A (somewhat) contrarian view on the promises of LLMs

This is a transcript of a chat with some friends.What I’m about to say doesn’t mean that one can’t make a lot of money out of LLMs, yet I have some doubts that there are many sustainable multibillion-dollar businesses based on them. Several years ago, long before Satoshi Nakamoto, while speculating with a friend who now is a prominent crypto personality about a possible fully P2P decentralized coin, I argued that I could not clearly see a possible way of sustainably making substantial revenues because if there are no asymmetries in the playing field (like in pure P2P), no player…

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What Twitter’s recent events should teach us about online applications

The Musk and twitter affair should teach us the importance of considering our digital lives not from a static point of view but from a dynamic one, that is, not considering the choices we make as facts pertaining just to the specific moment but rather to consider how they might evolve after some time. Twitter was a publicly traded company with a good board of directors, a strong reputation as a well-administered system that cared about protecting users. Musk’s acquisition concentrated ownership in one person, the moderation team was decimated as well as the regulatory compliance people. Today Twitter is…

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ItaIian digital identity passes 1Bn yearly authentications mark. Historic data suggests smartphone based digital identity drives adoption

At the beginning of december, italian digital identity, SPID, has surpassed the 1Bn yearly authentications mark; I suspect it to be a european record (or more). In Italy there used to be a smartcard based digital identity (CIE/CNS/CPS/CRS) even prior to the introduction of SPID, a smartphone based Digital Identity, that I first proposed in 2013 and that effectively started after the pilot phase in 2016. The adoption grew significantly both in users and in service provider adoption. The case in Trentino (a small autonomous province of Italy) is very important because there was an ubiquitous deployment of smartcard based…

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Breaking news!: After France Education Ministry, German Privacy Authority against Office 365. European market getting tougher for US companies

After a process lasting two years, the joint committee of the German federal data protection authority and 17 state regulators found that “”that, on the basis of these documents [provided by MS], it is not possible to use Microsoft Office 365 in a way that complies with data protection requirements”. Boom Now I wonder if and how it is possible for similar services from Google or other U.S. companies to comply with EU laws. This is particularly significant in Italy where almost all schools are using Google Classroom (wouldn’t it be the moment to use EU services instead ?) Past…

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Mastodon come alternativa a Twitter; Mastodon non è Twitter, è antivirale per costruzione; La sfida principale di ogni community.

Questo post è un riassunto di cose scritte in precedenza altrove (sul mio account @quinta@mastdon.uno) , concentrate in un unico luogo perchè potrebbero essere utili o di interesse a nuovi utenti di Mastodon. Mastodon è meglio o peggio di twitter ? E’ diverso. E’ costruito per ridurre tensioni, insulti, maleducazione, tossicità… C’è meno gente, ma i contenuti di twitter possono essere mirrorati facilmente, per quegli utenti di cui porprio non potete fare a meno. Meno dopamina, più tranquillità. In questo post spiego un po’ le basi per destreggiarsi, quali sono i principali meccanismi de-tox di Mastodon e la sfida (affatto…

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A reflection on Mastodon’s recent success and some implications for possible future regulations

I may be wrong. it seems to me Mastodon has reached a critical mass, so it will exist in the foreseeable future as an alternative social media Twitter will need to invent something extremely compelling, not yet thought of, in order to prompt people to pay, vis-á-vis a free alternative This will push the adoption of activitypub (the underlying tech) and more services could emerge confronting other social media. Musk’s illogic adventure could mark the social media industry tipping point Regulators have at first given up regulating speech online leaving it to social media companies’ self regulation Now they impose…

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UPDATED : On the prospects of the outcome of future Italian elections

UPDATE 2022.10.29 Hon. Simone Baldelli, Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives has yesterday published an article stating that Meloni government: why the real danger will be the numbers in Parliament (and committees)The possible political resilience of the center-right depends not so much on the program outlined to the chambers but on the fragility of numbers in committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate (Qui la auto-traduzione in italiano) In Oct. 2020 Italy enacted a reform in the number of the members of the Parliament (Chamber of Deputies and Senate). This reform has unintended consequences for governability.The…

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EU regulatory trends (note to self)

I am jotting down this note to myself. Few days ago I was thinking at some background trends that it seems to me are underpinning the evolution of EU Digital policies. The first one I would call “Antitrust Originalism”. It seems to me we are departing from the antitrust interpretation promoted by the Chicago School: no longer the north star seems to be the momentary advantage to consumers but rather the long term economic power and political effect of megacorporations. Antitrust was originally conceived as an economic tool to limit the political power of few self-appointed, un-elected persons. There we…

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AI and The future of work: from muscles, to brains, to hearts

I had some conversations with a friend about the future of post-pandemic corporate work in light of technological evolution. Before the Industrial Revolution, work tended to value people’s contributions with muscle power. Most of the value came from physical manipulation activities. Then came the Industrial Revolution, with machinery that reduced the relevance of muscular effort by automating a major part of it. Most of the value at this point came from symbol manipulation activities. We valued and value the contribution of people, expressed with their brains. Now the digital revolution is under way, with Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the…

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Something I learned in the parliament

“It’s not enough to be right: you must also have someone to recognize it. “G. Andreotti The second part is the most difficult, the part that requires the vast majority of energy, time, understanding, respect, empathy, etc. A mistake we often make is to believe that the first part is enough: I know how to do it, I know what is right; if things don’t go that way it is because the system is broken and those who don’t agree are jerks, in bad faith or corrupt. Communicating is first of all listening. To be open, to understand the reasons…

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