The Roomba Envisioned in 19th Century France

The Public Domain Review:

A series of futuristic pictures by Jean-Marc Côté and other artists issued in France in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910. Originally in the form of paper cards enclosed in cigarette/cigar boxes and, later, as postcards, the images depicted the world as it was imagined to be like in the then distant year of 2000. As is so often the case their predictions fell some way off the mark, failing to go far enough in thinking outside the confines of their current technological milieu (hence the ubiquity of propellors, not to mention the distinctly 19th-century dress).

There are at least 87 cards known that were authored by various French artists, the first series being produced for the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. Due to financial difficulties the cards by Jean-Marc Côté were never actually distributed and only came to light many years later after the science-fiction author Isaac Asimov chanced upon a set and published them in 1986, with accompanying commentary, in the book Futuredays: A Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000.

See also Wikimedia

Roomba® Robot Vacuum was introduced in 2002 and its developer, iRobot, has sold by 2019 more than 25 million robots worldwide.

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The Rise and Rise of Video Streaming

Axios: The economics don’t mode well for the theater chains, but they aren’t miserable either. U.S. cinema revenue continues to plateau as ticket prices increase, suggesting that theater-viewing isn’t dead yet. Digital movie-viewing, however, continues to skyrocket.

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How Ordinary Investors Invest in Startups

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton is not happy with the limited access retail investors have to private companies. “If the growth opportunities have shifted… into our private markets and ordinary investors don’t have access to them, that’s not good,” Clayton said recently. “The question is, what do we do about it?” he asked, suggesting in very general terms “appropriately structured funds.”

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China is Moving Towards a Cashless Society

eMarketer: We forecast that 577.4 million people in China made a purchase via proximity mobile payment within a six-month period this year. Those users account for 49.6% of the country’s population. In 2020, more than half of the population will utilize this payment method, with that figure rising to 60.5% in 2023.

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Big Tech Leads in AI Patent Filings

WSJ: AI-related applications to the US Patent Office grew to about 3,800 in 2018 from roughly 3,200 in 2017 and about 1,900 in 2014.

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AI by the Numbers: 82% of Workers Think Robots Can Do Things Better than Their Managers

Recent surveys, studies, forecasts and other quantitative assessments of the progress of AI highlighted workers’ positive attitudes toward AI and robots, challenges in implementing enterprise AI, the perceived benefits of AI in financial services, and the impact of AI on the business of Big Tech.

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Enterprise AI Adoption Not Up to Expectations

PC Magazine: “Something is stalling AI adoption”–Gartner VP Svetlana Sicular

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