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iron chain and castle on the silk national flag of Hong Kong with beautiful folds, the concept of a ban on tourism, political repression, crime, violation of the rights and freedoms of citizens

Hong Kong: Tech Companies Face Serious Ethical Decisions

As Hong Kong is transformed into a police state, Western companies, faced with demands for snitching on users, are rethinking cozy relationships with China

The semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong is no longer semi-autonomous, at least in practice. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), circumventing Hong Kong’s parliament and courts, passed the Hong Kong National Security Law on June 30 that effectively abolishes the “one country, two systems” regime outlined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The law was passed one day before the anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China (July 1, 1997), in time to quash any pro-democracy candidates who would likely win in the September elections. Although the CCP justifies its moves from the Hong Kong Basic Law and claims that Hong Kong will maintain autonomy, in practice, it has already arrested dissidents and formed a secretive agency called the Office…

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Young woman using smart phone,Social media concept.

Is Contact Tracing a Simple Answer to COVID Lockdowns?

An engineering professor at the University of Austin asks us to look at the costs and benefits

The conventional science fiction fear of a superintelligent AI taking over the planet and ridding it of pesky humans distracts our attention from a much more realistic threat: Artificial intelligence (AI) makes both government and corporate surveillance much easier, cheaper, and more useful—whether it is in average citizens’ interests or not. If we are lucky, this will be the decade when we address the implications of that fact.

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Enrique Blair on the Future of Quantum Computing

Google has claimed quantum supremacy. What does that mean? What is the future of quantum computing? Robert J. Marks discusses quantum communication, supremacy, and computing with Dr. Enrique Blair. Show Notes 00:49 | Introducing Dr. Enrique Blair, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Baylor University 01:14 | Problems with quantum computing 01:54 | What is quantum supremacy? 03:06…

Quantum computing concept with qubit icon 3d rendering

2019 AI Hype Countdown #3: Quantum Supremacy? Less Supreme Than It Sounded

It’s possible that Google’s result can be generalized to more useful scenarios than the test case though it isn't immediately obvious how

What Google really achieved was increased stability in its quantum computing platform—keeping qubits stable has been a hard problem in quantum computing for a long time. That was certainly a step forward, but advertising it as “quantum supremacy” was certainly a classic exercise in hype.

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Man trying to whistle

Google’s Secret Health Data Grab: The Whistleblower Talks

This is the fourth whistleblower in the last eighteen months

“The decision came to me slowly, creeping on me through my day-to-day work,” we are told, until it came down to “how could I say nothing?”

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Medical Research Scientist Typing Information Obtained from New Experimental Drug Trial. She Works in a Bright and Modern Laboratory.

The Nightingale Sings — About Your Health Data

The skinny from Google’s health care data grab: Your privacy may not be anywhere near as well protected as you might think

The biggest question coming into focus is whether traditional patient confidentiality protection really works in the age of the internet. As to what changes are needed and who will sponsor them, both US Sen. Amy Klobuchar and US Sen. Josh Hawley, on opposite sides of the aisle, are watching the file.

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Quantum computer system. Internet connection. Net system. Modern big data. Magic code. .Techno pattern. Intersect grid. Symmetry lines. Energy blocks. Kaleidoscopic shape. AI. Sci-fi

Google vs. IBM?: Quantum Supremacy Isn’t the Big Fix Anyway

If human thought is a halting oracle, then even quantum computing will not allow us to replicate human intelligence

Google’s quantum supremacy claim is certainly fascinating and controversial, but even if true, it ultimately only amounts to an incremental and even inconsequential improvement in the state of AI and ML, due to the still-unmet need for a halting oracle.

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COSM-3887

Is Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity Now Nearer — or Impossible?

In response to Kurzweil’s talk at the COSM Technology Summit, panelists noted that AI achievements are revolutionary in size but limited by their nature in scope

George Montañez, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College, took issue with Kurzweil’s claim that AlphaGoZero needed no instructions to beat humans at the game of Go: “For a system like this to work, a human must define the incentive structure, also encoding the assumptions.” The sheer power of a computing system does not cause it to do anything at all.

