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  • Reading Recommendations, #1, CW17-21

    Author: Tobias Krug


    Hello everyone,

    welcome to the first iteration of trafo’s new, monthly article series “Reading Recommendations”. Herein, we are going to cover new and noteworthy topics from engineering and a bit of everything to keep you up-to-date and broaden your scope. Referred articles might originate from different countries and be written in different languages, so we advise you to use a translation tool of your choice to tackle a potential language barrier.


    The main idea is to provide you with a set of interesting reads. To raise your interest in such a list, we will provide auxiliary information like an abstract or outline, category of the referred information and possibly other information like estimated reading time or so.


    In case you have any suggestions to improve this article series or want to submit interesting reads to our staff, feel encouraged to reach out to trafo@fs.ei.tum.de.


    Now off to the actual content:


    1: The Lasting Lessons of John Conway’s Game of Life (15-19 minutes)

    New York Times (Dec. 28, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/science/math-conway-game-of-life.html

    Abstract: The article introduces the famous “Conway’s Game of Life” and his creator. Based on that, his view on his creation is elaborated followed by other people’s opinions on the impact of the algorithm.


    2: Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against (14-17 minutes)

    Nature (first: Nov. 27, 2019; corrected: Apr. 9, 2020), https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0

    Abstract: The article introduces the notion of climate tipping points. Subsequently, a number of tipping points are presented and related to purvey the idea of connected climate tipping points, which could cause a chain of effects if no action is taken.


    3: AI technical safety (no reading estimate)

    80,000 Hours (updated: Mar., 2020), https://80000hours.org/topic/priority-paths/technical-ai-safety/

    Abstract: The 80,000 Hours organization provides insights into different career tracks and how to successfully pursue them. The referenced URL introduces the field of AI safety and refers to current research in this growing field.


    4: “We’ll never have true AI without first understanding the brain” (11-14 minutes)

    MIT Technology Review (Mar. 3, 2021), https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/03/03/1020247/artificial-intelligence-brain-neuroscience-jeff-hawkins/

    Abstract: The article introduces Jeff Hawkins and his view on AI to frame an interview with him on his latest discoveries regarding human-like artificial creations.


    5: Gehirne unter Quarantäne (2-3 minutes, 9 minutes of video)

    Spektrum (Nov. 2, 2020), https://www.spektrum.de/video/gehirne-unter-quarantaene/1786808

    Abstract: This video and article cover the results of observed effects of isolation on researchers deployed at the Antarctic region and possible interpretations relatable to everyday humans.


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