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Alex Carter

Alex Carter

4 months ago

Metaverse, Web 3, and NFTs are BS

More on NFTs & Art

Matt Nutsch

Matt Nutsch

13 days ago

Most people are unaware of how artificial intelligence (A.I.) is changing the world.

Image created by MidjourneyAI user Dreamland3K

Recently, I saw an interesting social media post. In an entrepreneurship forum. A blogger asked for help because he/she couldn't find customers. I now suspect that the writer’s occupation is being disrupted by A.I.

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has been a hot topic since the 1950s. With recent advances in machine learning, A.I. will touch almost every aspect of our lives. This article will discuss A.I. technology and its social and economic implications.

What's AI?

A computer program or machine with A.I. can think and learn. In general, it's a way to make a computer smart. Able to understand and execute complex tasks. Machine learning, NLP, and robotics are common types of A.I.

AI's global impact

MidjourneyAI image generated by user Desmesne

AI will change the world, but probably faster than you think. A.I. already affects our daily lives. It improves our decision-making, efficiency, and productivity.

A.I. is transforming our lives and the global economy. It will create new business and job opportunities but eliminate others. Affected workers may face financial hardship.

AI examples:

OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generation

MidjourneyAI generated image of robot typing

Developers can train, deploy, and manage models on GPT-3. It handles data preparation, model training, deployment, and inference for machine learning workloads. GPT-3 is easy to use for both experienced and new data scientists.

My team conducted an experiment. We needed to generate some blog posts for a website. We hired a blogger on Upwork. OpenAI created a blog post. The A.I.-generated blog post was of higher quality and lower cost.

MidjourneyAI's Art Contests

Théâtre D’opéra Spatial by Jason M. Allen via MidjourneyAI

AI already affects artists. Artists use A.I. to create realistic 3D images and videos for digital art. A.I. is also used to generate new art ideas and methods.

MidjourneyAI and GigapixelAI won a contest last month. It's AI. created a beautiful piece of art that captured the contest's spirit. AI triumphs. It could open future doors.

After the art contest win, I registered to try out these new image generating A.I.s. In the MidjourneyAI chat forum, I noticed an artist's plea. The artist begged others to stop flooding RedBubble with AI-generated art.

Shutterstock and Getty Images have halted user uploads. AI-generated images flooded online marketplaces.

Imagining Videos with Meta

AI generated video example from Meta AI

Meta released Make-a-Video this week. It's an A.I. app that creates videos from text. What you type creates a video.

This technology will impact TV, movies, and video games greatly. Imagine a movie or game that's personalized to your tastes. It's closer than you think.

Uses and Abuses of Deepfakes

Carrie Fischer’s likeness in the movie The Rise of Skywalker

Deepfake videos are computer-generated images of people. AI creates realistic images and videos of people.

Deepfakes are entertaining but have social implications. Porn introduced deepfakes in 2017. People put famous faces on porn actors and actresses without permission.

Soon, deepfakes were used to show dead actors/actresses or make them look younger. Carrie Fischer was included in films after her death using deepfake technology.

Deepfakes can be used to create fake news or manipulate public opinion, according to an AI.

Voices for Darth Vader and Iceman

James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, sold his voice rights this week. Aged actor won't be in those movies. Respeecher will use AI to mimic Jones's voice. This technology could change the entertainment industry. One actor can now voice many characters.

Val Kilmer in Top Gun as imagined by MidjourneyAI

AI can generate realistic voice audio from text. Top Gun 2 actor Val Kilmer can't speak for medical reasons. Sonantic created Kilmer's voice from the movie script. This entertaining technology has social implications. It blurs authentic recordings and fake media.

Medical A.I. fights viruses

MidjourneyAI generated image of virus

A team of Chinese scientists used machine learning to predict effective antiviral drugs last year. They started with a large dataset of virus-drug interactions. Researchers combined that with medication and virus information. Finally, they used machine learning to predict effective anti-virus medicines. This technology could solve medical problems.

AI ideas AI-generated Itself

MidjourneyAI image generated by user SubjectChunchunmaru

OpenAI's GPT-3 predicted future A.I. uses. Here's what it told me:

AI will affect the economy. Businesses can operate more efficiently and reinvest resources with A.I.-enabled automation. AI can automate customer service tasks, reducing costs and improving satisfaction.

A.I. makes better pricing, inventory, and marketing decisions. AI automates tasks and makes decisions. A.I.-powered robots could help the elderly or disabled. Self-driving cars could reduce accidents.

