Summary of “Should We Be Worried About Computerized Facial Recognition?”

Putting names to faces, like formulating conspiracy theories, relies on pattern recognition.
In the late sixties and early seventies, computer scientists began trying to use a digital form of pattern recognition to identify faces in photographs.
The company’s researchers used a version of the system on tennis matches at the 2017 U.S. Open; it worked flawlessly, Smith said, except with one player, who appeared to the computer to be pumping her fist when she was actually just wiping her face with a towel.
“So, if we have a system that looks at them when they aren’t afraid, we may see the pain sooner.” David Hunt said, “One of the joys of facial recognition is that we can see cows’ natural behavior, instead of ‘Uh-oh, girls, calm down, don’t make eye contact with the predator.'” Once the company’s algorithms have been fully trained, a farmer won’t have to be present even to know that a cow is about to calve-something that happens on Lawlor’s farm an average of once a day.
In 2016, she was the lead author of “The Perpetual Line-​Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America,” a study whose title refers to the fact that many states allow police departments to search their databases of mug shots and driver’s-license photos.
Faces, unlike fingerprints or iris patterns, can easily be recorded without the knowledge of the people they belong to, and that means that facial recognition can be used for remote surveillance.
“Yet that’s what face recognition enables.” Computer-vision systems potentially allow cops and employers to track behaviors and activities that are none of their business, such as where you hang out after work, which fund-raisers you attend, and what that slight tremor in your hand portends about the size of your future medical claims.
The reliable real-time identification of more than a billion people by their faces alone is not possible yet, but the Chinese system doesn’t depend on faces alone.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Where is the boundary between your phone and your mind?”

Many of the boundary lines in our lives are highly literal, and, for the most part, this is how we’ve been trained to think of boundaries: as demarcations shored up by laws, physical, legal, or otherwise, that indicate exactly where one thing ends and another begins.
Here’s a thought experiment: where do you end? Not your body, but you, the nebulous identity you think of as your “Self”.
Less clear to most people is the extent to which the companies that make the technology, apps, and browsers that we use are not just tracking but shaping our behavior.
Thanks to the border-breaking nature of these technologies, and particularly the smartphone, the success of these companies has put an unfathomable amount of wealth, power, and direct influence on the consumer in the hands of just a few individuals – individuals who can affect billions of lives with a tweak in the code of their products.
“We’ve allowed these private companies to take over a lot of functions that we have historically thought of as public functions or social goods, like letting Google be the world’s library. Democracy and the very concept of social goods – that tradition is so eroded in the United States that people were ready to let these private companies assume control.”
A more fitting example of positive change, Weigel suggests, took place in June, when Google employees successfully campaigned for the company to stop its work with the Pentagon on Project Maven, a program that improved the effectiveness of military drones.
“In fact, these are huge companies that employ tens of thousands of people, many of whom don’t necessarily agree with everything the companies are doing. I think that engineers have enormous power to influence these companies for the better right now.”
We should know and be aware of how these companies work, how they track our behavior, and how they make recommendations to us based on our behavior and that of others.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 6 reasons why Huawei gives the US and its allies security nightmares”

Behind this very public drama is a long-running, behind-the-scenes one centered on western intelligence agencies’ fears that Huawei poses a significant threat to global security.
Huawei claims its equipment connects over a third of the world’s population.
Huawei doesn’t just build equipment; it can also connect to it wirelessly to issue upgrades and patches to fix bugs.
In May, the US Department of Defense ordered retail stores on US military bases to stop selling phones from Huawei and ZTE, another big Chinese tech giant, because of fears they could be hacked to reveal the locations and movements of military personnel.
There’s been speculation the arrest of Huawei’s CFO is linked to a US investigation into claims the company shipped products with US tech components to Iran and other countries subject to a US embargo.
Huawei isn’t as immune to Chinese government influence as it claims to be.
In its defense, Huawei can point to the fact that no security researchers have found backdoors in its products.
While that’s true, it won’t change the view of the US, which is stepping up its efforts to persuade its allies to keep Huawei out of all their networks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Set the Conditions for Anyone on Your Team to Be Creative”

