Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

Sex, robots and AI

In Uncategorized on 07/04/2016 at 4:30 am

Research done at Stanford. “This research has implications for both robot design and theory of artificial systems.”

Sex robot ‘turns humans on by getting them to fondle its private parts’ (Daily Mirror)



PAP govt missing the point on how to grow the economy?

In Economy, Political economy on 27/03/2014 at 4:54 am

Growing the economy doesn’t mean more FTs, nor more start-ups, nor more financing of SMEs (owners use money to buy property, flashy cars and donate to WP LOL), but an innovation ecosytem.

This comment by someone analysing the stagnation in the West applies here too

What we need if we are to avoid the much-feared “secular stagnation” is not many small startups—or an obsession with financing “SMEs”–but an innovation ecosystem in which these new firms are made relevant through a dynamic interaction of public and private investments. This requires a public sector able and willing to spend large sums on education, research and those emerging areas that the private sector keeps out of (because of high capital intensity and high technological/market risk); large firms which reinvest their profits not in share-buybacks but in human capital and R&D; a financial system that lends to the real economy and not mainly to itself; tax policy that rewards long run investments over short run capital gains; immigration policy that attracts the best and the brightest from around the world; and rigorous competition policy that challenges lazy incumbents rather than letting them get away with high prices and parasitic  subsidies.

Given the importance the PAP places on growth (a growing economy translates into voters: a Hard Truth that went wrong when the PAP forgot that growth must benefit voters), one can only hope it focus on creating an innovative ecosystem, rather than talk about it, as it has done for yrs on end.

Related post:

How to be a hi-tech entrepeneurial hub

In Uncategorized on 13/12/2012 at 6:34 am

Berlin is fashionable, edgy, artistic: cool. And Berlin is the home of choice for many new hi-tech entrepreneurs from around the world. With global giants like Google now opening offices in the city, the German capital’s “Silicon Allee” is now rivalling London’s Silicon Roundabout as Europe’s tech hub.

Forget A*STAR etc. Juz be a place that cool people want to live in. And cool people don’t want to live in a place where marital fidelity is a must. Adultery is cool, not a hanging offence.

PM should read this report

In Economy on 01/12/2011 at 6:17 am

PM should look this up given his recent call for more R&D spending by the private sector.  One lesson: home grown cos needed, not MNCs. UK is nowhere to be seen because like S’pore most of its manufacturing is done by MNCs HQed abroad.

Why we are no Silicon Valley

In Economy on 22/05/2010 at 5:34 am

The recipes of other cities for creating the next Silicon Valley usually leave out a few main ingredients. Richard Florida, who wrote “The Rise of the Creative Class” and studies why certain cities foster creativity, cites three crucial factors: talented people and a high quality of life that keeps them around, technological expertise, and an open-mindedness about new ways of doing things, which often comes from a strong counterculture: extract from NYT on Boulder Colorado,.

We could do the first two like we do “instant” trees” or citizens: but a strong counterculture? Not that long ago, the government had problems with people with long hair. Today, it (and to be fair, society) has problems with drugs (long term imprisonment for users and sometimes death), alternative life-styles (read buggery and free love), and liberal democracy.

BTW, an ex-MIcrosoft strategist and now VC, earlier this week, was saying (according to Today)  that the Silicon Valley model was not for S’pore. He advocated something that sounded like that could have come out of USSR’s infamous five- year plans.

The way forward, especially for relatively small countries with financial transparency and access to “good capital”, is to pursue innovation mega-projects, he said.

In Singapore’s context, an official body could serve as “prime contractor” mapping the vision, plans, standards and project management for such a project.

It could then hire “sub-contractors” to take care of aspects like inventions, and products and services.

How would this approach differ from previous forays like the Economic Development Board’s efforts to create an innovation hub here?

The key difference is in not allowing companies to come in and integrate “at the company’s discretion”, said Mr Jung.

One of the last innovation mega- projects that Singapore tried to drive, and where “a lot of external people” were brought in, was the broadband information superhighway project. That was in the ’90s, when Mr Jung was with Microsoft.

He said the tech giant had sent a group to look at participating in the project.

“But there wasn’t a prime contractor. There was no one really driving that vision,” he said.

Going down the innovation mega -project path – which could range from healthcare to education to alternative energy – would be “a lower risk way of bringing lots of technology in, and probably seeing it actually succeed,” he said.

“So I’d like to see Singapore really try that. I think it’ll be interesting.”

Edward Jung claimed that  from his interaction with officials in local institutions, … said there seems to have been a rethink about pursuing this model [Silicon Valley].

Innovation needs lousy infrastructure?

In Economy on 28/03/2010 at 6:15 am

Noticed that our “nation-building” and “constructive” MSM has gone quiet on innovation when ministers talk bugger-all on the topic? Remember when innovation was the theme, juz recently?

Seriously, given the S’pore’s govt penchant for building state-of-the-art infrastructure, could this be a reason why we have problems in the “innovation space”.

That lousy infrastructure = innovation.

The Economist’s Babbage blogged, “It’s well established that America, on a number of different measures of internet speed, availability and penetration, tends to rank about 15th. Yet YouTube, Twitter and the iTunes store are all American innovations, all from a time when America was already falling behind on speed and access. Which leads me to a question: is it possible that the limitations of America’s internet infrastructure actually spur innovation? The delivery of Flash-encoded video — as on YouTube — is a cleverly efficient use of bandwidth. If America could pipe 100 HD channels into every home, would there have been a YouTube?”