Was Flash Responsible For 'The Internet's Most Creative Era'?
technology - Posted On:2019-10-13 22:59:59 Source: slashdot
A new article this week on Motherboard argues that Flash "is responsible for the internet's most creative era," citing a new 640-page book by Rob Ford on the evolution of web design. [O]ne could argue that the web has actually gotten less creative over time, not more. This interpretation of events is a key underpinning of Web Design: The Evolution of the Digital World 1990-Today (Taschen, $50), a new visual-heavy book from author Rob Ford and editor Julius Wiedemann that does something that hasn't been done on the broader internet in quite a long time: It praises the use of Flash as a creative tool, rather than a bloated malware vessel, and laments the ways that visual convention, technical shifts, and walled gardens have started to rein in much of this unvarnished creativity. This is a realm where small agencies supporting big brands, creative experimenters with nothing to lose, and teenage hobbyists could stand out simply by being willing to try something risky. It was a canvas with a built-in distribution model. What wasn't to like, besides a whole host of malware? The book's author tells Motherboard that "Without the rebels we'd still be looking at static websites with gray text and blue hyperlinks." But instead we got wild experiments like Burger King's "Subservient Chicken" site or the interactive "Wilderness Downtown" site coded by Google. There were also entire cartoon series like Radiskull and Devil Doll or Zombie College -- not to mention games like "A Murder of Scarecrows" or the laughably unpredictible animutations of 14-year-old Neil Cicierega. But Ford tells Motherboard that today, many of the wild ideas have moved from the web to augmented reality and other "physical mediums... The rise in interactive installations, AR, and experiential in general is where the excitement of the early days is finally happening again." Motherboard calls the book "a fitting coda for a kind of digital creativity that -- like Geocities and MySpace pages, multimedia CD-ROMs, and Prodigy graphical interfaces before it -- has faded in prominence." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Wired Remembers the Glory Days of Flash
technology - Posted On:2019-10-13 21:44:59 Source: slashdot
Wired recently remembered Flash as "the annoying plugin" that transformed the web "into a cacophony of noise, colour, and controversy, presaging the modern web." They write that its early popularity in the mid-1990s came in part because "Microsoft needed software capable of showing video on their website, MSN.com, then the default homepage of every Internet Explorer user." But Flash allowed anyone to become an animator. (One Disney artist tells them that Flash could do in three days what would take a professional animator 7 months -- and cost $10,000.) Their article opens in 2008, a golden age when Flash was installed on 98% of desktops -- then looks back on its impact: The online world Flash entered was largely static. Blinking GIFs delivered the majority of online movement. Constructed in early HTML and CSS, websites lifted clumsily from the metaphors of magazine design: boxy and grid-like, they sported borders and sidebars and little clickable numbers to flick through their pages (the horror). Flash changed all that. It transformed the look of the web... Some of these websites were, to put it succinctly, absolute trash. Flash was applied enthusiastically and inappropriately. The gratuitous animation of restaurant websites was particularly grievous -- kitsch abominations, these could feature thumping bass music and teleporting ingredients. Ishkur's 'guide to electronic music' is a notable example from the era you can still view -- a chaos of pop arty lines and bubbles and audio samples, it looks like the mind map of a naughty child... In contrast to the web's modern, business-like aesthetic, there is something bizarre, almost sentimental, about billion-dollar multinationals producing websites in line with Flash's worst excess: long loading times, gaudy cartoonish graphics, intrusive sound and incomprehensible purpose... "Back in 2007, you could be making Flash games and actually be making a living," remembers Newgrounds founder Tom Fulp, when asked about Flash's golden age. "That was a really fun time, because that's kind of what everyone's dream is: to make the games you want and be able to make a living off it." Wired summarizes Steve Jobs' "brutally candid" diatribe against Flash in 2010. "Flash drained batteries. It ran slow. It was a security nightmare. He asserted that an era had come to an end... '[T]he mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards -- all areas where Flash falls short.'" Wired also argues that "It was economically viable for him to rubbish Flash -- he wanted to encourage people to create native games for iOS." But they also write that today, "The post-Flash internet looks different. The software's downfall precipitated the rise of a new aesthetic...one moulded by the specifications of the smartphone and the growth of social media," favoring hits of information rather than striving for more immersive, movie-emulating thrills. And they add that though Newgrounds long-ago moved away from Flash, the site's founder is now working on a Flash emulator to keep all that early classic content playable in a browser. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Invisible Hardware Hacks Allowing Full Remote Access Cost Pennies
