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Apple Just Did Something Remarkable And It’s Very Good News For Its Customers

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No one likes to admit when they’re wrong. That’s true for you and me, and it’s especially true for big companies like Apple. The thing is, when you’re willing to admit when you made a mistake, it goes a long way towards building trust. And trust is, by far, your brand’s most valuable asset.

Today, Apple apologized for how it had handled recorded snippets of users’ voice interactions with Siri, the company’s digital assistant. In a statement, the company said that  “we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize.”

You might remember that Apple, like pretty much every other tech company, recently admitted that it used contractors to listen to, and transcribe these recordings in an effort to improve the artificial intellience-powered service. Making matters worse is that fact that the company hadn’t disclosed this practice, and contractors often heard false-activations that revealed personal information and other private conversations.

Earlier this month, Apple paused its review program and ended its relationship with the contractors involved. Now, it appears to be taking the next step, which started with an apology.

That’s actually pretty remarkable. It’s not often that companies say, “I’m sorry. We messed up.” Sure, they sometimes say a lot of words that vaguely sound like “I’m sorry,” but rarely are they this direct. Apple basically called itself out, saying that it wasn’t living up to its own standards, and that it owed customers an apology for a problem it caused.

Along with the apology, maybe the even bigger news here is that Apple announced a series of steps it plans to take moving forward, including:

  • The company will no longer retain recorded Siri interactions, but will use computer-generated transcripts instead.
  • Apple will allow users to opt in to having their audio samples included in the company’s efforts to improve the product. Users will also be able to opt out at any time after that.
  • Apple will only allow its employees (not contractors) to listen to audio samples, and will delete any “inadvertent trigger,” of Siri.

This is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but mostly because Apple will now allow users to ‘opt in.’ This is exactly how it should work.

There are perfectly legitimate reasons why Apple would want to listen to recorded snippets of Siri interactions. That’s one of the only ways it can really know how accurate the AI is at understanding user requests and providing the right information for a human to review and correction. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t agree that that’s reasonable.

But Apple is changing the default assumption of an unspoken ‘opt in’ to one where people are given the choice to participate, instead of simply offering some opaque way of opting out. Companies offer opt out because they know most people won’t go through the trouble of changing whatever the default setting is, meaning people stay in whether they really want to or not.

Every tech company handling sensitive data should do exactly this. Don’t just let people opt out, or delete their history, or make a request to no longer be recorded. Make the default position the thing that’s best for the user, even if it makes your job a little harder.

Then, make your case for why your practice is worth it to the customer, and let them decide to participate or not.

By: Jason Aten

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/

At its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showed off iOS 13, which will be coming to iPhones this fall. Some of the new features include a dark mode, an overhaul for Maps, and the ability to swipe to type. Here are the best features Apple showed off. The event took place at the San Jose Convention Center, not Cupertino as mentioned in the video. Tech Insider regrets the error. MORE IPHONE CONTENT: 23 iPhone Tricks To Make Your Life Easier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U52mI… $479 Pixel 3a XL VS. $1,099 iPhone XS Max https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ddAY… Lifelong iPhone User Switches To The Galaxy S10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r3wb… —————————————————— #Apple #iPhone #TechInsider Tech Insider tells you all you need to know about tech: gadgets, how-to’s, gaming, science, digital culture, and more. Visit us at: https://www.businessinsider.com TI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/techinsider TI on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tech_insider/ TI on Twitter: https://twitter.com/techinsider TI on Amazon Prime: http://read.bi/PrimeVideo INSIDER on Snapchat: https://insder.co/2KJLtVo The Best Features Apple Just Announced Coming To The iPhone

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New Billionaire: Dean Stoecker’s 22-Year Journey & The Software That Makes Almost Anyone A Data Savant

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Sun Tzu meets software in mid-August at downtown Denver’s Crawford Hotel. The floors are terrazzo. The chandeliers are accented with gold. And Dean Stoecker, the CEO of data-science firm Alteryx, has summoned his executives for the annual strategy session he calls Bing Fa, after the Mandarin title of The Art of War. “Sun Tzu was all about how you conserve resources,” says Stoecker, 62. “How do you win a war without going into battle?”alteryx

Stoecker knows something about conserving resources. He cofounded Alteryx in 1997, when the data-science industry scarcely existed, and spent a decade growing the firm to a measly $10 million in annual revenue. “We had to wait for the market to catch up,” he says. As he waited, he kept the business lean, hiring slowly and forgoing outside investment until 2011. Then, as “big data” began eating the world, he raised $163 million before taking Alteryx public in 2017. The stock is up nearly 900% since, and Stoecker is worth an estimated $1.2 billion.

