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Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future (WaitButWhy)
In this 38,000-word (really) long post (Neuralink and the Brain's Magical Future), Tim Urban does a brilliant analysis of why Elon Musk wants to start Neuralink — his latest company that wants to build a neural lace, a high bandwidth whole brain interface that can read and write to the brain at the same speed computers read and write data to each other. The post is split into 6 parts, and although there's no way I can do justice to a post this long by trying to summarize it here, I can go through some of my top observations from the post:
Part 1: The Human Colossus: This part is about realizing the importance of how important an invention language has been. Instead of everyone's brain staying isolated, we could start working towards a combined human colossus by talking to each other and passing our collective knowledge down the generations.
Part 2: The Brain: This part is a thorough course on the various parts and mechanics of our brains. Reading this part made me truly appreciate the complexity of our brains for the first time.
Founder & Research Vice President at 451 Research, Nick Patience, and Sajesh Gopinath, UST SmartOps GM
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Deal or no deal? Training AI bots to negotiate
According to the post, the prediction accuracy of Multi-issue bargaining model described in the post is high enough that the technique dramatically improved negotiation tactics in the following areas:
Negotiating harder: The new agents held longer conversations with humans, in turn accepting deals less quickly. While people can sometimes walk away with no deal, the model in this experiment negotiates until it achieves a successful outcome.
Intelligent maneuvers: There were cases where agents initially feigned interest in a valueless item, only to later “compromise” by conceding it — an effective negotiating tactic that people use regularly. This behavior was not programmed by the researchers but was discovered by the bot as a method for trying to achieve its goals.
Producing novel sentences: Although neural models are prone to repeating sentences from training data, this work showed the models are capable of generalizing when necessary.
Elon Musk says on Universal Basic Income: "It's going to be necessary"
Elon Musk, speaking at the World Government Summit 2017 in Dubai said that universal basic income is going to be necessary in the face of automation replacing human jobs at a massive scale, clarifying that these are not things he wishes would happen, these are things he thinka are probably going to happen. The deeper question to ponder upon is once you have universal basic income, what happens to people's sense of purpose in life?