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Archive for the ‘software’ category

Mar 9, 2017

JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours — By Hugh Son | Bloomberg

Posted by in categories: automation, finance, innovation, robotics/AI, software

“At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours.”

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Feb 18, 2017

MIT is working on 3 BIG Blockchain Ideas

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, economics, innovation, internet, software

MIT has never stood stand still in the presence of change and opportunity. Their Media Lab Currency Initiative is at the forefront of Blockchain and Bitcoin research. With the fracture of the founding core team, MIT stands to become the universal hub for research and development.

The initiative now has a team of 22 people and at least
seven ongoing research projects, and it nurtures three startups that use cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology in a variety of ways. Blockchain research now sits alongside transparent robots that eat real-world fish, solar nebula research, and other imaginative, futuristic projects in progress at the university.

The initiative has already funded the work of bitcoin protocol developers and has supported research, going far beyond bitcoin—even partnering with Ripple Labs and developing enterprise data projects.

Now, the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative is working on 3 big Blockchain ideas:

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Feb 12, 2017

Distributed Objective Consensus: Beyond POW & POS

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, computing, cryptocurrencies, economics, innovation, privacy, software

At the heart of Bitcoin or any Blockchain ledger is a distributed consensus mechanism. It’s a lot like voting. A large and diverse deliberative community validates each, individual user transaction, ownership stake or vote.

But a distributed consensus mechanism is only effective and faithful if the community is impartial. To be impartial, voters must be fairly separated. That is, there must be no collusion enabled by concentration or hidden collaboration. They must be separated from the buyer and seller; they must be separated from the big stakeholders; and they must be separated from each other. Without believable and measurable separation, all sorts of problems ensue. One problem that has made news in the Bitcoin word is the geographical concentration of miners and mining pools.

A distributed or decentralized transaction validation is typically achieved based on Proof-of-Work (POW) or Proof-of-Stake (POS). [explain]. But in practice, these methodologies exhibit subtle problems…

The problem is that Proof-of-Work can waste an enormous amount of energy and both techniques result in a concentration of power (either by geography or by special interest) — rather than a fair, distributed consensus.

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Sep 19, 2016

Can Technology Help Fine-Tune Your Happiness?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, entertainment, innovation, software, virtual reality

Given the demands of the modern world, many people find solace and relaxation when they disconnect from their smart phones, computers and email. But what if you could improve your overall happiness simply by playing games on your phone? In a recent interview, tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Happify Ofer Leidner said gamification can make people “happier”, and that the development of technology that improves well-being is only just getting beginning.

Image credit: x-bility.com

Image credit: x-bility.com

It should be noted that not just any game on your phone can help one live a happier, healthier life. Instead, Happify and other comparable platforms use science-based games to drive behavior and to help people learn skills for generally improving their outlook on life. It’s still gaming and gamification, but gaming done with a meaningful purpose.

“After telling us a little bit about themselves, we recommend a certain track, which is a topic around which (Happify users) want to build those skills for greater emotional fitness. We then prescribe for them a set of activities and interventions that have been transformed into an interactive app,” Leidner said. “You can do them on your phone, when you’re commuting, or you can do it at night. What we’re doing, in terms of the measurement of improved outcome, is we’re actually measuring them based on scientific event reports.”

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Jul 14, 2016

The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule — By Keith Collins| Quartz

Posted by in categories: software, space

nasa2

“When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it.”

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Jun 3, 2016

Microsoft’s latest HoloLens trailer looks ripped from a sci-fi blockbuster — By Matt Smith | Digital Trends

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, business, hardware, software, virtual reality

microsoft-hololens_-720x720

“HoloLens … is not just a headset. It’s also an API – called Windows Holographic — built by Microsoft to let developers code programs from the HoloLens itself. The company’s announcement that it’s opening Windows Holographic to partners means that they, too, will be able to build devices for its API platform. Anything that’s developed using that API should work as well on partner devices as on the HoloLens itself.”

