How to Succeed in the Age of AI, the Invisible Math that Controls the World, 5 Things to Do, & More
FUTURE OF THE WORLD - Edition 37
Join thousands of the smartest people, keep up with exponential technologies, and get ahead of the future.
What we’re seeing with generative AI is just the beginning.
2020 to 2040 will bring the most rapid and dramatic changes in human history.
The convergence of artificial intelligence, the new internet (web3), and the metaverse, will transform every aspect of our lives.
Information and data will be processed at the speed of thought. Longstanding political, social, and economic institutions will become obsolete. Powerful new ways for human connection and interaction will emerge.
Let’s be ready!
In today’s newsletter:
Premium segment: How to succeed in the age of AI.
The AI Canon is here.
Even the smartest people can be scammed by AI.
Why some top VCs are doubling down on web3.
The invisible math that controls the world.
This Week in AI:
a16z drops the AI Canon.
Like their Crypto, NFT, & DAO canons, this is sure to become the go-to AI resource for founders, researchers, and anyone trying to understand this fast-moving space.
It includes the papers, blog posts, courses, and guides that have had an outsized impact on the field over the past several years.
We start with a gentle introduction to transformer and latent diffusion models, which are fueling the current AI wave. Next, we go deep on technical learning resources; practical guides to building with large language models (LLMs); and analysis of the AI market. Finally, we include a reference list of landmark research results, starting with “Attention is All You Need” — the 2017 paper by Google that introduced the world to transformer models and ushered in the age of generative AI. LINK
Microsoft’s AI reaches Indian villages.
AI has its faults, but it can help solve intractable problems, particularly for underserved communities.
The technology that underpins this generative AI is breaking barriers, reaching remote hamlets hundreds of miles away from the tech hubbubs of Seattle and San Francisco.
Jugalbandi, a chatbot built in collaboration by Microsoft, the open-source initiative OpenNyAI and AI4Bharat, backed by the Indian government, is showing signs of progress in redefining information access for villagers in India, offering insights into more than 170 government programs in 10 indigenous languages. LINK
A generative AI copilot for lawyers.
Spellbook Legal claims their new Assistive AI can draft contracts three times faster.
Spellbook uses GPT-4 and other large language models to review and suggest terms for your contracts, right in Microsoft Word.
We're a muse that can provide suggestions to lawyers as they work in Word. We can complete their writing as they type, like GitHub Copilot does for programmers. We can provide insights and suggestions before a lawyer needs them. LINK
Google’s ‘Project Tailwind’ is an AI notebook that helps with study and more.
An AI notebook to access your content is a must-have, just remember it means you’re handing over even more of your content to Google.
Google’s building an AI-powered notebook tool called Project Tailwind, the company revealed at its I/O developer conference. The goal, Google says, is to take a user’s freeform notes and automatically organize and summarize them.
To use Tailwind — which is available through Labs, Google’s refreshed hub for experimental products — users pick files from Google Drive. Tailwind then creates a private AI model with expertise in that information, along with a personalized interface designed to help sift through the notes and docs. LINK
Autonomous public transportation rolls out in Arizona.
Self-driving public transportation is here. Sun City, Arizona is delivering on-demand rides inside the sprawling senior community.
A joint effort by autonomous transportation companies May Mobility and Via (along with AARP sponsorship, per Axios), the Valley wAVe service is currently two self-driving Toyota Sienna vans. Rides are free for residents, and they can be hailed via an app or scheduled with a call between 7 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. LINK
Hackers can turn Bing's AI chatbot into a convincing scammer.
A text prompt hidden in an open browser tab can cause the chatbot to take on whatever persona the attacker desires.
In a new study, researchers determined that AI chatbots are currently easily influenced by text prompts embedded in web pages. A hacker can thus plant a prompt on a web page in 0-point font, and when someone is asking the chatbot a question that causes it to ingest that page, it will unknowingly activate that prompt. The researchers call this attack "indirect prompt injection," and give the example of compromising the Wikipedia page for Albert Einstein. When a user asks the chatbot about Albert Einstein, it could ingest that page and then fall prey to the hackers' prompt, bending it to their whims—for example, to convince the user to hand over personal information. LINK
This Week in Web3:
Top VC firm doubles down on web3.
