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Category: Society (Page 1 of 6)

Andrej Karpathy’s introduction to Large Language Models (LLM)

This is a 1 hour introduction to Large Language Models (LLM), the core technical component behind systems like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, and Google’s Bard.

What they are, where they are headed, comparisons and analogies to present-day operating systems, and some of the security-related challenges of this new computing paradigm.

[1hr Talk] Intro to Large Language Models

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Women Peace Security Index for 2023

Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) seeks to promote a more stable, peaceful, and just world by focusing on the important role women play in preventing conflict and building peace, growing economies, and addressing global threats like climate change and violent extremism.

This fourth edition of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index ranks and scores 177 countries on women’s status. The results show that countries where women are doing well are also more peaceful, democratic, prosperous, and better
prepared to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

This year, nine of the top ten best countries to be women are European, with Scandinavian countries leading the rankings. Denmark leads the 2023 rankings, scoring more than three times higher than Afghanistan.

1 Denmark
2 Switzerland
3 Sweden
4 Finland
4 Iceland
4 Luxembourg
7 Norway
8 Austria
9 Netherlands
10 New Zealand

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The intelligence chiefs of the ‘Five Eyes’ security alliance join Dr. Condoleezza Rice on stage to discuss current threats facing democratic nations

The Five Eyes is a coalition of five countries » Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It grew from the 1946 BRUSA agreement, shortly after the end of World War II, to share intelligence and coordinate security efforts. The five member countries have a long history of trust and cooperation, and they share a commitment to common values.

More » FBI | Toronto Star | The Guardian | Globe & Mail | CBC | ABC (Australia) | AFR

Driver will soon be charged a hefty toll to drive into downtown Manhattan

The new toll beginning in spring 2024, is expected to be between US$9 and $23 per day for passenger vehicles. Commercial vehicles will be charged upon each entry and exit to the zone.

Regional planners believe the toll will nudge some drivers onto transit. The MTA plans to use the proceeds from congestion pricing to shore up its aging infrastructure.

Why New York Will Charge $23/Day To Drive Into Manhattan

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Deadly earthquakes strike northwestern Afghanistan, killing thousands

Local men rushed to search the rubble of collapsed houses in rural areas of Afghanistan’s Zindah Jan district in Herat Province following a series of earthquakes.

Deadly Earthquakes Strike Northwestern Afghanistan

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Powerful earthquakes kill thousands in western Afghanistan

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Venice is charging a €5 entry fee due to overtourism

BBC »

Over the past three decades, Venice has become one of the most notable victims of overtourism. The city currently welcomes an estimated 30 million visitors per year, far above the 50,000 residents that actually call it home. And more than two thirds of visitors come just for the day.

This month, Venice’s municipal authorities announced plans to fight these issues with a controversial move: charging day trippers a €5 entrance fee. This will make Venice the first city in the world to charge visitors to enter its premises. News of the entry fee has sparked controversies, and with travellers eager to understand how the new measure will affect them, BBC Travel talks to authorities and locals to understand when it starts, who will have to pay and how people can visit the city in a more sustainable way.

The mayor of Pontevedra, Spain is placing pedestrians first

For decades, throngs of cars clogged the cobblestone streets of Pontevedra’s downtown, making this seaside city on Spain’s northwestern tip a hard place to live. Smog, loud noise and narrow walkways drove young families away from a region struggling with a shrinking and aging population.

Family physician turned mayor Miguel Fernandez Lores managed to halt the bleeding by closing many streets to car traffic. Now Pontevedra is a model of success in a growing global movement that’s trying to reclaim streets for pedestrians.

Bloomberg »

This Spanish Mayor Is Putting Pedestrians First

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The Guardian looks at how Finland is a better place to have child

Finland is a world leader when it comes to early years education. Childcare is affordable and nursery places are universally available in a system that puts children’s rights at the centre of decision-making.

Now the country is applying the same child-first thinking to paternity-leave policies in an attempt to tackle gender inequality in parenting. The Guardian’s Alexandra Topping travels to Helsinki to find out why the UK pre-school system lags so far behind and whether it really is easier to be a parent in Finland.

