Because it is time to 2019 Tech optimistic optimistic about the future of Silicon Valley

Because it is time to 2019 Tech optimistic optimistic about the future of Silicon Valley

As data breaches, misuse of personal data and the dissemination of disinformation to erode public confidence in the Silicon Valley, it can all too easily become cynical impact on the technology worldwide. But there are still many reasons from a technical role to get ahead in society to be optimistic. Below TIME talks to 10 innovators, founders, investors and even athletes who remain despite the many challenges influence of technology we are facing optimistic about the industry today. Moustapha Cisse Moustapha Cisse has left Senegal a decade ago to study artificial intelligence, and now believe that technology, Africa can change for the better. Cisse, 34, the search results Google AI in Accra, Ghana, the first such enterprise in the society Africa. “I built my team here for the people who are truly committed to making a difference in people’s lives,” says Cisse TIME. “[They] bear looking at the problems of a new perspective on the field that we have in Africa.” Growing up, it would have a multi-billion dollar companies have the title research initiative Nobody expects Cisse. Cisse was the first member of his family to go to college, or get schooling of any kind. Finally, he traveled to France a master in AI and to get a PhD in computer science, the development went on Facebook to work, machine learning algorithms better account for meaning inherent prejudices of society. “While I was doing all this research, I still remember that I wanted to help come to Africa,” said Cisse. He originally left for Europe, because it can not find a single program in Africa to study machine learning. But in 2018 he recruited a list of top researchers and started the AI ​​of a master’s program at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Kigali, Rwanda with funding from Facebook and Google. Her program began its first 30 students taught in September; we are expanding with an additional location in Accra plans to 100 students next year. For Cisse, representing its graduates, the future of the African computing only equipped to face to resolve the continent to the most difficult challenges – as well as the diversity in a port area in Europe, North America and Asia focused. Cisse laboratory Ghana local problems using machine learning begins to ‘address. Want AI programs to help farmers diagnose booty affect their crops and translation software to better connect speakers from Africa from 1000 to 2000 to create languages. More generally, Cisse believes that technological solutions in Africa should be developed within the continent. “I truly believe that the types of challenges and issues that we decide to solve be informed by the environment … where we are,” said Cisse. “Being here, we have the unique opportunity to look at the problems and design solutions that adapt to these problems, but also ultimately influence the entire world.” Andy Clark We all natural born cyborgs – as philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark, however. He thinks people are the external wired technologies to integrate (paper and pencils on smartphones) in our methods of thought and action. And since our devices faster and smarter, so do we, he says. Clark, cognitive psychology at the University of Sussex teaches believes that a large portion of human knowledge in feedback loops between the brain and the outside world takes place; he calls this model “the broadest sense”. “If you are looking for the circuit that makes the human thought and can reason, then you will miss a lot of very interesting things when you look inside the brain,” says Clark, 61. To all those who feel powerless, without the their smartphones, Clark ideas might intuitively seem as if he and the philosopher David Chalmers introduced in 1998 as a forward-thinking does not go unnoticed in the world of cognitive science – and today by the technology titan. In addition to his teaching and research, Clark now works as a consultant for Google, for advice on relationships between people and their devices. What continues to Clark at night? If our smartphones and devices are an integral part of our “extended head” form, then they could provide a future even more unequal in which one of the kingdom are able to continually update their cognitive abilities with the best equipment to leave behind the rest our. “There are a lot of inequality in the world already without adding layers of new and increasingly complex,” says Clark. “It ‘sa real problem is to make sure that it is not entirely co-opted of late capitalism.” Despite these problems, Clark remains a “techno-optimists,” he says. Since the devices to interact with us get smarter, we see a continuous ecosystem interact, almost invisible clothes artificial intelligences non-organic. “I think we will soon enter an era of what I dub würde, universelle deep appreciation,” adds Clark via e-mail. “We are used to the situation, to find out information about our surroundings, and how it all works and Inter relates to participate on request and without typing or on a screen. A sub-voice query or haptic link (an subtle movement of the hand to his ear, say) would ask what makes bird birdsong that we can? ‘Acoustic’ with the results of a given sound. a point in a separate object – for example, a fungus – would identify the type, while an overlay augmented reality showed a guess the underground architecture of the mycelium. Listen Ables is widely used to provide language translations spoken, too -. Tech that already exists “However, Clark does not believe that the ubiquitous interaction with these AIs do not make us less human. Rather, he argues that smarter, more versions will be aware of us. “You have to worry about suddenly