Tag Archives | Technology

AI machine achieves IQ test score of young child


A team from the University of Illinois at Chicago gave the AI system, ConceptNet, an IQ test. According to Phys.org, “it scored a WPPSI-III VIQ that is average for a four-year-old child, but below average for 5 to 7 year-olds.”

Nancy Owano via Phys.org:

MIT Technology Review poses the bigger question: to what extent do these capabilities add up to the equivalent of ? Shedding some light on AI and humans, a team went ahead to subject an AI system to a standard IQ test given to humans.

Their paper describing their findings has been posted on arXiv. The team is from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an AI research group in Hungary. The AI system which they used is ConceptNet, an open-source project run by the MIT Common Sense Computing Initiative.

Results: It scored a WPPSI-III VIQ that is average for a four-year-old child, but below average for 5 to 7 year-olds

“We found that the WPPSI-III VIQ psychometric test gives a WPPSI-III VIQ to ConceptNet 4 that is equivalent to that of an average four-year old.

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How Hacktivists Will Break Corporate Control of Information Within a Decade


Jake Anderson via Activist Post:

Sci-fi author and information rights activist Cory Doctorow appeared out of the dusty heat of the 2015 Burning Man in a gray jumpsuit and a pair of Adbusters Black Spot sneakers. In his hand he held a small black moleskin, which he glanced at intermittently while delivering an electrifying, albeit head-spinning talk on the future of the Internet of Things.

Doctorow, who recently re-joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), contextualized theInternet of Things as an information rights struggle that requires an end to patent laws that forbid jailbreaking digital locks. Concordantly, he and the EFF have an ambitious plan: To dismantle the draconian Digital Rights Management (DRM) laws currently protected by the DMCA Section 1201. Doctorow and the EFF seek to counter this oppressive legislation with the Apollo 1201 initiative, by which they will strategically pick cases that can clearly demonstrate Congress violated the Constitution when it passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998.

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Polanyi’s Paradox: Will humans maintain any advantage over machines?

Robots and Jobs

This essay originally appeared on Philosophical Disquisitions.

(Previous Entry)

There is no denying that improvements in technology allow machines to perform tasks that were once performed best by humans. This is at the heart of the technological displacement we see throughout the economy. The key question going forward is whether humans will maintain an advantage in any cognitive or physical activity. The answer to this question will determine whether the future of the economy is one in which humans continue to play a relevant part, or one in which humans are left behind.

To help us answer this question it is worth considering the paradoxes of technological improvement. It is truly amazing that advances in artificial intelligence have allowed machines to beat humans at cognitive games like chess or Jeopardy!, or that cars can now be driven around complex environments without human assistance. At the same time, it is strange that other physical and cognitive skills have been less easy for machines to master, e.g.… Read the rest

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Driving Ms. Parks

first world homeless

1st world def

I took some days off, for the soul… to “think”.

Each time my kid came home from school to find me on the couch staring into space, he gave me crap, “Dad! You didn’t work, again?!”

I told him, “Son, I’ve been thinking. I’ve been thinking a lot. And you know what? Nothing is wrong right now. Absolutely NOTHING.”

So, it’s Friday morning. And I am now going into work, to drive a cab… in complete peace, come what may. (OM, baby.)


Heading out of the lot of ‘ol Citizen’s Cab in 137 – my trusty Prius, the headlights catch that feral, orange tabby lot cat frozen, er… like a deer. It would seem she is now spoiled after gorging on all the late night BBQ pitched from the recurring congregations of chatty drivers, and the likes of me occasionally tossing her half my lunch. Well not today, Sheba!… Read the rest

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Air France Executives Attacked as Carrier Cuts 2,900 Jobs

Airbus | A380-861 | Air France | F-HPJJ | Hong Kong | HKG | VHHH
Mathieu Rosemain via Bloomberg:

Air France executives were forced to flee with their clothes in tatters after workers stormed a meeting at Charles de Gaulle airport in protest at 2,900 planned job cuts.

Human resources chief Xavier Broseta and Pierre Plissonnier, head of long-haul flights, scaled an eight-foot fence to escape, aided by security guards. Broseta emerged shirtless and Plissonnier had his suit ripped to shreds.

Violence erupted Monday as Air France told its works council that 300 pilots, 900 flight attendants and 1,700 ground staff might have to go after failed productivity talks with flight crew. The protest, in which agitators chanted “naked, naked,” is just the latest to turn physical in France, where managers at Michelin & Cie. and Sony Corp. have been held hostage over firings, irate farmers have blocked city streets with tractors and manure and more than 100 Uber Technologies Inc. taxis have been smashed up by rival drivers.

