Eric Schmidt Says Elon Musk Is ‘Exactly Wrong’ About AI

At the VivaTech conference in Paris, Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt was asked about Elon Musk’s warnings about AI. He responded by saying: "I think Elon is exactly wrong. He doesn’t understand the benefits that this technology will provide to making every human being smarter. The fact of the matter is that AI and machine learning are so fundamentally good for humanity." TechCrunch reports: He acknowledged that there are risks around how the technology might be misused, but he said they’re outweighed by the benefits: "The example I would offer is, would you not invent the telephone because of the possible misuse of the telephone by evil people? No, you would build the telephone and you would try to find a way to police the misuse of the telephone."
After wryly observing that Schmidt had just given the journalists in the audience their headlines, interviewer (and former Publicis CEO) Maurice Levy asked how AI and public policy can be developed so that some groups aren’t "left behind." Schmidt replied that government should fund research and education around these technologies. "As [these new solutions] emerge, they will benefit all of us, and I mean the people who think they’re in trouble, too," he said. He added that data shows "workers who work in jobs where the job gets more complicated get higher wages — if they can be helped to do it." Schmidt also argued that contrary to concerns that automation and technology will eliminate jobs, "The embracement of AI is net positive for jobs." In fact, he said there will be "too many jobs" — because as society ages, there won’t be enough people working and paying taxes to fund crucial services. So AI is "the best way to make them more productive, to make them smarter, more scalable, quicker and so forth."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

via Slashdot


7 Negative Effects of Social Media on People and Users


If you can’t imagine your life without social media, that’s a sign that you’ve fallen a victim to the evil power of social networking. It also means that you’ve experienced one (or more) of the negative effects of social media on society.

Don’t pretend you’ve never heard of these. While social media can have a positive impact too

The Positive Impact of Social Networking Sites on Society

The Positive Impact of Social Networking Sites on Society

Social networking isn’t for everyone, but it’s now such a massive part of all our lives, whether we embrace or reject the notion, that it can no longer be ignored. But are social networking sites…
Read More

, that doesn’t mean it’s all hearts and flowers.

How Social Media Is Bad for You

Let’s explore the darker side of social media and exactly how (and why) it’s bad for you. You’ll be surprised to learn the negative effects of social media are both physical and mental. It can change your perception of the world and yourself, and not always for the better.

Don’t believe us? Then read on to find out some of the negative effects of social media. And if you recognize any of them as your own symptoms it may be time to consider stop using social media altogether.

1. Depression and Anxiety

Do you spend more than two hours per day on social media? Spending too long on social networking sites could be adversely affecting your mood. In fact, you’re more likely to report poor mental health, including symptoms of anxiety and depression.

So how to use social media without causing yourself psychological distress

5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression

5 Ways Technology Might Be Feeding Your Depression

Technology can worsen depression. With tech enveloping our lives, we should be more aware of technology’s potential impact on us. There are some things you can do to lessen the burden.
Read More

? If you turn to the same research (and common sense), the recommended amount of time you should spend on social networks is half an hour per day. So, as with so many things in life, it’s all about moderation.

2. Cyberbullying

Before social media, bullying was something only done face-to-face. However, now, someone can be bullied online anonymously. Today everyone knows what cyberbullying is, and most of us have seen what it can do to a person.

While social media made making friends easier, it also made it easier for predators to find victims. The anonymity that social networks provide can be used by the perpetrators to gain people’s trust and then terrorize them in front of their peers.

These online attacks often leave deep mental scars and even drive people to suicide in some cases. You’ll be surprised to find out that cyberbullying isn’t just affecting kids, but also full grown adults.

If you are being harassed online

What You Should Actually Do When Harassed Online

What You Should Actually Do When Harassed Online

The Internet has changed bullying. Let’s take a look at what has changed, and what you can do if you find yourself on the receiving end of cyber harassment.
Read More

, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and that you can take steps in order to get back your dignity

Abused, Bullied & Harassed On Facebook: 6 Ways To Get Back Your Dignity [Weekly Facebook Tips]

Abused, Bullied & Harassed On Facebook: 6 Ways To Get Back Your Dignity [Weekly Facebook Tips]

Facebook isn’t a safe haven. A recent study by GMI revealed that one in ten Facebook users have experienced some form of abuse. Among 18 – 24 year olds, one in four were affected. Offenders…
Read More


3. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a phenomenon that was born at the same time as Facebook—and it’s one of the most common negative effects of social media. FOMO is basically a form of anxiety that you get when you’re scared of missing out on a positive experience or emotions that someone else is getting.

