The AI Now Report: social/economic implications of near-future AI | Boing Boing

The AI Now Report: social/economic implications of near-future AI; Cory Doctorow; In Boing Boing; 2016-09 (one year ago, back before The Bad Times, back in the Obama Administration, back when The Science was a The Thing)

Original Sources

<unavailable>The AI Now Report; Information Law Institute, New York University (NYU); 2016-07.</unavailable>


  • National Economic Council
  • Symposium at Information Law Institute, New York University (NYU), 2016-07.
  • Artificial Intelligence Now (AI Now)


In Boing Boing

Partnership on AI

Partnership on AI
Uses Responsive Web Design (RWD) so it only “works” on a handset form factor is “mobile first” [scrape-scroll down, which is non-obvious in the officework environment]


Line 1
  • Amazon
  • Apple
Line 2
  • DeepMind, of Google
  • Google, of Alphabet (GOOG)
Line 3
  • Facebook
  • IBM
  • Microsoft

Separately noted.

Blockchains Explained: A Primer on Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and Ethereum | Atomic

Jaime Lightfoot (Atomic); Blockchains Explained: A Primer on Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and Ethereum; In Their Blog; 2017-09-06.

tl;dr → Bitcoin, Ethereum; Blockchain.


  • Bitcoin operations cost “hundreds” of MWh to keep lit.
    <quote?From an environmental standpoint, Bitcoin consumes hundreds of megawatt-hours of electricity per day for mining.</quote>


The Suitcase Words
  • 51% Attack
  • Alice
  • banks
  • Bitcoin
  • blockchain,
    <quote>Bitcoin’s blockchain was implemented started in [circa] 2009.</quote>
  • blockchain,
    <quote>The blockchain is a file that is copied and distributed to nodes </quote>
  • blockchain ledger
  • blockchain network
  • blocks,
    bunch of blocks,
    a bunch of blocks of transactions,
    a bunch of blocks of transactions that contain a timestamp,
    a bunch of blocks of transactions that contain a timestamp and a pointer to the previous block,
    a bunch of blocks of transactions that contain a timestamp and a pointer to the previous block (such that they form a chain).
  • Bob
  • bookkeeping
  • “certain requirements”
  • conseusns
  • cryptocurrencies
  • Cryptocurrency,
  • cryptocurrency
  • decentralized apps (Dapps)
  • Department of Treasury
  • difficulty
  • distributed,
    distributed blockchain
  • distributed,
    distributed instead of centralized.
  • double-spending
  • Ethash
  • Ethereum
  • Ethereum Dapps
  • Federal Reserve
  • “hard forks”
  • Hashcash
  • laws,
    enforce laws.
  • ledger,
    master ledger,
    master ledger of transactions.
  • Litecoin
  • longest chain,
    “longest chain” rule
  • <quote>A blockchain can be described as a distributed database.</quote> … a very slow one with very low capacity.
  • <quote>Ethereum blocks are created roughly every 17 seconds.</quote>
  • <quote>I heard that Bitcoin is used to buy drugs. Well, yes.</quote>
  • <quote>In Ethereum, confirmation takes 12 blocks, or roughly three minutes.</quote>
  • master record
  • middlemen
  • node,
    <quote>A node is a computer that is connected to the blockchain network.</quote>
  • nonce
  • Proof of Stake (PoS)
  • Proof of Work (PoW)
  • Ripple
  • Serpent
  • “smart contracts,”
    smart contracts
  • Solidity
  • stolen,
    $50 megabucks were stolen.
  • trades,
    drug trades,
    illegal drug trades.
  • trust,
  • trust in intemediaries.
  • trustless
  • Turing complete
  • US Dollars (USD)
  • “wallet,”


In order of appearance in the work…

The promise of managing identity on the blockchain | TechCrunch

The promise of managing identity on the blockchain; ; In TechCrunch; 2017-09-10.

tl;dr → Yes, no, maybe so. Equifax. ForgeRock, Okta. Ping Identity.


  • only when practiced in its purist form.


