Friday, July 14, 2017

Google launched an initiative to improve how users work with artificial intelligence

Alphabet announced it has kicked off a new research initiative aimed at improving human interaction with artificial intelligence systems. The People + AI Research (PAIR) program currently encompasses a dozen people who will collaborate with Googlers in various product groups — as well as outsiders like Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research could eventually lead to refinements in the interfaces of the smarter components of some of the world’s most popular apps. And Google’s efforts here could inspire other companies to adjust their software, too. “One of the things we’re going to be looking into is this notion of explanation — what might be a useful on-time, on-demand explanation about why a recommendation system did something it did,” Google Brain senior staff research scientist Fernanda Viegas said. The PAIR program takes inspiration from the concept of design thinking, which highly prioritizes the needs of people who will use the products being developed. While end users — such as YouTube’s 1.5 billion monthly users — can be the target of that, the research is also meant to improve the experience of working with AI systems for AI researchers, software engineers and domain experts as well. The new initiative fits in well with Google’s increasing focus on AI. (CNBC)

 

Welcome to the here and now, Saudi Arabia….

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia announced girls can start taking PE class in public schools. The Islamic country’s not exactly known for gender equality. Women aren’t allowed to drive or typically exercise, because those are activities for men. Obviously. Plus to some Saudis, workout gear is considered too revealing, but the country has started to go lax on the exercise part in recent years, and even sent female athletes to the last two Summer Olympics. One point for progress? (NY Times)

 

In other ‘welcome to the 21st century’ news…

Just the other day (7/12), the Catholic island of Malta legalized same-sex marriage. Surprising, because this is not the most liberal place in the world. The country only gave a thumbs up to divorce in 2011. (Politico)

 

Woman dies after jet engine air blast

A New Zealand woman has died on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten after the blast from a powerful jet engine knocked her to the ground. The incident happened at the famous Princess Juliana International Airport, which is just metres from the sea. Beachgoers can walk up to the airport fence as planes take off. Police said the 57-year-old woman had been holding on to the fence before the force of the jet engines threw her backwards, causing serious injury. She was taken to hospital for treatment, but died later. The particular stretch of beach on the Dutch island is popular with tourists, partly because the planes fly extremely low over the sand before landing. The beginning of the runway is just 160ft from the fence on Maho beach, and about the same distance to the waterline. (MSN)

 

Texas man stuck in ATM slides ‘help me’ note in receipt slot to bystanders

Shocked customers at a Texas ATM got more than cash from the money machine when a technician trapped behind it slipped notes through the receipt slot begging for help, police said. Corpus Christi police said the unnamed man, who is a contractor, got stuck in an ATM room at a local Bank of America while attempting to change the lock on the machine. “He left his phone in his truck, he’s installing a new lock on the door, and he gets locked inside the building where the ATM is,” Officer Richard Olden of Corpus Christi Police told reporters. People were going to the ATM to get money when the man stuck inside slid notes through the receipt slot saying: “Please Help. I’m stuck in here, and I don’t have my phone. Please call my boss.” Officer Olden said at first people thought the note was a joke, but somebody eventually took it seriously and called authorities. Olden said the man was rescued and was unharmed. “Everyone is okay, but you will never see this in your life, that somebody was stuck in the ATM, it was just crazy,” Olden said. (My Fox 8 TV)

 

FINALLY FRIDAY!!!! It comes with:

*Collector Car Appreciation Day (2nd Friday)
*International Nude Day 

*National Macaroni and Cheese Day  
*National Motorcycle Day (2nd Friday)
*Robin Hood Day 
*Shark Awareness Day 

*Victims of The Nice, France Attack Day

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