it - Posted On:2019-10-13 14:45:00 Source: slashdot
Long-time Slashdot reader Artem S. Tashkinov quotes Wired: More than a year has passed since Bloomberg Businessweek grabbed the lapels of the cybersecurity world with a bombshell claim: that Supermicro motherboards in servers used by major tech firms, including Apple and Amazon, had been stealthily implanted with a chip the size of a rice grain that allowed Chinese hackers to spy deep into those networks. Apple, Amazon, and Supermicro all vehemently denied the report. The NSA dismissed it as a false alarm. The Defcon hacker conference awarded it two Pwnie Awards, for "most overhyped bug" and "most epic fail." And no follow-up reporting has yet affirmed its central premise. But even as the facts of that story remain unconfirmed, the security community has warned that the possibility of the supply chain attacks it describes is all too real. The NSA, after all, has been doing something like it for years, according to the leaks of whistle-blower Edward Snowden. Now researchers have gone further, showing just how easily and cheaply a tiny, tough-to-detect spy chip could be planted in a company's hardware supply chain. And one of them has demonstrated that it doesn't even require a state-sponsored spy agency to pull it off -- just a motivated hardware hacker with the right access and as little as $200 worth of equipment. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google Takes AMP to the OpenJS Foundation
technology - Posted On:2019-10-13 12:45:00 Source: slashdot
New Chrome Feature Will Use AI To Describe Unlabelled Images To The Vision-Impaired
technology - Posted On:2019-10-13 10:44:56 Source: slashdot
An anonytmous reader quotes TechSpot: Google is looking to improve the web-browsing experience for those with vision conditions by introducing a feature into its Chrome browser that uses machine learning to recognize and describe images. The image description will be generated automatically using the same technology that drives Google Lens... The text descriptions use the phrase "appears to be" to let users know that it is a description of an image. So, for example, Chrome might say, "Appears to be a motorized scooter." This will be a cue to let the person know that it is a description generated by the AI and may not be completely accurate. The feature is only available for those with screen readers or Braille displays. "The unfortunate state right now is that there are still millions and millions of unlabeled images across the web," explains Google's senior accessbility program manager. "When you're navigating with a screen reader or a Braille display, when you get to one of those images, you'll actually just basically hear 'image' or 'unlabeled graphic,' or my favorite, a super long string of numbers which is the file name, which is just totally irrelevant." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Bell Labs Plans Big 50th Anniversary Event For Unix
technology - Posted On:2019-10-13 03:44:57 Source: slashdot
Photographer Peter Adams launched a "Faces of Open Source" portrait project in 2014. This week he posted a special announcement on the web site of Bell Labs: Later this month, Bell Labs will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Unix with a special two day "Unix 50" event at their historic Murray Hill headquarters. This event should be one for the history books with many notable Unix and computer pioneers in attendance...! As I was making those photographs (which will be on display at the event), I gained much insight into Bell Labs and the development of Unix. However, it was some of the more personal stories and anecdotes that brought Bell Labs to life and gave me a feel for the people behind the code. One such time was when Ken Thompson (who is an accomplished pilot) told me how he traveled to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in order to fly in a MiG-29 fighter jet... Brian Kernighan told me about how a certain portrait of Peter Weinberger found its way into some very interesting places. These included the concrete foundation of a building on Bell Labs campus, the cover images printed onto Unix CD-ROMs, and most notably, painted on the top of a nearby water tower. Which brings us to another important piece of Unix mythology that I learned about: the fictitious Bell Labs employee G.R. Emlin (a.k.a. "the gremlin").... A lot of this folklore (including the gremlin) is going to be on display at the Unix 50 event. The archivists at Bell Labs have outdone themselves by pulling together a massive collection of artifacts taken from the labs where Unix was developed for over 30 years. I was able to photograph a few of these artifacts last year, but so much more will be exhibited at this event -- including several items from the personal archives of some attendees. As if that wasn't enough, the event will also showcase a number of vintage computers and a look into Bell Labs future with a tour of their Future X Labs. The article includes some more quick stories about the Unix pioneers at Bell Labs (including "the gremlin") and argues that "the decision to freely distribute Unix's source code (to anyone who asked for it) inadvertently set the stage for the free and open source software movements that dominate the technology industry today... "In hindsight, maybe 1969 should be called the 'summer of code.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Windows 10 Testers Can Now Answer Android Phone Calls and Text Messages
