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Tagged with “book:author=tim o'reilly” (4)

  1. Soonish — 2.02 Mapping the Future with Tim O’Reilly

    When Tim O’Reilly talks, Silicon Valley listens. In this special episode, O’Reilly tells us about his new book "WTF," which argues that the technology industry has become tone-deaf—and that the only way to avoid mass technological unemployment and achieve shared prosperity is to rethink the algorithms that govern our whole economy.

    For a sane, humane, and skeptical perspective on what’s happening to Silicon Valley and why our high-tech economy seems to be failing us, there’s no better source than Tim O’Reilly, the master trend spotter and founder of computer book publisher and events company O’Reilly Media.

    whatsthefuture-cover.png This week the podcast features an in-depth conversation with the admired entrepreneur, investor, and author, whose new book WTF: What’s The Future and Why It’s Up to Us was published by HarperCollins on October 10.

    In the interview—and in the book—O’Reilly shares the mental maps he uses to make sense of emerging technologies and their impact. And he argues that if we want to avoid the worst side effects of AI and automation and learn the lessons of networked platforms like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft, we’ll have to "discover what rules produce a better game" across government, business, and the financial system.

    O’Reilly came to prominence in the 1990s as the publisher of the animal books, a famous series of technical and programming manuals, and as one of the first advocates and defenders of the open source software movement. In the 2000s he helped to define the boom in Web-based services that came to be called Web 2.0. Later, he cofounded O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm that was one of the first to invest in startups like Chartbeat and Foursquare. In short, O’Reilly seems to possess a wide-angle lens on the technology industry that helps him see these big trends before they’re visible to everyone else.

    One of the messages of the book is that "bad maps shape our view of the future," as O’Reilly puts it in the interview. Building off a reference to a 1650 map that mistakenly showed California as an island, O’Reilly argues that Microsoft’s outdated maps of the computer industry led it to stumble in the 1990s as the share-and-share-alike values of the open source software movement enabled the rise of new platforms like Amazon and Google.

    But no one has a perfect view of the future, and even the makers of today’s defining platforms—Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and the like—have only recently begun to understand the nature of the platforms they’ve built, O’Reilly argues. He describes them as matching marketplaces that will only thrive when they’re designed to serve all sides—both passengers and drivers, both renters and hosts.

    “That marketplace model is central to the business model of these companies—more central even in some ways than the app,” O’Reilly says. “The wonderful user experience, the automated payment, all these things, you see how they come together. And the point is that technology periodically makes new things possible, and it takes us a while to figure out how to put all the pieces together.”

    Perhaps the most important theme running through the book is that lessons from today’s networked technology platforms can be applied back to the larger economy.

    “We tell the algorithms what to do, and we don’t quite understand what we’re telling them,” O’Reilly explains in the interview. “Facebook says, ‘We had this great idea, we’ll create this reinforcement loop in the news feed,’ and their theory was that that would make for this rich social experience where people would be more connected to their friends. But what they didn’t realize was that it would amplify hyper-partisanship and that bad actors who would come in and try to influence people. And I try to draw, again, parallels to the broader economy, because we also have in our economy a set of algorithmic instructions to companies that are enforced by financial markets. In the same way that Facebook tries to tell their programs ‘Show people more of what they like,’ we tell companies ‘Make money.’ We tell companies, Optimize for shareholder value. Treat people as a cost to be eliminated.’ So again I’m trying to make the argument from technology. What we learn is: it’s time to adjust the algorithms.”

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  2. Design for how the world should work

    As the Internet is increasingly embedded into our physical world, it’s important to start designing for physical and intentional interactions with interfaces to supplement the passive, data-gathering interactions — designing smart devices that service us in the background, but upon which we also can exert our will.

