Weekend Readings – Nov 21, 2021

  • Microsoft and Metaverse: It’s certainly the question of the season: what is the Metaverse? Here is the punchline: the Metaverse already exists, it just happens to be called the Internet.  For well over a year a huge portion of people’s lives was primarily digital. The primary way to connect with friends and family was via video calls or social networking; the primary means of entertainment was streaming or gaming; for white collar workers their jobs were online as well. This certainly wasn’t ideal: the first thing people want to do as the world opens up is see their friends and family in person, go to a movie or see a football game as a collective, or take a trip. Work, though, has been a bit slower to come back: even if the office is open, many meetings are still online given that some of the team may be working remote — for many companies, permanently.(Stratechery)
  • Even though electric and self-driving cars have yet to saturate the market, dozens of companies are at various stages of launching flying cars in a variety of models. Although the earlier prototypes were not successful, they have paved the way for today’s more advanced models. With the more recent development and popularity of drones, several companies have designed passenger models. These include two Chinese companies, XPeng, which is backed by the e-commerce company Alibaba, and EHang, which is supplying the United Arab Emirates with autonomous taxis. The drones run on electric motors. (Quillette)
  • On the wings of Ada Lovelace.She detailed her ideas for a “flying machine” in the spring of 1828, writing to her mother: “I have got a scheme … which, if ever I effect it … is to make a thing in the form of a horse with a steam engine in the inside so contrived as to move an immense pair of wings, fixed on the outside of the horse, in such a manner as to carry it up into the air while a person sits on its back” (April 7, 1828, excerpted in Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers). (UC Berkeley Blog)
  • How well can an AI mimic human ethics? For a long time, a background assumption in many parts of the AI field was that to build intelligence, researchers would have to explicitly build in reasoning capacity and conceptual frameworks the AI could use to think about the world. Early AI language generators, for example, were hand-programmed with principles of syntax they could use to generate sentences. Now, it’s less obvious that researchers will have to build in reasoning to get reasoning out. It might be that an extremely straightforward approach like training AIs to predict what a person on Mechanical Turk would say in response to a prompt could get you quite powerful systems. (Vox)
  • What Is Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)? A CSAT score is easy to calculate. It’s the sum of all positive responses, divided by the total responses collected, then multiplied by 100. The outcome leaves you with the overall percentage of satisfied customers at your business. A big strength of Customer Satisfaction Score lies in its simplicity: It’s an easy way to close the loop on a customer interaction and determine whether or not it was effective in producing happiness. (Hubspot)

Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by SK

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