A Blog by Jonathan Low


Aug 14, 2018

Could iPhone-Style Contract Manufacturing Come To the Auto Industry?

Yes. It's already happening because the automotive manufacturing and marketing value proposition has changed from the body and the engine to the electronics and the software that controls it.

And that evolution will continue making contract manufacturing the most -cost- efficient strategy. JL

Chuck Tannert reports in ars technica:

"Electrification and digitization are on the rise. Consequently, the profit motivation in the automotive sector is shifting from hardware (sheet metal, tires, brakes, etc.) and performance to electronics and software - not places where traditional automakers have a core competency." The most compelling evidence that OEMs will offer contract manufacturing is that they are already doing so. "There is a reason a select few operating systems exist: competing with the likes of Android, iOS, Linux, and Microsoft  is difficult and costly." The software superstars have the upper hand.

Why Digital Currency Won't Save Us

Creativity, innovation and the markets' 'animal spirits' will eventually subvert any attempt at regulation. JL

Sheila Dow reports in the Institute for New Economic Thinking:

Uncertainty in market pricing and financial structure suggests the forces for instability are endemic. Periods of apparent stability encourage excessive credit creation, a high degree of leveraging, over-confidence in the pricing of risk and highly-integrated markets in opaque structured products. These forces extended well beyond retail banking in 2008, and continue to do so. Government bail-outs extended beyond banks, indicating  the concern was with the financial structure as a whole. It is assumed that the state monopoly on money can be enforced. Yet, the financial sector is highly innovative

How An 11 Year Old Changed Election Results On a Replica Florida State Website In 10 Minutes

Cuz election security is America's top priority...JL

Michael Regan reports in PBS:

The boy accessed a replica of the Florida secretary of state’s website. He was one of 50 children between the ages of 8 and 16 who were taking part in the “DEFCON Voting Machine Hacking Village,” which allowed kids the chance to manipulate party names, candidate names and vote count totals. An 11-year-old girl also managed to make changes to the same Florida replica website in15 minutes, tripling the number of votes found there. 30 children hacked a variety of other similar state replica websites in under a half hour.

Future Job Skills That AI and Robots Cannot Do Better Than Humans

There was a time when they were called 'soft skills.'

But in a largely service-driven economy in which most work of creating and selling value is intellectual and social, there is nothing soft about them. JL

Bernard Marr reports in Forbes:

If you're concerned that your job might be one day outsourced to technology, the best thing you can do right now is work on imagination and vision, strategy, creativity, physical skills, critical thinking, empathy and communication, technological management.

A Generation of Chinese Grows Up Without Google, Facebook or Twitter. Whatever?

China has created a parallel internet universe. It's users think it's just fine.

And given the Chinese government's socio-economic support, it might actually prevail globally. 

Li Yuan reports in the New York Times:

A generation of Chinese is coming of age with an internet that is different from the rest of the web. Over the past decade, China has blocked thousands of foreign websites. Chinese websites emerged to serve the same functions. The implications of growing up with this different internet are starting to play out, creating a gulf with the rest of the world and allowing Beijing to build an alternative value system. China is now exporting its model to other countries

For IBM, the Right Watson Strategy Is Far From Elementary

The AI system's early public relations success was thought to be a perfect entree for IBM services in every realm from business to government to medicine.

It hasn't worked out that way. And the reason may be not just a paucity of the data AI requires, but skepticism about its efficacy from the humans attempting to use it.

The challenge may be as much psychological and organizational as technological. JL

Daniela Hernandez and Ted Greenwald report in the Wall Street Journal:

Artificial intelligence has the potential to reinvent the world, from how businesses operate to the types of jobs people hold to the way wars are fought. In health care, AI promises to help doctors diagnose and treat diseases. Watson’s struggles suggest that revolution remains some way off. In many cases, the tools didn’t add much value. In some cases, Watson wasn’t accurate. Watson can be tripped up by a lack of data. Six years and billions of dollars later more than a dozen IBM partners and clients have halted or shrunk Watson projects.

Aug 13, 2018

AI Can Watch a Person's Eye Movements To Assess Personality

So the eye IS the window to the soul. JL

Laura Yan reports in Popular Mechanics:

Researchers tracked eye movements as they did everyday tasks, then assessed their personality traits using a questionnaire. Since the research was conducted in an open, real world setting instead of a laboratory setting, it also provided more natural responses. The machine-learning algorithms reliably recognized neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness based on the subjects' eye movements.