Enjoy this weekly feed of inspiring, interesting and intellectual articles and news, with a focus on disruption!
Watch out lawyers!
Big data and machine learning have already started grabbing analysis jobs out there and we have mentioned a few of them. As we posted two weeks back World Economic Forum is calling it the fourth industrial revolution, and almost all jobs will be affected to some degree. Lawyers now seem to be next in line. Since laws are publicly available, bots can automate some of the simple tasks that human lawyers have had to do for centuries. A 19 year old scholar from Stanford launched a parking ticket bot that helps people appeal parking tickets for free. It has since launch in late 2015 already successfully appealed over $3 million!
But that’s not all! The startup Acadmx’s bot creates perfectly formatted legal briefs. The company Lex Machina does data mining on judges’ records and makes predictions on what they will do in the future!
Google’s self-driving car has caused its first accident
After more than 2.25 million kilometers on the road (equivalent of 100 years of car driving for the average driver), Google’s self-driving car has caused its first accident. The Google car was doing 3 mph in autonomous mode when it crashed into a bus. Since the average human car driver would have crashed four times traveling the same distance the Google car might actually be safer than traveling with a friend at the wheel. And it’s just an early prototype!
Emerging markets are now driving the shift towards clean energy
As the disruption feed has previously reported, the world passed an important milestone in 2013: the world is adding more capacity for renewal energy than fossil-based energy each year. When the numbers for 2015 was calculated, scientists were able to deliver some additional good news. For the first time, more than half of the world’s yearly investments in clean energy is coming from emerging markets! Investments rose with almost 40% during last year, and the top-scoring markets were China, Brazil, Chile, South Africa and India. The global society have for long been concerned with how to manage the supply of energy to meet the needs of developing countries in a sustainable way so this is good news! If you are a renewable energy sales person you better start practicing Chinese and Indian because for the moment that’s where the action is!
Yesterday’s padlocks are today’s data encryption
Just a few decades ago people would lock their files in a cabin with a padlock, today we encrypt our computers, phones and hard drives. The problem is both padlocks and encryption can be broken. However, in some cases “the law” needs to access files for some reason and have the right to sometimes break a padlock, with encryption it’s different. In an ongoing debate the FBI wants to get into a locked iPhone belonging to a dead terrorist – Apple says the only way to do that would also permanently break the security of ALL iPhones… Breaking the encryption is like giving someone a master key to all padlocks from the same manufacturer. For many manufacturers or service providers it is hence a big and important fight, in order to protect their users.
For similar reasons a VP at Facebook was detained this week in Brazil for not complying with a court order to hand over Whatsapp user data (Facebook owns Whatsapp). The big problem here though: Whatsapp fully encrypts messages between users, and it has no records of messages sent. Even if it were to get access to a specific device, the encryption is likely too difficult for the company to crack.