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Newsletter
Please see our weekly newsletter collection below. Our own staff and members contribute bits and bytes of interesting news and articles. They say that futurists make funny historians but we do our best to bridge that divide by illustrating our past themes and speakers as they develop and evolve. We hope that you enjoy reading these communications as much as we enjoy creating them for you. And if you have any news to share, please contact any member of our staff.

2017 October 20

Mark your calendars for our next regional event: "Tour and Conversation with Bran Ferren at Applied Minds," Thursday, November 16, 10am to 2pm, in Burbank, California. Applied Minds, like Bran himself, operates at the intersection of design, entertainment, and technology. We're limited in the number of seats for this visit, so members, please register soon!
 
How important is the Pixel Visual Core, "Google's first custom system-on-a-chip for consumer products"? Let's ask Google Distinguished Engineer Dave Patterson at [next]. Dave will speak about Google's TPU and other domain-specific processors. Please register by November 19.
 
A new IQ test purports to rank humans and AIs on the same scale. (Alan Kay, Washington, D.C., May 2009; Douglas Engelbart, Phoenix, Oct 1999)
www.technologyreview.com/s/609120/now-theres-an-iq-test-for-siri-and-alexa/
 
For fake news (Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, David Robert Grimes, Boston, Apr 2017), it takes a village. Including U.S. activists who didn't realize they were being recruited by Russian trolls (Douglas Guilbeault, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017).
www.buzzfeed.com/rosalindadams/these-americans-were-tricked-into-working-for-russia-they
 
It was a small consolation that even as machines take over human jobs, they at least have to learn the work from humans. Deepmind would like to cut out that step. A new version of its Go-playing AI might be the best Go player in the world, and it taught itself the game from scratch (Scott Niekum, Austin, Feb 2016; Yann LeCun, Pittsburgh, Oct 2012; Pedro Domingos, Washington D.C., May 2009; Eric Horvitz, Seattle, Dec 2006).
 
In zero-g, your fidget spinner becomes an astronaut spinner.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=82t9Tk9dUHs
 
For those of us not traveling on rocketships (yet), airplane travel might be a bit more convenient with Advisory Board Member Ken Hertz's latest Kickstarter campaign. Those of you who utilize his roller bag from a few years back will be chuffed to see the luggage line's latest additions:
www.kickstarter.com/projects/netta/g-ro-companion-office-backpacks-and-check-in-bags?ref=nav_search
 
Fujitsu will build a $44 million supercomputer for Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, to be installed at a new AI research center at the University of Tokyo. Using 2,176 Intel CPUs, 4,352 Nvidia GPUs, and software optimized for machine learning applications, the machine will be three times faster than the country's current fastest. (Satoshi Matsuoka, Tokyo, Jul 2012; Ike Nassi, Paris, Jul 2011; Steve Chen, Bob Ewald, David Waltz, Richard Schroth, Boston, Apr 1992)
www.asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Fujitsu-to-build-world-class-AI-supercomputer
 
Speaking of fast, 5G (Sundeep Rangan, Marco Mezzavilla, David Reed, and Bob Lucky, Brooklyn, Oct 2016) "took a few steps closer to reality" this week with a reference design.
www.theverge.com/2017/10/16/16479398/qualcomm-first-5g-mobile-test-reference-design-snapdragon-636
 
Who needs news bureaus, when you've got the FAA's permission to fly news drones?
(Ian Glenn, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; Eric Cheng, San Francisco, Dec 2014)
 
What's next, autonomous televisions? Panasonic is doubling down on research for chipsets and other key autonomous driving components, and expects them to be in commercial vehicles available in 2022 (Tim Landgraf, Washington, D.C., Dec 2015).
 
The Return to Antikythera project has unearthed another bronze right arm to add to the six discovered over a century ago; also recently found is a four-knobbed disc, adorned with a decorative bull, that is conjectured to be a part of the Antikythera mechanism. As the part is studied further, surely Michael Wright (London, Jul 2014) will have something to say about how it does—or doesn't—fit into the ancient mechanism. www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/science/antikythera-shipwreck-greece.html
 
If an algorithm can identify an author by his or her word choices and grammatical structures, then maybe it can also identify schizophrenia and predict psychotic episodes. (Christopher Schmandt, San Jose, Jan 1993)
www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/08/speech-analysis-schizophrenia-algorithm/402265/
 

"Some people say, How can you live without knowing? I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know." —Richard Feynman
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