Deep learning eating software, pop-up mesh networks and a blockchain-enabled turkey — This Week’s 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Office


I read over 100 articles this week so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and (new addition!) why they matter for government.

👀 To Understand the Future of Cities, Watch the Curb. Yeah, the Curb

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The curb is where you get picked up by Uber, have your local packages delivered or jump into a Car2Go — and it’s only going to get more important with the rise of new mobility behaviors. Cities are increasingly looking at the curb as an important aspect of the bigger mobility picture and you should too.

💰 Analyzing start-up and investment trends in the mobility ecosystem

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Government agencies need to have an exponential mindset when it comes to how they plan and execute on any capital project. Part of developing an exponential mindset, is understanding the big picture — this article provided a good start if your interested in mobility with an insightful look at the start-up and investment ecosystem that continues to grow.

🍴 Deep Learning is Eating Software

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Deep Learning, a subfield of machine learning, is fundamentally changing how we build software. As Pete Warden states in the article, “Instead of writing and maintaining intricate, layered tangles of logic, the [software] developer has to become a teacher, a curator of training data and an analyst of results.” Warden also believes, “in ten years…most software jobs won’t involve programming,” and I agree. For government, deep learning can help connect the dots between different silos of software and data and enable government to extract more impactful insights that are too complex to extract today.

📡 A mesh network spontaneously erupts in the US and helps connect Puerto Rico

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This is a powerful story of resiliency, the power of people and a clever way to build a network using Bluetooth and a device called the goTenna. As government leaders look to increase resiliency and strengthen disaster recovery plans, they should incorporate the power of their own networks of people as an aspect of that strategy. As we’ve seen from Hurricane Harvey to Puerto Rico, people can identify, fund and implement lifesaving approaches sometimes quicker than government can respond.

🤩 Microsoft unveils special Skype version for freelancers

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Freelancers are task-based contractors (they get a 1099 instead of a W-2 at the end of the year), that are on the rise thanks to Uber, TaskRabbitUpwork and others. Almost anyone today can pickup their phone and become a freelancer for one of these firms, which has blossomed into what is now called the sharing or ‘gig’ economy. These companies provide an early glimpse of the future of work — the rise of task-based work — and it’s becoming such an important driver that Microsoft built an optimized version of Skype just for these new workers to book clients and get paid all on their platform. Government take note, your best employees may not work directly for you in the future — they may be part of the crowd.

🚕 Uber orders 24,000 Volvo XC90s for driverless fleet

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Ordering 24,000 self-driving Volvos is a fairly big bet by Uber ($1.4 billion dollars to be exact) that we will be using self-driving taxis in the not-to-distant future. The self-driving taxis are scheduled to be delivered and on the road between 2019–2021 — so government agencies need to get ready and start to prepare for how self-driving vehicles will impact planning, revenues and much more.

Read the full blogpost at on Medium.