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The Aleph Report
2017 Zeitgeist
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
“The future depends on what you do today.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi
The Aleph Report -2017 Zeitgeist
I started The Aleph in October of 2017 with the goal of bringing high-quality
strategic thought to technology. I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved
during this 2017. In less than three months there is a vibrant, smart and
powerful community around it. I want to thank everyone that has been
helping me and The Aleph to grow, and I hope that 2018 is an even better
year for our community.
The following slides are a recap of all the topics we’ve covered in this first
year of life. The idea is for it to become our own personal The Aleph Zeitgeist. I
hope you all enjoy it! Merry Christmas, happy holiday and a prosperous 2018.
Alex Barrera -Chief Editor at The Aleph.
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistOctober 2017
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/10/should-you-be-thinking-of-quantum-computing/
The acceleration of the space will bring forward a viable (like in
1000 – 4000 qubits) Universal Quantum Computer during the next
few years, not more.
The bottleneck isn’t with the hardware per se, but on the capacity to
develop the right Quantum Algorithms. The development of such
algorithms isn’t trivial and requires extensive mathematical
knowledge.
The quest for fast Deep Learning training is pushing the investment on Quantum
Computers too. It’s not about who uses AI or not anymore. It’s about who can re-
train their models faster.
Should You Be Thinking of Quantum Computing?
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistOctober 2017
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/10/apple-3d-scanner-truedepth/
Apple’s 3D scanner will change everything
Apple is putting depth sensors on the table for everyone to admire. They’re
doing that, not with technology, but with a killer application of the technology,
Face ID. They’re showing the way to more powerful apps.
This space is going to move fast. Now that Apple has open the floodgates, all the
Android ecosystem will follow. I suspect that in less than two-three years we’ll see a
robust set of apps in this space.
Following the app ecosystem, we’ll see a crop of devices embedding depth
sensor technology beyond the phone, and it will eventually be all around us.
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistOctober 2017
When the current tech talent isn’t enough
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/10/ai-talent-drain-digital-transformation/
Digital Transformation isn't a new trend; it's the tax of doing business. No matter
your industry, your size or your market. Not moving technology to the core of your
operations will kill your business in the next few years.
This is having a dire effect on the incumbent players. Not only they won't find talent. The talent
they gain will be sub-prime. Even worse, the sucking out of professors will hinder the ability of
many institutions to produce top rate graduates in the future.
As the education moves from "open" to scarce, limited and expensive, how can we retrain
minorities and other at-risk groups? Ignoring this rift will only increase the chasm
between the technology elites and the rest of the population.
The gap between the capacity of technology corporations to amass talent and all
the rest is widening exponentially every month.
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017
How Amazon’s Alexa will rule the future
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/amazon-alexa-google-home-future-voice/
Purely voice-only apps aren't making money, and this is in part due
to the lack of paying options within the current platforms.
Doing access control with voice-enabled apps and not
securing the authentication is going to spell disaster.
Everyone that's integrating voice-based interfaces is doing it with Alexa.
Amazon's bet is panning out, and they're beating Apple and Google at their own
game.
Owning the voice input hardware (i.e., Echo, Smartphone, etc.) and developing your ASR
+ NLP system will be critical for other organizations that want to move into this space.
Every single major technology company is developing their voice-
enabled personal assistant. From Microsoft's Cortana, Googles's Google
Assistant, Apple's Siri, Yandex's Alice to Baidu's Duer.
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017
Is SoftBank ready for global domination?
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/softbank-vision-fund-innovation-investment/
In May they announced SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF). With an expected 100 billion
dollar war chest, it's the largest technology-based fund we've ever seen.
Son's capacity to adapt, kill old businesses and move onto the next
integration platform is remarkable.
One of his most prescient moves was to invest 20 million dollars in Alibaba in 2000. Those
20 million became 58 billion dollars when the company went public in 2014.
SoftBank's new Vision Fund isn't the first time Masayoshi san uses such a structure.
He's been orchestrating similar joint-ventures for years.
Another critical aspect of his willingness to partner is how he always
looks for synergies within his holdings.
He's been pursuing to invest in the next generation of technologies that will enable
human existence.
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017
Virtual Reality isn’t functional yet, here is why
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/virtual-reality-vr-oculus-htc-why/
The short answer is that the usefulness of the content (benefits) vs. the
accessibility of the technology (cost) isn't there yet.
This bias towards entertainment already narrows and corners VR's usefulness.If
you compare the benefits VR entertainment offers versus the ease of use, we can
see, we're not there yet.
Brand fragmentation is on the way, but more critical than that, it's the
fragmentation the technology itself is generating. VR headset capacities are
changing every 4-5 months.
Every single content platform suffers from a lack of clarity, confusing
messages or bad UX.
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017
Forget Silicon Valley. Innovation is happening in China now
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/china-ai-silicon-valley-innovation/
Historically, China's educational levels have been subpar with the rest of the
world. This hasn't been the case for a while now. The truth is, China's university
are already outperforming many of their international peers.
Such has been the evolution of the Chinese startup ecosystem that
their products and services are starting to outperform their American peers.
