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Users that often use this tag:
kliuless (11)
The Whelk (2)
troutfishing (2)
zarq (2)
jason's_planet (2)
jbickers (2)

21st Century Wiener

Norbert Wiener: The Eccentric Genius Whose Time May Have Finally Come (Again) - "The most direct reason for Wiener's fall to relative obscurity was the breakthrough of a young mathematician and engineer named Claude Shannon." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 11, 2014 - 12 comments

Dear Marc Andreessen

"Hi, Marc... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots. But what everyone's worried about is you, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 18, 2014 - 50 comments

Give me a ticket for an airoplane

How the US Postal Service works offers a glimpse into the massive automation behind the AFCS (Advanced Facer Canceller System) which helps deliver 150 million of pieces of mail daily
posted by growabrain on Jun 6, 2014 - 31 comments

Evenly distribute the future: Issuing more bio-survival tickets

VC for the people - "It's just that people who have options are much more likely to actually find success than people who don't." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 18, 2014 - 20 comments

Humanity needs bots to save the world's knowledge from humanity.

Wikipedia is edited by bots. That's a good thing.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Mar 23, 2014 - 33 comments

Move your TOILET PAPER to the belt, you putrid jockey of filth.

A Preliminary Phenomenology of the Self-Checkout. An essay in six parts. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 15, 2014 - 61 comments

"Give me LI-berty or take the blinking phone out."

"In the mid-20th century, in response to the United States’ rapidly expanding telephone network, executives at the Bell System introduced a new way of dialing the phone. Until then, for the most part, it was human operators — mostly women — who had directed calls to their destinations." The new system, which eliminated letters from phone numbers and set the stage for an automated national (and eventually international) dialing system. was met with a minor rebellion against "creeping numeralism." The Atlantic examines "Our Numbered Days: The Evolution of the Area Code." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 23, 2014 - 99 comments

Dirty, Dull and Dangerous

What Jobs Will The Robots Take? Eight Ways Robots Stole Our Jobs In 2013. Who is next?
Soldiers?
Rescue teams? Managers?
Astronauts? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 31, 2014 - 91 comments

The Library as an Economic Model in the Second Machine Age

Congress takes a casual look at the peer-to-peer economy - “Finding new ways to monetise used or existing assets has the obvious and immediate effects of raising their value and the wealth of their owners, while simultaneously reducing the value of comparable stuff owned by incumbent companies — for whom monetisation already wasn’t a problem, and who find themselves burdened by the newly competitive environment. The innovations also provide a surplus to those consumers who previously would have paid more to an incumbent. And all without any new stuff actually having to be made.” [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 23, 2014 - 23 comments

High Frequency Dating

Automate your love life.
Facial attractiveness is surprisingly uncomplicated to quantify. Essentially, evolution has us seeking partners that are as “normal” as possible. Anything that is unusually big or small, any ratio that differs from \phi, or about 1.618, hurts the score. After the face(s) are identified in the image, a mask of 25 anthropometric proportion indices is overlaid and mean compliance is measured.
[more inside]
posted by kandinski on Nov 21, 2013 - 29 comments

Home James, and Don’t Spare the Horses

Auto Correct — Has the self-driving car at last arrived? From The New Yorker, November 25, 2013.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 18, 2013 - 173 comments

Economist warns of the coming robot apocalypse

The robots are here. George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen predicts that the trend towards automation will squeeze the middle class further still, and compares its effects on American politics to a too-overlooked 1955 short story by Isaac Asimov.
posted by Jacob Knitig on Nov 14, 2013 - 81 comments

Where would be the fun in watching a driverless Formula 1 race?

Brad DeLong, recently installed at Equitablog, lays out a future (wonkish) where the returns to capital keep increasing relative to labor: "What do we people do to add value? Eight things... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 9, 2013 - 29 comments

Automation turns us from actors into observers

Nicholas Carr's latest article for The Atlantic posits that automation presents risks, specifically of losing skill and talent. "The lack of awareness and the degradation of know-how raise the odds that when something goes wrong, the operator will react ineptly. The assumption that the human will be the weakest link in the system becomes self-fulfilling."
posted by Athanassiel on Nov 2, 2013 - 92 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Singularity flip side

47% of US jobs under threat from computerization according to Oxford study. The study reveals a trend of computers taking over many cognitive tasks thanks to the availability of big data. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Sep 24, 2013 - 121 comments

Perhaps they could call it WOPR

To reduce the risk of future Edward Snowden style leaks, the NSA wants to reduce the number of people in the loop. Director Keith Alexander told Reuters that the NSA plans to eliminate fully 90 percent of its system administrators and replace them with machines.
posted by Naberius on Aug 9, 2013 - 104 comments

You Are Not an Artisan

"So long as you stop thinking in terms of crafts and aim to practice a trade instead, there is more work for humans than people realize... When people talk about saving work or jobs, they mostly talk about saving sexy, income-generating conspicuous production packaged as creative work, in a debt-fueled de facto leisure society." Writer and speaker Venkatesh Rao weighs in on the difference between "Sexy Jobs and Schlub Jobs," and what it means for the future of work. For a slightly different take, see The Death of the 'Prestige Economy'
posted by verb on Jul 13, 2013 - 56 comments