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Tesla’s Dream Of Wireless Electricity Transmission Here At Last

Tesla Broadcast Tower 1904

Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe lab building, seen in 1904.

Nikola Tesla’s grand plans for wireless transmission of electricity never quite panned out, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting that on a smaller scale, it’s now happening:

In 1902 workers completed a mysterious tower, 187 feet high and shaped like a giant mushroom, on which rested the hopes of one of the 20th century’s most prolific geniuses.

Facing the beach in the hamlet of Shoreham, N.Y., on Long Island, the Wardenclyffe Tower was, according to its inventor, Nikola Tesla, the key that could unlock an age of wonders.

As Mr. Tesla later wrote, the tower’s ability to transmit information to the far side of the Earth would someday allow the creation of “an inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, [which] will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song however distant.”

Future Tesla wireless power transmitter

A 1925 artist’s conception of what Nikola Tesla’s wireless power transmission system might look like in the future.

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Adblock extension with 40 million users sells to mystery buyer, refuses to name new owner


Another one bites the dust.

Owen Williams via The Next Web:

Adblock, a popular extension for blocking advertising in Chrome and Safari with more than 40 million users, was quietly sold today.

The extension displayed a popup on October 1 saying that it is now allowing EyeO’s acceptable advertising — which allows advertisers to buy their way onto the whitelist — through the filter.

Buried in the bottom of that message, however, was a more notable change: Adblock has been sold.

What’s strange is that the company won’t disclose who it’s been sold to, why it was sold, or how much it was sold for.

For the extension’s claimed 40 million users this raises an interesting question: Can the extension continue to be trusted if the new proprietor is entirely anonymous?

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Automation and Income Inequality: Understanding the Polarisation Effect

robot child

This article originally appeared on Philosophical Disquisitions

(Previous Entry)

Inequality is now a major topic of concern. Only those with their heads firmly buried in the sand would have failed to notice the rising chorus of concern about wealth inequality over the past couple of years. From the economic tomes of Thomas Piketty and Tony Atkinson, to the battle-cries of the 99%, and on to the political successes of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US, the notion that inequality is a serious social and political problem seems to have captured the popular imagination.

In the midst of all this, a standard narrative has emerged. We were all fooled by the triumphs of capitalism in the 20th century. The middle part of the 20th century — from roughly the end of WWII to 1980 — saw significant economic growth and noticeable reductions in inequality.… Read the rest

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When Nuclear Energy Almost Took to the Skies

"NB-36H with B-50, 1955 - DF-SC-83-09332" by USAF - U.S. Defenseimagery.mil photo no. DF-SC-83-09332. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Back in the 1950s, under the threat of communist apocalypse, the US military had plans for a long-range bomber using the energy of nuclear decay heat to stay aloft for weeks at a time. The Convair X-6 was a design to use a radical, high-temperature, molten-salt-fueled-and-cooled reactor (MSR), and made nuclear-powered aviation come quite close to reality. This program, called NEPA (Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft), like its space-faring cousin-project NERVA, was ultimately a sink for around 7 billion US taxpayer dollars before it was cancelled by Eisenhower. But it actually resulted in the development of a radical type of reactor (MSR) that still could be used to safely generate massive amounts of electricity. More on that later.

The Convair X-6 bomber prototype, which carried a working nuclear reactor and heavy radiation shielding for the pilots (105,000 pounds of lead alone), was test flown nearly a dozen times in 1957.… Read the rest

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Who Watches The Watchers? Now You Can

scorecard-screenshotvia Rebel News

The American public now has a comprehensive set of scores for each member of Congress regarding their positions on Internet surveillance reform, thanks to a website launched today as a joint project between non profit activist groups Restore the Fourth and Fight for the Future.

The Political Scoreboard takes into account critical legislative votes that have taken place during the 114th United States Congress’ time in office, bearing in mind each member’s action, how they voted, and which, if any, legislation they decided to sponsor.

This is the second such scoreboard produced. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, with support from numerous organizations, launched Stand Against Spying in 2014.

According to Alex Marthews, National Chair of Restore the Fourth, there was a need to provide an updated version because the information stops before the 2014 elections.

Marthews cites a lack of information available for EFF’s Stand Against Spying.

“There wasn’t enough data to go on to rank a lot of the members, particularly Senators,” he said, “so, a lot of the Senators had question marks by them.

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