This Week: May 23, 2018

A History of Artificial Intelligence:

Rebecca West outlines a history of Artificial Intelligence that I found concise and informative.

“Our Machines are Enabling More Human Humans”

Stitch Fix is reinventing the fashion industry by pairing algorithms with human personal shoppers. This is complex data science and they’ve even created an interesting animated infographic, called an Algorithms Tour to outline how they work.

Google and “Behavioral Sequencing”:

An internal Google video paints a fascinating but creepy picture of the future of personal data. By tracking and synthesizing enough data, we may be on the verge of a new era in “behavioral sequencing,” capable of shaping the future of humanity. The video concentrates on shaping that behavior toward positive outcomes, but as the 2016 elections have shown, it can also be used to move us in miserable ways.

And speaking of behavioral sequencing…

Surveilling the Dragon’s Gate:

In China, the saying, 鲤 鱼 跳 龙 门, captures the myth that a carp that successfully clears the Dragon’s Gate waterfall on the Yellow River will magically transform into a dragon. This saying has come to represent the feat accomplished by students from the Chinese countryside who pass the very difficult national examination system. Thanks to new applications of AI, that leap may have just gotten a bit more difficult.

Hikvision Digital Technology, majority-owned by the Chinese government, is now rolling out a “smart classroom behavior management system” that captures students’ expressions and movements, using machine learning to ensure they’re paying attention. I’m sure there are probably ways to use a system like this in ways that help students without treating them as mere objects in an education factory. But stuff like this is potentially quite scary, especially when it might eventually be linked to China’s Social Credit System (社会信用体系).

No more yawning.

Automated Ports in China:

And finally, speaking of China, Caofeidian is set to become the world’s first fully autonomous harbor by the end of the year. The US-Chinese startup TuSimple, a specialist in developing self-driving trucks, will replace human-driven terminal tractor-trucks with 20 self-driving models.


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