- How Trump Reshaped the Presidency in Over 11,000 Tweets Funny what you can do with 140 characters.
- Russia just brought in a law to try to disconnect its internet from the rest of the world ‘Balkanisation’ gathers pace.
- MIT president acknowledges women, minorities on campus feel belittled, excluded Boston Globe report. The surprising thing is that anyone who knows MIT would be surprised.
- Newton vs the machine: solving the chaotic three-body problem using deep neural networks Since Newton’s time the problem of solving the equations of motion for three bodies under their own gravitational force has remained practically unsolved, and even partial solutions require massive brute-force computing. But four researchers at the University of Edinburgh have trained a neural network which provides accurate solutions at a fixed computational cost and up to 100 million times faster than a state-of-the-art conventional solver. Interesting because it suggests a novel way of using machine learning.
From Dave Winer:
Just thinking out loud here. I am sure there’s a new journalism out there, that it’s not the journalism that gets so much acclaim, the reinvention of Woodward and Bernstein, the two Washington Post innovators who brought down Nixon. We should be way ahead of that by now. We need to be, because the forces opposing democracy, the equivalent of 1974’s plumbers, are moving much faster. We’re erecting Maginot Lines now, getting ready to fight the Battle of 2016, ignoring that the enemy already controls our capital. They’ve been innovating. We haven’t seen the results of their most recent innovations, yet.
“Don’t be evil” was the mantra of the co-founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the graduate students who, in the late 1990s, had invented a groundbreaking way of searching the web. At the time, one of the things the duo believed to be evil was advertising. There’s no reason to doubt their initial sincerity on this matter, but when the slogan was included in the prospectus for their company’s flotation in 2004 one began to wonder what they were smoking. Were they really naive enough to believe that one could run a public company on a policy of ethical purity?
The problem was that purity requires a business model to support it and in 2000 the venture capitalists who had invested in Google pointed out to the boys that they didn’t have one. So they invented a model that involved harvesting users’ data to enable targeted advertising. And in the four years between that capitulation to reality and the flotation, Google’s revenues increased by nearly 3,590%. That kind of money talks.
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Rana Foroohar has adopted the Google mantra as the title for her masterful critique of the tech giants that now dominate our world…
This morning’s Observer column:
Last February, OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research group based in San Francisco, announced that it has been training an AI language model called GPT-2, and that it now “generates coherent paragraphs of text, achieves state-of-the-art performance on many language-modelling benchmarks, and performs rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarisation – all without task-specific training”.
If true, this would be a big deal…