April 11th, 2024|

David Wallace-Wells once again writes an important piece in the NYT illustrating some of the current uses of AI in warfare.  An excerpt:

“The more abstract questions raised by the prospect of A.I. warfare are unsettling on the matters of not just machine error but also ultimate responsibility: Who is accountable for an attack or a campaign conducted with little or no human input or oversight? But while one nightmare about military A.I. is that it is given control of decision making, another is that it helps armies become simply more efficient about the decisions being made already. And as Abraham describes it, Lavender is not wreaking havoc in Gaza on its own misfiring accord. Instead it is being used to weigh likely military value against collateral damage in very particular ways — less like a black box oracle of military judgment or a black hole of moral responsibility and more like the revealed design of the war aims of the Israel Defense Forces.”

March 11th, 2024|

More good work from Dave Leonhardt and Ashley Wu in March 11th’s NYT’s The Morning:

“To this day, more than 30 percent of self-identified Republicans have not received a Covid vaccine shot, compared with less than 10 percent of Democrats…

While many liberals exaggerated the value of pandemic restrictions, they were right about the vaccines. After vaccines became available, a huge partisan gap in Covid deaths opened. Even today, when most Americans have had the virus and have some natural immunity as a result, unvaccinated people are at much more risk. Consider that about 95 percent of recent Covid-related hospitalizations in the U.S. have occurred among people who had not received an updated vaccine.”


• Another good piece from David Wallace-Wells in the NYT: Who ‘Won’ Covid? It Depends How You Measure. An excerpt:

“In the end, everyone got it, and probably the most important factor shaping national death totals was how many people were vaccinated before their first infection and how many weren’t. The United States could’ve done much better on that test, given that more Americans have died of Covid since the vaccines were made available to anyone who wanted them than had died to that point. But by some estimates, those vaccines also saved more than three million American lives.”

Kaiser Permanente trialed using ambient AI scribes to determine whether they were of net value to providers and deemed it a success, “saving most of the physicians using it an average of one hour a day at the keyboard” and that the quality of the transcriptions was for the most part quite acceptable.  See the implementation described here in NEJM Catalyst.

This was a good post from Tomas Pueyo on the benefits of SO2 stratospheric injection for ameliorating greenhouse gas temperature rise. See also Professor David Keith’s Group and their work at Harvard, including:

Weisenstein, D. K. and Visioni, D. and Franke, H. and Niemeier, U. and Vattioni, S. and Chiodo, G. and Peter, T. and Keith, D. W. An interactive stratospheric aerosol model intercomparison of solar geoengineering by stratospheric injection of SO2 or accumulation-mode sulfuric acid aerosols. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2022, Vol 22 #5:2955-2973

Credit: Getty Images

   Molly White riffs on Web3:

    Let’s just say it’s not all rosy in Web3’s not-so-meta world; caveat emptor…

   Howard Oakley’s Eclectic Light Mac Feed:

    Always lots of good Mac OS insights here…