Fire Modeling, Robot Brains, and Neural Network Chess: Lux Recommends #263

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #263, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

Have We Already Been Visited by Aliens? “An eminent astrophysicist argues that signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life have appeared in our skies. What’s the evidence for his extraordinary claim?” — Sam

Managing the Unintended Consequences of Your InnovationsCameron

Upgraded Robot Brains: How Custom Chips Could Speed Up Bot Reaction Time, Per New Research: “Think of robots as ninjas with a lag” — Deena

What the complex math of fire modeling tells us about the future of California’s forests: “California’s fires are getting bigger and harder to predict. The only way to tame them may be to remake the landscape itself.” —Cameron

D&D Must Grapple With the Racism in Fantasy: “And getting rid of it will take a lot of work.” — Sam

See the ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ painting in 10-gigapixel detailIan

This Guy Noticed Jigsaw Puzzle Companies Use The Same Patterns, So He Made Some MashupsAdam K

The Sundance Film Festival makes a giant leap into VR: “The legendary film fest is going virtual in more ways than one.” — Shaq

‘For Some Reason I’m Covered in Blood’: GPT-3 Contains Disturbing Bias Against Muslims: “OpenAI disclosed the problem on GitHub — but released GPT-3 anyway” — Deena

The Epic Hunt for One of the World’s Most Wanted Men: “He was one of Africa’s richest moguls and helped unleash the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Then Félicien Kabuga vanished and stayed hidden for more than two decades—until recently, when the United Nations’ war crimes detectives picked up his trail and began to close in.”— friend of Lux Tom Kane

ESG Impact Is Hard to Measure — But It’s Not ImpossibleDeena

Introducing Maia, a human-like neural network chess engineSam

And I Love Reading 1980s Computer Magazines, and So Should You: “It’s not just a nostalgia thing. Sifting through the past often leads to something new.” — by Sam

Mr. Mayor: “A wealthy businessman becomes the mayor of Los Angeles.” — Sam

A new Guinness World Record was set on December 18, 2020 in Northern China for the longest animation performed by 600 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)Adam K

The Meaning of Life According to Warren BuffettAdam K

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