/ Weekly Takeaways

Blockchain's First Bond, Big Tech Drops College Requirements and Fake News Detection Finally Works

The World Bank has launched a bond on Blockchain

Back in June the World Bank started up an experimental lab that focused on bleeding edge fintech platforms like Blockchain. Since then, they've been busy partnering with Australia to create a bond note that will be maintained on Blockchain. The note is backed by a number of heavy hitter investors in the continent and is being pushed hard by World Bank:

We are particularly impressed with the breath [sic] of interest from official institutions, fund managers, government institutions and banks. We were no doubt successful in moving from concept to reality because these high-quality investors understood the value of leveraging technology for innovation in capital markets,

Key Takeaway

Until recently, the only financial instruments that I knew of were crypto currencies like Bitcoin and Ether. This is the first major change to that idea. Now whether this is something worth investing in because of Blockchain is a whole other issue. I wasn't planning on adding Australian bonds to my portfolio, and until there's definitive proof that Blockchain makes the bond more secure, more valuable, more... Anything - I'm waiting and seeing.

To this end, it's always worth looking at the rise and fall of Blockchain as a popular topic of interest. So here's Google Trends data - which shows the need for this kind of news if the technology is going to become what everyone thought it would:

Google, Microsoft, IBM and many others no longer require a degree

Glassdoor released a list this week of the top 15 companies that don't require college degrees anymore (or if you're in Canada, they likely mean university).

This quote from Google's former SVP of people operations has been quoted as saying:

When you look at people who don't go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people.

Key Takeaway

This has been a long time coming, and rightfully so. As someone who's had to read far too many resumes, rarely do I care about a candidate's education as much as what they've accomplished. Even the coveted MBA graduate doesn't hold the same cache it once used to.

The new word of the day has become "Smart Creatives", touted in new books like "How Google Works". Credit to this find to Sandi Truffen. I highly recommend it if you want to dig more into this emergent trend.

University of Michigan research team creates a Fake News algorithm that works better than humans

Working off of the great work of Victoria Rubin (from Western University here in London, Ontario) who created the beginnings of Fake News analysis, a researcher at the University of Michigan has created an algorithm that detects Fake News with 75% accuracy. In other words - there is now software that can tell you if news if fake or not 3 out of every 4 times.

You can read the full whitepaper here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1708.07104.pdf

Key Takeaway

This could be a huge game changer - but not just for fake news. Reading through the whitepaper, this algorithm calls into question your writing style, humor, and many other elements of linguistics that you would also apply to a press release.

Think about that - there's software coming on to the market that effectively can tell consumers if your new product is just fluff, or genuinely new.

That being said - very few people seem to concern themselves with whether or not news is real (just look at Alex Jones audience size). So unless this software is adopted by Facebook, NYT, Google and many other major outlets, this will remain in the land of academia.

Blockchain's First Bond, Big Tech Drops College Requirements and Fake News Detection Finally Works
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