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How much can we afford to forget, if we train machines to remember?

Gene Tracy

(...)

Most of us no longer know how to grow the food we eat or build the homes we live in, after all. We don’t understand animal husbandry, or how to spin wool, or perhaps even how to change the spark plugs in a car. Most of us don’t need to know these things because we are members of what social psychologists call ‘transactive memory networks’.

We are constantly engaged in ‘memory transactions’ with a community of ‘memory partners’, through activities such as conversation, reading and writing. As members of these networks, most people no longer need to remember most things. 

(...)

What’s new, however, is that many of our memory partners are now smart machines. But an AI – such as Google search – is a memory partner like no other. It’s more like a memory ‘super-partner’, immediately responsive, always available. And it gives us access to a large fraction of the entire store of human knowledge.

 

Researchers have identified several pitfalls in the current situation. For one, our ancestors evolved within groups of other humans, a kind of peer-to-peer memory network. Yet information from other people is invariably coloured by various forms of bias and motivated reasoning. They dissemble and rationalise. They can be mistaken. We have learned to be alive to these flaws in others, and in ourselves. But the presentation of AI algorithms inclines many people to believe that these algorithms are necessarily correct and ‘objective’. Put simply, this is magical thinking.

 

The most advanced smart technologies today are trained through a repeated testing and scoring process, where human beings still ultimately sense-check and decide on the correct answers. Because machines must be trained on finite data-sets, with humans refereeing from the sidelines, algorithms have a tendency to amplify our pre-existing biases – about race, gender and more. An internal recruitment tool used by Amazon until 2017 presents a classic case: trained on the decisions of its internal HR department, the company found that the algorithm was systematically sidelining female candidates. If we’re not vigilant, our AI super-partners can become super-bigots.

 

A second quandary relates to the ease of accessing information. In the realm of the nondigital, the effort required to seek out knowledge from other people, or go to the library, makes it clear to us what knowledge lies in other brains or books, and what lies in our own head. But researchers have foundthat the sheer agility of the internet’s response can lead to the mistaken belief, encoded in later memories, that the knowledge we sought was part of what we knew all along.

 

A new kind of civilisation seems to be emerging, one rich in machine intelligence, with ubiquitous access points for us to join in nimble artificial memory networks. Even with implants, most of the knowledge we’d access would not reside in our ‘upgraded’ cyborg brains, but remotely – in banks of servers. In an eye-blink, from launch to response, each Google search nowtravels on average about 1,500 miles to a data centre and back, and uses about 1,000 computers along the way. But dependency on a network also means taking on new vulnerabilities. The collapse of any of the webs of relations that our wellbeing depends upon, such as food or energy, would be a calamity. Without food we starve, without energy we huddle in the cold. And it is through widespread loss of memory that civilisations are at risk of falling into a looming dark age.

(...) in an educational setting, unlike collaborative chess or medical diagnostics, the student is not yet a content expert. The AI as know-it-all memory partner can easily become a crutch, while producing students who think they can walk on their own.

 

publicado às 04:58

 

Wisconsin company Three Square Market to microchip employees

Three Square Market is offering to implant the tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip into workers' hands for free - and says everyone will soon be doing it.

The rice grain-sized $300 (£230) chip will allow them to open doors, log in to computers and even purchase food.

 

Para já o chip só torna as pessoas cartões de crédito ambulantes mas num futuro próximo é evidente que há-de ter um GPS e outras amenidades de controlo de cidadãos tão ao gosto de políticos e militares.

 

publicado às 07:02


Control is the name of the game!

por beatriz j a, em 27.06.17

  

Governo quer que provas de aferição sejam feitas online

 

Assim, no ano lectivo de 2018-19, as provas de aferição do 8.º ano serão feitas online, no que diz respeito à elaboração dos testes nacionais pelo Ministério da Educação, à classificação das respostas dos alunos e à publicação dos resultados.

A ideia é que no futuro os alunos prestem as suas provas através de computadores nas escolas.

 

Este sistema online de provas de aferição vai poupar custo a médio e longo prazo, flexibilizar a realização das provas criar um sistema de classificação automática das perguntas com resposta fechada (...)

 

O novo sistema de exames online evitará também dupla classificação e monitorizará o trabalho dos classificadores. E permitirá acelerar o tempo de classificação. Além disso, facilitará o armazenamento das provas, dispensando o arquivo de papel.

