L'IA prouve que Shakespeare se faisait aider ; nous avons 14 sens et non 5, +15news du futur résumées !

Bonjour à vous,

Vous recevez la newsletter Parlons Futur : chaque semaine (ou presque) une sélection de news résumées en bullet points sur des sujets tech, science, éco pour mieux appréhender le futur.

Vous pouvez vous désinscrire en pied d'email, et si on vous a forwardé cet email, vous pouvez vous inscrire ici.

Je m'appelle Thomas, plus d'infos sur moi en bas d'email.

Voici donc ma veille de la semaine passée :)

L'apéro

  • Ethnic face recognition in China: Hikvision, one of the biggest Chinese smart camera and face recognition companies, apparently ran a marketing campaign promoting its ability to spot Uyghurs. Broader point: this tech is now mostly a commodity and there's no way to stop the Chinese state telling Chinese tech companies to build (and export) things like this. Link

  • Avec plus de 1,5 milliard de téléchargements, TikTok surpasse Facebook et Instagram. Son CEO, en opération de charme aux Etats-Unis, s'explique dans un entretien au New York Times :

    • In 2016, the company released a video app for China named Douyin; TikTok followed soon after. The platforms are similar but separate — TikTok is unavailable in mainland China and vice versa.

    • No, TikTok does not censor videos that displease China, he said. And no, it does not share user data with China, or even with its Beijing-based parent company. All data on TikTok users worldwide is stored in Virginia, he said, with a backup server in Singapore

    • What if China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, personally asked Mr. Zhu, TikTok CEO, to take down a video or hand over user data?  “I would turn him down,” Mr. Zhu said, after barely a moment’s thought. (euh…….)

  • Vous pensez qu'on a que 5 sens ? Et non!! On en aurait entre 14 et 20!! Il y a aussi entre autres :

    • proprioception : our ability to innately tell where our appendages, muscles, and other body parts are in space. You're able to place that finger on the tip of your nose in total darkness, thanks to this sense.

    • equilibrioception : our sense of balance (équilibre)

    • la capacité de ressentir la vitesse

    • thermoception : capcity to tell whether it's hot or cold outside (we detect outside temperature through thermoreceptors in our skin)

    • kinaesthesia : a sense of movement

    • chronoception: sensing the passage of time

  • Des patients à qui on a retiré un hémisphère du cerveau se portent très bien!!

    • in some cases, adults who had half of their brain taken out as children, in a procedure called a hemispherectomy, are living regular lives — and can have stronger neural connections than those who still had the full thing.

    • “The people with hemispherectomies that we studied were remarkably high-functioning, they have intact language skills. When I put them in the scanner, we made small talk, just like the hundreds of other individuals I have scanned.”

    • This is one of the greatest marvels of the human brain: its neuroplasticity — the ability to restructure itself and adapt if chunks get damaged or removed.

  • Pour diminuer la consommation en kérosène des avions, Airbus veut s'inspirer de la formation en V des oies. Ces dernières adoptent ce vol particulier afin d'économiser de l'énergie, et les ingénieurs du constructeur pensent pouvoir diminuer de 10% la consommation des avions s'ils copiaient leur mode de vol en se suivant à 3 kilomètres.

  • Humans put into suspended animation for the first time : Groundbreaking trial in US rapidly cools trauma victims with catastrophic injury to buy more time for surgery

    • The process involves rapidly cooling the brain to less than 10°C by replacing the patient’s blood with ice-cold saline solution. Typically the solution is pumped directly into the aorta, the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body.

    • Rapid cooling of trauma victims is designed to reduce brain activity to a near standstill and to slow the patient’s physiology enough to give surgeons precious extra minutes, perhaps more than an hour, to operate. Once the patient’s injuries have been attended to, they are warmed up and resuscitated.

