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Daily Archives: December 26, 2017

What can machine learning do? Workforce implications

What can machine learning do? Workforce implications. Erik Brynjolfsson and Tom Mitchell. Science 22 Dec 2017: Vol. 358, Issue 6370, pp. 1530-1534 DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8062

“Digital computers have transformed work in almost every sector of the economy over the past several decades. We are now at the beginning of an even larger and more rapid transformation due to recent advances in machine learning (ML), which is capable of accelerating the pace of automation itself. However, although it is clear that ML is a “general purpose technology,” like the steam engine and electricity, which spawns a plethora of additional innovations and capabilities, there is no widely shared agreement on the tasks where ML systems excel, and thus little agreement on the specific expected impacts on the workforce and on the economy more broadly. We discuss what we see to be key implications for the workforce, drawing on our rubric of what the current generation of ML systems can and cannot do. Although parts of many jobs may be “suitable for ML” (SML), other tasks within these same jobs do not fit the criteria for ML well; hence, effects on employment are more complex than the simple replacement and substitution story emphasized by some. Although economic effects of ML are relatively limited today, and we are not facing the imminent “end of work” as is sometimes proclaimed, the implications for the economy and the workforce going forward are profound…”

Notifications on Committee Action on Legislation

Via In Custodia Legis – this guide by Adrienne Keys, specialist in legislative information systems management within the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress. “Did you know that by using Congress.gov, you can receive notifications of committee action on legislation? Use the Legislation Advanced Search form to create a saved search and set up email… Continue Reading

Latest version of Firefox delays requests to tracking domains

Posting by developer Honza Bamba: “Firefox Quantum – version 57 – introduced number of changes to the network requests scheduler.  One of them is using data of the Tracking Protection database to delay load of scripts from tracking domains when possible during the time a page is actively loading and rendering – I call it… Continue Reading

Paper – Did a severe drought in 1893 trigger the rise of the Mafia

Weak States: Causes and Consequences of the Sicilian Mafia. Daron Acemoglu, Giuseppe De Feo, and Giacomo De Luca. NBER Working Paper No. 24115. December 2017. “We document that the spread of the Mafia in Sicily at the end of the 19th century was in part shaped by the rise of socialist Peasant Fasci organizations. In… Continue Reading

Is it legal for a business in US to refuse cash as a form of payment?

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: Is it legal for a business in the United States to refuse cash as a form of payment? [Useful information – I generally pay with cash and have increasingly encountered the response – we take credit/debit cards or you can use an app] “Section 31 U.S.C. 5103,… Continue Reading

Paper – A Logic for Statutes

Lawsky, Sarah B., A Logic for Statutes (December 14, 2017). Florida Tax Review, Forthcoming; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 17-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3088206 “Case-based reasoning is, without question, a puzzle. When students are taught to “think like lawyers” in their first year of law school, they are taught case-based common-law reasoning. Books on… Continue Reading

Paper – Scholars on Twitter: who and how many are they?

Scholars on Twitter: who and how many are they? Rodrigo Costas, Jeroen van Honk, Thomas Franssen. (Submitted on 15 Dec 2017) “In this paper we present a novel methodology for identifying scholars with a Twitter account. By combining bibliometric data from Web of Science and Twitter users identified by Altmetric.com we have obtained the largest… Continue Reading

NASA – High Definition Earth-Viewing System

“The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the ISS was activated April 30, 2014. It is mounted on the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the Earth which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature controlled housing. While the experiment… Continue Reading