Just in Case it Matters to You
- “TO MILLENNIALS AND YOUNGER VIEWERS, PRIME-TIME IS REALLY ‘MY TIME.’ They want to watch on their terms… Sports, in particular, is less ingrained in the younger demographic – replaced by other things like video games, e-sports, and snapchat feeds.” Coupled with average age for football and major league baseball viewers having increased up to seven years, the result is broadcast viewership down, and huge current impact is that NBC’s $12 billion gamble on the Rio Olympic Games may be a bust. “Because ratings fell short, the network had to give buyers free commercial time to make good on Guarantees that a certain number of viewers would switch on television sets. While they anticipated correctly that millennial internet viewership would be high, and accordingly charged 50% higher ad rates than for TV, they missed the boat on TV audience by some 17%; for the 18 to 50 age group, decline was 25%. The ‘delicate balance’ problem with dilution of its linear network audience, creating from streaming on NBC’s sports app and online offerings, will only get tougher to implement. [BLOOMBERG.COM – Aug 19, 16]
- “MACHINE-LEARNING SYSTEMS EXCEL AT PREDICTIONS… based, implicitly or explicitly, on lots of data… by chewing through examples and learning which characteristics are most helpful.” Algorithm-based systems are now increasingly being applied by government institutions to public policy, with relatively positive results. Examples: (1) a Carnegie-Mellon system can predict heart attacks four hours ahead of time, in theory giving time to intervene; (2) a University of Chicago system can identify children with dangerous levels of lead or other toxins in their bodies; (3) that system is also being tested to flag police officers ‘at risk’ for overzealousness in using guns; (4) judges can now get ‘at risk’ assessments to predict the likelihood of a person committing another crime, or jumping bail. “Prediction is probabilistic, not perfect. Officials still have to act… For governments that embrace machine-learning, the future will depend on how well they marry its predictive power with old-fashioned human wisdom.” [THE ECONOMIST – Aug 20, 16] Meanwhile, according to The Wall St. Journal, algorithm systems have already taken over and high-speed stock trading ensures the little guys don’t have a chance. It’s now conducted by machines in 85 nanoseconds – 85 billionths of a second – “about the same time it takes a beam of light to travel from home plate to first base.”
- BUT CONCERN OVER THE RAPID RISE OF SUPERINTELLIGENT MACHINES IS VALID. Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist, advises that “development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race… potentially the last event in human history unless we learn how to avoid the risk”; the Director of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute warns that A.I. “could turn dark quickly and dispose of humans, with the subsequent world then harboring economic miracles and technological awesomeness, but with nobody there to benefit”; Elon Musk calls A.I. “our biggest existential threat that may be tantamount to summoning the demon.” David Gelernter, Yale professor and among the early architects, argues that “the entire field of A.I. is dangerously off track… that while human ‘minds’ will indeed soon be downloadable to computers, nothing so far speaks to emotions and the physical body – the feelings and experience of sensations, images & ideas reworked over a lifetime as memories… a lot of which go into the formation of a human mind.” [TIME – Mar 7, 16]
- 3D-PRINTED FOOD WILL SOON ENOUGH BE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. A London restaurant (Food Ink) is apparently the first to not only print tableware & furniture, but now also edibles! A contraption (3dbyflow.com) which unfolds from a compact suitcase in 20-seconds and print-ready within 2-minutes utilizes “paste-like foods, vertically stacked into 3-dimensional molds from digital files and guided by the robotic arm of the printer… to create aesthetically spectacular dishes.” [DIGITALTRENDS.COM – Aug 4, 16]
- THE LATEST SMARTPHONE SCAM IS ‘VIDEO JACKING,’ at risk when phones are plugged into a public TV or larger display. “Spy machines can now record a video of everything you tap, type or view, as long as it’s plugged in – including PINs, passwords, account numbers, emails, texts, pictures and videos… Most of the phones vulnerable are Android or other HDMI-ready smartphones from Asus, Blackberry, HTC, LG, Samsung and ZTE.” [KREBS ON SECURITY.COM – Aug 16, 16]
- THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Backyard trampolines account for most of more than 90,000 upper body sprains and broken bones annually. Combined with nearly 7,000 emergency room visits from injuries sustained at Trampoline Parks (mostly affecting lower extremities), serious injuries have been soaring.
Most of modern breakthroughs are being developed by Israelis: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VO7EMKUy-28 and an incredible proportion of the contribution to modern music has come from Jewish artists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rToAwMfKOLg&feature=em-share_video_user