"Feeds need to die because they distort our views and disconnect us from other human beings around us. At first, I thought I was missing out on some Very Important Content. I felt disconnected. I fought against my own FOMO. But now, I don't feel anything. What's going on on Instagram? I don't care. Facebook is now the worst internet forum you can find. Twitter is filled with horrible, abusive people. Instagram has become a tiny Facebook now that it has discouraged all the weird, funny accounts from posting with its broken algorithm. LinkedIn's feed is pure spam.

And here's what I realized after forgetting about all those "social" networks. First, they're tricking you and pushing the right buttons to make you check your feed just one more time. They all use thirsty notifications, promote contrarian posts that get a lot of engagement and play with your emotions. Posting has been gamified and you want to check one more time if you got more likes on your last Instagram photo. Everything is now a story so that you pay more attention to your phone and you get bored less quickly -- moving pictures with sound tend to attract your eyes... [F]inally, I realized that I was missing out by constantly checking all my feeds. By putting my phone on 'Do Not Disturb' for days, I discovered new places, started conversations and noticed tiny little things that made me smile."

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/28/how-i-cu...
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"As far as video games go, Operation Overmatch is rather unremarkable. Players command military vehicles in eight-on-eight matches against the backdrop of rendered cityscapes -- a common setup of games that sometimes have the added advantage of hundreds of millions of dollars in development budgets. Overmatch does have something unique, though: its mission. The game's developers believe it will change how the U.S. Army fights wars. Overmatch's players are nearly all soldiers in real life. As they develop tactics around futuristic weapons and use them in digital battle against peers, the game monitors their actions.

Each shot fired and decision made, in addition to messages the players write in private forums, is a bit of information soaked up with a frequency not found in actual combat, or even in high-powered simulations without a wide network of players. The data is logged, sorted, and then analyzed, using insights from sports and commercial video games. Overmatch's team hopes this data will inform the Army's decisions about which technologies to purchase and how to develop tactics using them, all with the aim of building a more forward-thinking, prepared force... While the game currently has about 1,000 players recruited by word of mouth and outreach from the Overmatch team, the developers eventually want to involve tens of thousands of soldiers. This milestone would allow for millions of hours of game play per year, according to project estimates, enough to generate rigorous data sets and test hypotheses."

Brian Vogt, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Capabilities Integration Center who oversees Overmatch’s development, says:

“Right after World War I, we had technologies like aircraft carriers we knew were going to play an important role,” he said. “We just didn’t know how to use them. That’s where we are and what we’re trying to do for robots.”

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/arc...
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"Data-driven policing means aggressive police presence, surveillance, and perceived harassment in those communities. Each data point translates to real human experience, and many times those experiences remain fraught with all-too-human bias, fear, distrust, and racial tension. For those communities, especially poor communities of color, these data-collection efforts cast a dark shadow on the future."

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/22/the-rise...

"Shocking surveillance video shows the moment a Pittsburgh woman was knocked out cold by a man on a busy sidewalk — but that’s not the worst of it. The footage also shows the woman being beaten and robbed by bystanders — who proceed to take pictures of her, including selfies — as she lies unconscious on the ground.

A group of men can then be seen walking over to her — cellphones in hand, snapping pictures and video — as she lies unconscious on the sidewalk. Shortly after leaving, the men reportedly returned and began taking even more photos."

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/10/26/woman-gets-kn...

"One of the engineers behind Google's self-driving car has established a nonprofit religious corporation with one main aim – to create a deity with artificial intelligence. According to newly uncovered documents filed to the state of California in September 2015, Anthony Levandowski serves as the CEO and president of religious organisation Way of the Future."

Way of the Future’s startling mission: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/201...
Posted
AuthorJordan Brown
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"Saudi Arabia has officially recognised a humanoid robot as a citizen, marking the first time in history that an AI device has been awarded such status.

Specific details of Sophia's citizenship were not discussed. It is unclear whether she will receive the same rights as human citizens, or if Saudi Arabia will develop a specific system devoted to robots.

The system could work in a similar way to the "personhood" status proposed by European Parliament earlier this year, which would see robots with AI given rights and responsibilities."

Posted
AuthorJordan Brown

"Silicon Valley's utopians genuinely but mistakenly believe that more information and connection makes us more analytical and informed. But when faced with quinzigabytes of data, the human tendency is to simplify things. Information overload forces us to rely on simple algorithms to make sense of the overwhelming noise. This is why, just like the advertising industry that increasingly drives it, the internet is fundamentally an emotional medium that plays to our base instinct to reduce problems and take sides, whether like or don't like, my guy/not my guy, or simply good versus evil. It is no longer enough to disagree with someone, they must also be evil or stupid...

