Tim Cook says Apple is not behind on artificial intelligence - and talks tech vs human !

“When technological advancement can go up so exponentially I do think there’s a risk of losing sight of the fact that tech should serve humanity, not the other way around.””

Tim Cook says Apple is not behind on artificial intelligence
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608051/tim-cook-technology-should-serve-humanity-not-the-other-way-around/
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Heard that somewhere before :)



How He (Donald Trump) Used Facebook to Win - incredible story !

“In the early phase of the primaries, Parscale launched Trump’s digital operation by buying $2 million in Facebook ads—his entire budget at the time. He then uploaded all known Trump supporters into the Facebook advertising platform and, using a Facebook tool called Custom Audiences from Customer Lists, matched actual supporters with their virtual doppelgangers and then, using another Facebook tool, parsed them by race, ethnicity, gender, location, and other identities and affinities. From there he used Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences tool to find people with interests and qualities similar to those of his original cohort and developed ads based on those characteristics, which he tested using Facebook’s Brand Lift surveys. He was just getting started. Eventually, Parscale’s shop was reportedly spending $70 million a month on digital advertising, most of it on Facebook. (Facebook and other online venues also netted Trump at least $250 million in donations.)

While it may not have created individual messages for every voter, the Trump campaign used Facebook’s vast reach, relatively low cost, and rapid turnaround to test tens of thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of different campaign ads. According to Issie Lapowsky of Wired, speaking with Gary Coby, director of advertising at the Republican National Committee and a member of Trump’s digital team:

On any given day…the campaign was running 40,000 to 50,000 variants of its ads, testing how they performed in different formats, with subtitles and without, and static versus video, among other small differences. On the day of the third presidential debate in October, the team ran 175,000 variations. Coby calls this approach “A/B testing on steroids.””

How He Used Facebook to Win
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/06/08/how-trump-used-facebook-to-win/
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The industry of inequality: why the world is obsessed with private security (The Guardian)

“The global market for private security services, which include private guarding, surveillance and armed transport, is now worth an estimated $180bn (£140bn), and is projected to grow to $240bn by 2020. This far outweighs the total international aid budget to end global poverty ($140bn a year) – and the GDPs of more than 100 countries, including Hungary and Morocco.”

The industry of inequality: why the world is obsessed with private security
http://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/may/12/industry-of-inequality-why-world-is-obsessed-with-private-security
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Technology is making the world more unequal. Only technology can fix this? Says Cory Doctorow

“Smart unequal societies prevent collapse by convincing their elites to hand over some of their earnings to the rest of the country, producing broadly shared prosperity and a sense of national solidarity that transcends class resentments (see, for example, Sweden).

With enough inequality over enough time, the cherished idiocies of the ruling elites will eventually cause a collapse”

Technology is making the world more unequal. Only technology can fix this
http://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/may/31/technology-is-making-the-world-more-unequal-only-technology-can-fix-this-cory-doctorow
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Barack Obama on food and climate change: ‘We can still act and it won’t be too late’ - brilliant stuff (via TheGuardian)

“During the course of my presidency, I made climate change a top priority, because I believe that, for all the challenges that we face, this is the one that will define the contours of this century more dramatically perhaps than the others. No nation, whether it’s large or small, rich or poor, will be immune from the impacts of climate change. We are already experiencing it in America, where some cities are seeing floods on sunny days, where wildfire seasons are longer and more dangerous, where in our arctic state, Alaska, we’re seeing rapidly eroding shorelines, and glaciers receding at a pace unseen in modern times.”

Barack Obama on food and climate change: ‘We can still act and it won’t be too late’
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/may/26/barack-obama-food-climate-change
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Here's my take on this 

Google now knows when its users go to the store and buy stuff (Wapo story)

“Google has begun using billions of credit-card transaction records to prove that its online ads are prompting people to make purchases – even when they happen offline in brick-and-mortar stores, the company said Tuesday.

The advance allows Google to determine how many sales have been generated by digital ad campaigns, a goal that industry insiders have long described as “the holy grail” of online advertising. But the announcement also renewed long-standing privacy complaints about how the company uses personal information.

To power its multibillion-dollar advertising juggernaut, Google already analyzes users’ Web browsing, search history and geographic locations, using data from popular Google-owned apps like YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and the Google Play store. All that information is tied to the real identities of users when they log into Google’s services.

