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The Hills Go High Tech

An American community finding its way in the new digital economy
At present, says Hochschild, Ankur Gopal and Interapt are sourcing as many new hillbillies as they can find: “For now, there is so much demand for I.T. workers — 10,000 estimated openings by 2020 in the Louisville metro area alone — that Mr. Gopal is reaching out to new groups. Read More ›
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Digital dictatorship?

China’s “social credit” system coming under scrutiny
It is not clear that most Chinese people understand the implications yet but many in the industry do. As of September 16, over 1400 Google employees had signed a letter of protest against Google’s involvement in Chinese censorship.   Read More ›
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Does digitization threaten science?

It enables new abuses, according to a Cambridge nanoscientist
The problem is not digitization as such, of course, but the mindset that it inadvertently encourages. Sometimes, for example, “citation rings” agree to cite each other’s papers so as to artificially inflate their rankings. Sometimes it graduates to “citation stacking” Read More ›
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Apes Can Be Generous

Are they just like humans then?
If we are to genuinely understand machines, animals, and ourselves, we need to clearly understand that it is the immateriality of human intellect and will—our capacity to think and act abstractly— that makes us radically (i.e. ontologically) different from any animal or machine. Read More ›
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Maybe iGen really IS fragile

Did social media's troll frenzies trigger the campus war on ideas?
Twenty-four-year-old fashion blogger Scarlett Dixon  posted a picture of herself having breakfast, “looking flawless on a freshly made bed flanked by heart-shaped helium balloons.” The orcs burst suddenly through the virtual gate. Read More ›
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Is the octopus a “second genesis of intelligence”?

Can its strange powers provide insights for robotics or the human mind?
What’s really interesting about these stories is that, while we are learning that there is much intelligence in the animal (and plant) world, including some that can be applied to robotics, very little sheds light on explicitly human intelligence. Read More ›
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Artificial intelligence is impossible

Meaningful information vs artificial intelligence
Because the law of independence conservation states that no combination of randomness and determinism can create mutual information, then likewise no Turing machine nor artificial intelligence can create mutual information. Thus, the goal of artificial intelligence researchers to reproduce human intelligence with a computer program is impossible to achieve. Read More ›
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You Have Just Six Emotions

At least it would be easier for the machines if we did
Efforts to enable machines to read our emotions are hitting a roadblock and, oddly enough, Charles Darwin, founder of popular evolution theory, plays a role in getting it wrong. Read More ›
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Is the future of jobs over?

Should people be paid to let machines do the work?
Recently, there have been short-term limited experiments with a Universal Basic Income but it’s hard to evaluate a transformative social policy with such limited and cherry-picked data. And, says Richards, paying people not to work would simply slow their move into the job markets of the digital age. Read More ›
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Coconuts Go High Tech

Plastics from coconut waste offer economic benefit to poor farmers

One of Walter Bradley’s longstanding goals as an engineer and materials scientist has been to harness advanced materials technology to help the world’s poor, most of whom are poor farmers.

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The true cost of “free” social media

It’s free but… are we? George Gilder points a way forward.
He thinks that expected massive increases in computing power will enable blockchain technologies that allow users to safely bypass the global data monopoly that Google and similar firms represent. Read More ›
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Senior Google scientist quits over Google’s censorship in China

He believes it “contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights”

Some believe that any censorship system that a human being can develop can somehow be got around by another human being. China may provide a way of testing that.  

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How Bitcoin Works: The social value of trust

The idea of employing such a game to guarantee validity in a trustless environment is nothing short of groundbreaking. It is an amazing accomplishment, and I am impressed by it more each time I think about it. However, it does have some drawbacks, which, I think, will ultimately lead to its demise.

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Twitter doesn’t just seem out of control

It actually is.
Social media may be changing the world more than we think. And we may need some social leadership in fighting back against Twitter mobs. It probably won’t emerge from within because bullies are usually cowards. Read More ›
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Google branches out into politics

Unfortunately, the only political model it would likely know is: One-party state

The unchallenged manipulation of search engine results during elections is a new phenomenon made possible by the domination of the internet by a few big players.

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