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February 26th, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Kickstarter employees vote to unionize

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It’s the latest bid by tech workers to gain more clout.

More tech company workers are unionizing in an attempt to improve their bargaining power. A group of 85 Kickstarter employees have voted to unionize, aligning themselves with a branch of the Office and Professional Employees International Union in New York. The staffers will use their collective bargaining power to push for equal pay, more inclusive hiring, greater transparency from management and more of a say in decisions.

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February 26th, 2020 at 12:22 pm

The future of work looks like staying out of the office

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Dozens of studies find remote workers happy and productive. Why not let them be?

It’s 2020: we finally live in the future! Or at least a future—one where broadband Internet connections and portable, reasonably high-powered computing tools are pervasive and widely accessible, even if they aren’t yet universal. Millions of workers, including all of us here at Ars, use those tools to do traditional “office jobs” from nontraditional home offices.

Tens of millions of jobs at all points of the income and skill spectrum are of course not suited to remote work. Doctors, dentists, and countless other healthcare workers of the world will always need to be hands-on with patients, just as teachers need to be in schools, construction workers need to be on building sites, scientists need to be in labs, wait staff need to be in restaurants, judges need to be in court, and hospitality employees need to be in hotels. All of that said, though, many more of the hundreds of different kinds of jobs Americans do can be done off-site than currently are.

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February 26th, 2020 at 12:15 pm

EU introduces AI strategy to build ‘ecosystem of trust’

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Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission

The European Commission today unveiled a sweeping set of proposals that it hopes will establish the region as a leader in artificial intelligence by focusing on trust and transparency.

The proposals would lead to changes in the way data is collected and shared in an effort to level the playing field between European companies and competitors from the U.S. and China. The EC wants to prevent potential abuses while also building confidence among citizens in order to reap the benefits promised by the technology.

In a series of announcements, EC leaders expressed optimism that AI could help tackle challenges such as climate change, mobility, and health care, along with a determination to keep private tech companies from influencing regulation and dominating the data needed to develop these algorithms.

“We want citizens to trust the new technology,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. “Technology is always neutral. It depends on what we make with it. And therefore we want the application of these new technologies to deserve the trust of our citizens. This is why we are promoting a responsible human-centric approach to artificial intelligence.”

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February 25th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Hackers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign and successfully tricked 2 Teslas into accelerating to 85 mph

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McAfee researchers were able to trick a Tesla’s autonomous systems.

Researchers at McAfee were able to trick two Teslas into autonomously speeding up by 50 mph.

The researchers stuck a 2-inch strip of tape on a 35-mph speed sign, and the car’s system misread it as 85 mph and adjusted its speed accordingly.

The safety of Tesla’s autopilot features has come under close scrutiny, but CEO Elon Musk has predicted the company will have “feature-complete full self-driving” this year.

It turns out all it takes to fool a Tesla’s camera system is a little tape.

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February 25th, 2020 at 1:46 pm

Scientists have figured out how to grow breast milk in a lab

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What if the formula you bought at the store was just bottled breast milk?

First came the prototypes of lab-grown burgers and lab-grown Wagyu beef (or, as the industry calls it, “cultured” meat.) Then came ice cream made with lab-grown dairy proteins. Now, a handful of startups are working on lab-grown breast milk.

Last week, a five-month-old startup called Biomilq announced that it had succeeded in growing two key components found in human milk—lactose and casein—from mammary cells in a bioreactor. They’re looking for a solution to a widespread problem: Breastfeeding is linked to healthy development in children, but the majority of mothers aren’t able to breastfeed for some, if not all, of the recommended six months. Formula, made with nonhuman proteins that can be harder for babies to digest, is an imperfect alternative.

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February 25th, 2020 at 1:43 pm

A jetpack company just reached a major milestone in our quest to fly like Iron Man

Watch this man fly in a jet-powered suit

 (CNN)We may be closer to seeing a real-life Iron Man suit than you think.

The team at Jetman Dubai built a jet-powered wingsuit and say they just reached a major milestone with it — a pilot took off from the ground and then transitioned into a high-altitude flight.

The achievement occurred last Friday, when Jetman pilot Vince Reffett took off from a standing start on the runway at Skydive Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and then flew up to nearly 6,000 feet in altitude. He demonstrated the ability to hover, stop, turn and maneuver.

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February 25th, 2020 at 1:36 pm

AI-formulated medicine to be tested on humans for the first time

Prescription Medication

It took less than a year to develop the drug, which is designed to treat OCD.

