December 23, 2016

The Missing Link #22 - Special Year-End Edition

This time, the newsletter is all about summarizing 2016 while looking forward to 2017 - and beyond. It starts a bit heavy, but gets lighter at the end...

The Great A.I. Awakening
An epic/lengthy New York Times Magazine article about Google translate, machine learning and artificial intelligence. There's a lot to digest here, but if you're interested in artificial intelligence, I highly recommend it.
Bonus link:
Building Jarvis
Mark Zuckerberg updates the world on his 2016 challenge: building an A.I. system to run his home, "like Jarvis in Iron Man".
For those who haven't seen it, here's the video. See you if you can spot the robot.

Wired: The Fiction Issue
"Sometimes to get a clearer sense of reality, you have to take some time to dream... To this end, we reached out to a number of our favorite fiction authors and gave them a simple mission: Pick a plausible innovation or change in the world and spin out a near-term scenario. Ultimately, the goal of this first edition of 2017 - our first-ever issue dedicated entirely to fiction - is to give you, the reader, something that helps you let your own mind wander. Think about what is possible, what is plausible, what is terrifying, what is hopeful. That said, we still want you to have fun. Because after 2016? Well, you deserve it."
Here's Etgar Keret's story:
Bonus link:
Westworld Composer Ramin Djawadi on Why Those Radiohead Covers Keep Coming
Speaking of fiction, here's a short profile of the supremely-talented composer who's responsible for the soundtrack of two HBO fiction series: Westworld and Game of Thrones.
Extra bonus link:
For those who've seen the final episode of season 6 of Game of Thrones, here's a reminder of its first 10 minutes or so. Djawadi's accompanying music is simply a masterpiece.

The Pessimist's Guide to 2017
Bloomberg speculates on how our social media newsfeeds could look like in 2017 "if things go wrong". FYI, in the 2016 version they speculated that Brexit and Trump would happen...
Bonus link:
Why Many Young Russians See A Hero in Putin
A fascinating look at a generation that has not known Soviet rule, only Putin's.
Extra bonus link:

Google, Democracy and The Truth About Internet Search
It's an information war, and we're losing.

2016: The Year in Photos
The Atlantic visually summarizes 2016, in three installments.
Bonus link:
Most Memorable Sports Moments of 2016: Highs and Lows, From 116 to 1
Sports illustrated summarizes the sports year. It's a bit American-Centric, but still...

Best Business Books of 2016
Strategy & Business magazine's annual list of the books business professionals should talk about at parties (even if they haven't read them).

The Year in Search 2016
Google's summary of the year in search is all about love.
Bonus link:
The Year in Memes 
A massive month-by-month collection of the year's memes. In one word: Harambe.

The Best Maps of 2016
National Geographic chooses the best maps that were either created or first published this year.
Bonus link:

Species Oddity - New Species Discoveries in 2016
The World Wildlife Fund provides a glimpse of an untouched, threatened 
corner of the world.

Give your friends a rich yet free gift for the new year. Have them sign up to The Missing Link: