September 27, 2016

Emergent // Future Weekly: Snapchat Spectacles, DDoS Attacks, Notes from the Frontier

Snapchat’s augmented reality glasses - Emergent FutureIssue 25
This week we try on Snapchat's
augmented reality glasses, look at free speech and the internet, and recap the thoughts, ideas, and opinions in Notes from the Frontier.

Plus, our top projects to try at home, and our favorite articles from the past week. 

Not a subscriber? Join the Emergent // Future newsletter here.

Making a Spectacle

You Might Have Heard: Snapchat announced Spectacles, glasses that record up to 10 seconds of video with a tap of a button.

The connected sunglasses are Snapchat’s first hardware product and go on sale this fall for $130.

Wearers tap the button on the top left-hand corner of the glasses to begin recording a snap. An inward-facing light turns on when you're snapping, with an outward-facing light to alert anyone in your field of vision.

The Spectacles camera uses a 115-degree-angle lens, wider than a typical smartphone’s, and records circular video, similar to human vision.

But Did You Know: Framing Spectacles as a toy is smart.

They’re more than just specs, which is why they won’t share the same fate of Google Glass.

And, it's worth remembering: the next big thing usually starts out looking like a toy.

WATCH: Check out the promotional video for Spectacles

PLUS: Google launches VR SDK 1.0, with support for Daydream

Security Shield

Brian Krebs' site was hit by a record 620Gbps sustained DDos attack last week.

That’s nearly twice as big as any previous attack seen by Akamai.

KrebsOnSecurity is now up thanks to Google's Project Shield, a free service run by the tech giant to help protect news outlets, journalists, and free speech from online censorship.

The silencing of KrebsOnSecurity opens a troubling chapter for free speech in the age of the Internet.

Notes From The Frontier

A collection of thoughts, ideas, and opinions from the Emergent // Future community on Medium.

  1. The Connective Intelligence of Life by Joe Brewer (link)
  2. Robots, AI and the Future of Your Job by Sri Sharma (link)
  3. Data Portability Is One Way To Curb The Power Of The Tech Giants by Andrew Sheehy (link)
  4. Two More Science Fiction Technologies Became Real This Week by Bryan Alexander (link)
  5. Machine Learning Trends and the Future of Artificial Intelligence 2016 by Matt Kiser (link)
  6. The Future of Digital Marketing and AI by Joshua VanDeBrake (link)

Contribute your take on frontier technologies and their impact on society on Medium. We’ll share the most insightful posts and comments each week with more than 2k like-minded subscribers.

What We're Reading

  • Need Some AI? Yeah, There’s a Marketplace for That.Maybe the future was already invented and it’s stuck in academic papers. Algorithms can help transform deep learning from a “dark art” practiced only by the giants of the Internet into a technology used by “the 99 percent.” (WIRED)
  • Where will Artificial Intelligence come from? When talking about artificial intelligent systems there is a risk of emphasizing humans too much. Yet, in discussions about artificial intelligence we emphasize the shrinking set of abilities where humans still outperform machines. (Sebastian Nowozin)
  • How do Convolutional Neural Networks work? Nine times out of ten, when you hear about deep learning breaking a new technological barrier, Convolutional Neural Networks are involved. Also called CNNs or ConvNets, these are the workhorse of the deep neural network field. (Brandon Rohrer)
  • Stealing Machine Learning Models via Prediction APIs.Increasingly often, confidential ML models are being deployed with publicly accessible query interfaces. (
  • The 280-Year-Old Algorithm Inside Google Trips.Yesterday, Google announced Google Trips, a new app to assist you in your travels by helping you create your own “perfect day” in a city. Surprisingly, deep inside Google Trips, there is an algorithm that was invented 280 years ago. (Google Blog)
  • Cars take up way too much space in cities. New technology could change that. There’s the space the cars themselves occupy. The average car, two hulking tons of steel, is 80 percent empty when it’s being driven by a single person. And most of the day, cars are totally empty, sitting unused. (Vox)

Try This At Home

Watch This: Deep Learning & the Future of AI

Deep Learning and the Future of AI with Prof. Yann LeCun

Emergent Future is a weekly, hand-curated dispatch exploring technology through the lens of artificial intelligence, data science, and the shape of things to come. Subscribe here.

Matt Kiser

Matt Kiser

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