Category: mark cuban

Mark Cuban Just Backed a “People-Driven” $20 Million Token Fund

Blockchain is about more than just Bitcoin, or even cryptocurrency in general: it is a platform that has to potential to transform the way we connect to each other. The field is currently saturated, and still growing, with blockchain platforms and cryptocurrencies seemingly popping up daily. In an email to Forbes, celebrity investor Mark Cuban wrote, “Like Amazon and Google came out of the internet bubble there will be winners and losers in cryptocurrencies. It’s too hard to buy for most people, harder to trust that it won’t be hacked, and even harder for most to understand.”

Cuban cast a vote of confidence for one emerging crypto venture fund, 1confirmation. The fund is hoping to completely revamp how business is done in digital space. Its founder, Coinbase alum Nick Tomaino, envisions a people-driven platform. “The most interesting and useful thing about blockchains is their ability to empower people in new ways. Blockchains put power in the hands of people, and take it away from large institutions,” he said in an interview with CoinDesk.

Tomaino is looking to raise $20 million to invest in cryptographic assets and create a token economy. This new organizational structure will be comprised of decentralized networks, in which these tokens incentivize people from various backgrounds to contribute to the growth of the ecosystem. In theory, the growth of the network will increase the value of the tokens.

The fund is only in its infancy, along with many other offerings in the field. It is also a field that is too young, and growing too rapidly, to make too many bold predictions about the possibility of specific successes and failures.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team are personal investors in cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

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Mark Cuban Says AI Will be The Biggest Disruption to Jobs We’ve Seen in 30 Years

Cuban’s Warning

Mark Cuban warned against the potential dangers that artificial intelligence (AI) poses to the work force, asserting during a one-to-one question session at OZY Fest on Sunday that:

There’s going to be a lot of unemployed people replaced with technology and if we don’t start dealing with that now, we’re going to have some real problems.

Cuban added that he hasn’t seen an equal transformation to the workforce in recent memory:

We’re going through a transitional period where we’ll see more disruption driven by artificial intelligence than we’ve seen in the last 30 years.

It is the latest in a series of warnings that the sports tycoon has issued about the 21st Century’s AI revolution. In February Cuban Tweeted that “Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it” — but, unlike others, he disagrees that universal basic income (UBI) is a solution to this, Tweeting that it is “one of the worst possible responses” to the potential crisis.

Solutions to Automation?

Cuban joins other industry leaders in warning against AI. Bill Gates told the BBC that “the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern.”

Stephen Hawking has also weighed in on the debate, apocalyptically telling the Guardian that “the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.”

AI Forecast for 2017
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However, while leading figures in the technology industry agree that AI will he highly disruptive, they vary on their solutions to the problem. In contrast to Cuban — who Tweeted that we should optimize existing support networks by making them “more efficient so more money can be distributed with far less overhead” — Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft, believes that taxing robots is a temporary solution. Gates believes UBI is a good long-term plan, although society is not ready for it yet.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, is situated at the pro-UBI end of the spectrum, telling Harvard graduates that “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

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Mark Cuban Asserts That Bitcoin is Not Currency

Mark Cuban’s Twitterstorm

Mark Cuban has recently raised a series of criticisms of bitcoin on Twitter, which has resulted in the cryptocurrency’s exchange rate dropping rapidly— illustrating many of the issues with the currency that he discussed in the Tweet themselves.

Mark Cuban rose to wealth by selling his start-up businesses MicroSolutions (a PC company that he sold to CompuServe for $6 Million) and Broadcast.com (which transmitted sports games over the internet, and was subsequently sold to Yahoo for $5.7 Billion) in the 1990s, and rose to prominence by becoming owner of the NBA team the Dallas Mavericks.

Earlier today he took his opinions of Bitcoin toTwitter:

Cuban crucially differentiates between blockchain and Bitcoin: the former being a means of transaction that is more secure, transparent, and distributive, and the latter a cryptocurrency.

However, Cuban likens bitcoin to the religious worship of gold as an asset and describes it as a “stock”, which is fundamentally different from a currency — currencies measure how much of an asset you have. This is why Cuban progresses to state “I am not questioning value. I’m questioning valuation.”

Just because bitcoin’s exchange rate has reached thousands of dollars, this doesn’t mean that anyone would be willing to give you thousands of dollars for your bitcoin. Currencies are universal measures of value in the country you operate which allows anyone to trade with anyone as part of a universal system of value. This is in contrast to assets which you can buy with that value system but not necessarily trade anywhere as easily.

