Facebook shows how AI bans the only thing people actually want more of on Facebook: Weed

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Facebook shows how AI bans the only thing people actually want more of on Facebook: Weed

Mike Schroepfer knows a dank nug when he sees one. 

The chief technology officer at Facebook took the stage on the second day of the social media company’s annual developer conference in San Jose to talk about machine learning, marijuana, and making sure you don’t get your grubby little hands on any of that sticky icky. That’s right, the greatest minds in the Valley are spending their most productive years making sure you can’t buy THC Rice Krispies treats via their “private social platform.” 

Of course, this being F8, Schroepfer was making a larger point about how the service’s artificial intelligence tools have improved in their ability to identify and remove content that violates Facebook’s policies. Content, he explained, like violence, nudity, harassment, and the listing of drugs for sale. 

But how are Facebook’s systems to distinguish between an ad listing the kindest of buds and, say, broccoli tempura? Schroepfer asked the crowd to, with a show of hands, see who could tell them apart in two photos. Almost everyone got it right. 

The chief technology officer helpfully laid out the three digital pillars of Facebook’s effort to keep you from scoring drugs on its platform: keyword matching, computer vision, and “nearest neighbor manifold expansion.” These tools, when combined, allow Facebook to ban the one thing people actually want more of from Facebook. Yes, we’re talking about weed.

Keyword matching works by looking for words in posts like “marijuana,” or “drugs.” Computer vision, as the name suggests, works to identify the image displayed. Neighbor manifold expansion, on the other hand, really drives the buzzkill bummer home.

Schroepfer gave an example of a photo of weed packaging, and said that Facebook’s AI is able to identify these unfamiliar images as containing a federally illegal drug because it can figure out what they most resemble. 

Obviously, Facebook still was a lot of work to do. A slide shown on stage reminded the audience that, as of Q3 of 2018, Facebook’s automated systems only proactively caught 14.9 percent of harassment removed from the site. The rest was user reported.

Of course, there are far worse things than weed on Facebook. Like hate speech and misinformation meant to sway elections and attack minority groups.

Maybe, and it’s just a suggestion, focus more on that and less on making sure we can’t buy cheap weed via your digital town square? Your newly mellowed out users will thank you. 

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This viral video of a chimp browsing Instagram is facing criticism from primatologists

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This viral video of a chimp browsing Instagram is facing criticism from primatologists

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Many of us get enthralled in social media these days. And for photographers, that means Instagram in particular. But one Instagram user is going viral for a very unusual reason. They’re a chimpanzee. They scroll through the feeds, look at images and videos then flick back like a pro.

While the ease with which the Chimp manages to navigate Instagram, or even understand the concept of a touch screen smartphone, is quite incredible, not everybody is happy about the video.

Posted to Instagram by conservation advocate Mike Holston, the video has received already seen over 1.6 million views and faces criticism from the world-famous and highly regarded English primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, widely considered the leading expert on chimpanzees.

In response to the Instagram video, a post on the Jane Goodall blog quotes Dr Goodall as saying…

I am very disappointed to see the inappropriate portrayal of a juvenile chimpanzee in this video which is currently circulating on social media. Chimpanzees are highly social animals, very intelligent and have complex emotions like humans – it is imperative that we portray them appropriately and that they receive the best possible care in captive environments.

Portraying chimpanzees in this way on social media is also perpetuating the illegal pet trade in great apes, and as they cannot be domesticated, interactions with humans as displayed by this video are highly dangerous, as well as harmful to the well-being of the chimpanzee. 

– Dr Jane Goodall

While videos like this often seem very cute, and in this case even impressive, they can also do far more harm than good, especially when it comes to the public perception of an animal as a species.

Given the current issues facing the planet, with countless species being wiped out in the past handful of decades and many more on the brink of extinction today, we as a species of our own should probably think more carefully about what we post to social media.

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This guy built his own smartwatch and so can you

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DIY projects can be a lot of fun, and if Raspberry Pi has taught us anything it’s that people love to tinker. But for most folk, forays into the world of build-it-yourself tech start and end with a specific kit and a whole bunch of instructions to help them along. Not so for one inquisitive Redditor, who recently revealed that he built an entire smartwatch from scratch. And since he’s been kind to enough to share details of the process down to the smallest minutiae, you can too.

