Someone Just Perfectly Explained Why Depression Makes People So Tired, And More People Need To See It

Over time, depression and other mental disorders evolve camouflage so strong, they become almost invisible to the public. Almost. There are still a few ways to spot the parasites. 22-year-old visual artist and mental health advocate Pauline Palita has revealed a reliable method of how to spot people who struggle with mental health, and it’s resonating hard on Twitter.

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. Moreover, mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for citizens aged 18–44. Scroll down to learn one of the ways you can identify these dangerous conditions.

Relating to the issue, people thought Pauline’s thoughts were spot-on

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/mental-illness-depression-tired-explanation-pj-palits/

Mysterious Mass Grave In England Could Be Filled With The Viking Great Army’s War Dead

Once upon a time, back in the 9th century, there was a predominantly Danish Viking horde of militants that led a ferocious campaign across England. Unlike other Viking groups at the time, they didn’t just set out to raid, but to conquer, gain land, and seize political power too.

Referred to by the Christian Saxons as “heathens”, they briefly settled in Repton, Derbyshire, before disappearing into the weaves of time. It’s known that they fragmented shortly after their reign of terror, in 873-874 CE, but much about them remains enigmatic.

So – what happened to the so-called Great Army? A new study published in the journal Antiquity, led by the University of Bristol’s Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, has at least a partial answer. Reexamining a mass grave first discovered in the 1980s, it’s been confirmed that it dates back to the Viking era, and there’s a chance that it’s comprised of fallen members of the long-lost invaders from the north.

The Repton burial mound was analyzed shortly after its original excavation, and the bones of at least 264 men (80 percent) and women (20 percent), aged 18-45, were found beneath it. A double grave containing two heavily injured men, a Viking sword, and a Thor’s hammer pendant, as well as a sacrificial grave containing the remains of four juveniles, were also found close by.

Rather uncomfortably, one unfortunate occupant of the double grave seemed to have had his severed penis replaced with a boar’s tusk to presumably accompany him into the afterlife.

One of the skulls from the Repton mass grave. Cat Jarman

Controversially, at the time, academics concluded that this mass grave was filled in over the course of several centuries. This was based on radiocarbon dating, which uses the decay of unstable carbon isotopes as a measure of time – and it revealed not a point in time, but an elongated chronology. Researchers at the time were baffled: sedimentological and archaeological evidence clearly demonstrated that the mass grave was made and filled in just once.

As time ticked on, it transpired that something may have thrown off the dating method, and Bristol bioarchaeologist Cat Jarman, a “Doctor of the Dead”, felt that a reassessment was required. As it turns out, that radiocarbon dating was thrown off by these mysterious fellows’ fish-heavy diet.

The basis of radiocarbon dating is that there is a constant level of carbon-14 in all living organisms, but this isn’t always the case. This isotope, which is continuously formed in the upper atmosphere as cosmic rays cascade into it, rains down from the sky, and is absorbed by plants and animals in a variety of ways.

Oceans, and anything living in them that assimilates carbon, are troublesome for researchers that use radiocarbon dating. Thanks to the way carbon-14 is distributed in those watery depths, a tree that’s the same age as a shellfish can actually appear to be 400 years younger.

Or, as Jarman phrased it to IFLScience: “If Ivar only ate fish and his mate Halfdan only ate sheep, and both were killed by Alfred on the same day, it would look like Ivar died 400 years before Halfdan.”

Those in the grave clearly ate a lot of seafood, and Jarman’s team suspected that threw off the original dating. Correcting for this, they found that the three main grave sites all date back to 872-885 CE, a relatively short period of time.

Significantly, this is a time directly associated with the Great Army’s base in this part of England. Could this grave have belonged to their war dead, perchance?

“We definitely can’t prove that the mass grave is that of the Viking war dead. A radiocarbon date doesn’t make you a Viking, and certainly not a warrior!” Jarman added.

“All we can prove is that they date to the right time, and with all the contextual evidence, it makes the conclusion far more likely than it was before. But we are by no means certain.”