“People ask me, ‘Did you ever think it would get this big?’” he says. “And I say, ‘Yeah, I just never thought it would take this long.’ ”

Alteryx makes data science easy. Its simple, click-and-drop design lets anyone, from recent grads to emeritus chairmen, turn raw numbers into charts and graphics. It goes far beyond Excel. Plug in some numbers, select the desired operation—say data cleansing or linear regression—and presto.

There are applications in every industry. Coca-Cola uses Alteryx to help restaurants predict how much soda to order. Airlines use it to hedge the price of jet fuel. Banks use it to model derivatives. Data analysis “is the one skill that every human being has to have if they’re going to survive in this next generation,” says Stoecker. “More so than balancing a checkbook.”

Alteryx’s numbers support that forecast. The company, based in Irvine, California, generated $28 million in profit on $254 million in revenue in 2018, and Stoecker expects to hit $1 billion in annual sales by 2022.

Stoecker grew up the son of a tinkerer. His father built liquid nitrogen tanks for NASA before quitting his job to sell “pre-cut” vacation homes in Colorado. He made them himself. “It was literally just him nine months of the year, and he would cut wood for 50 buildings,” Stoecker recalls. As a teenager he joined his father, and by the time he arrived at the University of Colorado Boulder to study economics, he was able to pay his own way.

After graduating in 1979, Stoecker earned his M.B.A. from Pepperdine, then took a sales job in 1990 at Donnelley Marketing Information Services, a data company in Connecticut. There he met Libby Duane Adams, who worked in the firm’s Stamford office. Seven years later, the pair founded a data company of their own, which they cumbersomely named Spatial Re-Engineering Consultants. (A third cofounder, Ned Harding, joined around the same time; Stoecker, who came up with the idea, took the lion’s share of the equity.)

SRC’s first customer, a junk mail company in Orange County, paid $125,000 to better target its coupons. “We were building big-data analytic cloud solutions back in 1998,” says Stoecker, when many businesses were barely online and terms like “cloud computing” were years away.

SRC was profitable from the outset. “We didn’t spend ahead of revenue. We didn’t hire ahead of revenue,” says Adams, sitting in a remodeled 1962 Volkswagen bus at Alteryx headquarters, theoretically a symbol of the company’s journey. “We never calculated burn rates. That was a big topic in the whole dot-com era. We were not running the business like a dot-com.”

In 2006, as part of a pivot away from one-off consulting gigs, SRC released software to let customers do the number-crunching themselves. They named the software Alteryx, a nerdy joke for changing two variables simultaneously: “Alter Y, X.” Stoecker made Alteryx the company name, too, in 2010.

The market was still small. To grow revenue, “we just kept raising the price of our platform,” Stoecker says. In the beginning, Alteryx sold its subscription-based software for $7,500 per user; by 2013 it was charging $55,000. The next year, as Stoecker felt demand growing, he slashed prices to $4,000. Volume made up for the lower rate. Today Alteryx has 5,300 customers. “We immediately went from averaging eight, nine or ten [new clients] a quarter to north of 250,” he says.

Although data mining and data analytics is a long-established field, encompassing a slew of startups as well as giants like Oracle and IBM, “we see almost no direct competition,” Stoecker insists.

“It’s a pretty wide-open field,” says Marshall Senk, a senior research analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading. “The choice is you buy a suite from Alteryx or you go buy 15 different products and try to figure out how to get them to work together.”

Inside Alteryx’s offices, Stoecker pauses in front of a time line depicting his first 22 years in business. “The good stuff hasn’t even occurred yet,” he says. “I’m going to need a way bigger wall.”

 

I’ve been a reporter at Forbes since 2016. Before that, I spent a year on the road—driving for Uber in Cleveland, volcano climbing in Guatemala, cattle farming in Uruguay, and lots of stuff in between. I graduated from Tufts University with a dual degree in international relations and Arabic. Feel free to reach out at nkirsch@forbes.com with any story ideas or tips, or follow me on Twitter @Noah_Kirsch.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/

You’ve disrupted the status quo, dissolved data conventions and altered everything we knew about analytics. This year, we invited you to put your groundbreaking insights on the main stage at our annual user conference. Revisit the fun in Nashville as we celebrated the game changing stories that educated leaders and motivated a community of data experts to shatter more barriers than ever before. This year was all about You.Amplified.