technology - Posted On:2019-10-12 16:44:59 Source: slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes VentureBeat: At Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked 2019 in August and the Surface hardware event last week, Microsoft talked about Windows 10's Your Phone app getting a new "Calls" feature. Today, the company is letting Windows Insiders start testing an early preview of Android calling on Windows 10. Having given up on Windows Phone, Microsoft has increasingly poured more resources into Android as its mobile platform of choice. The company offers plenty of Android apps and features, including some that it can't match on Apple's more restricted iOS platform. Last week, Microsoft even unveiled the dual-screen Surface Neo Android phone, coming in holiday 2020. Your Phone is part of Microsoft's "Continue on PC" functionality, which lets you send a task from your Android or iOS device to Windows 10. The app's main purpose is to let you access your phone's content -- like text messages, photos, and notifications -- right on your PC. The feature first arrived with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update in October 2017, and Microsoft has been broadening it ever since. Calling support means you no longer have to grab your Android phone to answer a call when you're at your computer. You can interact with the call using your PC's speakers, microphone, and screen. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Ransomware Gang's Victim Cracks Their Server and Releases All Their Decryption Keys
it - Posted On:2019-10-12 14:44:59 Source: slashdot
"A user got his revenge on the ransomware gang who encrypted his files by hacking their server and releasing the decryption keys for all victims," writes ZDNet. ccnafr shared their report: One of the gang's victims was Tobias Frömel, a German software developer. Frömel was one of the victims who paid the ransom demand so he could regain access to his files. However, after paying the ransom, Frömel also analyzed the ransomware, gained insight into how Muhstik operated, and then retrieved the crooks' database from their server. "I know it was not legal from me," the researcher wrote in a text file he published online on Pastebin earlier Monday, containing 2,858 decryption keys. "I'm not the bad guy here," Frömel added. Besides releasing the decryption keys, the German developer also published a decrypter that all Muhstik victims can use to unlock their files. The decrypter is available on MEGA [VirusTotal scan], and usage instructions are avaiable on the Bleeping Computer forum. In the meantime, Frömel has been busy notifying Muhstik victims on Twitter about the decrypter's availability, advising users against paying the ransom. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Elizabeth Warren Mocks Facebook's Ad Policy By Lying About Mark Zuckerberg
technology - Posted On:2019-10-12 10:44:56 Source: slashdot
"A fresh series of Facebook ads this week by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren seeks to put the social media giant on the defensive -- by telling a lie," writes CNN. An anonymous reader quotes their report: The ads, which began running widely on Thursday, start with a bold but obvious falsehood: That Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have endorsed President Trump's reelection campaign. "You're probably shocked," reads the ad, which has already reached tens of thousands of viewers nationwide. "And you might be thinking, 'how could this possibly be true?' Well, it's not." The ad's own admission of a lie seeks to draw attention to a controversial Facebook policy Warren has spent days criticizing. Under the policy, Facebook exempts ads by politicians from third-party fact-checking... In a statement Friday responding to Warren's ad, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the company believes political speech should be protected. "If Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech," the Stone said... Warren has become one of Facebook's key antagonists after first calling for it and other Silicon Valley giants -- such as Amazon, Google and Apple -- to be broken up. But her rift with Facebook deepened after leaked audio published by The Verge revealed Zuckerberg fretting about the potential consequences of a Warren presidency. "If she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge, and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge," Zuckerberg is heard saying at a companywide meeting. "And does that still suck for us? Yeah. I mean, I don't want to have a major lawsuit against our own government. ... But look, at the end of the day, if someone's going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight." Warren responded via Twitter, "What would really 'suck' is if we don't fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Stalker Found Victim's Home By Looking At Reflection In Her Pupil From High-Res Photo
