I was uploading photos from my recent short trip with friends on Facebook, it was pretty simple thing just select picture, click upload and done. Facebook automatically tagged few of my friends in pics and few were not. This looks like simple straight affair till the time you notice that “Facebook automatically tagged your friends”……I didn’t notice this till I accidentally came across this article – The End of the Code – Soon We Won’t Program Computers. We’ll Train Them Like Dogs Link here . That’s what Facebook seems to have done, in past me & my friends have uploaded tonnes of photos and tagged ourselves. Software can now recognize us and tags us easily, this is nothing but self learning software or we training the software. In effect in future we would be training software (called as neural network or Artificial Intelligence) on what we want rather than programming them. I wonder how many of us would have patient to train, given fast food generation we all are living in?….probably very few. However person would need to do it, like every time analyst plugs in historic data from annual report, software would correlate input number with different source it can access online and one of them would be company annual report. Imagine x-rays/scans can be easily read by machines & diseases can be diagnosed, Last year, machine learning helped computers recognize images more accurately than humans for the first time. As computers sees our pattern, it would start understanding us or start predicting our requirement, chances are we may not use or our use of desktop/laptop/tab/mobile may decrease as we would be able to have conversation with it. Amazon launched echo sometime back and Google quickly realized possibility and launched Google Assistant, read more of it here (Google’s New Products Reflect Push Into Machine Learning).  Every repetitive task would be easily automated. Apparently this happens to be very old phenomena in living creature it’s just now moving to software, to know more just read more about Pavlov’s Dogs Link here for this Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was awarded Nobel Prize.

So now if we can train software to do lots of stuff for us, can we also train it to be our lover?…no matter how much we deny and wonder that machine can never replace human being for our physical & mental needs there are people who think it can, have a look at this article – Flirting With Humanity – The search for an artificial intelligence smart enough to love – Link here – it shows how bunch of people across the world are trying to do the same. One interesting para that stood out for me that I have replicated below

I (Reporter) asked Bugaj (Robot/AI developer) if he thought people would fall in love with Sophia (Robot with AI).
“Sure,” he said. “People fall in love with animals and shoes. A robot can provide more relatability.”
“But why? What does a human get out of that kind of relationship?”
Bugaj reflected a moment. “Why are humans so fascinated by chimps and dolphins? We are, as a species, lonely.”

So now let say if most of the work is automated, meaning most of the people that are involved in manual or routine/repetitive work would soon be jobless. No nation can afford to have huge population unemployed as that would be ultimate recipe of civil war/ disaster / terrorism etc etc. so would it be advisable for a country to give a basic income to its citizen, that takes care of their typical expenses (food + stay + medical + others) and ask them to focus on stuff they enjoy doing. So What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money, world has no clear cut answer or experiment to refer to how people behave when they are given free money & no questions are asked on how they spend it. That is what is needed and hence number of people across the globe are conducting studies in various different way – “What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?”Link here – to know about the same.

World population has been rising and it seems it’s likely to continue its uptrend, meaning more mouths to feed. However land is finite commodity, and we can’t create more of that (although I have heard few theories, we can claim land from sea/ocean, buts let leave that aside for a moment), so world would need more agriculture output on finite land, looks like we need tech to improve our productivity. Genetically Modified Organism is one option, however globally there have been lots of questions about its safety. the National Academies of Sciences, US based non-profit carried one of the biggest study on the safety of GMO, here are 5 big takeaways from the most thorough review of GMOs yetLink here

During my early days in stock market, I was tracking retailing industry and given india was just experiencing retail boom through likes of Big Bazaar, Shoppers Stop, Spencers, Spinach , Crosswords, Piraymd, Subhiksha, Vishal Retail,  etc  etc.  Given sector was in its infancy stage to learn more about sector is to see where it has matured. So I turned to US “Wal-Mart”, read founder Sam Walton’s Made-In-America and tonnes of other stuff. During this I learnt that big FMCG companies would negotiate with Wal-Mart, given its huge volume. So I understood how much power retailing giant can exert on companies and on its own customers. That’s where the idea of Private labels came in, Wal-Mart has tonnes of private label across the board product category and it looks like Amazon is following the same – Why Amazon is going to start making generic diapers, coffee, nuts, and laundry detergentLink here . Just a thought Big Bazaar/Future group tried something similar by launching Sach toothpaste in association with Sachin Tendulkar, however I think it didn’t work well.

According to ScienceFocus.com, the average human bladder (where urine gets stored) can hold about 400 to 600 milliliters of urine. The average person produces about 1,500 ml of urine every 24 hours, so it only takes nine or 10 hours before you’re filled up and you’ve gotta go — bad. How long can you hold on without pee or going to toilet? Max should be 9-10 for a normal person.  However there are certain jobs (think of deep sea divers or military/sniper guys who hold on to their position for hours) or medical condition in which it’s difficult for person to get up & visit toilet. Of course there are solutions, but there seems to be better solution – HeWee Go: the device that could stop you from visiting the toilet ever again Link here . I know people who are very workaholic and this would be absolute gift for those people who can save time to focus on work 😉

Most of us would have studied process of Photosynthesis in our school, however here is just a small recap of it from Wikipedia – Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert light energy, normally from the Sun, into chemical energy that can be later released to fuel the organisms’ activities (energy transformation). This chemical energy is stored in carbohydrate molecules, such as sugars, which are synthesized from carbon dioxide and water – hence the name photosynthesis. In most cases, oxygen is also released as a waste product. Most plants, most algae, and cyanobacteria perform photosynthesis; Photosynthesis maintains atmospheric oxygen levels and supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth. So basically plants grow by doing photosynthesis and also produce oxygen as byproduct. Humans & herbivorous animals eat plant and inhale oxygen, carnivorous animals eat herbivorous animals and inhale oxygen too, so that’s basic right, key is Plant to grow which needs sun light, otherwise its difficult for other life forms to survive – that’s what I thought till date before I accidently bumped on article that states there is life form that can still produce food without the help of sunlight and there are other life forms who can survive environment where oxygen presence is very low & carbon dioxide presence is  high compared to our regular environment. This makes for a truly bizarre world, do check out – The bizarre beasts living in Romania’s poison cave – Movile Cave has been cut off for millions of years. Its air is thick with harmful gases, yet it is home to an array of strange animalsLink here .

Few other interesting stuff i found interesting

There is an Rs 3 lakh crore-sized hole in India’s tax net – Link here

Sticky fingers: The rise of the bee thieves – Bees have become a billion-dollar business. But who would try to steal them? – Link here

Why we must have the right to choose death – Link here

The Ukrainian Hacker Who Became the FBI’s Best Weapon—And Worst Nightmare – Link here