Bitcoin Mining and Proof of Work — Non-technical people often assume that bitcoin will get more efficient as it goes on—like other technologies do. This isn’t the case at all. With every other technology, the economic motivation is to reduce energy costs. But with bitcoin, you make your bitcoins by spending absolutely as much energy as you can throw at the problem.
Machine Learning to Spot Celebrities — it’s so emblematic. China uses face recognition to spot criminals and track association; the West uses face recognition to automatically track and record celebrities for a television broadcast.