Serendipity and strategy in rapid innovation | Nature Communications

Innovation is to organizations what evolution is to organisms: it is how organizations adapt to environmental change and improve. Yet despite advances in our understanding of evolution, what drives innovation remains elusive. On the one hand, organizations invest heavily in systematic strategies to accelerate innovation. On the other, historical analysis and individual experience suggest that serendipity plays a significant role. To unify these perspectives, we analysed the mathematics of innovation as a search for designs across a universe of component building blocks. We tested our insights using data from language, gastronomy and technology. By measuring the number of makeable designs as we acquire components, we observed that the relative usefulness of different components can cross over time. When these crossovers are unanticipated, they appear to be the result of serendipity. But when we can predict crossovers in advance, they offer opportunities to strategically increase the growth of the product space. Organizations can take different approaches to innovation: they can either follow a strategic process or a serendipitous perspective. Here Fink et al. develop a statistical model to analyse how components combine to obtain a product and thus explain the mechanism behind the two approaches.
— Read on www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02042-w

Open access book data sovereignty

s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-store-p.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9780429273957/5f46eee4-4ee1-4bc9-a4dc-8de7d9242f7c/web.pdf

This book examines how Indigenous Peoples around the world are demanding greater data sovereignty and challenging the ways in which governments have historically used Indigenous data to develop policies and programs.

In the digital age, governments are increasingly dependent on data and data analytics to inform their policies and decision-making.

However, Indigenous Peoples have often been the unwilling targets of policy interventions and have had little say over the collection, use and application of data about them, their lands and cultures. At the heart of Indigenous Peoples’ demands for change are the enduring aspirations of self-determination over their institutions, resources, knowledge and information systems.

With contributors from Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, North and South America and Europe, this book offers a rich account of the potential for Indigenous Data Sovereignty to support human flourishing and to protect against the ever-growing threats of data-related risks and harms.

Shortest Path Distance Approximation Using Deep Learning: Node2Vec | by Asutosh Nayak | Towards Data Science

This article is an implementation of a research paper titled “Shortest Path Distance Approximation using Deep Learning Techniques”, where the authors explain a new method to approximate the shortest path distance between the nodes of a graph. I will explain the paper and my implementation of it. You can find the project on my GitHub account here. First I will give an overview of the method proposed in this paper, then we will go through some of the concepts used in this paper to solve the problem and finally the implementation.
— Read on towardsdatascience.com/shortest-path-distance-with-deep-learning-311e19d97569

After Reading this Article my Mom Finally Understands Crypto, NFTs, DAOs, and the Beginnings of Web3 | by Shawna Salinger | Dec, 2021 | Medium

If the last 30 to 40 years of the history of the internet has it right, every decade seems to bring about new advances in technology coupled with strong and deep-rooted community or social trends…
— Read on shawnasalinger.medium.com/after-reading-this-article-my-mom-finally-understands-crypto-nfts-daos-and-the-beginnings-of-91099a9e1155

Learning representations of life | Jacob C. Kimmel

Machine learning approaches are now an important component of the life scientist’s toolkit. From just a cursory review of the evidence, it’s clear that ML tools have enabled us to solve once intractable problems like genetic variant effect prediction1, protein folding2, and unknown perturbation inference3. As this new class of models enters more and more branches of life science, a natural tension has arisen between the empirical mode of inquiry enabled by ML and the traditional, analytical and heuristic approach of molecular biology. This tension is visible in the back-and-forth discourse over the role of ML in biology, with ML practitioners sometimes overstating the capabilities that models provide, and experimental biologists emphasizing the failure modes of ML models while often overlooking their strengths.
— Read on jck.bio/learning-representations-of-life/

NFTs, Explained | a16z Podcast

with @jessewldn @ljxie @smc90

Everything you need or want to know about NFTs (or to help others understand NFTs.) Cuts through the noise to share the signal:
covering what NFTs are, the underlying crypto big picture, and then specifically what forms they take; addressing common myths and misconceptions from “just a JPG” to the question of energy use; sharing briefly how NFTs work; providing a quick overview of the players/ ecosystem; and throughout, discussing various applications too.

This episode was originally released in March 2021.
— Read on a16z.simplecast.com/episodes/nfts-explained-CesNt_e1

Facebook Is Stifling Independent Report on Its Impact in India, Human Rights Groups Say – WSJ

Human rights groups say Facebook is stifling an independent report it commissioned to investigate hate speech on its services in India, the company’s largest market by customers and where scrutiny of its operations is increasing.

