Science and Technology links (December 14th 2019)

  1. The computation capacity needed by artificial intelligence doubles every 3.4 months. In parallel, we are making fast progress in hardware and software: what took three hours a year and half ago can now take less than two minutes.
  2. In Luxembourg, a small European country, all public transportation is free. Luxembourg has also a gay prime minister who is married.
  3. Men and women have very different personalities. Knowing only the personality traits of someone, you can tell whether they are a man or a woman with 85% accuracy.
  4. We are deploying drones equipped with machine guns.
  5. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease and there is currently no proven way to even slow down the disease. We might be very close to approving the first drug which might favorably alter the progression of the disease.
  6. We are approving new medical therapies at record rates.
  7. Many worry that computers and artificial intelligence will destroy so many jobs so quickly that human workers will never recover. Scholl and Hanson find no evidence for the emergence of such a trend.
  8. Crows can use tools and solve multi-step puzzles.
  9. As we age, we accumulate defective non-dividing cells called senescent cells. The older we get the more quickly we accumulate them. The progression is exponential.

Credit: Thanks to Peter Turney for sending me a link to the 2019 AI Index report.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

3 thoughts on “Science and Technology links (December 14th 2019)”

  1. Sorry to be a wet blanket about 5) Alzheimer’s drug, but this is a monoclonal antibody that is supposed to clear up the amyloid – the same approach that has failed dozens of times. If your drug only ‘works’ in the highest dose (no dose-response effect), and then it only slows down the disease somewhat, you are not treating the disease, you are treating the symptoms.

    There is a promising approach that is completely novel, from Leucadia Therapeutics (I’m not associated with them in any way): .

  2. I subscribed for the in depth benchmarking and performance posts, but stayed for those link collections.

    So I just wanted to say I appreciate your blog and the wonderful mix of topics 👏

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To create code blocks or other preformatted text, indent by four spaces:

    This will be displayed in a monospaced font. The first four 
    spaces will be stripped off, but all other whitespace
    will be preserved.
    Markdown is turned off in code blocks:
     [This is not a link](

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:

Here is some inline `code`.

For more help see

You may subscribe to this blog by email.