Jul 10, 2017

Google and Musk move to prevent AI apocalypse

Ng Han Guan / AP

Google's Deep Mind and Elon-Musk funded OpenAI are hard at work devising methods to make sure artificial intelligence never works against humanity's interest, Wired reports.

"If you're worried about bad things happening, the best thing we can do is study the relatively mundane things that go wrong in AI systems today," Dario Amodei of OpenAI's tells the magazine. "That seems less scary and a lot saner than kind of saying, 'You know, there's this problem that we might have in 50 years.'"

Why their work matters: The researchers are focused on inserting human judgement in machine learning processes. Instead of writing complicated "reward functions" that help AI judge whether its behavior is optimal, they have humans judge and rate AI performance before it amends itself. This collaborative process helps teach humans about how machines learn, while also preventing algorithms from going off the reservation.

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How Big Tech has responded to the protests

A protester holds a sign in downtown Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd on May 31. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

An explosive weekend in America sent Silicon Valley grasping for moral clarity. While many companies and executives spoke out against racial inequities, critics and even some of the rank-and-file found some of the companies' responses lacking.

Why it matters: Tech companies have giant platforms, and their leaders have become public figures, many of them household names. History will record their words and actions — which, in the case of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, directly shape the bounds of public discourse.

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.

2 hours ago - Sports

The sports world speaks up about death of George Floyd

Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. Screenshot: Jaylen Brown/Instagram

There was a time when a months-long sports absence would have silenced athletes, leaving them without a platform to reach fans or make their voices heard.

Why it matters: But now that athletes boast massive social media followings and no longer need live game broadcasts or media outlets to reach millions, they're speaking out en masse amid protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people — delivering messages of frustration and unity, despite their leagues not currently operating.