found himself in a post-human future,” he says. “This is the thing that is most human of us … reinvented.” Anil Dash transformative power of technology is what Glitch CEO Anil Dash loves most. “This is what captured my imagination when I was a kid,” says Dash 43, whose two decades of experience in organizations like to include, such as “the kind of technology in the room” of the project and the management office of Obama Digital strategy has cemented his reputation as one of the most outspoken advocates for a more humane and ethical Internet. “And it happened,” he said, referring to what he called the rise of technology characterizes an ethical compass is missing, and the spread of toxicity algorithms spreading disinformation and vitriol easier violence. The strange, creative communities, curiosity dash towards the web shrinks unleashed replaced with social networks where few seemed happy. but safe spaces for unorthodox self-expression and creation were pockets of goodness in a larger, more social web with ugly mob justice as friendly banter and learning. “It sucks to [create] in an environment where everything is crumbling,” says Dash. Dash is trying to get the old school spirit of web communities, Glitch, where you create a growing, collaborative community of programmers to share, and remix applications do. No comments or Glitch caliber. Instead, ask for help or other support for their programmers on a project. With over 1 million users, Dash noted how the coding veterans, as well as the next generation of programmers to embrace a community where downvotes, but help is on. And he says it works. “It ‘s an incredibly diverse community,” says Dash of Glitch users. “We have kids who have never written in junior high school, the first line of HTML to create, and we have some of the most advanced Google engineers working on its innovative artificial intelligence platforms to create demos.” When it comes to inclusiveness, Dash practice what he preaches at the corporate level. “I think it is no coincidence that what we are as a company, what we seek as a community,” he says. “I think we have seen so many institutions has been undermined by people who have no respect for the truth or consistency or propriety”. In Glitch, notoriously sensitive issues such as salary structure, goodwill is openly discussed with equity contributions dependent August to approach the job target. All creativity he sees on the Glitch Dash hope that more and more people, including those under-represented communities in the technology industry, will have a chance and try to learn something new, even if they have never had a single line of code is written. “If you can trust in a community, and you can trust in your ability to express yourself, and you can trust in a safe place to share your ideas, that gives you room for optimism,” says Dash. “It gives you space to have a bit ‘of hope, you think something to share when the ground shifts beneath you and you can not take your word for people.” Hugh Herr Hugh Herr was a terrible high school student. “If you ask me what was 10% of 100, I could not tell you the answer was 10,” Mr. jokes, 54. Mr. attitude towards science as it has changed – it is now the head of the MIT Media Lab biomechatronics (a field of study combines neuroscience, biology and robotics) and one of the leading experts and advocates for advanced prosthetics in the world. As a teenager man was an obsessive rock climber. But a climbing accident in 1982 led to both frostbite legs had to be amputated later. He was then forced to face the miserable state at the time of wood and plastic prosthesis. “I thought, really? ‘” Says Mr. “This is what the company produces to emulate some of the missing body? E’ was shocking.” Mr. disappointment gave way to determine what he invent your own dentures for climbing. From there, Hugh has worked on other solutions for amputees, the way a degree in mechanical engineering and biophysics of MIT and Harvard are gaining. Now Lord of advanced access legs to go by himself as “biome” that made him, running and even dancing with fluidity. Unlike conventional prostheses, male legs move naturally from a series of sensors and microprocessors with a carbon fiber spring combined addition of strength at every step. Up next for the men? He wants the body to connect the nervous system of artificial limbs, so that people can better control and receive feedback from their implants. Mr. and his team has been progress: Mr. friend and fellow climber Jim Ewing used feedback climbing performance to an artificial foot project Lord up on the mountain where there was life changed violation Ewing. Thanks to the advanced prosthetics, Lord believes has the stigma of a disability that comes with understanding, acceptance be replaced or the desire for an artificial limb. “A company once said that if one is missing a limb, your life is over,” says Mr. “The company is the fact that do not use an innate biological arts as a corrupting influence upon losing a person’s life. it will not be crippling. And ‘perhaps liberate “Andre Iguodala about a dozen years ago, around the time it was released the first iPhone then Philadelphia 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala, -. A big apple fan – Read an article by suggesting that if the money together out of all the devices in Apple stock, you would be able to buy the cargo truck stuff. “What this light switch hit,” says TIME. Iguodala, 35, has always been a technology bull. He started following the stock and learn the pros and cons of technology companies on their own feet. “It ‘was like going go to school,” he says. When he joined the Golden State Warriors and the store in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley in 2013, he earned his version of an advanced degree. He tried venture capitalist mentors who are very willing to make time