Spot the grave. Mark Horton

Either way, this revelatory research means that we’re one step closer to tracing the final days of one of the most mysterious military forces in human history – and it’s all thanks to cosmic rays and fishy diets.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/mysterious-mass-grave-england-could-be-filled-viking-great-armys-war-dead/

Utter cuteness! Down syndrome boy steals Gerber execs’ hearts in photo contest

The winning smile goes to one-year-old Lucas Warren, the first baby with Down syndrome to be awarded first place for the Gerber baby contest in its 91-year history. Out of 140,000 photo submissions, the adorable boy was chosen to be this year’s spokesbaby.   

“Lucas’ winning smile and joyful expression won our hearts this year, and we are all thrilled to name him our 2018 Spokesbaby,” said Bill Partyka, President and CEO, Gerber in a corporate statement.

According to PR Newswire, Partyka said, “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby, and this year, Lucas is the perfect fit.” 

The 18-month-old’s mother, Cortney Warren, says she hopes this opportunity will help increase the acceptance of special needs kids.

“This is such a proud moment for us as parents knowing that Lucas has a platform to spread joy, not only to those he interacts with every day, but to people all over the country.”  

The Georgia mother said, “We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world – just like our Lucas!”

Lucas’ family will receive $50,000 as the Grand Prize Winner of the Gerber Baby Photo Search and we will be seing the adorable little guy in all of the company’s social media platforms in the near future.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/02/07/utter-cuteness-down-syndrome-boy-steals-gerber-execs-hearts-in-photo-contest.html

It’s Time For a Serious Talk About the Science of Tech “Addiction”

To hear Andrew Przybylski tell it, the American 2016 presidential election is what really inflamed the public's anxiety over the seductive power of screens. (A suspicion that big companies with opaque inner workings are influencing your thoughts and actions will do that.) "Psychologists and sociologists have obviously been studying and debating about screens and their effects for years," says Przybylski, who is himself a psychologist at the Oxford Internet Institute with more than a decade's experience studying the impact of technology. But society's present conversation—"chatter," he calls it—can be traced back to three events, beginning with the political race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Then there were the books. Well-publicized. Scary-sounding. Several, really, but two in particular. The first, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, by NYU psychologist Adam Alter, was released March 2, 2017. The second, iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood – and What That Means for the Rest of Us, by San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge, hit stores five months later.

Last came the turncoats. Former employees and executives from companies like Facebook worried openly to the media about the monsters they helped create. Tristan Harris, a former product manager at Google and founder of the nonprofit "Time Well Spent" spoke with this publication's editor in chief about how Apple, Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram—you know, everyone—design products to steal our time and attention.

Bring these factors together, and Przybylski says you have all the ingredients necessary for alarmism and moral panic. What you're missing, he says, is the only thing that matters: direct evidence.

Which even Alter, the author of that first bellwether book, concedes. "There's far too little evidence for many of the assertions people make," he says. "I've become a lot more careful with what I say, because I felt the evidence was stronger when I first started speaking about it."

"People are letting themselves get played," says Przybylski. "It's a bandwagon." So I ask him: When WIRED says that technology is hijacking your brain, and the New York Times says it's time for Apple to design a less addictive iPhone, are we part of the problem? Are we all getting duped?

"Yeah, you are," he says. You absolutely are."

Of course, we've been here before. Anxieties over technology's impact on society are as old as society itself; video games, television, radio, the telegraph, even the written word—they were all, at one time, scapegoats or harbingers of humanity's cognitive, creative, emotional, and cultural dissolution. But the apprehension over smartphones, apps, and seductive algorithms is different. So different, in fact, that our treatment of past technologies fails to be instructive.

A better analogy is our modern love-hate relationship with food. When grappling with the promises and pitfalls of our digital devices, it helps to understand the similarities between our technological diets and our literal ones.

Today's technology is always with you; a necessary condition, increasingly, of existence itself. These are some of the considerations that led MIT sociologist Sherry Turkle to suggest avoiding the metaphor of addiction, when discussing technology. "To combat addiction, you have to discard the addicting substance," Turkle wrote in her 2011 book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. "But we are not going to 'get rid' of the Internet. We will not go ‘cold turkey’ or forbid cell phones to our children. We are not going to stop the music or go back to the television as the family hearth."

Food addicts—who speak of having to take the "tiger of addiction" out of the cage for a walk three times a day—might take issue with Turkle's characterization of dependence. But her observation, and the food addict's plight, speak volumes about our complicated relationships with our devices and the current state of research.