  • Vidéo à voir (50 sec) : un drone propulsé dans les airs grâce à un canon, les applications : 

    • emergency responders and military units could launch drones to surveil the area without stopping

    • Ballistic drones could also be good for space exploration, with “daughter rotorcraft” launched from landers and airships. “A rotorcraft greatly expands the data collection range of a rover, and allows access to sites that a rover would find impassible"

  • Algorithms are digitally pasting products into your favorite films and TV : They apply flat posters onto buildings and 3D objects into rooms of already-filmed scenes (voir la vidéo)

  • Machine learning has revealed where Shakespeare got a helping hand : Literary analysts have long noticed the hand of another author in Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. Now a neural network has identified the specific scenes in question.

    • Avec l'IA, c'est la fin du plagiat : dans les années à venir on va sans doute découvrir qu'un grand auteur de tel siècle a paraphrasé et adapté ou traduit et repris à son compte des passages entiers d'un autre auteur de son époque ou d'avant.. surprises garanties...

    • Dans la même idée, CopyComic sur Youtube pointe les vannes et autres blagues empruntées par des humoristes à d'autres auteurs, mais c'est le fruit d'un travail fastidieux de recherche et analyse. Bientôt, l'IA permettra sans doute de faire cela instantanément...

  • For the first time since the start of the Industrial Era, our planet is getting greener, not browner. Even with continued deforestation in developing countries and other challenges, a critical milestone has been reached: across the planet as a whole we have, as an international research team concluded in 2015, experienced a “recent reversal in loss of global terrestrial biomass.”

  • Le graphique qui fait du bien : depuis 1970, chute du nombre de personnes vivant dans l'extrême pauvreté, à la fois en %age ET en valeur absolue !

    • In 1999, 1.76 billion people were living in extreme poverty.

    • in 2015, just 16 years later, this number had declined by 60%, to 705 million.

    • Hundreds of millions fewer people are living in poverty now than in 1820, when the world’s total population was 7 times smaller than it is today.

    • insert graph

  • Des physiciens ont développé la simulation de l'univers la plus détaillée jamais faite

    •  "What's fundamentally new about the simulaion is that you're getting to a sufficiently high mass and spatial resolution within the galaxies that give you a clear picture of what the internal structure of the systems looks like as they form and evolve."

    • The simulation required 16,000 processor cores of a supercomputer in Germany, running continuously for more than a year. The same calculation would take a single processor system 15,000 years to compute

    • "In our simulation, we see phenomena that had not been programmed explicitly into the simulation code. These phenomena emerge in a natural fashion, from the complex interplay of the basic physical ingredients of our model universe."

    • Et on est loin d'imaginer ce qu'on pourra découvrir demain grâce aux capacités de calcul démultipliées du quantum computing...

  • Twitter a interdit les publicités politiques. Voici sa définition d'un contenu politique :

    • We define political content as content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome.

    • Ads that contain references to political content, including appeals for votes, solicitations of financial support, and advocacy for or against any of the above-listed types of political content, are prohibited under this policy.

    • We also do not allow ads of any type by candidates, political parties, or elected or appointed government officials.

Au menu dans l'ordre

Résumées plus bas à même cet email, les 6 news suivantes :

  • Cette startup veut miner la lune avec une armée de petits robots

  • Cette startup parrainée par Bill Gates réalise une percée dans le solaire qui pourra dépolluer l'industrie du ciment et de l'acier

  • 5 façons originales dont l'IA pourra aider les médecins

  • 1 million de personnes pourraient bien vivre sur Mars...à condition de manger des criquets, explique cette étude

  • Ces économistes du MIT conçoivent une nouvelle façon de calculer le PIB, en tenant compte des bénéfices apportés par les services internet gratuits (Harvard Business Review)

  • L'idée de progrès n'est pas naturelle! Les humains l'ont inventée il n'y a pas si longtemps

Pour les 4 news suivantes, retrouvez les résumés sur ParlonsFutur.com en cliquant ici

  • Pourquoi l'ISF américain que propose la candidate démocrate Elizabeth Warren n'échouera pas, selon un de ses concepteurs, l'économiste français Gabriel Zucman (tribune dans le Washington Post)

  • Top 10 des technos émergentes en 2019 (par un panel d'experts sollicités par la revue Scientific American et le World Economic Forum)

