Driverless car tech and the danger of a wandering mind

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Awesome, not awesome.

#Awesome
“Scientists need to develop materials that store, harvest, and use energy more efficiently, but the process of discovering new materials is typically slow and imprecise. Machine learning can accelerate things by finding, designing, and evaluating new chemical structures with the desired properties. This could, for example, help create solar fuels, which can store energy from sunlight, or identify more efficient carbon dioxide absorbents or structural materials that take a lot less carbon to create. The latter materials could one day replace steel and cement — the production of which accounts for nearly 10% of all global greenhouse-gas emissions.” — Karen Hao, AI Reporter Learn More from MIT Technology Review >

#Not Awesome
“Experts in machine learning and military technology say it would be technologically straightforward to build robots that make decisions about whom to target and kill without a “human in the loop” — that is, with no person involved at any point between identifying a target and killing them. And as facial recognition and decision-making algorithms become more powerful, it will only get easier.” — Kelsey Piper, Writer Learn More from Vox >

What we’re reading.

1/ New driverless car technology may make driving more dangerous initially — it can allow a driver to be absent minded for long periods then suddenly requires extreme focus. Learn More from The New York Times >

2/ The “Amazon Choice” badge you’ve seen next to many products is an algorithmic recommendation based on customer reviews, price, and whether the product is in stock — and is regularly manipulated by people who want their product to stand out. Learn More from BuzzFeed News >

3/ To design more effective AI systems, creators must look beyond the intended user of the product and answer this question: “how can our AI system behave in such a way that everyone who might come into contact with our product is enchanted and wants to know more?” Learn More from TechCrunch >

4/ Walmart has rolled out computer vision technology in 1000 stores to detect theft and notify workers when they should intervene. Learn More from The Verge >

5/ No matter how accurate a machine learnings’s findings may be, the CIA is unwilling to take actions based off a model with an opaque decision making process. Learn More from Defense One >

6/ As AI finds its way into more parts of the government and every business, don’t be surprised if “privacy compromises could become normalized swiftly.” Learn More from WIRED >

7/ A team of Cornell researchers use machine learning to develop an understanding of how electrons interact, possibly ushering in a new era of discovery in the field of experimental quantum physics. Learn More from Phys.Org >

Links from the community.

“Machine learning revolution is still some way off” submitted by Samiur Rahman (@samiur1204). Learn More from The Financial Times >

“Machine learning revolution is still some way off” submitted by Clément Delangue (@clementdelangue). Learn More from Hugging Face >

“Stephen Schwarzman gives $188 million to Oxford to research AI ethics” submitted by Avi Eisenberger (@aeisenberger). Learn More from CNN >

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Driverless car tech and the danger of a wandering mind