People from all backgrounds use technology—and no two people use it exactly the same way. "What that means in practice is that it's really hard to do purely observational research into the effects of something like screen time, or social media use," says MIT social scientist Dean Eckles, who studies how interactive technologies impact society's thoughts and behaviors. You can't just divide participants into, say, those with phones and those without. Instead, researchers have to compare behaviors between participants while accounting for variables like income, race, and parental education.

Say, for example, you’re trying to understand the impact of social media on adolescents, as Jean Twenge, author of the iGen book, has. When Twenge and her colleagues analyzed data from two nationally representative surveys of hundreds of thousands of kids, they calculated that social media exposure could explain 0.36 percent of the covariance for depressive symptoms in girls.

But those results didn’t hold for the boys in the dataset. What's more, that 0.36 percent means that 99.64 percent of the group’s depressive symptoms had nothing to do with social media use. Przybylski puts it another way: "I have the data set they used open in front of me, and I submit to you that, based on that same data set, eating potatoes has the exact same negative effect on depression. That the negative impact of listening to music is 13 times larger than the effect of social media."

In datasets as large as these, it's easy for weak correlational signals to emerge from the noise. And a correlation tells us nothing about whether new-media screen time actually causes sadness or depression. Which are the same problems scientists confront in nutritional research, much of which is based on similarly large, observational work. If a population develops diabetes but surveys show they’re eating sugar, drinking alcohol, sipping out of BPA-laden straws, and consuming calories to excess, which dietary variable is to blame? It could just as easily be none or all of the above.

Decades ago, those kinds of correlational nutrition findings led people to demonize fat, pinning it as the root cause of obesity and chronic illness in the US. Tens of millions of Americans abolished it from their diets. It's taken a generation for the research to boomerang back and rectify the whole baby-bathwater mistake. We risk similar consequences, as this new era of digital nutrition research gets underway.

Fortunately, lessons learned from the rehabilitation of nutrition research can point a way forward. In 2012, science journalist Gary Taubes and physician-researcher Peter Attia launched a multimillion-dollar undertaking to reinvent the field. They wanted to lay a new epistemological foundation for nutrition research, investing the time and money to conduct trials that could rigorously establish the root causes of obesity and its related diseases. They called their project the Nutrition Science Initiative.

Today, research on the link between technology and wellbeing, attention, and addiction finds itself in need of similar initiatives. They need randomized controlled trials, to establish stronger correlations between the architecture of our interfaces and their impacts; and funding for long-term, rigorously performed research. "What causes what? Is it that screen time leads to unhappiness or unhappiness leads to screen time?" says Twenge. "So that’s where longitudinal studies come in." Strategies from the nascent Open Science Framework—like the pre-registration of studies, and data sharing—could help, too.

But more than any of that, researchers will need buy-in from the companies that control that data. Ours is a time of intense informational asymmetry; the people best equipped to study what's happening—the people who very likely are studying what's happening—are behind closed doors. Achieving balance will require openness and objectivity from those who hold the data; clear-headed analysis from those who study it; and measured consideration by the rest of us.

"Don't get me wrong, I'm concerned about the effects of technology. That's why I spend so much of my time trying to do the science well," Przybylski says. He says he's working to develop a research proposal strategy by which scientists could apply to conduct specific, carefully designed studies with proprietary data from major platforms. Proposals would be assessed by independent reviewers outside the control of Facebook etc. If the investigation shows the potential to answer an important question in a discipline, or about a platform, the researchers outside the company get paired with the ones inside.

"If it’s team based, collaborative, and transparent, it’s got half a chance in hell of working," Przybylski says.

And if we can avoid the same mistakes that led us to banish fat from our food, we stand a decent chance of keeping our technological diets balanced and healthy.

Your Technology and You

  • Wired's editor-in-chief Nick Thompson spoke with Tristan Harris, the prophet behind the "Time Well Spent" movement that argues are minds are being hijacked by the technology we use.

  • One writer takes us through his extreme digital detox, a retreat that took him offline for a whole month.

  • Technology is demonized for making us distractible, but the right tech can help us form new, better digital habits—like these ones.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/its-time-for-a-serious-talk-about-the-science-of-tech-addiction/

Trump offers a big thumbs up to school shooting victims instead of gun control

Trump flashes a thumbs up before boarding Marine One, destined for Florida where he will meet with victims and first responders after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Image: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

On Friday, President Donald Trump visited Parkland, Florida in the wake of a school shooting in a high school that left 17 people dead. But Trump has faced criticism over the way he carried himself during that visit.

