Memia Labs Monthly Digest February 2017

This month:
//Post-branding futures...
//ExO bubbles...
//Teach yourself self-driving cars ... 
//...and (inevitably) Trump

Wanting. Yearning. DesireWanting is what we do best. And machines have no facility for it. But with us, by joining us, they’ll find more vivid longing than any striving could ever satisfy. Moreover, if that is the job they assign us – to be in charge of wanting – how could we object?”

– David Brin – Existence

Here’s the regular roundup of what Memia Labs has been reading and thinking this month at the confluence of technology, business and society.

Please let me know your thoughts on the articles below and what you’d like to see more or less of in future.

Ben Reid
Consulting Director

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Near Future

The Future Of Branding – personalized logos, brands built by AI, brands that market themselves to machines and even brands literally living inside our bodies

The End Of Intellectual Property – how will we protect the IP embodied in products and services if anyone can reverse engineer their core IP simply by using them and feeding their output into commodity machine learning systems?

Brain hacking – love this from the comments thread: “If someone was hacking my brain right now they’d detect nostalgia for a time when we used to worry about William Gibson or Neal Stephenson style cyberpunk dystopias possibly becoming a reality. What a quaint notion it was, that world events might be swung by valuable information inside people’s head being stolen, rather than valueless nonsense being pumped in on an industrial scale.”

Global Tech Industry

Tech firms as nations?

ExO Bubble? Uber and Lyft are paying huge sums to become a global verb like Google – but at what cost to shareholders?

…Unlike ExO cousin AirBnB which recently announced it had reached profitability. Fundamentally different market dynamics or just execution?


Security expert Bruce Shneier’s clarion call for Government regulation on internet security – otherwise The Big IoT Robot Could Kill Us All


“AI is the next electricity, transforming one industry after another, forever.” Why go long on Artificial Intelligence?

One of the first case studies of practical use of AI in mainstream – Japanese Cucumber Farmer using TensorFlow

Fueling the Gold Rush: The Greatest Public Datasets for AI – the unsung hero of the AI revolution is data – however most products involving machine learning or AI rely heavily on proprietary datasets that are often not released. A curated list of the most important open data sets:

“Oh you’ll look hotter in this,” the shopping bot coos as it pushes a $150 sweater as an alternative to the $25 sweatshirt I was considering. What happens when bots learn to lie?

Mate Labs: making machine learning accessible to everyone

Wearable AI system can detect a conversation’s tone – less awkward moments – or more?


Some Simple Economics Of The Blockchain – seminal paper from late last year ICYMI

Money, Blockchains and Social Scalability – “the secret to Bitcoin’s success is that its prolific resource consumption and poor computational scalability is buying something even more valuable: social scalability.”

From BitCoin to Agriculture – how farmers benefit from blockchain. food traceability and transparency. Obvious, when you think about it.

Data points

Wind turbine breaks world record for wind power generated in just one day

Alphabet Waymo leads by far autonomous car development

LinkedIn workforce report Feb 2017 – above all, this looks like validation that Microsoft paid a fair price for LinkedIn – this is what they can give away for free…

The price of light has fallen by a factor of 500,000, far faster than official inflation statistics suggest.

(Inevitably) Trump

Reactive Autocracy
PS even policies that look deeply unpopular errors (like the travel ban on 7 countries) are actually supported by a popular plurality of Americans.

Fake News…You ain’t seen nothing yet. Sounds terrifying – or just a market opportunity for paid-verification business models?

I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again. Neither should you.


Is mathematics a performance? Beautiful essay – rather than thinking about maths, natural systems are doing it.

The Evolution of Business Logic from Monoliths through Microservices, to Functions – comprehensive guided tour through key developments in application development leading to modern microservice architectures – enabling an order of magnitude increase in developer productivity and hence changing the economics of re-writing and replacing legacy monoliths.

Teach Yourself

How to encrypt your entire life in less than an hour

Everything you need to know about which Javascript frameworks to learn in 2017

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) in 50 lines of code

Udacity Self Driving Car Nanodegree–nd013

1 hour well spent:

Hardware is the new software – delightful Wired documentary from last year on the history of Shenzhen, Silicon Valley Of The Future

More in a month’s time.

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