This fear is constantly fueled by your social media engagement. The more you use social networks, the more likely you are to see that someone is having more fun that you are right now. And that’s exactly what causes FOMO.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

This one probably comes as no surprise, but social media helps you to form unrealistic expectations of life and friendships. The networks that do it most are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Those are the social media platforms that severely lack online authenticity.

One simple way out of this is for everyone to quit lying on social media. But in the era of Instagram celebrities and YouTubers who earn millions

The Top 10 Most Popular YouTube Channels: Should You Subscribe?

The Top 10 Most Popular YouTube Channels: Should You Subscribe?

Have you ever wondered who has the most subscribers on YouTube? In this article we take a look at the most popular YouTube channels and help you decide whether to subscribe to them.
Read More

, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

5. Negative Body Image

Speaking of Instagram celebrities, if you look at the most-followed accounts on Instagram, you’ll find beautiful people wearing expensive clothes on their perfect bodies.

Today, body image is an issue for many people of both sexes. Of course, seeing those perfect in accordance with the society standards people on a daily basis makes you conscious about how different you look from those pictures. And not everyone comes to the right conclusions in this situation.

6. Unhealthy Sleep Patterns

On top of increased rates of anxiety and depression, spending too much time on social media can lead to poor sleep. Numerous studies have shown that increased use of social media has a negative effect on your sleep quality.

If you feel like your sleep patterns have become irregular and that this is affecting your productivity, try and avoid spending a significant amount of time on social media. If you still have trouble sleeping, here are some more tricks to help you to sleep peacefully

9 Gadgets to Help You Fall Asleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happier

9 Gadgets to Help You Fall Asleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happier

The quality of sleep you get each night directly impacts your mood, health, and productivity the next day. Get better sleep than ever before using one of these smart gadgets!
Read More


7. General Addiction

using smartphone

Social media is often described as being more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. With the worst social media apps being Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat when it comes to addiction.

Don’t know if you’re addicted to your social networks? Think when was the last time you went a full day without checking your social media accounts? What if your favorite social networks completely disappeared tomorrow; would it make you feel empty and depressed?

If you just realized you’re addicted to social media, don’t worry, as most of us are there with you in varying degrees. And it’s not necessarily a reason to go and wipe yourself off all those social networking platforms.

However, if you think quitting is the best solution for you, we won’t stop you. In fact, one of our writers tried quitting social media

What Happens When You Quit Social Media? I Found Out

What Happens When You Quit Social Media? I Found Out

Quitting social media is easy. The hard part is handling what comes after this “extreme” step. I should know. I deleted all my social media accounts mid 2013.
Read More

once, and it was an interesting experience.

Social Media: Is It Time to Quit or Detox?

As with everything else, social media brings both good and bad things into our lives. At the end of the day, you’re the one who decides whether there’s more help or harm in it for you.

Maybe all you need is find the right site for you. Perhaps switching from Facebook to Twitter, or from Instagram to YouTube. Or maybe you’re done with all of them altogether and are ready to delete your entire social media presence for good

Go Anonymous: How to Delete Your Entire Social Media Presence

Go Anonymous: How to Delete Your Entire Social Media Presence

From traditional avenues to new tools, here’s an in-depth look at how to delete your social media presence.
Read More


And if that feels a little too extreme consider doing a social media detox

How to Do a Social Media Detox (and Why You Should Right Away)

How to Do a Social Media Detox (and Why You Should Right Away)

A social media detox might sound like a punishment; but if it does, there’s a really good chance you need one. Here are the signs you need a detox and how to do it.
Read More

every once in a while instead. Because the non-nuclear option should always be your first choice.


Write a Comment

via MakeUseOf

The machines have taught themselves to make Mario levels

Artificial intelligence isn’t quite ready to put Shigeru Miyamoto out of a job, but it has managed to produce decent Super Mario Bros. levels with little human intervention.

Using a modern AI technique called Generative Adversarial Networks, a group of researchers devised a way to create new Mario levels by analyzing an actual one. They then figured out how to search the results for certain characteristics, such as difficulty. The research shows how AI could create games that automatically adapt to the player’s skill level, or at the very least provide inspiration to human game designers.

Computer-generated levels have been a part of video games for decades, and academics have even competed in years past to make the best Mario level generation algorithms. But in most of those cases, a programmer still had to set up all the parameters in which the computer could do its work. Over the past few years, however, some researchers have taken a different approach, creating AI that can actually learn from existing level designs to understand what a playable Mario level should look like.