for professional athletes, and helped launch the player Technology Summit in 2017; Now exclusive confab year brings together athletes, investors and entrepreneurs. Iguodala, 2015 NBA Finals MVP to his autobiography The Sixth published Man in June, has invested in over 40 companies, including videoconferencing company Zoom (the rwent public in April) month, lime, electric scooter dress and Allbirds designing eco-friendly shoes, Optimism, he says Iguodala is in his DNA. “Where I come from, not much access to certain things that when it comes to technology, it is the fault for the better,” said Iguodala, who grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Springfield, Illinois. He is to be expanded technology bets all the way to Africa. joined the board of the e-commerce platform Jumia, known as the Amazon of Africa – March Iguodala – whose father Nigerians. Iguodala is expected that the demand for e-commerce on the continent construction technology connectivity help of infrastructure and improvements, productivity and opportunity for millions of disadvantaged people. The market seems to agree with him. On April 12 Jumia became the first African launch are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Jumia IPO (IPO) has been estimated at $1.3 billion; Title closed 75% on the day. “Oh man, I was so excited,” said Iguodala to pursue the IPO. “That just shows the growth. In Africa. You will see a lot more companies in Africa, it begins to build these platforms have had in other places the success of” this offseason, the Warriors Iguodala negotiated the Memphis Grizzlies; Grizzlies reconstruction are free to purchase his contract, Iguodala moving again be sent (perhaps for the Los Angeles Lakers, who can benefit from Iguodala championship pedigree). No matter where Iguodala played his next season, he will stop in the square of an eye, and another on the new digital world. Katrina lake as some experts to get more and more pessimistic about the value of big data, others, such as Lake Katrina, exploring ways to make it more useful. The 36-year-old founder and CEO of personal styling Stich Fix online service says the lake trick safely get to make the data of your company a human touch. “We knew from the beginning that the only way to create a personal style accessible to a large extent, it was the people and the science of combining the information,” says Lake. Stitch Fix preferences metrics collects customers and style, then sends a box of clothes and accessories designed in size to fit. What I do not like it, they can return. Lake said the company’s algorithms are found both on the data such as human measures, with information such as skirt sleeves and button height that deal with all the factoring perfect fit. But the lake is not just crunching numbers; She has to do with people who could manipulate their measurements by an inch or two. To form for each Fibbing, Lake Stich Fix says pooled data may show that help to ensure that customers get what they really need models. “We, the men have noticed the 5’11” tend to their height rounded to 6 ‘tall, “says Lake. Instead, the men make their verticality aspirational deal, suggesting they were more truthful or less random Fix uses the data – along with by designers feedback – to adjust its algorithm, offer to provide customers a better fitting clothing, despite the erroneous measurements. “Retail is an emotional business, and the success of the point correction is based on our ability to empathize,” says Lake . began in 2011, it has Stich Fix additional options such as clothing and plus size maternity for women, subscriptions to the men, the gender-neutral decisions for children and “Design Hybird” entries by random Fix brands private are created to accommodate the gaps in the market as particular styles in a slightly longer cut. This says Lake, will any be able to find them something that will fit without embarrassment or frustration. “There siam or committed to serve all, “says Lake,” and we believe that our culture is rooted in diversity and inclusion, a direct impact on our innovation and our ability to everything he has to serve. ” With a valuation of over $and more than 5,000 employees, like lake on the right track to be 2 billion more. Andrew Ng One of the leading researchers in the field of artificial intelligence in the world, Andrew Ng is not alone in believing that artificial intelligence will change almost every sector of the world economy. “Everything from agriculture to health care to manufacturing, which are the areas that AI in the transformation process,” says Ng, 43. “I have a hard time thinking of any large industry that AI does not turn.” ng himself had triggered a hand in this change. In 2011, as an associate professor at Stanford University, Ng Google’s brain out project, which has produced, among other things, I know, he taught to recognize cats in YouTube video algorithm (revolutionary projects AI often seem silly on the surface but carry more importance in the overall image.) the initiative ultimately helped modern aI in the field of academic research to take in the economy. “The basic teachings of [machine learning] and scalability we’ve now learned, widely used in the industry,” says Ng. Ng admits that AI unanswered presents problems with regard to their potential for centralizing knowledge and wealth among those who understand their strengths or afford. But he believes that the benefits – how to generate economic growth, have unveiled new ways to tackle climate change – will far outweigh the disadvantages. “AI is an incredibly powerful technology, and like any technology can be used for a variety of purposes, some positive and some not,” says Ng. “Fortunately, the AI ​​community has, for the most part, focused on useful purposes for the application.” Ng is on a mission for the AI ​​world is to convince