ALLL HAIL ROBOKITTY

Swiss Researchers develop a robot that runs like a cat.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 18, 2013 - 54 comments

Computers replace grad students

A new software program grades essay answers automatically. While not the first to do so, the program released by EdX is expected to gain more traction as it will be used to give instant feedback for the non-profit's free online courses offered by top universities. Critics have already found ways to game the system.
posted by DoubleLune on Apr 4, 2013 - 69 comments

We're Going To Have To Find Out How To Deal With Lots Of Idle Hands

The Forces Of The Next 30 Years - SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks to students at Olin College about sci-fi, fiction, speculation, the limits of computation, thermodynamics, Moore's Law, the history of travel, employment, automation, free trade, demographics, the developing world, privacy, and climate change in trying to answer the question What Does The World Of 2043 Look Like? (Youtube 56:43)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 27, 2013 - 18 comments

The Cyber-Ombudsman

TruthTeller is an ambitious new automated application built by the Washington Post, which fact checks political speeches, ads and interviews "in as close to real time as possible." The prototype is intended to be a complement to the paper's Fact Checker Blog. More on the project from TechCrunch and Poynter.
posted by zarq on Jan 29, 2013 - 13 comments

Nespresso vs Espresso

Can individual human flair and creativity be bettered by the mass-produced and mechanised?
posted by travellingincognito on Jan 10, 2013 - 145 comments

The only presentation tool you will ever need.

presentations suck
let's automate them
hooray
posted by 23 on Sep 13, 2012 - 34 comments

"Distribution is the core of the problem we face."

Trade-offs between inequality, productivity, and employment - "The poor do not employ one another, because the necessities they require are produced and sold so cheaply by the rich. The rich are glad to sell to the poor, as long as the poor can come up with property or debt claims or other forms of insurance to offer as payment..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 4, 2012 - 45 comments

use value vs. exchange value

What Is Value? What Is Money? (via via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 1, 2012 - 15 comments

Cups and Balls, hand cranked.

Cups and Balls, via crank (slyt)
posted by Marky on Aug 3, 2012 - 47 comments

The Failure of Judges and the Rise of Regulators

The Control Revolution And Its Discontents - "the long process of algorithmisation over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
posted by kliuless on Feb 23, 2012 - 25 comments

smaller companies are using robots

Made in America: small businesses buck the offshoring trend - "For US manufacturing to make sense, factories must make extensive use of automation. That's getting easier, given that the cost of robots with comparable capabilities has decreased precipitously in the past two decades." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 20, 2011 - 52 comments

speculative, but instructive, economics

In a pinch, upgrade the humans or redistribute the robots - "[S]uppose [as a factory owner] I replace all my workers with machines... This squeeze has many implications, one of them being that here is an important sector of the economy in which more or less all the gains accrue to the owners of capital and more or less none to the working class..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 1, 2011 - 98 comments

I sing the body electric

Hello, my name is FRIDA. I am a concept, developed as part of the Rosetta project, en EU-funded initiative to support the development of robots. Take a good look at me. I can be very romantic.
posted by anigbrowl on Apr 14, 2011 - 21 comments

Automated robots look less threatening in seal suits

"A ball-throwing robot with visual feedback" sounds dull, so let's hide the robot arm in a plush seal suit! Now that ball-throwing robot with stereo vision looks like a seal playing basketball! Just ignore the robotic hand coming out of it's mouth, and the un-seal-like movements. (via)
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 2, 2011 - 32 comments

Automation Insurance: Robots are taking Middle Class Jobs

Is the rise of automation from computers software and robotics and web-fueled outsourcing leading to a shrinking middle class? MIT Economist David Autor thinks so. Good Magazine speculates on the implications for America's future.
posted by mccarty.tim on Oct 15, 2010 - 69 comments

The Multifunction In-Dorm Automation System

The MIDAS - multifunction in-dorm automation system - offers a complete, torturously elaborate system for controlling every aspect of dormitory life. Note especially the emergency party mode button, and Seagalvision, the spy camera in a can of Seagal-branded energy drink.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Oct 11, 2010 - 13 comments

"leverages advanced semantic technology to make Web publishing and community engagement easier than ever"

"If the website you need doesn’t exist, let Primal Pages build it for you in seconds." Launching this week at the DEMO Conference, Primal addresses "a core problem with the Internet: our ability to create information has far exceeded our ability to easily manage and consume it." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Sep 14, 2010 - 18 comments

A peek behind Philip M. Parker's curtain

Remember Philip M. Parker, the much-reviled "author" whose system churns out ultra-long-tail books on ultra-niche topics? Well, here's video of his software, in action. (Via)
posted by jbickers on Apr 14, 2008 - 37 comments

High speed, wave-piercing catamaran

The USNS Swift (HSV-2) looks like something a Bond villian would own, but it's actually one of the most advanced ships owned by the US Navy. Highly manueverable and having a top speed of 51mph, it's heavily automated, capable of handling helicopters, carrying cargo, and launching both manned and unmanned vehicles -- all with only 42 people. It's assisted with relief efforts in Indonesia, Lebanon, and after Hurricane Katrina. But the best thing about the ship? It can be remote controlled through a web browser.
posted by QuestionableSwami on Nov 29, 2007 - 28 comments

Robots

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo...domo
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 2, 2007 - 22 comments

In a future time, children will work together to build a giant...

