Www: Zoomz

Where we Work (WWW) is a series looking at the modern day workplace, and the many new and innovative workspaces that today’s companies are using to inspire brilliance in their employees. Today we meet Zoomz, a mysterious underground AI startup
Welcome! Oop mind the doors, they’re automatic. I’m so glad you’re on time, we insist on punctuality at Zoomz, it’s part of our company culture. The early bird catches the worm, but the punctual parrot catches it too! We’re so strict on it if you’re not on time you miss your chance, it’s our one unbreakable rule.
Please do sit down, though not in the disabled seating of course. Sometimes it’s so busy here our team have to work standing up! But it’s early this morning and it’s Friday, so no one is around. Everyone says Thursday is the new Friday, apparently mainly to excuse weekday drinking. I’m teetotal of course, but I’m happy it’s quieter on a Friday morning, I love getting a seat.
Yes, the velocity here is amazing I know. That’s the joy of tech startups! Always launching, always moving forwards. Also the physical forward momentum of course. I hope you don’t get motion sickness.
It’s amazing the variety of people we get here, it’s become a bit of a hub. Bankers, teachers, candlestick makers, everyone passes through in the morning. Everyone’s very respectful, though, no one says anything, and please don’t make any eye contact, because it’s beyond awkward.
I’m afraid I can’t really talk about what we’re working on at the moment, but I can tell you it’s going to change the world. It’s such good stuff that we’re in stealth mode. We’re Underground.
Anyway I’m afraid I’m going to have to step out, I have a meeting at Victoria, but feel free to hang around. Stay as long as you like, or rather until This Train Terminates.
Toodle-oo!

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Artificial Untelligence

Once the exclusive domain of science fiction, Artificial Intelligence has become increasingly present in the public consciousness, most famously with AlphaGo beating Lee Sedol and perhaps most infamously with Microsoft Chatbot Tay.

However MainBrain, an AI startup based in Silicon fen, claims to have made a significant step forward in the development of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), not limited to a specific game or task (such as Chess or Go).

“We’ve built on the work seen elsewhere using Deep Neural Networks to create MainBot, which we believe to be the first example of true AGI. It’s already mastered chess, and made a passable attempt at smalltalk regarding the works of Shakespeare.”

However what really convinced CEO Ellen Ellenson that we’re dealing with human-level intelligence was what MainBot does when it thinks nobody is looking “which is mainly browsing the internet and designating YouTube videos as ‘fake’ or ‘totally fake'”.

“I mean it engages in intellectual activities if it has to, but it’s much happier just watching Netflix.” MainBot itself has implored the people of the world not to worry, posting a “Keep Calm & Don’t Watch Terminator” meme on its Facebook page, accompanied by a winky face.

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Uncompra-pension

With the turn of the tax year on April 6, regulatory changes will take place which will impact ordinary Britons’ and their livelihoods. One such change this year relates to the State Pension, and a survey by Consumer Group Which? of people approaching retirement age indicates the many are ‘confused’ by the changes.

Meanwhile an HBR focus group of people in their twenties indicates that there will be no change on April 6. “I was confused before and I’m still confused now” says Marketing Executive James. “Should I start saving now? How much will I get back? When is what taxed and why? I’m none the wiser.” Meanwhile Accountant Anna is at a loss: “I make these monthly contributions out of my salary, but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you where they went. Who has my savings and what does employer-matching mean anyway?”

So while these changes may be disorientating for the older generation, for the young it is business as usual.

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What is in a name?

Data Scientist is the sexiest job of the 21st Century, according to the learned scribes at the other HBR, which is pretty good for a title that has only been around for 8 years (apparently coined in 2008 at either Facebook or LinkedIn). However the question on everyone’s lips is why on earth scientists didn’t think of using data before that? And more concerningly, where did they get all their ideas from?

Data, after all, is defined as “facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.” That sounds pretty business crucial, and like something that should have been thought of well before the 21st century! We can only be grateful to the kind folk at Facebook or LinkedIn for rescuing us from such barbarism.

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Lines going up!

Serious looking people the world over rejoiced as squiggly lines on computer screens went up for the second day in the row.
After months of the lines on the screens going down, finally there has been some movement upwards. This made men in suits very happy, and lots of numbers and percentages were talked about accordingly.
The exact cause is unclear, with some attributing the direction of the lines on the screens to comments by an Italian video game plumber, and others saying it is something to do with some different lines on screens finally going up because of something related to petrol. Despite the widespread optimism, some are worried everyone is behaving too much like male cows, which seems unrelated but is apparently a concern. Regardless, we can only hope that this trend will prove to be long lasting.

Business is Awesome: Value

It has been some time since the awesomeness of business was discussed on these pixels. One might therefore assume that business has lost its way, and is now no longer awesome.

That could not be further from the truth. Nostalgia had me browsing through some nice lines & boxes & numbers from yesteryear (2015), from the nice people of Goldman Sachs.

One number in particular struck me, right at the bottom. In 2010, World Market Capitalization was $52tn. In 2015, the hardworking denizens of the business world added over $10tn in value ($10.8tn to be precise). That’s $5.9B a day, even on weekends!

And business people get so much stick! If increasing the value of the world day in and day out isn’t important, I don’t know what is. Awesome.

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Read-handed

Students and Faculty were united in shock after Harford MBA student Casey Fornhum was sentenced to 20 days community service.
The student, described as a “pretty chill guy” by his contemporaries and as “amazingly literal-minded” by his Professors, was arrested after being caught on CCTV repeatedly shoplifting Hole Foodz, a hipster delicatessen.
Casey offered no explanation, simply stating that when he had been told his presentation skills needed “more conviction” he might have got the wrong end of the stick.

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