Amazon Is Working on a Device That Can Read Human Emotions

“The notion of building machines that can understand human emotions has long been a staple of science fiction, from stories by Isaac Asimov to Star Trek’s android Data. Amid advances in machine learning and voice and image recognition, the concept has recently marched toward reality. Companies including Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and IBM Corp., among a host of other firms, are developing technologies designed to derive emotional states from images, audio data and other inputs. Amazon has discussed publicly its desire to build a more lifelike voice assistant.

The technology could help the company gain insights for potential health products or be used to better target advertising or product recommendations. The concept is likely to add fuel to the debate about the amount and type of personal data scooped up by technology giants, which already collect reams of information about their customers. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Amazon has a team listening to and annotating audio clips captured by the company’s Echo line of voice-activated speakers.”

Amazon Is Working on a Device That Can Read Human Emotions
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-23/amazon-is-working-on-a-wearable-device-that-reads-human-emotions
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Social Media Are Ruining Political Discourse

“A presence on Twitter has become almost a job requirement for columnists and pundits. YouTube can also be a valuable educational resource with videos of political roundtables, academic conferences, lectures, and interviews. But the flow-oriented design of these media inhibits extended debate. When the liberal economist Paul Krugman tweeted a critique of the inconsistency of Republican policies on interest rates, for example, most of the more than 100 replies were simply derisive comments about Republican hypocrisy—posts created to derive pleasure from online riposte rather than advocacy for a particular position.

By contrast, blog posts and articles in online newspapers and magazines are not flow media; they are digital extensions of the kind of political writing that characterized printed newspapers and journals in the 19th and 20th centuries. There might be an opportunity for the readers to comment at the end of the article, but their responses do not contribute to flow and engagement in the same way. Even formal news and commentary often decays into flow fodder, such as when people post gut-feel responses to social media about articles they haven’t even read, based on the headline alone.

The politics of flow now poses a serious challenge to the earlier tradition of political debate. Some pundits have interpreted Trump’s populism as a realignment of the traditional political narratives of the left and the right. In both his presidential campaign and his presidency, Trump showed how easy it was to break both narratives into incendiary fragments that could be reshuffled into a variety of combinations. From the left he took opposition to international trade agreements and economic globalism; from the right, hostility to social programs and the federal bureaucracy (“drain the swamp”).”

Social Media Are Ruining Political Discourse
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/05/why-social-media-ruining-political-discourse/589108/?_hsenc=p2ANqtz-82144uBghSiGsOclpXytsnfx5Tlp906M_u1MaQEZnigt8tqgpaBa3-bcNJIuL37kqtaIDQ37Z78zbVZu9tGb--n5CPeNgKlogF764EeSc0pGRmWGI&_hsmi=72835581&utm_campaign=the_download.unpaid.engagement&utm_content=72835581&utm_medium=email&utm_source=hs_email
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Forget about artificial intelligence, extended intelligence is the future (joi ito)

“Instead of thinking about machine intelligence in terms of humans vs machines, we should consider the system that integrates humans and machines – not artificial intelligence but extended intelligence. Instead of trying to control or design or even understand systems, it is more important to design systems that participate as responsible, aware and robust elements of even more complex systems.

We must question and adapt our own purpose and sensibilities as observers and designers within systems for a much more humble approach: humility over control.”

Forget about artificial intelligence, extended intelligence is the future
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/artificial-intelligence-extended-intelligence
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Why IBM’s “Dear Tech” Oscars Ad Is So Enraging

“What I want to know is: Can tech companies sell A.I. without preying on our vulnerabilities and biases?

Commercials for Watson personify the natural language speaking technology as an independent being that can rapidly internalize massive amounts of human expertise that’s embedded in volumes of scientific reports and apply the knowledge to wisely make complex medical recommendations. Debate, however, exists over whether marketing material led medical practitioners to develop unrealistic expectations of what the technology can do, how the technology is programmed, and how hard it would be to set up. Indeed, a few years ago, Cory Doctorow slammed the marketing of Watson for Oncology for being “deceptive.” Frankly, tough questions should be asked about the honesty of the entire tech industry every time a product is depicted as more humanlike than it really is, since anthropomorphism triggers cognitive biases that can get in the way of us seeing things clearly.”

