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I have added two new sections to the Current Events blog post this week. One is about new photos and videos. The other is about startups.The new sections may not appear every week, just when I have something new to share.

I gave a lecture on AI last week at Founders Hall in Ridgefield, CT. The turnout was large, reflecting the level of interest in the subject. The Q&A session gave me a good sense of how people see AI and what their concerns are. One questioner urged me to make a recommendation on what startups to invest in. I recommended those interested in investing should visit crowdfunding platforms. I use wefunder.comstartengine.com, and fundersclub. The question got me thinking perhaps I should share what startups I have invested in or find particularly interesting. I will not recommend to anyone they should invest. Most startups fail, but crowdfunding allows you to invest a little in a bunch of startups as opposed to investing a lot in just one or two. My father said the following about investment advice: “Don’t give any and don’t take any.” 

Last Sunday, I had a nice walk on the Maybrook Trailway. I started from Farrington Woods Park at the CT/NY border which is about three miles from where I live. Nice motorcycle ride to get there. The southern end of the trail starts at the park which is on Mill Plain Rd. in Danbury. I walked two miles on the three-and-a-half mile section of the trail. It goes on for 28.3 miles from Brewster to Hopewell Junction. The trail is mostly flat and paved with impressive stone walls along parts of the trail. The Maybrook Trailway is part of the Empire State Trail, which is a continuous 750-mile route spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, creating the longest multi-use state trail in the nation. If you are interested in learning more about Maybrook Trailway you can find a lot more here.

On July 21, I gave a lecture on AI @FoundersHallCT. I wan’t sure how many would turn out. It was a lot. Great interest in the topic. In addition to current events and outlooks, I told the audience about Robot Attitude: How Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Make Our Lives Better

I asked Bard AI what was new in AI this week. It said…

  • Databricks acquires MosaicML for $1.3 billion. This acquisition will give Databricks access to MosaicML’s generative AI technology, which could be used to improve the company’s products and services.
  • Meta launches Llama 2 open-source LLM. Llama 2 is a large language model that is designed to be more efficient and easier to use than previous LLMs. It is available for free to anyone who wants to use it.
  • Assessing the risks of generative AI in the workplace. A new report has warned of the potential risks of generative AI in the workplace, such as the misuse of AI-generated content and the potential for AI to create bias in the workplace.
  • Beijing publishes its AI governance rules. China has published its first set of AI governance rules, which aim to ensure that AI is used in a responsible and ethical manner.
  • Anthropic launches ChatGPT rival Claude 2. Claude 2 is a new language model from Anthropic that is designed to rival ChatGPT. It is still under development, but it has already shown promising results.

This was announced by Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov, commenting on media reports of alleged cases of theft of Western weapons.

“Artillery, ammunition, sophisticated air defense systems, armored vehicles – everything is accounted for in Ukraine. Last year, an automated system was introduced to account for all weapons and military equipment and to keep track of their logistics. With the help of our partners, we introduced the LOGFAS and Karavay programs, which allow us to accompany military equipment to a military unit using barcodes and QR codes, and, if necessary, to come there and see what is there,” said Volodymyr Havrylov.

Although the price of BTC has not moved much lately, I see bullish signs. One is there are now more than a million wallets that have at least 1 BTC in them. As more wallets are holding BTC, there may be less selling. Second is the Lightning Network, which I have written about here a number of times. It has the potential to supercharge BTC commerce by making transactions super fast and super cheap. Finally, bipartisan legislative moves are happening in the House. Axios reported momentum appears to be building behind Fit21, formally known as the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act. It actually got a vote in Congress with 35-15 in the House financial committee. Getting it to the Senate will be much harder but at least there is some momentum.

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) said it really well, “The U.S. leadership in the global economy is propelled by our ability to leverage innovations that make markets and communication more efficient.” There are some clueless naysayers. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) questioned whether there was any innovation at all: “I don’t believe that [Satoshi Nakamoto] was innovative,” he said, pronouncing the bitcoin creator’s name as “Saratoshi Nagamoto.” And then, 84-year-old ranking member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) made objections which demonstrated a total lack of understanding of crypto.

U.S. stock indexes closed higher Friday. Tech shares surged ahead. GAMMNAT almost reached $12 trillion and 32% of S&P 500. Alphabet and Meta Platforms powered ahead. Intel gained after it posted a return to profit late Thursday as PC sales rebounded. Tesla market cap approaching $850 billion. Value of X, who knows? Just Musk.

Following are videos of talks I gave this year. I have been fortunate to be able to share my thoughts on technology with a number of groups. 

On July 21, I gave a lecture on AI @FoundersHallCT. I wan’t sure how many would turn out. It was a lot. Great interest in the topic. In addition to current events and outlooks, I told the audience about Robot Attitude: How Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Make Our Lives Better

On March 8th I was the guest speaker at the first meeting of Probus in Palm Coast, Florida on March 8. Probus is a worldwide organization of retired and semi-retired men and women who come together to make new friends, learn new things, and have fun. There are over 4,000 Probus clubs in more than 100 countries, with over 400,000 members. Probus clubs are non-political, non-sectarian, and non-profit. They are self-governing and autonomous, and each club sets its own policies and activities.

On March 30, I gave my 12th annual lecture called Tech Talk at Hammock Dunes Club in Palm Coast, Florida where I live in the winter.

On March 23, gave a town hall-like speech and Q&A with the IT special interest group (SIG) of the New York Executive Forum. The event was via Zoom.

On April 19, I gave a talk and Q&A with a group of Union Carbide retirees. Some years ago, Union Carbide had its headquarters about a mile from where I live in Connecticut. The event was via Zoom.

There are many more videos of my lectures, interviews, etc. on my YouTube channel which you can find here.