Why TIME’s 2019 Tech Optimists Are Upbeat About the Future

As data breaches, misuse of personal information and the spread of disinformation erode the public’s trust in Silicon Valley, it can be all too easy to become cynical about technology’s impact on the world. But there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about tech’s role in society moving forward.

Below, TIME speaks to 10 innovators, founders, investors and even athletes who remain upbeat about technology’s influence despite the many challenges facing the industry today.

Moustapha Cisse

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Moustapha Cisse left Senegal a decade ago to study artificial intelligence, and now he believes the technology can change Africa for the better.

Cisse, 34, is leading Google’s AI research center in Accra, Ghana, the company’s first such venture in Africa. “I built my team here around people who are really committed to make a difference in people’s lives,” Cisse tells TIME. “[They] bring a fresh perspective in the field by looking at the problems that we have in Africa.”

Growing up, no one would have expected Cisse to be heading up a multi-billion dollar corporation’s research initiative. Cisse was the first member of his family to go to university, or receive formal schooling of any kind. Eventually, he traveled to France to get a master’s degree in AI and a Ph.D. in computer science, then went on to work for Facebook, developing machine learning algorithms meant to better account for society’s inherent biases.

“While I was doing all this research, I still had in the back of my mind that I wanted to come back to Africa to contribute,” Cisse says. He originally left for Europe because he couldn’t find a single program in Africa to study machine learning. But in 2018, he recruited a slate of top-tier researchers and started an AI master’s degree program at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Kigali, Rwanda with funding from Facebook and Google. His program began teaching its first 30 students in September; there are plans to expand to 100 students next year, with an additional location in Accra. For Cisse, his graduates represent the future of African computing, uniquely equipped to solve the toughest challenges facing the continent — as well as bring diversity to a field concentrated in Europe, North America and Asia.

Cisse’s lab in Ghana is already starting to use machine learning to address local issues. He wants to create AI programs to help farmers diagnose blights affecting their harvests, as well as translation software to better connect speakers of Africa’s 1,000 to 2,000 languages. More broadly, Cisse believes that Africa’s technological solutions should be developed within the continent itself. “I truly believe that the types of challenges and problems we decide to solve … are informed by the environment in which we are,” Cisse says. “Being here, we have the unique opportunity to look at the problems and design solutions that fit these problems, but also ultimately will impact the whole world.”

Andy Clark

Provided by Andy Clark

We’re all natural-born cyborgs — according to philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark, anyway. He thinks humans are hardwired to incorporate outside technologies (from paper and pencils to smartphones) into our methods of thinking and acting. And as our devices get faster and smarter, so do we, he says.

Clark, who teaches cognitive psychology at the University of Sussex, believes a good deal of human cognition takes place in feedback cycles between the brain and the outside world; he calls this model “the extended mind.” “If you’re looking for the circuitry that makes human thought and reason possible, then you’ll miss a lot of the quite interesting stuff if you just look inside the brain,” says Clark, 61.

For anyone who feels helpless without their smartphone, Clark’s ideas might seem more intuitive than when he and philosopher David Chalmers introduced them in 1998. His prescient thinking has not gone unnoticed in the cognitive science world — or by today’s technology titans. In addition to his teaching and research, Clark now works as a consultant for Google, advising it on relations between humans and their devices.

What keeps Clark up at night? If our smartphones and devices form integral parts of our “extended minds,” then we might face an even more unequal future, one in which the wealthy are able to continuously upgrade their cognitive abilities with better devices, leaving the rest of us behind. “There’s enough inequality in the world already without adding new and ever-more complex layers to it,” says Clark. “There is a real issue there about making sure that it’s not totally co-opted by late capitalism.”

Despite those issues, Clark remains a “techno-optimist,” as he puts it. As the devices we interact with get smarter, he sees us inhabiting an ecosystem of continuously interacting, nearly invisible non-biological artificial intelligences.

“I think we’ll soon enter an era of what I’d dub ‘universal deep recognition,” Clark adds over email. “We’ll become used to being able to discover information about what’s around us, and how it all works and inter-relates, on demand and without typing or attending to a screen. A sub-vocal query or a haptic shortcut (a subtle motion of the hand to the ear, say) would ask ‘what bird is making that birdsong we can hear?,’ with results delivered by a hearable. A point at a salient object — say, a mushroom — would identify the type, while an augmented reality overlay could show a guess at the underground architecture of the mycelium. Hearables will be widely used for providing translations of spoken languages, too — tech that already exists.”

