Archive by Author | plerudulier

The Health Effects of Loneliness

…When researchers study loneliness, they tend to define it as “the perceived discrepancy between one’s desired level of social connection and their actual level of social connection,” says Brigham Young University psychology and neuroscience professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad. Some people who are socially isolated don’t necessarily feel lonely, and some people who are lonely are surrounded by people who make them feel more alienated, not less.

But 9 million lonely people probably aren’t just a damper on the national morale; they’re likely to be a strain on national productivity and health-care systems, too. The bodies of lonely people are markedly different from the bodies of non-lonely people. Prolonged loneliness, Holt-Lunstad says, “can put one at risk for chronic health conditions, exacerbate various health conditions, and ultimately put us at increased risk for premature mortality.”

https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/the-health-effects-of-loneliness.html

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Singapore’s OCBC Bank goes live with NEC’s facial recognition system | ZDNet

OCBC Bank has announced that its Holland Village branch has been using NEC’s facial recognition system to identify certain banking customers.

The system instantly identifies OCBC “Premier Banking” customers in real-time as they approach the lounge in the branch without needing to stop to look at the camera, a statement from NEC Asia Pacific and NEC Corporation explained.

http://www.zdnet.com/article/singapores-ocbc-bank-goes-live-with-necs-facial-recognition-system/?ftag=COS-05-10aaa0h&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_content=5a87d4263ed3f0000779b689&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=facebook

Profiteers make a killing on Airbnb – and erode communities | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian

«The woman I spoke to last week lives with her husband in Edinburgh, “in the suburbs, but close enough to touristy things and wedding venues”. Their flat is one of nine in a “big subdivided house”, with a communal garden. “I moved here in the expectation that I’d live with eight other families I would know,” she told me. “But suddenly, I didn’t. I was sharing it with a hotel.”…»

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/12/profiteers-killing-airbnb-erode-communities

The weaker sex – Social change

«AT FIRST glance the patriarchy appears to be thriving. More than 90% of presidents and prime ministers are male, as are nearly all big corporate bosses. Men dominate finance, technology, films, sports, music and even stand-up comedy. In much of the world they still enjoy social and legal privileges simply because they have a Y chromosome. So it might seem odd to worry about the plight of men.

Yet there is plenty of cause for concern. Men cluster at the bottom as well as the top. They are far more likely than women to be jailed, estranged from their children, or to kill themselves. They earn fewer university degrees than women. Boys in the developed world are 50% more likely to flunk basic maths, reading and science entirely…»

Read more

https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21652323-blue-collar-men-rich-countries-are-trouble-they-must-learn-adapt-weaker-sex?fsrc=scn/fb/te/pe/ed/theweakersex

Cracking coder | 1843

«There are two remarkable aspects to Ada’s notes. One is her visionary understanding of the engine’s potential: “a new, vast and powerful language”, she wrote, “is developed for the future use of analysis, in which to wield its truths so that these may become of more speedy and accurate practical application for the purposes of mankind than the means hitherto in our possession have rendered possible.” She understood the breadth of its implications: “Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.” The other startling aspect of this work is Note G, which concerns the creation of a sequence called the Bernoulli numbers, and contains a table showing the punch-card flow for these numbers. This is regarded as the first computer algorithm – hence the claim that Ada was the first computer programmer»

https://www.1843magazine.com/intelligence/cracking-coder?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/crackingcoder1843

The Internet Is Enabling a New Kind of Poorly Paid Hell

Technology has helped rid the American economy of many of the routine, physical, low-paid jobs that characterized the workplace of the last century. Gone are the women who sewed garments for pennies, the men who dug canals by hand, the children who sorted through coal. Today, more and more jobs are done at a computer, designing new products or analyzing data or writing code.

But technology is also enabling a new type of terrible work, in which Americans complete mind-numbing tasks for hours on end, sometimes earning just pennies per job. And for many workers living in parts of the country where other jobs have disappeared—obviated by technology or outsourcing—this work is all that’s available for people with their qualifications.

http://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/551192/?__twitter_impression=true

AI and big data could power war poverty

The conventional wisdom is that A.I. might soon put millions of people out of work — that it stands poised to do to clerical and white collar workers over the next two decades what mechanization did to factory workers over the past two. And that is to say nothing of the truckers and taxi drivers who will find themselves unemployed or underemployed as self-driving cars take over our roads.

But it’s time we start thinking about A.I.’s potential benefits for society as well as its drawbacks.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/opinion/ai-and-big-data-could-power-a-new-war-on-poverty.html?referer=http://internetactu.blog.lemonde.fr/2018/01/19/automatiser-les-inegalites/

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