AI, humans, risk, control, study
The authors write, “The most recent advances in artificial intelligence have raised several ethical dilemmas. Perhaps one of the most important is whether humanity will be able to control autonomous machines. … An international group of researchers warned of the potential risks of creating overly powerful and standalone software. Using a series of theoretical calculations, the scientists explored how AI could be kept in check. [One] conclusion is that it would be impossible, according to the study published by the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research portal.” Photo credit: / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Hacker Who Archived Parler Explains How They Did It ; PTSD May Plague Hospitalized COVID-19 Survivors ; and More Picks 1/18

The Hacker Who Archived Parler Explains How They Did It (Judy)

From Vice: “With Twitter’s permanent ban of Donald Trump and tens of thousands of QAnon-linked accounts following the Capitol takeover on Wednesday, many of Trump’s followers planned to make a new home on Parler. … Those plans hit a snag when Amazon Web Services, Google, and Apple deplatformed Parler, effectively erasing it off the internet, at least temporarily. Parler was an organizing and rallying point for the far-right, including many of the Capitol Hill insurrectionists, and so its erasure from the internet threatened to destroy months of posts that could be used to better understand the attack on the Capitol. But the quick thinking of a self-described hacker by the name of donk_enby and a host of amateur data hoarders preserved more than 56.7 terabytes of data from Parler that donk_enby and open source investigators believe could be useful in piecing together what happened last Wednesday and in the weeks and months leading up to it.”

Will Trump’s Mishandling of Records Leave a Hole in History? (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The public won’t see President Donald Trump’s White House records for years, but there’s growing concern the collection won’t be complete, leaving a hole in the history of one of America’s most tumultuous presidencies. Trump has been cavalier about the law requiring that records be preserved. He has a habit of ripping up documents before tossing them out, forcing White House records workers to spend hours taping them back together.”

Senator Calls for Prosecution of Trump Officials Behind ‘Family Separation’ (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has called for the investigation and prosecution of Trump administration officials behind the ‘zero tolerance’ policy that resulted in children being separated from their families at the southern U.S. border. Merkley wrote in a Thursday statement that the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General had the day before ‘released a disturbing report confirming that the Trump administration knew their zero tolerance policy would lead to family separations.’”

Why PTSD May Plague Hospitalized COVID-19 Survivors (Dana)

The author writes, “While neuropsychologists Erin Kaseda and Andrew Levine were researching the possibility of hospitalized Covid-19 patients developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they heard reports of patients experiencing vivid hallucinations. Restrained by ventilators and catheters, delirious from medication and sedatives and confused by the changing cast of medical professionals cycling through the ward, intensive care unit (ICU) patients are especially prone to trauma. For Covid-19 ICU patients, a combination of factors, including side effects of medication, oxygenation issues and possibly the virus itself, can cause delirium and semi-consciousness during their hospital stay. Kaseda says as these patients slip in and out of consciousness, they may visualize doctors wheeling their bodies to a morgue or see violent imagery of their families dying. Such instances, though imagined, can cause trauma that may lead to PTSD in patients long after they have physically recovered from Covid-19.”

Paris to Transform the Champs-Élysées Into ‘Extraordinary Garden’ (Dan)

From Afar: “Francophiles and flâneurs, rejoice: Paris’s famed Champs-Élysées is set to undergo a €250 million (roughly US$305 million) makeover that will transform the 1.2-mile-long stretch into a green pedestrian-friendly area in the city center. The historic avenue, which dates back to 17th-century France, will be transformed into an ‘extraordinary garden’ that extends between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. … The redevelopment, designed by French architecture studio PCA-stream, will see the avenue with fewer car lanes and more pedestrian spaces, along with newly planted greenery to improve air quality in the area.” 

Dog-Sized Lizards Are Taking Over in the Southern US (Dana)

From Outdoor Life: “Fast-moving, terrestrial lizards are slinking their way through the Southeast, invading national parks and possibly your backyard. Native to South America, the Argentine black and white tegu was introduced in South Florida through the pet trade. Since 2013, hundreds of tegus have been found after escaping captivity or being released by pet owners. Recent sightings in Georgia and South Carolina confirmed what biologists feared—Argentine black and white tegus are slowly but surely inching north, expanding their range.”

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