Insurance and Self Driving Cars

December 12, 2017

This will be the thing that eventually puts self-driving cars over the top. Britain’s largest auto insurance company is offering a 5% discount for driving a Tesla with auto-pilot turned on.

The NHTSA found that the crash rate of Tesla vehicles dropped by nearly 40 percent when Autosteer was activated.

There will be a point where people look at getting in a car with a human driver like driving without a seat belt. You can do it, but why? But once insurance companies start making human drivers much more expensive to insure, the tide will turn quickly.


Learn Chess in Four Hours

December 6, 2017

Google’s Chess AI program, AlphaZero, just demolished the previously top ranked program. that’s not the impressive part

Oh, and it took AlphaZero only four hours to “learn” chess. Sorry humans, you had a good run.

Read the whole thing. The program was given the rules and “taught” itself. It’s a whole new world…

Self Driving Car Milestones

December 6, 2017

Via xkcd, of course.


Putin Wins!

December 6, 2017

I’ve been enjoying following Garry Kasparov on Twitter…

The Michelangelo of Excel

December 6, 2017

This is crazy. All this art was made using Excel. Excel, seriously?

The Big Squeeze

December 5, 2017

Another good post by Seth Godin:

There are more truck drivers in the US than just about any other occupation.

For a long time, unionized truck drivers benefited from work rules, healthcare, vacations, etc. It wasn’t an easy job to get, but it was a career.

Companies started to realize that if they offloaded the work to freelance truckers, people with their own rigs, they could take advantage of a free market. As a result, more and more of the work ended up with independent operators, who got to be their own boss, paying for their own equipment, finding their own work.

The problem, exacerbated by the speed and power of the internet, is that there’s always someone cheaper and hungrier than you are. That if you do undifferentiated work, the market will squeeze you to do it cheaper.

We get (slightly) cheaper trucking. The millions of drivers get exhausted while living right on the edge. They work too many hours, carry too much weight, burn themselves out.

And the same thing is true for anyone who signs up to be a cog in a digital marketplace. Uber drivers, freelance bottom-fishers, hard-working people cranking things out by the pound…

Any market that seems to offer an easy in to the undifferentiated will eventually squeeze them.

Possibly the Best Tweet Ever

November 28, 2017