Representatives for the organizations say they have provided extensive input to a U.S. law firm that Facebook commissioned in mid-2020 to undertake the report. The groups say they supplied hundreds of examples of inflammatory content and suggested ways Facebook could better police its services in India.

Facebook executives from the company’s human rights team, which is overseeing the law firm’s effort, have since narrowed the draft report’s scope and are delaying a process that has already taken more than a year, the groups say.

“They are trying to kill it,” said Ratik Asokan of India Civil Watch International, one of the organizations that provided the law firm with input. Mr. Asokan said that Facebook has raised technical objections through the law firm that have caused delays, such as changing definitions of what can be considered hate speech and included in the report, undermining what Facebook said would be an independent study. The law firm hasn’t provided a timeline for completing it, he said.
— Read on www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-is-stifling-independent-report-on-its-impact-in-india-human-rights-groups-say-11636725601

Novel approach to a plant-based diet, unique to long-necked dinosaurs — ScienceDaily

Keep It Simple, Sauropods

“The diet of extinct dinosaurs was incredibly varied, spanning tiny meat-eaters to massive plant-eaters,” says Dr. Melstrom. “Our research sheds light on the range of adaptations that allowed so many plant-eaters to live alongside one another.”

Using computerized tomography (CT) and microCT scanning, Dr. Melstrom and his colleagues made 3D models of specimens from around the globe, capturing the great diversity of tooth complexity in Late Jurassic dinosaurs.

“This whole project was conducted during the pandemic. Instead of traveling the world to gather data, we relied on researchers who had made their data available to other scientists, as well as the incredible collections here at NHM. I think this project really demonstrates the importance of sharing information, it can lead to new discoveries even during a pandemic,” says Dr. Melstrom.

They converted the toothy hills and valleys of dinosaur teeth into numbers, quantifying tooth complexity between the three groups of dinosaurs: meat-eating theropods, plant-eating ornithischians, and similarly herbivorous sauropods.

What they found was an entirely new evolutionary strategy to handle a plant-based diet 150 million years ago. While meat-eating dinosaurs had sharp simple teeth expected for carnivores, and ornithischians had the more complex teeth similar to herbivores living today, sauropods had very simple teeth, unlike any other known herbivores extinct or living.

In sauropods, they found that the more complex the tooth, the more slowly teeth were replaced, a correlation that demonstrates that tooth replacement rate is related to tooth complexity, unlike any other known animals. More specifically, diplodocoids like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus exhibited incredibly fast replacement rates and simple teeth, possibly allowing them to eat different foods from the other group of sauropods, macronarians like ??Brachiosaurus, which had more complex teeth.

Simple teeth would have made sense for sauropods’ long necks. Smaller teeth built to be lost weigh less than the tougher teeth of all other herbivores, which helps lighten the skull at the end of those long necks. The peculiar tooth replacement pattern meant these sauropods could focus on plant food other dinosaurs and non-dinosaur plant-eaters passed by.

“Time and time again, the fossil record shows us that there isn’t one solution to evolutionary problems. For sauropods, when it comes to eating tough plants, the simplest solution was the best,” says Dr. Melstrom.
— Read on www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211111080404.htm

Central Asia is stepping up battles with tech giants. Russia’s playbook is a model. – The Washington Post

Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan both pulled back attempts at restricting social media networks after public backlash.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/uzbekistan-kazakhstan-big-tech/2021/11/06/857efe86-3db4-11ec-bd6f-da376f47304e_story.html

Why flat-Earthers are a clear and present threat to an AI-powered society

There are almost certainly people from every walk of life, in every industry, at every school, in every police precinct, and working for just about every news outlet who believe things about artificial intelligence that are simply not true.

Let’s make a short list of things that are demonstrably untrue that the general public tends to believe:

Big tech is making progress mitigating racial bias in AI
AI can predict crime
AI can tell if you’re gay
AI writing/images/paintings/videos/audio can fool humans
AI is on the verge of becoming sentient
Having a human in the loop mitigates bias
AI can determine if a job candidate will be successful
AI can determine gender
AI can tell what songs/movies/videos/clothes you’ll like
Human-level self-driving vehicles exist
And that list could go on and on. There are thousands of useless startups and corporations out there running basic algorithms and claiming their systems can do things that no AI can do.

Those that aren’t outright pedaling snake oil often fudge statistics and percentages to mislead people concerning how efficacious their products are.
— Read on thenextweb.com/news/why-flat-earthers-clear-present-threat-ai-powered-society