9 astonishing ways that living standards have improved around the world

“But these examples are not statistical outliers. Over the same period, countries across the economic spectrum, from low-income to high-income, experienced a dramatic improvement in life expectancy. As the Industrial Revolution gathered momentum, circa 1800, virtually all countries had a life expectancy at or below 40 years; today, just six countries have a life expectancy below 60 years. Put another way, a daughter born into a family in Lesotho or the Central African Republic — the countries with the lowest life expectancy today, each at around 53 years — can expect to live a longer and healthier life than the newborn daughter of an Englishman or American in the year 1800.

Global improvements in life expectancy have not been limited to the early industrial past. Much progress has been made, particularly in developing countries in the greater Asia region, in just the last 30 years. Between 1991 and 2020, China, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan gained life expectancy improvements from 5 years (Pakistan, from 61 to 66) to 11 years (India, from 60 to 71).”

9 astonishing ways that living standards have improved around the world
https://bigthink.com/the-present/9-ways-living-standards-improved-world/
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Do we need an AI Bill of Rights?

“White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that outlines five principles designed to “protect the American public in the age of artificial intelligence.”

You should be protected from unsafe or ineffective systems.
You should not face discrimination by algorithms and systems should be used and designed in an equitable way.
You should be protected from abusive data practices via built-in protections and you should have agency over how data about you is used.
You should know that an automated system is being used and understand how and why it contributes to outcomes that impact you.
You should be able to opt out, where appropriate, and have access to a person who can quickly consider and remedy problems you encounter.”

Do we need an AI Bill of Rights?
https://email.unfinished.com/ai-bill-of-rights
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Tech firms say laws to protect us from bad AI will limit ‘innovation’. Well, good | John Naughton

“What is even more remarkable, though, is how the tech companies’ claim to be the sole masters of “innovation” has been taken at its face value for so long. But now two eminent competition lawyers, Ariel Ezrachi and Maurice Stucke, have called the companies’ bluff. In a remarkable new book, How Big-Tech Barons Smash Innovation – And How to Strike Back, they explain how the only kinds of innovation tech companies tolerate is that which aligns with their own interests. They reveal how tech firms are ruthless in stifling disruptive or threatening innovations, either by pre-emptive acquisition or naked copycatting, and that their dominance of search engines and social media platforms restricts the visibility of promising innovations that might be competitively or societally useful. As an antidote to tech puffery, the book will be hard to beat. It should be required reading for everyone at Ofcom, the Competition and Markets Authority and the DCMS. And from now on “innovation for whom?” should be the first question to any tech booster lecturing you about innovation.”

Tech firms say laws to protect us from bad AI will limit ‘innovation’. Well, good | John Naughton
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/oct/08/tech-firms-artificial-intelligence-ai-liability-directive-act-eu-ccia
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The Instagram capital of the world is a terrible place to be


“The problem of travel at this particular moment is not too many people traveling in general, it is too many people wanting to experience the exact same thing because they all went to the same websites and read the same reviews. It’s created the idea that if you do not go to this specific bar or stay in this exact neighborhood, all the money and time you spent on being here has been wasted, and you have settled for something that is not as perfect as it could have been.”

The Instagram capital of the world is a terrible place to be
https://www.vox.com/the-goods/23388038/positano-travel-instagram
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The Climate Economy Is About to Explode


“And because federal spending tends to catalyze private investment, that could send total climate spending across the economy to roughly $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years. That’s significantly more money flowing into green-energy industries than the CBO projected, though it’s unclear if that additional money will lead to more carbon reductions than earlier analyses have projected.”

The Climate Economy Is About to Explode
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2022/10/inflation-reduction-act-climate-economy/671659/
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The Climate Economy Is About to Explode: Reversal of argument


“Perhaps most strange, even if the United States slips into recession in the next year, the IRA will only become more important. Historically, economists and businesses have treated helping the environment as a product of prosperity—if the economy is good, then companies can afford to do the right thing. But the IRA’s programs and incentives will keep flowing no matter the macro environment, which makes betting on clean energy one of the most certain economic trends of the next few years. Clean energy is now the safe, smart, government-backed bet for conservative investors. It’s really a shocking reversal of the past 40 years. It is such a change that it hasn’t yet been metabolized by the world of people involved in the issue.”

The Climate Economy Is About to Explode
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2022/10/inflation-reduction-act-climate-economy/671659/
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The Technological Singularity

“Yuval Noah Harari wrote about a timeline in which the higher class of society effectively become superhuman through advances in cybernetics, bioengineering and healthcare. According to Harari, this new class of superhumans would possess superintelligence and extended lifespans thereby allowing them to act as the ruling elite.”

The Technological Singularity
https://medium.com/synergy-publication/the-technological-singularity-4086a8953ac7
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The Technological Singularity

“In mathematics, a point which is not well-defined and behaves unpredictably is called a singularity. Indeed, mathematician and computer scientist John von Neumann hypothesised a point in time where technology would advance to such a level that society would become completely unrecognisable.

“The ever accelerating progress of technology… give the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the (human) race beyond which human affairs… could not continue.”

~ Von Neumann paraphrased by Stanislav Ulam (1957)”

The Technological Singularity
https://medium.com/synergy-publication/the-technological-singularity-4086a8953ac7
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When AI Makes Art, Humans Supply the Creative Spark

“New companies have sprung up to commercialize artistic AI tools. A website and app called Wombo can generate images in a variety of styles in response to a text prompt or an existing image, and it sells prints or NFTs of the results. Midjourney, an independent research lab that has made its technology available to beta testers, can turn text prompts into vivid, sometimes abstract illustrations.”

When AI Makes Art, Humans Supply the Creative Spark
https://www.wired.com/story/when-ai-makes-art/
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Opinion | How AI could accidentally extinguish humankind

“But we haven’t just been wrong about things we thought would come to pass; humanity also has a long history of incorrectly assuring ourselves that certain now-inescapable realities wouldn’t. The day before Leo Szilard devised the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, the great physicist Ernest Rutherford proclaimed that anyone who propounded atomic power was “talking moonshine.” Even computer industry pioneer Ken Olsen in 1977 supposedly said he didn’t foresee individuals having any use for a computer in their home.

Obviously we live in a nuclear world, and you probably have a computer or two within arm’s reach right now. In fact, it’s those computers — and the exponential advances in computing generally — that are now the subject of some of society’s most high-stakes forecasting. The conventional expectation is that ever-growing computing power will be a boon for humanity. But what if we’re wrong again? Could artificial superintelligence instead cause us great harm? Our extinction?”

Opinion | How AI could accidentally extinguish humankind
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/08/31/artificial-intelligence-worst-case-scenario-extinction/
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