Engineering majors produce the most billionaires

Open Password - Wednesday April 10, 2019

# 544


Springer Nature - Machine-Generated Books - Biotechnology - Genetic Engineering - Genetic Engineering - Herbert Boyer - Robert Swanson - Insulin - Hoffmann-La Roche - Don Hoefler - Electric News - Silicon Valley - Technological Feasibility - Peter Thiel - Libertarianism - Transhumanism - Nanobots - Superintelligence - Artificial Intelligence - Ray Kurzweil - Google - Founders Fund - Palantir - Alt -Right - Donald Trump - Tech evangelists - Market control - Information asymmetries - External effects - Lobbying - Platform economy - Facebook - Microsoft - Democratic process - FinTech - Start-up investors - Barkow Consulting - Financial Times - New York Times - Wall Street Journal - FIZ Karlsruhe - Patentfamilien - Cambridge University Press - Bayerische Staatsbibliothek - Nielsen - Consumer Neurosicence Division - AICPA - Valuation of Financial Instruments - ASIS & T - Information Science - Olof Sundin - Dirk Lewandowski - Emmy Le - Tom Alby


Springer Nature

The first machine-generated book
in chemistry science

Springer Nature publishes its first machine-generated book in chemistry, “Lithium-Ion Batteries. A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research ”. The new book prototype provides an overview of the latest research publications on the subject of lithium-ion batteries. The result of this innovative type of book is a structured, automatically generated summary of a large number of current research articles in this area. This gives researchers the opportunity to efficiently survey the rapidly growing volume of information in this area.

The project is based on a close collaboration between Springer Nature and scientists from Goethe University Frankfurt / Main, where an algorithm was developed. The so-called Beta Writer automatically selects and processes relevant publications that have been published on the SpringerLink platform. These peer-reviewed publications by Springer Nature are subjected to similarity-based clustering by the algorithm in order to divide the source documents into related chapters and sections. The result is concise summaries based on the published articles. The extracted citations are provided with hyperlinks so that the reader receives clear references to the source documents. Automatically generated tables of contents and references facilitate orientation within the book prototype.

Technological fantasies of omnipotence

The dangerous ideologues
from Silicon Valley

From Lars Jaeger

In the 1970s, the biologists achieved a major breakthrough: The discovery of so-called restriction enzymes enabled them to carry out “gene transplants”. Genetic engineering was born. Artificial genes made certain proteins that could be used to treat human diseases. With this form of “genetic engineering”, the life sciences caught the imagination and interest of entrepreneurs in one fell swoop. Molecular biology Herbert Boyer was a pioneer in this development. He met with manager and financial investor Robert Swanson in 1976 to explain his findings to him. Together they founded a company that was supposed to convert Boyer's research results into specific medical products. The company "Genentech" was founded south of San Francisco, where numerous new computer companies were being established at the same time. In 1982 Genentech launched insulin, the first genetically engineered drug. Swanson and Boyer sold their company to the Swiss pharmaceutical company Hoffmann-La Roche in 1990 for US $ 2.1 billion. Boyer had become the first science billionaire in history.

Most “tech billionaires” live in the same valley south of San Francisco where Genentech was born. Until the middle of the 20th century, this area was mainly farmland. The “Valley of Heart’s Delight” advertising slogans referred to apricots and plums instead of high-tech. In 1971 the journalist Don Hoefler from "Electronic News" called the approximately 2,000 square kilometer valley in an article "Silicon Valley", after the first companies in the still young semiconductor industry had just settled there. Today it is home to many of the largest high-tech companies in the world.


The global engine of technical progress and technical progress is good per se.


Bio, genetic, nutritional and health technologies, nano and neurotechnologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, social media, automotive and traffic technologies and of course digital technologies and the internet - in all of these areas there is the “valley of unlimited possibilities “, As Silicon Valley is euphorically called, a global leader. In a mixture of science center, magnet for the gifted, risk-conscious entrepreneurship and profit-hungry investors, the "Valley" has managed to master the championship of technological feasibility like no other area in the world.

The future technology of mankind is forged in Silicon Valley. Nowhere else do visions become reality faster than there. So where else than in Silicon Valley could we find out more about the attitudes of creatives, scientists, engineers, business leaders and entrepreneurs and thus also about the technological design of our future? Here you see yourself as the global engine of progress - and progress per se as good. Billions upon billions of dollars are available for these visions, striving to find the next "one trillion-dollar technology" in their strenuous search for attractive returns


Libertarianism, transhumanism, super-intelligence and the accumulation of economic and political power.

