Dawn of The Systems Age [Updated]

On Collective Imagination, Joe Salvo declares the Information AgeĀ is done for, writing: “a period of history can be characterized by the dominant technology that separates the leaders from the followers.” He believes humanity has approached a tipping point where the separation between leaders and followers will cease to exist, as the internet democratizes the planet and good information becomes ubiquitous. So what’s up next? Salvo calls it a “Systems Age,” which involves “sensing, collecting, and manipulating data in near real-time with little to no human supervision.” Sounds like a lot of fun! For an artificial intelligence.

On Applied Statistics, Aleks Jakulin considers the importance of privacy but also the potential windfalls of sharing medical data, saying it would “allow massive advances in medicine.” And on A Blog Around The Clock, Coturnix (aka Bora Zivkovic) explores the ways our nascent age of interconnectedness affects book publishing, as the internet offers writers more ways to start writing, get noticed, self-publish and embrace new forms.

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The Cutting Edge

i-a3701ed49e0049ca10d4e0d331e81180-compbuzz.jpgFaster computers come out all the time, but it’s what we do with a CPU that determines its true usefulness. On Good Math, Bad Math, Mark Chu-Carroll introduces us to Google’s new programming language, Go. Noting the minimalist design of the language, Chu-Carroll writes “if you want a C-like language with some basic object-oriented features and garbage collection, Go is about as simple as you could realistically hope to get.” On the hardware side of things, Jonah Lehrer reports on The Frontal Cortex that IBM researchers have simulated the synaptic equivalent of a cat’s brain, using 147,456 processors and 144 terabytes of memory. But does it want to lick itself? On Collective Imagination, Greg Laden waxes philosophical about artificial and natural intelligence; Google advises him that intelligence is “Bliss,” “A Curse,” “Sexy,” and/or “possible after all.” Also on Collective Imagination, Peter Tu talks about computer vision and facial recognition algorithms, and the uncanny feeling we get when our working models of the world break down.

Links below the fold.
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