 

Ou seja, no futuro todos os exames serão de resposta fechada (vulgo, de cruzinhas) e a classificação online para poderem ver, em tempo real, a classificação dos exames, e controlarem-na. Isto tudo para poupar dinheiro. Este é o sistema americano que como todos sabemos está pelas ruas da amargura, todos os anos a cair nos indíces internacionais PISA, com o caos nas escolas por falta de professores à conta de milhares de professores abandonarem o ensino nos primeiros anos. É isto que querem importar... porque aqui no rectângulo a educação é um parente pobre que só serve para poupar dinheiro, de modo que os critérios idiotas de curto prazo para financiar banqueiros financeiros, sobrepõem-se sempre aos pedagógicos. Control is the name of the game!

 

publicado às 16:59

 

 

 

660 individuos y 147 corporaciones controlan la economía mundial

Un estudio de la Universidad de Zurich reveló que un pequeño grupo de 147 grandes corporaciones trasnacionales, principalmente financieras y minero-extractivas, en la práctica controlan la economía global. El estudio fue el primero en analizar 43.060 corporaciones transnacionales y desentrañar la tela de araña de la propiedad entre ellas, logrando identificar a 147 compañías que forman una “súper entidad”

 

 

158196_2

 

 

El pequeño grupo está estrechamente interconectado a través de las juntas directivas corporativas y constituye una red de poder que podría ser vulnerable al colapso y propensa al “riesgo sistémico”, según diversas opiniones. El Proyecto Censurado de la Universidad Sonoma State de California desclasificó esta noticia sepultada por los medios y su ex director Peter Phillips, profesor de sociología en esa universidad, ex director del Proyecto Censurado y actual presidente de la Fundación Media Freedom /Project Censored, la citó en su trabajo “The Global 1%: Exposing the Transnational Ruling Class” (El 1%: Exposición de la Clase Dominante Transnacional), firmado con Kimberly Soeiro y publicado en ProjectCensored.org.

 

Los autores del estudio son Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder y Stefano Battiston, investigadores de la Universidad de Zurich (Suiza), quienes publicaron su trabajo el 26 de octubre 2011, bajo el título “La Red de Control Corporativo Global” (The Network of Global Corporate Control) en la revista científica PlosOne.org.

 

 

Ler a notícia completa

 

 

Ler documento completo en PDF

 

 

publicado às 10:05


🐸 Sobre a felicidade e os descontentes

por beatriz j a, em 24.01.14

 

 

 

If identity captures something about the relatively polished social persona we present to the world, then character—in my view—captures something about the wholly idiosyncratic and potentially rebellious energies that, every so often, break the facade of that persona. From this perspective, our character leaps forth whenever we do something "crazy," such as suddenly dissolving a committed relationship or leaving a promising career path. At such moments, what is fierce and unapologetic about us undermines our attempts to lead a "reasonable" life, causing us to follow an inner directive that may be as enigmatic as it is compelling. We may not know why we feel called to a new destiny, but we sense that not heeding that call will stifle what is most alive within us.

 

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that finds such insurrections threatening, not least because they make us less predictable and therefore harder to control. This is one reason we're constantly reminded of the importance of leading a happy, balanced life—the kind of life that "makes sense" from the viewpoint of the dominant social order. Many of us have, in fact, internalized the ideal of a happy, balanced life to such an extent that we find it hard to imagine alternatives. As Freud has already claimed, there is little doubt about what most people want out of life: "They want to become happy and to remain so."

 

A quick survey of our culture—particularly our self-help culture—confirms Freud's observation. One could even say that, in our era, the idea that we should lead happy, balanced lives carries the force of an obligation: We are supposed to push aside our anxieties in order to enjoy our lives, attain peace of mind, and maximize our productivity. The cult of "positive thinking" even assures us that we can bring good things into our lives just by thinking about them.

(...)

Needless to say, our fixation on the ideal of happiness diverts our attention from collective social ills, such as socioeconomic disparities. As Barbara Ehrenreich has shown, when we believe that our happiness is a matter of thinking the right kinds of (positive) thoughts, we become blind to the ways in which some of our unhappiness might be generated by collective forces, such as racism or sexism. Worst of all, we become callous to the lot of others, assuming that if they aren't doing well, if they aren't perfectly happy, it's not because they're poor, oppressed, or unemployed but because they're not trying hard enough.

(...)

Many of the people who have made the biggest contributions to our collective history—intellectuals, researchers, composers, writers, artists, and so on—have lived lives that, from the outside, seem fairly pathological. They have often been deeply solitary, have had trouble forming enduring relationships, have been consumed by their projects to the point of obsession, have plunged into the depths of despair, have doubted and disparaged themselves, and have had to endure the coldness and sharpness of the world's judgment.

(...)

It's also possible that the more we pursue happy, balanced lives, the more bland and boring, the more devoid of character, we become.

 

(...)