If you don’t believe me, take the least creative person in your office out for lunch – someone who doesn’t seem to have a creative bone in their body.
The secret to unlocking creativity is not to look for more creative people, but to unlock more creativity from the people who already work for you.
The same body of creativity research that finds no distinct “Creative personality” is incredibly consistent about what leads to creative work, and they are all things you can implement within your team.
One of the things that creativity researchers have consistently found for decades is that expertise is absolutely essential for producing top-notch creative work – and the expertise needs to be specific to a particular field or domain.
So the first step to being creative is to become an expert in a particular area.
Look at any great body of creative work and you’ll find a crucial insight that came from outside the original domain.
More recently, a team of researchers analyzing 17.9 million scientific papers found that the most highly cited work is far more likely to come from a team of experts in one field working with a specialist in something very different.
As Pixar founder Ed Catmull put it in his memoir, Creativity Inc., “Every one of our films, when we start off, they suckOur job is to take it from something that sucks to something that doesn’t suck. That’s the hard part.” It is that kind of continual iteration that technology makes possible, and that makes truly great creative work possible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Founder of Panera Bread Explains the Economic Forces that Led to Trump”

By the nineteen-nineties, the company had expanded to include four different divisions, including a new bakery-café franchise called Panera Bread. At the time, the food industry, which had previously been dominated by mass-market brands such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and Maxwell House, was being taken over by companies like Vitamin Water, Sam Adams, and Starbucks.
Over the last few years Shaich has come to believe that the current business environment is far less amenable to the process of building companies like his.
Shaich partly blames activist hedge funds, many of which buy shares in companies with the aim of pushing their management to make decisions that drive their stock prices up within a few months.
In 2017, Shaich took Panera private to protect it from short-term pressures, and sold it to a European fund called JAB Holding Company, which also owns Pret A Manger, Krispy Kreme, and Keurig Dr Pepper.
In the summer of 2017, Lynn Paine and Joseph Bower, two Harvard Business School professors, published a piece in the Harvard Business Review arguing that the idea that profits are all that should matter to a company’s leadership is a relatively new one.
In their article, Paine and Bower argue that this theory is “Rife with moral hazard.” Stock owners have no public accountability for what the company does, and no responsibility, as executives do, to place the company’s interests above their own.
According to Shaich, the resentment that these voters feel is a direct result of the quick-profits-over-all ethos that dominates economic thinking.
Last year, when Shaich took Panera private, he also stepped down as the C.E.O., to focus on a pet cause: warning the world about the dangers of short-term thinking.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Our new column from inside Amazon: ‘They treat us as disposable'”

Our site operations manager was like many Amazon managers: an ex-military white male, in his late 40s and wearing straight-fit jeans and a T-shirt with “Amazon Military” emblazoned on the front.
As I headed to our training session wearing my new orange associate work-vest and wearing my white badge designating me as a “Seasonal” employee, I was approached by a co-worker in a fancy, blue and green-lined “Ambassador” vest and a blue badge that signified he has been “Converted” to a non-seasonal Amazon worker.
The inverted pyramid has stuck with me as an Amazon fulfillment associate.
It’s important to take a step back and realize what an Amazon fulfillment center really is.
When you recognize that we are what keeps Amazon going, and the most important part of the business, putting us at the top of the pyramid is right.
Without us there is no Amazon Prime, no advertising revenue, no streaming video, no HQ2. However, the pyramid analogy is also fitting because at the time this place feels like a pyramid scheme.
Amazon’s much-touted new minimum wage of $15 is not enough to propel hundreds of thousands of us into the middle class.
Every other week, this column will seek to understand the complexity of life inside Amazon, and explore the effects Amazon has on our lives and on our broader community.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s Time To Get Real About Digital Transformation.”

For these leaders, and others like them, the challenge has been to use digital transformation to establish or maintain product leadership.
How do you build a product leadership organization?(Hint: Digital transformation isn’t about going paperless).
Declarations like, “Many factors, such as the economy or the desirability of your products, that can affect a company’s success as much or more than its digital capabilities” or “It is multi-faceted and diffuse, and doesn’t just involve technology” don’t tell us how to do things differently.
It’s my strong opinion, backed by dozens of interviews, that companies embarking on a digital transformation are trying to apply company level strategies to a product level problem.
Once the product organization has established it’s own Product Vision and Product Strategy, the executive leadership needs to support that with the company-level capabilities and resources.
In the first year or two of a companies life, it’s very common for the CEO to also have the original product vision and to lead the day-to-day product conversation.
With the support of the CEO the company needs to focus it’s transformation efforts on the product level.
Warning: Product Experience Teams will only work if you have a clear Product Vision, a Product Strategy, Priorities and Metrics to measure outcomes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “You Snooze, You Lose: Insurers Make The Old Adage”

