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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

La tecnología en Kenia: un arma de doble filo entre odio y digitalización

La Comisión de Revisión Independiente consideró en 2008 que la tecnología sería una herramienta para que Kenia cerrase la brecha entre la clase política y el resto de la sociedad. Sin embargo, diez años después, la realidad es que la digitalización del país ha fomentado los discursos del odio a través de, entre otros, las redes sociales
Source: MIT

La matemática que rompe barreras con el positivismo sexual en el MIT

Los Pleaducators son un grupo de estudiantes comprometidos a cambiar la cultura en el MIT reduciendo la conducta sexual inapropiada y fomentando las relaciones saludables. Yuliya Klochan forma parte de esta comunidad que le ha permitido abandonar su zona de confort a través del empoderamiento femenino
Source: MIT

Graphika visualizes Twitter’s filter bubbles in the US

It’s no surprise that political discourse in America is divided — especially online. And last week in MIT Technology Review, data visualization company Graphika brought those divides to life with 3D, colored depictions of the kind of filter bubbles found on Twitter in the U.S.

Co-written by Graphika’s CEO John Kelly and the company’s research director Camille François, the graphics imagine Twitter users as colored orbs (larger or smaller depending on their follower sizes) and groups them depending on who follows whom.

The authors told TechCrunch that to create these particular data visualizations they used data from about 13,500 of the best connected accounts following members of Congress and national-level official political party accounts. Other starting places, such as singular states or grassroots parties, also illustrated these looming national echo chambers the authors said.

The visuals help bring into stark realization some predictable trends. For example, there is essentially zero crossover in followers between extreme Trump supporters and people who are extremely anti-Trump. The progressive movement is strongest in its connections between Democrats and left-wing journalists, but has some connections on the conservative sphere, as well.

Progressive Data

One interesting point that the graphic does bring into focus is that, despite our preconceptions of either the entire left or the entire right representing a singular ideology, in fact it’s primarily accounts on the far edge of these groups who do most of the talking. The authors point out that for some of these accounts, the high and identical numbers of tweets point toward a bot instead of an actual user.

This kind of polarization is exactly what makes it possible for bad outside actors (like Russia) to influence political discourse and action in a social sphere. Instead of targeting the middle of the spectrum — where users are generally quieter and generally less strictly partisan in their views — these actors can engage with polarized communities, gain their trust and introduce new or exacerbating ideologies.

“It’s the digital equivalent of moving to an isolated and tight-knit community, using its own language quirks and catering to its obsessions, running for mayor, and then using that position to influence national politics,” the authors write.

If these data point to anything, it’s that it’s time we begin to value listening over talking.

“The extremes are screaming while the center whispers,” the authors told TechCrunch.

It’s human nature to want to confirm your beliefs with those who agree with you, especially in times of uncertainty or fear. However, by retreating to echo chambers that are being infiltrated with bad actors we’re doing nobody a favor, least of all our selves.


Source: TechCrunch

Toyota invests $500 million into Uber

Toyota is investing $500 million into Uber. Under the agreement, Toyota vehicles will be equipped with Uber’s self-driving technology, an unnamed source familiar with the deal told TechCrunch.

The investment was first reported by the WSJ. TechCrunch confirmed the Toyota-Uber agreement with a source familiar with the deal. Uber declined to comment on the deal.

Unlike Uber’s partnership with Volvo, the ride-hailing company will not own these vehicles, according to the source. It’s unclear if Toyota will operate these autonomous vehicles or if another third-party, such as a fleet operator, will.

Toyota already has a relationship with Uber, albeit not as closely as under this new arrangement. Toyota announced at CES in January that it is working with Amazon, ride-hailing companies Uber and Didi, automaker Mazda, and Pizza Hut to develop an electric autonomous shuttle that can be used to deliver people or the packages. The business alliances were created to focus on the development of the new e-Palette Concept Vehicle in the near term.

Toyota also has a research arm, the Toyota Research Institute that is based in California. TRI debuted its first generation autonomous vehicle in March 2017. It’s Platform 2.1 vehicle, revealed just a few months later, features light ranging and detection radar developed by Silicon Valley startup Luminar.