technology - Posted On:2019-10-12 06:14:57 Source: slashdot
JustAnotherOldGuy shares a report from Boing Boing, with the caption: "Enhance, zoom in... more... more... straight out of CSI." From the report: Last month a Japanese entertainer named Ena Matsuoka was attacked in front of her home in Tokyo. Her alleged attacker, an obsessed fan, was able to figure out where she lived by zooming in on a high resolution photo and identifying a bus stop reflected in her pupils. According to Asia One, the alleged attacker "even approximated the storey Matsuoka lived on based on the windows and the angle of the sunlight in her eyes." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Children 'Interested in' Gambling and Alcohol, According To Facebook
technology - Posted On:2019-10-11 15:44:59 Source: slashdot
Facebook has marked hundreds of thousands of children as "interested in" adverts about gambling and alcohol, a joint investigation by the Guardian and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation has found. From a report: The social network's advertising tools reveal 740,000 children under the age of 18 are flagged as being interested in gambling, including 130,000 in the UK. Some 940,000 minors -- 150,000 of whom are British -- are flagged as being interested in alcoholic beverages. These "interests" are automatically generated by Facebook, based on what it has learned about a user by monitoring their activity on the social network. Advertisers can then use them to specifically target messages to subgroups who have been flagged as interested in the topic. In a statement, Facebook said: "We don't allow ads that promote the sale of alcohol or gambling to minors on Facebook and we enforce against this activity when we find it. We also work closely with regulators to provide guidance for marketers to help them reach their audiences effectively and responsibly." The company does allow advertisers to specifically target messages to children based on their interest in alcohol or gambling. A Facebook insider gave the example of an anti-gambling service that may want to reach out to children who potentially have a gambling problem and offer them help and support. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The Dumb Reason Your Fancy Computer Vision App Isn't Working: Exif Orientation
technology - Posted On:2019-10-11 14:29:59 Source: slashdot
Adam Geitgey: Exif metadata is not a native part of the Jpeg file format. It was an afterthought taken from the TIFF file format and tacked onto the Jpeg file format much later. This maintained backwards compatibility with old image viewers, but it meant that some programs never bothered to parse Exif data. Most Python libraries for working with image data like numpy, scipy, TensorFlow, Keras, etc, think of themselves as scientific tools for serious people who work with generic arrays of data. They don't concern themselves with consumer-level problems like automatic image rotation -- even though basically every image in the world captured with a modern camera needs it. This means that when you load an image with almost any Python library, you get the original, unrotated image data. And guess what happens when you try to feed a sideways or upside-down image into a face detection or object detection model? The detector fails because you gave it bad data. You might think this problem is limited to Python scripts written by beginners and students, but thatâ(TM)s not the case! Even Google's flagship Vision API demo doesn't handle Exif orientation correctly. And while Google Vision still manages to detect some of the animals in the sideways image, it detects them with a non-specific "Animal" label. This is because it is a lot harder for a model to detect a sideways goose than an upright goose. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Disgraced Google Exec Andy Rubin Quietly Left His Venture Firm Earlier This Year
technology - Posted On:2019-10-11 13:00:00 Source: slashdot
Andy Rubin, the former Google senior vice president whose $90 million exit package caused a worldwide employee walkout at the search giant last year, quietly left Playground Global, the venture firm he founded in May, BuzzFeed News reported today citing internal documents. From the report: The revelation comes as Rubin, who was accused of coercing a subordinate into sexual acts while at Google before being given a hero's send-off in 2014, attempts to make a public comeback with Essential Products, the mobile device company he founded. On Tuesday, Rubin tweeted images of Essential's new phones, some of his first public statements since late 2018 when news broke on the circumstances surrounding his exit from Google. Those circumstances caused an uproar at Google, which was already dealing with several stories of executive harassment and misbehavior, and provided direct proof that Larry Page, the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, and his board members had intentionally tried to cover up misdeeds at the top. Not only were Google executives aware of allegations of sexual misconduct at the time of Rubin's exit, but they failed to notify employees, lauded him in a departure announcement, and sent him off with a $90 million exit package. Rubin's departure from Playground was also accompanied by a payout, with a source familiar placing the amount at more than $9 million. Documents related to his exit, which were seen by some investors and the company's leadership, but not all of Playground's staff, were reviewed by BuzzFeed News. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google Made Large Contributions To Climate Change Deniers
