A computational life

By ast | Issues at the intersection of computation and social life.

The Great AI Paradox - MIT Technology Review

You’ve probably heard versions of each of the following ideas.<p>1. With computers becoming remarkably adept at driving, understanding speech, and other …

Artificial Intelligence

Bitcoin is none of the things it was supposed to be

The cryptocurrency was supposed to replace the finance industry. Instead, it has replicated it.<p>On Thursday, the price of Bitcoin fluctuated by …

Bitcoin

“Negotiating the algorithm”: Technology, digital(-ized) work, and labour protection ‘reloaded’

To date the debate on the “future of work” and technology has predominantly concentrated on the quantity of jobs that will be lost or gained because …

Intelligence

Meet the man behind the most important tool in data science

Wes McKinney hates the idea of researchers wasting their time. “Scientists unnecessarily dealing with the drudgery of simple data manipulation tasks makes me feel terrible,” he says.<p>Perhaps more than any other person, McKinney has helped fix that problem. McKinney is the developer of “Pandas”, one …

Stack Overflow

How AI Will Invade Every Corner of Wall Street

It was AI versus Warren Buffett.<p>The artificial intelligence was unleashed by Winton, the London hedge fund, to test an old principle of the Berkshire …

Artificial Intelligence

How 'super vision' will change the way we see the world

<b>Computers are getting better at recognising faces and shapes and making connections between images, heralding a new age of visual search that could transform the way we interact with the world around us.</b><p>Have you ever searched Google maps for a destination, asked it for directions, then walked off …

Augmented Reality

Stephen Hawking: 'I fear AI may replace humans altogether'

Without science, it's all fiction. And yet our world increasingly resembles a fictional one, accelerating towards a dystopian reality that few would …

Stephen Hawking

The Algorithm That Catches Serial Killers

“I wonder if we could teach a computer to spot serial killers in data,” Thomas Hargrove thought as he parsed the FBI’s annual homicide reports. The retired news reporter would soon answer his own question. He created an algorithm that, in his words, “can identify serial killings—and does.”

Machine Learning

Google DeepMind is helping neural nets decide how they want to learn

There is no one teaching style that works perfectly for every student, and it turns out that the same can be said for neural networks, the computing …

Machine Learning

Vatican 2.0

Can A.I. Be Taught to Explain Itself?

<b>In September,</b> Michal Kosinski published a study that he feared might end his career. The Economist broke the news first, giving it a self-consciously anodyne title: “Advances in A.I. Are Used to Spot Signs of Sexuality.” But the headlines quickly grew more alarmed. By the next day, the Human Rights …

How algorithms are pushing the tech giants into the danger zone

The algorithms Facebook and other tech companies use to boost engagement – and increase profits – have led to spectacular failures of sensitivity and worse. How can we fight back?<p>Earlier this month, Facebook announced a new pilot programme in Australia aimed at stopping “revenge porn” – the …

Social Media

Stanford Algorithm Can Diagnose Pneumonia Better Than Radiologists

Stanford researchers have developed a machine-learning algorithm that can diagnose pneumonia from a chest x-ray better than a human radiologist can. …

Medicine

A New Algorithm Can Spot Pneumonia Better Than a Radiologist - MIT Technology Review

The Download<p>What's up in emerging technology<p>Today<p>A New Algorithm Can Spot Pneumonia Better Than a Radiologist<p>Add diagnosing dangerous lung diseases …

Artificial Intelligence

The field of AI research is about to get way bigger than code

When it comes to developing artificial intelligence, the largest technology companies in the world are all-in. Google and Microsoft say they’re “AI-first,” and businesses like Facebook and Amazon wouldn’t be possible without the scalable personalization that AI allows.<p>But if you look for research …

Artificial Intelligence

Apple, Google, and the constant chase for tech that can’t be reverse-engineered

The future of premium smartphones is a machine learning battle<p>One of my favorite things about the tech industry is how quickly innovations from the big companies and premium products trickle down into more affordable devices. The rampant stealing of ideas isn't so awesome when it happens between …

Machine Learning

Microsoft wants to use AI and machine learning to discover a cure for cancer

Microsoft Takes on Cancer<p>Earlier this year, Microsoft launched Healthcare NExT, a new initiative that aims to bring together artificial intelligence, …

Something is wrong on the internet

<i>I’m</i> <i>James Bridle</i><i>. I’m a writer and artist concerned with technology and culture. I usually write on my own blog, but frankly I don’t want what I’m</i> …

Peppa Pig

Why AI Is Still Waiting For Its Ethics Transplant | Backchannel

<b>There’s no lack of reports</b> on the ethics of artificial intelligence. But most of them are lightweight—full of platitudes about “public-private …

There’s a glaring mistake in the way AI looks at the world

As humans, we’re pretty good at knowing what we’re looking at. We might be fleshy and weak compared to computers, but we string context and previous experience together effectively to understand what we see.<p>Artificial intelligence today doesn’t have that capability. The brain-inspired artificial …

Machine Learning

Soon, Your Streets Will Be Watching You

Michael Driver<p>Driver surveillance was designed to make streets safer and more efficient. But what else could be done with the data that shows what we’re like on the road?<p>We live in the era of mass surveillance. Most of what we do is carefully tracked: the websites we visit, the way we spend our …

One-Way Salesman Finds Fast Path Home

The real-world version of the famous “traveling salesman problem” finally gets a good-enough solution.<p>A salesman has to visit every major city in the …

Mathematics

How Do You Regulate a Self-Improving Algorithm?

For health care, the answer is a matter of life and death.<p>At a large technology conference in Toronto this fall, Anna Goldenberg, a star in the field of computer science and genetics, described how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing medicine. Algorithms based on the AI principle of machine …

It’s Time for More Transparency in A.I.

Transparency is becoming a hot topic in Silicon Valley. Companies need transparency in hiring, firing, and promotion practices in order to facilitate …

Intelligence

Who Trained Your A.I.?

The problem with artificial intelligence isn’t that it’s going to get too smart and take over the world, as Elon Musk likes to warn. The problem, …

Big Data

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens

On June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called "Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit …

China

The AI That Has Nothing to Learn From Humans

DeepMind’s new self-taught Go-playing program is making moves that other players describe as “alien” and “from an alternate dimension.”<p>It was a tense summer day in 1835 Japan. The country’s reigning Go player, Honinbo Jowa, took his seat across a board from a 25-year-old prodigy by the name of …

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Learns to Learn Entirely on Its Own

A new version of AlphaGo needed no human instruction to figure out how to clobber the best Go player in the world — itself.<p>A mere 19 months after …

Artificial Intelligence

'It's able to create knowledge itself': Google unveils AI that learns on its own

In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, AlphaGo Zero took just three days to master the ancient Chinese board game of Go ... with no human help<p>Google’s artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has unveiled the latest incarnation of its Go-playing program, AlphaGo – an AI so powerful …

Artificial Intelligence