A Blog by Jonathan Low


Feb 20, 2017

Genetically Engineered Wooly Mammoth Resurrection By Harvard Could Be Live In Two Years

Scientists are countering concerns about the ethics of resurrecting an extinct species by asserting that it's a 'two-fer:' a genetic engineering achievement with implications for other life forms that could also help combat global warming. Skeptics remain wary. JL

Hannah Devlin reports in The Guardian:

“De-extincting” the mammoth has become realistic because gene editing techniques allow the precise selection and insertion of DNA from specimens frozen over millennia in Siberian ice. It allows the “cut and paste” manipulation of strands of DNA with  precision. Mammoths could help prevent permafrost from melting and releasing greenhouse gas.“They keep the tundra from thawing by punching through snow, allowing cold air in."

Could New York's Tech Sector Surpass Silicon Valley?

Theoretically possible, though challenging given Silicon Valley's advantage in talent, experience and funding sources. JL

John Foley reports in Crains, via Business Insider:

The business revolution of the next several decades will move beyond the early tech plays — faster, smaller chips or connecting people and information virtually. It will be about transforming large industries that no longer meet their customers' demands into something more efficient and personal.That can happen only where those industries are. Unlike Silicon Valley, New York has embraced businesses that marry technology and consumer goods

Has Society Lost Its Faith In Expertise?

Perhaps not so much in expertise, per se, but in its inability to eliminate the complexity and uncertainty of contemporary life. JL

Tom Nichols reports in Foreign Affairs:

Conspiracy theories become seductive in any society that has suffered epic, collective trauma (and) are growing in response to the economic and social dislocations of globalization and terrorism. (People) have unrealistic expectations of what political and economic systems can provide, and this fuels anger. Unable to comprehend complexity, they blame elites. We are moving toward a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based collapse of division between professionals and laypeople. To reject the advice of experts is to demonstrate independence from elites.

Can Augmentation Save Us From Automation?

Augmentation can defer full automation in many jobs. It may even lead to developments which demonstrate that human-machine collaboration is more productive and cost-effective.

But for now, defeating automation in the long run seems unlikely  JL

Dyllan Furness reports in Digital Trends:

The best way to keep laborers productive, and employed may be to augment their physicality. Human intelligence and decision making is critical in a lot of jobs, and the human brain is really hard to imitate. If you give extra strength to a worker who has decision making and intelligence, you could see them being more effective and work(ing) longer alongside robots. The state of AI is not to the point that we can employ robotics to do unstructured jobs which require human attention and decision making. There’s a lot of unstructured work we can’t yet fully automate.

Why Your Next Crucial Hire Will Be a Cognitive Developer

Yes, data drives every organization today, but unless the data are interpreted correctly  and effectively applied, its impact is lessened.

New categories of employees - like cognitive developers - have the skills to help connect those dots. But the crucial, differentiating challenge for forward-thinking enterprises is conceiving of the skill sets no else has yet identified. JL

Bob Lord reports in Advertising Age:

Data rules. It rules your clients' decisions and strategies. (But) as much as 80% of the data out there is unstructured, which means it's meaningless to you. A growing number of products interact with people to advise them on making more informed decisions. You must snag a top artificial intelligence/cognitive developer and pair her with a data scientist so that they can layer cognitive computing on top of more good data.

How the New Corporation Enhances Productivity Through Partnership and Flexibility

Performance is driven by productivity. And productivity, in the data-based digital economy, is optimized by applying the broadest array of good information from the widest number of sources in the most effective way possible.

Which successful organizations recognize, requires knowledge, innovation and openness to innovative concepts and processes. JL

Hugo Moreno reports in Forbes:

The workforce of the future is not a rigid structure with hierarchical reporting relationships; it’s one aligned with multiple factions working together to guarantee one another’s success. 70% of leaders cite a unified culture as important to achieving business goals. Yet only 13% believe their company’s current culture is an optimal fit for their business vision. To change how an organization performs, its leaders must change how they think.

Feb 19, 2017

Competition: Why Every US Mobile Provider Suddenly Changed Their Unlimited Plan In One Week

Wait. Wasn't the mobile oligopoly supposed to eliminate the need to actually compete for customers?

The unintended consequences of actual capitalism. JL

Chaim Gartenberg reports in The Verge:

So what prompted this about-face that offers not just its first real unlimited plan in over half a decade, but one with prices and perks so generous that T-Mobile, Sprint, and (to a lesser extent) AT&T spent the week scrambling to match it? The simple answer is competition. T-Mobile, for all its underdog nipping at Verizon’s heels, is slowly catching up to Verizon