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DSC Thursday News, 12 Nov 2020

The DSC Thursday News is published by Data Science Central, and highlights new content from our Weekly Digest. Previous editions can be found here. The contribution flagged with a + is our selection for the picture of the week. To subscribe, follow this link.

From the Editor's Desk

Every so often, I find it useful to think about what the world looked like ten years ago compared to now. With the pandemic, that comparison is perhaps starker, but my 2010 self would likely still be very surprised. Smartphones were really just beginning to hit the market. Video conferencing was available but still rare and quite expensive. We still went to work in buildings a significant commute from our houses, movies came on DVDs, and most cars were not connected to the Internet. We still wore pants.

In ten years' time, change always seem fairly subtle, but it's there. Artificial specialized Intelligence, whether through the use of machine learning technique or other algorithms, has reached a stage where it has become pervasive and for the most part hidden - word processors that make recommendations as you write, cars that automatically correct for unseen obstacles, buildings that heat or cool themselves based upon occupancy and usage, the ability to design living tissue, and the creation of an increasingly vivid virtual reality. 

Yet at the same time, we are also facing the negative consequences of these technologies: the blurring of distinctions between augmentation and automation, the rising need for managing the ethics of AI, the confusion between what is real and what is digital fabricated. Effective data collection can reduce social injustice but can also embed systemic injustice into the fabric of our society, so deep that it doesn't even appear as such in even deep analyses. This is the world we live in today. 

Anyway, enjoy, and as always, we are always looking for articles from you, our community, about the nature of data science, artificial intelligence, and the future of work. 

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