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So, it seems scifi.fyi is down and my account there may be lost forever. Thanks Ilúvatar we are federated!

The biggest teams of researchers in AI are no longer to be found in the academy, where peer review used to be coin of the realm, but in corporations. And corporations, unlike universities, have no incentive to play fair. Rather than submitting their splashy new papers to academic scrutiny, they have taken to publication by press release, seducing journalists and sidestepping the peer review process. We know only what the companies want us to know.

In the software industry, there’s a word for this kind of strategy: demoware, software designed to look good for a demo, but not necessarily good enough for the real world. Often, demoware becomes vaporware, announced for shock and awe in order to discourage competitors, but never released at all.

The central challenge going forward is to unify the formulation of learning and reasoning. There can be no deep learning without conceptual reasoning. You can’t deal with a person carrying a stop sign if you don’t really understand what a stop sign even is.

Imagine if some extraterrestrial studied all human interaction only by looking down at shadows on the ground, noticing, to its credit, that some shadows are bigger than others, and that all shadows disappear at night, and maybe even noticing that the shadows regularly grew and shrank at certain periodic intervals—without ever looking up to see the sun or recognizing the three-dimensional world above.

It’s time for artificial intelligence researchers to look up. We can’t “solve AI” with PR alone.

scientificamerican.com/article

Quayside, in Toronto, was supposed to be the leading proof of concept for smart cities in the Western world.

Google's parent company planned to invest almost $1B in autonomous garbage collection, self-driving taxis, and an extensive data collection layer - from bench occupation, to pedestrian crossing monitoring, to public transport live usage data.

The problem is that Alphabet failed to address all the concerns of the locals about privacy and data governance - and in many cases it even actively dismissed or derided them. The local government even mentioned several episodes of arrogance shown by Alphabet's representatives. So, two years and a half after its start, the project has been officially terminated.

This is a good example of how citizens can push back on surveillance capitalism. Smart cities have plenty of potential to improve lives. Collecting more accurate live data leads to better understanding of the problems and therefore better governance. But the collected data is extremely valuable, and it shouldn't solely lay in the hands of a private corporation. Especially if that corporation dismisses valid concerns about user privacy and data gatekeeping as technophobia.

These technologies should be controlled by elected officials, because they are the ones accountable (through the democratic process) for their correct usage. Representatives that misuse the data, or sell private citizens' data to 3rd-parties, are likely to be voted out. You can't say the same about Alphabet. Nobody voted for them, nobody can vote them out if they misuse the data, they aren't accountable to anyone other than their shareholders, and therefore they are not eligible for handling something as precious as the data flows of our cities.

And there's also a disturbing lesson to be learned here: companies like Google would rather kill billion-dollar projects and not improve our cities, rather than losing control over the data, or even just starting a conversation about data usage and accountability. Their interest is not to make the world a better place: it's to maximize profit. Improving things sometimes comes as an aftermath of their profit-seeking strategies, but sometimes it doesn't.

news.slashdot.org/story/22/08/

Nigerian Fire Service presenting a public demo on extinguishing fire 🔥

Your password must contain at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one forgotten rune, and one unspeakable horror

The next tarot card is done 🙂🙃🙂. I've pre-released it on my Patreon page patreon.com/sylviaritter.
Featured card: Six of Coins. #art #illustration #tarot #fediart #mastoart

By the age of 30 you should be fluent in writing assembly for at least 3 obsolete 8-bit architectures

did you ever notice that "down-payment" and "clown-payment" differ only in kerning?

Fucking dark pattern bullshit. This box is currently **un**-checked. If you think that it is checked, and go to un-check it, you actually check it and give consent. The box turns blue and hides the fact that it is checked.

Burn in hell, creator-spring.com !

So, when Hacker News is down, which site do you use to yell about sites being down? :)

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