Summary of “Will Robots Change Human Relationships?”

In one, we directed small groups of people to work with humanoid robots to lay railroad tracks in a virtual world.
Each group consisted of three people and a little blue-and-white robot sitting around a square table, working on tablets.
Compared with the control groups, whose robot made only bland statements, the groups with a confessional robot were better able to collaborate.
In another, virtual experiment, we divided 4,000 human subjects into groups of about 20, and assigned each individual “Friends” within the group; these friendships formed a social network.
The groups were then assigned a task: Each person had to choose one of three colors, but no individual’s color could match that of his or her assigned friends within the social network.
Unknown to the subjects, some groups contained a few bots that were programmed to occasionally make mistakes.
Humans who were directly connected to these bots grew more flexible, and tended to avoid getting stuck in a solution that might work for a given individual but not for the group as a whole.
As a consequence, groups with mistake-prone bots consistently outperformed groups containing bots that did not make mistakes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Eating Toward Immortality”

They made structures to live in, wrote songs to sing to each other, and added spices to their food, which they cooked in different styles.
Even for people in extreme poverty, for whom survival is a more immediate concern, the cultural meanings of food remain critical.
Wealthy or poor, we eat to celebrate, we eat to mourn, we eat because it’s mealtime, we eat as a way to bond with others, we eat for entertainment and pleasure.
It is not a coincidence that the survival function of food is buried beneath all of this-who wants to think about staving off death each time they tuck into a bowl of cereal? Forgetting about death is the entire point of food culture.
We seek variety and novelty, and at the same time, we carry an innate fear of food.
The omnivore’s paradox was originally defined by psychological researcher Paul Rozin as the anxiety that arises from our desire to try new foods paired with our inherited fear of unknown foods that could turn out to be toxic.
If it weren’t for the small chance of death lurking behind every food choice and every dietary ideology, choosing what to eat from a crowded marketplace wouldn’t be considered a dilemma.
Everyone would be just a little bit calmer about food.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A philosopher argues that an AI can’t be an artist”

Ray Kurzweil, a futurist, predicts that by 2029 we will have produced an AI that can pass for an average educated human being.
Claims like Kurzweil’s that machines can reach human-level intelligence assume that to have a human mind is just to have a human brain that follows some set of computational algorithms-a view called computationalism.
For this reason, it seems to me, nothing but another human being can properly be understood as a genuinely creative artist.
We wouldn’t just be looking for new algorithms or procedures that simulate human activity; we would be looking for new materials that are the basis of being human.
A molecule-for-­molecule duplicate of a human being would be human in the relevant way.
Just like previous tools of the music industry-from recording devices to synthesizers to samplers and loopers-new AI tools work by stimulating and channeling the creative abilities of the human artist.
A notional AI that comes up with a clever proof to a problem that has long befuddled human mathematicians is akin to AlphaGo and its variants: impressive, but nothing like Schoenberg.
Like a microscope, telescope, or calculator, such an AI is properly understood as a tool that enables human discovery-not as an autonomous creative agent.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why We Think Cats Are Psychopaths”

A common charge against cats is that they do not care about their owners as anything more than a source of wet food.
Cats can’t seem to care less about the human there.
Cats are territorial, and they might only leave the house to go to the vet, so what looks like indifference to their owners might just be overwhelming anxiety about a new, strange environment.
Plus, the Ainsworth Strange Situation was developed by Mary Ainsworth to study parents and infants-another example of us judging cats on human rather than cat terms.
There are terrifying cats, but there are also cats who just want to snuggle all day.
She’d like to eventually study cats in their natural habitat-their house-so as not to rely on the word of their owners.
The ultimate goal of the research is to devise a test for shelters so they can better match cats with owners.
Whether it’s fair to call a cat a psychopath, we naturally do it, and it affects how well new owners and their cats will get along.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Dalai Lama on Why Leaders Should Be Mindful, Selfless, and Compassionate”

Over the past nearly 60 years, I have engaged with many leaders of governments, companies, and other organizations, and I have observed how our societies have developed and changed.
Leaders, whatever field they work in, have a strong impact on people’s lives and on how the world develops.
What might a better world look like? I believe the answer is straightforward: A better world is one where people are happier.
Why? Because all human beings want to be happy, and no one wants to suffer.
What’s more, as human beings, we are physically, mentally, and emotionally the same.
Human beings, on the other hand, have constitutions, complex legal systems, and police forces; we have remarkable intelligence and a great capacity for love and affection.
As human beings, we have a remarkable intelligence that allows us to analyze and plan for the future.
Through the application of reason, compassion can be extended to all 7 billion human beings.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Machine Stops”

Everything is public now, potentially: one’s thoughts, one’s photos, one’s movements, one’s purchases.
Every minute, every second, has to be spent with one’s device clutched in one’s hand.
They have given up, to a great extent, the amenities and achievements of civilization: solitude and leisure, the sanction to be oneself, truly absorbed, whether in contemplating a work of art, a scientific theory, a sunset, or the face of one’s beloved.
Much of this, remarkably, was envisaged by E. M. Forster in his 1909 story “The Machine Stops,” in which he imagined a future where people live underground in isolated cells, never seeing one another and communicating only by audio and visual devices.
As one’s death draws near, one may take comfort in the feeling that life will go on-if not for oneself then for one’s children, or for what one has created.
It may not be enough to create, to contribute, to have influenced others if one feels, as I do now, that the very culture in which one was nourished, and to which one has given one’s best in return, is itself threatened.
While some see art as a bulwark of our collective memory, I see science, with its depth of thought, its palpable achievements and potentials, as equally important; and science, good science, is flourishing as never before, though it moves cautiously and slowly, its insights checked by continual self-testing and experimentation.
Between us, we can surely pull the world through its present crises and lead the way to a happier time ahead. As I face my own impending departure from the world, I have to believe in this-that mankind and our planet will survive, that life will continue, and that this will not be our final hour.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why so many Super Bowl ads were about robots.”

