M.E.D. 7.7.18 Weekend Edition
Hyperallergic Required Reading [Hperallergic]
This week, Ernesto Neto’s new crocheted tree, reviewing Picasso in 1932, considering the park around Eero Saarinen’s famous arch, the reality of open office plans, Hannah Arendt on refugees, social media happiness, and more.
Creative Ways to Dodge a Chinese Internet Crackdown [Magpie Newsletter]
Circumvention Tactics Co-Evolve Alongside Censorship Tools
The goal of a crackdown is to disperse the digital crowds gathering around a topic, and to make it difficult for that conversation to attract more attention. Tactically, this means takedowns of core posts that the conversations are rooted around, filtering keywords, hashtags, and specific pieces of media from being posted or searched at a technical level, and suspending, banning, or even “drinking tea” (a threatening visit from a government official) with highly visible users. As the objective is to prevent large-scale social mobilization, the system is most frequently deployed against news and conversations that are likely to incite mass outrage, especially against government officials, regulations, or anchor institutions.
ICYMI Marc Andreessen is back on Twitter and Twitter is better for it. Sharing his reading list. Tune in and read.
The rise of ‘pseudo-AI’: how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots’ work [Guardian]
In 2017, the business expense management app Expensify admitted that it had been using humans to transcribe at least some of the receipts it claimed to process using its “smartscan technology”. Scans of the receipts were being posted to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourced labour tool, where low-paid workers were reading and transcribing them.
Jaron Lanier on fighting Big Tech’s ‘manipulation engine’ Lunch with the [FT]
He calls the likes of Google and Facebook ‘behaviour manipulation empires’, and fears the weaponised form of advertising that polarises us, turning us into ‘assholes’
An AI system for editing music in videos [MIT]
Given a video of a musical performance, CSAIL’s deep-learning system can make individual instruments louder or softer
Psychologist Michal Kosinski says artificial intelligence can detect your sexuality and politics just by looking at your face. [The Guardian]
he claims to be warning us about, talking excitedly about cameras that could detect people who are “lost, anxious, trafficked or potentially dangerous. You could imagine having those diagnostic tools monitoring public spaces for potential threats to themselves or to others,” he tells me. “There are different privacy issues with each of those approaches, but it can literally save lives.”
Robots roam Pechanga Resort Casino to enhance security [LA Times]
The robots, built by Mountain View, Calif.-based Knightscope and already used in malls and sporting arenas, can send live images of what they see to a security command post, where security experts can either direct the mobile robot to move closer to a suspicious person or object or simply zoom in with their high-definition cameras.
Highly esteemed: An end-to-end walk along Manhattan’s High Line [WaPo]
High-Skilled White-Collar Work? Machines Can Do That, Too [NYT]
Myntra, the Indian online retailer, arms its buyers with algorithms that calculate the probability that an item will sell well based on how clothes with similar attributes — sleeves, colors, fabric — have sold in the past. (The buyers are free to ignore the projection.)
All of this has clouded the future of buyers and merchandise planners, high-status workers whose annual earnings can exceed $100,000.
(more and more the definition of what a ‘task’ is will be fluid -ed)
Univision Considers Selling Fusion Media Group: Report [WSJ/MSN]
This means sites like Gizmodo and Deadspin, Lifehacker, the Root and a stake in the Onion’s parent company. -ed
Joseph Beuys’s Only Public Artwork in New York Temporarily Unearthed [hyperallergic]
Beuys initiated 7000 Oaks in Kassel, Germany, in 1982 as part of documenta VII. The planting of 7,000 trees (of all kinds) accompanied by basalt stones in and around Kassel was accomplished in part through significant financial and logistical support from the Dia Art Foundation, whose co-founder, Heiner Friedrich was close to the artist. The project was completed in 1987, a year after Beuys’s death. The trees and stones in Chelsea — one of several international extensions of the original project — were planted by Dia in 1988 and expanded further
Heatwave unveils ancient settlements in Wales [BBC]
Ancient hillforts and Roman settlements have been revealed by the heatwave.
The dry spell has left parched fields with unmistakable “crop marks” painted into the landscape.
Thai cave updates
Current societal paradox: Defending tolerance .Requires to not tolerate the intolerant.
Reading/Thread – Smart Cities
The Police Smart City is spreading like wildfire [laquadrature.net]
As a project aimed at exploiting potentially identifiable and sensitive data on a large scale (crime, health, social situation, location, opinion, etc.), using an innovative technological tool focused on a mechanism combination of information from different sources and collected for different purposes, also incorporating monitoring, evaluation and prediction activities, I drew particular attention to its obligation to carry out an analysis of the impact of the proposed treatment on the privacy and freedoms of the persons concerned.