A.I. predictive analytics can predict stock market or consumer behavior trends and patterns. A.I. also personalizes recommendations. sways. A.I. recommends products and movies. AI can generate new ideas based on data analysis.

Conclusion

Image generated from MidjourneyAI by user PuddingPants.”

A.I. will change business as it becomes more common. It will change how we live and work by creating growth and prosperity.

Exciting times,  but also one which should give us all pause. Technology can be good or evil. We must use new technologies ethically, fairly, and honestly.

“The author generated some sentences in this text in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication. The text of this post was further edited using HemingWayApp. Many of the images used were generated using A.I. as described in the captions.”

Yogita Khatri

Yogita Khatri

7 months ago

Moonbirds NFT sells for $1 million in first week

On Saturday, Moonbird #2642, one of the collection's rarest NFTs, sold for a record 350 ETH (over $1 million) on OpenSea.

The Sandbox, a blockchain-based gaming company based in Hong Kong, bought the piece. The seller, "oscuranft" on OpenSea, made around $600,000 after buying the NFT for 100 ETH a week ago.

Owl avatars

Moonbirds is a 10,000 owl NFT collection. It is one of the quickest collections to achieve bluechip status. Proof, a media startup founded by renowned VC Kevin Rose, launched Moonbirds on April 16.

Rose is currently a partner at True Ventures, a technology-focused VC firm. He was a Google Ventures general partner and has 1.5 million Twitter followers.

Rose has an NFT podcast on Proof. It follows Proof Collective, a group of 1,000 NFT collectors and artists, including Beeple, who hold a Proof Collective NFT and receive special benefits.

These include early access to the Proof podcast and in-person events.

According to the Moonbirds website, they are "the official Proof PFP" (picture for proof).

Moonbirds NFTs sold nearly $360 million in just over a week, according to The Block Research and Dune Analytics. Its top ten sales range from $397,000 to $1 million.

In the current market, Moonbirds are worth 33.3 ETH. Each NFT is 2.5 ETH. Holders have gained over 12 times in just over a week.

Why was it so popular?

The Block Research's NFT analyst, Thomas Bialek, attributes Moonbirds' rapid rise to Rose's backing, the success of his previous Proof Collective project, and collectors' preference for proven NFT projects.

Proof Collective NFT holders have made huge gains. These NFTs were sold in a Dutch auction last December for 5 ETH each. According to OpenSea, the current floor price is 109 ETH.

According to The Block Research, citing Dune Analytics, Proof Collective NFTs have sold over $39 million to date.

Rose has bigger plans for Moonbirds. Moonbirds is introducing "nesting," a non-custodial way for holders to stake NFTs and earn rewards.

Holders of NFTs can earn different levels of status based on how long they keep their NFTs locked up.

"As you achieve different nest status levels, we can offer you different benefits," he said. "We'll have in-person meetups and events, as well as some crazy airdrops planned."

Rose went on to say that Proof is just the start of "a multi-decade journey to build a new media company."

Tora Northman

Tora Northman

8 months ago

Pixelmon NFTs are so bad, they are almost good!

Bored Apes prices continue to rise, HAPEBEAST launches, Invisible Friends hype continues to grow. Sadly, not all projects are as successful.
Of course, there are many factors to consider when buying an NFT. Is the project a scam? Will the reveal derail the project? Possibly, but when Pixelmon first teased its launch, it generated a lot of buzz.

With a primary sale mint price of 3 ETH ($8,100 USD), it started as an expensive project, with plenty of fans willing to invest in what was sold as a game. After it was revealed, it fell rapidly.
Why? It was overpromised and under delivered.

According to the project's creator[^1], the funds generated will be used to develop the artwork. "The Pixelmon reveal was wrong. This is what our Pixelmon look like in-game. "Despite the fud, I will not go anywhere," he wrote on Twitter. The goal remains. The funds will still be used to build our game. I will finish this project."

The project raised $70 million USD, but the NFTs buyers received were not the project's original teasers. Some call it "the worst NFT project ever," while others call it a complete scam.

But there's hope for some buyers. Kevin emerged from the ashes as the project was roasted over the fire.

A Minecraft character meets Salad Fingers - that's Kevin. He's a frog-like creature whose reveal was such a terrible NFT that it became part of history – and a meme.

If you're laughing at people paying $8K for a silly pixelated image, you might need to take it back. Precisely because of this, lucky holders who minted Kevin have been able to sell the now-memed NFT for over 8 ETH (around $24,000 USD), with some currently listed for 100 ETH.

Of course, Twitter has been awash in memes mocking those who invested in the project, because what else can you do when so many people lose money?

