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‘Cat Person’ in The New Yorker: A Discussion With the Author - The New York Times
I think conducting the early stages of flirtation via text allows us to control even more of what we present to ourselves to other people, and gives us a lot of space to imagine what kind of person exists on the other side of conversation
fiction 
7 hours ago
The Best Movies of 2017 - The New York Times
In bad times, we tend to either ask too much or expect too little of art, pretending it might heal or save us, and dismissing it when it doesn’t. Its actual function is much simpler: it keeps us human. That’s what these movies did for me this year
art  film 
2 days ago
Ian Goodfellow on Twitter: "One of my favorite samples from the Progressive GANs paper is this one from the "cat" category. Apparently some of the cat training photos w… https://t.co/fRSS0F7Jsg"
One of my favorite samples from the Progressive GANs paper is this one from the "cat" category. Apparently some of the cat training photos were memes with text. The GAN doesn't know what text is so it has made up new text-like imagery in the right place for a meme caption.
machine-learning  gans 
7 days ago
John Trudell - Mining our Minds For The Machine - YouTube
John Trudell is a Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and former political activist. He was the chairman of the American Indian Movement for most of the 1970s and the spokesperson for the takeover of Alcatraz.
poetry 
8 days ago
She won a Pulitzer for her story about a 'feral' child. Now Lane DeGregory has a heartbreaking update | Poynter
You once said that an editor had to coach you on how to look for the "bruise on the apple," the flaw that helps to humanize a character.
writing  reporting 
11 days ago
Hard times at Plimoth Plantation
Taylor Stoermer, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins and Colonial Williamsburg’s former chief historian, said he believes museums of living history are losing out to more accessible learning alternatives, such as documentaries and the internet. He said that almost every major American museum of this kind was founded within a few years of the end of World War II, when people were eager for new places to drive to on road trips. Today, the idea of driving somewhere to learn something seems quaint. As Brodeur said, “facts are free.” I’d add that they are also everywhere
history  boston  museum 
11 days ago
Girl in the Window | Features | Tampa Bay Times
whatever makes a person human seemed somehow missing.

Armstrong called the girl’s condition “environmental autism.” Danielle had been deprived of interaction for so long, the doctor believed, that she had withdrawn into herself.
children  profile 
11 days ago
Visiting with Huell Howser- Street Lights - YouTube
There are over 250 different types of street lamps in Los Angeles and Huell tours a wonderful installation called “Vermonica”. Later in the day he tours the Department of Street Lighting Museum.
los-angeles  1993  publicart 
13 days ago
How Mark Zuckerberg Booted His Co-Founder Out Of The Company - Business Insider
"I maintain that he fucked himself…He was supposed to set up the company, get funding, and make a business model. He failed at all three…Now that I'm not going back to Harvard I don't need to worry about getting beaten by Brazilian thugs."
facebook  zuckerberg 
16 days ago
EXCLUSIVE: Here's The Email Zuckerberg Sent To Cut His Cofounder Out Of Facebook - Business Insider
"Is there a way to do this without making it painfully apparent to him that he's being diluted to 10%?"
facebook  zuckerberg 
16 days ago
A Year After Pledging Openness, Apple Still Falls Behind On AI
Other limitations are set by Apple’s emphasis on privacy. At Apple’s developers conference in 2016, the company made a big deal of being the first to apply a research technique called “differential privacy” at scale — basically a way for Apple to analyze user data at scale without revealing anything about an individual, like what a user is accessing on the web via their iPhones. “Apple’s goal there is to have it both ways,” explained Bretschneider. “For a long time, it just collected very little data from their users to begin with. [Using differential privacy] allows Apple to collect more data of their users now without changing their fundamental agreement.”
apple 
20 days ago
The Last of the Iron Lungs
“The period of time that it took the nurse to get out of the chair, it seemed like forever because you weren’t breathing,” Lillard said. “You just laid there and you could feel your heart beating and it was just terrifying. The only noise that you can make when you can’t breathe is clicking your tongue. And that whole dark room just sounded like a big room full of chickens just cluck-cluck-clucking. All the nurses were saying, ‘Just a second, you’ll be breathing in just a second.’”
