Uber y el monopolio de los datos – Universidad de Chile

Jorge Pérez, investigador del Núcleo Milenio Centro de Investigación para la Web Semántica y académico del Departamento de Ciencias de la Computación de la Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, plantea que la relación entre conductores de Uber y la empresa es poco clara, lo que deriva en una asimetría que afecta a los primeros y al sistema en general. Cuestiona también cómo Uber, al poseer millones de choferes a nivel mundial, está monopolizando el transporte privado.

Fuente: Uber y el monopolio de los datos – Universidad de Chile


Lectura “social” al rescate del libro electrónico | Cultura | EL PAÍS

Lectura “social” al rescate del libro electrónico | Cultura | EL PAÍS.


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Traducción de un poema en la obra ‘Journey to the end of the night’, rescatada por The Pages Project. / THE PAGES PROJECT

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Erik Schmitt fue uno de los primeros diseñadores del Kindle con el que Amazon revolucionó la industria de los libros en 2007. Schmitt ama los libros de papel. Los describe como “una experiencia estética” que nunca alcanzará ningún dispositivo electrónico. Habla emocionado sobre la sensación de sujetar el libro en las manos, buscar entre las páginas o recordar el momento de su vida en el que lo leyó sólo con ver la cubierta.

Son apenas un puñado de argumentos con los que los amantes del papel defienden su resistencia a adquirir libros electrónicos. Los partidarios de la versión digital, sin embargo, apuntan a las cualidades insuperables de su conexión a Internet, la incorporación de diccionarios o su movilidad. Y desde que Amazon sacudió las estructuras de la industria editorial, las ventas de unos y otros ejemplares han servido de baremo para dilucidar qué prefieren los lectores.

Estudios recientes muestran que en 2014, la venta de ejemplares impresos superó a la de los electrónicos. En EE UU un informe del Centro Pew Research apunta a los hábitos de los lectores más jóvenes: un 73% de los adultos entre 18 y 29 años, sigue leyendo ejemplares impresos, frente a un 37% que opta por los electrónicos. Naomi Baron, profesora de American University e investigadora de los hábitos de lectura entre universitarios, afirma en su estudio ‘Words Onscreen’ que un 90% de los jóvenes asegura distraerse más si lee en un dispositivo digital.

En esta interacción, el Instituto del Futuro del Libro dice haber encontrado una de las promesas para incorporar a las nuevas generaciones a la lectura digital. Su responsable, Bob Stein, considera “estúpido” querer sentenciar ahora que a los jóvenes no les gustan los ebooks y que además supone una interpretación incorrecta de las tendencias. Los menores de 24 años son los que más usan Internet, pero también son los que poseen menos tabletas. “Tampoco hay editoriales que hayan logrado hacer buenos libros de texto electrónicos”, añade Stein. “La oferta no es lo suficientemente buena para que los estudiantes puedan adoptar este cambio”.

La organización, que estudia las consecuencias del cambio de la lectura desde una página a una pantalla, experimenta con la plataforma Social Reader, concebida como “lectura social” a través de notas, comentarios y formas de destacar el contenido que se pueden compartir con otros lectores. Su teoría es que la inclusión de elementos sociales ayudará a convencer a lectores más jóvenes.


Google hires leading quantum computing expert – FT.com

Google hires leading quantum computing expert – FT.com.

Google today announced that it is expanding its research around quantum computing and that it has hired UC Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) John Martinis and his team – one of the most prolific research groups in this area — to work on new quantum processors based on superconducting electronics.

Google has hired one of the world’s leading quantum computing researchers as it ramps up efforts to develop artificial intelligence and vastly increase the processing power of computers.

Physicist John Martinis and his team at the University of California Santa Barbara will join Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, a collaborative project between the technology group, Nasa and the Universities Space Research Association, a non-profit organisation that studies space. The team will form part of an effort “to design and build new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics”, said Hartmut Neven, Google’s director of engineering, in a blog post.

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It is the latest sign of Google’s bet on the rise of “smart machines”, which it is developing along with a host of experimental projects from drones to self-driving cars.

In January, Google paid £400m for UK start-up DeepMind, whose brain-like “neural network” algorithms can be set loose on huge data-sets and learn in a similar way to the human mind. Its technology is particularly good at calculations based on pattern recognition, such as image searching or looking for the cheapest or best route to a destination.

Google is already working with Nasa to develop applications on a D-Wave quantum computer, the only quantum device that is commercially available, although there is dispute as to the extent to which it is a genuinely “quantum” device.

Developing such technology could help run the sophisticated algorithms that would be required to develop “intelligent” machines, experts say.

Mr Martinis explained the potential reach of quantum technology in a presentation to Google last October. “It’s a physics nightmare . . . We’ve been going at it for 20 years,” he admitted.

Although his team has not yet built a full computer, they have shown how it is theoretically possible to use electrons’ unique ability to exist in two atomic states to vastly increase computing power, because it allows multiple calculations to be run through the system at the same time.

Anders Sandberg, a computational neuroscientist at Oxford university’s Future of Humanity Institute, said quantum technology is likely to be useful for running sophisticated search algorithms for unordered data. Much of what is on the web falls into this category and more is likely to be produced by the rise of connected devices and the “internet of things”.

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Google is showing results from heavy investments in areas beyond search, with notable inroads in the mobile, video and display markets

“The interesting thing about quantum superpositions is that you cannot just do several things at once, but you can tease out patterns in clever ways,” he said. “[Quantum computing] is very cutting edge and we don’t know if it’s going to work out – but there are tantalising hints that it could.

“A lot of artificial intelligence is about searching for patterns and connecting stuff,” he added. “Our brains are using really slow neurons, but using them really well because they’re running in parallel.”

For example, Prof Martinis has said it would take a bank of computers the size of North America running for 10 years and consuming the earth’s entire store of energy every day to figure out all the prime numbers contained in a 2,000-long sequence of binary code. A quantum computer the size of a lecture theatre could do the same calculation in a day.

Mr Sandberg said factoring numbers can be useful for encryption and code-breaking by governments.

But while versions of quantum computers appear to be capable of doing specific, focused applications fast, making them versatile has been a challenge.

“The fact you can have big arguments about whether [the D-Wave] is a quantum computer shows it’s early days,” Mr Sandberg said.

 


Edward Snowden 'humbled' by his election as Glasgow University rector | World news | The Guardian

Edward Snowden ‘humbled’ by his election as Glasgow University rector | World news | The Guardian.

In statement to the Guardian, NSA whistleblower describes vote as bold and historic decision in support of academic freedom
Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower. Photograph: Guardian

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said he was humbled and honoured after Glasgow University students voted overwhelmingly for him to serve as their rector for the next three years.

In a statement to the Guardian, Snowden described it as bold and historic decision in support of academic freedom. “In a world where so many of our developing thoughts and queries and plans must be entrusted to the open internet, mass surveillance is not simply a matter of privacy, but of academic freedom and human liberty,” Snowden said.

The vote is purely symbolic as Snowden is unlikely to be in a position to become a working rector, able to represent students at meetings of the university’s administrators. He is wanted by the US for leaking tens of thousands of documents to journalists and has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

The result of the online election was announced to candidates and their supporters shortly after polls closed at 5pm on Tuesday.