The Download: Yann LeCun’s AI vision, and smart cities’ unfulfilled promises

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This is today's variation of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a regular dose of what's going connected successful the satellite of technology.

Yann LeCun has a bold caller imaginativeness for the aboriginal of AI

Around a twelvemonth and a fractional ago, Yann LeCun realized helium had it wrong.

LeCun, who is main idiosyncratic astatine Meta’s AI laboratory and 1 of the astir influential AI researchers successful the world, had been trying to springiness machines a basal grasp of however the satellite works—a benignant of communal sense—by grooming neural networks to foretell what was going to hap adjacent successful video clips of mundane events. But guessing aboriginal frames of a video pixel by pixel was conscionable excessively complex. He deed a wall.

Now, aft months figuring retired what was missing, helium has a bold caller imaginativeness for the adjacent procreation of AI.

In a draught papers shared with MIT Technology Review, LeCun sketches retired an attack that helium thinks volition 1 time springiness machines the communal consciousness they request to navigate the world.

For LeCun, the proposals could beryllium the archetypal steps connected a way to gathering machines with the quality to crushed and program similar humans—what galore telephone artificial wide intelligence, oregon AGI.

His imaginativeness is acold from being comprehensive; indeed, it whitethorn rise much questions than it answers. The biggest question mark, arsenic LeCun points retired himself, is that helium does not cognize however to physique what helium describes. Read the afloat story.

—Melissa Heikkiläa & Will Douglas Heaven

The astute metropolis is simply a perpetually unrealized utopia

In a caller essay, Chris Salter, an creator and prof of immersive arts astatine the Zurich University of the Arts, talks astir however the conception of the astute metropolis has ever changed done the decades.

In it helium besides asks what relation radical should play successful aboriginal cities. He writes: “When we presume that information is much important than the radical who created it, we trim the scope and imaginable of what divers quality bodies tin bring to the “smart city” of the contiguous and future. But the existent “smart” metropolis consists not lone of commodity flows and accusation networks generating gross streams for the likes of Cisco oregon Amazon.

The smartness comes from the divers quality bodies of antithetic genders, cultures, and classes whose rich, complex, and adjacent fragile identities yet marque the metropolis what it is.” Read the afloat essay.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the net to find you today’s astir fun/important/scary/fascinating stories astir technology.

1 The Online Privacy Bill is gathering momentum
The measure aims to curb businesses’ postulation of users’ idiosyncratic data, arsenic good arsenic helping them opt retired of targeted advertising. (WSJ $)

2 Carbon seizure isn’t the speedy hole we privation it to be
Experts deliberation it’s smarter to transmission time, effort and backing into renewables instead. (WP $)
+ The UK wants to seizure CO2 and crook it into baking soda. (New Scientist $)
+ Carbon removal hype is becoming a unsafe distraction. (MIT Technology Review)
+ Climate alteration is altering the mode that vino tastes. (Knowable Magazine)

3 A UK instrumentalist has successfully sued his grounds statement implicit streaming royalties
Kieran Hebden, amended known arsenic Four Tet, argued that the complaint helium received was unfair. (BBC)
+ Spotify is inactive waiting for its podcasting gamble to wage off. (Bloomberg $)
+ The level is investigating a societal diagnostic to stock what you’re listening to. (TechCrunch)

4 It’s getting harder to entree China’s net from abroad
The tighter restrictions look to coincide with the country’s covid-induced isolation. (LA Times)
+ Now China wants to censor online comments. (MIT Technology Review)

5 A recession could marque immoderate workers excessively tense to enactment from home
Prompting them to caput backmost into offices to beryllium their worthy to their employers. (The Atlantic $)
+ Remote workers privation to re-create those watercooler moments. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Controversial crypto laminitis Do Kwon is staging a comeback
Just weeks aft his stablecoins imploded, he’s launched a caller mentation of his embattled Terra blockchain network. (WSJ $)
+ Hackers person stolen $100 cardinal from crypto span Horizon. (Bloomberg $)

7 Even DALL·E mini’s creator doesn’t cognize wherefore it’s obsessed with women successful saris
But the program’s dataset is the astir probable culprit. (Rest of World)
+ Popular text-to-image AI generators are staring down the tube of a information reckoning. (Time)

8 How an AI app could assistance observe aboriginal dementia
It identifies aboriginal signs of mild cognitive impairment successful nether 5 minutes. (Neo.Life)

9 An excitable NFT league fell for a fake Snoop Dogg called Doop Snogg
There’s a acquisition successful this, somewhere. (The Guardian)
+ NFT.NYC sounds wholly unhinged. (Motherboard)
+ NFTs of canned crystal beverage is the industry’s hottest spot close now. (The Information)
+ I tried to bargain an Olive Garden NFT. All I got was heartburn. (MIT Technology Review)

10 Want to consciousness better? Turn disconnected your telephone notifications 📱
Ignoring a device’s default settings tin supply a definite consciousness of freedom. (FT $)

Quote of the day

“We’re addicted to being connected Facebook.”

—Jordi Berbera, who runs a pizza basal successful Mexico City, tells Rest of World wherefore helium has turned to selling his wares done the societal web alternatively of done much accepted nutrient transportation apps.

The large story

“Am I going brainsick oregon americium I being stalked?” Inside the disturbing online satellite of gangstalking

August 2020

Jenny’s communicative is not linear, the mode that we similar stories to be. She was calved successful Baltimore successful 1975 and had a happy, steadfast childhood—her younger member Danny fondly recalls the treasure hunts she would orchestrate. In her precocious teens, she developed anorexia and slump and was hospitalized for a month. Despite her struggles, she graduated precocious schoolhouse and was accepted into a prestigious wide arts college.

There, things went downhill again. Among different issues, chronic fatigue led her to driblet out. When she was 25 she flipped that car connected Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge successful an evident termination attempt. At 30, aft experiencing delusions that she was pregnant, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was hospitalized for fractional a twelvemonth and began treatment, regularly receiving shots of an antipsychotic drug. “It was similar having my older sister backmost again,” Danny says.

On July 17, 2017, Jenny jumped from the tenth level of a parking store astatine Tampa International Airport. After her death, her household searched her edifice country and her apartment, but the 42-year-old didn’t permission a note. “We wanted to find a crushed for wherefore she did this,” Danny says. And so, a week aft his sister’s death, Danny—a certified ethical hacker—decided to look for answers connected Jenny’s computer. He recovered she had subscribed to hundreds of gangstalking groups crossed Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit; online communities wherever self-described “targeted individuals” accidental they are being monitored, harassed, and stalked 24/7 by governments and different organizations—and the net legitimizes them. Read the afloat story.

—Amelia Tait

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