history  health  cyborg 
20 days ago
Kirsten Gillibrand Strong Vanilla | The New Yorker
“Polly used to get so insulted when someone would talk about the machine. She’d say, ‘It’s an organization. A machine has no heart.’ ”
politics  elections 
20 days ago
How One Woman's Digital Life Was Weaponized Against Her
Van Engelen wanted to be sure that Steven wasn’t the mastermind of a complex scheme in which he hid his own abuse, impersonating Zonis impersonating him. She interviewed the Allens separately and then spent a week poring through the evidence: voicemails and social media profiles and native files of emails. By digging into how they were created, she found that emails from “Steven” had been spoofed—sent through anonymizing services but then tagged as if they came from his email or were sent from an untraceable account. Had Steven been the mastermind, it would have been “like robbing a bank but wearing a mask of your own face,” she said later. “It just doesn’t make any sense.” Van Engelen came to believe the Allens were telling the truth.... She asked other parents at her son’s school not to post pictures of him, and one asked her, “Aren’t you proud of your son?” .... The Zonises introduced emails and posts that they said were written by the Allens. But they were paper printouts with no metadata or digital trail to prove authenticity.
crime  harassment  revenge-porn 
20 days ago
A Laurie Anderson pilgrimage? Just don’t tell her you’re calling it that. - The Washington Post
“VR is usually about, it’s gaming stuff and it’s shooting stuff, it’s usually a very brittle and bright aesthetic,” she says. “We’ve kind of made something that is full of shadows and darkness. For me, it’s completely a dream come true. Because it’s about what I’ve tried to do in every other thing I’ve ever made. Music or sculpture or film. To be completely bodiless.”

This may be the first virtual-­reality project she’s presented, but she has tried before. Michael Morris, who as co-director of London’s Artangel has worked with Anderson since her “O Superman” days, remembers trying to pull off a virtual-reality project that she was collaborating on with Peter Gabriel in the early ’90s. It simply couldn’t work because of the limitations of technology
vr  laurie-anderson  art 
22 days ago
A mission for journalism in a time of crisis | News | The Guardian
“Where once we had propaganda, press releases, journalism, and advertising,” the academic Emily Bell has written, “we now have ‘content’.” Readers are overwhelmed: bewildered by the quantity of “news” they see every day, nagged by intrusive pop-up ads, confused by what is real and what is fake, and confronted with an experience that is neither useful nor enjoyable.
media  newspapers  journalism 
22 days ago
Big Tech Cannot Stop Shooting Itself In The Foot
For years, Silicon Valley has operated under the assumption that consumers would take it at its best intentions. But the last few months suggest that we’ve entered a new era of tech skepticism.The platforms have long demanded more — more trust, more data, more goodwill — from their users. Now, perhaps, it's the users’ turn to make demands.
silicon-valley  big-social 
24 days ago
She Warned of ‘Peer-to-Peer Misinformation.’ Congress Listened. - The New York Times
She started tracking posts made by anti-vaccine accounts on Facebook and mapping the data. What she discovered, she said, was that Facebook’s platform was tailor-made for a small group of vocal people to amplify their voices, especially if their views veered toward the conspiratorial.
facebook  fake-news 
27 days ago
YouTube and Facebook Are Removing Evidence of Atrocities, Jeopardizing Cases Against War Criminals
Social media companies can, and do, remove content with little regard for its evidentiary value. First-hand accounts of extrajudicial killings, ethnic cleansing, and the targeting of civilians by armies can disappear with little warning, sometimes before investigators notice. When groups do realize potential evidence has been erased, recovering it can be a kafkaesque ordeal. Facing a variety of pressures — to safeguard user privacy, neuter extremist propaganda, curb harassment and, most recently, combat the spread of so-called fake news — social media companies have over and over again chosen to ignore, and, at times, disrupt the work of human rights groups scrambling to build cases against war criminals...“These platforms are now essentially privately owned evidence lockers,” said Christoph Koettl, a senior analyst at Amnesty International.