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Ray Kurzweil presenting via teleconference at COSM 2019

Tech pioneer Ray Kurzweil: We Will Merge with Computers by 2045

For computers, “Even the very best human is just another notch to pass,” he told the COSM Technology Summit

Advocates point to the success of Kurzweil’s past predictions as evidence that his Singularity is indeed Near, as his 2005 book predicts or Nearer, as his forthcoming one (June 2020) does. But questions bubbled to the surface.

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Wall Street Journal columnist to Big Tech: You are doomed

Companies like Google and Facebook aren’t monsters, says Andy Kessler, but each nourishes the seeds of its own destruction

Kessler told his audience at the COSM National Technology Summit that Big Tech companies are so vulnerable that, for legal reasons, the United States is the only safe place for their headquarters.

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Cuboid with Digital Zeros and Ones

How Much Google Do You Really Need?

As more people are becoming concerned about Big Tech’s snooping and apparent political ambitions, practical responses are emerging

Getting away from constant surveillance and dangerous little bubbles of manipulated information is easier than some users may realize, tech pioneers and experts say. You can make simple changes today.

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Popping water balloon / highspeed image
Popping water balloon / highspeed image

Fast Facts re the Google, Facebook Anti-Trust Probes

The 48-state pile-on comes just before an election year

The accusations by American states of a Big Social Media stranglehold on advertising come on the heels of the European Union fining Google $billions in recent years for anti-competitive activities.

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Prof: Google Must Not Choose the Next President

Robert Epstein, a Clinton supporter in 2016, thinks Big Tech meddling is a risk. And, he says, he isn’t planning on suicide

He doesn’t want Silicon Valley to use its near-monopoly power over search engines and social media to manipulate the information available to the lone voter in the booth.

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Superior Artificial Intelligence Wining Chess Concept

Confirmed: DeepMind’s Deepest Mind Is on Leave

The chess champ computer system just never made money
Co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is a philosopher and social justice activist who hoped to use the technology for fundamental transformations. But his AI ethics board lasted about seven days at Google. Read More ›
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A Closer Look at Google’s Search Engine Bias

If Google’s CEO honestly believes that there is no political bias, that is, in itself, a big part of the problem
If Sundar Pichai thinks that there is no bias in Google's algorithms, he is arguing against the nature of writing algorithms itself—not a good position for a computer guy to be in. Read More ›
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What Others Are Saying About the New Google Insider’s Revelations

The documents' authenticity is not in dispute. What to do about them is another matter
Perhaps we cannot have a realistic discussion of the problems Google.gov creates unless we start with a willingness to pay for search engine services. That allows us to bargain as equals with respect to terms. Read More ›
Machine Learning object detection and artificial intelligence concept. Application detect object in picture. (Blur human face)

Whistleblower: Google Told Cops To Do a “Wellness Check” on Him

He can be seen doing a sort of perp walk on the video; some portions transcribed here

In the documents Vorhies unearthed,  Google seemed to be "intending to scope the information landscape so that they could create their own version of what was objectively true."

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Photo by Daniel Olah

Is Google a Cult? Or Does It Just Act That Way?

Project Veritas announces that a new rebel Googler has sent nearly 1000 documents on algorithm bias to the DOJ

While we prepare a news story on Zach Vorhies' revelations, it may be worth asking why one of the world’s largest companies has developed what appears to be the atmosphere of a political cult.

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Photo by Erik Mclean
Supreme money gun

Why Is DeepMind In Deep Water Financially?

Market analysts are wondering if the money is as smart as the machine

In an all-out botwar with the other tech Bigs, DeepMind could simply be paying top minds not to work for the competition while readying AI tools that pay better than winning at board games. Maybe.

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gud

Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene: How to Spell Gud

Also, Google and Apple ditching college degree requirements is not really that new

Twenty years or so ago, when I worked in Seattle, Microsoft was famous for the testing coding skills of their applicants and asking Mensa-like questions. Degrees were secondary.

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