CNBC: Prepare to be disappointed by Apple (video)

According to this currency trader, the fate of global markets next Tuesday hangs on one demo.

“I’ll be watching the Apple demo on Sept. 12 for a whole bunch of reasons,” BK Asset Management’s Boris Schlossberg told a trigger-ready TV audience Friday.

This is going to be a seminal event for Apple, which is the largest company in the world now and really needs to hit a home run to convince investors that they have something very special rolling out for the Christmas season…

The real story in the Apple demo is going to be the software services, especially the augmented reality that they’ve been teasing to investors for the last couple of weeks. If Apple’s going to release some incredibly interesting use cases for augmented reality, that could create an enormous amount of enthusiasm for the iOS 11 release which could increase their software revenue base tremendously.

If the demo disappoints, if there really isn’t any great, sexy new application the market gets excited about, there is a very strong potential here that Apple could take the whole market down.

My take: Apple [...]  read more

Which is the fastest growing programming language? Hint, it’s not JavaScript

Python is the fastest-growing programming language, and by 2019 will significantly outstrip other languages in terms of active developers.

That’s the prediction of programming Q&A hub Stack Overflow, based on the ballooning number of developers viewing questions about Python on its site. The extrapolation is based on a huge amount of data, Stack Overflow is the world’s largest online community site for developers, with more than 50 millions amateur and professional devs visiting the site every month.

“The term ‘fastest-growing’ can be hard to define precisely, but we make the case that Python has a solid claim to being the fastest-growing major programming language,” says Stack Overflow data scientist David Robinson in a blog post.
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Image: Stack Overflow

In the five years to June 2017, Python has gone from least to the most popular of the top six programming languages, with a 2.5x increase in views of Python questions. Robinson says that these [...]  read more

IBM is modeling new AI after the human brain

Attentive Robots

Currently, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are able to exhibit seemingly-human traits. Some are intentionally humanoid, and others perform tasks that we normally associate strictly with humanity — songwriting, teaching, and visual art.

But as the field progresses, companies and developers are re-thinking the basis of artificial intelligence by examining our own intelligence and how we might effectively mimic it using machinery and software. IBM is one such company, as they have embarked on the ambitious quest to teach AI to act more like the human brain.
The Top 10 Humanoid Robots in Existence TodayClick to View Full Infographic
Many existing machine learning systems are built around the need to draw from sets of data. Whether they are problem-solving to win a game of Go or identifying skin cancer from images, this often remains true. This basis is, however, limited — and it differentiates from the human brain.

We as humans learn incrementally. Simply put, we learn as we go. While we acquire knowledge to pull [...]  read more

Elon Musk: Governments will obtain AI technology ‘at gunpoint’ if necessary

In his most recent tirade on the existential threat posed by artificial intelligence, billionaire tech titan Elon Musk says governments will use force to get companies to turn over their advanced AI technology.

During the course of his Twitter rant, in which Musk claims the global race for artificial intelligence will result in World War III, a follower suggests that the government lags behind and corporations will develop the most threatening arsenal of artificial intelligence.

“[Governments] don’t need to follow normal laws,” he says. “They will obtain AI developed by companies at gunpoint, if necessary,” Musk responds.

Musk is consistent in his terrifying reminders that the rapid and accelerating development of AI is the greatest threat to civilization. Artificial intelligence is more dangerous than North Korea, he’s said, even as the country has been testing its military technology.

Since launching a nuclear missile would be “suicide” for the North Korean regime, it should be “low on our list of concerns for civilizational [sic] existential risk,” Musk has argued.

On Monday, tech billionaire Mark Cuban weighed in on Musk’s most recent warning, agreeing that weapons with AI ought to be feared.

“Autonomous weaponry is the ultimate threat to humanity,” says Cuban.

The same day, the chief digital evangelist for Salesforce, Vala Afshar, sent the World Economic Forum’s June 2017 analysis of when robots will take over human jobs to Cuban on Twitter. The “Shark Tank” star says his fear is not that robots will become capable of replacing human laborers but that they will not be human enough.

“I’m concerned about machines NOT taking on human like qualities,” he explains.

Called out for his depressing focus on Armageddon, Musk promises more optimistic updates to come. See also:

Elon Musk: Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage

Elon [...]  read more

Google Builds China Workforce to Develop Artificial Intelligence

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is ramping up its presence in China, hiring engineers to specialize in technology’s hottest corner: artificial intelligence.

Continue Reading Below

The Silicon Valley behemoth has recently posted at least four AI-related jobs on its career site in Beijing, including a technical lead to develop a team to work on natural language processing, data compression and other machine learning technologies. Two of the jobs are related to machine learning in Google’s cloud-computing operation.

Google Cloud currently doesn’t operate in China. The company would need a local partner and special licenses to establish the business here.

Broadly defined, AI involves computers that learn from the information they process. China, with hundreds of millions of people connected to the internet and few qualms about privacy, is seen as having advantages over the U.S. as a place to advance parts of the technology.

