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pierredv : quotes   4

An AI conference warns us why we need to mind our language | New Scientist issue 3212, Jan 2019
"We’re using the wrong words to talk about artificial intelligence."

"Language is at the heart of the problem. In his 2007 book, The Emotion Machine, computer scientist Marvin Minsky deplored (although even he couldn’t altogether avoid) the use of “suitcase words”: his phrase for words conveying specialist technical detail through simple metaphors. Think what we are doing when we say metal alloys “remember” their shape, or that a search engine offers “intelligent” answers to a query."

"Without metaphors and the human tendency to personify, we would never be able to converse, let alone explore technical subjects, but the price we pay for communication is a credulity when it comes to modelling how the world actually works. No wonder we are outraged when AI doesn’t behave intelligently. But it isn’t the program playing us false, rather the name we gave it."

"Earlier this year in a public forum [Turkish-born Memo Akten, based at Somerset House in London] threatened to strangle a kitten whenever anyone in the audience personified AI, by talking about “the AI”, for instance."
NewScientist  language  quotes  metaphor  thinking  cognition  AI  anthropomorphism  culture 
11 weeks ago by pierredv
Neil MacGregor on living with gods - Transcendental meditation, The Economist, Nov 2017
"As the exhibition and the radio series both proclaim, religion has generally been an activity, not a set of true-or-false propositions, and above all a collective activity in which the tribe or nation finds meaning."

About Neil MacGregor show and podcast "Living with Gods"
TheEconomist  religion  quotes 
january 2018 by pierredv
Who can you trust? How tech is reshaping what we believe | New Scientist
"The more trust in a society, the better it fares. Put another way: without trust, society would collapse. But something strange is happening. Public trust in our institutions has plummeted in the past decade. Nearly half of people in the US mistrust lawmakers, according to a poll carried out in June. In the UK, fewer than 1 in 4 people trust the press. And yet we are putting more trust than ever before in people we meet on the internet."

“Trust is the bridge between the known and the unknown,” says Rachel Botsman at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School.

"Of course distrust in big institutions predates the internet, but technology has made it an international sport. It is easier than ever before for leaks to become common knowledge. And there are many more sources now. Opinion is no longer shaped only by journalists, experts or state authorities. With constant access to a deluge of information, rather than putting our trust in the institutions our peers also trust, as we once did, we’re now trusting our peers instead of those institutions."

"In fact, many of these companies have come to realise that trust itself is their product.

"Hawking trust between individuals requires some sleight of hand: we are more likely to trust people at a distance when they are backed up by trustworthy organisations. We trust strangers on Airbnb far more than strangers on a marketplace such as Craigslist, for instance."

"A major concern is that we will become overly dependent on digital platforms to manage trust for us. “People trust people, not institutions,” Zuckerberg recently said. That is misleading. We trust people online because of the institutions – Facebook included – that make it possible."
quotes  NewScientist  trust  psychology  Facebook  TaskRabbit  Airbnb  business 
december 2017 by pierredv
“Too Cheap to Meter” Nuclear Power Revisited - IEEE Spectrum - Sep 2016
I still cannot improve on my evaluation from about 10 years ago: a “successful failure.”

"The project to generate electricity from fission stalled during the 1980s, as demand for electricity in affluent economies fell and problems with nuclear power plants multiplied. And three failures were worrisome: Accidents at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, in 1979; at Chernobyl in Ukraine, in 1986; and at Fukushima in Japan, in 2011, provided further evidence for those opposed to fission under any circumstances.

Meanwhile, there have been cost overruns in the construction of nuclear plants and a frustrating inability to come up with an acceptable way to store spent nuclear fuel. Nor has there been much success in switching to reactors that might be safer and less expensive than the dominant design of pressurized water reactors, which are essentially beached versions of U.S. Navy submarine designs of the 1950s."
IEEE-Spectrum  nuclear  electricity  energy  history  quotes 
october 2016 by pierredv

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