MED 123118


late city final – happy new year! 

Does AI make strong tech companies stronger?  [Benedict Evans] Hence the question: if ML lets you do new and important things and ML is better the more data you have, then how far does that mean that companies that are already big and have lots of data get stronger? How far are there winner-takes-all effects? It is easy to imagine virtuous circles strengthening a winner: ‘more data = more accurate model = better product = more users = more data’. From here it’s an easy step to statements like ‘Google / Facebook / Amazon have all the data‘ or indeed ‘China has all the data’ – the fear that the strongest tech companies will get stronger, as will countries with large populations and ‘permissive’ attitudes to centralised use of data. 

in related ‘permissive attitudes’ to biometric data are leading to highly emotional conversations of the most sensitive nature…+1 to the biometric overlords for using words like empathy in the story. 

Surprise DNA Results Are Turning Customer-Service Reps Into Therapists [bloomberg]  St Clair went on to start a Facebook group for people like her called DNA NPE Friends. NPE is short for “not parent expected.” It now has more than 4,000 members and is one of several such groups. Recently, St Clair began the process to register it as a nonprofit, advocating for emotional support for the thousands of people who take DNA tests and find out their family isn’t exactly the family they expected. (tl/dr the company knows whose your daddy but you didn’t-ED)

Pushed Even Further: US Newsrooms View Mobile Alerts as a Standalone Platform [cjr] One person from the Chicago Tribune whom we interviewed for this follow-up study emphasized that her outlet’s “approach to push alerts has changed drastically.” Another from The New York Times said it was  “a big moment for us as a newsroom to say: push is its own platform. It deserves to have all of the intention and critical thinking that the
front page does, that the home page does.”

Brave new world of impossible buildings  [ft] There is something very queasy about Enrich’s images, a destabilising of the familiar which makes us feel almost unbalanced. Enrich goes much further than the others. His blocks concertina and bend, they fly, they warp and they tilt. Towers look as if they’ve been unzipped.