Nothing holds a tribe together like a dangerous enemy. That is the essence of identity politics gone bad: a universe of unbridgeable opinion between opposing tribes, whose differences are always highlighted, exaggerated, retweeted and shared. In the end, this leads us to ever more distinct and fragmented identities, all of us armed with solid data, righteous anger, a gutful of anger and a digital network of likeminded people. This is not total connectivity; it is total division."

Source: http://www.newsweek.com/how-silicon-valley...

"Our computers and smartphones might seem "clean," but the digital economy uses a tenth of the world's electricity—and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment.

The global Information-Communications-Technologies (ICT) system now uses approximately 1,500 terawatt-hours of power per year. That’s about 10% of the world’s total electricity generation or roughly the combined power production of Germany and Japan. It’s the same amount of electricity that was used to light the entire planet in 1985. We already use 50% more energy to move bytes than we do to move planes in global aviation.

Reduced to personal terms, although charging up a single tablet or smart phone requires a negligible amount of electricity, using either to watch an hour of video weekly consumes annually more electricity in the remote networks than two new refrigerators use in a year. And as the world continues to electrify, migrating towards one refrigerator per household, it also evolves towards several smartphones and equivalent per person."

"Does reading an e-book, or watching a streaming video, use more energy than reading it on paper, or buying a DVD? Does playing a video game use more energy than playing Monopoly? Does a doctor using an iPad for diagnostic advice from artificial intelligence in the Cloud use more energy than, what? Traveling for a second opinion?  The answer involves more than knowing how much electricity one iPad, PC or smartphone uses. It requires accounting for all the electricity used in the entire ICT ecosystem needed to make any of that possible, and the energy characteristics of the ICT ecosystem are quite unlike anything else built to date. Turning on a light does not require dozens of lights to turn on elsewhere. However, turn on an iPad to watch a video and iPad-like devices all over the country, even all over the world, simultaneously light up throughout a vast network. Nothing else in society operates that way. Starting a car doesn’t cause dozens of cars elsewhere to fire up."

Source: http://science.time.com/2013/08/14/power-d...

"When Hurricane Maria knocked out power in Puerto Rico, residents there realised they were going to need physical cash—and a lot of it. Bloomberg reported that the Fed was forced to fly a planeload of cash to the Island to help avert disaster.

"William Dudley, the New York Fed president, put the word out within minutes, and ultimately a jet loaded with an undisclosed amount of cash landed on the stricken island. [Business executives in Puerto Rico] described corporate clients' urgent requests for hundreds of thousands in cash to meet payrolls, and the challenge of finding enough armoured cars to satisfy endless demand at ATMs... As early as the day after the storm, the Fed began working to get money onto the island."

For a time, unless one had a hoard of cash stored up in ones home, it was impossible to get cash at all. 85 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power... Bloomberg continues: "When some generator-powered ATMs finally opened, lines stretched hours long, with people camping out in beach chairs and holding umbrellas against the sun." In an earlier article from September 25, Bloomberg noted how, without cash, necessities were simply unavailable."

Source: https://mises.org/blog/cashless-world-youd...
 Source: Neurala

Source: Neurala

"...Neurala’s difference is in our DNA. Our first project for NASA was to design AI for autonomous planetary exploration. Supercomputers, GPS, active sensors, and Cloud were not an option. Essentially, we were asked to build AI that can run anywhere. To do that, we created The Neurala Brain, a highly efficient software which is based on the way brains work in nature. Today’s Neurala Brain builds upon that effort to enable industry-leading performance on devices with low-cost sensors and processors." Read more at https://www.neurala.com/tech/

Source: Engadget

"....In the near future, the camera will be able to recognize images and communicate that data with other Si500s. For example, if a cop were seeking a missing child, the body cam could learn the infant's likeness from an image. That info would then be automatically distributed to other officers wearing the device, allowing them to take part in the search. Neurala claims that its AI will even be able to pick out a person of interest in crowded public spaces." - read more at https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/17/police-body-cams-ai/

 

Also 

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"...IEEE is proud to host two incredible SXSW Featured Speakers:  Vint Cerf, Internet Founding Father, Chief Internet Evangelist for Google and Founder, People Centered Internet and Thad Starner, Tech Lead for Google Glass and Director/Founder of Georgia Tech’s Contextual Computing Group.  Come learn from IEEE experts across all sectors of technology, who are joined in a mission to advance technology for humanity. " - read more at http://tech-for-humanity.ieee.org/