“China has a lot of data from mobile payments, gaming, social, search [...]  read more

Vladimir Putin Says Whoever Leads in Artificial Intelligence Will Rule the World

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared that the control of artificial intelligence will be crucial to global power.

In a “science lesson” to start off the Russian school year, Putin reportedly said that artificial intelligence is “the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind.”

“It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict,” Putin said Friday, as quoted by the state-funded media organization RT. “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

While some more excitable outlets have reported this as Putin saying Russia will use AI to take over the world, that’s not quite what he said. Rather, according to the Associated Press‘s English-language translation, Putin argued that “it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position.”

 [...]  read more

Google Drive has become a popular alternative to The Pirate Bay

Pirates went through a rough patch this past year. Shortly after KickassTorrents and its alleged owner Artem Vaulin went down, competing sites Torrentz.eu and TorrentHound swiftly followed suit. But while The Pirate Bay is still there to hold the fort, an unlikely alternative is starting to shape up: Google Drive.

Hollywood studios and other copyright holders have inundated the Mountain View heavyweight with nearly 5,000 takedown requests for files hosted on its cloud storage service in the last 30 days alone, Gadgets 360 reports.

In fact, Google’s cloud service has become such a popular recourse to The Pirate Bay that, according to popular link removal platform Lumen Database, each infringing DMCA complaint is accompanied by at least a dozen Drive-hosted files.

Pirates appear to have come up with various workarounds to slip through Google’s defenses. Though they would often use Drive to share downloadable links for media files, other times they would merely share empty links with [...]  read more

Elon Musk Predicts The Cause Of World War III (And It’s Not Donald Trump)

Elon Musk has a prediction about the cause of World War III, and it’s not President Donald Trump and may not even involve humans at all.   The head of Tesla and SpaceX on Monday shared a link on Twitter to a report about Russian President Vladimir Putin discussing artificial intelligence: “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind,” Putin was quoted as saying. “It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” Musk added: By comparison, Musk said, the saber-rattling from North Korea wasn’t much to worry about.  One Twitter follower suggested that private companies, rather than governments, were far better at artificial intelligence.  Musk replied: He also apologized for the glum tweets, saying he was depressing himself, and promised: “Fun, exciting tweets coming soon!” Musk has frequently warned about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence. In July, he called it “the greatest risk we face as a civilization.” “I have access to the very most cutting edge AI, and I think people should be really concerned about it,” he said.  Last month, Musk joined more than 100 leaders in the field to call on governments to ban autonomous weapons. In an open letter, the group wrote: 

“Lethal autonomous weapons threaten [...]  read more

Who Likes Europe? Czechs Don’t—and That’s a Big Issue in October Elections

Former Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis on May 31.

Since joining the European Union 13 years ago, the Czech Republic has become the richest country in the formerly communist east, with a higher living standard than older members Portugal and Greece and the lowest unemployment in the 28-member bloc. Families travel freely, students study abroad, and businesses thrive by exporting to other EU countries. And yet Czechs are less excited than any other European nation about being part of the club: Only a third say that being an EU member is “a good thing”—lower than the crisis-stricken Greeks and the Brexiting Brits—and just a quarter or so want to adopt the euro, according to recent Eurobarometer surveys. “The EU doesn’t bring me anything,” says Pavel Ricka, a 38-year-old lawyer from Prague. “It’s headed by politicians with very socialist thinking. They want to regulate everything.”

That euroskepticism will shape general elections in October and threatens to nudge the Czech Republic toward the kind of isolationism sweeping neighbors Poland and Hungary. Opinion polls give a wide lead to Andrej Babis, a Slovak-born billionaire who crashed the Czech political scene in 2011 and has gained popularity by painting traditional parties as corrupt and incompetent. Like Donald Trump in the U.S., Babis has argued that his business acumen qualifies him to run the country, and he portrays himself as a doer: During his three years as finance minister, he rammed through a bill forcing businesses to link cash registers to the tax office via the internet, significantly improving tax compliance.

Babis remains popular despite the potential for conflicts of interest with a business empire that includes farms, chemical plants, two leading Czech newspapers, and a restaurant in the French city of Mougins that boasts two Michelin stars. [...]  read more

Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies may be seeing the beginning of the end

So you’ve made a ton of money from bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies. Sure, they’ve defied the doomsayers time and again. Which likely makes this week’s shocking plunge in bitcoin and Ether just another buying opportunity. That’s where you may be wrong.

The sudden Chinese crackdown on bitcoin BTCUSD, +5.01% that caused the plunge is either the end of the beginning for the crypto-party — or, more likely, the beginning of the end. If you’re holding cryptocurrencies today, remember that no matter how much money you think you’ve made, you haven’t made a nickel until you’ve cashed it out.

And you might want to think twice, or even thrice, about the rising risks.

China took steps on Monday to stop “initial coin offerings” or ICOs. These are the crypto-bubble equivalent of the infamous IPOs during the late 1990s dot-com mania.

Additionally, Hong Kong’s regulator warned that cryptocurrencies may be securities for legal purposes and that these ICOs may be  [...]  read more