Why IBM’s “Dear Tech” Oscars Ad Is So Enraging
https://slate.com/technology/2019/02/ibm-dear-tech-oscars-ad.html
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Zuckerberg Wants Facebook to Build a Mind-Reading Machine

“Our brains produce enough data to stream 4 HD movies every second. The problem is that the best way we have to get information out into the world—speech—can only transmit about the same amount of data as a 1980s modem. We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5x faster than you can type on your phone today. Eventually, we want to turn it into a wearable technology that can be manufactured at scale. Even a simple yes/no ‘brain click’ would help make things like augmented reality feel much more natural.””

Zuckerberg Wants Facebook to Build a Mind-Reading Machine
https://www.wired.com/story/zuckerberg-wants-facebook-to-build-mind-reading-machine/
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Don’t Fight the Robots. Tax Them.

“And at the same time that the rise of robots shrinks government tax revenue, the fallout from automation will place more demands on government services. The United States will probably need more money to retrain workers bumped from their jobs by automation, to give them a shot at a new one. Welfare rolls could grow, as millions of workers are displaced to the bottom end of the service economy, where wages are low and robots are scarce.”

Don’t Fight the Robots. Tax Them.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/23/sunday-review/tax-artificial-intelligence.html
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[digital heresy] This Is Silicon Valley – OneZero




“In Silicon Valley, few people find things like climate change important enough to talk about at length, and even fewer find it important enough to work on. It’s not where the money is at. It’s not where “success” is at. And it’s certainly not where the industry is at. Instead, money comes from changing a button from green to blue, from making yet another food delivery app, and from getting more clicks on ads. That’s just how the Valley and the tech industry are set up. As Jeffrey Hammerbacher, a former Facebook executive, told Bloomberg, “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.”

This is Silicon Valley.”

This Is Silicon Valley – OneZero
https://onezero.medium.com/this-is-silicon-valley-3c4583d6e7c2
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Team Human vs. Team AI

“By hiring more people rather than machines, paying them livable wages, and operating with less immediate efficiency, companies could minimize the destruction they leave in their wake. Hiring 10 farmers or nurses may be more expensive in the short run than using one robotic tractor or caregiver, but it may make life better and less costly for everyone over the long term.”

Team Human vs. Team AI
https://www.strategy-business.com/article/Team-Human-vs-Team-AI?gko=4d55d
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The Hidden Automation Agenda of the Davos Elite

“In Davos, executives tend to speak about automation as a natural phenomenon over which they have no control, like hurricanes or heat waves. They claim that if they don’t automate jobs as quickly as possible, their competitors will.

“They will be disrupted if they don’t,” said Katy George, a senior partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Automating work is a choice, of course, one made harder by the demands of shareholders, but it is still a choice. And even if some degree of unemployment caused by automation is inevitable, these executives can choose how the gains from automation and A.I. are distributed, and whether to give the excess profits they reap as a result to workers, or hoard it for themselves and their shareholders.”

The Hidden Automation Agenda of the Davos Elite
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/25/technology/automation-davos-world-economic-forum.html
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The World Is Choking on Digital Pollution

“The drive for profits and market dominance is instilled in artificial intelligence systems that aren’t wired to ask why. But we aren’t machines; we can ask why. We must confront how these technologies work, and evaluate the consequences and costs for us and other parts of our society. We can question whether the companies’ “solutions”—like increased staffing and technology for content moderation—are good enough, or if they are the digital equivalent of “clean coal.” As the services become less and less separable from the rest of our lives, their effects become ever more pressing social problems.”

The World Is Choking on Digital Pollution
https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january-february-march-2019/the-world-is-choking-on-digital-pollution/
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