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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Learning to Navigate in Cities Without a Map

Google DeepMind: “Navigating through unstructured environments is a basic capability of intelligent creatures, and thus is of fundamental interest in the study and development of artificial intelligence. Long-range navigation is a complex cognitive task that relies on developing an internal representation of space, grounded by recognisable landmarks and robust visual processing, that can simultaneously support continuous self-localisation (“I am here”) and a representation of the goal (“I am going there”). Building upon recent research that applies deep reinforcement learning to maze navigation problems, we present an end-to-end deep reinforcement learning approach that can be applied on a city scale. Recognising that successful navigation relies on integration of general policies with locale-specific knowledge, we propose a dual pathway architecture that allows locale-specific features to be encapsulated, while still enabling transfer to multiple cities.

FT.com free data visualization tool

Center for Data Innovation: “The Financial Times has released a free data visualization tool called FastCharts to help people make professional charts with their data in less than a minute. Users can paste in their data in CSV or TSV format and the tool will automatically create an area, bar, column, or line chart with… Continue Reading

Find peer-reviewed research from the world’s most trusted sources

“Semantic Scholar is a free, nonprofit, academic search engine from AI2….See the Semantic Scholar FAQ “Semantic Scholar helps researchers find better academic publications faster. Our engine analyzes publications and extracts important features using machine learning techniques. The resulting influential citations, images and key phrases allow our engine to “cut through the clutter” and give you… Continue Reading

This Site Detects Whether Text Was Written by a Bot

Futurism – Reassuringly, Futurism articles registered as being written by humans. “Last month, developers from OpenAI announced that they had built a text generating algorithm called GPT-2 that they said was too dangerous to release into the world, since it could be used to pollute the web with endless bot-written material. But now, a team of… Continue Reading

Survey finds extensive evidence of sexual assault and bias against female economists

“The American Economic Association is today releasing results from a survey of current and former members about the professional climate in economics, conducted under the auspices of the AEA’s recently created standing Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Professional Conduct (CEDPC). For the Committee’s summary report of the survey results, see here. As the deadline for… Continue Reading

The Lewis and Clark of the Digital Building Frontier

The New York Times – These married architects are democratizing the 3-D printing process, using materials destined for the trash heap — like curry powder and coffee grounds — in place of drywall and foam. “On a bone-chilling day here with the winter rains pelting down, the architects Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello retreated… Continue Reading

Lawsuit Could Change How We Prosecute Mass Shootings

Politico “…the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed a claim brought by surviving family members of the Sandy Hook massacre against the manufacturers, distributors and direct sellers of the weapon to move forward toward trial. Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC, has monumental implications not only for the surviving families, but potentially for the entire gun industry.… Continue Reading

Education and Science Giant Elsevier Left Users’ Passwords Exposed Online

Motherboard: “Elsevier, the company behind scientific journals such as The Lancet, left a server open to the public internet, exposing user email addresses and passwords. The impacted users include people from universities and educational institutions from across the world. It’s not entirely clear how long the server was exposed or how many accounts were impacted,… Continue Reading

Prosecutors, Transportation Department Scrutinize Development of Boeing’s 737 MAX

[Dow Jones/WSJ paywall] via Morningstar: “Federal prosecutors and Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the development of Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jetliners, according to people familiar with the matter, unusual inquiries that come amid probes of regulators’ safety approvals of the new plane. A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March… Continue Reading

How Podcasts Learned to Speak The once useless-seeming medium that became essential.

Vulture: “There are now an estimated 660,000 podcasts in production (that’s a real number, not some comically inflated figure I invented to communicate “a lot”), offering up roughly 28 million individual episodes for your listening enjoyment (again, a real number; yes, someone counted). The first two seasons of the most popular podcast of all time, Serial,… Continue Reading

Government Is Using Most Vulnerable People to Test Facial Recognition Software

Slate – Our research shows that any one of us might end up helping the facial recognition industry, perhaps during moments of extraordinary vulnerability. “If you thought IBM using “quietly scraped” Flickr images to train facial recognition systems was bad, it gets worse. Our research, which will be reviewed for publication this summer, indicates that… Continue Reading

To End Poverty, Think Like a Spy

Paul M. Bisca, To End Poverty, Think Like a Spy, Brookings (March 11, 2019) – “To better manage the unknown, development professionals might want to take a leaf from the intelligence community book and draw inspiration from how spies try to predict the future. Reduced to its simplest terms, the CIA defines intelligence as “knowledge and… Continue Reading