Intelligent Machines

Recommended Computing Reads This Week

A roundup of the best stories on computing from other sites, collected by Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review’s San Francisco bureau chief.

Nov 10, 2015

Google Seeks to Influence AI Research by Giving Software Away
The software Google developed and uses for artificial intelligence tasks such as understanding the content of images is now anyone’s to use or modify. Releasing the software as open source is expected to help researchers and smaller companies develop new applications for machine learning more quickly.

NSA Says How Often, Not When, It Discloses Software Flaws
The U.S. National Security Agency claims that it informs companies about flaws it has discovered in their software 90 percent of the time. Reuters reports that the agency often uses them to hack into the computers of its target first, though.

Automation Will Change Jobs More Than Kill Them
A new report from McKinsey suggests that less than 5 percent of jobs are at imminent risk of being taken over entirely by machines or software. But the authors say most jobs will be changed in some way by automation, because emerging technologies are capable of taking over some activities that workers’ currently perform, even in “high-skill” positions.

Let’s Look to Magicians to Better Understand Technological Deception
Technology that deceives can be bad, such as Volkswagen’s “defeat device” that dodged emissions tests. But one writer argues that helpful, well-designed technology often uses trickery, too, and we should get used to that.