Friday, December 07, 2018

Information, Intelligent Machines, and New Knowledge

Solzhenitsyn was viewed as an arch-reactionary rooted in the 19th century. But his revolt against liberal condescension foresaw the 21st... Cold River Runs Through Solzhenitsyn

In the Coming Automated Economy, People Will Work for AI IEEESpectrum

ATO searches for “chatty” digital services platform - Strategy - iTnews

Philosophers are accustomed to discussions about how to value lives distant from our own in time and place; economists are not. But in a new book, “Stubborn Attachments: A Vision for a Society of Free, Prosperous, and Responsible Individuals”, Tyler Cowen of George Mason University argues that the moral status of human lives ought not to be traded off over time in the same way that a bond portfolio might be. He puts the results of discounting in evocative terms: given a 5% rate of discount, one human life today is worth 132 a century hence. Is it really ethically acceptable to save one life now at the expense of so many in the future? The lives of humans born decades from now might be difficult for us to imagine, or to treat as of equal worth to our own. But our own lives were once similarly distant from those taking their turn on Earth; the future, when it comes, will feel as real to those living in it as the present does to us. Economists should treat threats to future lives as just as morally reprehensible as present threats to our own.
Here is the full article, on Twitter attributed to Ryan Avent.

Former deputy tax commissioner hearing to rely on phone taps


Why The Tech World Needs Humanities Students More Than Ever

“What matters now is not the skills you have but how you think. Can you ask the right questions? Do you know what problem you’re trying to solve in the first place?” They remind us there is a “long list of successful tech leaders who hold degrees in the humanities.

Housing Minister warns of catastrophe if public loses faith in developers

Anxiety about inappropriate development, profiteering and allegations of corruption could break the social contract between the industry and the public, he said.

Australia's foreign spies may be able to use force in more circumstances
FEDERAL: Australian Secret Intelligence Service officers and their agents would be allowed to use force for the good of their mission, not just to protect themselves and others, under new legislative amendments that are expected to pass.

Companies in the state will be able to pay a variety of taxes, from tobacco sales tax to employee withholding tax to public utilities tax with the cryptocurrency.

Avoiding A World War Web: The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace Lawfare: “On Nov. 11 [2018] at 11:00 a.m., more than 70 world leaders walked towards the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War and to honor the 19 million people who lost their lives in it. French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a charged speech denouncing nationalism and urging all leaders to pursue peace through multilateralism. On November 12th 2018 at the Internet Governance Forum, Macron unveiled France’s first international initiative to that end, the “Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.” The Paris Call is not the first of its kind. In April 2018, Microsoft launched its “Digital Peace” campaign along with a “Cybersecurity Tech Accord” aimed at getting the internet and the technology industry to better protect their customers’ privacy and security against cyberattacks. Similarly, Siemens unveiled in May 2018 a “Charter of Trust” that seeks to develop adherence to security principles and processes, with the aim of developing a “global standard” for cybersecurity. Until those recent developments, norm-building initiatives were the prerogative of states. In 2015, the U.N.’s Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) recognized that international humanitarian law applied to cyberspace, though it then deadlocked when it closed at the end of 2017. Similarly, two blocs—one group led by the United States and another by China and Russia—reached a stalemate at the U.N. Disarmament Commission.

 Microchip implants are threatening workers’ rights
the conversation, 22 November 2018. Initially, the chips are being used in place of ID cards as a way of opening secure doors. But there’s good reason to think the use of implants could expand to more sinister purposes, giving employers much greater control over their workers and raising serious concerns over issues related to human dignity, ethics and health.

Information, Intelligent Machines, and New Knowledge

 “In Academic Year 2018-19, Stanford Libraries will host the speaker series, “Information, Intelligent Machines, and New Knowledge.”The series will begin in autumn with the “Discovery Sessions,” a series of presentations and discussions oriented to work going on within libraries to address the rapidly changing digital information landscape. The sessions are an exploration of artificial intelligence, digital infrastructure, and digital interfaces to improve information access and discovery in libraries and archives. The series will demonstrate applications of AI to search and discovery, metadata enrichment, and digitization. The session will be one hour and consist of a 30 minute talk + 30 minutes of Q&A, including questions from remote participants. The Discovery Sessions will be recorded and distributed widely

