The problem with facial recognition technology
Following IBM’s retreat from the facial recognition business, Amazon has announced that it will defer sales of the technology to police forces for one year, while the deficiencies of the technology are reviewed and potentially rectified. The black and brown communities have been aware of the inaccuracies of the technology for a number of years, as the tech is often used in those communities (housing projects in Brooklyn, for instance). CNET
dis-rup-shun: For those who feel that “the system” has long been biased against them, automating that bias is a reason for despair. The fact that researchers have proven that facial recognition is less accurate on types of people who were not test cases in building the technology, and yet it has still been installed in many public areas, is a small deal for some, and a very large deal for others. Automating law enforcement is a tricky issue, as police have found with body cameras.
Sony unveils the Playstation 5
In a flashy online presentation, Sony unveiled the Playstation 5. The presentation was more about the games that will eventually be available on the console, and less about the device, but the graphics look brilliant. The device comes with a disc drive or without, suggesting that Sony has eliminated some moving parts in an effort to squeeze a little price out of the device. The device is powered by an eight-core AMD Zen 2 processor and available will be a wireless headset with 3D audio support, an HD camera, a special remote (enhanced media player?) and a DualSense charging station to charge controllers. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: This device is cool, and the images are near movie quality. Sony will be bringing back the Grand Turismo car racing game, with much more beautiful car renderings than ever, making this device a lot less expensive than buying a classic sports car.
Is BMR the key to weight loss?
Calculating your basil metabolic rate, essentially your resting calorie burn rate, is the critical measure for weight loss, says this researcher on CNET. A number of calculators are available to compute your BMR and plan exercise and weight loss accordingly.
dis-rup-shun: For those who need to manage their weight closely, exercise and food trackers, such as MyFitnessPal, are critical in the journey. The free version provides most of what you need, and the premium version, aside from not showing ads, provides a number of helpful metrics.
Automation of basic tasks may be next surge in productivity
Basic tasks, performed by people, like reviewing the online files of thousands of applicants for a clinical trial can be easily automated with some basic software. These moves can reduce the time required to perform dozens of tasks, as determined by pharma company, Takeda. Robotic process automation software (RPA) has been available for some time, and does not require AI, but simply runs on commands to perform repetitive tasks. RPA not only increases efficiency, but potentially replaces administrative workers. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Recessions lead to change and increases in efficiency. Our current recession will likely, at a minimum, increase personal efficiencies by keeping many people working at home, potentially forever. Automating ordinary administrative tasks will, on a macro level, perhaps reduce the number of clerical office jobs, but increase the demand for software development and support staff. The labor economy continues, with every recession, to further bifurcate, with higher demand for knowledge workers, and less intelligence needed for repetitive tasks like preparing fast food.