Docphish

This is Docphish's re-post blog...
designculturemind:

When machines outsmart humans By Nick Bostrom, cnn.com
Editor’s note: Nick Bostrom is professor and director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University. He is the author of “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” (OUP). The opinions expressed in thi…
The next stop from human level intelligence, just a short distance farther along the tracks, is machine superintelligence. The train might not even decelerate at Humanville Station: It is likely instead to swoosh right past.
This brings us to what I think may well be the most important task of our time. If there will eventually be an “intelligence explosion,” how exactly can we set up the initial conditions so as to achieve an outcome that is survivable and beneficial to existing persons?

designculturemind:

When machines outsmart humans
By Nick Bostrom, cnn.com

Editor’s note: Nick Bostrom is professor and director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University. He is the author of “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies” (OUP). The opinions expressed in thi…

The next stop from human level intelligence, just a short distance farther along the tracks, is machine superintelligence. The train might not even decelerate at Humanville Station: It is likely instead to swoosh right past.

This brings us to what I think may well be the most important task of our time. If there will eventually be an “intelligence explosion,” how exactly can we set up the initial conditions so as to achieve an outcome that is survivable and beneficial to existing persons?

(Source: futuramb, via futurescope)

Announcing Code Studio!

codeorg:

I’m proud to announce the launch of Code Studio, Code.org’s new open-source learning platform designed to teach students the basics of computer science, starting as early as kindergarten.

The Code.org vision is to bring computer science to every student in every school and today marks our…

centralparknyc:


Huge thanks to nyprarchives for unearthing this amazing audio tour to Central Park from 1971. While many things have changed, many more have stayed the same. This audio guide was created by Pan Am Airlines and came with an accompanying map. If you’d like to recreate the experience with modern technology, download our mobile app for iOs or Android. Our star-studded audio tour and in-app map means you have no need for an extra map you have to struggle to fold!
And if anyone has a copy of the original map, let us know in the comments below, or send a note to the New York Public Radio archivists. We’d love to see it!

centralparknyc:

Huge thanks to nyprarchives for unearthing this amazing audio tour to Central Park from 1971. While many things have changed, many more have stayed the same. This audio guide was created by Pan Am Airlines and came with an accompanying map. If you’d like to recreate the experience with modern technology, download our mobile app for iOs or Android. Our star-studded audio tour and in-app map means you have no need for an extra map you have to struggle to fold!

And if anyone has a copy of the original map, let us know in the comments below, or send a note to the New York Public Radio archivists. We’d love to see it!

cjwho:

Floating in the Sky - Manhattan’s Secret Pools and Gardens | via

High above the sweaty streets lies Manhattan’s most hidden luxury: the rooftop pool.

In New York City, it’s always about numbers. The Department of Environmental Protection has picked some 1,700 municipal-owned properties — 500 schools, 600 comfort stations, 10 housing projects, 400 spray showers and 87 parks among them — to help the city cut back on water use. For locals nobly struggling to conserve resources, there is also this number to make them steam: $7.5 million. That’s the asking price for a four-bedroom apartment in Franklin Place, a luxury condo development in TriBeCa with a rooftop pool.

You wouldn’t know it, but they’re up there — those turquoise oases, invisible to those of us who cope each day with sour summer smells, sweltering subway platforms and scorching sidewalks. More than any other city, New York converts the graph of its income inequality into a vertical urban plan, with most people spread out at street level — conniving to linger for just one extra second before an air-conditioned storefront when its door swings open — and the lucky few in their secret aeries and tiny triangle bikinis, lolling poolside.

Once upon a time, relief from summer in the city meant a vandalized fire hydrant or a snooze on the fire escape. When I was growing up in New York, the closest thing to a rooftop pool was dropping water balloons onto friends from my second-story window, before trading places so they could drop them on me. Rooftops were deserts of sticky blacktop, the last places to which any sane New Yorker would retreat. And rooftop pools were as exotic as soccer fans. But now they’re proliferating as come-ons for condos and hotels — whose developers, truth be told, would probably prefer erecting more lucrative penthouses but must occasionally meet bothersome green requirements. Landscaped pools help turn those requirements to their advantage.

Are we jealous? The pools are utilitarian, occasionally clumsy architecture, mostly devised to maintain an aura of exclusivity. The real estate market thrives on amenity envy. And yet, envy aside, there is something deliciously voyeuristic about helicopter photographs of a suddenly unfamiliar, upturned cityscape dotted with David Hockney bathers in dappled water and lounge chairs. Those chairs come with their own numbers. The Dream Downtown, a hotel in the Meatpacking District, charges $175 a day to use the pool, Monday through Thursday. A cabana on the weekend will set you back at least $2,500.