  • The first Discovery Session took place on October 29, 2018 with Nicole Coleman of the Stanford Libraries speaking on Library-Inspired Artificial Intelligence. For information about future Discovery Sessions, click here.
  • The second Discovery Session took place on November 26, 2018 with Ruggero Gramatica, CEO of Yewno – How AI will change libraries – via YouTube.
Krebs on Security – “Maybe you were once advised to “look for the padlock” as a means of telling legitimate e-commerce sites from phishing or malware traps. Unfortunately, this has never been more useless advice. New research indicates that half of all phishing scams are now hosted on Web sites whose Internet address includes the padlock and begins with “https://”. Recent data from anti-phishing company PhishLabs shows that 49 percent of all phishing sites in the third quarter of 2018 bore the padlock security icon next to the phishing site domain name as displayed in a browser address bar. That’s up from 25 percent just one year ago, and from 35 percent in the second quarter of 2018. This alarming shift is notable because a majority of Internet users have taken the age-old “look for the lock” advice to heart, and still associate the lock icon with legitimate sites. A PhishLabs survey conducted last year found more than 80% of respondents believed the green lock indicated a website was either legitimate and/or safe.

In reality, the https:// part of the address (also called “Secure Sockets Layer” or SSL) merely signifies the data being transmitted back and forth between your browser and the site is encrypted and can’t be read by third parties. The presence of the padlock does not mean the site is legitimate, nor is it any proof the site has been security-hardened against intrusion from hackers…”

Call for Proposals:

Through its Joint Statistical Research Program (JSRP), the Statistics of Income (SOI) seeks to enable the use of tax microdata by qualified researchers outside the Federal government. Such research can provide new insights and advance the understanding of the ways that existing tax policies affect individuals, businesses, and the economy. It can also provide a new understanding of taxpayer behavior that can aid in the administration of the U.S. tax system. Finally, such research can lead to the development of new datasets useful for future tax administration research, as well as new tabulations that can be released to the public. SOI is a division of the IRS’s Research, Applied Analytics, and Statistics (RAAS) office.

The following subjects are of particular interest to the IRS and the tax research community:

  • Tax administration in a global economy
  • Taxpayer needs and behavior, particularly the roles of information, complexity, salience, engagement, and compliance costs
  • Filing, payment, and reporting compliance measures, behaviors, and drivers
  • Taxpayer response to policy changes, particularly taxpayer responses to changes in incentives
  • Role of complex business structures in tax planning
  • Application of new research methods for tax administration, particularly data science, behavioral insights, or other interdisciplinary approaches

  1. BYU:  LawX Eviction Cases
  2. Cleveland-Marshall:  Global Legal Blockchain Consortium
  3. Cornell:  Legal Aid Apps
  4. Florida:  e-Discovery in China
  5. Harvard:  Legal Hackathon
  6. Harvard:  Caselaw Access Project
  7. Hofstra:  Legal Tech Bootcamp
  8. Vanderbilt:  V-Legal Executive Online Certificate

Ken Henry is wrong, and that has implications for public policy
DARRYL CARLTON: Dr Ken Henry’s statement to the banking royal commission was misguided ‒ he needs to listen to modern business theory and learn from the mistakes of the past. 

Levelling the Playing Field: The Economic Case for Reforming Negative Gearing
McKell Institute, November 2018. The
Switching Gears report made the case for restricting negative gearing to new properties only. The merits of the proposed reform have since been debated at length. However, as Professor Richard Holden outlines in this follow up to Switching Gears, the case for pursuing sensible reforms to negative gearing has never been stronger.

Electric cars in China secretly send location information to government-backed surveillance centres
ABC News, 30 November 2018. Over 200 car manufacturers are sending real-time location information and dozens of other data points from electric vehicles in China to surveillance centres backed by the country's government. the information collected in China is beyond what is needed to meet the country's stated goals. It could be used not only to undermine foreign carmakers' competitive position, but also for surveillance — particularly in China, where there are few protections on personal privacy.

OAIC not primed for data breaches
CIO, 27 November 2018. The OAIC has delivered little if anything and portrays itself more as a body with a do-nothing attitude than one who seeks to regulate, correct and prosecute the failing practices of corporations. However the OAIC does have on record repeat offenders, and it is the big four banks who are the biggest culprits. As of June 30, this year, 9%  of all data breaches were due to the banks.

In Search Of Literary Fame

“Young man, literary glory, or the fame that comes from learning and then writing, is one of the very few forms of glory presently available to the commoner. Admittedly, it’s not as impressive or satisfying as the glory that derives from public service, since action is much worthier and nobler than thinking or writing, and more natural. We weren’t made to spend our lives sitting at a table with pen and paper, and doing so can only be detrimental to your health and happiness. All the same, as I said, this is a glory that can be achieved without initial riches and without being part of a large organization. Theoretically.”

Digging deep & donating to charity this festive season? 😇 If you give to an approved organisation you may be able to claim a deduction! Check @……
18 hours ago · Twitter