After an awkward meeting with first responders, the president and first lady Melania Trump stood together for a friendly photo op, which in itself seems insensitive. Trump had a huge smile on his face in the photo, and flashed his now signature thumbs up.

Trump updated his Twitter cover photo with the picture from the meeting Friday evening.

Image: Twitter/Realdonaldtrump

Trump also visited Broward Health North hospital in Pompano Beach, where many of the victims received care after the shooting. On his official Instagram, a series of images posted in an album featured Trump wearing a large smile on his face, flashing a thumbs up in a photo with hospital staff.

The press asked Trump if he met with any victims at the hospital. Instead of speaking about the impact those meetings may have had on him as a president, as a human, Trump decided to fluff up the hospital.

“Fantastic hospital, and they have done an incredible job,” Trump boasted. “The doctor was amazing, we saw numerous people and incredible recovery. And first responders — everybody — the job they’ve done was in incredible.”

Trump then congratulated a doctor he was standing next to.

While yes, first responders and hospital staff should be thanked and praised for their hard work in wake of the shooting, congratulations here are completely tone deaf considering 17 people lost their lives in the attack. 

In any other presidency, this would be a time for mourning. But Trump is using it to boast and brag. 

Many were quick to criticize Trump for his demeanor on social media, with some pointing to Barack Obama’s reaction to the Sandy Hook massacre in December of 2012. In 2016, Obama also delivered a powerful and emotional speech on gun violence, in which he broke down crying

Obama’s official White House photographer, Pete Souza, who has made it his duty to criticize the Trump administration by way of his photography from the Obama era, uploaded a photo of Obama sitting alone in a classroom in Sandy Hook Elementary School. It captures the former president in a quiet moment after he met with families for hours, and before he attended a prayer vigil. 

While it often seems like President Trump’s actions couldn’t be more shocking, this type of behavior is disgusting, and the heavy criticism is merited. There’s a time for photo ops, and then there is time for mourning. This was not the moment for Trump to show off how great he’s making America.

America has a real problem, and Trump isn’t even trying to fake it.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/17/donald-trump-parkland-smiling-thumbs-up-obama/

‘Vanderpump Rules’ Recap: It’s Not About The Pasta

I’ll be real with you guys, I don’t have a fun or clever way to segue into this week’s episode, so I’ll just dive right in.

Actually no, let’s not dive in. I’m re-watching the tail end of last episode, and Jax is seriously the worst. Watching him gaslight Brittany again is making me homicidal. It makes me so sad and angry that Brittany is staying with him. Like, I understand that money might be tempting, but is it worth it for your mental health? *Googles how much these people make per episode*

We open this episode with Stassi at SUR picking out some outfits for the Pride Parade party, so I guess Bravo is still pretending that Stassi is a legit event planner. Do you think you can put “fake event planner, Bravo TV” on your resume?

Lisa: I need all the hands I can get during Pride, even Stassi’s grubby little mitts.

Unpopular opinion: I’m not sure how much I love Lisa anymore. She just finds any reason to be a bitch to people two decades younger than her. Why don’t you pick on someone your own age? Isn’t that what you have for?

Oh, Peter is into essential oils and Reiki? He just used the phrase “I have all my chakras aligned” in earnest? I have never lost my attraction to a person so fast, not even when they tell me they’re from New Jersey. For the inevitable commenter who asks, “I’m from Jersey, what’s your beef with my state?” may I kindly direct you to my previous recaps?

Why do I feel like Jax is going to scam on this Reiki healer in like, two episodes’ time?

I want the record to show I typed that before Sandoval said it. Thank you, thank you, that’s why they pay me the big bucks to write these recaps. Aka I get paid zero extra money for doing them; I just do it for the love of the game.

All the girls are getting Botox together. My friends and I just go to brunch, but okay. 

Scheana is still sticking to the “My boyfriend couldn’t have kissed another girl, he doesn’t even make out with me” as a good argument. Honey, no. That’s not a good argument! That just means he isn’t into you.

Scheana: Can we just like stop talking about this and never speak of it again?