Still, Clark doesn’t believe that ubiquitous interaction with these artificial intelligences will make us any less human. Rather, he argues that will become more intelligent, aware versions of ourselves. “You don’t have to worry about suddenly finding yourself in some post-human future,” he says. “That’s the thing that’s most human about us … self-reinvention.”

Anil Dash

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Technology’s transformative power is what Glitch CEO Anil Dash loves most. “That’s been the thing that captured my imagination from when I was a kid,” says Dash, 43, whose two decades of experience as “the tech guy in the room” for organizations like Project Include and the Obama Administration’s Office of Digital Strategy have cemented his reputation as one of the most vocal advocates for a more humane and ethical Internet.

“And then it happened,” he says, referring to what he characterizes as the rise of technology lacking an ethical compass, and the proliferation of toxicity facilitated by algorithms spreading misinformation, vitriol, and violence. The weird, creative communities that sparked Dash’s curiosity toward the web were shrinking, replaced with social networks where few seemed happy. Safe spaces for unorthodox self-expression and creation became but pockets of goodness in a larger, nastier social web more concerned with mob justice than friendly banter and learning. “It sucks to [create] in an environment where everything else is crumbling,” Dash says.

Dash is trying to preserve the web’s old-school community spirit through Glitch, where he manages a growing, collaborative community of programmers who make, share and remix apps. There are no comments or likes on Glitch. Instead, coders can ask for help on a project or thank others for their assistance. With over 1 million users, Dash is watching as both coding veterans as well as the next generation of programmers embrace a community where downvotes are out, but helping is in. And he says it’s working.

“It’s an incredibly diverse community,” says Dash of Glitch’s users. “We have kids in junior high school creating the first line of HTML they ever wrote, and we have some of the most advanced engineers at Google working on their cutting-edge artificial intelligence platforms creating demos.”

When it comes to inclusivity, Dash practices what he preaches at the company level. “I think it’s no coincidence that whatever we are as a company is what we try to be as community,” he says. “I think we’ve seen so many institutions that have been undermined by people that have no reverence for truth or consistency or decency.” At Glitch, notoriously sensitive topics like salary structure or company values are discussed openly, with every employee contribution moving the needle closer to the intended goal of workplace fairness.

All the creativity he sees on Glitch gives Dash hope that more people, including those from communities underrepresented in the technology industry, will take a chance and try to learn something new, even if they’ve never written a single line of code. “If you can trust in a community, and you can trust in your ability to express yourself, and you can trust in having a safe place to share your ideas, that gives you space to be optimistic,” says Dash. “It gives you space to have some hope to think you have something to share when the ground is shifting under you and you can’t take people at their word.”

Hugh Herr

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Hugh Herr was a terrible high school student. “If you asked me what 10% of 100 was, I couldn’t tell you the answer was 10,” jokes Herr, 54. Herr’s attitude towards academia has since changed — he’s now the MIT Media Lab’s head of Biomechatronics (a field of study combining neuroscience, biology, and robotics) and one of the world’s foremost experts on and advocates for advanced prostheses.

As a teen, Herr was an obsessive rock climber. But a climbing accident in 1982 led to frostbite on both his legs, which later had to be amputated. He was then forced to confront the then-abysmal state of wood and plastic prostheses. “I thought, ‘really?’” says Herr. “This is what society has produced to emulate a missing body part? It was shocking.”

Herr’s disappointment gave way to determination, leading him to invent his own prostheses for rock climbing. From there, Hugh worked on other solutions for amputees, along the way earning degrees in mechanical engineering and biophysics from MIT and Harvard University respectively. Now, Herr gets around on cutting-edge legs of his own making called “BiOM,” which let him walk, run, and even dance with fluidity. Unlike traditional prostheses, Herr’s legs move naturally thanks to an array of sensors and microprocessors combined with a carbon fiber spring adding force to every step.

Up next for Herr? He wants to link the human body’s nervous system to artificial limbs, allowing people to better control and receive feedback from their prostheses. Herr and his team has already made progress: Herr’s friend and fellow mountain climber Jim Ewing used a feedback-capable artificial foot of Herr’s design to successfully climb the mountain where Ewing’s own life-altering injury occurred.