  • L'histoire incroyable de Martine Rothblatt : sa fille souffrait d'une maladie rare, elle met un au point un remède, la sauve, et crée au passage une entreprise faisant plus d'un milliard de dollars de revenus annuels (et ce n'est que le début)

  • CollapseOS : le système d'exploitation open source pour faire face à l'apocalypse, qu'on peut faire tourner sur un ordi construit avec des pièces détachées faciles à trouver

Trou Normand

Cette newsletter est gratuite, mais si vous souhaitez m'encourager à continuer ce modeste travail de synthèse, vous pouvez simplement :

  • étoiler ce mail et/ou y répondre d'un mot, pour que les algos des messageries comprennent que ce n'est pas du spam (j'espère!), cela permettra une meilleure distribution!

  • forwarder cet email à quelques ami(e)s et collègues avec un petit mot de contexte, voire les inscrire directement ici !

À table !

Cette startup veut miner la lune avec une armée de petits robots

  • OffWorld’s robots measure around 60cm in length, weigh around 53 kilos

  • while they all feature a similar base design, the robots are also intended to be modular, so that special tools such as special gripper arms can be affixed to carry out different tasks. Those could range from excavating ore or laying surfaces to moving building materials.

  • OffWorld is keeping its goals firmly on Earth for now. It has already landed support from undisclosed Fortune 500 companies to use its technology for more terrestrial applications such as mining. Many of these applications involve the same challenges you’d deal with in space, such as being able to deploy robots in complex environments with limitations on the ease of communication with a ground control station


Cette startup parrainée par Bill Gates réalise une percée dans le solaire qui pourra dépolluer l'industrie du ciment et de l'acier

  • Heliogen said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius.

  • The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes.

  • In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution.

  • "We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions," Bill Gross, Heliogen's founder and CEO. "that's really the holy grail."

  • Cement accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. According to the EPA, heavy industry creates more than 20%  of global emissions.

  • Heliogen is improving on what's known as Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). This technology, which uses mirrors to reflect the sun to a single point, is not new

    • The problem is that in the past concentrated solar couldn't get temperatures hot enough to make cement and steel.

    • Heliogen turned to artificial intelligence : it uses computer vision software, automatic edge detection and other sophisticated technology to train a field of mirrors to reflect solar beams to one single spot.

    • "If you take a thousand mirrors and have them align exactly to a single point, you can achieve extremely, extremely high temperatures"

  • Heliogen said it is generating so much heat that its technology could eventually be used to create clean hydrogen at scale. That carbon-free hydrogen could then be turned into a fuel for trucks and airplanes.

  • "If we go to a cement company and say we'll give you green heat, no CO2, but we'll also save you money, then it becomes a no-brainer," said Gross.

  • If companies purchase Heliogen’s system outright, however, Gross claims the technology could pay for itself within 2-3 years, reducing firms’ fossil fuel emissions by up to 60%.


5 façons originales dont l'IA changera la santé

  • Contrairement à ce qu'on entend, on n'est pas prêt de remplacer les docteurs par l'IA

  • The report published in the Lancet Digital Health conducted a meta-analysis -- a study of studies -- into how well doctors and AI systems compared when diagnosing particular conditions.  After reviewing 82 studies, the report concluded: "Our review found the diagnostic performance of deep-learning models to be equivalent to that of health-care professionals".

  • The overall level of diagnosing a disease by an AI was pegged at 87% for AIs, and 86.4% for healthcare professionals.

  • But scans are never interpreted on their own: they're analysed alongside blood results, historical data, prescriptions from GPs and previous hospital admissions, referral letters, taking the patient's history and then taking it again, what the nurse told you before they went on their lunch break, and any number of other sources of information.

  • Also, doctors will tell you they've seen scans of people that they think would be in great pain or disability who are managing fine without any help from the medical community; equally, they will have seen scans that show only minor disease or injury where the patient is in far more pain than would be expected from what's on the screen. Interpreting scans is useful, but it's only part of the picture – sitting down with a patient will give you far more information.

