2017 Posts


Below are links to all the 2017 weekly digest roundup posts grouped with high level seasonal themes along with summary highlights from each.


  • 42 – Decline and Fall (31.12.18):  American decline and fall, posterity, Amazon’s bumper Christmas, Alexa development, AI chips, the complexities of live streaming over the internet, Monte Carlo methods, the revenge of Occam’s Razor, the impact of outsourcing content cleansing, the state of JavaScript, Daniel Day-Lewis, lonely this Christmas.
  • 41 – Sapiens (21.12.17): Yuval Harari’s Sapiens, Insectageddon, Esalen, word embeddings, Deep Learning Santa detector, Deep Learning practice and trends, the rise of pandas, robot PR disaster, Facebook’s bizarre antidote to the ill-effects of the platform is to use it more, leadership and culture, analysing text in job adverts, Theresa May is still there.
  • 40 – Even Better than the Real Thing (14.12.17): The Shed in Dulwich, AI generated fake content, an ex-Facebook VP says it is ripping society apart, why we need to stop eating beef, AlphaGo recursive self-improvement and chess, a high profile intellectual spat on the likelihood of an intelligence explosion, Ben Evans on Amazon, Alexa as a marketing platform, Bitcoin white paper, Spotify as musak, Dolby and Cambridge, Steve Jobs on bozo managers, collective fictions and software development, our crimes against animals, hauntology.
  • 39 – Roboto (07.12.17): Tech Giant disillusion, Amazon robots, Carbon Capture, Python machine learning libraries, AWS Rekognition update, Alexa in the Enterprise, Alexa in a Furby, AWS re:Invent, Psion 5 vs the Gemini PDA, Innovation in big companies, the Likert Scale, blamestorming, groundscrapers, China’s bike graveyards, on handwritten letters, parental time with children, lonely deaths in China.
  • 38 – Algorithmic Science (28.11.17): Renaissance Man is dead, automation and the scientific process, capsule networks, Google AI and China, Amazon’s HQ2 saga, BBC SVOD and 5G, Python and machine learning, hiring at Facebook and everywhere else, the wealth gap, the rise of Flat Earthers, unchecked abuse on Twitter, iron lungs.
  • 37 – Software 2.0 (18.11.17): Software 2.0 and the rise of deep learning models, the entitlement of brilliant assholes, AWS and enterprise AI, Slaughterbots drone assassination video is the shape of things to come, streaming video economics and Apple and Netflix, invoking Rust from Python using cffi, SpaCy2.0, vantablack, internet-connected wood, Way of the Future and the AI godhead.
  • 36 – Revolutions (10.11.17): Stephen Fry and the future of technology, capsule neural networks, new religions of AI, consciousness and human thinking, machine learning and dirty data, Keras, why word2vec is bad for you, GAN and photorealistic fake celebritites, AWS P3 instances, the Guardian’s great year, Brexit as controlled suicide, Facebook as fashion, MS-DOS and home automation and life in the backwoods.
  • 35 – Closer (31.10.17): AlphaGoZero and recursive self-improvement, the outlandish intractability of software advances, the BBC and AI, the neural network behind “Hey Siri”, AI hotness told through salary, the startup era is over, Apple’s struggle to make the iPhoneX, news media should beware OTT, why the world needs a Vertu, Jeff Bezos on a wind turbine, Amazon’s growth and the Prime flywheel, Elon Musk’s email rule, Python graph gallery, Trump’s America, Guy Fawkes redux and insects are in trouble.
  • 34 – The Future of Work (20.10.17): The future of work, Digital Taylorism, Crowdtap, futility and the precariat, there will be no fire alarm for AGI, AlphaGo as canary in the mine, the MICrONS neuroscience moonshot, DeepMind Wavenet, Google robotics fail, AI and the UK, predictive shopping and Amazon, luxury Alexa, is Amazon Video ‘an expensive flop’? China’s Belt and Road initiative is reshaping the world, why Apple didn’t create the smartphone, what Tony Fadell did next was Paris, Swedish death decluttering cult of dostadning, why online dating is changing society, the Fermi Paradox and aestivation, Hannah Peel’s Journey to Cassopeia.