Thanks to advanced artificial limbs, Herr believes, the stigma of having a disability will be replaced with understanding, acceptance or even a desire for an artificial limb. “A society once said that if you’re missing a limb, your life is over,” says Herr. “Society won’t use the fact of losing an innate biological limb as a crippling influence on a person’s life. It won’t be crippling at all. It will be perhaps liberating.”

Andre Iguodala

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About a dozen years ago, around the time the first iPhone was released, then-Philadelphia 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala — a huge Apple fan — read an article suggesting that if you put the money you spent on all your devices into Apple stock, you’d be able to buy the stuff by the truckload. “That hit this light switch,” he tells TIME.

Iguodala, 35, has been a tech bull ever since. He started following stocks and learning the ins and outs of the tech businesses on his own. “It was like going back to school again,” he says. When he joined the Golden State Warriors and set up shop in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley in 2013, he earned his version of an advanced degree. He’s sought out venture capitalist mentors, who are very willing to make time for professional athletes, and helped start the Players Technology Summit in 2017; the now-annual exclusive confab brings together athletes, investors and entrepreneurs. Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP who released his autobiography The Sixth Man in June, has invested in more than 40 companies, including video conferencing company Zoom (which rwent public in April), Lime, the electric scooter outfit, and Allbirds, which designs environmentally-friendly footwear.

Optimism, Iguodala says, is in his DNA. “Coming from where I come from, not having a lot of access to certain things, when you talk about tech, it’s disruption for the better,” says Iguodala, who grew up in a working class neighborhood in Springfield, Ill. He’s expanding his tech bets, all the way to Africa. In March, Iguodala — whose father is Nigerian — joined the board of e-commerce platform Jumia, known as Africa’s Amazon. Iguodala predicts that demand for ecommerce will help build up the continent’s tech infrastructure, as well as improve connectivity, productivity, and opportunity for millions of underserved people.

The market seems to agree with him. On April 12, Jumia became the first African startup to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Jumia’s initial public offering (IPO) was valued at $1.3 billion; shares closed up 75% on the day. “Oh man, I was so psyched,” says Iguodala of tracking the IPO. “That just shows the growth that there is in Africa. You’re going to start seeing a lot more companies in Africa building these platforms that have had success in other places.” This offseason, the Warriors traded Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies; the rebuilding Grizzlies may buy out his contract, sending Iguodala on the move again (perhaps to the Los Angeles Lakers, who can benefit from Iguodala’s championship pedigree). No matter where Iguodala plays his upcoming season, he’ll keep one eye on a on the court, and another on the emerging digital world.

Katrina Lake

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As some experts get increasingly pessimistic about the value of big data, others, like Katrina Lake, are exploring ways to make it more useful. The 36-year-old founder and CEO of clothing subscription service Stitch Fix, Lake says the trick is to make sure her company’s data gets a human touch. “We knew from the beginning that the only way to provide accessible personal styling at scale was to combine humans and data science,” says Lake.

Stitch Fix collects customers’ measurement data and style preferences, then sends them a box full of clothes and accessories designed to fit great. Whatever they don’t like, they can send back. Lake says the company’s algorithms are great at handling data like people’s measurements, with information like skirt length, sleeve opening, and button height all factoring into finding the perfect fit. But Lake isn’t just crunching numbers; she’s dealing with humans, who might fudge their measurements by an inch or two. To make up for any fibbing, Lake says Stitch Fix’s pool of data can reveal patterns that help make sure customers get what they really need.

“We noticed that men who are 5’11” tend to round their height up to 6’ tall,” says Lake. Instead of making those men confront their aspirational verticality, or suggesting they were less than truthful, Stitch Fix used the data — along with feedback from stylists — to adjust its algorithm, providing customers with better-fitting outfits despite the incorrect measurements. “Retail is an emotional business, and the success of Stitch Fix is built on our ability to empathize,” says Lake.

Since launching in 2011, Stitch Fix has added options like maternity and plus size clothing for women, subscriptions for men, gender-neutral choices for children, and “Hybird Designs,” which are items created by Stitch Fix’s private label brands to accommodate gaps in the market, like particular styles in a slightly longer cut. That, says Lake, means everyone will be able to find something that fits them without embarrassment or frustration. “We are committed to serving everybody,” says Lake, “and believe our culture, which is rooted in diversity and inclusion, has a direct bearing on our innovation and our ability to serve everybody.” With a valuation of over $2 billion, and over 5,000 employees, Lake seems to be on the right track.