If there’s one thing we learned from the commercials that aired during this year’s Super Bowl, it’s that we humans are definitely not worried about robots or artificial intelligence at this juncture in history.
No fewer than six commercials that aired during Sunday’s broadcast featured either robots or A.I. voice assistants interacting with humans.
“In five years, robots will be able to do your job, your job, and your job” a man tells his friends at a ballgame.
From a marketing perspective, the robots here are just a foil for humans’ enjoyment of the products being advertised.
The ads’ humor, such as it is, relies on setting up robots as superior to us, then subverting the expectation that robots are emotionless in order to restore our place atop the hierarchy.
A sixth robot ad, from Sprint, probably doesn’t prove much except that it won’t be long before robots in commercials cross the line from novel gimmick to clich√©.
To be fair, Sprint’s ads have been featuring robots for a while now.
To what extent the robot ads really resonated beyond the boardrooms where ad agencies pitched them is not clear.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why CAPTCHAs have gotten so difficult”

A decade later, after Google had bought the program from Carnegie Mellon researchers and was using it to digitize Google Books, texts had to be increasingly warped and obscured to stay ahead of improving optical character recognition programs – programs which, in a roundabout way, all those humans solving CAPTCHAs were helping to improve.
In 2014, Google pitted one of its machine learning algorithms against humans in solving the most distorted text CAPTCHAs: the computer got the test right 99.8 percent of the time, while the humans got a mere 33 percent.
The problem with many of these tests isn’t necessarily that bots are too clever – it’s that humans suck at them The literature on CAPTCHA is littered with false starts and strange attempts at finding something other than text or image recognition that humans are universally good at and machines struggle with.
Such cultural CAPTCHAs are aimed not just at bots, but at the humans working in overseas CAPTCHA farms solving puzzles for fractions of a cent.
“It’s not only our physical capabilities, you need something that [can] cross cultural, cross language. You need some type of challenge that works with someone from Greece, someone from Chicago, someone from South Africa, Iran, and Australia at the same time. And it has to be independent from cultural intricacies and differences. You need something that’s easy for an average human, it shouldn’t be bound to a specific subgroup of people, and it should be hard for computers at the same time. That’s very limiting in what you can actually do. And it has to be something that a human can do fast, and isn’t too annoying.”
Figuring out how to fix those blurry image quizzes quickly takes you into philosophical territory: what is the universal human quality that can be demonstrated to a machine, but that no machine can mimic? What is it to be human?
“As people put more and more investment into machine learning, those sorts of challenges will have to get harder and harder for humans, and that’s particularly why we launched CAPTCHA V3, to get ahead of that curve.” Malenfant says that five to ten years from now, CAPTCHA challenges likely won’t be viable at all.
In his book The Most Human Human, Brian Christian enters a Turing Test competition as the human foil and finds that it’s actually quite difficult to prove your humanity in conversation.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The DIY designer baby project funded with Bitcoin”

For a few years now, Bishop, a 29-year-old programmer and Bitcoin investor, has been leaving a trail of comments about human “Enhancement” on the web.
According to the e-mail, sent in May, Bishop and his partner in the enterprise, Max Berry, a former biotech company lab scientist, were “Starting a company focused on the production of designer babies and human germline genetic engineering.” He noted that “Lab work has started” and “We have an initial parent-couple customer.”
Several weeks ago, a concerned individual sent me a copy of fund-raising slides outlining Bishop’s business proposal, which contains projections of billions in revenue from creating hundreds of thousands of enhanced babies.
According to Bishop’s slides, designer humans wouldn’t be created as they were in China, by injecting gene-editing molecules into an egg at the moment of fertilization.
Bishop is already well known in the cryptocurrency arena: he worked until recently at LedgerX, a Bitcoin exchange, and once added a few lines of code to the underlying software that maintains the digital currency.
Bishop told me then he was working on a designer baby project, but it was his role in Bitcoin-worth $9,072 a coin at the time-that caught my attention.
I never determined if Bishop is sitting on a Bitcoin fortune.
Bishop arranged the tour after I asked him to demonstrate whether there was scientific substance to his project.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The New Language of Climate Change”

PHOENIX-Leading climate scientists and meteorologists are banking on a new strategy for talking about climate change: take the politics out of it.
Educating the public and policy makers about climate change at a time when elected leaders are doubling down on denials it is happening at all or that humans are responsible for it demands a new lexicon, conference attendees told me-one that can effectively narrate the overwhelming scientific evidence but not get sucked into the controversy fueled most prominently by President Donald Trump.
The hope is to convince the small but powerful minority that stands in the way of new policies to help mitigate climate change’s worst long-term effects-as well as the people who vote for them-that something needs to be done or their own livelihoods and health will be at stake.
Climate Matters is tracking climate trends in 244 cities-including a steadily hotter Phoenix.
Simpson attended the conference at the Phoenix Convention Center to outline his three-year effort to educate farmers about climate change in western Tennessee and eastern Kentucky, where at some dinner tables the term remains a political curse word.
Despite the Democratic takeover of the House, and a new commitment to try to pass climate change legislation, some leading Republican skeptics are still chairing major committees with jurisdiction over climate policy.
Now, some 600 broadcast meteorologists, out of an estimated 2,200 in the United States, are working with Climate Matters, founded in 2010, to craft new ways to communicate climate change to their viewers.
Gandy, who helped found Climate Matters, recounted a recent presentation he delivered at the Rotary Club in Columbia on the dangers of climate change and the need to take sweeping actions soon to confront it.

The orginal article.