    In this episode, Josh Clark (in an interview) and Tim O’Reilly (in a keynote) both address the importance of designing for contextual awareness and physical interaction. Clark stresses that we’re not facing a challenge of technology, but a challenge of imagination. O’Reilly argues that we’re not paying enough attention to the aspects of people and time in designing the Internet of Things, and that the entire system in which we operate is the user interface — as we design this new world, we must think about user needs first.

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  3. Tim O’Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind - The Long Now

    As a student of the classics at Harvard in the 1970s, O’Reilly was impressed by a book titled The Discovery of the Mind: In Greek Philosophy and Literature, by Bruno Snell. In the four centuries between Homer and classical Athens, wrote Snell, the Greeks invented the modern human mind, with its sense of free will and agency. (In Homer, for example, no one makes a decision.) O’Reilly sees a parallel with the emerging of a global mind in this century.

    Global consciousness was a recurrent idea in the 1970s—-from Teilhard de Chardin’s noosphere and Omega point (“the Singularity of its day”) to “New Age mumbo-jumbo” such as the Harmonic Convergence. O’Reilly noted that the term “singularity” for technology acceleration was first used in 1958 by John von Neumann. In 1960 J.C.R. Licklider wrote an influential paper titled “Human-computer Symbiosis.” O’Reilly predicted that “exploring the possibility space of human-computer symbiosis is one of the fascinating frontiers of the next decades and possibly century.”

    Echoing Dale Dougherty, he says the Web has become the leading platform for harnessing collective intelligence. Wikipedia is a virtual city. Connected smart phones have become our “outboard brain.” Through device automation, Apple has imbued retail clerks with superpowers in its stores. Watson, the AI that beat human champions at “Jeopardy,” is now being deployed to advise doctors in real time, having read ALL the scientific papers. YouTube has mastered the attention economy. Humanity has a shared memory in the cloud. Data scientists rule.

    The global mind is not an artificial intelligence. It’s us, connected and augmented.

    What keeps driving it is the generosity and joy we take in creating and sharing. The global mind is built on the gift culture of every medium of connectedness since the invention of language. You gain status by what you give away, by the value you create, not the value you take.

    — by Stewart Brand

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  4. A Conversation with Ray Kurzweil and Tim O’Reilly

    Ray Kurzweil has spent most of his life imagining what the future might be like, and then inventing it. In this keynote from 2010, Kurzweil shares his vision of the future with Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. The interview begins with a discussion about the Blio, the future of digital publishing, and finally the Singularity. This interview precedes the September 2010 release of the Blio, a TTS-enabled, full-color, web-enabled eReader.

    As you listen to every word of this interview, you will become amazed at how dynamic and competitive the technology market has become. In this keynote from 2010, Kurzweil shares his vision of that market with Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media. Kurzweil begins by sharing his take on the future of publishing, starting with the Blio eReader that Kurzweil helped develop.

    Kurzweil has long been a pioneer and champion of enabling technologies for the blind and sight-impaired, having created the first "Reading Machine." These technologies paired optical scanning and the text-to-speech synthesizer to open up entire new perspectives. Kurzweil believes that the Blio continues that trend by incorporating TTS technology along with a broad approach to accessibility.

    O’Reilly and Kurzweil discuss the possibilities and dangers inherent in various digital publishing pay structures, and the handling of DRM at various strengths. Kurzweil suggests per-page and per-minute pay structures. The eReader may change the form factor of texts, as the use of YouTube has reduced the typical video length to less than five minutes. A plethora of free material puts demands on the means of sorting out what is most interesting to read to any one reader.

    Kurzweil takes us on a wild ride through the development of technology in general, on the steep sloping rollercoaster of Moore’s Law, where exponentially-increasing technological advances are met with exponentially falling market prices. Finally, Kurzweil talks about the Singularity and the pace of technology, in the context of the status of the book as a repository of human knowledge.

    Ray Kurzweil, currently CEO of K-NFB Reading Technology (creator of the Blio e-reader), and Kurzweil Technologies, Inc., invented the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller.

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