Doc Huston


News — At The Edge — 1/27

This interregnum to a new civilizational epoch is fraught with dangerous problems.

  • Present issues bleeding into the future — privacy, trust, inequality, surveillance capitalism — must be resolved before they explode.
  • Future issues — cryptocurrencies and work — are real but raise new problems.


Present issues bleeding into the future –

How to catch a criminal using only milliseconds of audio —

“[New] voice analysis powered by AI…reveals far more about you than a mere fingerprint…[with] confident predictions about everything from the speaker’s physical characteristics — their height, weight, facial structure and age, for example — to their socioeconomic background, level of income and even the state of their physical and mental health….

[It] breaks recorded speech down [to]…milliseconds in duration, and use AI techniques…looking for unique identifiers…[and] environmental information…[to] guess the size of the room in which someone is speaking, whether it has windows and…what its walls are made of…[and] fluctuations in the local electrical grid, and can then match these to specific databases to give a very good idea of the caller’s physical location and the exact time of day….

[Soon] provide the police with a 3D visual portrait of a suspect, based only on a voice [can]…’give a facial sketch of a speaker, as well as their height, weight, race, age and level of intoxication…[and] become much more widely used by law enforcement.”

Annual WEF Survey: Trust in U.S. Plunges (5.5 min. video) –

“There are no facts and the most informed are the least trusting,soci with U.S. going from 6th to 28th and below Russia due to institutions generally but government and media in particular.”

Inequality gap widens as ‘world’s richest 1% get 82% of the wealth’

“82 percent of the money generated last year went to the richest 1 percent of the global population…while the poorest half saw no increase…[with] tax evasion, the erosion of worker’s rights, cost-cutting and businesses’ influence on policy decisions as reasons for the widening inequality gap….

[T]he wealth of billionaires…increased by 13 percent a year…in the decade from 2006 to 2015. Last year, billionaires [had]…an uptick of $762 billion — enough to end extreme poverty seven times over….Booming global stock markets were seen as the main driver for a surge in wealth…[T]he statistics signal ‘something is very wrong with the global economy.’”

Trump appointee seeks $0 funding for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau —

“[A] critic of the consumer agency he now heads…[asked Fed keep] $177.1 million left over at the start of…2018 fiscal year… [and] redirect the $145 million it would have [got]…to the U.S. Treasury….

The consumer bureau was created…after the U.S. financial crisis…[returning] $12 billion to more than 30 million consumers hurt by financial companies….

[Trump] intent to defang and dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…[so] request of zero dollars in funding [is to]…drain the Bureau’s reserve.”

Mark Zuckerberg is ‘rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,’ author Andrew Keen says —

“Silicon Valley today is like Detroit in the 1970s….Consumers are waking up to realize that they don’t like what they’re being sold….

’American car industry, in the 1950s, dominated the world….Twenty years later, the American car industry had collapsed because they produced cars which were death traps.

[With] the digital economy…[and] prevalence of advertising-driven tech…‘[consumers] are coming around to the realization that this business model is not in their interest’…monetizing consumers’ data, which he refers to as ‘surveillance capitalism’….

Facebook’s recent decision to back off of news in its News Feed won’t fix the problems created by the company’s…ad model.’”

Future issues –

What to Expect from Cryptocurrency in 2018 

“[Already] $9 trillion a year is transacted with mobile payments in China (the U.S. is about $1 trillion)…[but] many of these…are fleeting…[because] use the traditional banking backbone…[with] fees…not sustainable…[against] lower [cost] cryptocurrency….

[But] focusing on the so-called store of value… [is] a classic bubble mentality…[though] not mean cryptocurrencies go to zero….[Even] 90 percent correction in the price of bitcoin, we would be back to the value it held 12 months ago..[where] bandwagon investors jump off…[and] longer-term investors [buy]… [Also] thousands of alternative currencies…[and] will be a battle at the top….

[With] very low transaction costs…quick and secure executioncentral banks….realize paper currency will be a novelty of the past. Expect some…to announce plans for blockchain-based cryptocurrencies this year.”

The Future of Work — Humans Augmenting Other Humans (34 min. video) —

John Hagel currently serves as co-chairman of the Silicon Valley-based Deloitte Center for the Edge, which conducts original research into emerging business opportunities that should be on the CEO agenda.

Find more of my ideas on Medium at, A Passion to Evolve.
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Doc Huston

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