To the many other divides that cleave our nation these days, we can add another: the one between job-first movers and location-first movers.Just being a mover is already something of a distinction, with moves across county and state lines down a lot in the U.S. since the early 1980s (although the rate has stabilized over the past decade). 1 Among the bold souls moving to new metropolitan areas, the online rental marketplace Apartment List this week identified two distinct types: Job-first movers refer to renters who applied for jobs in multiple cities, then picked a city based on job offers. Location-first movers refer to renters who chose a city to live in before applying for jobs in that city. The company surveyed about 10,000 “non-student renters who are currently living in a metro other than where they grew up,” 2 and found that just over half were location-first movers. Of these location-firsters, 46.3 percent had bachelor’s degrees or … [Read more...] about Moving to a Place Instead of a Job
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In the race to start the world’s first driving business without human drivers, everyone is chasing Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo. The Google sibling has cleared the way to beat its nearest rivals, General Motors Co. and a couple of other players, by at least a year to introduce driverless cars to the public. A deal reached in January to buy thousands of additional Chrysler Pacifica minivans, which get kitted out with sensors that can see hundreds of yards in any direction, puts Waymo’s lead into stark relief. No other company is offering for-hire rides yet, let alone preparing to carry passengers in more than one city this year. GM plans to start a ride-hailing service with its Chevrolet Bolt—the one with no steering wheel or pedals, the ultimate goal in autonomous technology—late next year. Most of the others trying solve the last remaining self-driving puzzles are more cautious, targeting 2020 or later.The road to autonomy is long and … [Read more...] about Who’s Winning the Self-Driving Car Race?
Winston Churchill once said: ‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.’ That might well be the epitaph for our information age, in which facts seem to be made as much by the repetition of statements as by the complex process required to unwind and verify the content of what we hear. Alan Turing, father of machine learning, might have said as much, arguing in 1936 that we would reach machine completeness when a system of instructions given to a machine resulted in it creating an autonomous duplicate — its own verification. According to Turing, a computer could be said to ‘think’ if a human could not distinguish its processing of data from a potential human response. To do that, it would need an algorithm for learning to sort random data and its impact on the machine, much as James Maxwell’s imagined ‘demon’ of 1872 could, by rapidly sorting hot (fast) and cold (slow) molecules, decrease entropy. If a machine can account for the … [Read more...] about How to escape feedback
Raj Kapoor thinks autonomous vehicles will save the Earth. With some caveats. “The big idea is actually making sure that we have all four together: autonomous, electric, shared rides with shared ownership,” explains the chief strategy officer at Lyft Inc. “Climate change is probably one of the world’s biggest challenges,” because one person acting alone can’t really make a difference. “Policy alone can’t change it. Technology alone can’t change it. So I felt like I had to do something.”Last year, Lyft set an aggressive goal to provide at least 1 billion rides per year by 2025 in self-driving electric vehicles. Consumer-owned cars, Kapoor says, spend most of their time parked, whereas a shared vehicle could almost always be in use. Electric engines have 20 moving parts, vs. many hundreds in gas-powered ones, so they require less maintenance. Thanks to the diminished cost of upkeep, cheaper fuel, and lack of operators, … [Read more...] about Lyft’s Strategist Wants Self-Driving Electric Cars to Save the World
The pitch was simple: Forget accredited graduate schools and think big at Singularity University. Google co-founder Larry Page and futurist Ray Kurzweil could be among your lecturers in the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity, named for the notion that humans will someday merge with machines. You’d work in a kind of combination think tank and startup incubator, trying to address challenges as grand as renewable energy and space travel. Kurzweil announced the program during a TED Talk in 2009, adding that the Singularity team had leased its campus from NASA, just east of the agency’s historic Hangar One in Mountain View, Calif. The team received 1,200 applications for its first class of 40 later that year.Reality hasn’t matched the hype. Previously unreported police files, other documents, and interviews with current and former students and staff paint the picture that almost from the beginning, some Singularity staffers weren’t able to curb their worst … [Read more...] about Silicon Valley’s Singularity University Is Close to Flunking Out