Andrew Ng

Eric Risberg—AP

One of the world’s foremost artificial intelligence researchers, Andrew Ng isn’t alone in believing that AI will alter nearly every sector of the global economy. “Everything from agriculture to healthcare to manufacturing, these are the sectors that AI is in the process of transforming,” says Ng, 43. “I have a hard time thinking of any large industry that AI will not transform.”

Ng himself had a hand in sparking that change. In 2011, while an adjunct professor at Stanford University, Ng led the Google Brain project, which produced, among other things, an algorithm that famously taught itself to detect cats in YouTube videos (groundbreaking AI projects often seem silly on the surface but carry greater significance in the big picture.) The initiative ultimately helped take modern AI from the realm of academic research to the business world. “The basic lessons about [machine learning] and scalability we learned then are now also widely applied across the industry,” says Ng.

Ng acknowledges that AI presents unanswered problems, like its potential to centralize knowledge and wealth among those who can understand or afford its powers. But he believes that the benefits — like generating economic growth to revealing new ways to address climate change — will far outweigh the downsides. “AI is an incredibly powerful technology, and like any technology it can be used for a variety of purposes, some beneficial, and some less so,” says Ng. “Fortunately the AI community is, for the most part, focused on applying it to the useful purposes.”

Ng is on a mission to convince the world AI is a friend, not a foe. He teaches people about the technology beyond the classrooms and board room; his machine learning class remains the most popular course on Coursera, an online education platform he co-founded. But Ng believes computer programmers aren’t the only people who should understand how AI works. To that end, he recently introduced a class he calls “AI for Everyone,” an AI crash course for laypeople.

“I created ‘AI for Everyone’ in order that any business leader, or anyone in a non-technical realm … can learn enough about AI to navigate this rise,” says Ng. With the growth of artificial intelligence, businesses, governments and more face a slew of new challenges, and Ng says it’s important that those making choices understand the new technology. “I think AI is actually less mysterious than most people think,” he says.

Alexis Ohanian

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If it’s optimism you seek, there are few better places to look than in the hearts and minds of investors. That’s doubly true for early-stage investors like Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder-turned-venture capitalist whose firm, Initialized Capital, aims to be the first to put money behind up-and-coming startups. That kind of high-risk, high-reward investing — often in the days when a founder has a dream and little else — is in many ways the ultimate act of tech optimism.

“We want to be the very first people to believe in a founder, write her a check, then roll up our sleeves and help grow it into what one day will hopefully be a multi-billion dollar company,” says Ohanian, 36.

One of the companies in Initialized’s portfolio that most excites Ohanian is Athelas, a health technology startup using computer vision to analyze small amounts of users’ blood for immunology data. Ohanian knows how familiar that might sound — and not in a good way. Another blood analysis startup, Theranos, infamously flamed out in spectacular fashion, taking a chunk of the core idea’s credibility down with it. But he insists that Athelas is doing right what Theranos had done wrong. The company’s technology is different, for one. But so, he says, is the company’s ethical compass.

“What’s very different about Athelas is that this technologically has been validated across thousands of patient samples by third-party institutions with actual clinical trials, it’s been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and it’s real and it works,” says Ohanian. “This is a technology that is real, that has two very earnest founders that have been working really hard to build something significant, and have been in a lot of ways eschewing the hype in order to build something that … is actually solving a problem that is going to improve people’s lives.”

Of course, public opinion is souring on Silicon Valley more broadly. Mishandling of user data, a reluctance to better moderate social media platforms and the spread of misinformation have all contributed to the so-called “techlash.” Ohanian, however, is optimistic that today’s conversation about technology’s role in society is a necessary and even healthy process. The founders with whom Ohanian meets, he says, are now “bringing with them a much-heightened awareness of their responsibility that didn’t really exist in the mid-aughts.” Without Theranos, Cambridge Analytica and so on, that might not be the case.

Reshma Saujani

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Reshma Saujani says there’s one surefire way to help girls change the world: teach them to code. “It’s like giving them a superpower,” she says.

Saujani, 43, is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a non-profit working to even the gender imbalance in the tech workforce, in part by organizing high school and college programs that teach girls the fundamentals of computer science. Since its inception in 2012, Girls Who Code has taught computer science skills to around 185,000 girls, half of whom are members of historically underrepresented groups in tech, it says.

But women in Silicon Valley still face a tough outlook. In one of America’s fastest growing and highest paying professions, only about one in four programmers is female. And that proportion has only shrunk in recent decades, perhaps in part due to marketing for home computers that increasingly targeted men and boys. Groups trying to reverse the trend have gotten support from the industry; Girls Who Code counts giants such as Adobe and Salesforce among its sponsors (Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff owns TIME.)

