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Month: March 2017

Resist the Internet – read this nicely put heretic piece

“Compulsions are rarely harmless. The internet is not the opioid crisis; it is not likely to kill you (unless you’re hit by a distracted driver) or leave you ravaged and destitute. But it requires you to focus intensely, furiously, and constantly on the ephemera that fills a tiny little screen, and experience the traditional graces of existence — your spouse and friends and children, the natural world, good food and great art — in a state of perpetual distraction.”

Resist the Internet
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/opinion/sunday/resist-the-internet.html
via Instapaper

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Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun. The road to immortality. Great read via the Guardian!

“In his early teens, Koene began to conceive of the major problem with the human brain in computational terms: it was not, like a computer, readable and rewritable. You couldn’t get in there and enhance it, make it run more efficiently, like you could with lines of code. You couldn’t just speed up a neuron like you could with a computer processor.”

‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’ The road to immortality
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/mar/25/animal-life-is-over-machine-life-has-begun-road-to-immortality
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The Like Button Ruined the Internet – made me think


“Newspapers and magazines used to have a rather coarse model of their audience. It used to be that they couldn’t be sure how many people read each of their articles; they couldn’t see on a dashboard how much social traction one piece got as against the others. They were more free to experiment, because it was never clear ex-ante what kind of article was likely to fail. This could, of course, lead to deeply indulgent work that no one would read; but it could also lead to unexpected magic.”

The Like Button Ruined the Internet
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/03/how-the-like-button-ruined-the-internet/519795/
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Voice Is the Next Big Platform, and Alexa Will Own It (great read on backchannel)

“Amazon is introducing us to a new computing interface — a voice devoid of a screen—that will eventually grow to be more ubiquitous and more useful than our smartphones. Forget the onerous process of pulling your Pixel or iPhone from your pocket, unlocking it, opening apps, and tapping your desires onto a screen. (Ugh!) Soon, you’ll speak your wants into the air — anywhere — and a woman’s warm voice with a mid-Atlantic accent will talk back to you, ready to fulfill your commands.”

Voice Is the Next Big Platform, and Alexa Will Own It
https://backchannel.com/voice-is-the-next-big-platform-and-alexa-will-own-it-c2cf13fab911
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Artificial Intelligence And Income Inequality (via HuffPo)

“Income inequality is a well recognized problem. The gap between the rich and poor has grown over the last few decades, but it became increasingly pronounced after the 2008 financial crisis. While economists debate the extent to which technology plays a role in global inequality, most agree that tech advances have exacerbated the problem.

In an interview with the MIT Tech Review, economist Erik Brynjolfsson said, “My reading of the data is that technology is the main driver of the recent increases in inequality. It’s the biggest factor.”

Which begs the question: what happens as automation and AI technologies become more advanced and capable?”

Artificial Intelligence And Income Inequality
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/artificial-intelligence-and-income-inequality_us_58cafe92e4b07112b6472beb
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How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything – good interview via the WSJ

“MR. JACOBSTEIN: Just since the beginning of 2017 we’ve seen a team at Northwestern develop an AI that could solve the Raven Progressive Matrices Test, an intelligence test of visual and analogical reasoning, better than the average American.

We also have seen a team at Imperial College London develop an AI that could diagnose pulmonary hypertension better than cardiologists typically do. Cardiologists have about 60% accuracy. This system does 80% accuracy. And in January of this year, Tuomas Sandholm and Noam Brown from Carnegie Mellon University developed a poker player called Libratus, which beat four of the world champion poker players, and not by just a little bit. They played 120,000 hands of poker, and Libratus ended up with $1.77 million in poker chips. This is a big deal, because it signals the ability to deal with incomplete information and to deal with situations that require bluffing and an opponent that generates misinformation. That is a really important set of skills. It will lend itself to negotiation, to strategy development, and perhaps even to policy analysis.”

How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-artificial-intelligence-will-change-everything-1488856320
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In a robot showdown, humanity may happily surrender (Homo Deus book) – Intelligence will matter more than consciousness?

As you can imagine I don't quite agree with that summary: intelligence matters more than consciousness??

“But with robots making and killing things better than we can, who needs people? Intelligence will matter more than consciousness. “What’s so sacred about useless bums who pass their days devouring artificial experiences” in virtual reality?”

Opinion | In a robot showdown, humanity may happily surrender
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/in-a-robot-showdown-humanity-may-happily-surrender/2017/03/09/b03dea32-f3cd-11e6-b9c9-e83fce42fb61_story.html
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I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it | Tim Berners-Lee

“It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web

Today, most people find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines. These sites make more money when we click on the links they show us. And they choose what to show us based on algorithms that learn from our personal data that they are constantly harvesting. The net result is that these sites show us content they think we’ll click on – meaning that misinformation, or fake news, which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases, can spread like wildfire. And through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.”

I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to save it | Tim Berners-Lee
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/11/tim-berners-lee-web-inventor-save-internet
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Our Bots, Ourselves – brilliant read via The Atlantic

“In the coming decades, artificial intelligence will replace a lot of human jobs, from driving trucks to analyzing X-rays. But it will also work with us, taking over mundane personal tasks and enhancing our cognitive capabilities. As AI continues to improve, digital assistants—often in the form of disembodied voices—will become our helpers and collaborators, managing our schedules, guiding us through decisions, and making us better at our jobs. We’ll have something akin to Samantha from the movie Her or Jarvis from Iron Man: AI “agents” that know our likes and dislikes, and that free us up to focus on what humans do best, or what we most enjoy. Here’s what to expect.”

Our Bots, Ourselves
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/our-bots-ourselves/513839/
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