Currencies, in order to operate in this way, need to be relatively stable — which Cuban showed bitcoin was not due to the almost instant drop after his tweetstorm. To analogise: can you imagine the dollar, pound, or euro drastically dropping in a matter of hours just because of a few tweets?

Bitcoin's Exchange Rate to Dollars Over the Last 24 Hours. Image Credit: xe.com
Bitcoin’s Exchange Rate to Dollars Over the Last 24 Hours. Image Credit: xe.com

Bitcoin’s Huge, But Possible Fatuous Rise

On the surface, Bitcoin looks monumentally impressive: it has grown every year apart from 2014, has climbed 141 percent in value this year alone, even peaking at $2,900 this past week. However, the precise reason for this success is the reason for its potential failure — it is too turbulent, too successful.

This means that while Bitcoin may seem extremely seductive — it has been billed as, among other things, the ultimate investment and a universal currency — we must be careful when investing in it (particularly because it is difficult to convert back into dollars), putting faith in it, and being overoptimistic about its potential.

Bitcoin is one particularly famous use of a potentially more promising and widely applicable system called blockchain, which has the potential to revolutionize everything from the music industry to sustainable development and even banking accountability.

According to many, it is blockchain, not bitcoin, that has the potential to revolutionize future transactions: “If the internet bought us near instant digital communication, then the blockchain brings us near instant asset transfer, asset movement and security of data movement” said Simon Taylor, the previous head of Barclay’s cryptocurrency division.

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Mark Cuban: Tech Will Advance More in the Next Decade Than It Did in the Last Three

AI Will Lead to Big Money

Mark Cuban is a self-made billionaire. The world’s first trillionaires, however, will be made by artificial intelligence (AI).

That’s what the Dallas Mavericks owner reportedly said Sunday night at the 2017 SXSW Conference. He believes that, given all the advances in technology today, AI entrepreneurs are bound to be the world’s first trillion-dollar men.

“I am telling you, the world’s first trillionaires are going to come from somebody who masters AI and all its derivatives and applies it in ways we never thought of,” Cuban said. We should expect to “see more technological advances over the next ten years than we have over the last 30. It’s just going to blow everything away.”

*5* Mark Cuban: An AI Entrepreneur Will be the World’s First Trillionaire
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Cuban believes that, if you want a shot at being one of those future trillionaires, you need to prepare for it right now. “Whatever you are studying right now, if you are not getting up to speed on deep learning, neural networks, etc., you lose,” said Cuban.

The star investor of ABC reality show “Shark Tank” expanded in his vision of the future during the talk:

We are going through the process where software will automate software, automation will automate automation. I would not want to be a CPA right now. I would not want to be an accountant right now. I would rather be a philosophy major. Knowing how to critically think and assess them from a global perspective I think is going to be more valuable than what we see as exciting careers today, which might be programming or CPA or those types of things.

A Wave of Change

This change in which skills will be relevant in the coming years is born from the expectation that AI and automated systems will replace human workers in a range of jobs, both blue- and white-collar. Automation, strengthened by better AI, will disrupt the workforce, potentially taking over about 47 percent of jobs in the U.S. and 40 percent in Canada, according to studies. One possible answer to the widespread unemployment this will cause is universal basic income (UBI), but Cuban doesn’t believe that UBI would be a great solution.

What he does believe is that automation is inevitable and that we need to be prepared for it. “‘What kind of opportunity can I create that gives these people hope for jobs and the ability to live a valuable life?’ That’s what people in this room can help think of, because our current administration is not going to solve that problem by thinking they are bringing back factories,” Cuban said, obviously referencing President Trump’s labor plans.

Government’s role remains crucial, however. There’s a need for well-informed and research-based policies to guide the development of AI systems — a task the Obama administration began and that several private institutions are actively pursuing.

There’s more to AI, of course, than just taking over jobs. In fact, the technology is already transforming the way we go about our day-to-day lives, as we become increasingly dependent on devices that rely on machine learning systems and deep learning algorithms. AI is transforming the medical field, bringing better diagnosis and more effective treatments, and soon, our cars will drive themselves. Given the innumerable ways AI tech could disrupt our world, the idea that the first person to cross into trillionaire territory will do so while riding the AI wave isn’t far-fetched at all.

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Mark Cuban: Universal Basic Income Is “One of the Worst Possible Responses” to Automation

Not a Fan

When business mogul Mark Cuban tweeted his concerns over the imminent unemployment that could stem from increased automation, Scott Santens assumed that the Dallas Mavericks owner was out to support universal basic income (UBI). Santens, a UBI advocate, replied to Cuban’s tweet, welcoming Cuban into “Team #Basicincome.” Cuban, however, flat out responded by saying that he wasn’t in favor of UBI. “I think it’s one of the worst possible responses,” he replied to Santens.

