day

49: Tesla's New Discovery - Humans are Underrated

31: The Magic Leap of AI Investment

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Learn Economics at Liberty Classroom

Oct 7, 2019

Siraj Raval, a prominent YouTuber and AI educator has come under fire for allegedly plagiarizing code across his popular YouTube channel and on a course that he offered through the AI School. Siraj isn't alone in this. Many AI "gurus" lack the technical competency to teach what they claim. More importantly though, what does this incident and the rise of alternative educational platforms mean about the existing educational system?

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YouTuber charged loads of fans $199 for shoddy machine-learning course that copy-pasted other people's GitHub code

Case Against Education

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Sep 30, 2019

Facebook's digital currency announcement has been met with a myriad of responses ranging from the euphoric to apocalyptic. We discuss Libra, what it is, how it's different from Bitcoin, and what it means from a monetary policy perspective.

Links

Bitcoin White Paper

Libra White Paper

Exorbitant Privilege

Cryptocurrency

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Sep 28, 2019

OpenAI has published a great blog showing the development of complex strategies from their RL agents while playing hide-and-seek. We talk about what was achieved as well as the state of current RL research and, more importantly, applications.

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Emergent Tool Use from Multi-Agent Interaction

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Sep 16, 2019

The US and China have been locked in an epic struggle for AI dominance - whatever that may mean. Kai-Fu Lee's latest book, AI Superpowers provides a unique look at the development of AI from a Chinese perspective. Additionally, a recent report attempts to quantify the development of AI for China, the United States, and the European Union to measure who is really ahead.

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AI and Superpowered Economic Errors

AI Superpowers

Who is Winning the AI Race?

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Access the latest episode here!

 

Sep 11, 2019

A British energy firm lost about $240k due to an AI system imitating a managing director in the company. The fraudsters instructed a lower level employee to transfer funds to a Hungarian account after mimicking their boss' voice, intonation, and even his German accent with the tech. Should we be worried?

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An AI first: Voice-mimicking software reportedly used in a major theft

Episode 20: Zuck and Musk and the Future of AI

Lyrebird

Learn Austrian Economics!

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Sep 4, 2019

This past week in Shanghai, Elon Musk and Jack Ma shared the debate stage to discuss the future of artificial intelligence. Jobs, Mars, simulation theory, and the end of the world were all discussed. 

 

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Ma and Musk Debate 

Bostrom's Simulation Argument

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Sep 1, 2019

There has been increasing scrutiny on the big tech firms as of late - Amazon, Facebook, and Google in particular - regarding their handling of data. Additionally, there have been calls to break these companies up because of fear of their monopoly power. We take a look at these claims this week with Dr. Peter Klein of Baylor University.

Links

Dr. Klein's homepage and Twitter

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Aug 18, 2019

DeepMind loses $572 million dollars last year, giving them a running three year total of over $1 billion in losses. With no clear path to profitability, what does this mean for the future of one of the most high-profile companies in the AI space?

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Reinforcement Learning is Wrong for your Business

American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What to Do About It

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Jun 17, 2019

Facial recognition technology is growing more and more pervasive around the world. This has led to adoption by companies for security, but also by governments for the purposes of policing and controlling. We look at recent stories from London, China, and San Francisco to discuss some troubling trends.

Links:

Police Stop People for Covering their Faces

Facial Recognition Wrongly Identifies Public as Potential Criminals 96% of Time, Figures Reveal

Artificial Intelligence has been Weaponized in China

US Firms are Helping Build China's Orwellian State

China Is Using Facial Recognition to Track Ethnic Minorities, Even in Beijing

San Francisco Bans Agency Use of Facial-Recognition Technology

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Jun 1, 2019

Andrew Yang's presidential campaign has helped make UBI an ubiquitous term. His motivation is driven by automation and job displacement by developments in AI. Here, we look at why UBI is more problematic than anything and that Yang's assumptions are built on faulty ground.

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Apr 29, 2019

Elon Musk is in the headlines again with a lackluster showing to investors regarding Tesla's AI capabilities. He forecasts Level 5 Autonomous driving with fleets of Tesla robo-taxis taking to the roads by the end of next year! This comes two days before a Q1 earnings report, which shows Tesla is in the red again. What does this mean for self-driving technology? What about for Tesla as a company?

Links:

Here are Elon Musk's wildest predictions about Tesla's self-driving cars

Tesla's earnings were a 'debacle'

It's Elon Musk vs everyone else in the race for fully driverless cars

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Apr 26, 2019

Zuckerberg released an op-ed in the Washington Post asking to be regulated. He paints this as a win for consumers, but in reality, it's a call to put a government wall around Facebook to prevent competition. We look at the details of his letter and discuss Google's failed AI ethics board and Trump's recent Executive Order on American AI dominance. 

Links

Ep 20: Musk vs. Zuck and the Future of AI

Zuckerberg's WaPo Op-Ed

Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Regulations Explained

Google Cancels AI Ethics Board

Dangers of Government Funded Artificial Intelligence

EU Article 11 and 13 

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Feb 27, 2019

Google DeepMind releases the long awaited AlphaStar in a high-profile demonstration for the public which shows it besting world champs in the game of Starcraft 2. We discuss the challenge and some of the interesting results from this latest round of man vs. machine.

Links

Ep 13: AI's new Alpha Dog

Google DeepMind Blog

DeepMind Video

 

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Dec 18, 2018

China has rolled out its latest effort in maintaining control of the population Zhima or Sesame Credit. This is a system designed to rate how good of a citizen you are based on the whims of the Communist Party. It tracks your credit - like western systems - but goes deeper into what you buy, what you post, and who your friends are in an attempt to nudge you into the party approved direction. 

We take a deep dive in this topic today and look at some of the potential ramifications of such a system. Could something like this be coming to western nations as well?

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Episode 7: Will Democracy Survive the AI Revolution?

Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking

What Can We Learn from China’s Sesame Credit?

No, China isn’t Black Mirror

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Oct 16, 2018

Home assistants like the Amazon Echo have become increasingly common in households in the US and Europe. What is rarely seen, however, is the vast infrastructure and complex array of technology, materials, and labor needed to produce and provide these small devices. We break down an article that attempts to map out all of the myriad of inputs and trace them to the production of a simple voice command - and dive deep into the economic and ideological presuppositions which underlie their critique.

Links:

anatomyof.ai

I, Pencil

Böhm-Bawerk's Critique of the Exploitation Theory of Interest

Labor and Capitalist Exploitation: Böhm-Bawerk and the Close of Marx's System

Episode 70: Ai in the Cloud and Around the World with Mark Sears

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Oct 2, 2018

We interview Mark Sears founder and CEO of the company CloudFactory - a Kathmandu based AI firm. We discuss Mark's philosophy and how this technology can bring new jobs and opportunities to people far away from the normal tech hubs of the world.

Links:

CloudFactory

@marktsears

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Sep 17, 2018

Bloomberg reports this week that Sentient AI - a company we featured in an interview on this podcast - is liquidating their trading business after two years of operations. Sentient isn't alone, AI hedge funds have been struggling to keep pace with investors who park their money in an S&P 500 index fund. What makes this such a difficult domain for fund managers? Is AI poorly suited? What can we learn from economics and Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT) to help investors, managers, and individuals?

Links:

AI Hedge Fund is said to Liquidate after Less than Two Years

The Massive Hedge Fund Betting on AI

Episodes Mentioned:

Episode 64: Evolutionary AI with Risto Miikkulainen

Episode 1: AI of Wall Street

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