technology - Posted On:2019-10-11 10:59:57 Source: slashdot
The Guardian is reporting that Google has made "substantial" contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis. McGruber writes: Among hundreds of groups the company has listed on its website as beneficiaries of its political giving are more than a dozen organisations that have campaigned against climate legislation, questioned the need for action, or actively sought to roll back Obama-era environmental protections. The list includes the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative policy group that was instrumental in convincing the Trump administration to abandon the Paris agreement and has criticised the White House for not dismantling more environmental rules. Google is also listed as a sponsor for an upcoming annual meeting of the State Policy Network (SPN), an umbrella organisation that supports conservative groups including the Heartland Institute, a radical anti-science group that has chided the teenage activist Greta Thunberg for "climate delusion hysterics". SPN members recently created a "climate pledge" website that falsely states "our natural environment is getting better" and "there is no climate crisis". Google has defended its contributions, saying that its "collaboration" with organisations such as CEI "does not mean we endorse the organisations' entire agenda". Read more of this story at Slashdot.
China's Global Reach: Surveillance and Censorship Beyond the Great Firewall
technology - Posted On:2019-10-11 10:14:57 Source: slashdot
An anonymous reader shares a report: Those outside the People's Republic of China (PRC) are accustomed to thinking of the Internet censorship practices of the Chinese state as primarily domestic, enacted through the so-called "Great Firewall" -- a system of surveillance and blocking technology that prevents Chinese citizens from viewing websites outside the country. The Chinese government's justification for that firewall is based on the concept of "Internet sovereignty." The PRC has long declared that "within Chinese territory, the internet is under the jurisdiction of Chinese sovereignty." Hong Kong, as part of the "one country, two systems" agreement, has largely lived outside that firewall: foreign services like Twitter, Google, and Facebook are available there, and local ISPs have made clear that they will oppose direct state censorship of its open Internet. But the ongoing Hong Kong protests, and mainland China's pervasive attempts to disrupt and discredit the movement globally, have highlighted that China is not above trying to extend its reach beyond the Great Firewall, and beyond its own borders. In attempting to silence protests that lie outside the Firewall, in full view of the rest of the world, China is showing its hand, and revealing the tools it can use to silence dissent or criticism worldwide. Some of those tools -- such as pressure on private entities, including American corporations NBA and Blizzard -- have caught U.S. headlines and outraged customers and employees of those companies. Others have been more technical, and less obvious to the Western observers. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Computer Historians Crack Passwords of Unix's Early Pioneers
technology - Posted On:2019-10-10 17:14:59 Source: slashdot
JustAnotherOldGuy shares a report from Boing Boing: Early versions of the free/open Unix variant BSD came with password files that included hashed passwords for such Unix luminaries as Dennis Ritchie, Stephen R. Bourne, Eric Schmidt, Brian W. Kernighan and Stuart Feldman. Leah Neukirchen recovered an BSD version 3 source tree and revealed that she was able to crack many of the weak passwords used by the equally weak hashing algorithm from those bygone days. Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie's was "dmac," Bourne's was "bourne," Schmidt's was "wendy!!!" (his wife's name), Feldman's was "axlotl," and Kernighan's was "/.,/.,." Four more passwords were cracked by Arthur Krewat: Ozalp Babaolu's was "12ucdort," Howard Katseff's was "graduat;," Tom London's was "..pnn521," Bob Fabry's was "561cml.." and Ken Thompson's was "p/q2-q4!" (chess notation for a common opening move). BSD 3 used Descrypt for password hashing, which limited passwords to eight characters, salted with 12 bits of entropy. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Should Cameras Replace Car Mirrors? US Regulators Want To Know