Everyone:

Stassi, Katie, Brittany and Kristen are at some cinema low-key trying to hook Brittany up with the waiter. They may be crazy bitches, but they’re good friends. But tbh I bet Jax is going to like, mentally fuck Brittany back to 1993 when he watches this exchange play out on camera and use it as retroactive justification for his cheating. Somebody please go check on Brittany and make sure she’s okay.

Meanwhile, James and Lala are at some restaurant that apparently sells Welch’s grape soda and gin. Snoop Dogg would be disgraced.

James: I’ve been trying to cut down the drinking

Also James: To getting drunk! *takes two huge shots in 20 seconds*

Also ALSO James: I could easily stop drinking at any time.

Hmm where have I heard that before? Oh right, 8th grade health class and every episode of ever. 

Wait so Lala tells James that she ate Raquel’s pasta and now James is going full psycho like “Don’t fuck with my bitch, or I’ll fuck with your fat man and he’ll be onto his next pretty blonde.”

Lala is calmly trying to explain the joke about the pasta (which for the record I don’t think was funny to begin with so really this is all Lala’s fault) and it does not go well. Lala stands up for herself and storms out, and I don’t think James even remembers what he said to make her so mad a full two seconds ago. This is so fucking dumb. Is it about the pasta? Or is it not? SOMEBODY HELP ME!

James: It’s not about the pasta! *turns away* *two seconds later* It’s not about the pasta! *turns away* *two seconds later* It’s not about the pasta!

And rinse and repeat for an hour until the screen fades to black and it says “Executive Producer Lisa Vanderpump.”

Just kidding, but I wish. *This joke has been brought to you by John Mulaney*

Back at SUR, Scheana confronts Ariana and Brittany to find out if Katie was talking shit about her. Oh my god, she’s so annoying. Just accept that other people are going to talk shit about you. Talking shit literally pays your bills.

Scheana: *brings up the Rob cheating rumors*

Scheana 2 seconds later: OMG CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS ALREADY *storms out*

Sandoval and Schwartz show up to the wreckage that is to be Tom Tom, because according to Sandoval, they’re putting in less money into their investment so they’re going to compensate with sweat equity. I feel like a better idea would be for you to just like, not compromise the structural integrity of this building with your dumb asses.

Anyone who says Kristen is reformed and sane now needs to take every seat as she describes how she literally tracks Carter’s every move via GPS while everybody else in the room just lets her drone on about her NSA-esque surveillance tactics without acknowledging her in any way.

Schwartz stayed over at Sandoval’s (a no-no) because he got too wasted (another no-no) and instead of starting a fight about it when he came home, Katie just let it go. Schwartz says “I feel like I fell in love with you all over again” because Katie lets him blow through her (very reasonable) boundaries with no consequences. God, I fucking hate men.

I don’t know why Lisa is volunteering to become Katie and Tom’s marriage counselor. “Not my circus, not my monkeys” – my favorite expression I found on the internet that I’d be employing the fuck out of in this situation.

Watching Kristen try to explain Pride is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. “We’re out here because love is love and to everyone who doesn’t think love is love, suck a dick.” Probs not the best turn of phrase to use in this context. I’m just saying.

Rob comes in to SUR and Scheana gives him the grand tour: “And here’s where I yelled at Brittany and Ariana, and here’s where I told everyone to stop talking about the rumors about you making out with someone.” But tell me more how you don’t want to talk about it ever again.

Scheana: I lost my smile this week.

Funny coincidence, I lost my dinner just now.

At SUR, Stassi is telling the guys to put paint on their face. Sandoval is like “Oh hell yeah I’ve been practicing my contour for weeks now.”

Scheana hugs Lala and is 1) TALKING ABOUT THE RUMORS AGAIN *looks for something with which to fashion a noose out of* and 2) telling Lala Rob said “Don’t let anyone take your smile” which we all saw HER say. Scheana, what’s it like to live in another reality? Asking for a friend myself.

Okay but I’m not sure how I feel about Lala accusing Scheana of relapsing with her eating disorder, because like, that’s a sensitive topic and you shouldn’t just throw that around willy-nilly. And even if that is the case, IDK, I feel like there are certain lines you don’t cross, even for TV. But what do I know, I guess I’m just old fashioned.

