In 2012 Momentum Machines built a robot that can make, wrap and bag 360 individually customised hamburgers in an hour. Co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas said “Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them.”
In her new book, Weapons of Math Destruction, data scientist Cathy O’Neil discusses examples of algorithms that make troublingly unfair decisions. Algorithms that reinforce and magnify the old biases and power dynamics that we hoped they would eliminate.
The Garbage of the Week Award goes to the MIT Media Lab: Researchers from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) claim to have developed a deep learning system that analyses a static photo and predicts what will happen next.
Absolutely nothing can be inferred from any static image without a pre-existing narrative – what happens “next” in the Mona Lisa? Does anything happen, or even need to happen? Totally mistaken understanding of images.
I read The Circle when I was in SF last year and spoke with Dave Eggars but he declined to be interviewed because he said he didn’t have anything to say about transmedia storytelling or social media. The book’s pretty lame actually. Hope the film is better. Better read Ready Player One instead.