  • 33 – Mind Control (10.10.17): Facebook and the perils of continuous partial attention, social media and democracy, the future is increasingly opinion-led and angry, we still don’t know how Deep Learning works, Google will bring DeepMind to GCP, Dyson’s electric car, Honda’s disaster recovery robot, QA outsourcing, Alexa ambitions, the Pixel 2 phone, Apple and photography, why human waste is the future, why sitting is really bad for you, Kazio Ishiguro, portents of doom in a Tory party speech, Bertrand Russell and Eminem demonstrate how to deal with fascists.


  • 32 – Winter is Coming (27.09.17): Winter is coming for the tech giants and for those they will help to make unemployed through technology, the importance of Basic Income, BladeRunner 2049, Amazon HQ2, all new 4k UHD FireTV stick, the new 4k AppleTV, is the iPhoneX peak Apple?, Instagram engineering scale, Essential phone has proved anything but, the Docwriter connected typewriter, deep learning on AWS, how pandas and friends have driven the soaring popularity of Python, the loneliness epidemic, why lack of sleep is bad for you, the Guardian’s Life Without Technology correspondent, Lorde and Phil Collins In the Air Tonight, Britain’s industrial decline.
  • 31 – Blood in the Water (18.09.17): Why freedom of speech is being undermined by social media filtering, why the Russian ads scandal is not going away and there is blood in the water, Enterprise computer vision, Apple’s A11 chip, Amazon fulfillment centres are full of Kiva robots and temporary human workers, the BlueBorne vulnerability and why you should keep Bluetooth switched off, the Gemini reboot of the Psion 5, HAX demo day hardware, the remarkable growth of Python, the diversity dividend, 1-1 best practice, Iain Banks passage to London.
  • 30 – Premium Mediocrity (10.09.17):  Premium mediocrity and how in the future either you will tell computers what to do or they will tell you, the precariat API, object detection, Netflix recommendations, Amazon Alexa progress, Google’s Project Treble and the Android SoC interface, release engineering at Facebook, product centric engineering teams, on hiring developers, the journey of life, Millennial concerns.
  • 29 – The Chinese Way (26.08.17):  The long road to Chinese techno-nationalism, Amazon’s Alexa Voice Services (AVS) developer proposition, WholeFoods and the reach of Amazon Retail, Apple’s machine learning blog, inside Google Brain, AI and GDPR, killer drones, online hate speech, Android O, Adrian Cockcroft, where in the world is software developed, beyond OKRs and why the world of work is chock full of disappointment from the age of 35 onwards.
  • 28 – Deep Learning with TensorFlow (17.08.17):  Google’s Jeff Dean on TensorFlow, how your phone number because your username, LoveFiLM, Bezos, Stripe, an IoT fail from smart lock maker LockState, engineering culture, the Zoological art installation.
  • 27 – The Future of Truth (10.08.17): The future of truth and how our minds have been hijacked, the inverted totalitarian state and fake news, weaponised AI, deeplearn.js, Facebook language translation, AI hierarchy of needs, Amazon and Netflix, the Essential phone, the pursuit of unsolved languages, housework, age and loneliness.
  • 26 – The Inner Limits (31.07.17): We may never understand Deep Learning models, Jeff Bezos’ boots, Microsoft corporate culture, Steve Jobs responding to an insult, Will.i.am does IoT, important life lessons, Chinese exceptionalism, British exceptionalism and how Dunkirk perpetuates delusions of Empire.
  • 25 – Deep Dog (24.07.17): How to build a hotdog image detector, TensorFlow for poets, how your brain hallucinates reality, why content isn’t king any more, Amazon hiring frenzy, a blockchain implementation in 50 lines of Python, Silicon Valley’s struggles in China, turning off notifications, a battery free phone, why Vertu “was a remarkable company”, CTO as gardener, learned helplessness, the death of neoliberalism and why Brexit has nothing to say about robots.
  • 24 – In Denial (16.07.17): Agnotology, why we need a neo-Copernican revolution around climate change, how to build a data science pipeline, Bitcoin and ICOs, Bladerunner and what we get wrong about technology, the hollowing out of the global middle class, the death of Vertu, design reviews.
