Situational awareness: The Trump administration said it may more than double tariffs on China to 25% on $200 billion of imports, Reuters reports. The move is likely to trigger retaliation by Beijing.
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Researchers have created a robot hand that can flip a cube into specific positions, using human-like techniques it learned on its own over the course of 100 simulated years of training.
Axios' Kaveh Waddell reports: The algorithm behind the feat has a surprising backstory: It previously trained AI agents to play Dota 2, a complex multiplayer video game. Using it again for a very different task is a leap over today’s algorithms, which can generally only do one thing well.
The two challenges — playing a video game and spinning a cube with robot fingers — are very different, to be sure. But OpenAI found overlapping characteristics, said Jack Clark, OpenAI’s communications and strategy director.
"This is big, because it shows that real-world applicable AI should be possible using only a few small tweaks on already developed systems."
The sheer scale of the training regimen was the main reason the algorithm was able to solve these two different tasks, said Jonas Schneider, OpenAI’s head of robotics engineering.
Go deeper: Read Kaveh's whole post here.
Having a college degree has generally meant higher wages and better jobs, and the pay-off continues to be significant for white Americans. But there's a penalty for African-American women: They earn less than white women having the same credentials, economic data shows.
The big picture: Many minorities already face extreme disadvantages in getting accepted and affording a college education. Even if an African American or a Hispanic adult earns a degree, the financial reward still doesn't match that of a white person, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute.
But the alternative is worse. While earning a bachelor's degree may not increase an African American man's wages as much as a white man's, not going to college is likely to lead to 12% lower pay than a high-school-educated African American man would have earned 40 years ago.
How to read the chart: The blue and orange lines show the change in inflation-adjusted hourly salary and wages since 1977. For instance, in the last chart of the second row, Hispanic men with a college degree make 13% more than they did in 1977, while those with only a high school diploma make 5% less.
Read more of Stef's post here.
Bukharin, second from right, with Stalin on Red Square, 1930. Photo: Gamma-Keystone/Getty
The "enemy of the people," President Trump said Sunday, is the American media. Amid his numerous slogans, the phrase has made many people recoil because of its centrality in a chilling moment of 20th century history: Josef Stalin's 1930s show trials.
Why it matters: The trials demonstrated how the indictment of one class of people can rapidly spiral and cut across society.
"Fear hung over the city like a mist, seeping in everywhere. Everyone lived in terror of everyone else," wrote Fitzroy MacLean, a 25-year-old British diplomat then posted in Moscow. "... No one could be trusted. No one was safe."
The description is from "Eastern Approaches," MacLean's first-hand account of the trial. Setting the scene in the book, MacLean described a preceding trial of a half-dozen marshals and generals:
"Up to a few days before these men had been held up as heroes, as examples of every military and civic virtue. Their portraits, larger than life size, were still to be seen publicly exhibited all over Moscow, side by side with those of Stalin and the members of the Politburo."
After their confessions and trial, these men were immediately executed. Now it was Bukharin's turn, along with that of 20 other alleged "traitors," "spies" and "wreckers."
Go deeper: Read the whole post here.
The Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning Summer School in Toronto. Photo: CIFAR & Vector Institute
Amid an intense global race to develop artificial intelligence, Canada — home to some of the field's pioneers, and among the most aggressive nations in the contest — is running a boot camp this week to beef up its chances to share in the AI future.
Axios' Alison Snyder reports from Toronto: More than 250 students and researchers from 20 countries are in Toronto, where Canada is attempting to attract as much of the world's best AI talent it can by showcasing itself as a first-rate center for research.
Canada has set a goal of recruiting 25 world class AI researchers from outside the country to chair academic programs, according to Elissa Strome of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. The country is specifically looking to lead in the responsible use and social impact of AI:
Go deeper: Read Alison's post here.
White threat, browning America (Ezra Klein — Vox)
Chinese students are increasingly going home (Youyou Zhou — Quartz)
$42M a year and other CEOs' pay (Bob Herman, Andrew Witherspoon — Axios)
Why "stubborn, intractable, uppity" Brits left the EU (Robert Armstrong — FT)
China is offsetting the tariffs with the yuan (Gwynn Guilford — Quartz)
Food delivery bikes in Beijing. Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket/Getty
Have you ever ordered your morning cup of coffee delivered to your office? I asked 28 colleagues — all based in the U.S. Just two said "yes," and two others that they might. Twenty-four basically told me to get lost.
The big picture: Tea is still king in Chinese offices. For those who have switched, coffee is an inconvenient luxury — few offices have brewing machines, and it can take ages to walk to a cafe on the packed streets.
The latest: The partnership between Starbucks and Ele.me, Alibaba's food delivery arm, is to be announced tomorrow, WSJ's Xiao Xiao and Liza Lin report.
The bottom line: "Chinese culture is less relaxed that American culture," says Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital, a VC firm that works in China. So even the mid-morning coffee run is an indulgence. "People say, 'Why should I go out there? I just want my coffee now.'"