Crossword AI, Trees, and Oregon Trail: Lux Recommends #278

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #278, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

The Secret Origins of Amazon’s Alexa: “In 2011, Jeff Bezos dreamt up a talking device. But making the virtual assistant sound intelligent proved far more difficult than anyone could have imagined.” — Adam K

What a Crossword AI Reveals About Humans’ Way With Words: “Dr. Fill, a puzzle-solving automaton, came out victorious at last week’s national tournament — but human solvers shouldn’t throw in the towel just yet.” — Shaq

Groundbreaking AI used to predict earthquakes in never-before-seen tech pilot: “The tool, called DeepShake, is being developed in the US to give several seconds of advance notice that earthquakes are on the way. It uses a deep neural network, a form of AI” — Adam K

There’s no such thing as a tree (phylogenetically)Sam

A New Spin On A Classic Video Game Gives Native Americans Better Representation — Lux Recommends reader Greg Greenberg

Scientists bring to life nearly 100 baby sharks through artificial inseminationAdam K

Cartographers Hid Whimsical Images in MapsSam

The Art of Doing Science and Engineering: Learning to Learn by Richard W. Hamming: “This is a book about thinking. One cannot talk about thinking in the abstract, at least not usefully. But one can talk about thinking about digital filters, and by studying how great scientists thought about digital filters, one learns, however gradually, to think like a great scientist.” — friend of Lux Guy Perelmuter

The Next Pandemic on A.I. NationDeena

For All Mankind: Season two is out and is fantastic. — Sam

A dragonfly wiping rain from its face — Lux Recommends reader Greg Greenberg

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