This blog is essentially a scrapbook. I put up random snippets that I hope you will enjoy reading. They may be analytical and open your eyes to new perspectives, or they may be factual and topple your frame of reference. Some could even be funny and make you laugh. Ultimately, the idea is to have a wide variety of accessible content that either adds to what you know, reiterates it, or counters it.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE’S FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM — IT’S CREATED BY HUMANS

As we develop artificial intelligence for our use, here’s a problem that will crop up: The algorithms build to create the intelligence will likely fall prey to the biases of its creators and by extension, society. Thus, the intelligence needs to have some sort of ethical and moral grounding embedded into it. Computer technology needs to move onward from “smart” to socially responsible. Source: NYT Image: MIT Technology Review

PALTERING, AND HOW IT’S DONE

Paltering is a subtle form of lying where an almost true statement is used as an answer to a question you would rather avoid. Here is one example: Bill Clinton used the present tense to avoid answering about Monica Lewinsky (see video). Asked “You had no sexual relationship with this young woman?”, Clinton replied, “There is not a sexual relationship—that is accurate.” Notice the switch in focus from was (in the question) to is (in the answer). Source: HBS Working Knowledge Video: YouTube

URBAN PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY MICHAEL BIES

Michael Bies is a photographer from Landau Palatinate in Germany. These are some of his abstract urban photos black and white photos. Expert tip: To better understand the snaps, look at the simplicity of the composition and the effect created by the textures. Source: Abduzeedo

THE OTHER PERSON IS ALWAYS RIGHT

Read this post by Seth Godin to understand when communication can happen. Its just a few lines, all of which are short. As Godin explains at the end “You’ll need to travel to this place” to communicate. What place is that, and how do you get there? You’ll know when you read it. Source: Seth Godin

BAD NEWS FOR LOVERS OF THE A380 — THE PLANE’S DOOMED

HUGE! — so huge — but still, loveless. No, that’s not the story of my life, but that of the Airbus A380, the biggest plane in production today. As this piece by Cranky Flier points out, the plane is fantastic from the passenger point of view, but isn’t a hit with airlines. Onlt 319 orders have been placed so far, and it is unlikely that even those 319 will be built. The A380 was famously Airbus’ bet on the hub-and-spoke model of transport, at a time when Boeing bet on the point-to-point mode with the 787. Of course, ego might well have had to do with the A380s bet. Here’s another negative article, which came out when the A380 was launched. Source: Cranky Flier Image: Airliners.net

WILL WALMART ENTER THE FLIPKART-AMAZON BATTLE?

Earlier this year, Amazon became the second-largest online marketplace in India. And battle lines have been drawn between it and No 1 player Flipkart. But that battle could heat up further. Reportedly entering the Indian e-tail battle is WalMart, Amazon’s deadly American rival. Although names are undisclosed, reports say Wal-Mart has been in talks with Snapdeal and Shopclues. The strongest buzz, though, is around Walmart entering into a strategic alliance with Flipkart. Source and Image: Knowledge@Wharton

NEW YORK, NEW YORK

My two favourite things in NYC are the Empire State Buliding and the state of Atlas at Rockefeller Center. But this image of a side of Central Park is incredible. I just had to put it up. For best results, click on the source and see in full size. Source: Abduzeedo

‘DESIGNER’ TOOTHBRUSHES FROM A JAPANESE-SCANDINAVIAN FIRM

Yumaki has created artistic toothbrushes that look like they would be a delight to use, simply because of the fun factor. They are made using nylon, charcoal blended or biodegradable bristles and flexible handles made out of a sugarcane plastic, steam pressed bamboo, faux tortoise shell and other materials. The company also offers an annual subscription service, offering to send your toothbrush anywhere in the world. Whatever else it may be, it certainly is unique! See more here. Source and Image: Abduzeedo

AFRICAN ELEPHANTS ARE TURNING TUSKLESS!

The hunting and poaching has taken its toll: African elephants are going tuskless. Tusklessness is a part of a natural genetic variation in female African elephants, and affects between 2% and 6% in a normal herd. In Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, one-third of younger female elephants and half of the older ones have no tusks. In a park in Zambia, research found that tusklessness in adult females rose from 10% in 1969 to 38% in 1989. Source: Inverse Video: YouTube