Samson March, who goes by the moniker Smarchbme, has named his stunning creation the "Smarch Watch" and said it took a few weeks to build the fully-functional, self-coded device, which boasts a battery life of seven days and takes just 2.5 hours to fully recharge (because of course he went the whole hog and built a charging cradle, too). The watch brings up color-coded notifications from his phone, including messages, email and calendar, although he humbly states there’s "no music playback yet."

He sourced his materials as cheaply as possible, with a final price tag of about $50. However, he says that "as a rule of thumb, for a product to be successful and make a profit, you would have to sell it for four or five times the cost of the goods. So in my case (assuming no discounts due to the economies of scale) I would have to charge somewhere between $200 and $250 to make a profit." This goes some way to explaining why companies charge such high prices, then. Alas, despite repeated requests by impressed Redditors, March has no plans to put his creation into wider production. But he’s shared everything — and we mean everything — you need to know to get started yourself is here.

Admittedly, March had a few things stacked in his favor, such as his five years working as a product designer and access to equipment such as a 3D printer. But he says that "We live in the golden age of making — there’s no better time than now to start making things," adding that "You can DIY anything — next up, a DIY spaceship."

Source: Reddit

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Bob Moog documentary, Electronic Voyager, crowdfunding on Indiegogo

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Electronic Voyager is three years in the making.

The team behind modular synth film I Dream Of Wires is crowdfunding to finish a feature-length documentary about the life of synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog.

Electronic Voyager is being developed by Toronto-based production company Waveshaper Media, which has already filmed interviews with Jean-Michel Jarre, Gary Numan and Rick Wakeman for the documentary.

According to a synopsis, the documentary follows Moog’s daughter Michelle Moog-Koussa on “an emotional road trip” across the US, UK and mainland Europe as she retraces her father’s footsteps.

The film’s initial costs were funded by a 2016 Kickstarter campaign, but Waveshaper Media is now aiming to raise $40,000 on Indiegogo to cover post-production costs.

Waveshaper Media is also releasing a vinyl compilation LP of early tracks made with Moog synthesizers called Electronic Voyages: Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969. The LP will be exclusive to Indigogo backers, who can pick up the vinyl for $27, or $30 for a limited white vinyl version. Check out the campaign here.

If successful, Electronic Voyager should arrive in April 2020. As with any crowdfunding campaign though, backers should be aware that projects or rewards can be delayed or may not turn up at all.

Check out the art and tracklist for Electronic Voyages: Early Moog Recordings 1964-1969 below.

Electronic Voyages tracklist

A1. Robert Arthur Moog – ‘The Abominatron’
A2. Herbert Deutsch – ‘Jazz Images, A Worksong And Blues’
A3. Joel Chadabe ­- ‘Blues Mix’
B1. Lothar and the Hand People – ‘Milkweed Love’
B2. Intersystems – ‘Changing Colours’
B3. Ruth White ­- ‘The Clock’
B4. Max Brand – ‘Triptych’
B5. Paul Earls ­- ‘Monday Music’

Read next: 8 of the most important modular synthesizers in music history

The post Bob Moog documentary, <em>Electronic Voyager</em>, crowdfunding on Indiegogo appeared first on FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music..

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Blue Origin lofts NASA and student experiments in New Shepard tomorrow morning

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The 11th mission for Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle is slated for takeoff Tuesday morning. The craft will be carrying 38 (!) experimental payloads from NASA, students, and research organizations around the world. You’ll be able to watch the launch live tomorrow at about 6 AM Pacific time.

New Shepard, though a very different beast from the Falcon 9 and Heavy launch vehicles created by its rival SpaceX, is arguably a better platform for short-duration experiments that need to be exposed to launch stresses and microgravity. Launching satellites — that’s a job for Falcons and Deltas, or perhaps Blue Origin’s impending New Glenn, and they’re welcome to it. But researchers around the country are clamoring for spots on suborbital flights and Blue Origin is happy to provide them.

