Weekend Readings

  • The Metaverse: What It Is, Where to Find it, and Who Will Build It. Technology frequently produces surprises that nobody predicts. The most common conceptions of the Metaverse stem from science fiction. Here, the Metaverse is typically portrayed as a sort of digital “jacked-in” internet – a manifestation of actual reality, but one based in a virtual (often theme park-like) world, such those portrayed in Ready Player One and The Matrix. And while these sorts of experiences are likely to be an aspect of the Metaverse, this conception is limited in the same way movies like Tron portrayed the Internet as a literal digital “information superhighway” of bits. (Matthewball.vc)
  • GE and the Belief in Management Magic. The breakup of an American colossus reveals an essential corporate truth: No stratgy can erase decades of bad decisions – or counteract irreversible changes in how business is done. In the early 2010s, GE pushed a big-data and analytics platform for the “industrial internet” that it called Predix, reportedly spending some $5 billion on it. That was much too little, much too late. In the meantime, Microsoft Corp. , Amazon.com Inc.  and others had grown into conglomerates for the new age, offering a suite of technology services much the way GE had long filled the basic needs of industry. (WSJ)
  • University of Washington study: Deep learning reveals 3D models of protein machines. Proteins are made up of strings of amino acid building blocks, but they need to fold correctly to work. IPD’s RoseTTAFold and DeepMind’s AlphaFold have been used to predict the shapes of thousands of proteins since their release. Inside cells, proteins often interact with each other in machine-like protein complexes that perform a variety of tasks. Many approved drugs also interfere with protein complexes, such as chemotherapies that hijack machinery involved in DNA replication and cell division. (GeekWire)
  • The Chip That Could Transform Computing. It was Intel’s co-founder Gordon Moore who famously predicted that computer chips would keep getting unimaginably more powerful. And it was Intel’s products, the x86 line of microprocessors at the heart of just about every personal computer, that turned Moore’s prophesy into a governing “law” of tech. The promise that every year, Intel’s new chips would be much faster than its old chips set the rhythm for advances across the entire industry. (NYT)
  • When algorithms go bad: Zillow, Amazon, Facebook and the pitfalls of rampant automation. The downfall of Zillow’s iBuying business is a reminder of the downsides of relying too much on automation and machine learning algorithms at this stage in the evolution of technology. (GeekWire)
  • Managing AI Decision-Making Tools. The nature of micro-decisions requires some level of automation, particularly for real-time and higher-volume decisions. Automation is enabled by algorithms (the rules, predictions, constraints, and logic that determine how a micro-decision is made). And these decision-making algorithms are often described as artificial intelligence (AI). The critical question is, how do human managers manage these types of algorithm-powered systems? (HBR)

Last Updated on November 14, 2021 by SK

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