technology - Posted On:2019-10-10 16:30:00 Source: slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a notice on Wednesday that is is seeking public and industry input on whether to allow so-called camera monitoring systems to replace rear- and side-view mirrors mandated by a longstanding U.S. auto safety standard. Tesla Inc. and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in 2014 petitioned the agency to allow cameras to be used in lieu of traditional mirrors, citing improved fuel economy through reduced aerodynamic drag as the primary benefit. Cameras feeding one or more displays inside the car could also improve rear and side visibility, the Auto Alliance has said. A five-year agency study of the technology on heavy-duty vehicles found display screens were too bright, making it harder for drivers to see objects on the road ahead. NHTSA's 2017 tests of a prototype camera monitoring system found it was "generally usable" in most situations, and produced better-quality images than mirrors at dusk and dawn. It also found potential flaws, including displays that were too bright at night, distorted images and camera lenses that would become obscured by raindrops. NHTSA said in a notice in the online Federal Register is seeking outside research and data about the potential safety impacts of replacing mirrors with cameras to inform a possible proposal to alter the mirror requirement in the future. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Dyson Cancels Electric Car Project
technology - Posted On:2019-10-10 14:15:00 Source: slashdot
Dyson has abandoned its attempts to break into the automotive industry and will wind down its electric vehicle project, ending a venture that founder James Dyson claimed would redefine his business. From a report: The company failed to find a buyer for its designs, and said its plans to build a car from scratch in Singapore were no longer commercially viable. Dyson's ambitions faced a mounting challenge from established carmakers, while electric vehicle makers such as Tesla have raised large sums on the stock and bond markets. Many new entrants such as China's Nio have struggled with the cost of competing against deep-pocketed incumbents. Sir James's decision represents a humbling U-turn for a man who is one of Britain's most celebrated living inventors. The billionaire businessman had hoped to harness his privately owned group's expertise in battery systems, aerodynamics and high-tech manufacturing to break into a fiercely competitive industry. "Though we have tried very hard throughout the development process, we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable," Sir James wrote in an email to staff on Thursday. "We have been through a serious process to find a buyer for the project which has, unfortunately, been unsuccessful so far." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Pinterest Says AI Reduced Reported Self-Harm Content By 88%
technology - Posted On:2019-10-10 13:00:00 Source: slashdot
Pinterest says it's using machine learning techniques to identify and hide content that displays, rationalizes, or encourages self-injury. The company says it has achieved an 88% reduction in reports of self-harm content by users and that it's now able to remove such content 3 times faster. From a report: Additionally, over 4,600 search terms and phrases related to self-harm have been removed from the platform, Pinterest says, and links to free and confidential support from expert resources are now more prominently displayed to members who search for those keywords. People showing signs of distress now see the resources directly in their boards (i.e., home screens), an approach Pinterest says was developed with guidance from outside emotional health experts at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Vibrant Emotional Health, and Samaritans. Elsewhere, Pinterest this morning broadened the rollout of the emotional well-being interactive practices and exercises it introduced in the U.S. through its iOS app earlier this year. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An AI Pioneer Wants His Algorithms To Understand the 'Why'
technology - Posted On:2019-10-10 12:15:00 Source: slashdot
Deep learning is good at finding patterns in reams of data, but can't explain how they're connected. Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio wants to change that. From a report: In March, Yoshua Bengio received a share of the Turing Award, the highest accolade in computer science, for contributions to the development of deep learning -- the technique that triggered a renaissance in artificial intelligence, leading to advances in self-driving cars, real-time speech translation, and facial recognition. Now, Bengio says deep learning needs to be fixed. He believes it won't realize its full potential, and won't deliver a true AI revolution, until it can go beyond pattern recognition and learn more about cause and effect. In other words, he says, deep learning needs to start asking why things happen. The 55-year-old professor at the University of Montreal, who sports bushy gray hair and eyebrows, says deep learning works well in idealized situations but won't come close to replicating human intelligence without being able to reason about causal relationships. "It's a big thing to integrate [causality] into AI," Bengio says. "Current approaches to machine learning assume that the trained AI system will be applied on the same kind of data as the training data. In real life it is often not the case." Read more of this story at Slashdot.