a friend, not an enemy. It teaches people about the technology beyond the classroom and meeting space; his machine learning class remains the most popular course on Coursera, the online training platform founded. But Ng believes computer programmers are not the only people who should understand how AI. To this end, recently she completed a class called “Artificial Intelligence for All”, a crash course in AI for the laity. “I habe, IA for all ‘, so that any manager or someone in a non-technical field … may learn enough of AI, this increased to navigate,” says Ng. With the growth of artificial intelligence, businesses, governments and address a range of new challenges, and Ng says it is important to take these decisions, to understand the new technology. “I think AI is actually less mysterious than most people think,” he says. Alexis Ohanian his optimism If you’re looking for, there’s no better place to look than in the hearts and minds of investors. This is doubly true for investors in early on as Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit capitalist-turned-venture whose company, initialized Capital aims to be the first to put money behind up-and-coming startups . This type of high-risk investment, high yield – often in the days when a founder has a dream and little else – is in many ways the ultimate act of technological optimism. “We want to be the first to believe in a founder, you write a check, then roll up your sleeves and help to grow that one day hopefully be a multi-billion company,” says Ohanian 36 dollars one of the companies in Initialized portfolio that most excites Ohanian is to analyze athelas a startup medical technology with computer vision for small amounts of user data of Immunology blood. Ohanian knows how familiar it sounds like – and not in a good way. a piece of the idea of ​​credibility core down infamously another blood test start Theranos flamed out spectacular, takes together. But he insists that the law does what athelas Theranos did was wrong. The company’s technology is different, for one. But, he says, is the compass of society ethics. “What is very different Athelas these have been technically validated by third parties with actual clinical studies of thousands of samples of patients, is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and is real and it works,” says Ohanian. “It is a technology that is real, that very serious has two founders, very difficult to build something significant has worked, and must build in many ways waiver of the hype that was something … in fact a problem that decides life will improve people. “of course, on the whole, the more public opinion is acidification on Silicon Valley. Incorrect treatment of user data, an aversion to good social media platforms and dissemination of misinformation contributed to the so-called “techlash.” Ohanian, however, is optimistic that the conversation today about the role of technology in society is a necessary process and healthy, the Founders with which Ohanian met, he said, are now “bring with them a lot of their responsibility awareness that there there are really in the middle of the aughts. ” Without Theranos, Cambridge Analytica and so on, that can not be the case. Reshma Saujani Reshma Saujani says it is a sure way to help girls change the world: teach the code. “It ‘s like giving a superpower,” he says. Saujani, 43, the founder and CEO of girls of code, non-profit is also the gender imbalance is working workforce tech, in part by programs of high school and college schools to organize the girls teach the fundamentals of computer science. Since its inception in 2012, the girls in the code of skills taught to girls about 185,000, half of whom are members of historically underrepresented groups in technology, he says. But women in Silicon Valley are facing another difficult prospect. In one of the fastest growing in America and higher paid professions, only about a quarter of the programmer it is female. And this percentage has decreased in recent decades, perhaps in part because of marketing for home computers, more and more men and boys in particular. Groups who are trying to reverse the trend, support received by the industry; Girls Code counts giants such as Adobe and Salesforce among its sponsors (Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff TIME.) Still need to think about the companies that play to do more Saujani. “You’re talking about a radical change in what looks like the industry,” he says. “This takes time, it takes the energy that takes the trouble, and this requires commitment.” Saujani does not have much time, effort spent directly in the field of technology itself. After graduating from Yale Law School, he spent seven years in corporate and finance work. In 2010, Carolyn Maloney ran for office in the 14th Congressional District of New York, challenging Rep. In the Democratic primary. Saujani runs on pro-Wall Street platform, raised $1.3 million and was beaten in the elections, will receive only 19% of the votes. “I had 33 years, and it was the first time in my life that I had done something really brave,” he said in a Saujani 2016 TED Talk. Since then, he has channeled the experience into a slogan: “Brave, not perfect” This is also the title of his recent book, in which he argued that the girls need to be learned perfectly and pursue options only when they are confident of success while boys are taught to be brave and take risks. Saujani believes that learning code allows exactly the kind of risk-taking that girls should embrace. “Most of the girls were notified, so that their attitude is set,” he says. “They are either good or bad something for something. What I do in addition to the technical piece women to say to sit down with a challenge and learn to do something over and over again.”
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