Curating the Internet: Science and technology micro-summaries for August 17, 2019

in #rsslog3 years ago

Thinking about non-domesticated AI; How Windows "Check for a solution" works; An exosuit that makes it easier to run or walk; NYC working with technologists to fight cyberstalkers; Employee surveillance has known downsides and no known upside for businesses; Huawei developing its own competitor to Google Maps

Straight from my RSS feed
Whatever gets my attention

Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.


pixabay license: source.

  1. AI That Evolves in the Wild - In another installment of's "Possible Minds" series, science historian, George Dyson, calls himself a story teller, and tells a story about his idea of a non-domesticated AI, which is an AI system that evolves in the wild. Drawing from the example of whale songs, and pointing out that the brain is not - fundamentally - logical. Dyson's idea is that we can have intelligence with no mind at all. He believes we are in the midst of a transformation from digital computing to analog computing (in the sense of computing with continuous functions, not discrete values). He also believes that this migration from discrete computing to continuous computing will enable intelligence to evolve "in the wild". He also makes the provocative argument that a truly intelligent AI is one that would not let itself be recognized. As in earlier articles, the 10 minute talk is followed by a panel discussion, with participation from Neil Gershenfeld, Daniel Hillis, Rodney Brooks, Seth Lloyd, Carolyn Jones, Allison Gopnik, and others. This series has also been covered here:

  2. Your Employer May Be Spying on You—and Wasting Its Time - Surveillance changes employee behavior, but not always in good ways. Moreover, the research on whether surveillance leads to productivity improvement is inconclusive, and workers report that increased surveillance makes them feel less human and more like "cogs in a wheel.". In short, the up-side of surveillance for employers is inconclusive, but the down-side is conclusive and well documented.

  3. When Windows tries to “check for a solution” after a program crashes, what is it actually doing and why does it never seem to work? - When a program crashes, windows creates a bucket signature - an identifier that doesn't tell the reason for a crash, but helps to recognize similar crashes. When it proceeds to "check for a solution", it stores the bucket signature and looks to see if there's a solution to match that signature. If a particular bucket signature gets logged enough times, a bug is auto-generated so that Microsoft engineers can look at the problem and try to create a fix. h/t OS news

  4. Soft Exosuit Makes Walking and Running Easier Than Ever - Harvard researchers have created a wearable apparatus (exosuite) that squeezes a person's muscles in a way that improves efficiency by 4-10% when walking or running. The system uses two electrical motors that are attached to the waist and also cabled to a pair of thigh straps. The whole rig weighs about 11 pounds, and researchers are still working to reduce the weight and increase the efficiency.

  5. NYC has hired hackers to hit back at stalkerware - A team of researchers from Cornell and NYU are working with the NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to fight back against cyberstalkers. The pilot program has been in progress since early 2018, and was discussed at USENIX this week. The team has met with 44 clients, and reports that there is a need for experts to help navigate the complex web of applications and mobile applications. They are also looking for socio-technological solutions to improve the problem.

  6. STEEM Huawei to unveil its own mapping service to challenge Google Maps - Huawei is positioning itself to respond if it loses access to Google Maps due to US technology restrictions, and the company says it will be ready to launch its own mapping product by October, if that should happen. It's own tool set, called Map Kit is not intended for customers, but it will be made available to developers who want to offer mapping solutions. The product will support 40 languages at launch, and will make use of Huawei base stations in 160 countries. As soon as next week, Huawei may lose access to Google's products like, "Maps, Docs, and Play Store, among others". (A beneficiary setting of 10% has been assigned to @rt-international for this post.)

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