Still, Saujani thinks powerful companies need to do more. “You’re talking about a wholesale change of what the industry looks like,” she says. “That takes time, that takes energy, that takes effort, and that takes commitment.”

Saujani hasn’t spent much time working directly in the tech industry herself. After graduating from Yale Law School, she spent seven years working in corporate law and finance. In 2010, she ran for office in New York’s 14th congressional district, challenging Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney in the Democratic primary. Saujani ran on a pro-Wall Street platform, raised $1.3 million, and got clobbered at the polls, receiving only 19% of the vote.

“I was 33 years old, and it was the first time in my entire life that I had done something truly brave,” Saujani said at a 2016 TED talk. She has since channeled the experience into a motto: “Brave, Not Perfect.” That’s also the title of her recent book, in which she argues that girls have been taught to be flawless and only pursue opportunities when they are sure of success, while boys are taught to be brave and take risks.

Saujani believes that learning to code enables precisely the sort of risk-taking that girls should embrace. “Most girls have been taught so that their mindset is fixed,” she says. “You’re either good at something or bad at something. What we do besides the technical piece is to tell women to basically sit with a challenge and learn how to do something over and over again.”

By Patrick Lucas Austin , Alejandro de la Garza , Alex Fitzpatrick and Sean Gregory

Source: Why TIME’s 2019 Tech Optimists Are Upbeat About the Future | Time

Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and Other Tech Leaders Share Their Favorite Summer Reads

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  • When they’re not busy ideating in Silicon Valley, tech execs like to settle down with a beach read.
  • NBC reporter Dylan Byers rounded up book recommendations from tech CEOs in a summer reading list for his newsletter.

For folks seeking an elevated beach read this summer, NBC reporter Dylan Byers asked six tech executives for summer reading recommendations in his newsletter.

Read on for book recommendations from Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Tim Cook, and more.

Mark Zuckerberg — Facebook, CEO

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The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore.

A novel about who really invented the lightbulb by the screenwriter behind the Oscar-wining film “The Imitation Game.” It features the intertwining stories of Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and George Westinghouse.

Sheryl Sandberg — Facebook, COO

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The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

Philanthropist Melinda Gates writes about the importance of empowering women, and how that action can change the world.

Tim Cook — CEO, Apple

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When a young Stanford neurosurgeon is diagnosed with lung cancer, he sets out to write a memoir about mortality, memory, family, medicine, literature, philosophy, and religion. It’s a tear-jerker, with an epilogue written by his wife Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, who survives him, along with their young daughter.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

A memoir by the creator of Nike, Phil Knight.

Dawn Ostroff — Spotify, CCO

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Educated by Tara Westover

Westover, raised in the mountains of Idaho in a family of survivalists, didn’t go to school until she was 17. She would go on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. This memoir chronicles her path towards higher education.

Evan Spiegel — Snap, CEO

Mike Blake/Reuters

Mortal Republic by Edward Watts

A history of how ancient Rome fell into tyranny.

Jeffrey Katzenberg — KndrCo

Getty Images / Larry Busacca

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

Written in 2018, Harari addresses technological and political challenges that humans will have to tackle in the 21st century.

White Working Class by Joan C. Williams

Williams, a law professor, writes “Class consciousness has has been replaced by class cluelessness — and in some cases, even class callousness.”

Rebecca Aydin Business Insider

How This Former MIT Professor And Google Engineer Used Holograms To Build A $28 Million Startup – Lauren Aratani

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A red laser pointer shining through a raw chicken carcass may not seem like groundbreaking science, but for veteran technologist Mary Lou Jepsen, it’s worth $28 million in funding for her latest startup, Openwater. Jepsen performed the chicken act as part of her August TED Talk to illustrate how her imaging-tech company is building cost-conscious body-scanning technology by using the same components one might find at a science fair. The laser pointer’s light made both skin and bone of the plucked fowl glow, revealing a tumor just under its flesh……..

