Four short links: 15 October 2018
Robots, Cryptocurrencies, Bayes, and Brains
- What People See in a Robot (YouTube) — In a study using 24 robots selected from this three-dimensional appearance space, I then show that the different dimensions separately predict inferences people make about the robot’s affective, social-moral, and physical capacities. (via RoboHub)
- Crypto is the Mother of All Scams and (Now Busted) Bubbles While Blockchain Is The Most Over-Hyped Technology Ever, No Better than a Spreadsheet/Database (Nouriel Roubini) — Roubini’s testimony to the Hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Community Affairs on Blockchains. It is clear by now that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies represent the mother of all bubbles, which explains why literally every human being I met between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2017 asked me first if they should buy them. […] A chart of Bitcoin prices compared to other famous historical bubbles and scams—like Tulip-mania, the Mississippi Bubble, the South Sea Bubble—shows that the price increase of Bitcoin and other crypto junkcoins was 2X or 3X bigger than previous bubbles, and the ensuing collapse and bust as fast and furious and deeper. […] Actually calling this useless vaporware garbage a “shitcoin” is a grave insult to manure that is a most useful, precious, and productive good as a fertilizer in agriculture. It’s all quotable. Read it.
- Bayes’ Theorem in the 21st Century — I recently completed my term as editor of an applied statistics journal. Maybe a quarter of the papers used Bayes’ theorem. Almost all of these were based on uninformative priors, reflecting the fact that most cutting-edge science does not enjoy Five-Thirty-Eight-level background information. Are we in for another Bayesian bust?
- Numenta’s New Theory — research paper, talk, NYT story. Will be interesting to see how this fares in peer review.