AI is a black box; WeChat commodifies iOS in China; Echo Show; Electric cars in India; Apple Watch & Cardiogram can detect ventricular fibrillation; Zuckerberg out to lunch; and a Zulu answer to the Cartesian scepticism.
🗃 AI is a black box where you chuck in your data, and the machine performs some calculations to finally spit out the results. If you wanted to trace the conclusions drawn by the AI back to the initial dataset, it would be prohibitively difficult or even impossible. The reason for that is that the computer performs an enormous number of operations on the input. It also does a large number of operations on the data used for "learning" the algorithm, even before the input data come into play. The AI's black-box nature might pose a problem if we'd like to use AI's conclusions to make important decisions such as "should we remove this organ?" or "is this person guilty of the charges?" Would we feel at ease if a machine recommended that we should remove a patient's liver without giving a clear explanation of the reasoning behind the decision.
📱 What if the reason behind Apple's disappointing results in China is WeChat? WeChat is so much more than just an IM service – WeChat lets you do quite a lot of things in China. WeChat is so important that it de facto commodifies the operating system a machine runs on, turning it into an environment where you can launch WeChat. This is similar to the current status of web browsers on desktop computers, which act as the operating system for the user. It doesn't really matter much whether you work on Windows or MacOS if you spend 99 percent of your time in Chrome. Now, since due to the WeChat situation iOS doesn't constitute a competitive advantage of Apple in China, Apple can be put on a par with dozens of other handsets running Android. In China, Apple has no competitive advantage.
🌀 Tyler Cowen wrote a piece on the "cosmological bias". Cosmological bias is a situation in which we find some things strange in mythology or science. We find it difficult to accept that multiverse exists because we haven't seen one and we haven't consciously experienced it. Nonetheless, science postulates that multiverse is actually more rational than "steady state matter" in which we feel comfortable.