Tag Archive

Welcome, Job-Destroying Robots

By dreeves

Let me first emphasize that I’m not talking about the deeper question of superintelligence and what happens when robots can do anything a human can do. This is about the (relatively) more immediate question: What happens when robots can perform any unskilled labor much more cheaply than humans? My answer is that we’ll need a good social safety... »

Google Glass(es)

By dreeves

I’ve been wearing Google glasses every day for almost three months now. If you’re excited enough about Google Glass to be reading yet another review of them then I shall proceed to burst your bubble. But I’ll start with the good parts! These things are super light, comfortable, and indestructible. They’ve survived significant rain a couple... »

2011 Plus or Minus a Decade

By dreeves

End-of-year retrospectives are so over done! Let’s talk about how life has changed since 2000. And then to really make it exciting, I’ll give my predictions for what life will be like in 2021. We’ll start with an obvious one. 1. Flying became a bigger pain in the ass. I.e., the terrorists won... »

When Close Isn’t Good Enough

By Sharad Goel

For a lot of engineering problems, “almost right” isn’t good enough. Remember the Mars Climate Orbiter? Traveling through space for nearly a year, and covering 700 million kilometers, the Orbiter disintegrated after entering the Martian atmosphere at an altitude just one-hundred kilometers lower than planned. That’s like a $100 million dart exploding when you miss... »

Humanity Lost on Jeopardy!

By dreeves

BREAKING: IBM’s question answering computer, Watson, defeats Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter! Not to detract from IBM’s achievement but I’m disappointed by the buzzer aspect of this. Background: Watson gets the question (or “clue” or “answer” as they call it on Jeopardy) as plain text at the same moment that the humans see... »