[digital herecy] Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life




“Cities struggling to keep subways and buses running are being drained of revenue by tech companies and a reserve army of cars. These cars, in turn, coagulate the arteries of the city, blocking the remaining fleet of buses, causing a downward spiral of decreasing ridership and growing traffic.

Despite all of this, Uber claims to support mass transit. “Everyone agrees on the solution,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mail. “We need tools that help ensure sustainable travel modes like public transportation are prioritized over single occupant vehicles.” The company has regularly portrayed itself as offering “first-mile, last-mile” solutions for transit: carrying you to and from the train station or bus stop. In fact, the evidence of its success in this arena is inconclusive. In some suburbs or city peripheries, where these solutions are most necessary, Uber has become a subsidized alternative to the transit to which it supposedly offers a connection, partnering with municipal and transit agencies to replace their existing bus services.”

Uber and the Ongoing Erasure of Public Life
https://www.newyorker.com/culture/dept-of-design/uber-and-the-ongoing-erasure-of-public-life
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[artificial intelligence] A philosopher argues that an AI can’t be an artist





“Claims like Kurzweil’s that machines can reach human-level intelligence assume that to have a human mind is just to have a human brain that follows some set of computational algorithms—a view called computationalism. But though algorithms can have moral implications, they are not themselves moral agents. We can’t count the monkey at a typewriter who accidentally types out Othello as a great creative playwright. If there is greatness in the product, it is only an accident. We may be able to see a machine’s product as great, but if we know that the output is merely the result of some arbitrary act or algorithmic formalism, we cannot accept it as the expression of a vision for human good.

For this reason, it seems to me, nothing but another human being can properly be understood as a genuinely creative artist. Perhaps AI will someday proceed beyond its computationalist formalism, but that would require a leap that is unimaginable at the moment. We wouldn’t just be looking for new algorithms or procedures that simulate human activity; we would be looking for new materials that are the basis of being human.”

A philosopher argues that an AI can’t be an artist
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612913/a-philosopher-argues-that-an-ai-can-never-be-an-artist/
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[singularity] The Troubling Trajectory Of Technological Singularity




“The technology triggered intelligence evolution in machines and the linkages between ideas, innovations and trends have in fact brought us on the doorsteps of singularity. Irrespective of whether we believe that the singularity will happen or not, the very thought raises many concerns and critical security risk uncertainties for the future of humanity. This forces us to begin a conversation with ourselves and with others (individually and collectively) about what we want as a species.”

The Troubling Trajectory Of Technological Singularity
https://www.forbes.com/sites/cognitiveworld/2019/02/10/the-troubling-trajectory-of-technological-singularity/
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AI is incredibly smart, but it will never match human creativity

“Humanity’s safe-haven in the coming years will be exactly that — consciousness. Spontaneous thought, creative thinking, and a desire to challenge the world around us. As long as humans exist there will always be a need to innovate, to solve problems through brilliant ideas. Rather than some society in which all individuals will be allowed to carry out their days creating works of art, the machine revolution will instead lead to a society in which anyone can make a living by dreaming and providing creative input to projects of all kinds. The currency of the future will be thought.

This article was originally published on Alex Wulff's Medium”

AI is incredibly smart, but it will never match human creativity
https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2019/01/02/ai-is-incredibly-smart-but-it-will-never-match-human-creativity/
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[digital ethics] Only 17% Of Consumers Believe Personalized Ads Are Ethical, Survey Says




“A massive majority of consumers believe that using their data to personalize ads is unethical. And a further 59% believe that personalization to create tailored newsfeeds -- precisely what Facebook, Twitter, and other social applications do every day -- is unethical.

At least, that's what they say on surveys.”

Only 17% Of Consumers Believe Personalized Ads Are Ethical, Survey Says
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2019/02/09/83-of-consumers-believe-personalized-ads-are-morally-wrong-survey-says

Facebook’s provocations of the week – Monday Note describes the Google business model

“Imagine if JPMorgan owned the New York Stock Exchange, was the sole market-maker on its own equity, the exclusive broker for every other equity in the market, ran the entire settlement and clearing system in the market, and basically wouldn’t let anyone see who had bought shares and which share or certificate or number they bought… That is Google’s business model.””

Facebook’s provocations of the week – Monday Note
https://mondaynote.com/facebooks-provocations-of-the-week-9fc6af6de12f
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The Next Privacy War Will Happen in Our Homes – Member Feature Stories – Medium

“October, Amazon showcased Alexa’s newest features, including the ability to detect when someone is whispering and respond at a quieter volume. According to Wired, Amazon also has plans to introduce a home security feature, Alexa Guard, giving the program the ability to listen “for trouble such as broken glass or a smoke alarm when you’re away from home.” A month later, the Telegraph reported that Amazon had patented Alexa software that could one day analyze someone’s voice for signs of illness (like a cough or a sneeze) and respond by offering to order cough drops.”

The Next Privacy War Will Happen in Our Homes – Member Feature Stories – Medium
https://medium.com/s/story/why-the-next-privacy-war-will-be-over-sound-d7b59b1533f3
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What is work?

“Since the dawn of the industrial age, work has become ever more transactional and predictable; the execution of routine, tightly defined tasks. In virtually every large public and private sector organization, that approach holds: thousands of people, each specializing in certain tasks, limited in scope, increasingly standardized and specified, which ultimately contribute to the creation and delivery of predictable products and services to customers and other stakeholders. The problem? Technology can increasingly do that work. Actually, technology should do that work: Machines are more accurate, they don’t get tired or bored, they don’t break for sleep or weekends. If it’s a choice between human or machines to do the kind of work that requires compliance and consistency, machines should win every time.”

What is work?
https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/technology-and-the-future-of-work/what-is-work.html
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Team Human vs. Team AI

“Artificial intelligence adds another twist. After we launch technologies related to AI and machine learning, they not only shape us, but they also begin to shape themselves. We give them an initial goal, then give them all the data they need to figure out how to accomplish it. From that point forward, we humans no longer fully understand how an AI program may be processing information or modifying its tactics. The AI isn’t conscious enough to tell us. It’s just trying everything and hanging onto what works for the initial goal, regardless of its other consequences.”

Team Human vs. Team AI
https://www.strategy-business.com/article/Team-Human-vs-Team-AI?gko=4d55d
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