Billie Lee gets up in the middle of pride to give a speech about being trans, and holy shit, this girl is brave. I will be quietly monitoring her Instagram comments for any trolls. If you wanna come for Billie, you’re gonna have to go through me. …An anonymous internet writer. YEAH.

So James body slammed on Jax’s crotch and now he’s almost making out with Logan while Raquel watches in the corner, horrified. Just saying, I called this from episode one. I just want James to be his authentic self, ya know?

Watching James buy Logan vodka Red Bulls and kiss him on the cheek while Raquel texts by herself in a corner reminds me a lot of how I’d watch my boyfriend and my roommate interact when we’d go out to bars together. Yep, you all thought I’d make it one episode without mentioning that dumpster fire of a relationship, but nope. Take a drink.

Lisa pulls Scheana aside from her job in the middle of THE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR (a fact that annoys me but I should be used to it by now) to ask her how she’s doing. Scheana—you guessed it—brings up the “Rob making out with another girl” rumors. I’m just weeping to myself out of frustration at this point, for anyone at home who’s wondering.

Lisa: Even if this relationship doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world.

Scheana: Well it’s gonna work out because we’re meant to be together.

It must be exhausting being this delusional.

Scheana is definitely your friend who’s never been single and doesn’t know how to be. Scheana is Taylor Swift. Actually, that’s a pretty good think piece title. Coming soon to Betches. Someone comes up to Scheana and Rob and is like “What’s up?” and Scheana is like, “I got my smile back!!!” I’m so over this. I don’t ever wanna hear Scheana talk about her smile again, and if that means she never smiles, so be it.

Katie and Brittany come over to Brittany and Jax’s apartment. But first off, I am kind of weirded out by Kristen constantly saying Brittany is the best thing to happen to their group. Like, IDK, she just stans way too hard for these peripheral people, like Patrick. It’s just weird.

Brittany’s mom flew in to LA to surprise Brittany, and I just want to take the time to dissect Jax’s facial expression after learning that Sherry is in his apartment.

Okay, so I may not have captured it that well in this screenshot, but in the previews before the commercials, Jax was making this surprised face but if you looked closely (or are a psycho like me, hard to tell), he kind of looks a little bemused by the situation. Anyone? Or just me? 

You all can debate the intricacies of Jax’s facial expression in the comments. Or not. Whatever. But somebody answer this? WAS IT ABOUT THE PASTA? 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/vanderpump-rules-season-6-episode-7-recap

Greedy, Brittle, Opaque, and Shallow: The Downsides to Deep Learning

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, has said that AI “is more profound than … electricity or fire.” Andrew Ng, who founded Google Brain and now invests in AI startups, wrote that “If a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future.”

Their enthusiasm is pardonable. There have been remarkable advances in AI, after decades of frustration. Today we can tell a voice-activated personal assistant like Alexa to “Play the band Television,” or count on Facebook to tag our photographs; Google Translate is often almost as accurate as a human translator. Over the last half decade, billions of dollars in research funding and venture capital have flowed towards AI; it is the hottest course in computer science programs at MIT and Stanford. In Silicon Valley, newly minted AI specialists command half a million dollars in salary and stock.

But there are many things that people can do quickly that smart machines cannot. Natural language is beyond deep learning; new situations baffle artificial intelligences, like cows brought up short at a cattle grid. None of these shortcomings is likely to be solved soon. Once you’ve seen you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it: deep learning, now the dominant technique in artificial intelligence, will not lead to an AI that abstractly reasons and generalizes about the world. By itself, it is unlikely to automate ordinary human activities.

Jason Pontin (@jason_pontin) is an Ideas contributor for WIRED. He is a senior partner at Flagship Pioneering, a firm in Boston that creates, builds, and funds companies that solve problems in health, food, and sustainability. From 2004 to 2017 he was the editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review. Before that he was the editor of Red Herring magazine, a business magazine that was popular during the dot-com boom.

