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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

How Google and Amazon Got So Big Without Being Regulated

Internet companies used to grow big and die—fast. But now a few of them are huge and entrenched, because regulators didn’t foresee their dominance.
Source: Wired

The Camp, Hill, and Woolsey Fires Are Climate Change at Work

Though we can point to a lack of rainfall to explain the devastation from the fires in California, they’re ultimately a product of a warming world.
Source: Wired

How machine learning systems sometimes surprise us

This simple spreadsheet of machine learning foibles may not look like much but it’s a fascinating exploration of how machines “think.” The list, compiled by researcher Victoria Krakovna, describes various situations in which robots followed the spirit and the letter of the law at the same time.

For example, in the video below a machine learning algorithm learned that it could rack up points not by taking part in a boat race but by flipping around in a circle to get points. In another simulation “where survival required energy but giving birth had no energy cost, one species evolved a sedentary lifestyle that consisted mostly of mating in order to produce new children which could be eaten (or used as mates to produce more edible children).” This led to what Krakovna called “indolent cannibals.”

It’s obvious that these machines aren’t “thinking” in any real sense but when given parameters and a the ability to evolve an answer, it’s also obvious that these robots will come up with some fun ideas. In other test, a robot learned to move a block by smacking the table with its arm and still another “genetic algorithm [was] supposed to configure a circuit into an oscillator, but instead [made] a radio to pick up signals from neighboring computers.” Another cancer-detecting system found that pictures of malignant tumors usually contained rulers and so gave plenty of false positives.

Each of these examples shows the unintended consequences of trusting machines to learn. They will learn but they will also confound us. Machine learning is just that – learning that is understandable only by machines.

One final example: in a game of Tetris in which a robot was required to “not lose” the program pauses “the game indefinitely to avoid losing.” Now it just needs to throw a tantrum and we’d have a clever three-year-old on our hands.


Source: TechCrunch

2020 BMW M340i revealed ahead of LA Auto Show debut – Roadshow

Here’s the scoop on the hotter, six-cylinder version of BMW’s new 3 Series.
Source: CNET

Facebook reportedly failed to monitor partners' handling of user data – CNET

Social network granted device makers with special access to users’ personal data but then failed to police their use, according to The New York Times.
Source: CNET

Earth has two 'hidden moons', but they aren't moons at all – CNET

That’s no moons.
Source: CNET

If Google can make cars drive themselves, it should figure out diversity, CFO says – CNET

Ruth Porat also reiterated that her company continues to work with the US military.
Source: CNET

Americans are checking their phones now more than ever, report says – CNET

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed by Deloitte are trying to cut back their screen time, but only around half of them are successful in doing so.
Source: CNET

Amazon reportedly picks New York, northern Virginia for HQ2 – CNET

Decision to be formally announced as soon as Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Source: CNET

Report: NYC and Arlington, VA win the contest for Amazon’s split East Coast headquarters

New York City and Arlington, Virginia have reportedly won Amazon’s lengthy and highly-publicized pageant for the locations of its new headquarters, beating out 238 other contestants. According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, an official announcement may come as early as Tuesday.

The offices will be located in Long Island City, across the East River from Manhattan, and Crystal City, a neighborhood in Arlington, which is a 15-20 minute drive from Washington D.C.

Last week, more than a year after the Seattle-based company began asking cities to submit proposals for its second headquarters, nicknamed HQ2, reports emerged that Amazon planned to open two new locations, instead of just one, catching candidates off guard. WSJ reported that the Amazon decided to split a total of 50,000 employees between two new offices because the company believes it can recruit better candidates that way, while also avoiding the traffic, housing, and other potential infrastructure headaches of adding tens of thousands of new employees to one area.

Nonetheless, when it became clear that New York City and Arlington, Virginia were among the top contenders, residents of both areas began to worry about Amazon’s impact on housing costs and commutes, with New Yorkers wondering if the beleaguered New York City subway can handle 25,000 potential new riders. Long Island City community groups have also called on Amazon to pay a “gentrification tax” to help keep local residents from being priced out of their neighborhood by its employees.

TechCrunch has contacted Amazon for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

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