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January 15, 2012



I love this post.

Good thinking - we need to see more like it.
Your post helped me realise innovation only happens in one of 2 cases:

a) where this is an economical case to do so: i.e. product / market fit generates values (i.e. costs of making outweighed by value generated)

b) government invests to innovate - really only works well in the military

2 reflections on this:

a) therefore currently with the current web ecosystem of companies we are going to see:

- Loads of social, mobile, connected applications and innovation
- we won't see much AI

b) What else won't we see much of ?

Could any of these other potential innovations be life changing ?

One of the areas I've written about is that of the role of social technology in driving social change in north africa.

twitter and facebook were great tools at amplofying a network of weak links to generate momentum for change - but they had a number of failings too. The market did not create a requirement for developing these features (e.g. anonymous networks, no single points of failure, distributed storage, etc.)

Thoughts ?


Great point, but I don't think AI research was killed - perhaps slowed down and redirected? Perhaps AI would emerge in a different way from search-oriented efforts with projects like Siri, Watson, Wolfram Alpha?


Great post!

I usually make this argument about algorithms for ad targeting, but the point is the same -- why have we abandoned the truly ambitious research questions in our field for things that are more immediately practical? Are we at a local maxima? How do we shift more resources to these problems?

(I don't have answers, just questions. :)

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