How Adversarial Attacks Work
Recent studies by Google Brain have shown that any machine learning classifier can be tricked to give incorrect predictions, and with a little bit of skill, you can get them to give pretty much any result you want.

This fact steadily becomes worrisome as more and more systems are powered by artificial intelligence — and many of them are crucial for our safe and comfortable life. Banks, surveillance systems, ATMs, face recognition on your laptop — and very very soon, self-driving cars. Lately, safety concerns about AI were revolving around ethics — today we are going to talk about more pressuring and real issues.
ai  machinelearning  deeplearning  math  mathematics  security  code  software  programming 
16 hours ago
Wellness initiatives at work can’t cure the loneliness epidemic — Quartzy
Loneliness is a personal problem, but those who suffer are not personally at fault. Loneliness is a reflection of an increasingly disjointed society, and the epidemic will not abate unless society itself can change.
society  sociology  work  job  parecon  psychology  mind 
Maybe Social Media Is Broken - Bloomberg
The algorithmic gatekeeper at Facebook -- also known as the newsfeed algorithm -- is woefully inadequate. It's tuned to “engagement,” meaning it promotes the content that attracts the most attention. This definition of success has contributed to the rise of clickbait journalism -- to the detriment of journalism that seeks to unearth new facts and present them in a complete and balanced way.  It has damaged our ability to reason, weigh facts and communicate with people outside our echo chambers.

What would a better gatekeeper look like? It wouldn’t be an algorithm. The best bet would be to hire a lot of actual human editors, who would follow transparent policies in deciding what is acceptable and should be amplified, as opposed to what should be censored or demoted. Platforms such as Facebook would need to pay these people, drastically reducing profit margins.

If you think what I’m suggesting sounds unrealistic or impossible, I agree. I never said there would be a solution. Certainly there won’t be an easy one.
algorithm  socialmedia  socialnetworking  internet  facebook  twitter  news  media  journalism 
2 days ago
Stop Trump and Pai from Destroying Local Media | Free Press
We don't need any more media consolidation. Tell not to gut FCC media ownership rules: via
from twitter
3 days ago
Idle Words: Anatomy of a Moral Panic
The real story of machine learning is not how it promotes home bomb-making, but that it's being deployed at scale with minimal ethical oversight, in the service of a business model that relies entirely on psychological manipulation and mass surveillance. The capacity to manipulate people at scale is being sold to the highest bidder, and has infected every aspect of civic life, including democratic elections and journalism.

Together with climate change, this algorithmic takeover of the public sphere is the biggest news story of the early 21st century. We desperately need journalists to cover it. But as they grow more dependent on online publishing for their professional survival, their capacity to do this kind of reporting will disappear, if it has not disappeared already.
amazon  algorithms  journalism  internet  machinelearning  media  google  facebook 
5 days ago
How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met
You might assume Facebook’s friend recommendations would work the same way: You tell the social network who you are, and it tells you who you might know in the online world. But Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious.
facebook  privacy  security  surveillance  socialmedia  socialnetworking  networking  sociology 
6 days ago
Three, six or 36: how many basic plots are there in all stories ever written? | Books | The Guardian
“There is no reason why the simple shapes of stories can’t be fed into computers; they are beautiful shapes,” said Vonnegut.

A new academic study has done exactly this, and gives us yet another reason to wish the great man were still with us to share his thoughts on it (and perhaps resubmit that thesis). Researchers from the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab fed 1,737 stories from Project Gutenberg – all English-language texts, all fiction – through a program that analysed their language for its emotional content.

Putting – maybe – an end to a debate that has been ongoing for millennia, the researchers found there are “six core trajectories which form the building blocks of complex narratives”. These are: “rags to riches” (a story that follows a rise in happiness), “tragedy”, or “riches to rags” (one that follows a fall in happiness), “man in a hole” (fall–rise), “Icarus” (rise–fall), “Cinderella” (rise–fall–rise), and “Oedipus” (fall–rise–fall). The most successful – here defined as the most downloaded – types of story, they find, are Cinderella, Oedipus, two sequential man in a hole arcs, and Cinderella with a tragic ending.

Their analysis (and the “simple shapes of stories” as theorised by Vonnegut) is provided online, and it’s fascinating to pick through. I liked the rise-fall-rise shape of Gulliver’s Travels, where words such as “destroy”, “enemy” and “ignorance” drag down the happiness rating, and the plunging “Icarus” graph of Romeo and Juliet, plagued by words such as “tears”, “die”, “weep” and “poison”.
literature  sentiment  analysis  nlp  text  story  stories 
9 days ago
Open Science Essentials: The Open Science Framework – Mind Hacks
The Open Science Framework (osf.io) is a website designed for the complete life-cycle of your research project – designing projects; collaborating; collecting, storing and sharing data; sharing analysis scripts, stimuli, results and publishing results.
openscience  science  research  web  internet  framework  reference 
11 days ago
Seneca Village: The Freed Slaves Village That Was Torn Down To Build Central Park
Before Central Park was built, the area it occupied was home to a thriving African American community.

