ai
How an 18th Century Explorer Can Help Us Understand the Algorithms Taking Over Our World

We are in the midst of a Cambrian explosion of algorithms. Roughly 540 million years ago, the fossil record tells us that the planet experienced a dramatic diversification of animal life, producing the ancestors of most of the complex organisms that we’re familiar with today. The acceleration of innovation in algorithms and artificial intelligence similarly presents us with a stunning array of technologies and applications and with a puzzling, transformational dynamic. Read More >>

facebook
Automated Facebook Anti-Spam System Goes Wild, Blocks Links Including Covid-19 Info

Facebook’s automated moderation tools went wild and targeted tons of posts about the coronavirus pandemic and other topics on Tuesday evening, blocking users from sharing articles from legitimate news sources. Read More >>

google
Google’s Autoflip Can Intelligently Crop Videos on the Fly to Fit Any Aspect Ratio

Google has released an open-source tool, Autoflip, that could make bad cropping a thing of the past by intelligently reframing video to correctly fit alternate aspect ratios. Read More >>

google
Google Sure Screws Around With Search Results a Lot, Investigation Finds

Google’s search algorithm is a powerful thing – the tiniest tweaks can tank businesses, subtly influence your purchasing decisions, and shape what information you see. Google has long stated that it “do[es] not use human curation to collect or arrange the results on a page,” but a Wall Street Journal investigation has found that the company does interfere with search results more than it cares to admit. Read More >>

science
How a ‘Neutral’ Health Algorithm Ended Up Hurting Black Patients

A health care algorithm used in hospitals across the U.S. has been discriminating against black patients, according to new research. The study found that the algorithm consistently prioritised less-sick white patients and screened out black patients from a programme meant to help people who need more intensive care. Read More >>

quantum mechanics
You Won’t See Quantum Internet Coming

The quantum internet is coming sooner than you think – even sooner than quantum computing itself. When things change over, you might not even notice. But when they do, new rules will protect your data against attacks from computers that don’t even exist yet. Read More >>

netflix
One Showrunner Actually Figured Out How to Hack Netflix’s Algorithm

When you log into Netflix one of the first things you see is a list of recommended shows. Sometimes its new episodes of shows you’ve liked and rated well. Often, it’s a whole myriad of shows you’ve never heard of or are only tangentially aware of. And if you’re like me one of those shows that Netflix repeatedly suggests you watch is Anders Tangen’s Norsemen, a silly little sitcom revolving around ancient Vikings with seemingly modern problems. There’s a reason Netflix suggests Norsemen even when there’s a new season of Derry Girls or She-Ra you’d like to be watching. Tangen figured out how to take advantage of Netflix’s recommendation algorithm. Read More >>

facebook
Google and Facebook May Have to Cough Up Their Algorithms if Australian Proposal Lands

Facebook and Google could be forced to give up the deets about their secret sauce algorithms thanks to an Australian proposal for increased regulation of the tech giants. If implemented, these measures could set a precedent for how global lawmakers curtail these companies’ influence amid increasing privacy and antitrust scandals. Read More >>

google
Google’s Tweaking Search Results So You Won’t Get Bombarded With The Same Site

Ever google something and the results are all from the same site? Google’s aiming to fix that with a Search update that will give users more site diversity. Read More >>

facebook
The Annoying Posts in Your Facebook News Feed Will Soon Come With an Explanation Box

One of the enduring criticisms of Facebook is that the News Feed is a black box. Starting this week, however, the box will suddenly take on a shade of dark gray. Read More >>

crime
New York Police Now Have an Automated Tool to Help Them Recognise Patterns in Crimes

The New York City Police Department has developed a pattern-recognition tool called Patternizr to sort through mountains of files related to “hundreds of thousands of crimes logged in the NYPD’s database,” the Associated Press reported on Sunday. Read More >>

quantum computers
Blockchain Is Especially at Risk for Quantum Attacks, Scientists Warn

Blockchain is meant to be secure – but a new paper from quantum computing scientists warns that quickly advancing quantum technology poses a vulnerability for the much-hyped blockchain. Read More >>

quantum computing
There’s Now a Proven Way for Quantum Computers to Beat Classical Computers – With a Catch

Entrepreneurs and physicists are pursuing a new kind of computer—one based on the physics of the subatomic particles—that promises to revolutionise various fields. Presumably, such a quantum computer should offer some advantage over the classical computers we already use, right? The trouble is, it’s unclear what tasks quantum computers can definitively perform better than regular computers. Read More >>

wtf
This Online AI Tool Takes Your Words And Turns Them Into Nightmares

We’ve seen lots of machine learning systems create strange new phrases and dreamlike images after being trained on large amounts of data. But a new website lets you do the generating, and the results are just as bizarre as you’d expect: Read More >>

ai
How Algorithmic Experiments Harm People Living in Poverty

Virginia Eubanks made the same mistake most would. In her job working with low-income women struggling to afford housing, she assumed they also struggled with access to vital technology, like the internet. But this technology isn’t just accessible, it’s permeates access to basic resources people in poverty need to survive, and it’s often rigged against them. Her new book, Automating Inequality: How High Tech Tools, Profile, Police and Punish the Poor is about how technology has come to define people touched by poverty. Read More >>