AI and democracy have more in common than you realize. Why is that, how the vibe is in SF, and why dataism is not a religion, is what I write about.
Newsletter #3 | June 9th, 2021
AI and Democracy
A Tense Relationship
Even with simple algorithms, such as those on which Facebook and Twitter are based, it is possible to cause a great deal of chaos. We have seen this in recent years, when the radicalization of groups through filter bubbles became more and more pronounced and led to the polarization of entire countries. Add to this a powerful artificial intelligence that disadvantages some groups of the population through data bias, and you have a burning problem. Such AI can damage the foundations of democracies, and we will then only march to the beat that the AI sets for us.
But then, AI also helps us to better understand how democracies work. Not because AI explains democracy to us dimwits, but because AI and democracy have a similar structure and mode of operation. Neural networks, their connections to each other, and the processing of information in the individual nodes are similar to those of democratic institutions, voters, networks and their information flow and processing. Various methods of machine learning can show analogies to democratic processes and help us to understand them better, to improve them and to make life fairer for the people of a country.
The peanut butter jelly sandwich instructions for an AI
The ‘Frictionless Design’ Paradigm Using the Example of Charging Stations
Risky or brilliant?
Tesla Vision without Radar
The Art of the Big Bet
Is ‘Dataism’ as Alleged Pseudo-Religion Enemy of ‘Real’ Religions?
A Top Government Official and his Apology that is not an Apology at all – An Analysis
Pre-Order: Sorry Not Sorry
On August 12, 2021, my book (in German) will be available:
Sorry Not Sorry
The Art of the Non-Apology
48 tricks for ministers, managers and morons who screwed up and now don't understand the fuss.
The book keeps what it promises with many practical examples and can already be pre-ordered from the publisher. You can pre-order it here.
Pre-Order: Future Angst
Then, just a week after that, on August 19, 2021, my other previously announced book (in German), will be available:
How we went from innovation pioneers to innovation laggards and how we overcome German Angst
In the book, I address the past, present and future of technologies in the German-speaking world, as well as the fears and hopes then and now. And above all, how it came about that today we seem to have become so skeptical of technology and overcautious to the point of paralysis. You can pre-order it here.
Postcards from San Francisco
Last week I was back in San Francisco for meetings for the first time since the March 2020 pandemic outbreak. While I live just 60 kilometers south in San Jose, nothing had been going on during the lockdowns and thus I had not much reason to drive to the city. Even now, with restaurants and stores opening rapidly thanks to the vaccination campaign, the city is eerily empty. A perceived half of all stores and restaurants are closed, many of them forever. The streets are empty, finding parking was no problem, and it feels surreal. Yet the people I talked to all assured me that the city had been even emptier two weeks before and that SF is already 'booting up' again.
Frog green Mercedes with license plate "FRISCOH"
The Financial District around Market Street and Chinatown suffered particularly. No business people, no tourists, no life. Many apartments also seem to be empty, with the result that rents have fallen by 25 percent. Not that rents have now become more affordable, but there was no such slump around 2000, when the Internet bubble burst, nor in 2008 with the financial crisis.
But instead, there was very different news from San Francisco: if just a few weeks ago the city had a projected budget deficit for the next two years of US$650 million, that deficit has now been erased. The Biden administration is covering that deficit with the stimulus package to help replace San Francisco's loss of tax revenue from the pandemic. And money is what the city needs, because with the pandemic has come increased spending on the homeless and other social projects.
How is it with you and your area? Send me an email and let me know how the pandemic has changed your region.