Speaker presentations and audio files from last week’s [next] conference are available in the archive; videos and Nancy’s highlights should be posted next week.
Last week, Jeremiah Hamon (San Francisco, Dec 2018) mentioned that his eye-tracking sentiment-analysis system was also a good lie detector (Russ Warner, Washington, D.C., Sep 2017). Turns out eye tracking also works for videos that are themselves lies. A video in which the subject underblinks is likely fake due to fewer closed-eye images in training sets (at least until fakers adjust for this).
Did you know that Facebook can log your Android-based phone calls and text messages? That’s just one of the findings to emerge from the Six4Three lawsuit in the U.K. (Roger McNamee and Jonathan Taplin, Los Angeles, Mar 2018; Jonathan Taplin, Boston, Apr 2017; Sean Parker, San Francisco, Feb 2010)
Pam Mueller (Brooklyn, Jun 2016) proved that taking notes by hand improved our recollection of it. Turns out, drawing a sketch can have some of the same benefits and in some ways be even better.
The Raspberry Pi was originally designed for college students to learn to hack hardware; founder Eben Upton (Detroit, May 2015; Vienna, Jul 2013) was frustrated that his students only knew how to write Web pages. Now, in a major expansion of the program, if not an actual volte-face, the Raspberry Pi foundation will spearhead an effort to teach coding to every schoolchild in the U.K.
Is an apartment building in Sydney the smartest smart building in the world? (Adam Drobot, McLean, Va., regional meeting, Sep 2017; Veronika Haunold, Vienna, Jul 2013)
Is a robot in San Francisco the most efficient chef in the world? It can make 120 perfect burgers in one hour, every hour. (Daniela Rus, Boston, Apr 2014)
Amazon may not have had academic research in mind when it came up with its work-for-hire-online service, Amazon Turk, but turks have replaced students as the social scientist’s lab rat of choice (Erica Boothby, Washington, D.C., Sep 2015; Michael Bernstein, San Francisco, Dec 2013; Jordan Raddick, Vancouver, October 2010; Duncan Watts, Boston, Sep 2007). But that unintended consequence has now come squarely up against another: An economic crisis in Venezuela has led to an influx of subjects who are producing an epidemic of “inconsistent and even random responses.”
Quick Hits (we’re not sure what the conjunction of these two stories signifies):
Was anyone in the TTI/Vanguard community besides Steven Cherry heartbroken when WarnerMedia shut down the art-movie service FilmStruck? Now at least we know why they did it: The company has rolled out a streaming service to compete with Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Sling TV (Jason Krikorian, Pasadena, Feb 2006), et al. (Tacis Gavoyannis, Salt Lake City, Dec 2009; Hou Ziqiang, Beijing, Jul 2006; Frank Casanova, Phoenix, Oct 1999)
This week marked the 50th anniversary of what Steven Levy (Palm Springs, Feb 1995) dubbed “The Mother of All Demos,” a presentation that introduced to the world the first GUI, the mouse, hypertext, and collaborative document sharing. We’re still developing the systems that Doug Engelbart (Phoenix, Oct 1999) envisioned (David Smith, San Francisco, Dec 2017; Alexandre Eisenchteter, Paris, Jul 2011; Alan Kay, Brussels, Jul 2002).
We’re also working toward the even older McCarthy–Minsky visions of general artificial intelligence (Ken Stanley, Gary Marcus, Brooklyn, Jun 2018). When will we have it? The Verge recently surveyed some leading figures in AI. Two predictions stand out: Ray Kurzweil (Atlanta, Nov 2000), who said 2029, and Rod Brooks (Atlanta, Dec 2004), who said 2200. All others fell somewhere in between.
“If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” —Mario Andretti
The TTI/Vanguard Team