Seneca Village was supposed to be a sanctuary.

Created in 1825, the village spanned from 82nd to 89th street, along what is now Central Park’s western edge. The village was home to thousands of freed African American slaves, who had come to New York City seeking refuge.

However, after just 20 years, the thriving black community that had made its home there was pushed out, to make room for the affluent white residents of Upper Manhattan to build a park.
history  newyork  race  racism  house  home 
12 days ago
100 Women: The scientists championing their indigenous ancestors' discoveries - BBC News
"Indigenous peoples around the world have understood the stars, tides and local ecosystems for hundreds of years but experts say their insights have often been overlooked. Now some female scientists are striving to highlight their achievements and collect the scientific heritage of their communities before it disappears."
native  science  research  history  astronomy  indigenous  world 
12 days ago
The Patron Saint of Books - Neatorama
James Patterson might be the most successful man in the book-writing business. But these days he wants something more.
book  books  literacy  future  inspiration  writing  write  library  publishing 
13 days ago
Princeton & Slavery | Princeton & Slavery
An exploration of Princeton University's historical ties to the institution of slavery
history  academia  college  university  usa 
13 days ago
Price soars after filmmaker's spoof used car ad goes viral - BBC News
"It is surreal to think that something that I made with my friends, that two days ago sat on my computer, is now being watched around the world. Thank God for the internet."
internet  funny  humor  inspiration  inspiring  advertising  car  cars 
16 days ago
Teach Us All
A Documentary Film + Social Justice Movement
school  education  protest  activism  race  racism  movie  movies  film  films 
18 days ago
Jeremy Howard on Language Acquisition Performance - Quantified Self
Jeremy Howard has been studying Chinese for the last two years. The method he uses is called spaced repetitive learning, found in SuperMemo and Anki, in which you prompt yourself to remember something just before you’re about to forget it. Jeremy wrote his own software to track his learning, including variables such as time of day, what he ate, when he slept, what activity he was doing, etc, and correlated it with his learning. In the video below, he shows some of his data and talks about what surprised him along the way. 
memory  languages  learning  language  psychology  mind  brain  inspiration  video 
18 days ago
AlphaGo Zero: Learning from scratch | DeepMind
After just three days of self-play training, AlphaGo Zero emphatically defeated the previously published version of AlphaGo - which had itself defeated 18-time world champion Lee Sedol - by 100 games to 0. After 40 days of self training, AlphaGo Zero became even stronger, outperforming the version of AlphaGo known as “Master”, which has defeated the world's best players and world number one Ke Jie.
go  ai  deeplearning  research  machinelearning  game  games  boardgames 
20 days ago
André Staltz - The Web began dying in 2014, here's how
The internet will survive longer than the Web will. GOOG-FB-AMZN will still depend on submarine internet cables (the “Backbone”), because it is a technical success. That said, many aspects of the internet will lose their relevance, and the underlying infrastructure could be optimized only for GOOG traffic, FB traffic, and AMZN traffic. It wouldn’t conceptually be anymore a “network of networks”, but just a “network of three networks”, the Trinet, if you will. The concept of workplace network which gave birth to the internet infrastructure would migrate to a more abstract level: Facebook Groups, Google Hangouts, G Suite, and other competing services which can be acquired by a tech giant. Workplace networks are already today emulated in software as a service, not as traditional Local Area Networks. To improve user experience, the Trinet would be a technical evolution of the internet. These efforts are already happening today, at GOOG. In the long-term, supporting routing for the old internet and the old Web would be an overhead, so it could be beneficial to cut support for the diverse internet on the protocol and hardware level. Access to the old internet could be emulated on GOOG’s cloud accessed through the Trinet, much like how Windows 95 can be today emulated in your browser. ISPs would recognize the obsolence of the internet and support the Trinet only, driven by market demand for optimal user experience from GOOG-FB-AMZN.

Perhaps a future with great user experience in AR, VR, hands-free commerce and knowledge sharing could evoke an optimistic perspective for what these tech giants are building. But 25 years of the Web has gotten us used to foundational freedoms that we take for granted. We forget how useful it has been to remain anonymous and control what we share, or how easy it was to start an internet startup with its own independent servers operating with the same rights GOOG servers have. On the Trinet, if you are permanently banned from GOOG or FB, you would have no alternative. You could even be restricted from creating a new account. As private businesses, GOOG, FB, and AMZN don’t need to guarantee you access to their networks. You do not have a legal right to an account in their servers, and as societies we aren’t demanding for these rights as vehemently as we could, to counter the strategies that tech giants are putting forward.