The Suitcase Words
  • Identity Management (IDM)
  • public blockchain
  • public permissionless blockchain
  • distributed ledger technology (Distributed Ledger Technology)
  • distributed nodes
  • attack surface
  • Vista Equity Partners bought Ping Idenitty for $680M in 2016.
    Vista Equity Partners, private equity firm
  • LDAP (the “old way”)


  • Jerry Cuomo, Fellow and VP of blockchain technologies, IBM.
  • Steve Wilson, staff, Constellation Research.
  • Eve Maler, staff, ForgeRock.
  • Charles Race, president of worldwide field operations, Okta.
  • Andre Durand, CEO, Ping Identity
  • Ian Glazer, an expert.


Nothing. It recirculates.


In TechCrunch

Teaching A.I. Systems to Behave Themselves | NYT

Teaching A.I. Systems to Behave Themselves; Cade Metz; In The New York Times (NYT); 2017-08-13.

tl;dr → the risks of A.I.; we’re all going to die.


  • deep neural networks
  • reinforcement learning
    like “gamification,” but for algorithms.
  • OpenAI
    • funded by Elon Musk
    • San Francisco
    • Dario Amodei, staff
  • Coast Runners
    • a video game
    • is old
    • boat-racing video game
  • DeepMind
  • Grand Theft Auto
    • a video game


  • learning algoritms are powerful
    surprising examples of achievements are cited.
  • learning algorithms are brittle and thus easily fooled
    trivial examples of mistakes aer cited.



  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley


  • San Francisco
  • London

<recall>A data scientist is a statistician who works from offices located in San Francisco, on a Macintosh computer.</quote>


  • Dario Amodei, staff, OpenAI
  • Paul Christiano, staff, OpenAI
  • Jeff Dean, staff, Google
  • Ian Goodfellow, staff, Google
  • Dylan Hadfield-Menell, University of California, Berkeley (UCB).
  • Geoffrey Irving
  • Shane Legg, staff, DeepMind, of Google
  • Elon Musk
    • chief executive, Tesla
    • many other titles, roles & accolades
    • <quote>pundit, philosopher and technologist</quote>, such an accolade occurs mid-article.
      • the man, the legend, does everything.
      • starts many, finishes little.
      • punter.


<quote>Mr. Hadfield-Menell and others at U.C. Berkeley recently published a paper</quote>, which was not cited.
Something about <quote>A machine will seek to preserve its off switch, they showed, if it is specifically designed to be uncertain about its reward function.</quote>
Apparently there was math in the output of Hadfield-Menell et al..


In The New York Times (NYT)…

In Wired

Blockstack announces $25 million fund to rebuild the internet for a blockchain world | VentureBeat

Blockstack announces $25 million fund to rebuild the internet for a blockchain world;; In VentureBeat; 2017-08-16.

tl;dr → press release announces $25 million <snide>their success is assured</snide>




  • Union Square Ventures (USV)
  • Lux Capital
  • Digital Currency Group


  • Has registered 73,000 domains in their book
  • Has not yet announced the start date of its token sale.



  • 2013 → founded (incorporated?, IP filings datestamped as?)
  • 2014 → development

The Actually Distributed Web | Doc Searls, Linux Journal

The Actually Distributed Web; Doc Searls; In His Blog, at Linux Journal; 2017-08-08.

tl;dr → ICO IPFS FTW!



Of Marshall McLuhan, contra Harold Innis.

The Tetrad of Media Effects
  • “technology” is media, indeed “everything” is media.
  • the introduction of new media causes change in the millieu.
  • the new medium, four effects as a 2×2 combinator.
  • Ground
  • Figure
  • What is enhanced?
  • What is obsoleted?
  • What is recovered (from obsolescence)
  • What is reversed (transformed), at the limit, any limit?

The last is very high concept: as in <quote ref=”there“>Acoustic radio flips into audio-visual TV.<quote>.
Pretty sure that the FCC doesn’t see it that way; nor does the NCEES; but this is media theory so it’s all compos mentis.



Analysis attributable to the author, Doc Searls.

