Horizons Newsletter – week 52 // 2019
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
Do you have a question about the digitalization of consumer’s daily lives? As a research-driven investment company, we want to be relevant to you, so please provide us with your questions and remarks. Your feedback will help us to drive our research agenda.
Artificial Intelligence: Go master or serial sheep spotter?
In March 2016, the computer program AlphaGo beat Lee Se-dol, one of the top-ranked Go players in the world, in a 1-4 series. Investment Expert Peter van Rooyen recommends the documentary AlphaGo, which covers this event. Although the match is the main focus, off screen a larger story about the development of artificial intelligence plays out. To understand the significance of this match, researcher Daniel Lanting, recommends Kai-Fu Lee’s book AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order. In his book, Lee describes how it was this match of Go that supercharged the Chinese government’s efforts to develop domestic AI capabilities. Lee explains how AI will radically alter our economies and shows the strengths and weaknesses of both China and the U.S’ push into AI. Most people will agree that AI will be revolutionary, but in Laura van der Ham’s book recommendation, You Look Like a Thing and I Love You, Janelle Shane illustrates how AI understands our world, and crucially, what it still gets wrong.
Media Matters for Dasym
Dasym has always had a strong footprint in the media sector and we would like to share with you some of the sources that we use for inspiration. Yentl Blom, portfolio manager of the Dasym Global Opportunities Fund and our in-house investment expert on media, recommends listening to the podcast Business Wars. The podcast covers anything from cereal to Harleys, but among the more media-specific topics are the series on Netflix vs. Blockbuster, WWF vs. WCW, Nintendo vs. Sony, and Marvel vs. DC. Yentl especially likes the attention given to historical context and company culture, something that is often lost in the daily focus on quarterly and annual performance figures. One of the favorite sources of Laura van der Ham, head of the research team and long-time follower of the media industry, is Matthew Ball. As the former head of strategy of Amazon Studios, Ball is able to provide unique insights into the ever-changing media world, covering anything from streaming (e.g. his 8-part Netflix Misunderstandings series) to video gaming.
Use your gadgets wisely
In 2019 we read and wrote a lot on impact of technology on our lives in the long-term. It’s time to end the year with a balanced and open stance towards the impact of technology and the role of gadgets in our daily lives.
Portfolio manager Yentl Blom recommends reading Digital Minimalism. Cal Newport approaches technology from a minimalist point of view, stating that intrinsically tech is neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you.
More of a listener? Researcher Roosmarie Stavenuiter is a big fan of the podcast Reply All in which hosts Alex and PJ won’t stop before solving the sometimes big, sometimes small and sometimes quite mysterious problems their listeners encounter with technology and the internet.
Done playing with the gadgets Santa gave you? Member of the FreedomLab Thinktank Sjoerd Bakker recommends reading David Edgerton’s The Shock of the Old. Edgerton shows how we often focus on new gadgets and inventions but tend to forget the role that old technologies still play in our daily lives.