- In 2013 Amazon filed a patent in the US that describes a system that predicts what someone might order in the future and ship these items to them. The customer can then decide weather he wants to keep the items (retroactively buy them) or if doesn’t want them and send them back. If you are interested you can find the patent online at: http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=08615473&IDKey=280960F32783&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO2%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsearch-bool.html%2526r%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526co1%3DAND%2526d%3DPTXT%2526s1%3D%252522anticipatory%252Bpackage%252522%2526OS%3D%252522anticipatory%252Bpackage%252522%2526RS%3D%252522anticipatory%252Bpackage%252522
- As you probably all know Google changes its search results depending on who Google thinks is searching. In once was working on a seminar paper in my bachelor and had a hard time finding good material for it. So I asked my professor for material and he found by 5 minutes of Google searching a Phd thesis with exactly the topic I need. Obviously that was embarrassing for me so I tried to find the Phd thesis by myselfs, turns out even when I used the exact title of the thesis Google wasn’t showing my this thesis. This in only an anecdotal experience put it points out that whenever Google, Facebook, Netflix etc. personalize the content they show to someone they are leaving something out.
- The article: Yuval Noah Harari on big data, Google and the end of free will: https://www.ft.com/content/50bb4830-6a4c-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c
- China is introducing a so called Social credit system which assigns scores to its citizens depending on their behaviour and several other factors (friends, financial situation etc.). A low score leads to penalties such as a travel ban or slow internet. While the pervasiveness is unique to China comparable systems, albeit on much smaller scale, exist in many western countries. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System and https://global.handelsblatt.com/politics/germany-mass-surveillance-social-credit-china-big-data-886786
- I also want to point out that this question about more than just big data, e.g. Germany has a so called “Dreigliedriges Schulsystem” which depending on when and how you graduated from school determines weather you can study or not.
- There is also the believe that this is a good thing and that we should use data for determining our future, this believe is called Dataism. This article: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/yuval-noah-harari-dataism is good introduction into it.
Our next, and last meeting this semester will be on the 20th of June at 19:00, this time we will meet at Tunnel Vienna. Moritz will present us “The Bayesian Brain”, a hypotheses of the field of cognitive science.
The Bayesian Brain Hypotheses: Is knowledge stored probabilistically in our brain?
A superficial but broad account of where Bayesian statistics can be used and a fun read.
A nice introductory text on how Bayes theorem is used to update knowledge and how it could be used to explain decision-making in our brain and basic psychological experiments.
Level CogSci debate:
A good account of the debate in cognitive science about the advantages/disadvantages of the Bayesian brain hypotheses, which was started by an article from Clark and supplemented by comments of researchers in the whole field from different perspectives.
The semester soon is coming to it’s end, which means that there would only be one session left. But, since there are so many people interested in giving a talk, there will be an extra session.
Therefore we will meet again next week on the 13th of June at 20:00 at WUK to listen to Patrick’s talk about “Scientonomy: The Theory of Scientific Change”, a construction of a historically motivated attempt to understand how and why scientific theories and methods change in time.
For additional material see:
As a starting point the following lecture on “The laws of scientific change”
The Encyclopedia of Scientonomy
The first book chapter of Hakob Barseghyan’s Book “The Laws of scientific change”, provides a good overview. In order to obtain the book chapter, contact e.schwarzhans(at)gmx.at
The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on Wednesday the 6th of June at 20:00 in Wuk. This time Marius will give us an introduction into the paper “Could the physical world be emergent instead of fundamental, and why should we ask?”, which was published by his supervisor Markus Müller.
There are two versions of this paper, a long one and a short one. Both are on the arxiv under the following links:
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1712.01816.pdf (short version)
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1712.01826.pdf (Full version)
And additionally you can find a presentation Markus Müller gave about this topic under:
The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on Wednesday the 23rd at 20:00 in Wuk. This time Manu will talk about his master thesis on “The fundamental energy cost of time measurement” . Since he is not finished yet he will give you an introduction into Autonomous quantum clocks and show you what he did so far. For the non-physicist of you: He will try to keep it very basic so you can join the discussion as well.
- If you are interested in the clock model and the figures of merit he uses, it is quite instructive to read:
Autonomous quantum clocks: does thermodynamics limit our ability to measure time? https://arxiv.org/pdf/1609.06704.pdf
- For those of you interested in quantum thermodynamics in general he recommends:
The role of quantum information in thermodynamics — a topical review https://arxiv.org/pdf/1505.07835.pdf
The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on the 9th of May at 20:00 in Wuk. This time Flavio will talk about The physical interpretation of probability and the quantum theory. You may find following suggested literature helpful:
“Philosophy and Probability” by Timothy Childers (pp. 33-36)
- Extended conference paper:
“The physical motivations for a propensity interpretation of probability, and the reactions of the community of quantum physicists” by Flavio
In order to get one of the above texts please contact e.schwarzhans(at)gmx.at .