Crypto Currencies
  • Enhance → exchange.
  • Retrieve → the bazaar.
  • Obsolesce → fiat currency.
  • Reverse → mutual unintelligibility, no exchange
    <metaphorical>isolated islands, walled gardens</metaphorical>).
Distributed Ledgers
  • Enhance → peer-to-peer.
  • Retrieve → individual agency.
  • Obsolesce → platform dominance.
  • Reverse → into one-to-one
    <refine>into peer-to-peer?</refine>.

Via Why. The Web, of HTTP, cannot (or has not) <quote>

  • HTTP is inefficient and inexpensive…with video delivery, a P2P approach could save 60% in bandwidth costs <claime/d>.
  • Humanity’s history is deleted daily…IPFS provides historic versioning (like git) and makes it simple to set up resilient networks for mirroring of data.
  • The web’s centralization limits opportunity…IPFS remains true to the original vision of the open and flat web, but delivers the technology which makes that vision a reality.
  • Our apps are addicted to the backbone…IPFS powers the creation of diversely resilient networks which enable persistent availability with or without Internet backbone connectivity.

Via How. The IPFS presents a (non-POSIX, yet POSIX-similar) hierarchical filesystem metaphor as a unifying artifice, wherein <quote>:

  • Each file and all of the blocks within it are given a unique fingerprint called a cryptographic hash.
  • IPFS removes duplications across the network and tracks version history for every file. <responsive>Uniqueness in time and space.</responsive>
  • Each network node stores only content it is interested in and some indexing information that helps figure out who is storing what. <responsive>What if no network is interested for a brief period? Who shall suffer the little files, the lost blocks, the unloved & unwanted slabs?</responsive>
  • When looking up files, you’re asking the network to find nodes storing the content behind a unique hash.
  • Every file can be found by human-readable names using a decentralized naming system called IPNS.
    <responsive>Like The DNS?</responsive>


Avatars, Talismans

<quote>feudal castles of what in Europe</quote>

Old World Order
  • AOL
  • CompuServe
  • BSD
  • Linux
  • UNIX
New World Order
  • Google Alphabet
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Apple

GAFA → Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.
No Microsoft? FAMA? GAMF? <sic>MAGA?</sic>



  • Juan Benet
    • founder, Protocol Labs
    • inventor credit, IPFS
    •, an SMTP address.
    • @JuanBenet, a Twitter address screen name?
  • Tim Berners-Lee, a priori.
  • Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures.
  • Brendan Eich, Brave; hagiography.
  • Marshall McLuhan, a theorist; hagiography
  • Linus Torvalds, a priori.
  • Phil Windley, chair (emcee), Sovrin Foundation.



Thematic Wikis
Jimi Wales’ Wiki


In Linux Journal




A Response to Blockchains’ Critics: Issues of Scale, Transparency and Threats to Intermediaries | Video

A Response to Blockchains’ Critics: Issues of Scale, Transparency and Threats to Intermediaries; ; In Video Ads News; 2017-08-01.
tl;dr → blockchain will work. really. Lightning Network. AdLedger Consortium.


  • Joseph Poon, Thaddeus Dryja; https is busted, The Bitcoin Lightning Network: Scalable Off-Chain Instant Payments, draft v0.5.9.2; a white paper; Lightning Network; 2016-01-14; 59 pages; separately filled.
  • private blockchains
  • something about streetlights (as a metaphor of transparency)
  • AdLedger Consortium
  • Spotify
    • is a distributor of intellectual property
    • has a recordation problem
    • has an attribution obligation towards licensors of its product.
    • has adversaries who hate them
    • acquired Mediachain Labs “recently”

The Magical Thinking

  • do away with intermediaries
  • render banks obsolete
  • capitalism
  • innovation


  • Goldman Sachs
  • Morgan Stanley
  • and others

These august houses full of white shoes and smart money are using block chains, you should too. Or at least support trading within their schemes.


  • Bitcoin
    • 0.00167 t/s (one per 10 minutes)
  • Ethereum
    • smart transactions
    • 15 t/s
  • Visa
    • 45K q/s
  • Facebook
    • 1e9 MAU
  • Google
    • 35K q/s = 30×109 transactions/day, impressions
    • 150 q/s =13&times106 transactions/day, clicks
    • 1 q/s = that one guy sitting alone, in the dark, in his basement, conversions


In rough order of appearance in the work.

