Even Artificial Intelligence Prefers Cats Over Dogs…

I’m sure my kitties are happy to know that the first thing Googles new Artificial Intelligence Computer picked out was cat pictures. After all, every cat knows it is the most superior, gorgeous creature in the world!

Which is why there are literally tens of thousands of “Cat Videos” on YouTube, which get millions of viewers.

Apparently it is not just humans who waste their time away checking out the feline antics…

My Boss Cat

Amazing technology!

Google creates ‘computer brain’ – and it immediately starts watching cat videos on YouTube

Google has created an ‘artificial brain’ from 16,000 computer processors, and sat it down with an internet connection.

There’s a certain grim inevitability to the fact that the YouTube company’s creation began watching stills from cat videos.

The team, led by Google’s Dr Jeff Dean, used the 16,000 processor array to create a brain-style ‘neural network’ with more than a billion connections.

The team then fed it random images culled from 10 million YouTube videos – and let it ‘learn’ by itself.

Unsurprisingly, the machine focused in on cats.

‘We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,” said Dr. Dean. ‘It basically invented the concept of a cat.’

‘Contrary to what appears to be a widely-held intuition, our experimental results reveal that it is possible to train a face detector without having to label images as containing a face or not,’ says the team in a paper published this week.

‘We also find that the same network is sensitive to other high-level concepts such as cat faces and human bodies. Starting with these learned features, we trained our network to obtain 15.8% accuracy in recognizing 20,000 object categories from ImageNet, a leap of 70% relative improvement over the previous state-of-the-art.

The ‘brain’ was a creation of the company’s ‘blue sky ideas’ lab, Google X

Dead Sea Scrolls Available Online Today

A couple of thousand years later – the Dead Sea Scrolls are now online, with a little help from Google

Now, even armchair conspiracy theorists can make up their own interpretations ans translations!

Unlike this picture, the scrolls have been scanned at up to 1200 Megapixels so that the tiniest detail is visible

Scrolls available for viewing online are:

  • The Temple Scroll: lays out plans for the construction and operation of the Temple. Written on thin animal skin.
  • The War Scroll: one of the first scrolls to be found. The War Scroll outlines an end of days time where the the archangel Michael leads the “Sons of Light” against the “Sons of Darkness”.
  • The Community Rule Scroll: also known as the manual of discipline, the scroll outlines a comprehensive guide for the “community”, whose identity remains uncertain, although is believed to be the Jewish sect the Essenes.
  • The Great Isaiah Scroll: the best preserved of all the biblical scrolls, it contains a Hebrew version of the book of Isaiah.
  • The Commentary of Habakkuk Scroll: interprets the first two chapters of the book of Habakkuk.

The New Jim Crow – Does Google Marketing Data Empower Racial Discrimination?.

Is Google Empowering a New Generation of Jim Crow?

This from a 3 part series on how Google collects user data and utilizes it as a product to sell to companies wishing to market products.

The question is, and remains – how is that data utilized by companies? Turns out the data can not only be utilized to segregate consumers by income – but by race.

The implication here after the sub-prime mortgage scandals targeting blacks and other minorities for higher priced, and predatory loans, is that the basic tools for racial discrimination are present in the data collected by Google. Tools which will be utilized by the folks who brought you higher interest rates for black folks on everything from cars to houses – to further economic and job discrimination.

This is an excerpt from the article – follow the link and read the entire article to understand how it works.

The Cost of Lost Privacy, Part 2: “Pain Points,” Discrimination and Advertiser Use of Google Data

Reempowering Racial Discrimination: This targeted price discrimination based on behavioral tracking, unfortunately, directly enhances the most traditional kinds of racial discrimination. Study after study has shown that employers, financial lenders, car salesmen and other merchants continue to charge black and Hispanic customers more for the same service when they can identify them.

For example, a study by the Urban Institute using paired “testers” — one white person and one person of color with similar economic profiles — found that non-white homebuyers received less favorable financial terms from mortgage lending institutions. Job seekers face similar discrimination with one study, where nearly identical resumes were sent to 1300 help-wanted ads, found that resumes with a “white-sounding” name were 50 percent more likely to get a call for an interview than one with a black-sounding name.

The Internet was supposed to let people escape such easy discrimination, but behavioral tracking makes such identification trivial. Add together someone’s taste in music and a few more characteristics and you have an almost perfect proxy for race. As Rebecca Goldin, a George Mason University professor, argued in a 2009 article, it’s clearly illegal to discriminate based on race, but if companies offer loan rates based on their shopping habits, it raises the question of “would it be legal or ethical to use the kind of music one buys to determine his or her loan rate?”

Given that we know straight up racial discrimination happens all the time in these commercial transactions, what the Internet supplies is a multivariate datamining opportunity to discriminate in ever more precise ways that may largely escape legal scrutiny.

Google Has Satellie Images of Haiti Earthquake

Relief agencies has requested that Google provide satellite imagery of pre – and post earthquake Haiti to assist in relief efforts.  This imagery can help in a number of ways, not the least in determining the areas of significant damage, the location and passability of routes to move people and materials, and the identification and tracking of hazardous materials spills – to aid in determining evacuation areas.

It was just for the last reason that the Bushit Administration shut down commercial satellite imagery in the early aftermath of Katrina, blocking access by civilian relief agencies – and hiding the numerous oil and chemical spills. Those images were why non-federal government relief workers and commercial news teams were able to determine which highways were open, and get people into the affected area – and the loss of that imagery – probably contributed to why FEMA couldn’t – and massively hampered recovery and rescue efforts.

Google Offers Satellite Images of Haiti, Post-Earthquake

Really Cheaper to Keep Her!

It seems that the cell phone companies have hired the same customer relations and marketing people as the Banks. Recently Verizon announced it was raising its early termination fees to $350.

Google and T-Mobile Collect Early Termination Fees from a Dissatisfied Customer as Verizon gives tips

Not wanting to be outdone, Google in announcing their new IPhone “Killer” the Nexus I, announced that consumers who cancelled would not only subject to T-Mobile’s outrageous $200 early termination fee – they would have to pay Google $350 for the privilege of trying out their phone…

And finding it didn’t work as advertised.

Considering the early reviews of Google’s phone are pretty bad – that amounts to crime and punishment…

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