  • Donc, ce n'est pas aussi simple, les docteurs ont encore un peu de temps devant eux.

  • En attendant voilà 5 façons pour l'IA d'aider les docteurs

    • s'assurer que les prescriptions ne contiennent pas d'erreur

    • s'assurer de recontacter et relancer les patients qui doivent revenir voir un docteur

    • optimiser l'agenda des médecins, en minimisant les "no-shows" de patients, en les relançant au bon moment

    • fournir une secrétaire virtuelle qui synthétise automatiquement à l'écrit ce qu'il faut retenir de la conversation entre médecin et patient pendant la consultation

    • gestion des stocks à l'hôpital


1 million de personnes pourraient bien vivre sur Mars...à condition de manger des criquets, explique cette étude

  • 4 of the 5 major “consumables” necessary for a Martian settlement—energy, water, oxygen, and construction material—can be extracted from the Martian surface in economically practical concentrations.

  • Only food is not obtainable from raw materials on Mars. So, how to solve the food problem? The authors suggest growing plants, insect farming, and cellular agriculture.

  • Insect farming would also be well suited, because it can provide large amounts of calories per unit of land. House crickets are especially suitable for this purpose

  • Protein-rich foods also could be obtained from cells grown in bioreactors. Interestingly, clean fish may be favored over cell-grown meats on Mars, because the cultures could be maintained at colder temperatures (closer to 20 degrees Celsius) as compared to the 37 degrees needed for warm-blooded animal cells.

  • Dans le même genre, The Economist commente l'appétit des Congolais pour les chenilles :

    • "Caterpillars are packed with potassium, calcium and magnesium. A hundred grams of them will provide a person with the required daily intake of each of these minerals. They are richer in protein than beef or fish. A handful is packed with about 500 calories, more than are in a fast-food cheeseburger."

    • "Bug farming takes up less land, requires less food and does less damage to the environment than meat or fish farming. Crickets, for example, need 12 times less food than cattle (bétail) to produce the same amount of protein. Bugs can even be fed farm and kitchen waste, such as rotten fruit and vegetables."

  • Mais l'étude passe à côté de bien des problèmes liés à l'établissement de l'Homme sur Mars. Par exemple, quid de l'effet de la faible gravité sur notre corps en cas de séjours prolongés. Une grossesse, une naissance, peuvent-elles avoir lieu sur Mars sans complication ? Et plus généralement, aucune des raisons invoquées pour "coloniser" Mars ne tient, je les passe en revue sur ce site que j'ai créé : Pourquoi Elon Musk ne doit pas envoyer l'Homme sur Mars

    • Par contre, une bonne raison de ne pas aller sur Marss : ne pas y emmener du même coup nos trillions de microbes qui compliqueraient drastiquement la recherche de vie en surface et proche subsurface, qu'on ne peut exclure à ce jour, voyez cet article paru ce mois-ci : Life Could Exist on Mars Today, Very Close to the Surface :

      • "salts may allow microbes to thrive very close to the surface of Mars—perhaps even just a few millimeters deep, which would allow for photosynthesis"

      • Vlada Stamenkovic from the Jet Propulsion Lab. His computer modeling showed that there is enough oxygen on Mars to support microbes in brines, and perhaps even simple sponges, in some locations. Near the surface the oxygen would be supplied by the Martian atmosphere


Ces économistes du MIT conçoivent une nouvelle façon de calculer le PIB, en tenant compte des bénéfices apportés par les services internet gratuits (Harvard Business Review)

  • The reason the value of digital offerings is underrepresented is that GDP is based on what people pay for goods and services.

  • With few exceptions, if something has a price of zero, then it contributes zero to GDP. But most of us get more value from free digital goods such as Wikipedia and online maps than we did from their more expensive paper predecessors.

  • our research with Felix Eggers, of the University of Groningen, found that Facebook alone has created more than $225 billion worth of uncounted value for consumers since 2004 in the US.

  • We conducted a similar study in Europe and found that the median compensation participants required to give Facebook up for one month was €97.

