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  • Reading Recommendations, #2, CW23-21

    Author: Tobias Krug


    Hello everyone,

    welcome to the second iteration of Trafo’s monthly article series “Reading Recommendations”.

    This time it is all about intelligence and consciousness. Namely how to understand both and apply them to uncover bias in AI, unintelligent strategies in cryptomining or how past writers employed them to dream up a future not present back then.


    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: Der Autopilot im Kopf (12-16 minutes)

    Spektrum (May 28, 2021), https://www.spektrum.de/news/wie-entsteht-bewusstsein/1589146

    Abstract: The article considers the different modes of operation in the human brain. It discusses when consciousness is actually experienced and what might trigger it to come into play. To support his claims, the author introduces brain models and different systems of memory.


    2: Das Leben als Turing-Test (9-12 minutes)

    Ada (May 11, 2021), https://ada-magazin.com/de/das-leben-als-turing-test

    Abstract: The article by Miriam Meckel and Léa Steinacker from the ada magazine reflects on the book “Machines Like Me” from Ian McEwan. It raises the question how intelligent machines could influence human life and what consequences that might have. The story revolves around a human couple that acquires such an intelligent machine and how it affects their life more and more.


    3: Ein Vorspiel zum Fortschritt (10-13 minutes)

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (May 29, 2021), https://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/buecher/dantes-commedia/wie-dantes-dichterische-vision-der-neuzeit-die-staette-bereitete-17363128.html?printPagedArticle=true

    Abstract: The article introduces the famous novel “Divine Comedy” by Dante (1265 - 1321) and analyzes how it might have predicted the way our world evolved up until the current state of virtual realms and digital life.


    4: Hidden Bias (12-16 minutes)

    People + AI Research (PAIR) - Google (May, 2020), https://pair.withgoogle.com/explorables/hidden-bias/

    Abstract: The webpage hosts an interactive story to show how bias is introduced in AI solutions and how it can be tackled by thoughtful consideration of bias inflicting variables/parameters.


    5: Beyond the doomsday economics of “proof-of-work” in cryptocurrencies (25-35 minutes)

    Bank for International Settlements (Jan., 2019), https://www.bis.org/publ/work765.pdf

    Abstract: The report deals with cryptocurrencies and specifically the strategy of “proof of work” which recently came under attack in the public coverage of Bitcoin, Ethereum and similar cryptocurrencies – especially as Ethereum vows to change to a so called “proof of stake” strategy. The description of “proof of work” is easy to follow, supported by graphics and allows anyone to understand what is going on in the cryptocurrency world.



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