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Robot Bias, LEGO Manhattan, and the First Sci-Fi Writer: Lux Recommends #256

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #256, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

Slump in Air Travel Hindered Weather Forecasting, Study Shows: “A decline in air traffic during the coronavirus pandemic sharply reduced the amount of data routinely collected by commercial airliners.” — Sam

Can We Make Our Robots Less Biased Than We Are? “A.I. developers are committing to end the injustices in how their technology is often made and used.” — Deena

New evidence of gut-brain mechanism involved in MS flare-upsAdam G

Can artificial intelligence give elephants a winning edge? “Open-source developers and tech giants created the world’s most advanced elephant tracking collars” — Deena

The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake: “The family structure we’ve held up as the cultural ideal for the past half century has been a catastrophe for many. It’s time to figure out better ways to live together.” — Shahin

tl;dr: this AI sums up research papers in a sentence: “Search engine’s tool for summarizing studies promises easier skim-reading.” — Sam

Can’t Find A Chess Set? You Can Thank ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ For ThatDeena

That Mysterious Monolith in the Utah Desert? It’s Gone, Officials Say: “The metal structure has been removed, Utah officials said on Saturday, adding that they had not taken it down.”— Sam

A Quest to Discover America’s First Science-Fiction Writer: “It’s been two hundred years since America’s first sci-fi novel was published. But who wrote it?” — Deena

Hollywood’s Obituary, the Sequel. Now Streaming: “In the 110-year history of the American film industry, never has so much upheaval arrived so quickly and on so many fronts.” — Brad Weinberg, friend of Lux

Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis: “It’s fall 2007. A well-timed leak has revealed that the US government might have engaged in first contact. Cora Sabino is doing everything she can to avoid the whole mess, since the force driving the controversy is her whistleblower father. Even though Cora hasn’t spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the Internet, the paparazzi, and the government―and with him in hiding, that attention is on her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father’s leaks are a hoax, and wants nothing to do with him―until she learns just how deeply entrenched her family is in the cover-up, and that an extraterrestrial presence has been on Earth for decades.” — Sam

A Promised Land by Barack Obama. Also recommended is the audiobook, narrated by Obama. (this also pairs well with this interview) — Deena

Hunting El Chapo: The Inside Story of the American Lawman Who Captured the World’s Most Wanted Drug-Lord by Andrew Hogan and Douglas Century— friend of Lux Dave Cheiken

Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big QuestionsDeena

A 14 year old built Manhattan out of LEGO’sAdam K

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