The Web and the internet have represented freedom: efficient and unsupervised exchange of information between people of all nations. In the Trinet, we will have even more vivid exchange of information between people, but we will sacrifice freedom. Many of us will wake up to the tragedy of this tradeoff only once it is reality.
amazon  google  facebook  web  internet  tech  technology  corporate  corporations  market  markets 
20 days ago
@20 (Ftrain.com)
"20 years is arbitrary nonsense. A blip. Our software is bullshit, our literary essays are too long, the good editors all quit or got fired, hardly anyone is experimenting with form in a way that wakes me up, the IDEs haven't caught up with the 1970s, the R&D budgets are weak, the little zines are badly edited, the tweets are poor, the short stories make no sense, people still care too much about magazines, the Facebook posts are nightmares, LinkedIn has ruined capitalism, and the big tech companies that have arisen are exhausting, lumbering gold-thirsty kraken that swim around with sour looks on their face wondering why we won't just give them all our gold and save the time. With every flap of their terrible fins they squash another good idea in the interest of consolidating pablum into a single database, the better to jam it down our mental baby duck feeding tubes in order to make even more of the cognitive paté that Silicon Valley is at pains to proclaim a delicacy. Social media is veal calves being served tasty veal. In the spirit of this thing I won't be editing this paragraph."
culture  internet  socialmedia  tech  technology  communications 
23 days ago
The Secretive Family Making Billions From the Opioid Crisis
You’re aware America is under siege, fighting an opioid crisis that has exploded into a public-health emergency. You’ve heard of OxyContin, the pain medication to which countless patients have become addicted. But do you know that the company that makes Oxy and reaps the billions of dollars in profits it generates is owned by one family?
politics  drugs  capitalism  market  markets  health  usa  government  money 
24 days ago
Back to Bits Super 16
Back to Bits, a curated animation project featuring the collective works of more than 40 artists from around the world, showcases a series of animated GIFs inspired by retro video games. This second round, or “level,” in the Back to Bits series is called Super 16, and is a tribute to retro 80s and 90s SNES games.

Back to Bits was channeled by the nostalgic desire to go 'back to the bit era' when games were measured in bits, NES 8-bit and SNES 16-bit.

The project serves as a lighthearted creative outlet to bring like-minded artists together to share work, celebrate their love for these games and inspire the next generation of gamers.

Back to Bits contributors are professional artists from various creative industries including illustrators, animators, comic book artists, concept artists, directors and designers who share a passion for video games. Artists were asked to reinterpret and create a seamless looping animated short GIF inspired by an NES game of their choice.
animation  gif  videogames  games  inspiration  nintendo 
25 days ago
How to Be a Know-It-All | The New Yorker
Knowledge is, in that sense, unknowable; it’s impossible to predict what it will or won’t do once released into the world. That’s reason enough to side with it: for the possibility, however slim, that it will work. But even a fact that fails to affect anything or anyone is no less factual, no less interesting, no less important. “It does not have to look good or sound good or even do good,” Tom Stoppard wrote, in “The Invention of Love.” “It is good just by being knowledge. And the only thing that makes it knowledge is that it is true. You can’t have too much of it and there is no little too little to be worth having.”
That sentiment could be the motto of the Very Short Introductions. They appeal to us because the world is vast and strange, because everywhere we look, from the firefly flashing in the darkness to Auden’s elegy for Yeats, there is something to provoke our curiosity, some sliver of existence that we want to understand. Not everyone longs to be a polymath, but everyone who does is a philomath—someone who loves knowledge qua knowledge, who finds it moving, joyful, comforting, fun, startling, awe-inspiring. Whatever else might motivate a project like the Oxford University Press series, that kind of pleasure is an essential part of it; at their best, omnibus works flow forth from an omnibus love of life. In the end, all we get of that is a very short introduction, too. Why not spend it learning everything we can?
knowledge  future  activism  fact  factoids  facts  epistemology  philosophy  book  books  reference 
29 days ago
Wikipedia's Fate Shows How the Web Endangers Knowledge | WIRED
Wikipedia was a fruit of this garden. So was Google search and its text-based advertising model. And so were blogs, which valued text, hypertext (links), knowledge, and literature. They effectively democratized the ability to contribute to the global corpus of knowledge. For more than a decade, the web created an alternative space that threatened television’s grip on society.