Union Square Ventures, an early investor in Coinbase, wants to in fact "double down" on web3 investing rather than retreat in the face of increasing regulatory pressure.
"When they want to shut it down, I say double down," Fred Wilson, partner at USV, told the fund's limited partners earlier this week on a quarterly call. "The most powerful technologies send waves of fear through the establishment. When you see that fear in their eyes, invest in the cause of that fear." LINK
Apple allows Axie Infinity crypto game on the App Store.
This is a major step in the right direction for Axie after struggling in 2022.
Sky Mavis, creator of Axie Infinity, the play-to-earn crypto game made famous during the pandemic, announced that the newest incarnation of its blockchain-enabled Axie Infinity video game, which allows gamers to battle one another while collecting and trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or earning rewards, will be available for download on Apple’s App Store. LINK
Apple switches its stance on web3 integrations.
The tech giant is cooling to the idea of allowing blockchain-based apps on its coveted App Store.
The integration will allow users to connect their credit card to Apple Pay and purchase non-fungible token sneakers necessary for gameplay. With Apple Pay as a fiat payment method, users will no longer have to connect a crypto wallet to purchase in-game assets – a step that can hinder new players from joining its ecosystem. LINK
Ralph Lauren goes crypto, airdrops NFT invites to Miami party.
American apparel retailer Ralph Lauren is accepting crypto for the first time at its new store in Miami’s Design District.
The luxury brand is also offering a crypto-native experience — gifting NFTs via a multi-tiered partnership with online leisure community Poolsuite, which it described as “deeply rooted in the Miami lifestyle.” LINK
Pudgy Penguins uses NFT-inspired toys to expand its brand.
2023 has been a tough year for NFTs, but some collections are not fazed.
Pudgy Penguins is releasing a line of toys dubbed Pudgy Toys.
The penguin plushies are being made in collaboration with PMI, which also produces toys for Fortnite and Among Us.
CEO Luca Netz sees physical toys as a “Trojan horse” for the web3 ecosystem and NFTs. “Unfortunately, NFT revenue is not sustainable and it’s not really growable,” Netz acknowledged, adding that the toys are meant to make the company more sustainable. “Secondly, we wanted to create an IP that transcends this ecosystem, and the way I know how to do that is through physical products.” LINK
Solana integrates ChatGPT plugin.
It’s inevitable that every company will soon be at the intersection of AI. Solana is making a necessary move.
Solana co-founder and Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko said that AI would make the Solana blockchain more usable and understandable.
"Every developer building consumer-oriented apps should be thinking about how their app is going to be interacted with through an AI model because this is a new paradigm for telling computers what to do," Yakovenko said. LINK
AI may be a catalyst for crypto in this cycle.
The convergence of web3 and AI is where we will soon see an explosion of activity.
Web3 and AI are culturally and technologically compatible with each other. In contrast to Web2 which tends to be averse to bots, Web3 allows AI to flourish thanks to its permissionlessly programmable nature. More broadly, if you view blockchain as a network, then you can expect AI to dominate the edges of the network. This applies to all sorts of consumer applications from social media to gaming. LINK
5 Things to Do:
The French taco is a flour tortilla filled with meat, sauce, and French fries, folded together, and grilled to build a panini-burrito-kebab mélange. You can add plenty of other ingredients inside too - from cheese to turkey bacon.
The future of food is a global fusion.
LISTEN: Meditative Story
Meditative Story combines extraordinary human stories with meditation prompts embedded into the storylines — all surrounded by breathtaking music. Think of it as an alternative way into a mindfulness practice, through vivid stories and cinematic music and production values.
Einstein and Mozart were massively productive because they understood the value of easing back and chilling out. Modern theories of learning say that success is impossible without some degree of failure.
Aim for the Goldilocks zone when setting a failure rate: roughly 16 percent.
Our world is filled with an abundance of data. Albert-László Barabási, a network scientist, has challenged the notion of random connections. Studying the internet, he found that the intricate web of connections did not follow random patterns but instead followed a power load distribution. New connections in our networks tend to form with already well-connected elements.
POLL: Are you a specialist or a generalist?
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How to succeed in the age of AI:
Become more of a generalist.
The world is changing rapidly. We are now entering the age of AI, where information and knowledge will travel at the speed of thought. Many knowledge workers will find their roles being automated away.
We don’t know what work will look like next year, far less, five or ten years.