Facebook’s war on free will - riveting Guardian story

“But we shouldn’t accept Facebook’s self-conception as sincere, either. Facebook is a carefully managed top-down system, not a robust public square. It mimics some of the patterns of conversation, but that’s a surface trait.

In reality, Facebook is a tangle of rules and procedures for sorting information, rules devised by the corporation for the ultimate benefit of the corporation. Facebook is always surveilling users, always auditing them, using them as lab rats in its behavioural experiments. While it creates the impression that it offers choice, in truth Facebook paternalistically nudges users in the direction it deems best for them, which also happens to be the direction that gets them thoroughly addicted. It’s a phoniness that is most obvious in the compressed, historic career of Facebook’s mastermind.”

Facebook’s war on free will
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AI Could Revolutionize War as Much as Nukes

“New technologies like those can be expected to bring with them a series of excruciating moral, political, and diplomatic choices for America and other nations. Building up a new breed of military equipment using artificial intelligence is one thing—deciding what uses of this new power are acceptable is another. The report recommends that the US start considering what uses of AI in war should be restricted using international treaties.

New World Order

The US military has been funding, testing and deploying various shades of machine intelligence for a long time. In 2001, Congress even mandated that one-third of ground combat vehicles should be uncrewed by 2015—a target that has been missed. But the Harvard report argues that recent, rapid progress in artificial intelligence that has invigorated companies such as Google and Amazon is poised to bring an unprecedented surge in military innovation. “Even if all progress in basic AI research and development were to stop, we would still have five or 10 years of applied research,” Allen says.”

AI Could Revolutionize War as Much as Nukes
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IBM Watson CTO on Why Augmented Intelligence Beats AI - good read!

“I think one of the examples that illustrates this really well is in the medical space, where Watson is helping doctors make decisions and parsing large quantities of data, but then ultimately working with them on a diagnosis in partnership. Can you talk a little bit about how that training takes place and then how the solution winds up delivering better outcomes?

The work that we've done in oncology is a good example of where really it's a composition of multiple different kinds of algorithms that, across the spectrum of work that needs to be performed, are used in different ways. We start with, for example, looking at the medical record, looking at your medical record and using the cognitive system to look over all the notes that the clinicians have taken over the years that they've been working with you and finding what we call pertinent clinical information. What is the information in those medical notes that are now relevant to the consultation that you're about to go into? Taking that, doing population similarity analytics, trying to find the other patients, the other cohorts that have a lot of similarity to you, because that's going to inform the doctor on how to think about different treatments and how those treatments might be appropriate for you and how you're going to react to those treatments.

Then we go into what we call the standard of care practices, which are relatively well-defined techniques that doctors share on how they're going to treat different patients for different kinds of diseases, recognizing that those are really designed for the average person. Then we lay on top of that what we call clinical expertise. Having been taught by the best doctors in different diseases what to look for and where the outliers are and how to reason about the different standard of care practices, which of those is most appropriate or how to take the different pathways through those different care practices and now apply them in the best way possible, but finally going in and looking at the clinical literature, all the hundreds of thousands, 600,000 articles in PubMed about the advances in science that have occurred in that field that are relevant to now making this treatment recommendation.”

IBM Watson CTO on Why Augmented Intelligence Beats AI
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Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence? Very thoughtful read !

“Some software platforms are moving towards “persuasive computing.” In the future, using sophisticated manipulation technologies, these platforms will be able to steer us through entire courses of action, be it for the execution of complex work processes or to generate free content for Internet platforms, from which corporations earn billions. The trend goes from programming computers to programming people.”

Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?
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We’re spending so much time trying to become robots that we’re forgetting how to be human (qz.com)

Totally my topic ;)

"The drumbeat of science, technology, engineering, and math has picked up tempo, but a crisis of culture has emerged from its cadence. As we embark ever more aggressively on the path to master machines, we are forgetting the very foundations of what it means to be human.”

We’re spending so much time trying to become robots that we’re forgetting how to be human
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The future of computing as predicted by nine science-fiction machines

“Our vision is to create that Star Trek computer and work backwards from that. The Star Trek computer wasn’t limited to just the Enterprise, they could talk to it from their little badges anywhere, so anywhere where you think that instant access to an intelligent assistant is valuable in an ambient way, then that’s a great place for Alexa.””

The future of computing as predicted by nine science-fiction machines
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Technology will not save the world — we will (good FT read)

“Technology is marvellous, but it has had little or nothing to do with the best things about the world. And it will play a minor role in casting out humanity’s worst demons: poverty, ignorance and madness. What do I mean by the best things? The outlawing of racism; rights for disabled people; emancipation for women. The primacy of reason; the dwindling of superstition. Democracy, social security, animal rights, greater life expectancy and, yes, capitalism.

We are better at judgment than any machine we will be able to make for a very long time to come. Technology is only the agent of our desires

Marc Demarest”

Technology will not save the world — we will
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I invested early in Google and Facebook. Now they terrify me (Roger McNamee)

"The people at Facebook and Google believe that giving consumers more of what they want and like is worthy of praise, not criticism. What they fail to recognize is that their products are not making consumers happier or more successful. Like gambling, nicotine, alcohol or heroin, Facebook and Google — most importantly through its YouTube subsidiary — produce short-term happiness with serious negative consequences in the long term. Users fail to recognize the warning signs of addiction until it is too late. There are only 24 hours in a day, and technology companies are making a play for all them. The CEO of Netflix recently noted that his company’s primary competitor is sleep.  How does this work? A 2013 study found that average consumers check their smartphones 150 times a day. And that number has probably grown. People spend 50 minutes a day on Facebook. Other social apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter combine to take up still more time. Those companies maintain a profile on every user, which grows every time you like, share, search, shop or post a photo. Google also is analyzing credit card records of millions of people. As a result, the big Internet companies know more about you than you know about yourself, which gives them huge power to influence you, to persuade you to do things that serve their economic interests. Facebook, Google and others compete for each consumer’s attention, reinforcing biases and reducing the diversity of ideas to which each is exposed. The degree of harm grows over time."


Sent from Pocket 

Job Opening: Leader of the Free World... Germany ?

“Economic policymakers must keep their borders open and ensure the stability of the global economy,” he said, adding that such a feat could only be accomplished on a global scale if everyone works together.

Obviously Germany must decide how much of the leadership vacuum it is prepared to fill. If Germany doesn’t step up, other countries will, and they may not share Ms. Merkel’s affection for globalization, the rule of law and Europe’s vaunted democratic values.”

Job Opening: Leader of the Free World
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