Toyota (and by extension TRI) have a different deployment strategy for autonomous vehicles than its competitors. The company has previously said it plans to take a dual approach to autonomy that it calls “Guardian” and “Chauffeur,” both of which use the same technology stack.

Toyota’s idea is to develop fully autonomous cars to serve an aging population and the disabled as well as work on technology for regular production cars that could switch between assisted and full autonomy. This “guardian” technology would operate silently in the background.


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook comms VP Rachel Whetstone is heading to Netflix

In Facebook’s latest high profile departure, corporate communications lead Rachel Whetstone will leave for a top PR role at Netflix. Whetstone joined Facebook about a year ago after leaving a similar position running communications at Uber during some of the company’s most fraught days. Prior to Uber, Whetstone worked for Google as its SVP of communications and public policy.

Facebook confirmed Whetstone’s departure, which was first reported by Recode. “It’s been amazing to be able to learn from one of the best over this last year,” FB Comms VP Caryn Marooney said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “We are grateful for what Rachel has brought to our team and we know she will have continued success at Netflix”.

Whetstone won’t be leaving Facebook for another few months still as the company prepares for the transition. After her departure, Caryn Marooney will return to leading Facebook’s global communications team, a role she shared during Whetstone’s time with the company.

In a separate statement today, Netflix welcomed its new hire. “Rachel is a proven communications leader and a strong addition to the Netflix team,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a statement. “Her deep knowledge and international expertise will be invaluable as we bring Netflix and its expanding lineup of original content to an increasingly global audience.”

At Netflix, Whetstone will replace former PR head Jonathan Friedland who created his own PR crisis at the company earlier this summer when he was fired for his use of a racial slur.


Source: TechCrunch

Today's the last day to save 20 percent on Amazon Prime video game preorders – CNET

That means 20 percent off games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Fallout 76.
Source: CNET

HP is ‘printing’ drugs for the CDC to speed up antibiotic testing

At least 2 million people in the U.S. become infected with so-called “super bugs” and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Now, HP’s Biohacker technology is working with the CDC on a pilot program to “print” and test antibiotics in an effort to catch these antimicrobial resistant strains from spreading faster.

The HP D300e Digital Dispenser BioPrinter technology works by using the same set up as a regular ink printer but instead dispenses any combination of drugs in volumes from picoliters to microliters to be used for research purposes.

Part of the reason these bugs spread so rapidly often comes down to mis-use of antibiotics, leading the bacteria to develop a resistance to the drugs available. The CDC hopes to give hospital providers access to the technology nationwide to cut down on the problem.

“Once a drug is approved for use, the countdown begins until resistance emerges,” Jean Patel, PH.D. D (ABMM), Science Team Lead, Antibiotic Resistance Coordination and Strategy Unit at CDC said in a statement. “To save lives and protect people, it is vital to make technology accessible to hospital labs nationwide. We hope this pilot will help ensure our newest drugs last longer and put gold-standard lab results in healthcare providers’ hands faster.”

The 3D bioprinting sector has been experiencing rapid growth over the last few years and will continue on pace through the next decade, mainly due to R&D, according to market researchers. Innovation in the space includes printing of organs, human tissue and drug research and development.

Further, this potentially valuable antibiotic resistance research could help patient care teams stem a grim future where we experience a regression in health and life spans due to no longer having the ability to treat currently curable diseases.

The HP BioPrinter is currently used by labs and pharmaceutical companies such as Gilead, which tests for drugs used against the Ebola virus. It is also being used in various CRISPR applications. The CDC will use these printers in four regional areas spread throughout the U.S. within the Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Lab Network to develop antimicrobial susceptibility test methods for new drugs, according to HP.


Source: TechCrunch

Cyberpunk 2077: Everything we learned from the new gameplay demo – CNET

After getting a 48-minute demo, there’s a lot of new Cyberpunk 2077 info to go through.
Source: CNET

Watch the first Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay reveal – CNET

This is your first chance to see the open-world, first-person RPG in action.
Source: CNET

New iPad Pro 2018: All the rumors on specs, price, release date – CNET

Apple looks to redefine what Pro means in 2018.
Source: CNET

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