“Most [previous] systems involved designing game-specific algorithms, so the twist with the current generation of research is to take a machine learning approach and train generators from example data (which might be provided by artists/designers instead of programmers),” Adam Smith, an assistant professor at University of California, Santa Cruz, who coauthored the Mario paper, says via e-mail.

The Mario project–also known as MarioGAN–is one of two recent attempts to create video game levels using Generative Adversarial Networks, a four-year-old AI technique that many scientists have regarded as a breakthrough. (The other project, as reported by The Register, generates Doom levels.)

GANs are often described as a cop vs. counterfeiter scenario: One neural network looks at a set of training data–in this case, training images derived from a single Mario level–and tries to create new samples based on the characteristics it observes. Meanwhile, a second neural network tries to distinguish between the “real” training data and the new “fake” data. In trying to fool the cop, the counterfeiter learns to make better fakes, which in this case means more realistic Mario levels. (Nintendo did not respond to Fast Company‘s request for comment.)

[Image: courtesy of MarioGAN]

The researchers then devised a way to search the latent space of the neural network for certain characteristics, such as the amount of ground tiles Mario can run and jump on, or the number of jumps required for a computer-controlled player to get through the level without issue. While the results weren’t flawless–some levels were impossible to traverse, and others had broken pipes–the researchers were able to create a level that gradually increased in difficulty. In the future, this approach could allow for an endless level that automatically gets harder over time, or one that emphasizes discovery of hard-to-reach items.

Still, the system has some notable limitations. GANs work best when there’s good sample data to work with, and both the Mario and Doom projects relied on a body of training data that exists for academic work. Although some research does exist on machine learning that doesn’t depend on direct training data, in some sense, there may not be a point in having game designers use AI to make levels if the training process involves making lots of levels themselves.

There’s also much more work to be done in getting AI to understand the full range of possible experiences that make for great level design. Optimizing for difficulty is one thing; matching the intent of someone like Miyamoto–who carefully arranged every block and goomba in Super Mario Bros.’ opening moments to elicit surprise, fear, and understanding–is another.

But perhaps that’s just another technical hurdle to overcome.

“It’s not that humans have a monopoly on this skill,” Smith says. “We just don’t have a big data set of the correct behavior to train our system on yet.”

via Fast Company

These Abandoned Gas Station are Stunning

Capturer des stations d’essence abandonnées, tel a été la dernière lubie du photographe et designer Robert Götzfried. Dernièrement, il a voyagé à travers le sud des États-Unis – de Washington DC jusqu’en Virginie en passant par la Caroline du Nord et le Tennessee – sur la route il a photographié des stations d’essence désertes. Beaucoup d’entre elles ont été fermés pour des raisons financières. Un travail à découvrir sur son site et Instagram. 


via Fubiz

Navigator: Generation Lonely

Hello, and welcome to a fresh edition of Navigator! (Also, apparently, to summertime—at least on the East Coast, here in America.)

So, this week, I learned that young Americans (members of Gen Z, for the folks keeping tabs on the terminology) are more likely to feel lonely than the average American. Obviously, loneliness is a complicated and subjective experience, rooted in myriad economic, technological, and sociological reasons. But the study got me thinking about the role geography plays in fostering, or mitigating, feelings of loneliness. For me, a pastoral countryside—with its silence and space—evokes a feeling of isolation. I’ve always lived in cities, and feel like the buzz of having so many people together in the same space can blunt the edge of loneliness. Perhaps, to another person, the crowdedness just sharpens it. Case in point: Tokyo—the largest city in the worldwhere the loneliness can certainly rise above the din, and sometimes even feel deafening.

I am curious about your experiences—what role do you think geography plays in fueling loneliness? As always, drop me a line at

What we’ve been writing:

Here at CityLab, Brentin Mock wrote about the urgent need to stop Kanye West from tweeting building a city: “Unlike his beats and sneakers—but very much like his sweatsuits—this would not be a good idea,” Brentin writes.

Other stories: Venice is gating the historic part of the city to keep tourists out. ¤ “Unfortunately, none of the Avengers thought to hit Thanos with a study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.” ¤ Spain’s ghost towns, photographed by drones. ¤ The politics behind the “Little Pink House.” ¤ New Davonhaime: a conceptual city for black Americans. ¤

What we’ve been taking in:

