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Screenshot from Prometheus

About six months ago, I wrote about a Grey Goo Scenario where all energy would be consumed for crypto mining. Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that blackouts in Iran might have been caused by crypto mining.

With Bitcoin and other crypto hitting all time highs, mining might start to make sense. It makes even more sense when the power for it is paid for by someone else. Or if you can harvest back some of the energy used for mining to offset the energy costs.

Do we need to start regulating power consumption for computing? Is there even a way to do this? Is there an opportunity for a non-mined coin or one that uses green means of solving hashing problems? …

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Photo by Yukterez (Simon Tyran, Vienna). Source material for the Milky way background (also available on Commons): ESO/S.Brunier. Code for the relativistic raytracer and other angles:, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

For quick answers by voice, my goto is Google Assistant.

It’s ability to find the answer to a question and summarize it to a soundbite of less than 10 seconds is impressive. The shear amount of effort required to understand the question, find the source, and then create a summary is stupefying.

Sure, Siri and Alexa are able to find information and answer most basic questions, but it’s Google that triumphs in a contest of both the breadth and depth of information it can pull up.

I’m wondering if in heading towards the Singularity, it might be some tech companies that start to pull ahead of others at a faster rate, especially when it comes to implementation of AI. In a real singularity (a black hole), particles located slightly closer to the centre will start to accelerate faster. Soon, the only thing left of any matter that gets sucked in is a think thread of plasma. …

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AI will have a larger impact in our lives over the next few years in a few areas:

  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment

We’re still not prepared for the impact that autonomous vehicles are going to have on the economy. On the one hand, they are going to reduce insurance costs, travel times, and the cost of transportation. On the other, there is going to be a big shift in the labour market.

In healthcare, everything from drug discovery and vaccines, to monitoring of new pandemics, is going to be much smoother. The way the advance will likely manifest is that in two years, we’ll see a breakthrough treatment for cancer. Then another. Then another. Then some treatment breakthrough for diabetes, then some other debilitating disease will have a new treatment. …

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I’m sure the “if you use this, you agree to x” has been thoroughly tested and verified through different legal systems. It’s proliferated through many a site. Sure, it might work legally, but is it fair?

It seems like we still don’t treat people like people on the Internet. We’re not all trolls.

What if there was escalating rules based on behaviour rather than just a blanket statement?

And with these elevations, you need to present transparently why you’re providing this message… like a human.

“Hey, this is kind of awkward but we couldn’t help but notice that you’re posting like 20 times an hour. We think that the site works best when people focus on a few really thoughtful posts a day.” …

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Screenshot from The Simpsons

App Stores have been revolutionary in many respects. First, from making it so much easier to find apps to ensuring that the apps that are downloaded have passed some form of quality assurance and certification. It also made billing much easier, much to the chagrin of developers having their margins eaten.

However, when they don’t work (and they can stop working from many directions), it can be a horrible experience. Some ways they stop working:

  • Updates mechanism breaking
  • Limiting apps by location (and then limiting to those who have set the location rather than where they’re actually located)
  • Payment engines…

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Photo by By Douglas O&#039;Brien from Canada — IMGP2543, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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GPT3 Generated images from OpenAI

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Photo by CC BY-SA 3.0,

That’s what the Google Home responds when you’ve made a mistake.

In the heat of cooking, you had asked to set a timer for 5 minutes. Now, a long time has passed and somethings is burning, so you ask the device to tell you how much time is remaining and it coughs up this answer.

You never set a timer.

This happens more often with the Google Home for a few reasons:

  • There’s only a faint visual acknowledgement of a trigger
  • There is no visual indication of a timer
  • The form factor makes it less likely to pick up voice at a distance (purely speculative… not tested… based on personal…


Leor Grebler

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at

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