 

This is why our society's creed of happiness, with its witch hunt of anxiety, tends to be antithetical to the needs of our character. Granted, it's nice to feel calm and collected; there is nothing wrong with composure. But those reassuring feelings have little to do with the unruly singularity that lends weightiness to our character. After all, our character includes not only what is pleasing and gracious but also what appears volatile, disorderly, unwieldy, and even a bit tumultuous or derailing. Our character routinely mortifies the more refined parts of us. If we want to be faithful to our character, we need to learn to tolerate whatever undermines or refuses to be disciplined into the seamless persona that sustains our social viability. Heeding the call of our character, in short, means risking our composure.

 

(...)

 

This is why there is something quite hollow about the ideal of a happy, balanced life—a life unruffled by anxiety. It's why I think that underneath our quest for vibrant health lurks a tragic kind of discreet death: the demise of everything that is eccentric and messy about human life. Our society sells us the quick fix: If you get a cold, take some decongestants; if you get depressed, take some antidepressants; and if you get anxious, take those tranquilizers. But what are we supposed to take when we lose our character?

 

Mari Ruti is a professor of critical theory at the University of Toronto. Her latest book is The Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living (Columbia University Press, 2013)

 

publicado às 05:10


Controlo da memória

por beatriz j a, em 25.11.13

 

 

“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?” (George Orwell)

.

 

“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”

 

publicado às 21:35

 

 

 

... as razões da persistência do 'eduquês'

Academics can't write

 

In his great essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell advised us to avoid big words and passive sentences. Clarity, Orwell wrote, was a matter of politics, not aesthetics, for those who write unclearly will think unclearly. It is always in the interests of the powerful if the rest of us cannot think clearly about who holds power in society and how they execute that power. Now, more than ever, we should take Orwell’s message seriously. (Michael Billig)

 

publicado às 07:09


isto é que tem que mudar

por beatriz j a, em 24.05.11

 

 

 

Internet deve ser alvo de regras, diz Sarkozy

Os governos devem aplicar regras à Internet, defendeu hoje o presidente francês, Nicolas Sarkozy, durante o discurso de abertura do primeiro "e-G8", em Paris.
Apesar de reconhecer que a criatividade no mundo digital deve ser fomentada, o presidente francês afirmou, citado pela Associated Press, que os governos em democracia "são os únicos representantes legítimos da vontade geral".

 

Pelo facto de serem eleitos pelo povo pensam que o mandato político lhes dá o direito, jurídico, de regular toda a nossa vida, pública e privada. Regular... quer dizer, controlar e, provavelmente, restringir e cobrar dinheiro.

Isto é que tem que mudar. Os governos não podem ser totalizadores das vidas e vontades dos povos em todas as esferas e dimensões da existência humana.

 

publicado às 17:05


pensando bem..

por beatriz j a, em 23.10.10

 

 

 

Deputado

Branquinho ainda em negociações com a Ongoing

Negociações só em Novembro. Agostinho Branquinho diz que partidos estão a misturar “alhos com bugalhos”.

 

..Se calhar era melhor o Sócrates ter tido maioria absoluta...ele continua a fazer o que quer, só que agora gasta mais do nosso dinheiro, porque para além de controlar os do seu partido ainda tem que controlar outros de outros partidos...? Fica tudo mais caro..

 


publicado às 21:38


o primeiro e os amigos

por beatriz j a, em 22.04.10

 

 

 

Sondagem incluiu nome de mandatária de Sócrates   DN

Jorge Sá, dono  da Aximage, declarou ao MP que nome de Carolina Patrocínio foi sugerido  por ex-administrador da PT.

A apresentadora de televisão Carolina Patrocínio, que viria a ser mandatária para a juventude de José Sócrates nas legislativas de Setembro de 2009, foi uma das figuras públicas estudadas por uma sondagem entregue a Rui Pedro Soares, em ex-administrador da PT, em Abril do ano passado. O estudo, além da popularidade, avaliou o grau de aceitação que tais figuras obtinham junto de pessoas com tendência política definida.

 

Nesta sondagem também foi avaliada a popularidade de Luís Figo, assim como a simpatia que granjeava junto de um eleitorado mais à esquerda. Figo, recorde-se, acabou também por apoiar José Sócrates.


O estudo da Aximage incluiu nomes como Alexandra Lencastre, Bárbara Guimarães e a bloquista Joana Amaral Dias, que terá, alegadamente, recebido um convite do PS antes das legislativas. E Inês de Medeiros, que veio a integrar as listas do PS. C.R.L.

 

 

Era nisto e só nisto que se entretinham. O país que se lixe.

 



publicado às 06:47


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