The new credit-card data enables the tech giant to connect these digital trails to real-world purchase records in a far more extensive way than was possible before. But in doing so, Google is yet again treading in territory that consumers may consider too intimate and potentially sensitive. Privacy advocates said few people understand that their purchases are being analyzed in this way and could feel uneasy, despite assurances from Google that it has taken steps to protect the personal information of its users.”

Google now knows when its users go to the store and buy stuff
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/05/23/google-now-knows-when-you-are-at-a-cash-register-and-how-much-you-are-spending/
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The long, winding road for driverless cars - must read via The Econmist

“Level 3 autonomous driving is even more controversial. The main difference is that, while the driver must still remain vigilant and ready to intervene in an emergency, responsibility for all the critical safety functions is shifted from the driver to the car. This has a lot of engineers worried. Experience has not been good with control systems that relegate the operator to a managerial role outside the feedback loop, with the sole function of interceding in the case of an emergency.

It was this sort of thinking that allowed an accident at a nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island, in 1979, to escalate into a full-blown meltdown. Plant operators failed to react correctly when a valve stuck open and caused the reactor to lose cooling water. They then made matters worse by overriding the automatic emergency cooling system, thinking there was too much water in the reactor rather than too little. The accident report blamed inadequate operator training and a poorly designed computer interface.

Similar human failings have led to countless airline accidents—most recently, the Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco in 2013. Over-reliance on automation and lack of systems understanding by the pilots when they needed to interevene were cited as major factors contributing to the Asiana crash. Some carmakers fear that—even more than reactor operators or professional pilots—untrained motorists may only compound the problem when suddenly required to take control of an otherwise fully automated system. Ford believes it is better to skip Level 3 altogether, and go straight to Level 4, even if it takes longer.”

The long, winding road for driverless cars
http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21722628-forget-hype-about-autonomous-vehicles-being-around-cornerreal-driverless-cars-will
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'Westworld,' 'Black Mirror' and other tech-driven shows delve into what it means to be human

“Sticky big-picture questions like that are meat and potatoes this season for such series as "Humans," HBO's "Westworld," USA's "Mr. Robot" and Netflix's "Black Mirror." At first glance, these shows may seem to be about subservient robots, murderous mechanical bees or modern-day computer hackers who aspire to change the world with their code, but dismiss them as "mere" science fiction at your peril. They feature some of the most philosophically complex, thoughtful storytelling on TV, and even though they take place in alternative future universes, they are relevant to today's tech-obsessed world.”

'Westworld,' 'Black Mirror' and other tech-driven shows delve into what it means to be human
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/la-en-st-technology-on-tv-20170525-story.html
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Instagram is the most harmful social network for your mental health

“Our addictive feeds of fitness models, exotic travel, and photo-perfect moments don’t often match with our comparatively humdrum and badly lit lives. The discontent caused by that disconnect is enough that a growing body of research suggests social media is contributing to mental-health problems such as anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and body-image issues in young people, who are the heaviest users of social media.”

Instagram is the most harmful social network for your mental health
https://qz.com/988765/instagram-fb-is-the-most-harmful-social-network-for-your-mental-health-but-youtube-goog-has-a-positive-effect-a-new-report-says/
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Elon Musk wants to enhance us as superhuman cyborgs to deal with superintelligent AI (madness imho)

“But for Musk, the big concern is AI safety. “AI is obviously going to surpass human intelligence by a lot,” he says. “There’s some risk at that point that something bad happens, something that we can’t control, that humanity can’t control after that point — either a small group of people monopolize AI power, or the AI goes rogue, or something like that.”

“This is what keeps Elon up at night,” says Urban. “He sees it as only a matter of time before superintelligent AI rises up on this planet — and when that happens, he believes that it’s critical that we don’t end up as part of ‘everyone else.’ That’s why, in a future world made up of AI and everyone else, he thinks we have only one good option: To be AI.””

Elon Musk wants to enhance us as superhuman cyborgs to deal with superintelligent AI | KurzweilAI
http://www.kurzweilai.net/elon-musk-wants-to-enhance-us-as-superhuman-cyborgs-to-deal-with-superintelligent-ai
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