Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023Liked by David M Levinson

One per cent of the funding that all of this will have attracted in the forthcoming years made available to basic improvements - such as safe street design, expansion of cycling and other forms of soft mobility, and introduction of level boarding on all public transport (including all vehicles and infrastructure) - would deliver wonders never seen before.

I think we should be thinking about this... more often.

Expand full comment

Alliteration always allows comprehensive cognition...

The missing bit in the utopia here, I think, is that all of these large data models are very expensive to operate, both for the planet (data centres are heating up the planet such that the cloud might evaporate), and of course financially to pay for the construction and operation of those many data centres. So for a distributed model to work it would have to be monetised. The second bit is data sovereignty, which unfortunately, goes back to the first point. To manage the cost of their own data, most data owners then try and sell the data rather than open source it. Even government agencies are facing these constraints. Finally, the ability to thread all the information together, as opposed to something like Google maps which infers much from user data tracking, is complex and conflictual. LLMs can retag all data from all sources so that (unlike object-based databases) no common key is required, and much can be extracted according to the user needs. But to do that retagging requires that you have the data in your own system, otherwise the planet will burn with the computing effort required to keep refreshed. In all of these things the trap is to be excited by the technology, while the opportunity is about solving issues that affect the ability of people to thrive in their daily lives. So, claps for focussing on accessibility. But without a driver a lot of people can't access a vehicle, so there will still be a need for assisted transport, particularly with the very large very old cohort on its way. But the upside, no problem with connecting mobile assistants with automated vehicles in a service offering! Keep alliterating and having fun with language, something that confuzzles AI no end and contributes to its hallucinogenic behaviours!

Expand full comment