  • our estimates indicate that Facebook generates a median consumer surplus of about $500 per person annually in the United States, and at least that much for users in Europe. In contrast, average revenue per user is only around $140 per year in United States and $44 per year in Europe. In other words, Facebook operates one of the most advanced advertising platforms, yet its ad revenues represent only a fraction of the total consumer surplus it generates.

  • Because it measures only how much we pay for things, not how much we benefit, consumer’s economic well-being may not be correlated with GDP. In fact, it sometimes falls when GDP goes up, and vice versa.

  • GDP can be a misleading proxy for economic well-being.

  • Example : To understand why GDP can be a misleading proxy for economic well-being, consider Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia. Britannica used to cost several thousand dollars, meaning its customers considered it to be worth at least that amount. Wikipedia, a free service, has far more articles, at comparable quality, than Britannica ever did. Measured by consumer spending, the industry is shrinking (the print encyclopedia went out of business in 2012 as consumers abandoned it). But measured by benefits, consumers have never been better off.

  • Our research found that the median value that U.S. consumers place on Wikipedia is about $150 a year—but the cost is $0. That translates into roughly $42 billion in consumer surplus that isn’t reflected in the U.S. GDP.

  • For example, users pay $120 to $240 a year for video-streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO. However, the consumer surplus generated from those services is five to 10 times what users pay to access them, our surveys suggest.

  • search is the most valued category (with a median valuation of more than $17,000 a year), followed by email and maps. These categories do not have comparable off-line substitutes, and many people consider them essential for work and everyday life.

  • we developed a method for measuring the benefits associated with the digital economy. GDP-B is an alternative metric that supplements the traditional GDP framework by quantifying contributions to consumer well-being from free goods.

    • Policy makers, managers, and economists can estimate these contributions using the relatively inexpensive method we described earlier: Conduct large-scale surveys asking respondents how much they’d need to be paid to give up a given good for a certain period of time and then validate those results by running smaller-scale studies with real monetary incentives. With a bit of additional data gathering, changes in GDP-B could be estimated regularly and released alongside quarterly or annual GDP updates.

  • Cela rejoint cet article que j'avais écrit, publié dans Les Echos : L'IA nous oblige à repenser nos indices économiques


L'idée de progrès n'est pas naturelle! Les humains l'ont inventée il n'y a pas si longtemps

  • Tribune de Joël Mokyr, qui résume son livre magistral A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy

  • The idea that humans should and could work consciously to make the world a better place for themselves and for generations to come is by and large one that emerged in the two centuries between Christopher Columbus and Isaac Newton. Of course, just believing that progress could be brought about is not enough—one must bring it about. The modern world began when people resolved to do so.              

  • Why might people in the past have been hesitant to embrace the idea of progress? The main argument against it was that it implies a disrespect of previous generations.

  • If the classic authorities could be wrong about so many things, why would should they be trusted about anything? The English philosopher William Gilbert, the author of a famous book on magnetism, sounded downright impudent when he wrote in 1600 that he was not going to waste time on “quoting the ancients and the Greeks as our supporters"

  • Many of the widely believed propositions of classical science collapsed under close examination. The examples piled up. Above all, the belief that the earth was at the center of the universe, the centerpiece of ancient cosmology, withered away. But there were so many others: Aristotle had insisted that all the stars apart from the planets were immutable and fixed, but in 1572 a young Danish astronomer named Tycho Brahe observed a star exploding into a supernova

  • Aristotle had written that the tropical areas around the equator were so torrid as to be uninhabitable—but Europeans found people living and thriving in such regions in Africa, America, and India. By 1600, much of ancient wisdom had crumbled.

  • Sure, others doubted the power of innovation to propel the economy forward, worrying that the forces responsible for progress would be too weak and might be undone by rapid population growth. But as it turned out, even the greatest optimists underestimated the power of technology’s progress in taming electricity, making cheap steel, flooding the world with abundant high-quality food, and doubling humans’ life expectancy while cutting the hours people spent working by at least half—to name but a very few of modernity’s achievements.

