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Here’s Why China’s New Social Credit Law Matters
It’s easier to talk about what China’s social credit system isn’t than what it is. Since China announced its construction in 2014, it has been one of the most misunderstood things about China in Western discourse. Now, with new documents released in mid-November, there is an opportunity to correct the record.
Most people outside of China think it will function as a technology-driven Black Mirror-like system that automatically scores each Chinese citizen based on what they do right or wrong. Instead, it is a combination of attempts to regulate the financial credit industry, enable government agencies to share data with one another, and promote nationally recognized moral values—however vague that sounds.
While the system itself is still a long way off, with a draft law released last week, China is now closer than ever to defining what it will look like — and how it will affect the lives of millions of its citizens . read more.
Watch This Robot Dog Crawl Tricky Terrain Using Only Its Camera
news: When Ananye Agarwal walked his dog up and down the steps of a local park near Carnegie Mellon University, the other dogs stopped. That’s because Agarwal’s dog is a robot — and a special one at that. Unlike other robots that rely heavily on internal maps to get around, his robot uses built-in cameras and uses computer vision and reinforcement learning to navigate complex terrain.
Why it matters: While other attempts to use cues from a camera to guide a robot’s movement have been limited to flat terrain, Agarwal and his researchers managed to get their robot to walk up stairs, climb rocks and jump over gaps. They hope their work will help robots deploy into the real world more easily, greatly improving their mobility in the process. read more.
Trust large language models at your own risk
When Meta launched Galactica, an open-source large-scale language model, the company was hoping for a big PR win. Instead, all it got was Twitter bashing and a biting blog post from one of its most outspoken critics, which ended in the embarrassing decision to cancel the model’s public presentation just three days later.
Galactica is designed to help scientists by summarizing academic papers, solving math problems, and other tasks. But outsiders quickly pushed the model to offer “scientific research” on the benefits of homophobia, anti-Semitism, suicide, eating glass, being white, or being a man — proving not only how premature its botched rollout was, but Efforts by researchers to make large language models safer have been successful. read more.
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I combed the internet to find you the funniest/most important/scary/fascinating stories about technology today.
1 Verified Anti-vax Twitter Account Is Spreading Healthy Misinformation
And perfectly demonstrated the problem of verification fees in the process. (protector)
+ Maybe Twitter isn’t helping your cause as much as you thought it would. (Bloomberg $)
+ A deepfake of the founder of FTX has been circulating on Twitter. (motherboard)
+ Some liberal Twitter users refused to leave. (Atlantic Organization $)
+ Apparently, the Twitter massacre is over. (edge)
+ A potential collapse of Twitter could wipe out a great deal of recent human history. (MIT Technology Review)
2 NASA’s Orion spacecraft completes moon flyby
Pave the way for humans to return to the Moon. (sound)
3 Amazon’s warehouse monitoring algorithm is trained by humans
Low-wage workers in India and Costa Rica are reviewing thousands of hours of mind-numbing footage. (edge)
+ The artificial intelligence data labeling industry is seriously exploited.(MIT Technology Review)
4 How to understand climate change
Accepting the hard truth is the first step in avoiding the most dire ending for Earth. (New Yorker $)
+ The richest country in the world has agreed to pay for global warming. (Atlantic Organization $)
+ These three charts show who is most responsible for climate change. (MIT Technology Review)
5 Apple exposes shady dealings at a cybersecurity startup
It compiled a document setting out the scope of Corellium’s relationships, including with the notorious NSO Group. (wired $)
+ The hacking industry faces the end of an era. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Ways The Criminal Justice System Is Failing People With Nervous Divides
Copycat internet trolls have led to an autistic man being jailed for five and a half years. (economist $)
8 Your Workplace May Be Planning to Scan Your Brain
All to make you a more productive worker. (IEEE Spectrum)
9 Facebook Doesn’t Care If Your Account Is Hacked
A series of new schemes to salvage accounts do not appear to have had much effect. (wettable powder $)
+ Parent company Meta is being sued in the UK for data harvesting. (Bloomberg $)
+ Independent artists are building virtual universes their way. (motherboard)
10 reasons why training image generation AI on generated images is a bad idea
“Contaminated” images just confuse them. (new scientist $)
+ Facial recognition software used by the U.S. government reportedly did not work. (motherboard)
+ The dark secret behind those adorable AI-generated animal images. (MIT Technology Review)
“It feels like they used to care more.”
— Amazon Prime member Ken Higgins lost faith in the company after a series of frustrating delivery experiences, tells wall street journal.
What if you could diagnose disease with a tampon?
On a small street in Oakland, California, Ridhi Tariyal and Stephen Gire are trying to change the way women monitor their health.
Their plan is to use blood from used tampons as a diagnostic tool. They hope to find early markers of endometriosis, and eventually a variety of other conditions, in that menstrual blood. The simplicity and ease of use of this approach, if it works, would represent a huge improvement over today’s standard of care. read more.
— Dana Evans
we can still have nice things
+ Happy Thanksgiving —in your nightmare!
+ why Keith HaringThirty-two years after his death, his legacy is more compelling than ever.
+ Not even the gentrified world of dinosaur skeleton assembly immune to scandal.
+ pumpkin is a Thanksgiving staple — but not always.
+ If I lived in a frozen wasteland, I’m pretty sure I’d be world’s grumpiest cat also.