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In the above conversation, Santens tried to convince Cuban of the merits of a UBI program. One of the arguments he put forward is what he calls the ‘entrepreneurial effect of basic income’. Cuban replied, saying that he has “spent a lot of time looking at [UBI]. I don’t see those countries [running a basic income program] as being apples to apples.” Cuban also said that there are existing safety net programs today “that need to be more efficient so more money can be distributed with far less overhead.”

UBI Basics

Under a UBI program, citizens receive a fixed, regular income from the government regardless of their financial background, employment status, or other qualities. The only qualification is that the recipients are citizens, and typically that they are of legal adult age. One reason behind testing a basic income program, proponents argue, is that it offers a better alternative to existing social welfare programs. Santens told Cuban that current welfare programs “create disincentives” for people to seek jobs. Cuban said it’s something that “can be fixed.”

UBI isn’t a new idea. Recent concerns over job displacement due to automation, however, have given the UBI discussion a new spark. UBI advocates include economists from various countries and some of the tech industry’s top leaders.

As of today, there are also several pilot programs running basic income setups. There’s one in Finland, one in Kenya through a charity organization called GiveDirectly, and there is even one that’s blockchain-based courtesy of Grantcoin.

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Mark Cuban: We Need to Prepare for When Robots Replace Human Workers

A Warning and a Question

Dallas Mavericks owner and business mogul Mark Cuban has joined other technology leaders in warning about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots on jobs. In an interview with CNBC, Cuban warned about the loss of jobs due to increased automation in the very near future. The interview was followed by a tweet and a link to an article.

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“I’m willing to bet that these companies building new plants … this will lead to fewer people being employed,” Cuban told CNBC, saying that “people aren’t going to have jobs.” Cuban echoed the sentiments of some of the tech industry’s top hats, including Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

The Mavericks boss, however, also asked a very important question: “How does [Trump] deal with displaced workers?” Thus far, the new administration hasn’t provided any clear plans on how to handle the issue, but maybe Cuban’s inquiry will prompt a response.

Automation Is Here

automation steal job
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A number of studies have predicted that AI and robots are bound to take over a good number of jobs. One study predicts that around 47 percent of jobs in the U.S. alone will be replaced by automated systems, with 7 percent of these on track to be replaced as early as 2025. Job displacement will affect various industries, including transportation, manufacturing, information technology, and even law.

Automation is changing not just the state of jobs but possibly even the meaning of work. The previous administration had suggestions on how to deal with this, and several experts have also weighed in, with many asserting that automation itself isn’t a bad thing. One particular solution being pushed around is universal basic income (UBI). Several institutions have already begun UBI experiments to test how feasible and effective such a program would be.

As automation comes for many of the world’s jobs, Cuban’s question remains: What are we doing about it?

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Robots Are the Way to Secure Our Future, and the U.S. Is Being Left Behind

Giving the Government Advice

As the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Landmark Theaters, and Magnolia Pictures, businessman Mark Cuban clearly knows a thing or two about where to invest money. And apparently, he isn’t shy about sharing his tricks with others. In a recent blog post, Cuban made an investment suggestion to the government.

“If it was me spending the money, I would take 100 billion of the proposed $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure investment and invest it in Robotics,” Cuban says. “I would invest it in the companies that do R&D, software, and design for robots and every other facet of the Robotics Industry.”

Cuban thinks the US is getting left behind in terms of robotics research and development. What’s more, he says, “none of the companies that actually make the robotics are based here in the USA. That’s a problem that needs to be solved.”

Winning the Robotics Race

Cuban seems to think that China is the opponent to beat. He notes how China, according to a recent report, is spending more on robotics than the US — about $3 billion a year. “We need to quickly pass them by,” he says. The Mavericks owner also notes how China, the EU, and Korea offer “billions in credits to support their robotics industry. We spend about $100m. That ain’t gonna work.”

Credits: Suidobashi Heavy Industry
Credits: Suidobashi Heavy Industry

According to Cuban, US “infrastructure” spending should look forward, not backward so that we can be the robotics hub of the world.” He believes the US currently doesn’t have the best robotic technology and the infrastructure needed to enable it. Cuban insists:

Why is this so important? Because technological change always accelerates. It never stagnates over time. Which means we are going to face the fact that if nothing in the States changes, we will find ourselves dependent on other countries for almost everything that can and will be manufactured in a quickly approaching future.

“We have to win the robotics race,” Cuban writes. “We are not even close right now.”

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