To see why modern AI is good at a few things but bad at everything else, it helps to understand how deep learning works. Deep learning is math: a statistical method where computers learn to classify patterns using neural networks. Such networks possess inputs and outputs, a little like the neurons in our own brains; they are said to be “deep” when they possess multiple hidden layers that contain many nodes, with a blooming multitude of connections. Deep learning employs an algorithm called backpropagation, or backprop, that adjusts the mathematical weights between nodes, so that an input leads to the right output. In speech recognition, the phonemes c-a-t should spell the word “cat;” in image recognition, a photograph of a cat must not be labeled “a dog;” in translation, qui canem et faelem ut deos colunt should spit out “who worship dogs and cats as gods.” Deep learning is “supervised” when neural nets are trained to recognize phonemes, photographs, or the relation of Latin to English using millions or billions of prior, laboriously labeled examples.

Deep learning’s advances are the product of pattern recognition: neural networks memorize classes of things and more-or-less reliably know when they encounter them again. But almost all the interesting problems in cognition aren’t classification problems at all. “People naively believe that if you take deep learning and scale it 100 times more layers, and add 1000 times more data, a neural net will be able to do anything a human being can do,” says François Chollet, a researcher at Google. “But that’s just not true.”

Gary Marcus, a professor of cognitive psychology at NYU and briefly director of Uber’s AI lab, recently published a remarkable trilogy of essays, offering a critical appraisal of deep learning. Marcus believes that deep learning is not “a universal solvent, but one tool among many.” And without new approaches, Marcus worries that AI is rushing toward a wall, beyond which lie all the problems that pattern recognition cannot solve. His views are quietly shared with varying degrees of intensity by most leaders in the field, with the exceptions of Yann LeCun, the director of AI research at Facebook, who curtly dismissed the argument as “all wrong,” and Geoffrey Hinton, a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and the grandfather of backpropagation, who sees “no evidence” of a looming obstacle.

According to skeptics like Marcus, deep learning is greedy, brittle, opaque, and shallow. The systems are greedy because they demand huge sets of training data. Brittle because when a neural net is given a “transfer test”—confronted with scenarios that differ from the examples used in training—it cannot contextualize the situation and frequently breaks. They are opaque because, unlike traditional programs with their formal, debuggable code, the parameters of neural networks can only be interpreted in terms of their weights within a mathematical geography. Consequently, they are black boxes, whose outputs cannot be explained, raising doubts about their reliability and biases. Finally, they are shallow because they are programmed with little innate knowledge and possess no common sense about the world or human psychology.

These limitations mean that a lot of automation will prove more elusive than AI hyperbolists imagine. “A self-driving car can drive millions of miles, but it will eventually encounter something new for which it has no experience,” explains Pedro Domingos, the author of The Master Algorithm and a professor of computer science at the University of Washington. “Or consider robot control: A robot can learn to pick up a bottle, but if it has to pick up a cup, it starts from scratch.” In January, Facebook abandoned M, a text-based virtual assistant that used humans to supplement and train a deep learning system, but never offered useful suggestions or employed language naturally.

What’s wrong? “It must be that we have a better learning algorithm in our heads than anything we’ve come up with for machines,” Domingos says. We need to invent better methods of machine learning, skeptics aver. The remedy for artificial intelligence, according to Marcus, is syncretism: combining deep learning with unsupervised learning techniques that don’t depend so much on labeled training data, as well as the old-fashioned description of the world with logical rules that dominated AI before the rise of deep learning. Marcus claims that our best model for intelligence is ourselves, and humans think in many different ways. His young children could learn general rules about language, and without many examples, but they were also born with innate capacities. “We are born knowing there are causal relationships in the world, that wholes can be made of parts, and that the world consists of places and objects that persist in space and time,” he says. “No machine ever learned any of that stuff using backprop.”

Other researchers have different ideas. “We’ve used the same basic paradigms [for machine learning] since the 1950s,” says Pedro Domingos, “and at the end of the day, we’re going to need some new ideas.” Chollet looks for inspiration in program synthesis, programs that automatically create other programs. Hinton’s current research explores an idea he calls “capsules,” which preserves backpropagation, the algorithm for deep learning, but addresses some of its limitations.

“There are a lot of core questions in AI that are completely unsolved,” says Chollet, “and even largely unasked.” We must answer these questions because there are tasks that a lot of humans don’t want to do, such as cleaning toilets and classifying pornography, or which intelligent machines would do better, such as discovering drugs to treat diseases. More: there are things that we can’t do at all, most of which we cannot yet imagine.


AI Anxieties

  • You can stop panicking about a superhuman AI. As Kevin Kelly writes, that’s a myth.