As many CPAP users discover, the life-altering device comes with caveats: Health insurance companies are often tracking whether patients use them.
The companies’ practices have spawned lawsuits and concerns by some doctors who say that policies that restrict access to the machines could have serious, or even deadly, consequences for patients with severe conditions.
A ResMed representative said once patients have given consent, it may share the data it gathers, which is encrypted, with the patients’ doctors, insurers and supply companies.
Many insurers also require patients to rack up monthly rental fees rather than simply pay for a CPAP. Dr. Ofer Jacobowitz, a sleep apnea expert at ENT and Allergy Associates and assistant professor at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said his patients often pay rental fees for a year or longer before meeting the prices insurers set for their CPAPs.
Advanced Oxy-Med Services, the medical supply company approved by his insurer, sent him a modem that he plugged into his machine, giving the company the ability to change the settings remotely if needed.
Umansky’s new modem had been beaming his personal data from his Brooklyn bedroom to the Newburgh, New York-based supply company, which, in turn, forwarded the information to his insurance company, UnitedHealthcare.
His insurance company wouldn’t pay for the new mask until he proved he was using the machine all night – even though, in his case, he, not the insurance company, is the owner of the device.
Lawrence, the owner of Advanced Oxy-Med Services, conceded that his company should have told Umansky his CPAP use would be monitored for compliance, but it had to follow the insurers’ rules to get paid.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Welcome to AirSpace”

Think of the traffic app Waze rerouting cars in Los Angeles and disrupting otherwise quiet neighborhoods; Airbnb parachuting groups of international tourists into residential communities; Instagram spreading IRL lifestyle memes; or Foursquare sending traveling businessmen to the same cafe over and over again.
Founded in 2008 by two graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, Airbnb allows “Hosts” to rent out unused space in their own homes.
While Airbnb doesn’t offer any decorating standards besides a few tips posted on their website, the existence of the platform itself and the needs of its users enables a certain sameness to spread. “You can feel a kind of trend in certain listings. There’s an International Airbnb Style that’s starting to happen,” Harvey continues.
The Airbnb marketplace is evolving toward its most effective product; it seems that what consumers want more than an exotic experience is something like a Days Inn but more stylish and less obvious – a generic space hidden behind a seemingly unique facade.
Zoé de Las Cases and Benjamin Dewé, a French interior designer couple, were shocked when they discovered that Airbnb had replicated the design of an apartment that they listed on the platform for a meeting room in the company’s San Francisco corporate office, down to a trio of faux-industrial pendant lights, a twee chalkboard, and a floating shelf full of almost identical art objects.
In his 1992 book Non-Places, Marc Augé, the French anthropologist, wrote that with the emergence of such identity-less space, “People are always, and never, at home.” If we can be equally at home everywhere, as Roam and Airbnb suggest, doesn’t that mean we are also at home nowhere? The next question is, do we mind?
Why is AirSpace happening? One answer is that the internet and its progeny – Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb – is to us today what television was in the last century, with “a certain ability to transmit and receive and then apply layers of affection and longing and doubt,” as George W.S. Trow wrote in his paranoiac masterpiece of media criticism, “Within the Context of No Context,” originally published in The New Yorker in 1980.
The AirSpace aesthetic that Airbnb has contributed to, and the geography it creates, limits experiences of difference in the service of comforting a particular demographic falsely defined as the norm.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Don’t Compete. Create!”

If you think that you have to compete for better jobs or more market share, you’re as wrong as I was.
If a company has a certain market share, that means you have to compete with that company to “Win” a piece of their share.
When you assume that you have to compete with other businesses or people for money, jobs or attention, you’re engaged in limited thinking.
The biggest mistake that conventional business thinkers make, is that they believe supply is limited.
Similar to how I think entrepreneurs and companies should create market share, I also believe that individual people should create a career.
Here’s the thing: Traditional companies think it’s bullshit.
Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter what others think.
If you believe in something and if you can create value, go for it.

The orginal article.