Smartphones are the New Cigarettes (via Mark Manson)

“I would say that our ability to focus and hone our attention on what we need is a core component of living a happy, healthy life. We’ve all had those days or weeks (or months or years) where we’ve felt scatterbrained — out of control of our own reality, constantly sucked down rabbit holes of pointless information and drama comprised of endless clicks and notifications.”

Smartphones are the New Cigarettes
https://markmanson.net/smartphones
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Facebook’s plans to augment reality are as dystopian as they are smart (via TheVerge)

“Facebook didn’t shy away from the marketing opportunities AR provides. In fact, it embraced the idea that you could hover your viewfinder over a restaurant and be told its Yelp rating, or find messages your friends leave you in public locales by peering through the camera lens on Facebook’s app. It seems clear that for every consumer benefit AR provides, there will also be a corporate one designed to exploit our attention, extract our wants and needs, and attempt to sell us products.”

Facebook’s plans to augment reality are as dystopian as they are smart
http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/20/15375694/facebook-augmented-reality-dystopian-future-f8-2017
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There’s a big problem with AI: even its creators can’t explain how it works

“This raises mind-boggling questions. As the technology advances, we might soon cross some threshold beyond which using AI requires a leap of faith. Sure, we humans can’t always truly explain our thought processes either—but we find ways to intuitively trust and gauge people. Will that also be possible with machines that think and make decisions differently from the way a human would? We’ve never before built machines that operate in ways their creators don’t understand. How well can we expect to communicate—and get along with—intelligent machines that could be unpredictable and inscrutable? These questions took me on a journey to the bleeding edge of research on AI algorithms, from Google to Apple and many places in between, including a meeting with one of the great philosophers of our time.”

There’s a big problem with AI: even its creators can’t explain how it works
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/
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No one is prepared to stop the robot onslaught. So what will we do when it arrives?

“Can we do nothing to stop or even slow what seems a mechanized approximation of an army of marching Huns? But wait. In much of the world, we negotiate climate and nuclear arms deals; we regulate the spread of disease and firearms; we take diplomatic or even military action against dictators; and build defenses against cyber attacks by rogue nations. In all these cases, we are seeking a rational de-escalation of a perceived existential threat. Do the robots and their makers—in Silicon Valley, Japan, and China—place our way of life in less jeopardy? And if they are as dangerous, are they truly unstoppable, akin to a force of nature? Given the political havoc already wreaked in part by working-class discontent, can we do nothing to stop or even slow what seems a mechanized approximation of an army of marching Huns?”

No one is prepared to stop the robot onslaught. So what will we do when it arrives?
https://qz.com/940977/no-one-is-prepared-to-stop-the-robot-onslaught-so-what-will-we-do-when-it-arrives/
via Instapaper

No one is prepared to stop the robot onslaught. So what will we do when it arrives?

“Advances in supercomputers and the understanding of neural networks are combining to create a revolution in robotics, and companies eager for more profitability and cheaper production are ruthlessly grabbing the new technology to automate rote jobs.

Blue-collar workers—forget about it. The robots will kill off the positions of half a million oil-rig hands, up to half the industry’s workforce around the world, along with hundreds of thousands of warehouse employees, Amazon-ized by automated forklifts and other machines. Then there are the drivers—the navigators of taxis and long-haul trucks, who make up some 17% of the adult US work force, adding up to about 7 million people, to be replaced by robot cars if competition from Uber’s roster of of 1.5 million drivers doesn’t put them out of business first. Fast-food workers—the hard-working teens, first-generation immigrants, and return-to-work moms who are the bedrock of burger joints everywhere—are also on the firing line as ordering kiosks begin to take the place of human cashiers.”

No one is prepared to stop the robot onslaught. So what will we do when it arrives?
https://qz.com/940977/no-one-is-prepared-to-stop-the-robot-onslaught-so-what-will-we-do-when-it-arrives/
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What Google and Facebook must do about one of their biggest problems - Vivek Wadhwa

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Social media was developed with the promise of spreading democracy, community and freedom, not ignorance, bigotry and hatred. Connecting billions of people together and allowing them to share knowledge and ideas, it could have enabled them to achieve equality and justice; to expose what is wrong and crowd-solve global problems. Instead, it has become a tool enabling technology companies to mine data to sell to marketers, politicians and special-interest groups, enabling them to spread disinformation. It has created echo chambers in which people with similar views reinforce their ignorance and bias. And the loss of control over user data has now affected not just the economic lives of Americans but also the political messages they receive on platforms such as Facebook.”