Posted
Authoralexanderhayes
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"Think about the computing systems you use every day. All of them represent attempts to simulate something else. Like how Turing's original thinking machine strived to pass as a man or woman, a computer tries to pass, in a way, as another thing. As a calculator, for example, or a ledger, or a typewriter, or a telephone, or a camera, or a storefront, or a cafe. After a while, successful simulated machines displace and overtake the machines they originally imitated. The word processor is no longer just a simulated typewriter or secretary, but a first-order tool for producing written materials of all kinds. Eventually, if they thrive, simulated machines become just machines. Today, computation overall is doing this. There's not much work and play left that computers don't handle. And so, the computer is splitting from its origins as a means of symbol manipulation for productive and creative ends, and becoming an activity in its own right. Today, people don't seek out computers in order to get things done; they do the things that let them use computers. [...] This new cyberpunk dystopia is more Stepford Wives, less William Gibson. Everything continues as it was before, but people treat reality as if it were in a computer."

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/arc...

"It works just as one might expect—diners approach a virtual menu, select the item they want to purchase, and then choose “facial scan” as a payment option. Users must input their phone numbers as an extra layer of verification, but the technology still works even if one’s phone is turned off, an Ant Financial spokesperson tells Quartz.

A promotional video shows a young female customer scanning her face while donning a wig and appearing with friends, to tout that the technology can recognize an individual even if they are disguised or in a group.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma first introduced the technology at a tech conference in Germany in 2015, dubbing it “smile to pay.” While Ant Financial has since let users login to its Alipay mobile payments app using facial scan, the KFC partnership marks the first time it has been rolled out for commerce. An Ant Financial spokesperson tells Quartz that it intends to roll out the scanning at more locations later."

Source: https://qz.com/1067460/in-china-facial-rec...

Katie Hafner writes in Wired:

"I have a condition, marked by an inability to remain focused on a single task without getting distracted by something that catches my eye or floats to the top of the running to-do list in my head.

My condition has crept up on me over the past decade or so. Unlike classic attention deficit disorder, which is associated with functional impairments in the brain’s neurotransmitters, I have brought this problem upon myself. And only I can work my way out of it.

A typical 45 seconds of living with episodic partial attention: I begin to put the dog’s breakfast in his bowl only to notice a spot on the countertop that must be wiped clean this very second, which leads me across the room to the rag cupboard. During my journey, I hear a text arrive on my phone, which is on the kitchen table, so I do a hairpin turn to check the message, and when I pick up the phone I see a notification of a breaking CNN story. I sit down to read it. I’m two paragraphs into the story when I remember to check the text message and start to respond, which feels like work. Wasn’t I about to make myself a cup of coffee? I get up to do that. But why is the dog staring at me so plaintively?"

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/my-iphone-turn...

"Facebook doesn't only know what its 2 billion users "Like." It now knows where millions of humans live, everywhere on Earth, to within 15 feet.

The company has created a data map of the human population by combining government census numbers with information it's obtained from space satellites, according to Janna Lewis, Facebook's head of strategic innovation partnerships and sourcing. A Facebook representative later told CNBC that this map currently covers 23 countries, up from 20 countries mentioned in this blog post from February 2016.

The mapping technology, which Facebook says it developed itself, can pinpoint any man-made structures in any country on Earth to a resolution of five meters.

Facebook is using the data to understand the precise distribution of humans around the planet.

That will help the company determine what types of internet service — based either on land, in the air or in space — it can use to reach consumers who now have no (or very low quality) internet connections."

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/01/facebook-h...

"On mobile, where the majority of the world's content is now consumed, Google and Facebook own eight of the top 10 apps, with apps devouring 87% of our time spent on smartphones and tablets, according to new comScore data (Figure A).

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"In sum, the majority of our time online is now mediated by just a few megacorporations, and for the most part their top incentive is to borrow our privacy just long enough to target an ad at us.

Then there's Mozilla, an organization whose mantra is "Internet for people, not profit." That feels like a necessary voice to add to today's internet oligopoly, but it's not one we're hearing. Mozilla once had a commanding share of the desktop web browser market; today that share has dwindled, and on mobile devices it's virtually non-existent.

This isn't good, but I'm not sure what to do about it. We clearly need an organization standing up for web freedom, as expecting Google to do that is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse."

Source: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/mozill...
Posted
AuthorJordan Brown