Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans

This study compares the accuracy of personality judgment—a ubiquitous and important social-cognitive activity—between computer models and humans. Using several criteria, we show that computers’ judgments of people’s personalities based on their digital footprints are more accurate and valid than judgments made by their close others or acquaintances (friends, family, spouse, colleagues, etc.). Our findings highlight that people’s personalities can be predicted automatically and without involving human social-cognitive skills.

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Beyond a Jobless Recovery

This article explores the issue of a “Jobless Recovery” mainly from a heterodox economic perspective. It emphasizes the implications of ideas by Marshall Brain and others that improvements in robotics, automation, design, and voluntary social networks are fundamentally changing the structure of the economic landscape. It outlines towards the end four major alternatives to mainstream economic practice (a basic income, a gift economy, stronger local subsistence economies, and resource-based planning).

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The World Is Not Falling Apart

Too much of our impression of the world comes from a misleading formula of journalistic narration. An evidence-based mindset on the state of the world would bring many benefits. The world is not falling apart. The kinds of violence to which most people are vulnerable—homicide, rape, battering, child abuse—have been in steady decline in most of the world. Autocracy is giving way to democracy. Wars between states—by far the most destructive of all conflicts—are all but obsolete.

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Deep Neural Networks Are Easily Fooled

It is easy to produce images that are completely unrecognizable to humans, but that state-of-the-art DNNs believe to be recognizable objects with 99.99% confidence (e.g. labeling with certainty that white noise static is a lion)

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How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition

Once composed solely of mechanical and electrical parts, products have become complex systems that combine hardware, sensors, data storage, microprocessors, software, and connectivity in myriad ways. These “smart, connected products”—made possible by vast improvements in processing power and device miniaturization and by the network benefits of ubiquitous wireless connectivity—have unleashed a new era of competition.

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Jonathan Haidt on the Moral Mind

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we’re left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most and the goal of moral humility to step outside our own values.

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Synthetic Biology New Letters for Lifes Alphabet

The five bases found in nucleic acids define the ‘alphabet’ used to encode life on Earth. The construction of an organism that stably propagates an unnatural DNA base pair redefines this fundamental feature of life.

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Live for ever: Scientists say they’ll soon extend life ‘well beyond 120’

Fixing the ‘problem’ of ageing is the mission of Silicon Valley, where billions is pouring into biotech firms working to ‘hack the code’ of life – despite concerns about the social implications.

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Neural Turing Machines

We extend the capabilities of neural networks by coupling them to external memory resources, which they can interact with by attentional processes. The combined system is analogous to a Turing Machine or Von Neumann architecture but is differentiable end-to-end, allowing it to be efficiently trained with gradient descent. Preliminary results demonstrate that Neural Turing Machines can infer simple algorithms such as copying, sorting, and associative recall from input and output examples.

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Ground Robot

Ground Drone is a highly mobile robotic platform capable of stair-climbing abailable at a lower cost for hobbyists.

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Humans Need Not Apply

15 minute video by C. G. P. Grey that gives a great overview of the issues and current state of robotic/software replacements for human labour.

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Manna

A 2003 science fiction essay that explores several issues in modern information technology and user interfaces, including some around transhumanism.

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