One of the most important investors and company greens in Silicon Valley is Peter Thiel. Thiel is openly committed to libertarianism, probably the most extreme version of a liberal market stance. The libertarian movement advocates the partial or complete abolition of the state. Thiel himself even expressed the opinion that democracy and women's suffrage harm the country because they stand in the way of libertarianism and the march of capitalism.

Furthermore, Thiel is an avowed transhumanist. Transhumanists want to abolish death through science, for example through freezing the body, through the use of "nanobots", which constantly repair cells in our body, or through the fact that we load the entire contents of our brain onto a hard drive and then digitally live on. Their ultimate goal is to use technology to give people higher physical and cognitive abilities, up to and including the creation of a “super human”. It is not surprising that Thiel also advocates that computers should develop a form of artificial intelligence that is far superior to humans.

The forerunner of both ideas, an upload of our brain to a hard drive and the singularity utopia of a “super intelligence”, is another dazzling figure of Silicon Valley: Ray Kurzweil. Kurzweil is one of the leading but also most controversial futurologists. But he is particularly interesting because he assumes the role of a chief technological strategist at Google and can be seen as the main initiator of Google's entry into biotechnology.

Thiel and Kurzweil may seem eccentric to us, but they have great power. Kurzweil as chief strategist at Google and Thiel with his venture capital fund "Founders Fund" invest large sums of money in companies that deal with biotechnology, robotics, digital technologies and artificial intelligence. Thiel invests another large part of his billion dollar fortune in organizations such as "Humanity Plus" (the worldwide association of transhumanists), the "KI Think Tank" founded by Kurzweil, his manager training center "Singularity University" and the "DeepMind Artificial Intelligence Project" ( now also part of Google). Ironically, he also invests in the company "Palantir", which enables state authorities to process large amounts of data from their citizens (he is the largest shareholder in this company and does not see this as contradicting his libertarian views). Parts of the institutes sponsored by Thiel are close to the neo-fascist "Alt-Right" movement in the USA. This has set itself the goal of asserting the superiority of the white "race". Even if Thiel is not an “alt-right” fan, it becomes clear how dangerous parts of his political program are. And his power is growing: Thiel strongly promoted Donald Trump in the election campaign and now has great influence on the US President's team.

An alliance of tech evangelists made up of entrepreneurs, politicians and scientists is creating a new world. However, whoever is left out in this process is us, the citizens. And while all of this is happening, we are discussing in working groups on this side of the Atlantic the implications of “Industry 4.0”, a term that was “created” by the German government (the English equivalent of the word “industry 4.0” is unknown).


Is Facebook replacing the democratic process?

The high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and people like Peter Thiel prove to us that there are no economic barriers for them. Our life threatens to overturn within a few decades, perhaps even within a few years, the limits of what is imaginable are repeatedly exceeded.

But can the free market still adequately control these technological processes and upheavals? The answer is no. Unfortunately, real market economy processes do not correspond to the ideal picture of the economic models propagated by Thiel and others. Adam Smith and his disciples are wrong when they assume that free markets automatically lead to optimal results (e.g., prosperity for all). What they do not have on their screen are five forces that prevent the “market-economy equilibrium” propagated by economists from actually being established as a socially acceptable state. In assessing the development of future technologies, it is of the utmost importance to know and take into account these forces.

Cognitive biases: New technologies are always linked to particular interests and - as can be seen in the case of Peter Thiel - ideologies.

Information asymmetries: They open the door to tampering. Most people already knew in the 1980s that smoking is unhealthy. But which non-specialist (or even specialist) can today accurately assess the implications of AI or the CRISPR gene scissors?

Externalities: Private entrepreneurs and investors benefit to an unimaginable extent from new technologies and become multi-billionaires, society bears the risks.

"Rent-Seeking": State regulatory efforts (e.g. for personal data protection on the Internet) are prevented by appropriate lobbying.

Unequal allocation of capital goods: These are increasingly falling into the hands of a few. This is where the new technologies have a particularly strong impact. Because technologies are also changing the economy. The new competitive reality of the platform economy on the Internet is called “The winner takes all” and creates a concentration of economic power to a previously unknown extent. Once a company has a dominant position in social media (Facebook), Internet search (Google) or office software (Microsoft), this quickly becomes a monopoly that can hardly be broken.