youtube  censorship  moderation  google  human-rights 
4 weeks ago
In an Age of Fake News, a Historian of the Hoax - The New York Times
Early hoaxes validated: a young poet tracing a false genealogy between himself and the greats; Joice Heth providing a direct line between her 19th-century spectators and the father of the country. By the late 20th century, the hoax had turned grim: Mr. Young points to hoaxes like false Holocaust or Benghazi memoirs or even, in his view, Dylann Roof, the Charleston, S.C., shooter, whom Mr. Young sees as acting out in the service of a hoax — the hoax that is racism, in Mr. Young’s view — that perceives blackness, and black people, as a threat.
fake 
4 weeks ago
Conversations with myself: the joy and despair of writing a novel
In the months before my book was published, realising I was going to have to talk in public about what I had done, I started to despair. I’d enjoyed writing it, but I had no serious idea what it meant. Was it even defensible? Ethically I felt opposed to individualism, never mind market liberalism; but had I, in writing a novel, unwittingly offered aesthetic support to the philosophies I rejected?
fiction  novel  writing 
4 weeks ago
Beautiful Woman Kissing Male Robot Love Stock Photo 341199905 - Shutterstock
A beautiful woman kissing male robot with love. Two faces very close to each other. Relationship between artificial cyborg and real girl. Closeup portrait of futuristic couple.
androids 
5 weeks ago
How Can We Stop Fake News? Twitter Moments May Have The Answer.
human curators should be tapped to review posts when they begin to spread within the network, when the algorithm lacks confidence, or based on user-generated signals that the content is suspicious or fake. Again, the decisions humans make can be fed back into the system, which would then learn from curators, users, and its own mistakes.
editing  content  platforms  twitter 
5 weeks ago
DoubleX Gabfest on Leon Wieseltier, gender neutrality, and flexible work.
they ask Franklin Foer how he can be a good reporter if he didnt pick up on what was going on in his own newsroom
media  sexism  sexual-harassment 
5 weeks ago
Brown / Hasbro team to design smart robotic companions to assist seniors | News from Brown
animatronic dogs and cats designed to provide interactive companionship, comfort and joy for older adults. The research team’s goal is to develop additional capabilities for the ARIES companions to help older adults with simple tasks that could include help in finding lost objects, medication reminders or other tasks that sometimes become challenging, especially those who may have mild dementia.
robots  ai 
5 weeks ago
Google Docs 'terms of service violation' affecting users - The Washington Post
Update: On Tuesday afternoon, Google said that it does not technically read files, but instead uses an automated system of pattern matching to scan for indicators of abuse. Though it can identify clusters of data that might suggest a violation, the system does not pull meaning from the content, according to a company spokesperson.
google 
5 weeks ago
Carmen Maria Machado, Author of 'Her Body and Other Parties,' on Shirley Jackson and the Richness of Non-Realism - The Atlantic
For me, the cup of stars is a reminder that you are allowed your own fantasies, the particular fancies of your own mind. That everyone deserves this, and should insist upon it. That—even as others tell you the things you want are unrealistic, outrageous, not permitted, or silly—it’s okay to say, I want this.
fiction  writing 
5 weeks ago
The Family That Built an Empire of Pain | The New Yorker
As both a doctor and an adman, Arthur displayed a Don Draper-style intuition for the alchemy of marketing. He recognized that selling new drugs requires a seduction of not just the patient but the doctor who writes the prescription.
advertising  drugs  medicine 
6 weeks ago
'Neopets': A Look Into Early 2000s Girl Culture - Rolling Stone
But like plenty of girls her age in the late Nineties and early 2000s, Garcia wasn't just caring for a digital pet or battling with it online – she was experimenting. Neopets, and other sites like it, was deemed acceptable as a safe place for girls to play in an often unfriendly Internet. Such a space allowed for girls to create a culture of play that supported a breadth of creative endeavors.
community  56k 
7 weeks ago
AI Experts Want to End 'Black Box' Algorithms in Government
The AI Now report calls for agencies to refrain from what it calls “black box” systems opaque to outside scrutiny.
