Proto-Post Scarcity

On the blog, Rick Webb wrote a lovely post on the period of time and culture that transitions us from where we are now to the big question of what comes next. There’s no sense in continuing our current version of capitalism now that the vast wealth in our financial system is controlled by so few. This includes twerky control of the democratic wheels (Congress, Judicial branch, and the Executive), as well as our cultural messages (mass media: TV, movies, the “news” and other feeders to our public dialog). Here, Webb walks us out to a future I can believe in.

I promise this is about Star Trek. Sort of. Bear with me a moment.

I’ve been reading a lot about robots lately. When I read about robots, and the future, I can’t help but think about it in economic terms. And that inevitably turns my mind to the branch of economics called post scarcity economics. Traditional economics, of course, deals with the efficient allocation of inherently scarce materials. Post scarcity economics deals with the economics of economies that are no longer constrained by scarcity of materials — food, energy, shelter, etc.

The thing that never sits quite right with post scarcity economics, though, at least the very little that I’ve read, is that it’s always sort of an all or nothing affair: you either don’t have enough of anything or you have enough of everything. Thinking of this as a mental exercise is kind of fun, I think, but in reality it seems to me that getting from point A — a scarcity economy — to point B — post scarcity — is going to be a long, complicated journey as some things become more abundant in some places, while other things are still scarce.

What is needed is some sort of interim-, or proto-post scarcity economics. …

Take a few minutes (he suggests 20) and walk with him through a compelling story.

As a side note, back in 1998 I wrote a “speech” by Chu, a young person from the future. You can read that talk here.


vbcsf: Reality Check: Introduction to Truly Hands Free 3.0

Todd Mozer of Sensory–they have had their software up and running throughout the event and way beyond (last 20 years). Embedded Voice Biometrics (small footprints, small calc requirements)–other companies use touch to verify but they’re getting away from that.

Why embedded? Small footprint: lower cost, works efficiently; lower power: less battery replacement, saves $ to consumers. No cloud connection needed: always works, faster responses, lower cost. Can improve accuracy, independent approaches: comparison between client and cloud biometrics, spot checks if/when needed.

Truly handsfree: voice activation, speech recognition and transcription, intent and meaning, data search and query, speech or display response. Voice activation: keyword spotting approach (instead of touch), fast response time and works with high noise. “Hello blue genie” triggers service, even with music in background (demo). Now added: speaker verification, pre-trained phrases (three words, though five words is recommended).

Diverse and growing customer base in consumer electronics including telephony, automotive, home electronics, toys and learning, bluetooth, and more. They had a device that went to Mars. Best selling girls electronics (GirlTech): diary for girls, locked with their voice. Radica acquired them then Mattel acquired them, still best-selling product. Uses 15 year old technology (they offered a free upgrade but was declined).

Increasing accuracy by combining metrics, sensors, platforms, other independent approaches. Increasing client/cloud interactions, including FIDO Alliance, security for transactions, transactions through mobile devices (e.g., “I want to buy that song.”).


vbcsf: Reality Check: e-Government Applications for Voice Authentication

Roanne Levitt of VoiceTrust eServices Canada: they’re involved in National ID program for an emerging Nation. Also proof of life. This nation has 10 million citizens, half do not possess a national ID. Program in place to register citizens and provice IDs. Nation was struck by a natural disaster and everyone lost their IDs. New program is designed to enable: participation in government, job, school, vote, acquire a title to real property. Involves many government ministries.

When a citizen registers, their photo is taken, fingerprint, signature recorded. Their voice is not registered at this point, but that will change. Problem with current registry: need to equip offices with fingerprint readers (and cost to acquire, distribute, infrastructure, IT personnel to maintain). Rejection rate for manual workers (cuts, worn prints, dry hands) is high, and citizens must come into office to verify identity. Corporations (e.g., banks) have a hard time with verification. Continue Reading


vbcsf: Reality Check: Mobile Voice Authentication

Anastasia with Agnitio: The solution to mobile fraud and identity theft is as easy as speaking, with KIVOX mobile. Demo of current app on mobile screen of Kivox: two buttons: teach the phone and practice (enrollment). Teach: select a passphrase (from list) or customer’s own passphrase. If own, check phrase and write it down. Can use any language. Practice: phrase at bottom of big microphone picture. Speak, analysis, and done.

Next demo on security: how to leverage speech demo with FIDO clients. Worked with Nok Nok Labs to log into PayPal account. Press Login button, recognizes Nok Nok client that asks to use authentication client. Choose yes, verify with voice, successful login to PayPal. Speech used again to confirm high value transaction; is flexible and secure.

Next demo with Nok Nok Labs and FIDO: many different types of authenticators. On screen: silent, pin, voice, other methods. These are real and available products. Future: Thales (integrator) has MatchVOX (android) for on-device speaker work. Open it up, prompt for input method (mic, phone, recording). Uses live stream as phone input, compares speaker with on-phone records.

Check them out in demo room for more information.


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