  • 23 – Artificial Intelligence at Work (07.07.17): Why AI will be different from prior technology waves, Peter Norvig on AI in the software engineering workflow, Warp Records Artificial Intelligence 20 years on, AI writers, the Simulation Hypothesis, Amazon Prime numbers, Brexit and startups, the demise of Jawbone, Atlassian, language learning and the end of American Dignity.


  • 22 – Compassion and the Future (30.06.17): Why compassion will once again be an important quality for humans to cultivate in the future, emotional labour, LSTMs and long-term term memory in neural architectures, how to interview at Amazon, the rise of streaming video, from LAMP to SMACK, cultural differences in hierarchy and decision making, reasons to use Python 3, 20-year old tech, the loneliness of old age.
  • 21 – Hyperobjects in the Anthropocene (22.06.17): Tim Morton and our trouble grokking hyperobjects in the Anthropocene era, the Aphex Twin, Amazon buying Whole Foods and how it might lead to Amazon Grocery Services, Amazon as infrastructural disruptor, Netflix culture and history, the extraordinary story of how Hollywood got leaked, the secret history of the iPhone, truck drivers, when does old age begin?, basic income, UK General Election dissection and the ensuing disaster of Grenfell Tower.
  • 20 – Something Rotten (14.06.17): Tech Disillusion, Apple’s CoreML, Google’s TensorFlow Lite and the push for deep learning in constrained environments, the importance of distribution, the role of a VP Engineering, Walden Pond today, Theresa May’s strong and stable pratfall and phyrrhic, #LiarLiar, a country divided, Lord Buckethead to the rescue.
  • 19 – The Economic Singularity (07.06.17): Technological unemployment and the coming economic singularity, AlphaGo, how AI is inadvertently supporting physiognomy, Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone, Nokia 3310 redux, Apache Kafka as a microservice message bus, the death of Steve Jobs, digital distraction, Radiohead’s OK Computer 20 years on, trust in the UK press is rock-bottom, Jeremy Corbyn is doing better than many think, Scott Atran on youth disillusion, Rolling Stone on Trump.
  • 18  – Unexceptionalism (28.05.17): Brexit is a negation and nothing will come of nothing for Britain, a16z AI playbook, Homo Deus, Amazon is ‘future-proof’, Amazon bananas, Amazon Go, the future of cloud, Kotlin, Law of Demeter, how to set the technical direction for your team, how to stay calm, why your company is who you hire and fire.
  • 17  – Accelerationism (16.05.17): The world the Accelerationists willed has come to pass, Sebald’s Rings of Saturn as balm, Ravn, a16z on the promise of AI, Jeff Bezos’s fireside chat, Google’s Project Treble, 2 billion Android devices, design sprints, cognitive radio, soil, fake news and Larry Elliott on Labour’s solid manifesto.
  • 16 – A Sense of Urgency (07.05.17): Superhuman AI is either coming or not, Amazon’s scale and reach, Samsung DeX, Blackberry KEYone, walking and dementia, standing desks, wasting time, Python GIL, Keras, Cambridge Analytica and the Great Brexit Robbery.
  • 15 – Decades of Pain (28.04.17): Technological unemployment will lead to decades of pain, dystopian visions of the future are in, so is the Simulation Hypothesis, LSTMs, keep on running, the 5 dysfunctions of a team, Netflix, Bullitt, product roadmaps, Shenzen, Jeremy Corbyn, the scatterbrain of Donald Trump, Primo Levi’s If This Is A Man 70 years on
  • 14 – Neural Lace (20.04.17): Elon Musk’s Neuralink is going to build a wizard hat for mortals, the road to immortality, blockchain and AI, Google’s TPU, DeepMind’s Sonnet library, Jupyter Notebook, the Economist on Amazon, Jeff Bezos’ annual shareholder letter, smart TV exploit via DVB channel, Vertu, the UK Asian Underground 20 years on, NYT ask if London will fall?