ai  machine-learning  government 
7 weeks ago
After the end of the startup era | TechCrunch
We live in a new world now, and it favors the big, not the small. The pendulum has already begun to swing back. Big businesses and executives, rather than startups and entrepreneurs, will own the next decade; today’s graduates are much more likely to work for Mark Zuckerberg than follow in his footsteps.
startup  silicon-valley  business  technology 
7 weeks ago
12:01 PM (1990) HQ (Full movie) - YouTube
12:01 PM is a 1990 short film starring Kurtwood Smith. Directed by Jonathan Heap, it originally aired on cable television in 1990 as part of the Showtime 30-Minute Movie anthology series. It was nominated for an Academy Award.
tv 
7 weeks ago
Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook’s secretive hardware lab, is leaving the company - Recode
Dugan also lead the company’s “brain computer interface project,” a new type of technology meant to translate a person’s thoughts directly from their brain and onto a computer screen
telepathy  facebook 
7 weeks ago
Jasia Reichardt - Wikipedia
helped popularize "uncanny valley" term
art  history  digital-art 
7 weeks ago
The only job a robot couldn’t do | The Outline
but otherwise nobody is listening to what they say. No one is responding. There’s very little about this that might be called social. Imagine someone wandering alone in a giant desert, shouting “I love Big Macs!” into the sky. That’s Crowdtap.
advertising  sharing  sharing-economy  social-media 
7 weeks ago
Computing pioneer Alan Kay calls Apple's iPad user interface 'poor'
Kay's harsh words weren't reserved just for Apple. The computing pioneer took issue with the larger computing industry in general, in particular the ways computers are integrated into education.

"The education establishment in the U.S. has generally treated the computer as sort of like a typewriter," Kay said. "I've used the analogy of what would happen if you put a piano in every classroom. If there is no other context, you will get a "chopsticks" culture, and maybe even pop culture... 'the music is not in the piano.'"
apple  design 
8 weeks ago
The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions - MIT Technology Review
This is a problem we all have with imagined future technology. If it is far enough away from the technology we have and understand today, then we do not know its limitations. And if it becomes indistinguishable from magic, anything one says about it is no longer falsifiable.

This is a problem I regularly encounter when trying to debate with people about whether we should fear artificial general intelligence, or AGI—the idea that we will build autonomous agents that operate much like beings in the world.
ai  ethics 
9 weeks ago
Physicist Max Tegmark Imagines How Artificial Intelligence Could Take Over
Their charismatic CEO had handpicked them not only for being brilliant researchers, but also for ambition, idealism, and a strong commitment to helping humanity. He reminded them that their plan was extremely dangerous, and that if powerful governments found out, they would do virtually anything—including kidnapping—to shut them down or, preferably, to steal their code. But they were all in, 100 percent, for much the same reason that many of the world’s top physicists joined the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear weapons: They were convinced that if they didn’t do it first, someone less idealistic would.
technology  ai  power  labor  fiction 
9 weeks ago
Pinboard on Twitter: "@Pinboard FB employs something like 25K people to run a system enveloping 3B humans, and then pleads that it’s hard work to get it right."
FB employs something like 25K people to run a system enveloping 3B humans, and then pleads that it’s hard work to get it right.
9:35 AM - 7 Oct 2017
facebook  labor 
9 weeks ago
Regulate Facebook Like AIM - Motherboard
Sixteen years ago, the FCC, the regulatory body responsible for things like television and radio, approved a merger between American Online and Time Warner, but with several conditions. As part of the deal, AOL was required to make its web portal compatible with other chat apps.
facebook  aol  stacks  antitrust 
9 weeks ago
Lore on Twitter: "I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that robots don’t use contractions because programmers don’t like escaping single quotes."