  • Another worry you can cross off your list? The fear that robots will take all of our jobs. It’s not nearly that simple.

  • But AI is becoming an ever-more integral factor in the future of work. Say hello to your new AI coworkers.

Photograph by WIRED/Getty Images

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/greedy-brittle-opaque-and-shallow-the-downsides-to-deep-learning/

Michael Fassbender Domestic Violence Allegations From ‘Afraid’ Ex-Girlfriend Resurface!

Care to explain, Michael Fassbender?

On Friday, the actor’s domestic abuse allegations have resurfaced after DailyMail.com published March 2010 Los Angeles court papers where ex-girlfriend Sunawin Andrews sought a protective order against the X-Men star.

According to the documents, the model details two incidents in 2009 where he allegedly got physical.

Related: Michael & Alicia Had Instant “Chemistry” When They First Met

In November 2009, the now-40-year-old allegedly drunkenly dragged Andrews with a car because her ex-boyfriend said hello to them at dinner.

She recalls:

“Michael was driving my car dangerously fast and screaming at me. I begged him to stop the car in fear of an accident or for my children who were home asleep… As we got closer to my house I put my car in stop. Got out walked around the car to pull key from ignition. Michael drove of[f] dragging me along from the car… He stopped after he realized I could not walk and got out of car. He picked me up and put me in car as my friends pulled up behind us. They stayed the night to help calm things.”

The mother says the incident left her with vaginal bleeding, a twisted left ankle, blown out left knee cap, bursted ovarian cyst, and a hospital bill totaling $24K.

In July 2009, Fassbender allegedly threw Andrews “over a chair” after she woke him up. The alleged incident — which she says left her with a broken nose — happened after the thespian received an award, presumably at a film and music festival in Ischia, Italy.

Andrews filed for a protective order against Fassbender on March 12, 2010, asking that he stay at least 100 yards away from her and her family.

She reveals in the petition:

“I am still recovering from my injuries and am afraid for my safety.”

Although the court granted Andrews a temporary protective order, she ultimately withdrew her request on April 6, 2010, one day before a scheduled hearing.

She currently lives in Los Angeles and works with an animal protection organization.

As we reported, Fassbender married actress Alicia Vikander in October 2017.

[Image via Sean Thorton/WENN.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-02-16-michael-fassbender-sunawin-andrews-alicia-vikander-domestic-abuse-claims

It’s not just in the genes: the foods that can help and harm your brain

Our diet has a huge effect on our brain and our mental wellbeing, even protecting against dementia. So, what should be on the menu?

It’s not just in the genes: the foods that can help and harm your brain

Our diet has a huge effect on our brain and our mental wellbeing, even protecting against dementia. So, what should be on the menu?

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/feb/12/its-not-just-in-the-genes-the-foods-that-can-help-and-harm-your-brain

The Shirk Report Volume 461

Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com

20 IMAGES

Friday!
Obligatory post every two years
The moguls event has gotten pretty crazy ever since Disney took it over
Now this is compelling
The Ancient prophecies are true!
Is it just me or are bookstores getting sassier?
Pipe down Jimmy Wales, Brad’s about to do stuff
When the first edible kicks in right after you finish the second one
Everyone has their own version of a pity clap
Same sweater then and now
Just no
The 2-pack would literally sell itself
But why are your fingers so small
WORST
Okay back to the Olympics
The faces of figure skating
This will make you sad
Y’all living in 2018, but this dude already in 3018
A must order on any flight (can I get a full can?)
Until next week

10 ARTICLES

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer
The surprising science of why ice is so slippery
Inside the Two Years That Shook Facebook—and the World (thx for sharing CDub!)
Concussions Can Be Detected With New Blood Test Approved by F.D.A.
He Predicted The 2016 Fake News Crisis. Now He’s Worried About An Information Apocalypse.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Opens on #MeToo Movement
What Color Is a Tennis Ball?
Why Is It So Hard for Democracy to Deal With Inequality?
A Rare Look Inside the Korean DMZ, the ‘Scariest Place on Earth’
America’s Failure to Protect Its Children from School Shootings Is a National Disgrace

5 VIDEOS + steak & sizzle

LET’S DO THIS TOKYO 2020!

Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2018/02/the-shirk-report-volume-461/