Tomorrow’s launch will be carrying several dozen, some of which will have been waiting years for their chance to board a rocket. Here are a few examples of what will be tested during the short flight:

  • Evolved Medical Microgravity Suction Device: As more people go into space, we have to be prepared for more and graver injuries. Lots of standard medical tools won’t work properly in microgravity, so it’s necessary to redesign and test them under those conditions. This one is about providing suction, as you might guess, which can be used for lung injuries, drawing blood, and other situations that call for negative air pressure.

This little guy will be doing microgravity test prints using metal.

  • 3D printing with metal in microgravity: Simply everyone knows we can 3D print stuff in space. But just as on Earth, you can’t always make your spare parts out of thermoplastic. Down here we use metal-based 3D printers, and this experiment aims to find out if a modified design will allow for metal printing in space as well.
  • Suborbital centrifuge: It sounds like something the Enterprise would deploy in Star Trek, but it’s just a test bed for a new type of centrifuge that could help simulate other gravities, such as that of the Moon or Mars, for purposes of experiments. They do this on the ISS already but this would make it more compact and easier to automate, saving time and space aboard any craft it flies on.

The suborbital centrifuge, looking as cool as it sounds.

  • BioChip SubOrbitalLab: The largest ever study of space-based health and the effects of microgravity on the human body was just concluded, but there’s much, much more to know. Part of that requires monitoring cells in real time — which like most things is easier to do on the surface. This lab-on-a-chip will test out a new technique for containing individual cells or masses and tracking changes to them in a microgravity environment.

It’s all made possible through NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, which is specifically all about putting small experiments aboard commercial spacecraft. The rest of the many gadgets and experiments awaiting launch are listed here.

The launch itself should be very similar to previous New Shepards, just like one commercial jet takeoff is like another. The booster fires up and ascends to just short of the Karman line at 100 kilometers, which (somewhat arbitrarily) marks the start of “space.”

At that point the capsule will detach and fly upwards with its own momentum, exposing the payloads within to several minutes of microgravity; after it tops out, it will descend and deploy its parachutes, after which it will drift leisurely to the ground. Meanwhile the rocket will have descended as well and made a soft landing on its deployable struts.

The launch is scheduled for 6:30 AM Pacific time — 8:30 AM Central in Texas, at Blue Origin’s launch site. You’ll be able to watch it live at the company’s site.

from TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2PGkPAb
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This is a biomimetic drone based on 5+ decades of flight research on actual birds!

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Move-over drones, there is a king of the skies in town… and boy is it interesting! This is MetaFly, a breathtakingly unique, remote controlled biomimetic creature like nothing before! This incredible device has been 50 years in the making… and it shows; MetaFly’s ability to fly accurately mimics that of birds and it is utterly mesmerizing. The patented wing control is both precise and smooth, allowing it to be flown comfortably indoors or pushed to its full potential outside, as it expertly darts through narrow, drone-restricting obstacles!

You may be questioning how long MetaFly would last under your control, as its delicate and intricate form suggests a fragile nature. However, you don’t need to worry! It has been designed with the inevitability firmly in mind and carries an elastic crash proof design that has been designed to withstand impact!

This is undisputedly a unique and thoroughly intriguing airborne device that is ready to take on the challenges that you throw at it!

Designer: Edwin Van Ruymbeke

Click Here to Buy Now: $77 $139 (46% off). Hurry, less than 24 hours left! Over $650,000 raised!

Accurate enough for indoors. Patented wing control that’s precise and smooth.

But born to be in the wild.

Take off and land naturally. And it’s way more graceful than a drone.

Click Here to Buy Now: $77 $139 (46% off). Hurry, less than 24 hours left! Over $650,000 raised!

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The 10 Best Free Songwriting Tools for Musicians

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Writing songs is tough. Sometimes you don’t know where to start and other times you feel completely stuck.

But it doesn’t have to be depressing. There are more great tools out there to help with songwriting than ever before

Need to find the right chord progression for that bridge? Or maybe you need a simple drum pattern to play along to? Or maybe you want to remember those perfect lyrics you wrote to end that chorus?

Whatever you’re stuck on, this list of the top ten free songwriting apps and tools will help kickstart your inspiration.

1. Autochords

Autochords is a simple and easy-to-use chord generator which works in various moods and keys. The browser tool generates 4 different chord progressions and all of the chords in any given key.

Perfect for: anyone that’s developing their music theory and needs to generate ideas quickly.