China had surpassed, for the first time, the US number of peer-
reviewed publications mentioning Deep Learning.
China is investing in companies that the US money is neglecting.
China will, most probably, dictate the rules of the next technological revolution. 
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistDecember 2017
Fake News will knock out your business
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/12/fake-news-twitter-will-knock-out-your-business/
Information manipulation has been the silent weapon in many recent geopolitical
conflicts. And while there's always been propaganda, its sophistication reached new
heights in the US Presidential Elections of 2016.
Twitter's core design is the perfect distribution engine. It's anonymous, it's in real-
time, it allows for easy targeting and, for the most part, it's unpoliced.
Automation of content enables us to create more content than ever before. Deep Learning
systems can copy, summarise or even create content, at scale.
Never in the history of humankind, we've experienced such colossal aggregation platforms. The
combination of these two facts makes the scale of information manipulation tremendous. 
The only way to fight scale and automation is with scale and automation. Cyberwarfare isn't for
governments anymore.
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistDecember 2017
Does anything go in pursuit of scale?
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/12/does-anything-go-in-pursuit-of-scale/
Most companies are investing heavily in scalability. They're increasing their capacity,
their infrastructure and their quality of service. But hidden among this growing
frenzy, content assessment and security are being abandoned.
 Due to the immense volume, humans alone can't manually operate these filters.
Operators then design new algorithms that can aid them in filtering and controlling it.
When questioned by the platform's users, operators are unable to tell why the system
censored their content.
All these biases will creep into AI assisted moderation systems. And we need to be
vigilant about it.
A small slip, innocuous at a small scale, will sprout into a choking issue when
the system grows.
“
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistDecember 2017
It’s time to set up your organization’s Intelligence Unit
Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/12/intelligence-unit-organization/
Business, as usual, doesn't cut it anymore. I've argued that to survive in the current
competitive landscape, data and intelligence is a must.
Intelligence operations aren't unique to corporations. The technology industry is
becoming such a cutthroat space, where any advantage can have a massive impact.
If your rivals are making informed decisions and you're not, you'll lose and
become irrelevant.
The irony is, companies are already digitalizing their businesses and are incorporating more
and more data. The need for data is allowing them to build comprehensive collection processes
already.
Outsourcing these operations isn't cutting it anymore. Building your own Intel unit is a
necessity.
The Aleph Report -2017 Zeitgeist
THANK YOU
Alex Barrera -Chief Editor at The Aleph.
Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get our weekly report. 



https://thealeph.com/weekly-newsletter/

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The Aleph Zeitgeist 2017

  • 1. The Aleph Report 2017 Zeitgeist Alex Barrera - thealeph.com “The future depends on what you do today.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi
  • 2. The Aleph Report -2017 Zeitgeist I started The Aleph in October of 2017 with the goal of bringing high-quality strategic thought to technology. I’m very happy with what I’ve achieved during this 2017. In less than three months there is a vibrant, smart and powerful community around it. I want to thank everyone that has been helping me and The Aleph to grow, and I hope that 2018 is an even better year for our community. The following slides are a recap of all the topics we’ve covered in this first year of life. The idea is for it to become our own personal The Aleph Zeitgeist. I hope you all enjoy it! Merry Christmas, happy holiday and a prosperous 2018. Alex Barrera -Chief Editor at The Aleph. Alex Barrera - thealeph.com
  • 3. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistOctober 2017 Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/10/should-you-be-thinking-of-quantum-computing/ The acceleration of the space will bring forward a viable (like in 1000 – 4000 qubits) Universal Quantum Computer during the next few years, not more. The bottleneck isn’t with the hardware per se, but on the capacity to develop the right Quantum Algorithms. The development of such algorithms isn’t trivial and requires extensive mathematical knowledge. The quest for fast Deep Learning training is pushing the investment on Quantum Computers too. It’s not about who uses AI or not anymore. It’s about who can re- train their models faster. Should You Be Thinking of Quantum Computing?
  • 4. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistOctober 2017 Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/10/apple-3d-scanner-truedepth/ Apple’s 3D scanner will change everything Apple is putting depth sensors on the table for everyone to admire. They’re doing that, not with technology, but with a killer application of the technology, Face ID. They’re showing the way to more powerful apps. This space is going to move fast. Now that Apple has open the floodgates, all the Android ecosystem will follow. I suspect that in less than two-three years we’ll see a robust set of apps in this space. Following the app ecosystem, we’ll see a crop of devices embedding depth sensor technology beyond the phone, and it will eventually be all around us.
  • 5. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistOctober 2017 When the current tech talent isn’t enough Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/10/ai-talent-drain-digital-transformation/ Digital Transformation isn't a new trend; it's the tax of doing business. No matter your industry, your size or your market. Not moving technology to the core of your operations will kill your business in the next few years. This is having a dire effect on the incumbent players. Not only they won't find talent. The talent they gain will be sub-prime. Even worse, the sucking out of professors will hinder the ability of many institutions to produce top rate graduates in the future. As the education moves from "open" to scarce, limited and expensive, how can we retrain minorities and other at-risk groups? Ignoring this rift will only increase the chasm between the technology elites and the rest of the population. The gap between the capacity of technology corporations to amass talent and all the rest is widening exponentially every month.