Social networks, though, have since colonized the web for television’s values. From Facebook to Instagram, the medium refocuses our attention on videos and images, rewarding emotional appeals—‘like’ buttons—over rational ones. Instead of a quest for knowledge, it engages us in an endless zest for instant approval from an audience, for which we are constantly but unconsciouly performing. (It’s telling that, while Google began life as a PhD thesis, Facebook started as a tool to judge classmates’ appearances.) It reduces our curiosity by showing us exactly what we already want and think, based on our profiles and preferences. Enlightenment’s motto of ‘Dare to know’ has become ‘Dare not to care to know.’
knowledge  facebook  socialmedia  socialnetworking  media  television  tv  internet  google  wikipedia 
4 weeks ago
Franklin Foer wants journalism to liberate itself from Facebook » Nieman Journalism Lab
The problem is that if Facebook were to acknowledge its ability to gate keep in that sort of way, it would piss a lot of people off, and it would actually highlight the extent of their power. The more that Facebook inserts itself into the middle of controversy, the more it stirs up enemies, the greater the likelihood of there being a movement to regulate Facebook.

I think Facebook is, to an extent, stuck.
facebook  socialmedia  socialnetworking  journalism  media  government 
4 weeks ago
Why We Might Be Fighting Hate Speech All Wrong
None of the people I spoke to were “out” to their families and friends. They even observed some intra-group anonymity, in case of doxxing, being publicly identified, or targeted. But within the group, they described a shared worldview, save a few differences of opinion. What’s more, they greatly valued that community. According to one, “finding anyone else to talk to about this stuff is a huge psychological help.” Building off of a foundation of acceptance, this emotional support offers not only solidarity, but also a chance to make offline friends or find a mentor. In some cases, the people I spoke to expanded this “psychological help” to include financial support for when someone’s beliefs got him fired. More important still, hate speech groups give a bitter opinion-minority a sense of validation its members are otherwise missing in their lives.

The Internet, as a medium, only amplifies these emotions. By the late 1990s, researchers had already noted that, although online speech could be viewed by millions, the process not only impacts them like “one-to-one communication” would, but it’s also active where radio and TV consumption is passive. Online hate speech therefore feels personal and empowering because the posters are writing, clicking, reading, and making decisions about their own browsing. More recent research has also proven that social media consumption releases dopamine, creating a feel-good feedback loop. Beyond the psychological impacts, online speech has a unique logistical ability to transcend time and space. These platforms offer a place to turn to whenever someone needs a fellow nationalist to talk to, regardless of the geographic distance.
rightwing  racism  politics  activism 
5 weeks ago
Universal Basic Income and the Threat of Tyranny - Quillette
What is not discussed enough, however, are the political implications–what would a universal basic income do to the relations between citizens and government. Because when we examine historical trends in politics and economics, we can spot a basic pattern: political rights are strongly correlated with economic participation. Societies where the state economy depends on small inputs from many different citizens tend to give their citizens significantly more rights, including the right of participation in the government itself. Societies where the state economy comes from natural resources, or other sources that require only a small, fixed number of people to defend or maintain them, tend to develop autocratic regimes with little concern for the welfare of their citizens.
economy  economics  government  money  work  state  parecon 
5 weeks ago
But what do we need to know for the exam? | MetaFilter
At Literary Hub, Emily Temple has gathered up "10 College Classes to Read Along with This Semester" and "The Classes 25 Famous Writers Teach." Syllabuses on other media suggest how Richard Lemarchand (designer on Uncharted) teaches video game design [PDF], how David Isaacs (consultant on M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier, etc.) teaches comedy, or how video/performance artist Patty Chang teaches video/time-based art [PDF]. Syllabuses related to current events suggest how Noam Chomsky (who has joined the U. of Arizona) co-teaches politics [PDF], how Chris Holmes teaches about gun violence, or how Jacob Remes (interviewed this week about Puerto Rico) teaches critical disaster studies [PDF]. [Previously: 1M+ syllabuses / autodidact course catalog.]
reference  college  university  school  learning  education  cool  fun 
6 weeks ago
Teachable Machine
Teach a machine using your camera, live in the browser. No coding required.
google  ai  machinelearning  javascript  deeplearning  software  web  webdev 
6 weeks ago
Location History Visualizer - Heatmap
Welcome to Location History Visualizer, a tool for visualizing your collected Google Location History data with heatmaps.
archive  google  visualization  history 
8 weeks ago
Tech's push to teach coding isn't about kids' success – it's about cutting wages | Technology | The Guardian
Today’s hi-tech wages threaten Silicon Valley’s bottom line. What better way to drive down coders’ pay than by investing in a new generation of cheap labor?
code  software  programming  tech  technology  education  school  schools  capitalism  labor  market  markets 
8 weeks ago
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