on curation, machine learning and algorithms of repression

We’ve chosen the best of the art in Venice, now here’s the worst  [theartnewspaper] All presented with no irony at all. Sgarbi has pulled off a rare achievement here: he has trawled through hundreds of works and assembled a vast selection of paintings and sculptures (there are more artists in his show than in Ralph Rugoff’s) without including a single one of any merit, not even by mistake.

Jane England, the curious curator [FT] “Some only have a moment in time when they are significant,” she explains, “and others have since been acknowledged by museums as important. It’s quite exciting to find someone who is in their sixties or seventies and has never had any gallery representation. Someone like Tina Keane, whose works we sold to the Tate. A lot of these people have been hiding in plain sight.

Media

Maria Ressa, Zeynep Tufekci, and others on the growing disinformation war [cjr] Excellent notes from yesterdays conference. Poynter’s Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership and Columbia’s Craig Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security.

AI/ML

ChinAI #49: Rebuttal to FT Articles on Western-Chinese AI collaborations As Miles Brundage, a research scientist on OpenAI’s policy team, who has probably read more AI articles on arxiv than anyone, wrote on Twitter, “The recent FT story on China/AI and the reaction to it tells us more about the state of AI journalism than it does about China/AI: – overhyping the significance of specific papers… Panicked coverage of cherrypicked (public) papers that say things one could have already known about from other public sources, all packaged together into a scary narrative that makes this random batch of papers sound like the most important thing ever.”

Two excellent AI news letters.
ChinAI Newsletter
ImportAI newsletter 

Artists + Machine Intelligence Grants [google] Artists + Machine Intelligence (AMI) grants will support six artists with technical mentorship, core Google research, and funding. Artists will have the opportunity to work with Google creative technologists to develop and produce artworks over the course of a five-month period. Mentorship may cover technical processes like data collection and analysis, to pipeline design, and model deployment, and includes access to core Google U/X and technical research in generative and decentralized machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Artificial Intelligence as a Godlike Tool for Experimentation [hyperallergic] The artificial intelligence-powered art exhibition Forging the Gods, curated by Julia Kaganskiy currently on view at Transfer Gallery attempts to portray the interaction between humans and machines in a more nuanced manner, showcasing how this relationship already permeates our everyday lives. The exhibition also shows how this relation is, indeed, fully reflective of the human experience — meaning that machines are no more or less evil than we actually are.

Holly Herndon: Proto — AI technology meets medieval acoustics [ft] Judging by its name, Spawn is itching to be unleashed on thrash metal. But the AI program knuckles down on Proto and adapts itself obediently to the interesting imaginative contours of Herndon’s soundworld, previously explored on 2015’s widely praised album Platform.

Introducing TensorFlow Graphics: Computer Graphics Meets Deep Learning [medium From spatial transformers to differentiable graphics renderers, these new layers leverage the knowledge acquired over years of computer vision and graphics research to build new and more efficient network architectures. Explicitly modeling geometric priors and constraints into neural networks opens up the door to architectures that can be trained robustly, efficiently, and more importantly, in a self-supervised fashion.

Privacy notes:

The constant link blogging the dystopian change log is tiring many others are paying attention to areas I need not to anymore. I will try to focus on the higher level implications, legislation and non-mainstream media covered issues, and significant reporting on privacy, also want focus more on “privacy wins” vs loss of privacy.

For example NYC tenants rose up against the surveillance economics around entering their home and won.

“This is a huge victory for these tenants and tenants throughout New York City. These types of systems, which landlords have used to surveil, track and intimidate tenants, have been used frequently in New York City,”

Google’s Privacy Moves Are a Big Deal – Nice break down – but this sentence will be a dominate trend – “So giving more privacy controls to keep people on the platforms makes sense” Any company that want’s to protect their users privacy will need to to this end-to-end. Apple and others are moving to a more walled garden offering in services – Apple News for example – maybe the perfect analog – why leave the safety of your iOS app get your news where its safe and curated for that matter.

China’s Algorithms of Repression – Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App [hrw] As detailed below, the IJOP system and some of the region’s checkpoints work together to form a series of invisible or virtual fences. Authorities describe them as a series of “filters” or “sieves” throughout the region, sifting out undesirable elements. Depending on the level of threat authorities perceive—determined by factors programmed into the IJOP system—, individuals’ freedom of movement is restricted to different degrees. Some are held captive in Xinjiang’s prisons and political education camps; others are subjected to house arrest, not allowed to leave their registered locales, not allowed to enter public places, or not allowed to leave China.  

Arts – Photo Focus