 

 

 

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Harnessing Innovative Technologies To Advance Audit Quality – Panos Kakoullis

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Businesses today operate in a dynamic, fast-moving, digitally enabled, and fiercely competitive global economy. To respond, organizations must constantly adapt – and so must their auditors, by incorporating innovative technologies to continuously address and identify emerging risks in markets characterized by perpetual transition. Ground breaking technologies are significantly enhancing audit quality by arming auditors with innovative tools to solve big problems— such as how to acquire robust and complete data in a repeatable fashion. Technology is enabling auditors to process, organize, and evaluate data at a faster pace than ever before………

 

 

 

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Delivering A Great Digital Experience? Prove It – Bridget Bisnette

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Imagine that you can provide your customers with visibility and actionable insights on how “users”—be it customers or employees—are consuming applications, what their digital experience is while using them, and more importantly quantify how those experiences directly impact revenue, productivity, costs, and other business KPIs.For those of you not currently in the business of providing Digital Experience Management (DEM) services to your customers, imagine the impact to your business. How could doing so, expand your customer relationships outside of IT operations, while creating a new revenue stream for your business……………….

 

 

 

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Tech Giant IBM Collaborates with Columbia University to Introduce Two Blockchain Accelerator Programs – Julie Williams

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A press release released in the IBM News Room on November 19 stated that the tech giant with the help of the world’s leading research university, Columbia University, intends to launch two accelerator programs to help accelerate the growth of blockchain-based tech startups.

The press release stated that both accelerators, which are key components of the partnership entered by both parties – the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency – were built to offer entrepreneurs and blockchain network founders across the globe the opportunity to access the necessary expertise and resources needed to establish blockchain networks.

Both accelerators are designed to power up to 10 of such blockchain-based tech startups. Through this programs, they will have uninterrupted access to the Columbia research community and student talent pools, IBM Cloud technology, a solid network of business and technical support, and IBM active design workshops. The programs which are in two parts – the IBM Blockchain Accelerator and the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator – are scheduled to run through a period of sixteen weeks with each program lasting for eight weeks.

The first program named the IBM Blockchain Accelerator is designed to build an enterprise business network and client base for later-stage blockchain-based companies across the globe. This eight-week program is scheduled to be held in New York and San Francisco.

While the other half of the equation, the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator, is designed to cater to the needs of pre-seed, idea-stage companies which affiliated with Columbia or other recognized universities based in New York. Like the first program, this accelerator program is scheduled to be held for eight weeks. The program is proposed to run for eight weeks on-site in New York City.

In preparation for these programs, the channel for nominations is now open to the general public, while we look forward to January 2019 when the application for Launch would open. The partners released a public note stating that participants are not required to pay a fee as they do not take equity or charge a fee for participating in either of the accelerator programs.

Commenting on the new development, David Post – the Managing Director of IBM Blockchain Accelerator – said that blockchain technology presents endless possibilities and technical talents are rising up to the task by building game-changing applications. He explained further that the tool required to bring about this change is the right expertise and that is the reason IBM is collaborating with Columbia to give early and mid-stage founders a way to build enterprise-grade networks that are capable of pushing blockchain innovation forward.

 

 

 

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TransferWise Chairman: Distributed Ledger Technology Is Very Hard To Use – Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

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Blockchain technology, which undergirds bitcoin and other digital assets is slowly but steadily making its way into mainstream finance, but some financial institutions remain unconvinced about its potentials. TransferWise, a London-based payments platform has stated it is yet to see anything good in the nascent technology, reported  Fortune on November 19, 2018. TransferWise,  an Estonian developed and UK-based firm that allows clients to send money across 70 countries in a fast and cost-efficient manner, has made it clear it sees nothing good in blockchain technology and as such, will not be joining the distributed ledger technology (DLT) bandwagon anytime soon………….

Read more: https://btcmanager.com/transferwise-chairman-distributed-ledger-technology-is-very-hard-to-use/

 

 

 

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How A Mysterious Tech Billionaire Created Two Fortunes & a Global Software Sweatshop – Nathan Vardi

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From an office suite on the 26th floor of the iconic Frost Bank Tower in Austin, Texas, a little-known recruiting firm called Crossover is searching the globe for software engineers. Crossover is looking for anyone who can commit to a 40- or 50-hour workweek, but it has no interest in full-time employees. It wants contract workers who are willing to toil from their homes or even in local cafes. The best people in the world aren’t in your Zip code,” says Andy Tryba, chief executive of Crossover, in a promotional YouTube video. Which, Tryba emphasizes, also means you don’t have to pay them like they are your neighbors. “The world is going to a cloud wage……………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2018/11/19/how-a-mysterious-tech-billionaire-created-two-fortunesand-a-global-software-sweatshop/#37705bc86cff

 

 

 

 

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