“’We love Cairo!’ … for them, Egypt was um al-duniya, the mother of the world.” (New Yorker) ¤ Sketches from a Chennai-based artist’s favorite city haunts. (Scroll.In) ¤ A tour of Milwaukee that shines light on racist housing policy. (Fast Company) ¤ Confirmed: Vending machines are a little bit magic.” (Slate) ¤ The jazz maestro hitting the road to heal communities affected by gun violence. (The Undefeated) ¤ The feminists of Basque Country. (The Baffler) ¤  “Mr. Singh is also among the last of a vanishing breed: the sidewalk newspaper hawker.” (The New York Times) ¤ The great high school imposter of Harrisburg. (GQ) ¤ “The faces and stories in these meetings changed from week to week, but I quickly learned the metal folding chairs, and that feeling of togetherness, are heavy things that stay in place.” (Curbed) ¤

And here’s a gem CityLab’s Mark Byrnes found on the Internet:

UK-based architecture historian Otto Saumarez Smith recently came across some remarkable drawings of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’habitation in Marseille. They were made by kindergarteners who attended the school inside the colorful concrete residential complex in its early years. If you ask me, the kids gave the famous architect’s own chalkboard drawing of the place a run for its money and some even did a better job of emphasizing the building’s social life.

View from the ground:

@paola.kola took note of windows in the Balkans, @anney_looks_up photographed a glass-heavy home in Chicago’s Roscoe Village, @misterkchung captured the density and scale of Hong Kong, and @hammeredtoast documented the view near Turkey’s Roumeli Hissar Castle.

Tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #citylabontheground.

Over and out,



via CityLab | All Articles

The iPad is most popular tablet in the world

The iPad is the world’s most popular tablet

The Apple iPad is most popular tablet in the world and 9.1 million of them were sold in the first three months of 2018 according to the IDC.  This represents a four year high for the Cupertino company, likely driven by entry level iPad released last year for $299. Apple has a 28% global market share and continue to be the brand to beat.

IDC said worldwide tablet shipments from all vendors combined declined 11.7 percent in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis, making the iPad’s gains in sales, revenue, and market share all the more impressive.

Amazon continues to sell less Fire Tablets and sold 1.1 million units in Q1 2018, which represent a 3.5% market share. Last year around the same time they sold 2.2 million units and had a 6% market share, so less people are buying Amazon branded devices. The IDC report is contradictory to research conducted by Strategy Analytics, which estimates Amazon shipped 2.8 million tablets in the first quarter, and it’s unclear why there is such a large discrepancy between the numbers. IDC said Amazon’s quarterly downturn “does not come as a surprise” given that its tablet sales are highly seasonal.

What is next for the Apple iPad in 2018? The company intends on releasing one new PRO model with a slimmer bezel, no home button and Face ID later this year. It remains to be seen if they will continue to refresh the Apple iPad Mini.

Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.

via Good E-Reader Blog – ebook Reader and Tablet PC News

Phishing campaign aimed at Airbnb users leverages GDPR as a bait

Cybercriminals are targeting Airbnb users with phishing emails that urge the compliance with the new privacy regulation General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)  privacy laws threaten with severe penalties to demand personal information from Airbnb users. The interest on the subject is very high among professionals and companies operating in various industries, it’s normal that crooks will try to take advantage of this situation.

Airbnb, like many other companies, is sending emails to inform users of changes in the privacy law according to the upcoming GDPR.

Cybercriminals are targeting Airbnb users demanding personal information and financial data referencing the GDPR.

Experts from Redscan are monitoring a spam campaign targeting Airbnb users with spam messages like the following one:

“This update is mandatory because of the new changes in the EU Digital privacy legislation that acts upon United States-based companies, like Airbnb in order to protect European citizens and companies,” reads the spam message according to the Redscan. 

airbnb gdpr phishing

The extent of the campaign is still unclear, crooks are targeting businesses’ email addresses taken online.

The phishing messages pretend to be a GDPR information request sent by Airbnb to hosts of the service.

“The irony won’t be lost on anyone that cybercriminals are exploiting the arrival of new data protection regulations to steal people’s data,” Skynews cited Redscan Director of Cybersecurity Mark Nicholls Nicholls as saying.

The phishing emails use a simple as effective social engineering trick, the message informs hosts they can’t accept new bookings or contact potential guests until they accept their organizations are not compliance to the GDPR.

Malicious email uses a domain that could appear as legitimate, according to Redscan, in this campaign, hackers rather than the legitimate domain used the domain.

If the victims click the malicious link embedded in the email, they redirected to phishing page designed to request victims both personal and financial information.

“Modern phishing campaigns are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and people need to be extra vigilant when opening emails and clicking links, since it’s important to ensure they originate from a trusted source.said Mark Nicholls, Redscan’s director of cybersecurity.

It is important to highlight, that GDPR notifications sent by companies to its customers don’t ask for users’ credentials, so be careful and stay vigilant.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – GDPR, phishing)

via Security Affairs