‘Why don’t men rebel?’: what the world can learn from childcare in Finland

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US-China tensions and the war in Ukraine are already swinging investments to like-minded countries — a sign that companies are making geopolitical bets

Bloomberg »

It’s not just talk. Hard evidence is now emerging that all the discussions of strained international relations and more than a decade of warnings over the end of an era of globalization are finally spurring corporations to pick sides with their capital. Western multinationals that for years have avoided geopolitics in favor of pursuing profits in less mature markets are increasingly building the factories of the future in like-minded nations.

“This is a historic change,” said Yeo Han-koo, a former South Korean trade minister, who sees a world entering an era of upheaval. “A new economic order is being formulated and that will cause uncertainty and unpredictability.”

UNESCO has added war ravaged sites in Kyiv and L’viv on its list of World Heritage sites in Danger

The World Heritage Committee, meeting in Riyadh until 25 September, decided today to inscribe the sites of “The Saint Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings and Lavra of Kyiv-Pechersk” and “L’viv – the ensemble of the historic centre” on the List of World Heritage in Danger, due to the threat of destruction the Russian offensive poses.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee considers that “optimal conditions are no longer met to fully guarantee the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the property and that it is threatened by potential danger due to the war”. Faced with the risk of direct attack, these sites are also vulnerable to the shockwaves caused by the bombing of the two cities.

While noting the many actions taken by the Ukrainian authorities to protect their cultural property, the Committee stated that these two heritage sites of outstanding universal value have remained under permanent threat since the start of the invasion on 24 February 2022.

More »

Patagonia HQ’s Café Sous Chef

Food is a big deal. At the cafés on Patagonia campuses, sometimes the lines form out the door—especially when there’s a surprise berry crumble in the afternoon. They’re where we talk about the surf, put brussels sprouts on a friend’s plate when they can’t reach the tongs on the opposite side and gobble down a gourmet menu. In this short, Sous Chef Mel tells us about feeding people at Patagonia, creating things that never last long and working with local farmers who provide fresh ingredients.

What We Do: Patagonia HQ's Café Sous Chef | Patagonia

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Child poverty more than doubled in U.S. after expanded tax credits, stimulus checks ended

CNBC »

  • The child poverty rate surged to 12.4% in 2022, up from 5.2% in the year prior, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • The bureau attributed the increase in child poverty to the expiration of expanded child tax credits and the end of stimulus checks.
  • The U.S. had made historic gains in fighting child poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic due in large part to the expanded tax credits. »

More than 2000 killed as buildings collapse during earthquake in Morocco [Updated]

A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck central Morocco, killing at least 820 2000 people.

The epicentre was in the province of Al Haouz, in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5km, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake struck at 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT) on Friday, September 8, 2023. There was a magnitude 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later.

Rescuers were searching for survivors. Casualty figures are expected to rise as the search continues and as rescuers reach remote areas.

NY Times | BBC | North Africa Post | The East African | Euronews | France 24 | Le Monde | Al Jazeera

Death toll in Morocco earthquake rises to 2,000 | DW News

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African children bearing the brunt of climate change impacts

Children in Africa are among the most at risk from climate change impacts but are being woefully deprived of the financing necessary to help them adapt, survive and respond to the crisis, reports UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The African Climate Summit is taking place next week (4 – 8 September 2023) in Nairobi.

Children in 48 out of 49 African countries assessed were found to be at high or extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change, based on their exposure and vulnerability to cyclones, heatwaves and other climate and environmental shocks, and access to essential services.

Those living in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, Somalia, and Guinea-Bissau are most at risk.

At the African Climate Summit, leaders from across the continent are expected to highlight the need for increased investment in climate action.

 

 

Those disputing, contradicting, and confuting people are generally unfortunate in their affairs. They get victory, sometimes, but they never get good will, which would be of more use to them.

» Benjamin Franklin

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