  • Interestingly, by the time of Adam Smith and Benjamin Franklin, the number of major inventions enabled by better science was still small, and most material progress was still little more than a promissory note. On the eve of the Industrial Revolution, in 1759, Samuel Johnson wrote, “When the Philosophers of the last age were first congregated into the Royal Society, great expectations were raised of the sudden progress of useful arts … The truth is, that little had been done compared with what fame had been suffered to promise.”

  • 18th-century Europe (or better put, Britain) faced a number of difficult technological problems that were seen widely as requiring an urgent solution. Among those were how to measure longitude at sea, how to spin yarn from fibers without using human fingers, how to pump water out of flood-prone coal mines, how to prevent smallpox (the most dreaded disease of the time), and how to refine pig iron cheaply and quickly.

    • By 1800 these problems had all been solved by people who were ingenious, informed, and inventive, and the list could be made much longer: Macaulay could write by gaslight, wear underwear bleached with a chlorine-based powder, and, within a year of completing that essay, travel by train.


Pour les 4 news suivantes, retrouvez les résumés sur ParlonsFutur.com en cliquant ici

  • Pourquoi l'ISF américain que propose la candidate démocrate Elizabeth Warren n'échouera pas, selon son concepteur l'économiste français Gabriel Zucman (tribune dans le Washington Post)

  • Top 10 des technos émergentes en 2019 (par un panel d'experts sollicités par la revue Scientific American et le World Economic Forum)

  • L'histoire incroyable de Martine Rothblatt : sa fille souffrait d'une maladie rare, elle met un au point un remède, la sauve, et crée au passage une entreprise faisant plus d'un milliard de dollars de revenus annuels (et ce n'est que le début)

  • CollapseOS : le système d'exploitation open source pour faire face à l'apocalypse, qu'on peut faire tourner sur un ordi construit avec des pièces détachées faciles à trouver


Dessert : voici quelques-uns de mes derniers tweets(retrouvez-moi sur Twitter ici) :

  • As India’s Indira Gandhi said in 1972 at the United Nation’s first conference on the environment, “Poverty is the biggest polluter.” So as poverty declines, so, too, will pollution

  • Between 2005 and 2015 the Chinese government taught more than 20 million small farmers about efficient use of fertilizer. The results of this intervention were impressive: average yields across all crops increased by about 10%, while total application of nitrogen decreased by 15%

  • Perhaps 10s or 100s of thousands of species of plants are edible, but today only 200 are cultivated, and just 3 (wheat, maize, and rice) make up the majority of humanity’s calories from crops. The U.N. FAO says 75% of the crops grown a century ago are no longer cultivated

  • research with Felix Eggers, of the University of Groningen, found that Facebook alone has created more than $225 billion worth of uncounted value for consumers since 2004 in the US.


Café ? Voici les liens vers les dernières newsletters, just in case ;)

L'addition ?

Cette newsletter est gratuite, mais si vous souhaitez m'encourager à continuer ce modeste travail de synthèse, vous pouvez simplement :

  • étoiler ce mail et/ou y répondre d'un mot, pour que les algos des messageries comprennent que ce n'est pas du spam (j'espère), cela permettra une meilleure distribution!

  • forwarder cet email à quelques ami(e)s et collègues avec un petit mot, voire de les inscrire directement ici !

Merci d'avance :)

Quelques mots sur le cuisto

  • J'ai écrit plus de 50 articles ces dernières années, à retrouver ici, dont une bonne partie publiés dans des médias comme le Journal du Net (mes chroniques ici), le Huffington Post, L'Express, Les Échos.

  • Je suis CEO et co-fondateur de l'agence digitale KRDS, nous avons des bureaux dans 6 pays entre la France et l'Asie. Je suis basé à Singapour (mon Linkedin), également membre du conseil d'administration du think tank Live with AI qui entend chercher à comprendre comment nous pourrons apprendre à vivre avec l'intelligence artificielle et mieux anticiper les changements qu'elle va apporter.

C'est tout pour cette semaine !

Merci et bonne semaine,

Thomas