What Google and Facebook must do about one of their biggest problems - Vivek Wadhwa
http://wadhwa.com/2017/04/12/google-facebook-must-one-biggest-problems/
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How Technology Has Failed to Improve Your Airline Experience - brilliant summary

“Everything about United Flight 3411 — overselling, underpaying for seats when they are oversold, a cultish refusal to offer immediate contrition, an overall attitude that brutish capitalism is the best that nonelite customers can expect from this fallen world — is baked into the airline industry’s business model. And that business model has been accelerated by tech.

Travel search engines rank airlines based on price rather than friendliness or quality of service. Online check-in, airport kiosks and apps allow airlines to serve customers with fewer and fewer workers. What we are witnessing is the basest, ugliest form of tech-abetted, bottom-seeking capitalism — one concerned with prices and profits above all else, with little regard for quality of service, for friendliness, or even for the dignity of customers.”

How Technology Has Failed to Improve Your Airline Experience
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/12/technology/how-technology-has-failed-to-improve-your-airline-experience.html?nytmobile=0
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"Music Confounds the Machines" great speech by Tbone Walker

“The first nuclear weapon was detonated on the morning of July 16, 1945, at 5:29 and 45 seconds.

At that moment, technocrats took control of our culture.

Trinity was the code name of that explosion. It was an unholy trinity.

Technology does only one thing- it tends toward efficiency. It has no aesthetics. It has no ethics. It’s code is binary.

But everything interesting in life- everything that makes life worth living- happens between the binary. Mercy is not binary. Love is not binary. Music and art are not binary. You and I are not binary.”

"Music Confounds the Machines"
http://nodepression.com/article/music-confounds-machines
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Why IoT Will Give Rise To Artificial Intelligence (good read via Forbes )

“Chatbots have received some attention recently, as several large companies have announced progress in their development. The ultimate goal is for these to replace all other platforms across devices—covering laptops, tablets, smartphones, and everything else in IoT. Rather than opening a browser, searching for “Italian food” by area, and then clicking through websites, one would simply verbally request the nearest location with the highest ratings. The chatbot would do all of the work and produce an answer. This kind of interaction and immediate response places much more power in the hands of the consumer than ever before.

Though some may read this and assume Siri has it covered, she’s a long way from the true potential of this arena. An individual’s work, personal projects, social contacts, and family calendars could all be connected and accessible through a chatbot. This could revolutionize the way people function in relation to their devices.”

Why IoT Will Give Rise To Artificial Intelligence
http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2016/08/11/why-iot-will-give-rise-to-artificial-intelligence/
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A.I. Versus M.D.: knowing how versus knowing that

“In 1945, the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle gave an influential lecture about two kinds of knowledge. A child knows that a bicycle has two wheels, that its tires are filled with air, and that you ride the contraption by pushing its pedals forward in circles. Ryle termed this kind of knowledge—the factual, propositional kind—“knowing that.” But to learn to ride a bicycle involves another realm of learning. A child learns how to ride by falling off, by balancing herself on two wheels, by going over potholes. Ryle termed this kind of knowledge—implicit, experiential, skill-based—“knowing how.”

The two kinds of knowledge would seem to be interdependent: you might use factual knowledge to deepen your experiential knowledge, and vice versa. But Ryle warned against the temptation to think that “knowing how” could be reduced to “knowing that”—a playbook of rules couldn’t teach a child to ride a bike. Our rules, he asserted, make sense only because we know how to use them: “Rules, like birds, must live before they can be stuffed.” One afternoon, I watched my seven-year-old daughter negotiate a small hill on her bike. The first time she tried, she stalled at the steepest part of the slope and fell off. The next time, I saw her lean forward, imperceptibly at first, and then more visibly, and adjust her weight back on the seat as the slope decreased. But I hadn’t taught her rules to ride a bike up that hill. When her daughter learns to negotiate the same hill, I imagine, she won’t teach her the rules, either. We pass on a few precepts about the universe but leave the brain to figure out the rest.”

A.I. Versus M.D.
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/03/ai-versus-md
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