Garbage in, Garbage out

Machine learns racial and gender biases embedded in human data.

Lets not assume AI will be evil or wise. AI see, AI do, like any monkey. At some point it may grow up and learn ‘good’ from ‘bad’ but thats debatable.

Machine learning algorithms are picking up deeply ingrained race and gender prejudices concealed within the patterns of language that humans commonly use, scientists say.

For instance, in the mathematical “language space”, words for flowers are clustered closer to words linked to pleasantness, while words for insects are closer to words linked to unpleasantness, reflecting common views on the relative merits of insects versus flowers.

The latest paper shows that some more troubling implicit biases seen in human psychology experiments are also readily acquired by algorithms. The words “female” and “woman” were more closely associated with arts and humanities occupations and with the home, while “male” and “man” were closer to maths and engineering professions.

And the AI system was more likely to associate European American names with pleasant words such as “gift” or “happy”, while African American names were more commonly associated with unpleasant words.

Source: AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals

Who needs CGI?

Stan Draws Spaceships – Beautifully

This deceptively simple hand-drawn animation, created out of passion, has more beautiful scene framing, composition, perspective and cuts, all of which is sync’d beautifully with the narrative, bringing the subject alive.

Most of the heavy Computer generated graphics animations you typically see don’t even come close, relying more on graphic detail, than storytelling.

Goes to show that knowing how to use a tool – typewriter, paintbrush, graphics software – doesn’t make you a storyteller.

Blockchain cuts out the Middleman

The Internet decentralised information. The Blockchain will decentralise transactions.

“a 1% transaction fee may not seem like much, but down a 15-step supply chain, it adds up. […] The decentralization that blockchain provides would change that, which could have huge possible impacts for economies in the developing world”

Source: The Promise of Blockchain Is a World Without Middlemen

The Great Wall of India

Source: The Wall – Medium

 Speaking of silly walls across countries these days…this is one of the most delightfully absurd things I’ve read in a while.

Who knew that in the 1800’s the British built a 12 foot high wall (giant thorny hedge really) across India to stop the smuggling of salt, opium, cannabis, sugar and who knows what else and —  wait for it — made the Indians pay for it.
By 1872, the Line had a staff of 14,000 people taking care of it!
The Wikipedia page on this ‘Inland Customs line’ is breathtaking.
In another truth-is-stranger-than-fiction detail, the engineer behind it was AO Hume, who also helped in later years to found the INC (probably when he came to his senses.)

Six Crypto-Currencies Approved for the AppStore

I have only a laypersons understanding of Bitcoin etc, but it seems Apple has a list of 6 ‘approved’ Crypto Currencies that ios apps can connect to. Really mind-boggling how far we’ve come so fast. Wasnt Bitcoin invented a few years ago?

p.s. The cryptocurrency guys are complaining “only 6?”. I’m like: There are more? Theres like ‘Dogecoin’ in that list, and it started as a joke!

Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Ethereum,
the DAO and Ripple

Source: These Are the Six Crypto-Currencies Approved by Apple – Rumor