TED, Climate and Twitter takeover The future is exiting, scary, and complicated. View this email in your browser
Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.
I am writing this week’s newsletter from the Vancouver TED Conference, which featured TED Talks with a lineup including Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Garry Kasparov. Gates shared his plans to create a global pandemic first response team to identify and track emerging viruses while calling out anti-vaccine protesters outside the event as “weird” and “somewhat ironic.”
However, one of the most powerful talks of the weekend came from chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov, who passionately declared that Ukraine is now on the frontline of the global war of freedom against tyranny.” Far away from the Vancouver Convention Centre, the first all-private Axiom crew entered the space station after the SpaceX flight, highlighting how we are collectively beginning to think bigger.
Back down on Earth, OpenAI’s latest picture-making AI and a horse-riding astronaut continued to raise questions about what we mean by intelligence. One of the most prominent themes of the week is understanding the impacts of big tech and, indeed, our actions can have on the world. From the positive story of how a parachute accident in 1992 helped jump-start augmented reality to cobalt mining and the issues that created a resource curse in the Congo, social responsibility has officially entered the chat.
In a week where I also learned the difference between Data fabric versus data mesh and the 3 core principles of Design for Trust, I realized that every day really is a school day.
As always, we would love to hear from you Steve@NYCMediaLab.org
The NYC Media Lab
Bill Gates Wants to Create a Global Pandemic First Response Team
Bill Gates’s love of pastel sweaters and quest to vaccinate the world has often divided audiences and fashionistas alike. But at the Vancouver TED Conference this week, he talked about the need to replace our reactive approach to the battle against COVID with a proactive response. The solution is to create a team of pandemic first responders to help identify and track emerging viruses before they become a bigger problem.
Gates also addressed conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine activists in his TED Talk. Although he admitted that he finds it weird and ironic that ‘crazy people’ are protesting vaccines, Gates is hopeful that when the pandemic calms down, people will be more rational about how vaccines are a miracle and there’s a lot more we can do.
Fast Company/ 3 min read
This Horse-Riding Astronaut Is a Milestone in AI’s Journey to Make Sense of the World
In 2021, OpenAI revealed its picture-making neural network DALL-E, showcasing the program’s human-like ability to combine different concepts in new ways. Creative intelligence delivered something that was both surreal and cartoonish, but it also highlighted the key lessons AI had learned about how the world fits together.
Connecting vision and language is the next crucial step in a larger goal of teaching machines to perceive the world the way humans do. As a result, the road to artificial general intelligence (AGI) just got a tiny step closer.
MIT Technology Review/ 6 min read
Tech + Media
Safeguarding User Interest: 3 Core Principles of Design for Trust
One of the biggest trends of the last few years is the erosion of trust in big tech. Many now treat emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, and the Internet of Things with cynicism rather than excitement around exploring the art of the possible. After witnessing the impacts of moving fast and breaking things, even the creators of tech have little understanding of the future implications of their creation.
In a digital world where the consequences of flawed or biased technology are much more serious than getting a lousy movie recommendation from Netflix. But could a collection of three design principles and associated methodologies be the answer to rebuilding our trust and relationship with tech?
VentureBeat/ 6 min read
Everyone Wants to Replace Passwords. What About Banning Them?
Although technology and social media platforms are often accused of dividing users, the one thing almost everyone can agree on is replacing passwords. Weak passwords and successful phishing attacks continue to increase, and there is no denying that we need a different approach, but is passwordless authentication the answer?
This article argues that the only way to replace passwords is to ban them so that we can all move together and ensure we are not talking about replacing passwords a decade from now.
Venture Beat / 3 min read
Data Fabric Versus Data Mesh: What’s the Difference?
Businesses are increasingly adopting analytics to unlock data-driven decision-making rather than relying on the loudest voice in the room. But disparate storage sources or problems with developing data pipelines have raised a few concerns in recent months. However, two emerging concepts have been pitched as the answer to hurdles in data analytics and management. Learn more about the differences between data fabric and data mesh.
VentureBeat/ 5 min read
What We’re Watching
The First All-Private Axiom Crew Enters the Space Station After Their SpaceX Flight
The first all-private trip to the International Space Station (ISS) was recently launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The mission, organized by a US company called Axiom Space, will be crewed by one retired NASA astronaut now employed by the firm and three wealthy entrepreneurs who will stay aboard the ISS for eight days.
Watch Axiom Space AX-1 crew Michael López-Alegría (commander), Larry Connor (pilot), Mark Pathy (mission specialist) & Eytan Stibbe (mission specialist) enter the International Space Station shortly after docking aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour.
Video From Space YouTube/ 2 min 49 watch
What We’re Listening To
A Cobalt Curse?
Each week, Foreign Policy’s national security and intelligence reporter Amy Mackinnon recommends one podcast from around the world. The curated show is designed to help listeners interested in the things we are — great stories, compelling interviews, and cogent analysis on international affairs — sort through the overwhelming variety of podcasts and find the best ones.
In this episode, the host explores the world of cobalt mining — and the issues that create a resource curse in the Congo.
Apple Podcasts/ 32 min
Virtual Events & Jobs
New York Fintech Week 2022
Monday, April 18, 2022
New York FinTech Week was designed to be an inclusive collaboration of the entire startup ecosystem. It’s a series of events highlighting different FinTech initiatives & range from conferences & invitation-only roundtables to events free to the community. Please note that these independent events require individual registration.
Future Of Work x Web3
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Michael Lewkowitz, GP of Possibilian Ventures, discusses how web3 will impact the future of work.
Understanding Data Composability In Web3
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Daniel Zuckerman, CEO of Ceramic Network, discusses the importance & meaning of data composability in Web3. Learn how data is stored and structured today and how that will change in Web3. The host will also discuss the product and development implications of interoperable public data streams while exploring the technical challenges of building data streams across chains and protocols.
If you’re interested in learning about the data layer of the blockchain & the problems Ceramic is solving, this is the event for you!
Fight The Climate Crisis In The Tech World
Friday, April 22, 2022
According to PwC, 2021 was a record-breaking year for investment in climate tech startups. As a result, this growing field presents many opportunities for climate-minded tech professionals. This conversation w
ill give a glimpse into the application of coding, data, & marketing in the world of climate action.
A Deeper Look
How a Parachute Accident Helped Jump-Start Augment Reality
Did you know that In 1992, hardware for the first interactive AR system literally fell from the skies? Of course, they often say that truth is stranger than fiction, but this in-depth story of how Louis Rosenberg tested the first interactive augmented-reality system that he developed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will remain with you long after this newsletter.
Where do we go from here? By the early 2030s, Rosenberg believes that augmented reality will replace the mobile phone as our primary interface to digital content.
IEEE Spectrum/ 11 min read