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Tagged with “data” (44)

  1. Episode 7: The Computermen — The Last Archive

    In 1966, just as the foundations of the Internet were getting dreamed up…

    the federal government considered building a National Data Center. It would be a centralized federal facility to hold computer records from each federal agency, in the same way that the Library of Congress holds books and the National Archives holds manuscripts. Proponents argued that it would help regulate and compile the vast quantities of data the government was collecting. Quickly, though, fears about privacy, government conspiracies, and government ineptitude buried the idea. But now, that National Data Center looks like a missed opportunity to create rules about data and privacy before the Internet took off. And in the absence of government action, corporations have made those rules themselves.

    https://www.thelastarchive.com/season-1/episode-7-the-computermen

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  2. Psychohistory: Isaac Asimov and guiding the future

    100 years on from Isaac Asimov’s birth, Matthew Sweet looks at one of the bigger ideas contained in some of his 500 books; Psychohistory.

    The idea, from Asimov’s Foundation series, was that rather like the behaviour of a gas could be reduced to statistical probabilities of the behaviour of billions of molecules, so the history of billions of human beings across the fictional galactic empire could be predicted through a few laws he called ‘Psychohistory’.

    The idea inspired many to think that social sciences and economics can really be reduced to some sort of idealized set of physics principles, making future events completely predictable. It and similar ideas are still breeding enthusiasm for such things as data science, AI, machine learning, and arguably even the recent job advert by Downing Street advisor Dominic Cummings for more ‘Super-Talented Wierdos’ to work for government. But how do we see what is real and what is not, what is Sci-Fi and what is hype, what is reasonable and what is desirable, in the gaps between innovation and inspiration, restraint and responsibility?

    Jack Stilgoe of University College London has a new book out ‘Who’s Driving Innovation?’. Science and Tech journalist Gemma Milne’s forthcoming book is called ‘Smoke and Mirrors: How hype obscures the future and How to see past it’. Una McCormack is an expert on science fiction writing at Anglia Ruskin University, and Alexander Boxer is a data scientist who’s new book ‘Scheme of Heaven’ makes the case that we have much to learn about human efforts to deduce the future from observable events by looking at the history of Astrology, its aims and techniques.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p080lvrb

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  3. Carole Cadwalladr: Facebook’s role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy | TED Talk

    In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK’s super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters — and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election — Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?

    https://www.ted.com/talks/carole_cadwalladr_facebook_s_role_in_brexit_and_the_threat_to_democracy

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  4. 138. Steven Pinker (Cognitive Scientist) – The Defeat of Defeatism

    I admit it. I confess. I’ve got a touch of what my guest today calls “progressophobia”. Ever since Charles Dickens got hold of me back in middle school, and William Blake after that, I’ve been a little suspicious of the Great Onward March of science and technology. Gene therapy, healthier crops, safer, more efficient forms of nuclear energy? Very nice, very nice. But what about eugenics, climate change, and Fukushima?  For every problem human ingenuity solves, doesn’t human nature create a new one, on a bigger scale? Dammit, Spock, can your cold, calculating reason fathom the mysteries of the human heart? But you know what? After devouring all 453 pages and 75 graphs of psychologist Steven Pinker’s new book ENLIGHTENMENT NOW, I admit defeat. The defeat of defeatism. This man has done the math. Since the 18th century things have been getting better in pretty much every dimension of human well-being. Health, safety, education, happiness, you name it… And we’ve done it with the most reliable tools we have: reason, science, and Enlightenment humanism.

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  5. James Bridle: The nightmare videos of children’s YouTube — and what’s wrong with the internet today | TED Talk

    Writer and artist James Bridle uncovers a dark, strange corner of the internet, where unknown people or groups on YouTube hack the brains of young children in return for advertising revenue. From "surprise egg" reveals and the "Finger Family Song" to algorithmically created mashups of familiar cartoon characters in violent situations, these videos exploit and terrify young minds — and they tell us something about where our increasingly data-driven world is headed. "We need to stop thinking about technology as a solution to all of our problems, but think of it as a guide to what those problems actually are, so we can start thinking about them properly and start to address them," Bridle says.

    https://www.ted.com/talks/james_bridle_the_nightmare_videos_of_childrens_youtube_and_what_s_wrong_with_the_internet_today

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  6. Wanda Diaz Merced: How a blind astronomer found a way to hear the stars | TED Talk

    Wanda Diaz Merced studies the light emitted by gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic events in the universe. When she lost her sight and was left without a way to do her science, she had a revelatory insight: the light curves she could no longer see could be translated into sound. Through sonification, she regained mastery over her work, and now she’s advocating for a more inclusive scientific community. "Science is for everyone," she says. "It has to be available to everyone, because we are all natural explorers."

    https://www.ted.com/talks/wanda_diaz_merced_how_a_blind_astronomer_found_a_way_to_hear_the_stars

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  7. Zeynep Tufekci: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads | TED Talk

    We’re building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren’t even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us — and what we can do in response.

    https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads/details

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  8. Highest-Capacity Data Cable

    There is news of the high-capacity data cable stretching across the Atlantic that has now been completed. The cable is threaded across the ocean floor from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain.

    Researchers from MIT are developing a system that allows a “Primer” robot to don various exoskeletons to give it different capabilities. Daniela Rus from MIT joins Click to discuss it.

    Nisha Ligon’s company Ubongo is a winner of this year’s WISE award. Ligon talks about designing digital material for school children in Africa.

    An AI retreat at the location in Norway used for the film Ex-Machina has been the focus of expert discussion on the future of AI. Bill Thompson joined the retreat arranged by Clearleft’s Andy Budd.

    Fixfest, the first international gathering for the community repair movement takes place at the weekend bringing together fixers from Argentina to Norway. Click hears from one of the organisers, Janet Gaunter of the Restart Project and from Jean-Sébastien Bigras whose company Insertech specialises in teaching repair and preventing waste.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cstxl1

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  9. Zeynep Tufekci: Machine intelligence makes human morals more important | TED Talk | TED.com

    Machine intelligence is here, and we’re already using it to make subjective decisions. But the complex way AI grows and improves makes it hard to understand and even harder to control. In this cautionary talk, techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci explains how intelligent machines can fail in ways that don’t fit human error patterns — and in ways we won’t expect or be prepared for. "We cannot outsource our responsibilities to machines," she says. "We must hold on ever tighter to human values and human ethics."

    https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_machine_intelligence_makes_human_morals_more_important

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  10. 90 | Beyond the Chart with Brendan Dawes – Data Stories

    For our first episode of 2017 we had a very delightful chat with Brendan Dawes. Brendan is an artist and designer who works with interactive installations, data visualizations, and all things across the digital and physical sphere. He has a lot of super fascinating projects, including the famous Cinema Redux, an art piece that visualizes entire movies as a collection of snapshots.

    On the show we talk about his projects, his design process and philosophy, his relationship with the data visualization world, how he generates ideas, and his upcoming projects.

    We hope you enjoy this great conversation at the intersection of data, art, design, interaction and visualization!

    http://datastori.es/90-brendan-dawes/

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