It's still unclear if the NFT project is a scam, but the team behind it was hired on Upwork. There's still hope for redemption, but Kevin's rise to fame appears to be the only positive outcome so far.

[^1] This is not the first time the creator (A 20-yo New Zealanders) has sought money via an online platform and had people claiming he under-delivered.  He raised $74,000 on Kickstarter for a card game called Psycho Chicken. There are hundreds of comments on the Kickstarter project saying they haven't received the product and pleading for a refund or an update.

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Jussi Luukkonen, MBA

Jussi Luukkonen, MBA

1 month ago

Is Apple Secretly Building A Disruptive Tsunami?

A TECHNICAL THOUGHT

The IT giant is seeding the digital Great Renaissance.

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai— Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

Recently, technology has been dull.

We're still fascinated by processing speeds. Wearables are no longer an engineer's dream.

Apple has been quiet and avoided huge announcements. Slowness speaks something. Everything in the spaceship HQ seems to be turning slowly, unlike competitors around buzzwords.

Is this a sign of the impending storm?

Metas stock has fallen while Google milks dumb people. Microsoft steals money from corporations and annexes platforms like Linkedin.

Just surface bubbles?

Is Apple, one of the technology continents, pushing against all others to create a paradigm shift?

The fundamental human right to privacy

Apple's unusual remarks emphasize privacy. They incorporate it into their business models and judgments.

Apple believes privacy is a human right. There are no compromises.

This makes it hard for other participants to gain Apple's ecosystem's efficiencies.

Other players without hardware platforms lose.

Apple delivers new kidneys without rejection, unlike other software vendors. Nothing compromises your privacy.

Corporate citizenship will become more popular.

Apples have full coffers. They've started using that flow to better communities, which is great.

Apple's $2.5B home investment is one example. Google and Facebook are building or proposing to build workforce housing.

Apple's funding helps marginalized populations in more than 25 California counties, not just Apple employees.

Is this a trend, and does Apple keep giving back? Hope so.

I'm not cynical enough to suspect these investments have malicious motives.

The last frontier is the environment.

Climate change is a battle-to-win.

Long-term winners will be companies that protect the environment, turning climate change dystopia into sustainable growth.

Apple has been quietly changing its supply chain to be carbon-neutral by 2030.

“Apple is dedicated to protecting the planet we all share with solutions that are supporting the communities where we work.” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment.

Apple's $4.7 billion Green Bond investment will produce 1.2 gigawatts of green energy for the corporation and US communities. Apple invests $2.2 billion in Europe's green energy. In the Philippines, Thailand, Nigeria, Vietnam, Colombia, Israel, and South Africa, solar installations are helping communities obtain sustainable energy.

Apple is already carbon neutral today for its global corporate operations, and this new commitment means that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact. -Apple.

Apple invests in green energy and forests to reduce its paper footprint in China and the US. Apple and the Conservation Fund are safeguarding 36,000 acres of US working forest, according to GreenBiz.

Apple's packaging paper is recycled or from sustainably managed forests.

What matters is the scale.

$1 billion is a rounding error for Apple.

These small investments originate from a tree with deep, spreading roots.

Apple's genes are anchored in building the finest products possible to improve consumers' lives.

I felt it when I switched to my iPhone while waiting for a train and had to pack my Macbook. iOS 16 dictation makes writing more enjoyable. Small change boosts productivity. Smooth transition from laptop to small screen and dictation.

Apples' tiny, well-planned steps have great growth potential for all consumers in everything they do.

There is clearly disruption, but it doesn't have to be violent

Digital channels, methods, and technologies have globalized human consciousness. One person's responsibility affects many.

Apple gives us tools to be privately connected. These technologies foster creativity, innovation, fulfillment, and safety.

Apple has invented a mountain of technologies, services, and channels to assist us adapt to the good future or combat evil forces who cynically aim to control us and ruin the environment and communities. Apple has quietly disrupted sectors for decades.

Google, Microsoft, and Meta, among others, should ride this wave. It's a tsunami, but it doesn't have to be devastating if we care, share, and cooperate with political decision-makers and community leaders worldwide.

A fresh Renaissance

Renaissance geniuses Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Different but seeing something no one else could yet see. Both were talented in many areas and could discover art in science and science in art.

These geniuses exemplified a period that changed humanity for the better. They created, used, and applied new, valuable things. It lives on.

Apple is a digital genius orchard. Wozniak and Jobs offered us fertile ground for the digital renaissance. We'll build on their legacy.

We may put our seeds there and see them bloom despite corporate greed and political ignorance.

I think the coming tsunami will illuminate our planet like the Renaissance.

