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On Tuesday, Axios launches our latest newsletter: Sara Fischer on media trends — the business, technical and societal forces shaping the digital ecosystem. Sign up free here.
We'll be off next week for the Fourth of July. So have fun, and see you next in two weeks.
Our age is one big contradiction:
These aren't statistical curiosities:
I'm querying people in the work/AI community about how to think about these powerful, opposing forces. If you have ideas, please fire over an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or just hit "reply" on this newsletter.
Last week, we profiled heavyweights whose data troves and colossal spending make them the players to beat in the next generation of tech. But some venture capitalists are betting on scrappy startups with a long-shot potential to upset the incumbents' plans, writes my colleague Kim Hart:
Dean Kamen likes to say he has invented so many things for so long that soon, his expired patents will exceed the valid ones. Given his total of 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them breakthrough medical devices, he can gripe when all of that is reduced to a single product — the Segway.
The wiry, 66-year-old inventor and entrepreneur is one of the most fervent American evangelists for patent rights. Silicon Valley technology hands are special targets of his ire when they say patents are passé and slow down innovation.
A rush into algorithmic trading is setting up a concentration of faith in computerized investment, a trend that could backfire in intensified volatility and lowered returns, my colleague Chris Matthews reports:
What's going on: By 2025, Wall Street firms are expected to shed 10% of their work force — 230,000 jobs — as they embrace intelligent algorithms, trading that relies on crunching mountains of data and sometimes anticipating the actions of human traders (chart above), according to the financial consultancy Opimas.
If there's anything you ever wanted to render as paper — your cat Luna, your first car, some odd polyhedron — here's your chance: After 17 years of trying, MIT's Erik Demaine has co-written an algorithm that unlocks the secret of how to fold a piece of paper into any shape, using the minimum number of seams.
In the newsletter of June 11, I cited "the late biologist E.O. Wilson." Professor Wilson is alive and well, as many of you reminded me, and I apologize to him. Last week, we inserted "trillion" for dollars spent on AI research in the U.S. and China on artificial intelligence research; it should have been billion.