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May 27, 2016

Is a Blockchain a Blockchain if it Isn’t?

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, cryptocurrencies, finance, innovation, internet, open source, software, transparency

Anyone who has heard of Bitcoin knows that it is built on a mechanism called The Blockchain. Most of us who follow the topic are also aware that Bitcoin and the blockchain were unveiled—together—in a whitepaper by a mysterious developer, under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

That was eight years ago. Bitcoin is still the granddaddy of all blockchain-based networks, and most of the others deal with alternate payment coins of one type or another. Since Bitcoin is king, the others are collectively referred to as ‘Altcoins’.

But the blockchain can power so much more than coins and payments. And so—as you might expect—investors are paying lots of attention to blockchain startups or blockchain integration into existing services. Not just for payments, but for everything under the sun.

Think of Bitcoin as a product and the blockchain as a clever network architecture that enables Bitcoin and a great many future products and institutions to do more things—or to do these things better, cheaper, more robust and more blockchain-01secure than products and institutions built upon legacy architectures.

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May 12, 2016

Recommendation Engines Yielding Stronger Predictions into Our Wants and Needs

Posted by in categories: computing, disruptive technology, economics, information science, innovation, internet, machine learning, software

If you’ve ever seen a “recommended item” on eBay or Amazon that was just what you were looking for (or maybe didn’t know you were looking for), it’s likely the suggestion was powered by a recommendation engine. In a recent interview, Co-founder of machine learning startup Delvv, Inc., Raefer Gabriel, said these applications for recommendation engines and collaborative filtering algorithms are just the beginning of a powerful and broad-reaching technology.

Raefer Gabriel, Delvv, Inc.

Raefer Gabriel, Delvv, Inc.

Gabriel noted that content discovery on services like Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify are most familiar to people because of the way they seem to “speak” to one’s preferences in movies, games, and music. Their relatively narrow focus of entertainment is a common thread that has made them successful as constrained domains. The challenge lies in developing recommendation engines for unbounded domains, like the internet, where there is more or less unlimited information.

“Some of the more unbounded domains, like web content, have struggled a little bit more to make good use of the technology that’s out there. Because there is so much unbounded information, it is hard to represent well, and to match well with other kinds of things people are considering,” Gabriel said. “Most of the collaborative filtering algorithms are built around some kind of matrix factorization technique and they definitely tend to work better if you bound the domain.”

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Feb 18, 2016

The Most Important Apple Executive You’ve Never Heard Of — By Brad Stone, Adam Satariano, and Gwen Ackerman | Bloomberg Businessweek

Posted by in categories: business, hardware, software

apple-lab-cupertino

“A little over a year ago, Apple had a problem: The iPad Pro was behind schedule. Elements of the hardware, software, and accompanying stylus weren’t going to be ready for a release in the spring. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and his top lieutenants had to delay the unveiling until the fall. That gave most of Apple’s engineers more time. It gave a little-known executive named Johny Srouji much less.”

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Feb 15, 2016

The Many Uses of Multi-Agent Intelligent Systems

Posted by in categories: complex systems, disruptive technology, driverless cars, energy, innovation, robotics/AI, software

In professional cycling, it’s well known that a pack of 40 or 50 riders can ride faster and more efficiently than a single rider or small group. As such, you’ll often see cycling teams with different goals in a race work together to chase down a breakaway before the finish line.

This analogy is one way to think about collaborative multi-agent intelligent systems, which are poised to change the technology landscape for individuals, businesses, and governments, says Dr. Mehdi Dastani, a computer scientist at Utrecht University. The proliferation of these multi-agent systems could lead to significant systemic changes across society in the next decade.

Image credit: ResearchGate

Image credit: ResearchGate

“Multi-agent systems are basically a kind of distributed system with sets of software. A set can be very large. They are autonomous, they make their own decisions, they can perceive their environment, “Dastani said. “They can perceive other agents and they can communicate, collaborate or compete to get certain resources. A multi-agent system can be conceived as a set of individual softwares that interact.”

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