How Tech Giants Are Devising Real Ethics for Artificial Intelligence

“The specifics of what the industry group will do or say — even its name — have yet to be hashed out. But the basic intention is clear: to ensure that A.I. research is focused on benefiting people, not hurting them, according to four people involved in the creation of the industry partnership who are not authorized to speak about it publicly.”

How Tech Giants Are Devising Real Ethics for Artificial Intelligence
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/technology/artificial-intelligence-ethics.html
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Big data, Google and the end of free will: must-read via the FT

“a fresh shift is taking place. Just as divine authority was legitimised by religious mythologies, and human authority was legitimised by humanist ideologies, so high-tech gurus and Silicon Valley prophets are creating a new universal narrative that legitimises the authority of algorithms and Big Data. This novel creed may be called “Dataism”. In its extreme form, proponents of the Dataist worldview perceive the entire universe as a flow of data, see organisms as little more than biochemical algorithms and believe that humanity’s cosmic vocation is to create an all-encompassing data-processing system — and then merge into it.”

Big data, Google and the end of free will
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/50bb4830-6a4c-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c.html
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Brilliant stuff!



Infographic: Digital Assistants are coming!

“According to market research firm Tractica, the use of virtual digital assistants (VDAs) is going to increase sharply over the next few years. As our chart illustrates, the number of people using digital assistants is projected to increase from 504 million this year to 1.8 billion by 2021. While intelligent voice-recognition technology is currently most commonly known from smartphone-based assistants such as Siri and Google Now, Tractica expects similar solutions to be used in many more devices going forward.”

Infographic: Digital Assistants - Always at Your Service
https://www.statista.com/chart/5621/users-of-virtual-digital-assistants/
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Frank Ocean, Apple Music, And The Headache Of Streaming Exclusives

“This new reality differs from the one we were promised. Back in 2005, academics David Kusek and Gerd Leonhard envisioned an almost utopian world in which we would access "music like water," essentially paying for access to music just like another monthly utility bill. At the time, their book, The Future of Music: Manifesto For The Digital Music Revolution, may have sounded radical, coming as it did two years before Spotify or even the iPhone”

Frank Ocean, Apple Music, And The Headache Of Streaming Exclusives
https://www.fastcompany.com/3063108/tim-cooks-apple/frank-ocean-apple-music-and-the-headache-of-streaming-exclusives
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Great Max Planck quote

Consciousness is fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness."

Machines of Loving Grace. Interview with John Markoff. Good read !

“John Markoff: Ben Shneiderman, the University of Maryland computer scientist and user interface designer has written eloquently on this point. Indeed he argues against autonomous systems for precisely this reason. His point is that it is essential to keep a human in the loop. If not you run the risk of abdicating ethical responsibility for system design.”

Machines of Loving Grace. Interview with John Markoff. | ODBMS Industry Watch
http://www.odbms.org/blog/2016/08/machines-of-loving-grace-interview-with-john-markoff/
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I already live in the future — and so should you - says Vivek Wadhwa

“Such rapid, ubiquitous change has, of course, a dark side. Many jobs as we know them will disappear. Our privacy will be further compromised. Future generations may never drive a car or ride in one driven by a human being. We have to worry about biological terrorism and killer drones. Someone you know — maybe you — will have his or her DNA sequence and fingerprints stolen. Man and machine will begin to merge into a single entity. You will have as much food as you can possibly eat, for better and for worse.”

I already live in the future — and so should you
http://wadhwa.com/2016/08/09/i-already-live-in-the-future-and-so-should-you/
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Great read - just one critical comment below 



Of prediction and policy - good read via The Economist

“Machine-learning systems excel at prediction. A common approach is to train a system by showing it a vast quantity of data on, say, students and their achievements. The software chews through the examples and learns which characteristics are most helpful in predicting whether a student will drop out. Once trained, it can study a different group and accurately pick those at risk. By helping to allocate scarce public funds more accurately, machine learning could save governments significant sums. According to Stephen Goldsmith, a professor at Harvard and a former mayor of Indianapolis, it could also transform almost every sector of public policy.”

Of prediction and policy
http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21705329-governments-have-much-gain-applying-algorithms-public-policy
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The biggest threat to democracy? Your social media feed ...says the WEF

“What happened in the UK was not only a political disaster, but also a vivid example of what happens when you combine the uncontrollable power of the internet with a lingering visceral feeling that ordinary people have lost control of the politics that shape their lives. When people feel their democratic representatives do not serve them anymore, they turn to the internet. They look for others who feel the same and moans turn into movements.

In this regard, the Leave campaign’s main social media messages appealed to the agency of ordinary voters to reject the rule of the bureaucracy and “take control” of their own country. Using very simple language, largely consisting of only a few syllables, these messages spread very fast across the internet and were often reinforced with amusing memes, instead of rigorous expert opinions or statistics.”

The biggest threat to democracy? Your social media feed
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/08/the-biggest-threat-to-democracy-your-social-media-feed/
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How the DNA Revolution Is Changing Us

“CRISPR places an entirely new kind of power into human hands. For the first time, scientists can quickly and precisely alter, delete, and rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism, including us. In the past three years, the technology has transformed biology. Working with animal models, researchers in laboratories around the world have already used CRISPR to correct major genetic flaws, including the mutations responsible for muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, and one form of hepatitis. Recently several teams have deployed CRISPR in an attempt to eliminate HIV from the DNA of human cells. The results have been only partially successful, but many scientists remain convinced that the technology may contribute to a cure for AIDS.”

How the DNA Revolution Is Changing Us
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2016/08/dna-crispr-gene-editing-science-ethics/
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