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Best thing you have seen on the internet today.


LynnS
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I am actually watching this on television instead of streaming it, but the CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has a tv series called The Nature of Things hosted by Dr. David Suzuki. It's one of the longest-running programs on the CBC.

Tonight's program is called In Your Face, and it's about facial recognition, in humans and in AI. There are people scientists call Super Recognizers, who can recognize a face after seeing it only once and who will never forget that face. These skills have especially been exploited in the UK. The police have hired many Super Recognizers, or have searched their employee ranks to find them. These police officers particularly work crowds, and can pick out criminals who they have seen before with amazing accuracy. They showed one former officer, now working in private industry, who watched shots of a crowd of 42,000 and found a particular wanted criminal in the crowd.

Scientists have researched what part of the brain is involved in facial recognition, and the program shows the results of tests that determined the neurons in the brain responsible for facial recognition. The tests even work on monkeys - they showed monkeys many different images, and electrodes attached to their heads triggered when the images showed a face. Some images fool subjects if they look like a face, like a green pepper sliced a certain way or a truck with lights and markings that look like a face.

AI is very good at recognizing Caucasian people and quite bad at recognizing black people. The error rate is as high as 35% for black women. Amazon had been selling facial recognition software to police departments and was convinced to withdraw sales once it was shown how high the failure rate is, and how dangerous that was for black people. The program shows some examples of facial recognition software in action, and it's stunning to see a camera view of a train station or a street and boxes popping up with not only the names of the people on the street but their addresses as well. Even scarier is the work being done in China, and the stunning number of cameras in Chinese cities. Boxes popped up over every person walking down the streets, showing their information. The Chinese are especially using the technology in the parts of the country where the Uyghurs live. One city shown had 1 camera in the streets for every five residents.

But what I found most fascinating was the existence of Super Recognizers. Lots of times I've read novels where a character says, "I never forget a face", and I've laughed it off, but there are indeed people who never forget a face.

Here's a link to the program's web site. https://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes

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6 hours ago, Fragile Bird said:

These skills have especially been exploited in the UK. The police have hired many Super Recognizers, or have searched their employee ranks to find them. and I've laughed it off, but there are indeed people who never forget a face.

 

I've met a couple. They are freaky, more useful than anything else I've ever come across. One generated something like 150 arrests in one year. 

I have no idea how they do it. 

Edited by BigFatCoward
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4 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

I've met a couple. They are freaky, more useful than anything else I've ever come across. One generated something like 150 arrests in one year. 

I have no idea how they do it. 

If you find that episode of The Nature of Things, it gives an explanation of how their brains process information.

I was thinking about whether or not I should tag you, wondering if you had come across any of them.

Edited by Fragile Bird
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So it sounds like Terunofuji got injured four days ago, but continued to appear and fight for the last four days for Yokozuna pride.  I worry that we will lose him, the last of the greats from the past decade, as his knees turn to sawdust.

Terrific job by Mitakeumi to stay focused and get it done.  Ozeki promotion for him now, surely.

 

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No, no, noes, we're English and we don't wish to have this spoken of, or even known, because Others might believe the truths in it.

However, finally, Capitalism and Slavery by Dr. Eric Williams , written at Oxford in 1938, is published in England.

 

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... Any suggestion that the slave trade and slavery were abolished for economic and not humanitarian reasons ran “contrary to the British tradition”, Warburg told him, adding: “I would never publish such a book.”

Even in modern Britain, Sanghera said, this attitude persists: “Williams said: ‘The British historians wrote almost as if Britain had introduced Negro slavery solely for the satisfaction of abolishing it.’ And that is the truest thing ever said about Britain’s attitude to slavery. We almost act as if we weren’t involved in it. We focus on the fact that we abolished it, we don’t like to talk about what Williams talks about in the book: that we made a load of money out of it, that it was – more than anything else – an economic exercise. It made so many people in Britain so rich, and that wealth still exists today.” Sanghera adds: “It’s a totally essential book. I was 42 when I first read it and it blew my mind.”

One reason the book still has the power to shock is because, to this day, British historians still do not take the arguments in Williams’s book seriously, according to Kehinde Andrews, professor of Black studies at Birmingham City University and author of The New Age of Empire. “The orthodoxy of the history of the Industrial Revolution is that slavery wasn’t important. If you go to most universities, most academics will say that and they’ll dismiss the book – because they just cannot accept that the Industrial Revolution could not have happened without slavery. It’s that simple. You cannot have one without the other, which this book  made the case for in 1938. And it’s still being ignored.”

[ "Britain’s shameful slavery history matters – that’s why a jury acquitted the Colston Four"
David Olusoga ]

Capitalism and Slavery continued to be spurned by British publishers until 1966, when a small university press gave it a very limited print run here.

However, the text – which is still in print in America and has been translated into nine different languages and published all over the world – has been inaccessible and out of print in this country for years. “It’s good that the book’s being published by a major publisher, but it’s kind of an indictment that it’s taken more than 80 years,” said Andrews. “I hope people read it and it’s nice it’s available. But I think it will probably just get ignored in Britain, the way it has been, largely, in the past.”

 

Yes, I have read this book, the first time back in the 1980's.  It was one of the first 3 - 4 titles on the history of African enslavement in the New World I ever read, and did so much thereafter to assist my own thinking on the subject.

Edited by Zorral
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On 1/20/2022 at 8:07 PM, Fragile Bird said:

Only one little puzzle each morning, 5 minutes….:devil:

Today I learned Wittgenstein invented Wordl.  So fuck that guy!

I'm kidding because of all the philosophers he seems closest to the way my mind works.  But still, that's a demerit for House Wittgenstein.
 

On 1/22/2022 at 11:06 PM, Fragile Bird said:

I am actually watching this on television instead of streaming it, but the CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has a tv series called The Nature of Things hosted by Dr. David Suzuki. It's one of the longest-running programs on the CBC.

Tonight's program is called In Your Face, and it's about facial recognition, in humans and in AI. There are people scientists call Super Recognizers, who can recognize a face after seeing it only once and who will never forget that face.

I tested as fairly close to being a Super Recognizer years ago, on the researcher's website.  They've since improved the test and my result was decidedly average as of last week.

Edited by SpaceChampion
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This is a great idea!  The company will never run out of plastic.   

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ByFusion uses a combination of steam and compression to shape all kinds of plastics, even nonrecyclables, into standard building blocks called ByBlocks. These can be used to build anything from fences and retaining walls to public terraces and bus stops, but the real stars are the patented machines used to make them.

And it's a woman owned business to boot!

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