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Can algorithms reconstruct what you see?

Has privacy become a luxury good? Will Comey's replacement expand government surveillance? How will Macron approach data privacy? Want to using code review to execute someone’s soul? Why is data viz crucial?


Can mind-reading algorithms reconstruct what you’re seeing? 🔮 Researchers at Beijing's Research Centre for Brain-Inspired Intelligence published a paper on accurately reconstructing images from human brain activity. Using a new neural network approach, data collected from functional MRI scans is processed using "deep-learning techniques that handle nonlinear correlations between voxels more capably". 🔍 FASCINATING - a step towards brain-scan techniques that reveal what people are thinking or dreaming? 💭

Timely - Marcello Ienca and Roberto Andorno recently published a paper arguing the importance of human rights in the age of neuroscience and neurotechnology. ⚖ Ienca and Andorno argue that new rights are needed to "protect private or sensitive information in a person’s mind from unauthorised collection, storage, use, or even deletion in digital form or otherwise." Interesting. 👀

Has privacy become a luxury good? 😳 EXCELLENT article by Amanda Hess discussing the monetisation of data privacy 😕 -- we can either trade it for cheap services or shell out cash to protect it:

When Congress recently voted to allow internet service providers to sell user data without users’ explicit consent, talk emerged of premium products that people could pay for to protect their browsing habits from sale. And if they couldn’t afford it? As one congressman told a concerned constituent, “Nobody’s got to use the internet.” Practically, though, everybody’s got to. Tech companies have laid claim to the public square: All of a sudden, we use Facebook to support candidates, organise protests and pose questions in debates. We’re essentially paying a data tax for participating in democracy.

Following his abrupt dismissal by Trump, former FBI director James Comey has urged for the bureau to remain “a rock of competence, honesty, and independence”. -- 🤔 Will Comey's replacement want to further expand government surveillance? 😞 Although Comey defended mass surveillance and often clashed with the tech-sector, Trump's approach to privacy and security "remains unclear" -- creating uncertainty about "how Trump’s FBI will approach critical digital privacy debates, including encryption". 📉

What could data protection and privacy look like in Macon's republique? Macron has "already registered his dissatisfaction" with the EU-US Privacy Shield. 🛡 Crucially -- Macron might challenge companies for their encryption keys as a part of his plan for combatting terrorism in France. However, Brian Chappell explains:

If access exists, it will become the target of hackers and cyber-criminals, and if malicious actors believe their comms have been compromised they will simply find another route, driving that traffic underground and making it even harder to detect.

🔍 Neat visualisation by Financial Times showing how allegiances shifted from the first to the second round of voting in the French presidential election:

French presidential election allegiances, via Financial Times


LOVE this visualisation of DDoS attacks. 🔫

The faces of Facebook - 1.2 billion Facebook profile pictures together, on a single webpage. Nice. 👨

Kristin Neff argues why self compassion works better than self esteem. Food for thought. 🙌

Why is data viz crucial? See below: (side note - guide on how to tell a compelling story with data)

Why data viz is so important, via Fast Code Design


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