IEEE Unveils ‘Generation AI: A Study Of Millennial Parents Of Generation Alpha Kids’

IEEE Unveils ‘Generation AI: A Study Of Millennial Parents Of Generation Alpha Kids’; press release; IEEE; 2017-06-29.

  • IEEE Examines How Artificial Intelligence (AI) will Impact the Lives of ‘Generation Alpha’ Children in the Future
  • Majority of Millennial parents would consider an AI tutor for their child, prefer AI — not their children — provide care in their golden years
  • From childcare to healthcare and pet adoption, Millennial parents see Artificial Intelligence technology enmeshed throughout the lives of their tech-infused offspring


  • Millennial parents
  • Generation Alpha children
    • age 0→7.
    • Born in 2010 and through 2025


Generation Alpha
  • Born in 2010 and through 2025
  • <quote>tech-infused demographic</quote>
    Therefore: they will love AI



  • Parents are Less Worried if AI is Behind the Wheel
  • AI, Not Kids, Preferred by Millennial Parents for Care During Golden Years
  • AI Pets Put Real Ones in the Doghouse, While Some Families Welcome AI Nannies
  • AI and Parenting:  Emotional and Physical Health
  • AI Helping Gen Alpha Kids Learn Faster Than Their Parents; AI Tutors Seen as Attractive
  • Pervasiveness of World-Changing Technology Means Millennial Parents will Encourage Gen Alpha Kids to Study Engineering


  • N=600
  • Demographic
    • parents
    • ages 20 – 36 years-old
    • at least one child seven years old or under
  • Duration: 2017-06-13 → 2017-06-15.


The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence | Kai-Fu Lee (NYT)

The Real Threat of Artificial Intelligence; Kai-Fu Lee; In Sunday Review, of The New York Times (NYT); 2017-06-24.

Kai-Fu Lee is
  • chairman and chief executive of Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital firm,
  • the president of its Artificial Intelligence Institute.

tl;dr → gee whiz!  Artificial Intelligence is very powerful. We’re going to have to rethink nation-states.


  • Singularity, The Singularity
  • Artificial Intelligence: Economic Inequality; Staff; In The New York Times (NYT); 2017-06-24.
  • The revolutions
    • Industrial Revolution
    • (Personal) Computer Revolution
    • Artificial Intelligence Revolution
    • <quote> Artificial intelligence is poorly suited for jobs involving creativity, planning and “cross-domain” thinking — for example, the work of a trial lawyer. But these skills are typically required by high-paying jobs that may be hard to retrain displaced workers to do. More promising are lower-paying jobs involving the “people skills” that A.I. lacks: social workers, bartenders, concierges — professions requiring nuanced human interaction.</quote>
  • Solutionism
    • “service jobs of love.”
      • <quote>Examples include accompanying an older person to visit a doctor, mentoring at an orphanage and serving as a sponsor at Alcoholics Anonymous — or, potentially soon, Virtual Reality Anonymous (for those addicted to their parallel lives in computer-generated simulations).</quote>
      • The volunteer service jobs of today, in other words, may turn into the real jobs of the future.
    • Keynsenian demand stimulation
    • Income redistribution
  • <quote>First, most of the money being made from artificial intelligence will go to the United States and China. A. I. is an industry in which strength begets strength: The more data you have, the better your product; the better your product, the more data you can collect; the more data you can collect, the more talent you can attract; the more talent you can attract, the better your product.</quote>
  • Exemplars
    • Self-driving cars:
      Google, Tesla and Uber.
    • Internet:
      Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent.
  • Something fanciful about
    • (economic) vassal states, dependent states; all because of Artificial Intelligence
    • mercantilism, dependent states; all because of Artificial Intelligence
  • <quote>China or the United States — to essentially become that country’s economic dependent, taking in welfare subsidies in exchange for letting the “parent” nation’s A.I. companies continue to profit from the dependent country’s users.</quote>