Eve Arnold

Eve Arnold

3 months ago

Your Ideal Position As a Part-Time Creator

Inspired by someone I never met

Photo by Nubelson Fernandes

Inspiration is good and bad.

Paul Jarvis inspires me. He's a web person and writer who created his own category by being himself.

Paul said no thank you when everyone else was developing, building, and assuming greater responsibilities. This isn't success. He rewrote the rules. Working for himself, expanding at his own speed, and doing what he loves were his definitions of success.

Play with a problem that you have

The biggest problem can be not recognizing a problem.

Acceptance without question is deception. When you don't push limits, you forget how. You start thinking everything must be as it is.

For example: working. Paul worked a 9-5 agency work with little autonomy. He questioned whether the 9-5 was a way to live, not the way.

Another option existed. So he chipped away at how to live in this new environment.

Don't simply jump

Internet writers tell people considering quitting 9-5 to just quit. To throw in the towel. To do what you like.

The advice is harmful, despite the good intentions. People think quitting is hard. Like courage is the issue. Like handing your boss a resignation letter.

Nope. The tough part comes after. It’s easy to jump. Landing is difficult.

The landing

Paul didn't quit. Intelligent individuals don't. Smart folks focus on landing. They imagine life after 9-5.

Paul had been a web developer for a long time, had solid clients, and was respected. Hence if he pushed the limits and discovered another route, he had the potential to execute.

Working on the side

Society loves polarization. It’s left or right. Either way. Or chaos. It's 9-5 or entrepreneurship.

But like Paul, you can stretch polarization's limits. In-between exists.

You can work a 9-5 and side jobs (as I do). A mix of your favorites. The 9-5's stability and creativity. Fire and routine.

Remember you can't have everything but anything. You can create and work part-time.

My hybrid lifestyle

Not selling books doesn't destroy my world. My globe keeps spinning if my new business fails or if people don't like my Tweets. Unhappy algorithm? Cool. I'm not bothered (okay maybe a little).

The mix gives me the best of both worlds. To create, hone my skill, and grasp big-business basics. I like routine, but I also appreciate spending 4 hours on Saturdays writing.

Some days I adore leaving work at 5 pm and disconnecting. Other days, I adore having a place to write if inspiration strikes during a run or a discussion.

I’m a part-time creator

I’m a part-time creator. No, I'm not trying to quit. I don't work 5 pm - 2 am on the side. No, I'm not at $10,000 MRR.

I work part-time but enjoy my 9-5. My 9-5 has goodies. My side job as well.

It combines both to meet my lifestyle. I'm satisfied.

Join the Part-time Creators Club for free here. I’ll send you tips to enhance your creative game.

Jan-Patrick Barnert

Jan-Patrick Barnert

5 months ago

Wall Street's Bear Market May Stick Around

If history is any guide, this bear market might be long and severe.

This is the S&P 500 Index's fourth such incident in 20 years. The last bear market of 2020 was a "shock trade" caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, although earlier ones in 2000 and 2008 took longer to bottom out and recover.

Peter Garnry, head of equities strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, compares the current selloff to the dotcom bust of 2000 and the 1973-1974 bear market marked by soaring oil prices connected to an OPEC oil embargo. He blamed high tech valuations and the commodity crises.

"This drop might stretch over a year and reach 35%," Garnry wrote.

Here are six bear market charts.

Time/depth

The S&P 500 Index plummeted 51% between 2000 and 2002 and 58% during the global financial crisis; it took more than 1,000 trading days to recover. The former took 638 days to reach a bottom, while the latter took 352 days, suggesting the present selloff is young.

Valuations

Before the tech bubble burst in 2000, valuations were high. The S&P 500's forward P/E was 25 times then. Before the market fell this year, ahead values were near 24. Before the global financial crisis, stocks were relatively inexpensive, but valuations dropped more than 40%, compared to less than 30% now.

Earnings

Every stock crash, especially earlier bear markets, returned stocks to fundamentals. The S&P 500 decouples from earnings trends but eventually recouples.

Support

Central banks won't support equity investors just now. The end of massive monetary easing will terminate a two-year bull run that was among the strongest ever, and equities may struggle without cheap money. After years of "don't fight the Fed," investors must embrace a new strategy.

Bear Haunting Bear

If the past is any indication, rising government bond yields are bad news. After the financial crisis, skyrocketing rates and a falling euro pushed European stock markets back into bear territory in 2011.

Inflation/rates

The current monetary policy climate differs from past bear markets. This is the first time in a while that markets face significant inflation and rising rates.


This post is a summary. Read full article here