Startup Digest

Artificial Intelligence

October 22, 2017

This week: how to build a self-conscious machine, putting humans at the center of AI, and WaveNet's launch in the Google Assistant.

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Startup Digest Artificial Intelligence is curated by:
Aashay Mody

Aashay Mody - Growth at Astro

Contact Aashay Mody at

Sergio A. Escobar

Sergio A. Escobar - Managing Director at Founder Institute Montreal, Global Facilitator at Techstars Startup Programs

Contact Sergio A. Escobar at

Startups Meet Investors At TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin

TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin brings together hundreds of early-stage startups looking to gain customers, expand brand awareness, and of course, get more funding. At Disrupt Berlin, TechCrunch offers CrunchMatch, a white glove service that matches investors to startups and provides on-site meeting locations. If you’re a startup founder, book your tickets today and save 15% when you use promo code “TECHSTARS”. See you in Berlin!

The Last Invention of Man


Here's a fantastic fictional story from MIT professor Max Tegmark about how AI might take over the world when humans finally succeed in creating artificial general intelligence. It leaves us with questions around our own future with AI, and how we would like things to play out. 

How To Build A Self-Conscious Machine


Artificial intelligence is here now. In laboratories all around the world, little AIs are springing to life. Some play chess better than any human ever has. Some are learning to drive a million cars a billion miles while saving more lives than most doctors or EMTs will over their entire careers. Countless numbers of these intelligences are being built and programmed; they are only going to get smarter and more pervasive; they’re going to be better than us, but they’ll never be just like us. And that’s a good thing. Here's a brief guide on how to build a self-conscious machine, and why no one has done so to date.

What Facebook Did to American Democracy

The Atlantic

Things we thought we understood—narratives, data, software, news events—have had to be reinterpreted in light of Donald Trump’s surprising win as well as the continuing questions about the role that misinformation and disinformation played in his election. Tech journalists covering Facebook had a duty to cover what was happening before, during, and after the election. Reporters tried to see past their often liberal political orientations and the unprecedented actions of Donald Trump to see how 2016 was playing out on the internet. Every component of the chaotic digital campaign has been reported on, including Facebook’s enormous distribution power for political information.

Put Humans at the Center of AI

MIT Technology Review

Fei-Fei Li, the director of Stanford’s AI Lab and chief scientist of Google Cloud, talks about why the AI revolution needs to include more people and why everyone benefits if we emphasize the human side of the technology.

From the Blogosphere: Spotify’s Discover Weekly - How machine learning finds your new music

Hacker Noon

If you are a Spotify user, you are probably familiar with their personalized Discover Weekly playlist. It's magic, isn't it? Sophia Ciocca breaks down how Spotify's music recommendations are so much better than its competitors.

Annoucement: WaveNet launches in the Google Assistant


Wavenet, the deep neural network that generates realistic raw audio waveforms and was introduced last year, has now made its way into the first consumer application to generate the Google Assistant voices for US English and Japanese across all platforms. Pretty excited stuff!

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