2. The Method Behind The Music Dictionary

Method Behind the Music lists all the commonly used terms you’d find in a classical music score.

Don’t know your glissandi from your crescendi? No problem. Everything from a coda to a triad is described in glossary-like fashion, meaning you can read up on theory or learn about different musical concepts.

Don’t know your glissandi from your crescendi? No problem.

Perfect for: for brushing up on the music theory terms that will help you understand and communicate your musical ideas better.

3. LANDR Collaboration

LANDR’s collaboration tools allow you to share private links to your demo or mastered track.

Get feedback from your friends or collaborators to help improve your song. Use timestamps to refer to specific sections, like a bridge or chorus. Start a project and keep track of all your versions with critiques collected in one easy to access place.

Perfect for: collecting feedback and collaborating on a work in progress.

 4. Rhyme Zone

Rhyme Zone is a rhyming dictionary with additional features to find synonyms, antonyms, similar sounding words, and more.

It’s a songwriters dream for chasing down that last missing word in a lyric.

The rhyming section lists all possible rhymes with varying syllable counts and near rhymes.

You can even restrict words by meter or show the popularity of a word’s usage in English texts.

Perfect for: writing or revising lyrics to find that one absolutely perfect word.

5. Hook Theory Trends

Hook Theory Trends is a songwriting resource that shows the chord progressions of over 12,000 songs.

You can listen to clips and see which songs use the same chords. It gives you an in-depth breakdown of the chords used in different choruses, verses and bridges.

It’s an encyclopedia of chord progressions that will help you identify your favourites and learn how they work.

Hook Theory’s popular chord progressions tool also catalogues the most popular progressions in songs.

Hook Theory’s popular chord progressions tool also catalogues the most popular progressions in songs.

Perfect for: anyone looking for some chord progression inspiration in their songwriting.

6. HumOn

HumOn is an iOS and Android songwriting app that creates a song and score around a hummed melody.

It algorithmically generates different styles such as R&B, Classical, and more—taking a simple sung vocal and turning it into a full-fledged song. You can even share your songs on social media.

Perfect for: hammering out a simple melodic idea quickly, easily and anywhere.

7. iO808

The iO808 is a browser-based app of the classic TR-808 drum machine.

Believe it or not, the 808 was originally marketed as a studio assistant to play along to.

It can be useful for plotting out a rhythm. You can play along to it, or record it. iO808 even allows you to save a Javascript notation file, so that you can reload previously made rhythms.

Perfect for: injecting some classic drum machine compositions into your songwriting or putting together quick rhythms to play along to.

8. Bandlab

Bandlab is a free browser and app-based digital audio workstation. It’s a great alternative to other simple DAWs such as Garage Band or Audacity. Its portability allows you to record from your phone or demo on the go.

Perfect for: simple and easy to use demoing and multitracking.

9. Audiotool

Audiotool is a free full-scale production suite in your browser.

Drag a few virtual instruments and effects pedals onto the screen and you’re already on your way to making your next hip-hop or electronic track.

Audiotool emulates analog-style production, so you have to patch your instruments and pedals together with virtual input and output cables.

Audiotool emulates analog-style production, so you have to patch your instruments and pedals together with virtual input and output cables.

But it’s actually a helpful approach that can help you understand signal flow in your tracks. Audiotool allows you to save, record, and export your projects.

Perfect for: composing entire hip-hop or electronic tracks backing tracks to play along to.

10. Chordbot Lite

Chordbot is an iOS and Android app for creating and sampling different chord progressions in various keys and modes.

It’s similar to Autochords, but a bit more hands-on and detailed. It showcases different chord progressions and styles with different instruments (such as arpeggiated pianos, synths, and acoustic guitar) and effects.

Export songs as MIDI, WAV, or as Chordbot projects to collaborate with others.

Perfect for: putting together chord progressions and song ideas with different keys and instruments.

The write tool for the job

Technology keeps you organized and creative when you’ve hit a rut or need a little extra help with your songwriting.

These tools help expand on your capacity for creative expression—making the process easier, more collaborative and more fun.

Try these 10 songwriting tools the next time you’re stuck, or in need of some fresh inspiration!

The post The 10 Best Free Songwriting Tools for Musicians appeared first on LANDR Blog.

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