Deaths of Great Artists in 2016-It’s Worse Than You Think
JANUARY 1st – ISSUE #3
NEWS FOR SMART DATA-DRIVEN AUGMENTED CREATIVE PEOPLE
Dear Reader – Happy New Year!
Welcome to your weekly round-up of news you need to know – for smart, data-driven, augmented, creative people.
Change the world! Brendan Harkin
“The present discordant and distracted twitter“ Virginia Woolf, Reviewing, 1939
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“Fourth Industrial Revolution” (Vid: 11 mins) produced by the World Economic Forum. Best quote is from Stewart Wallis of the New Economic Foundation: “Our focus must be on Human Well-Being, not Growth”. Tip o’the lid to XML Mentors who get a mention: Tan Le (Emotiv) and artist Lynette Walworth (VR work ‘Collisions’ which premiered at the WEF in Davos).
Superb simple-to-follow single page explanation of what AI and Machine Learning can and can’t do right now by the amazing Andrew Ng – Chief Scientist at Baidu, Co-Founder of Coursera, Adjunct Professor at Stanford, and Co-Founder of Google Brain. In a nutshell, if a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future. Some great resources on his site too.
The UN is to propose banning weaponzied AI systems – Killer Robots – (article plus excellent and frightening Vice Media video 28.0 mins). And apart from the robots, apparantly the soldiers of the future will be augmented and indestructible. We just keep winning those wars! On a lighter note, here’s three cute robot animals that actually fly!
All the ways that AI *didn’t* revolutionize our lives in 2016. Fast Company.
The Year in Robots (and Co-bots!) bridging the gap between Science and Fiction from the ever-excellent New Atlas.
A great introduction to the increasingly pervasive importance of Deep Learning: in Image Recognition, Speech Recognition, and Text Recognition (that’s your eyes, ears, and speech faculties, right there folks). Wired Magazine.
Voice is the next platform and 6 million US households have already bought an Amazon Alexa. Of course the NSA would never seek a backdoor hack to listen to every private domestic conversation you ever have. And the police are already involved retreiving conversation data with writs.
It’s a year old but it’s even more relevant now than ever with a Trump presidency. Maciej Ceglowski’s brilliant account of the data industries and their discontents “Haunted by Data“. “When it comes to Data, don’t collect it. If you have to collect it, don’t store it. If you have to store it, don’t keep it”. Brilliant stuff.
Finding Inspiration for Art in the Betrayal of Privacy. A German art collective’s installation in Manhattan on intended to school and shock visitors on how much, or rather, little we know about privacy and data security. New York Times.
The single most repeated line in Virtual Reality is Chris Milk’s claim that “VR is an empathy machine”. But what if Empathy is a bad thing? And also, how will VR show the complex causes of situations (e.g, geopolitics) and not just the consequences of situations (i.e., mere images). We are still discovering what VR will be good at.
With more musicians making repeat rounds on the festival circuit to recoup the losses from shrinking album sales, a singular experience can distinguish one music festival from a growing sea of others: Immersive Art.
Great (long-form) article from Stanford on “Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find?”. They present a wide range of evidence from various industries, products, and firms showing that research effort is rising substantially while research productivity is declining sharply. Answer: we need to educate and employ a whole lot more researchers. Also see the “Eroom Paradox’ in the Maciej Ceglowski video in the Data section above (“Moore’s Law” backwards).
A brilliantly written Los Angeles Review of Books piece about a brilliant contrarian tech essayist – Nicholas Carr’s Utopia is Creepy. (Get past the first few paragraphs and it sings from there – also contains the best tech joke of the year, in the para commencing “What’s most striking about these pictures …”