Should the return prospects of technology investors or the ideology of transhumanists really determine the future of all of us? The corporations are already designing the principles by which our society should function when Facebook calls it its mission to "develop the social infrastructure that gives people the power to build a global community that works for us all." because the democratic process?

We are about to turn the goat into a gardener.

Password author Lars Jaeger studied physics, mathematics, philosophy and history and researched quantum physics and chaos theory for several years. Jäger lives near Zurich, where he has set up two companies of his own to advise institutional financial investors and maintains blogs on the subject of “science and current affairs”. He teaches at the European Business School in Rheingau. His last books are “The natural sciences. A Biography "(2015)," Science and Spirituality "(2016) and" Superpower Science "(2017).


Provider's Corner

Daenerys Targaryen is the most dangerous.

The fans already know it and from April 15, all of Westeros will believe it: Daenerys Targaryen is the most dangerous woman in Game of Thrones. It is one of the "Most Dangerous Celebrities" in Germany, as McAfee found out in its annual study. Search results for they are most likely infected with malware.

Fintechs popular with start-up investors. German financial start-ups raised a record amount from investors at the start of the year. This is the result of a study by Barkow Consulting. Accordingly, the so-called fintechs received 686 million euros in the first quarter of this year, which is twice as much as in the first quarter of 2018 with 325 million euros.

Financial Times with a million digital subscribers. After the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times has one million digital subscribers. The FT relies on a mix of quality journalism and data-driven further development of editorial products. Three quarters of the total circulation are digital subscriptions.

Searches for patent families. FIZ Karlsruhe’s newly developed information service FIZ PatMon offers a solution. Thanks to its large variety of monitoring options, national and international patent families can be monitored in a targeted manner. The data are of high quality, no least due to corrections, additions and standardizations made by FIZ Karlsruhe itself. And, what is more, FIZ PatMon’s user interface is easy to handle and does not require any search skills.

Cambridge University Press enters into an agreement with the Bavarian State Library. Cambridge University Press has reached a major Open Access agreement with the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, BSB) on behalf of higher education and research institutions across Germany. The three-year read and publish ’agreement has been concluded with the German academic library consortium, which represents research universities, universities of applied sciences, non-university research institutions and academic libraries.

Nielsen uses neuroscientific methods to investigate consumer feelings. Nielsen announced that its Consumer Neuroscience division, measuring nonconscious responses central to consumer emotions and behavior, launched its Behavioral Sciences Institute, a collection of multidisciplinary programs designed to educate industry leaders and help them apply knowledge from the latest in scene-based behavioral insights.

AICPA: Valuation of Financial Instruments.The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) announced the launch of a new credential and accompanying performance framework that will enhance the consistency, clarity and transparency of the valuation of financial instruments. The pathway to the new Certified in the Valuation of Financial Instruments (CVFI) credential consists of rigorous education and experience requirements and passing an exam.

Source: Outsell, McAffee, Meedia

Information Science Trends:

Search Engines and Information Retrieval

April 26th, ASIS & T European Chapter event “Information Science Trends: Search Engines and Information Retrieval” in Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Art and Media Campus Hamburg, Finkenau 35, 22081 Hamburg - Registration at: / e / information-science-trends-search-engines-and-information-retrieval-tickets-58978348829 - Program:

10:00 AM Opening remarks

10:15 AM Keynote Prof. Olof Sundin, Lund University, Sweden, Invisible Search in Everyday Life

11:30 AM Dirk Lewandowski, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, A call for fair search engines

1:30 PM Emmy Le, Otto GmbH & Co. KG, Hamburg, Product Search at

2:15 PM Short presentations: Astrid Mager, Institute of Technology Assessment, Vienna, Alternative search engines as drivers for social change? - Ingo Knuth, Janina Masuhr, University for Media, Communication and Economics, Berlin, Decision Drivers for Search Engine Usage; The Role of the Lock-in Effects - Christiane Behnert, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Influences on the relevance judgment process in academic search systems

4:30 PM ASIS & T presentation: ASIS & T, the European Chapter, the European Student Chapter

4:45 PM, Tom Alby, Euler Hermes, Hamburg, Data Science in Search Engine Developmen

05:45 PM Closing remarks

Open Password

Forum and news
for the information industry
in German-speaking countries

New issues of Open Password appear four times a week.

If you want to subscribe to the E-Mai service free of charge - please enter it at

The current edition of Open Password is available on the web as soon as it is published. This also applies to all previously published editions.

International Co-operation Partner:
Outsell (London)
Business Industry Information Association / BIIA (Hong Kong)