  • 13 – The Internet is Lost (07.04.17): The trolls have won and the ‘splinternet’ is coming, Deep Learning for photo style transfer, dlib, Dyson, ESPN, Ford, why US truck drivers are running out of road, BDD, Roland, Brexit monolingual challenge, why MAGA is “a three-act play in only four words ”


  • 12 – Agnotology (28.03.17): Agnotology or the deliberate production of fake news,  Brexit fantasists, Michel Foucault and the study of power, blockchain, DeepMind, video AI startup Matroid, Deep Neural Nets, modularity and microservices, the Economist on Microsoft, Netflix, Stockholm, Benedict Evans on the second order effects of driverless cars, Python for big data, Python Fire for the command line, computing pi using the Indian method, the indignities of age.
  • 11 – Amazon Attacks (21.07.17): SVOD, Bezos as Digital Shiva the destroyer of worlds, Adrian Rosebrock on leveraging ImageNet models from Keras, Fossil, Evrythng, why Ring is the killer consumer IoT product, Techmeme, inhumane workplaces, Daniel Dennett, the importance of open-mindedness and the closed minds of the Brexit sheeple.
  • 10 – Complexity (14.03.17): the inevitability of complexity,  the Eye is an Android phone in an iPhone smart case, Trump as evidence for the Simulation Hypothesis, Kaggle and GCP, Andrew Ng leaving Baidu, Stewart Lee on smart TV paranoia, Wikileaks and tech paranoia, pull requests and code reviews, Cython internals, growing a language, America from the Chateau Marmont to the Maine Woods.
  • 9 – Can Democracy Survive AI? (07.03.17): On Digital Totalitarianism and the filter bubble,  TensorFlow 1.0, AI in fashion, Netflix’s dynamic optimizer, Machine Learning on Android Wear, the Gemini PDA is a reboot of the Psion 5, Agile QA and a quantitative analysis of the sadness of Radiohead.
  • 8 – Making America Great Again (28.02.17): MAGA, Russian collusion, technological unemployment, the Halo bias, the brokenness of tech hiring, Brexit fears, the Fermi Paradox.
  • 7 – The Facebook Manifesto (23.02.17): Why Zuckerberg for President is a bad thing, AI everywhere not any stop to think, AWS AI blog, blue collar coding, beyond the data lake,  why you should leave the office on time, Theresa May’s Empire of the Mind, saudade, of time and loss, how your personality drifts in the wind of life.
  • 6 – American Unicorn (14.02.17): Why Donald Trump is the ultimate unicorn, TensorFlow 1.0, Machine Learning on hardware devices, image recognition at Facebook, AWS Rekognition, how to build a data science team, Kodi, Grizzly Steppe, China mobile trends, smartphones are over, code poetry, places lost and found
  • 5 – Digital Canute (07.02.17): Why Trump can no more hold back automation than Canute could the waves, the fear of terrorism trumps that of technological unemployment, the reality of global refugee flows, Boston Dynamics’ latest nightmare robot, machine learning and music, the nightclub of the future, Schneier on IoT security, RIP Club Penguin, the holographic universe, high performing teams and the transition from manager to leader.
  • 4 – American Golem (30.01.17):  Trump as cowboy and modern golem, a monster made from our own digital clay aided and abetted by big data, an RNN generates speech, Amazon’s Hollywood ambitions, Alexa growth, an example Alexa app built using FlaskAsk, modularity, agile and shipping containers, Mike Oldfield 44 years on.
  • 3 – Exceptionalism (21.01.17):  Trump’s dark vision,  on exceptionalism, connected car platforms, AI trends, Google’s Ara dream is over, Xiaomi’s connected home dream is beginning albeit without Hugo Barra, Go, ReactJS and the case for job stories rather than user stories.
  • 2 – The Uncertainty Principle (14.01.17): Populism, technological unemployment, the 12 types of AI, Andy Rubin’s Essential, why Alexa will own voice, radical candour, some great career advice for younger developers and why retention should be any manager’s number 1 metric.
  • 1 – The Future and Its Enemies (07.01.17): Political atomisation and the G-zero world, how WWIII could happen by mistake, the US and lessons from globalization. US companies in China, Deep Learning review, serverless, CES review, on the ruination of things.