Wired: China Is Catching Up To The Us In AI Research—fast. “AT THE WORLD’S top computer-vision conference last June, Google and Apple sponsored an academic contest that challenged algorithms to make sense of images from twin cameras collected under varied conditions, such as sunny and poor weather. Artificial intelligence software proficient at that task could help the US tech giants with money-making projects such as autonomous cars or augmented reality. But the winner was an institution with very different interests and allegiances: China’s National University of Defense Technology, a top military academy of the People’s Liberation Army.”
The Conversation: What Catholic Church records tell us about America’s earliest black history. “In 1513, a free and literate African named Juan Garrido explored Florida with a Spanish conquistador, Juan Ponce de León. In the following decades, Africans, free and enslaved, were part of all the Spanish expeditions exploring the southern region of the United States. In 1565, Africans helped establish the first permanent European settlement in what is St. Augustine, Florida today. The Slave Societies Digital Archive which I direct as a historian at Vanderbilt University includes Catholic Church records from St. Augustine. These records date back to the 1590s and document some of the earliest black history of the U.S.”
Techdirt: US Newspapers Now Salivating Over Bringing A Google Snippet Tax Stateside. “As the EU is still trying to figure out what it’s going to do about the highly contested EU Copyright Directive, it appears that at least one of the controversial parts, the ridiculous Article 11 link tax, is spreading to the US. David Chavern, the CEO of the News Media Alliance (a trade group representing legacy news publishers), is agitating in the NY Times for a US version of Article 11. The article if is so chock full of ‘wrong’ that it’s embarrassing.” This keeps getting threshed out over and over but… it WON’T WORK. Ask Spain.
Daniel Miessler: It Appears China is Building a Massive Espionage Database on America. “I’ve mentioned this in numerous places for the last few years, so I decided it was time to finally put it into a formal piece. It seems obvious at this point that China is building a massive database of information on American individuals and companies, which they can then use for various purposes—including espionage, intellectual property theft, extortion, and other types of coercion.”
The Guardian: Memes, technology and sci-fi: what to expect from art in the US in 2019. “With our dependency on smartphones, our Netflix addictions and with almost half the country on dating apps, our devices are becoming dangerously inseparable from our everyday lives. From surveillance to selfie vanity and memes, a series of technology-themed exhibits are coming to the US next year, which trace the evolution of photography, show the roots of social media and share how technology can actually be a force for good.”
University of Arkansas: Libraries Launch Digital Collection on American Old West. “Whiskey smuggling, murder, scandal and a ‘hanging judge’ — the latest digital exhibit from University Libraries has all this and more. The Deputy Marshal Addison Beck and Judge Isaac Parker’s Court collection is now available worldwide, free of charge. Addison Beck was a deputy marshal for the United States from 1875 to 1883 who patrolled for the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith.”
US Department of State: Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Releases Fourteen Newly Digitized Foreign Relations of the United States Volumes . “The Department of State today announces the release of newly digitized versions of fourteen volumes from the Foreign Relations of the United States series, the official documentary record of U.S. foreign relations. These volumes cover events that took place between 1861 and 1866 and were originally published in print between 1861 and 1867.”