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Archive for the ‘finance’ category: Page 2

Apr 29, 2019

SpaceFund Venture Capital

Posted by in categories: finance, space

SpaceFund is a new type of venture capital firm, providing near-term liquidity through security tokens and informed investing in a diversified portfolio of space companies.


Apr 20, 2019

IBM Pulls the Plug on Drug-Discovering Watson AI

Posted by in categories: finance, robotics/AI

The program is reportedly ending due to “lackluster financial performance.”

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Apr 15, 2019

The discrete-time physics hiding inside our continuous-time world

Posted by in categories: evolution, finance, physics, space

Scientists believe that time is continuous, not discrete—roughly speaking, they believe that it does not progress in “chunks,” but rather “flows,” smoothly and continuously. So they often model the dynamics of physical systems as continuous-time “Markov processes,” named after mathematician Andrey Markov. Indeed, scientists have used these processes to investigate a range of real-world processes from folding proteins, to evolving ecosystems, to shifting financial markets, with astonishing success.

However, invariably a scientist can only observe the state of a system at discrete times, separated by some gap, rather than continually. For example, a stock market analyst might repeatedly observe how the state of the market at the beginning of one day is related to the state of the market at the beginning of the next day, building up a conditional probability distribution of what the state of the second day is given the state at the first day.

In a pair of papers, one appearing in this week’s Nature Communications and one appearing recently in the New Journal of Physics, physicists at the Santa Fe Institute and MIT have shown that in order for such two– dynamics over a set of “visible states” to arise from a continuous-time Markov process, that Markov process must actually unfold over a larger space, one that includes hidden states in addition to the visible ones. They further prove that the evolution between such a pair of times must proceed in a finite number of “hidden timesteps”, subdividing the interval between those two times. (Strictly speaking, this proof holds whenever that evolution from the earlier time to the later time is noise-free—see paper for technical details.)

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Apr 9, 2019

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity

Posted by in categories: finance, robotics/AI

New book calls Google, Facebook, Amazon, and six more tech giants “the new gods of A.I.” who are “short-changing our futures to reap immediate financial gain”.


A call-to-arms about the broken nature of artificial intelligence, and the powerful corporations that are turning the human-machine relationship on its head.

We like to think that we are in control of the future of “artificial” intelligence. The reality, though, is that we—the everyday people whose data powers AI—aren’t actually in control of anything. When, for example, we speak with Alexa, we contribute that data to a system we can’t see and have no input into—one largely free from regulation or oversight. The big nine corporations—Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba, Microsoft, IBM and Apple—are the new gods of AI and are short-changing our futures to reap immediate financial gain.

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Apr 8, 2019

China’s NewSpace: Mapping of its 60+ Start-ups

Posted by in categories: finance, mapping, space

Chinese space has been a very hot topic in recent years. Other than the impressive space exploration missions (Tiangong, Chang’e…), the interest for China is also due to the recent opening up of this industry to private investments, which has led to a leap in the number of space start-ups. These start-ups, supported by venture capital heavy-weights are covering the entire space industrial chain: launchers, satellite platforms, satellite subsystems, satellite services, ground segment, etc.

The number of space start-ups on the other hand, is a debated question. Chen Lan estimated in November 2018 that there were over 100 Chinese space start-ups [1]. FutureAerospace, a Beijing-based think-tank, sets the number at around 60, at the same period [2]. Other space watchers have suggested 80 such as in [3]. However, how this count is made is rarely detailed (how do we define a “NewSpace company”?), and very few lists are available at the time of writing, if any. Up to now, only Disrupt Space, a start-up which plans to build a global space entrepreneurial community, has undertaken the establishment of a list, which sets the count at 35 Chinese space start-ups (see map below).

disrupt space mapping
Fig. 1 – Disrupt Space’s Chinese Space Start-up Mapping in November 2018 [4]

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Apr 6, 2019

Sjaak Vink — CEO, TheSocialMedwork — IdeaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, education, finance, health, innovation, life extension

Mar 30, 2019

[Not Surprisingly], a U.S. Bank Bans Customers From Buying Bitcoin

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, finance

Regions Financial Corporation has barred its customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

The US-based bank and financial service clarified in its 2018 bank deposit agreement that it reserved the right to “return or decline to pay” for items related to “decentralized, non-fiat virtual currencies, cryptocurrency or another digital currency or money that relies on distributed ledger or blockchain.”

2018 Regions Bank Deposit Agreement pic.twitter.com/mDtEr5T1ep

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Mar 30, 2019

We Can Live Forever Thanks to Technology Says Leading Anti-Aging Scientist

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cryptocurrencies, finance, life extension

“If I can bring forward the defeat of aging even one day, I would have saved the lives of 110,000 people.” – Dr. Aubrey de Grey at EmTech Asia 2019.

The age-old quest for immortality was largely confined to the myths and legends of past civilizations until about just two decades back when telomerase, the active component for the gene that confers immortality to cells was successfully isolated in a science laboratory. That turned the tide on the entire conversation from whether aging could be treated, to how it could be treated.

Since then it has spawned a whole new medical field – ‘healthspan’ – where scientific research is conducted with the aim of extending healthy human lives for as long as hundreds and thousands of years, if not outright immortality. It is not surprising that the intensive research into anti-aging technologies has attracted financial backing from those who are interested in technological progress – the tech community, the likes of Google and even cryptocurrency tycoons such as Ethereum Founder, Vitalik Buterin, who donated $2.4 million worth of ether to the nonprofit foundation SENS Research Foundation, of which Dr Aubrey de Grey is the Chief Science Officer.

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Mar 23, 2019

MIT has just announced a $1 billion plan to create a new college for AI

Posted by in categories: education, finance, robotics/AI, space

One of the birthplaces of artificial intelligence, MIT, has announced a bold plan to reshape its academic program around the technology. With $1 billion in funding, MIT will create a new college that combines AI, machine learning, and data science with other academic disciplines. It is the largest financial investment in AI by any US academic institution to date.

New school: The new college of computing is being built with $350 million in funding from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the CEO and cofounder of Blackstone, a private equity firm. Schwarzman has already donated billions to other institutions for studying issues related to AI. MIT’s new Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing will create 50 new faculty positions and numerous fellowships for graduate students. The school will open next September and will be housed in existing buildings at MIT before moving to its own space, expected in 2022.

Data everywhere: Data and computing are already having a major impact on disciplines like the humanities, and machine learning and AI may have an even bigger one. Rafael Reif, the president of MIT, said in an announcement that the new approach was necessary because of the way computing, data, and AI are “reshaping the world,” and he added that students and researchers will be taught to use AI in their disciplines from first principles, instead of dividing their time between computer science and other departments. “Computing is no longer the domain of the experts alone,” Reif said. “It’s everywhere, and it needs to be understood and mastered by almost everyone.”

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Mar 14, 2019

What If Google and the Government Merged?

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics, finance, government, sustainability

My colleague Conor Sen recently made a bold prediction: Government will be the driver of the U.S. economy in coming decades. The era of Silicon Valley will end, supplanted by the imperatives of fighting climate change and competing with China.

This would be a momentous change. The biggest tech companies — Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Google (Alphabet Inc.) and (a bit surprisingly) Microsoft Corp. — have increasingly dominated both the headlines and the U.S. stock market:

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