  • 6. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017 How Amazon’s Alexa will rule the future Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/amazon-alexa-google-home-future-voice/ Purely voice-only apps aren't making money, and this is in part due to the lack of paying options within the current platforms. Doing access control with voice-enabled apps and not securing the authentication is going to spell disaster. Everyone that's integrating voice-based interfaces is doing it with Alexa. Amazon's bet is panning out, and they're beating Apple and Google at their own game. Owning the voice input hardware (i.e., Echo, Smartphone, etc.) and developing your ASR + NLP system will be critical for other organizations that want to move into this space. Every single major technology company is developing their voice- enabled personal assistant. From Microsoft's Cortana, Googles's Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, Yandex's Alice to Baidu's Duer.
  • 7. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017 Is SoftBank ready for global domination? Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/softbank-vision-fund-innovation-investment/ In May they announced SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF). With an expected 100 billion dollar war chest, it's the largest technology-based fund we've ever seen. Son's capacity to adapt, kill old businesses and move onto the next integration platform is remarkable. One of his most prescient moves was to invest 20 million dollars in Alibaba in 2000. Those 20 million became 58 billion dollars when the company went public in 2014. SoftBank's new Vision Fund isn't the first time Masayoshi san uses such a structure. He's been orchestrating similar joint-ventures for years. Another critical aspect of his willingness to partner is how he always looks for synergies within his holdings. He's been pursuing to invest in the next generation of technologies that will enable human existence.
  • 8. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017 Virtual Reality isn’t functional yet, here is why Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/virtual-reality-vr-oculus-htc-why/ The short answer is that the usefulness of the content (benefits) vs. the accessibility of the technology (cost) isn't there yet. This bias towards entertainment already narrows and corners VR's usefulness.If you compare the benefits VR entertainment offers versus the ease of use, we can see, we're not there yet. Brand fragmentation is on the way, but more critical than that, it's the fragmentation the technology itself is generating. VR headset capacities are changing every 4-5 months. Every single content platform suffers from a lack of clarity, confusing messages or bad UX.
  • 9. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistNovember 2017 Forget Silicon Valley. Innovation is happening in China now Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/11/china-ai-silicon-valley-innovation/ Historically, China's educational levels have been subpar with the rest of the world. This hasn't been the case for a while now. The truth is, China's university are already outperforming many of their international peers. Such has been the evolution of the Chinese startup ecosystem that their products and services are starting to outperform their American peers. China had surpassed, for the first time, the US number of peer- reviewed publications mentioning Deep Learning. China is investing in companies that the US money is neglecting. China will, most probably, dictate the rules of the next technological revolution. 
  • 10. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistDecember 2017 Fake News will knock out your business Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/12/fake-news-twitter-will-knock-out-your-business/ Information manipulation has been the silent weapon in many recent geopolitical conflicts. And while there's always been propaganda, its sophistication reached new heights in the US Presidential Elections of 2016. Twitter's core design is the perfect distribution engine. It's anonymous, it's in real- time, it allows for easy targeting and, for the most part, it's unpoliced. Automation of content enables us to create more content than ever before. Deep Learning systems can copy, summarise or even create content, at scale. Never in the history of humankind, we've experienced such colossal aggregation platforms. The combination of these two facts makes the scale of information manipulation tremendous.  The only way to fight scale and automation is with scale and automation. Cyberwarfare isn't for governments anymore.
  • 11. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistDecember 2017 Does anything go in pursuit of scale? Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/12/does-anything-go-in-pursuit-of-scale/ Most companies are investing heavily in scalability. They're increasing their capacity, their infrastructure and their quality of service. But hidden among this growing frenzy, content assessment and security are being abandoned.  Due to the immense volume, humans alone can't manually operate these filters. Operators then design new algorithms that can aid them in filtering and controlling it. When questioned by the platform's users, operators are unable to tell why the system censored their content. All these biases will creep into AI assisted moderation systems. And we need to be vigilant about it. A small slip, innocuous at a small scale, will sprout into a choking issue when the system grows.
  • 12. “ Alex Barrera - thealeph.com The Aleph Report -2017 ZeitgeistDecember 2017 It’s time to set up your organization’s Intelligence Unit Source: https://thealeph.com/articles/2017/12/intelligence-unit-organization/ Business, as usual, doesn't cut it anymore. I've argued that to survive in the current competitive landscape, data and intelligence is a must. Intelligence operations aren't unique to corporations. The technology industry is becoming such a cutthroat space, where any advantage can have a massive impact. If your rivals are making informed decisions and you're not, you'll lose and become irrelevant. The irony is, companies are already digitalizing their businesses and are incorporating more and more data. The need for data is allowing them to build comprehensive collection processes already. Outsourcing these operations isn't cutting it anymore. Building your own Intel unit is a necessity.
  • 13. The Aleph Report -2017 Zeitgeist THANK YOU Alex Barrera -Chief Editor at The Aleph. Alex Barrera - thealeph.com Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get our weekly report. 
 
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