Crazy dreams help us make sense of our memories

A new theory suggests that dreams' illogical logic has an important purpose.

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  • If consolidating memories as we sleep is like machine learning, maybe dreams keep our "algorithms" on track.
  • Machine learning is optimized by the injection of a certain amount of nonsense data.
  • Maybe dreams are just weird enough to do the same for us as we sleep.
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    Using machine learning to track the pandemic’s impact on mental health

    Textual analysis of social media posts finds users' anxiety and suicide-risk levels are rising, among other negative trends.

    Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
    Dealing with a global pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of millions of people.
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    AI reveals the Sahara actually has millions of trees

    A study finds 1.8 billion trees and shrubs in the Sahara desert.

    Credit: bassvdo/Shutterstock
    • AI analysis of satellite images sees trees and shrubs where human eyes can't.
    • At the western edge of the Sahara is more significant vegetation than previously suspected.
    • Machine learning trained to recognize trees completed the detailed study in hours.
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    Why aligning AI to our values may be harder than we think

    Can we stop a rogue AI by teaching it ethics? That might be easier said than done.

    Credit: STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images
    • One way we might prevent AI from going rogue is by teaching our machines ethics so they don't cause problems.
    • The questions of what we should, or even can, teach computers remains unknown.
    • How we pick the values artificial intelligence follows might be the most important thing.
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    Six ways machine learning threatens social justice

    Machine learning is a powerful and imperfect tool that should not go unmonitored.

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    • When you harness the power and potential of machine learning, there are also some drastic downsides that you've got to manage.
    • Deploying machine learning, you face the risk that it be discriminatory, biased, inequitable, exploitative, or opaque.
    • In this article, I cover six ways that machine learning threatens social justice and reach an incisive conclusion: The remedy is to take on machine learning standardization as a form of social activism.
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