Borges, Babel and the race against the machine

In a world of information, the way we measure combinations of words or ideas is important. Some people say it might even save humanity. Last year, economists Eric Brynolfsson and Andrew McAfee suggested that increasing combinations of business ideas could save us from being supplanted by intelligent machines. Like any powerful algorithm, combinatorics is both…

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Disruptive Business Models, Uber and Plane Crashes

Disruptive internet-based business models have upended traditional industries like recorded music, newspapers and retailing. The latest flurry of innovation involves start-ups that take a service traditionally provided by a regulated firm "“ such as a hotel or taxi company - transforming it into commission-paying transactions between buyers and sellers. Accessed via smartphone apps and 'regulated'…

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