I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that robots don’t use contractions because programmers don’t like escaping single quotes.
language  automation  ai 
9 weeks ago
Google Clips camera lays the groundwork for our AI-powered future
"I made a deliberate decision to name the hardware product with [a] software name," Pichai said. "The reason we named it Clips is that the more exciting part of it is ... the machine learning, the computer vision work we do underneath the scenes."
machine-learning  google 
9 weeks ago
50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #5 M.F.K. Fisher - Tomato Soup Cake - All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Tomato Soup Cake
adapted slightly from How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher
yield ~10 slices
recipes  cook  cake 
10 weeks ago
The Self Driving Car Whiz Who Fell from Grace | WIRED
However, documents filed with California show that Levandowski is Way of the Future’s CEO and President, and that it aims “through understanding and worship of the Godhead, [to] contribute to the betterment of society.”
ai  singularity  google  self-driving  auto 
10 weeks ago
I asked Tinder for my data. It sent me 800 pages of my deepest, darkest secrets | Technology | The Guardian
What will happen if this treasure trove of data gets hacked, is made public or simply bought by another company? I can almost feel the shame I would experience. The thought that, before sending me these 800 pages, someone at Tinder might have read them already makes me cringe.


Tinder’s privacy policy clearly states: “you should not expect that your personal information, chats, or other communications will always remain secure”
data  dating  tinder 
10 weeks ago
Apple's Animoji Will Teach You To Love Face Tracking, For Better or Worse | WIRED
Big tech companies such as Facebook and Google are already investing in research around this kind of affective computing. Amazon claims it can parse human emotion by studying video clips. And while Apple's animoji does little more than mimic facial expressions, it could someday lead to a phone that has far greater emotional intelligence.
face-detection  apple  affective-computing 
11 weeks ago
The invention of AI ‘gaydar’ could be the start of something much worse | The Verge
On the face of it, this sounds like “AI can tell if a man is gay or straight 81 percent of the time by looking at his photo.” (Thus the headlines.) But that’s not what the figures mean. The AI wasn’t 81 percent correct when being shown random photos: it was tested on a pair of photos, one of a gay person and one of a straight person, and then asked which individual was more likely to be gay. It guessed right 81 percent of the time for men and 71 percent of the time for women, but the structure of the test means it started with a baseline of 50 percent — that’s what it’d get guessing at random. And although it was significantly better than that, the results aren’t the same as saying it can identify anyone’s sexual orientation 81 percent of the time.
face-detection  computer-vision 
11 weeks ago
Robots have already taken over our work, but they’re made of flesh and bone | Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger | Opinion | The Guardian
Taylor and his disciples extolled the virtues of breaking down tasks into inputs, outputs, processes and procedures that can be mathematically analysed and transformed into recipes for efficient production. Over decades, and across different industries, his theories have been used to apply time-and-motion studies to workplaces, workers and what they produce. The assembly line is the most recognised example of Taylorism: unskilled workers engage in repetitive, mindless tasks, attending to semi-finished parts that, in the end, are combined into a whole product.

Over time, Taylorism became synonymous with the evils of extracting maximum value from workers while treating them as programmable cogs in machines...Taylorism starts from the assumption that employees are innate shirkers. While there will always be some who want to game the system and put in as little effort as possible, there are plenty who don’t
automation  labor 
11 weeks ago
Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains - The New York Times
Google reached this point out of necessity. For years, the company had operated the world’s largest computer network — an empire of data centers and cables that stretched from California to Finland to Singapore. But for one Google researcher, it was much too small.

In 2011, Jeff Dean, one of the company’s most celebrated engineers, led a research team that explored the idea of neural networks — essentially computer algorithms that can learn tasks on their own. They could be useful for a number of things, like recognizing the words spoken into smartphones or the faces in a photograph.

In a matter of months, Mr. Dean and his team built a service that could recognize spoken words far more accurately than Google’s existing service. But there was a catch: If the world’s more than one billion phones that operated on Google’s Android software used the new service just three minutes a day, Mr. Dean realized, Google would have to double its data center capacity in order to support it.
google  neural-networks 
11 weeks ago
Elaine Chao reduces self-driving car privacy to a footnote - Sep. 20, 2017
In a footnote in the guidelines, Chao's department writes that privacy isn't its turf -- and should be left to the Federal Trade Commission.
The initial guidelines, released by the Obama administration in September 2016, highlighted privacy as one of 15 important areas for automakers to address.
The shift has drawn the criticism of consumer and privacy advocates, who say Chao's approach is insufficient and leaves consumers at risk.
self-driving  auto 
11 weeks ago
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