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Will automation put programming jobs at risk?

What happens when two AI agents are pitted against each other? What are the pros and cons of algorithms? Would you hand over digital passwords to enter America? Is it up the the NSA to save us? Is another NHS crisis looming? Want to contact people using social media aliases? Looking for a Shazam for real-life objects? Are you at risk of a cyberattack?

Deeply saddened to hear about the death of data guru and "edutainer" Hans Rosling earlier in the week. Please take a moment to read this brief appreciation of his work and legacy and this excellent article from a couple of months ago on how Rosling will change your mind about the world. Plus, of course, re-watch the best stat's you've ever seen. 📈

Mark Cuban on why you need to study artificial intelligence. Excellent write up by Mark Suster on a particular highlight from last week's Upfront Summit. Cuban predicts that automation is going to "blow everyone away" in the next 5-10 years and even programming jobs are at risk:

"Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, machine learning — whatever you’re doing if you don’t understand it — learn it. Because otherwise you’re going to be a dinosaur within 3 years."

Check out this gentle guide to machine learning which discusses key ML concepts, applications and challenges. Slightly old but relevant. ✅ Side note - this week Google's DeepMind announced that they pitted AI against AI to see if they fight or cooperate - interestingly, behaviour changed depending on the context.

Long but WORTHWHILE read by Pew Research Centre on the pros and cons of algorithms. ⚖ Excellently balanced expert perspectives on the following themes:

Pew Research Center

Trump's Homeland Sec, John Kelly, wants to introduce "enhanced" digital vetting - to the extent of demanding web passwords and banking records of those wishing to enter the country. Kelly: "If they don’t want to cooperate then they don’t come in. If they truly want to come to America they’ll cooperate, if not then ‘next in line’." So much for the land of the free.. ⛔

Is it up to the NSA to save us? German journalist Christian Stöcker argued that the bad relations between Trump and the NSA are currently the only thing stopping him abusing "surveillance apparatus for anti-democratic purposes". The Internet has made surveillance as easy as "the press of a button". But there also tools available that "automatically encrypt your data so that no-one can read along" - use them!

How does disinformation spread in a network? Interactive visualisation showing how quickly it spreads to become post-truth, for example within social media networks. --> Jorge Cham published his latest comic on societal regression:

Linear regression vs societal regression, by Jorge Cham

UK chain Sports Direct was hacked last year - but STILL hasn't told it's staff about the data beach! 😦 Frank Jennings stresses that companies need to embrace the upcoming GDPR changes unless they want a visit from the data police. 👻 Companies will need to report data breaches within 72 hours of discovering them.

Verizon's 2017 Data Breach Digest's findings show that data breaches affect all parts of business. From May 2018, fines for data breaches will increase to 4% of global revenues or €20 million - whichever is greater. The report lists the 16 most common or lethal data breach scenarios - from the perspective of IR stakeholders. 😬

The UK government is due to appoint a Chief Data Officer as a part of its Transformation Strategy, which promises a more "open government". ✅

"The government will use predictive analytics to anticipate demand for services or policy changes and to prepare to meet citizens’ and businesses’ changing needs, informing ministers' decisions on what services to offer and how they should work."

Beth Simone Noveck claims another NHS crisis is looming - an inability to analyse data. The skills gap is causing NHS resourcing to be based on historical allocations, guesswork or "the loudest voice". Better use and sharing of the NHS's vast quantity of data could bring "more high quality, accessible and effective services". 👍


Uber is being sued for €45m by a French man claiming a glitch allowed his wife to track his affair. Yet another allegation against Uber and its 'laxed approach to privacy. ✖

Keybase Chat lets you contacts friends through their social media aliases - opposed to phone number or email. For example, you can look up someone's Hacker News name or Twitter handle and message them directly. ✍

Pinterest introduced Lens - essentially a Shazam for objects in the real world. Lens uses machine vision to "detect objects in the real world and suggest related items on the service". 🆒

Google has teamed up with H&M's Ivyrevel to make a customised dress using your personal data. 👗 Coded couture?

Find out here if you're under cyber-attack. Cool viz. 🔍

Make a mathy valentine, via Science Friday

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