Text: Michael Kimmelman
Photography: George Steinmetz

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You might think that the things that get people to change their behavior are things that are memorable, that they can use their analytical brain to set down a long-term trace, or even just emotional, but surprisingly what we see is the brain regions that seem to be involved in successful persuasion. We can predict who will use more sunscreen next week based on how their brain responds to an ad today. The brain regions that seem to be critical to that are brain regions involved in social thinking, in thinking about yourself and thinking about other people. So this seems to be more about our identity and the identities that we’re capable of trying on. If I can’t try on the identity that you’re suggesting to me—being a sunscreen-using person, or a nonsmoker, or something like that—the ad is much less likely to stick.

[…]

William James said long ago that we have as many identities as people that we know, and probably more than that. We are different with different people. I’m different with my son than I am with you. We have these different identities that we try on, and they surround us… I’m really interested in looking at that as a mechanism of persuasion when it comes to regular old persuasion, when it comes to education, when it comes to public health, and when it comes to international issues as well. It’s finding that latitude of acceptance and finding out how to use it successfully.

UCLA neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman, author of Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, studies "latitudes of acceptance" to understand what makes us change our minds – something we’re notoriously reluctant to do.

Also see Dan Pink on the psychology of persuasion.

Lieberman’s full Edge conversation is well worth a read.

(via explore-blog)

(via emergentfutures)

[Algorithms and heuristics] are very important in cybernetics, for in dealing with unthinkable systems it is normally impossible to give a full specification of a goal, and therefore impossible to prescribe an algorithm. But it is not usually too difficult to prescribe a class of goals, so that moving in some general description will leave you better off (by some definite criterion) than you were before. To think in terms of heuristics rather than algorithms is at once a way of coping with proliferating variety. Instead of trying to organize it in full detail, you organize it only somewhat; you then ride on the dynamics of the system in the direction you want to go.

These two techniques for organizing control in a system of proliferating variety are really rather dissimilar. The strange thing is that we tend to live our lives by heuristics, and to try and control them by algorithms. Our general endeavor is to survive, yet we specify in detail (‘catch the 8:45 train’, ‘ask for a raise’) how to get to this unspecified and unspecifiable goal. We certainly need these algorithms, in order to live coherently; but we also need heuristics — and we are rarely conscious of them. This is because our education is planned around detailed analysis: we do not (we learn) really understand things unless we can specify their infrastructure. The point came up before in the discussion of transfer functions, and now it comes up again in connection with goals. […] Birds evolved from reptiles, it seems. Did a representative body of lizards pass a resolution to learn to fly? If so, by what means could the lizards have organized their genetic variety to grow wings? One has only to say such things to recognize them as ridiculous — but the birds are flying this evening outside my window. This is because heuristics work while we are still sucking the pencil which would like to prescribe an algorithm.

Stafford Beer, “Brain of the Firm,” 1972. 

1972, folks. “This is because heuristics work while we are still sucking the pencil which would like to prescribe an algorithm.”

(via slavin)

One for would-be CompSci students.

(via mistersaxon)

(via emergentfutures)

futurescope:

Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies

In short, understandable words: Scientists have successfully transported words from one brain to another over the internet.

Abstract:

Human sensory and motor systems provide the natural means for the exchange of information between individuals, and, hence, the basis for human civilization. The recent development of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) has provided an important element for the creation of brain-to-brain communication systems, and precise brain stimulation techniques are now available for the realization of non-invasive computer-brain interfaces (CBI). These technologies, BCI and CBI, can be combined to realize the vision of non-invasive, computer-mediated brain-to-brain (B2B) communication between subjects (hyperinteraction). Here we demonstrate the conscious transmission of information between human brains through the intact scalp and without intervention of motor or peripheral sensory systems. Pseudo-random binary streams encoding words were transmitted between the minds of emitter and receiver subjects separated by great distances, representing the realization of the first human brain-to-brain interface. In a series of experiments, we established internet-mediated B2B communication by combining a BCI based on voluntary motor imagery-controlled electroencephalographic (EEG) changes with a CBI inducing the conscious perception of phosphenes (light flashes) through neuronavigated, robotized transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), with special care taken to block sensory (tactile, visual or auditory) cues. Our results provide a critical proof-of-principle demonstration for the development of conscious B2B communication technologies. More fully developed, related implementations will open new research venues in cognitive, social and clinical neuroscience and the scientific study of consciousness. We envision that hyperinteraction technologies will eventually have a profound impact on the social structure of our civilization and raise important ethical issues.

[paper] [via @GF2045]

(via emergentfutures)

futurescope:

Generation IP: 2025

I’m not sure if I already had this corporate design fiction video / flat-pack future here. Therefore:

Welcome to Generation IP:2025 by Virgin Media Business — an in-depth study carried out in conjunction with The Future Laboratory - which provides an exciting glimpse into a hyper-connected Britain in just thirteen years’ time.

[Virgin 2025]

(via emergentfutures)