A drug designed entirely by artificial intelligence is about to enter clinical human trials for the first time. The drug, which is intended to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, was discovered using AI systems from Oxford-based biotech company Exscientia. While it would usually take around four and a half years to get a drug to this stage of development, Exscientia says that by using the AI tools it’s taken less than 12 months.

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February 24th, 2020 at 1:14 pm

What would your ‘future self’ want to do?

 

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Prepare Yourself, It’s Unlikely To Be Comfortable

An internationally acclaimed keynote speaker & bestselling author, grab a copy of Margie Warrell’s fifth book ‘You’ve Got This! The Life-Changing Power of Trusting Yourself’ (Wiley Publishing)

I attend a lot of conferences and regularly sit on panels. One of the more popular questions I’ve seen asked, and been asked, is “What advice would you give your younger self?”

It’s not a bad question. However, it has limited utility. After all, we can’t wind the clock back and change the decisions we’ve made, the actions we’ve taken, or (often more relevant) those we’ve failed to take. It’s why I believe a more useful question is to consider what advice our “future self”—us in the final chapter of life, with all those years of accumulated wisdom—would want to whisper in our ear if it had the chance.

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February 24th, 2020 at 1:08 pm

The Human and machine workforce leading digital transformation

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When it comes to digital transformation, humans—believe it or not—play an integral role. In fact, companies that make strong use of the combined human/machine workforce have a far greater chance of success in digital transformation. Accenture calls these combined people/bot workspaces “future systems”—systems that seamlessly integrate humans and robots to create business goals that are limitless, agile, and “radically human.” I consider the companies that harness the power of humans and machines will be the ultimate winners of the future of work.

The good news: these systems are already happening. The bad news: only 8% of those surveyed by Accenture seem to be using them right now, despite the fact that revenue growth in future system companies is 50% higher than those in average or laggard adoptees.

If your company has not already implemented some type of combined human/machine workforce, it will be hard—in fact, nearly impossible—to catch up. That’s because the power of AI and machine learning amplifies the skills, insights, and capabilities of leading users to the nth degree.

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February 24th, 2020 at 1:04 pm

The visual trends that will define 2020

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The creative industries help to define the look of an era. As much as architecture and literature have an enormous impact, the style and flavour of a decade is primarily decided by the creatives. While that’s a privilege, it is also a responsibility that means creatives must be the ones to constantly push themselves to try new things. After all, nothing’s worse than stagnation.

That’s especially true in the media and marketing world. Too often brands find themselves playing catch-up with the trends being created for younger audiences, instead of working with them collaboratively. That risks alienating savvy millennial and Generation Z consumers, who recognise when they’re being sold to.

In order for marketers and creatives to stay abreast of visual trends,The Drum, in conversation with Adobe Stock and Dentsu in their latest webinar, will draw from Adobe’s 2020 Creative Trends report and explore some of the most important visual trends and sub trends for the year.

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February 23rd, 2020 at 12:29 pm

These ‘smart clothes’ conduct Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to link all your gadgets at once, and can boost your battery life by 1,000 times

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The clothes can be washed, dried and ironed as with regular garments.

In recent years, wearable devices like smartwatches have become increasingly popular among those who want to keep track of their personal health and fitness.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore invented clothing that conducts Bluetooth and WiFi to connect all your different gadgets, turning the wearer into a pseudo-human circuit board.

The conductive material on the clothing is made from stainless steel in comb-shaped strips attached to the outer surface of the clothing, and can still be washed like any normal clothing.

The team is eventually looking to commercialize the meta-material, particularly in the athletics and healthcare industries where body performance and health monitoring are so important.

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February 23rd, 2020 at 12:22 pm

AI can automatically rewrite outdated text in Wikipedia articles

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It’s good to be skeptical of Wikipedia articles for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the possibility of outdated info — human editors can only do so much. And while there are bots that can edit Wikipedia, they’re usually limited to updated canned templates or fighting vandalism. MIT might have a more useful (not to mention more elegant) solution. Its researchers have developed an AI system that automatically rewrites outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles while maintaining a human tone. It won’t look out of line in a carefully crafted paragraph, then.

The machine learning-based system is trained to recognize the differences between a Wikipedia article sentence and a claim sentence with updated facts. If it sees any contradictions between the two sentences, it uses a “neutrality masker” to pinpoint both the contradictory words that need deleting and the ones it absolutely has to keep. After that, an encoder-decoder framework determines how to rewrite the Wikipedia sentence using simplified representations of both that sentence and the new claim.

The system can also be used to supplement datasets meant to train fake news detectors, potentially reducing bias and improving accuracy.

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