Two industrial robots spin records.
posted by phrontist on Feb 6, 2007 - 21 comments

Well, MY Robot Wears a Beret.

Who needs great human masters? Tired of slaving away at art school? Don't have any talent? No worries, just let your robot do the art for you.
posted by elfollador on Jan 3, 2007 - 11 comments

Never work.

Never wanna work/Always wanna play/Pleasure, pleasure every day. What happens when the jobs go away and don't return? Should we take the surpluses generated and pay people not to work? What happens to the assumption of scarcity when nanotechology allows us to generate potentially anything we want from grass clippings? Maybe Marx had it wrong all along. Maybe, instead of fetishizing work and the authoritarian mindset that it generates, we should have been reading Paul Lafargue instead. Just as a thought experiment, what would you do if your job category disappeared? How would you spend your time? Would you invest more time and energy in friendships and other relationships? Hobbies? If you were your employer, what technologies would you use to get rid of your position and save money?
posted by jason's_planet on Jun 25, 2006 - 43 comments

science

Computer as author. (NYT) "Dave Striver loved the university - its ivy-covered clocktowers, its ancient and sturdy brick, and its sun-splashed verdant greens and eager youth. The university, contrary to popular opinion, is far from free of the stark unforgiving trials of the business world: academia has its own tests, and some are as merciless as any in the marketplace. A prime example is the dissertation defense: to earn the Ph.D., to become a doctor, one must pass an oral examination on one's dissertation. This was a test Professor Edward Hart enjoyed giving." by Brutus.1
posted by semmi on Nov 22, 2004 - 16 comments

I, Raise

Are bluffing bots outplaying human poker players online? They might not be as strong as Vex Bot, but they could spell trouble for the booming online-poker industry.
posted by mrgrimm on Sep 21, 2004 - 28 comments

paper trail NOW paper trail NOW paper trail NOW

Florida county loses 2002 E-voting records in computer crash Ooooops. Do your Congresspeople and Senators support verified voting ? - Check the VerifiedVoting.org database (verifiedvoting.org previously mentioned here) to see if your political reps support H.R.2239 and S.1980, the tandem bills before the U.S. House and Senate which would mandate paper-trail voting. "Electronic miscounts of votes are a fact, not a theory...Technologists warn that electronic voting machines are flawed. They say we should "trust but verify." " Others disagree....with Democracy.
posted by troutfishing on Jul 28, 2004 - 26 comments

It's made outa PEOPLE...arrgghhhh...

The Soylent Green Biscuit Factory Are automation, robots, and computers taking human jobs and producing a new class of permanently superfluous ex-workers? (see Robot Nation thanks spazzm) Maybe the Soylent Green Biscuit Factory can help! Robert Wenzlaff says - "I'm not just the president. I'm also a raw material."
posted by troutfishing on Nov 17, 2003 - 11 comments

Towards a robot-based economy.

Towards a robot-based economy. Lots of interesting ideas here regarding what might happen and possible solutions to economic and social problems when robotics and automation become as cheap as computers did in the 90s.
posted by skallas on Aug 31, 2003 - 20 comments

automata

Automaton \Au*tom"a*ton\, n.; pl. L. Automata, E. Automatons. [L. fr. Gr. ?, neut. of ? self-moving; ? self + a root ma, man, to strive, think, cf. ? to strive.] 1. Any thing or being regarded as having the power of spontaneous motion or action.
posted by crunchland on Apr 14, 2003 - 13 comments

Captcha

CAPTCHA is the Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. The test promises to keep online polls honest, block search engine bots, and end spam as we know it. The program generates and grades tests that (1) most humans can pass and (2) current computer programs can't pass. For example, humans can read distorted text but current computer programs can't. To see if you're human or not, take a Captcha test yourself here. To read more check out this nytimes article.
posted by josephtate on Dec 10, 2002 - 27 comments

1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 26

chip glitch Robbie Floyd - seemed agape even hours after learning of his defeat Wednesday. "It was hard to believe that that type of mistake had happened," he said.
posted by specialk420 on Nov 18, 2002 - 8 comments

Tangent.cx

Tangent.cx is now online. Endquote first came up with a concept for automating self-linking within his own blog. Now he's expanded the idea so that you can build a network of content-driven-sites that auto-link their content with your own. The niftiest part, to me, is his new link pop-up menus, so that one word can link to articles from multiple sites.
posted by nomisxid on Aug 1, 2002 - 12 comments

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