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AI lobbyists and electric plane delays



Nathan E. Sanders is a data scientist at the Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard University. Bruce Schneier is a security specialist, research fellow, and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Lobbying has long been part of a compromise between politicians and supporters working to balance their competing interests, but some corporate entities are adept at using legitimate but cunning strategies to bend the rules in their favor.

AI tools could make such cunning strategies more common and effective. A natural discovery for this technology comes in the form of microlegislation, a term for small pieces of proposed law that cater to narrow interests.

Computer models can predict the likely fate of proposed legislative amendments, as well as the ways in which lobbyists can most effectively achieve their desired outcomes, which is an important part of building an AI lobbyist.

The danger of microlegislation — a danger greatly exacerbated by AI — is that it can be used in ways that make it difficult to know who actually benefits from the legislation. Read the full story.

The runway for futuristic electric planes is still long

News: The future of flying has just been put on hold for at least one startup. Today, Beta Technologies pushed back the debut of its futuristic electric aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter. Instead, the company announced plans to certify a more conventional version of its electric aircraft by 2025.

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Members of Congress are being ridiculed by TikTok users for their questions to the app’s CEO, Show Chu.




The creators of TikTok are sick of how Congress doesn’t seem to understand how the internet works.

What happened: On Thursday, TikTok CEO Show Chu held a test before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he was bombarded with concerns about potential national security threats to the popular app and its ties to China. Governments around the world have banned the app from official devices, and there are fears that the app’s parent company, ByteDance, may be forced to cooperate with the Chinese government. (TikTok does not work in China.)

The tone of some of its participants was militant – the creators immediately noticed this and ridiculed.

Meanwhile, the creators of TikTok are the first to ridicule members of Congress.

There should be an age limit in Congressreads the caption from user @rachelhannahh to a clip in which Rep. Buddy Carter, representing Georgia’s 1st District, asks Chu if the app tracks pupillary dilation as a form of facial recognition to drive algorithms.

Chu responded that the app does not use body, face, or voice data to identify users, and the only facial data the app collects is for “filters to wear sunglasses on your face.”

“Why do you need to know where the eyes are if you can’t see if they are dilated?” Carter then asked, prompting a flurry of comments mocking the congressman’s questions.

A spokesman for Carter said the congressman is not on TikTok because it poses a national security risk.

“TikTok recently updated its privacy policy to allow the collection of biometric data, so it was important that its CEO officially state, under oath, what data TikTok collects and whether the Chinese Communist Party has access to that data,” the spokesman said. said.

TechCrunch previously reported that TikTok updated its privacy policy “to allow the app to collect biometric data about US users.” However, the company said it only uses biometrics for video effects and ByteDance employees in China will not be able to access it, according to TechCrunch.

Many of the TikTok video clips suggest that members of Congress don’t know how modern technology works. They believe members of Congress are out of touch with technology and don’t know how tech companies operate in their own country, leading to easily derisive questions.

An app with 150 million US users could be blocked. Among those who have heard of TikTok, only 39% under 30 support a TikTok ban, according to the agency. CBS News/YouGov Poll released on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, who represents Wisconsin’s 8th district, told CNN during a prime time special Thursday night that the government needs to decide TikTok as a threat to national security, despite the app’s popularity among younger voters.

“Republicans [and] Democrats agreed it was a threat,” Republican Gallagher, who chairs the House Select Committee on China, told CNN. “So we can’t ignore it just because of concerns about alienating some teens on this app.”

“This is a matter of national security,” he said. “We have to deal with this before it’s too late.”

This is a bipartisan opinion. The Biden administration has threatened a ban unless the app’s Chinese owners spin off their share of the social media platform.

“Bro, out of pocket,” a user using the pseudonym Whittington said in a clip of U.S. Congressman August Pfluger, representing the 11th District of Texas.

In the clip, Pfluger said the only person who brought Democrats and Republicans together was Vladimir Putin.

CNN reached out to Pfluger for comment.

The hearing may also have created a new group of lobbyists. ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, has sent more than 30 well-known TikTokkers to Washington to protect the app, according to the New York Times. informed.

Another clip which is widely shared on the app is owned by US Rep. Richard Hudson, representing North Carolina’s 9th district. Questions Understand how a WiFi connection works. The “yes or no” style of questions that were complex or downright irrelevant irritated users.

“So if I have the TikTok app on my phone and my phone is connected to my home Wi-Fi network,” Hudson asked, “does TikTok have access to that network?”

“Can TikTok access my battery to steal electricity?” one user said, taunting Hudson.

CNN has reached out to Hudson for comment.

Users also posting pov in appreplaying their versions of the hearings.

“What color is the algorithm?” said user Christian Devine in a video poking fun at some of the questions members of Congress asked Chu.

The video ended up with over a million views and over 250,000 likes at the time of this writing.

— Samantha Murphy Kelly and Brian Fung of CNN contributed to this report.

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Creating an adventure game has never been easier



In the early days of the personal computer, the adventure game genre reigned supreme, as evidenced by classics such as royal quest another Monkey Island Mystery. artist from Toronto Julia Minamata grew up playing this style of play, which emphasizes storytelling and story-driven puzzles.

“In an adventure game, you go through it at your own speed, and it’s more like a book than an arcade game,” Minamata says in episode 459. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “I found—as a resourceful and bookish child—that interactive storytelling was the game I liked best.”

Video game journalist Kurt Kalata loves adventure games so much that he wrote and edited A guide to classic graphic adventures, a massive tome detailing dozens of different games. This is exactly the kind of book he wished he had as a kid in the 90s. “I remember continuing [adventure game guidebook] like my bible, although it was mostly just about how to play games and how to beat them,” he says. “I wanted something similar to this, but really about games.”

The adventure game genre has been dying for many years, but the emergence of tools such as Adventure Game Studio created a thriving indie scene. Minamata is working hard on Crimson DiamondA 16 color adventure game inspired by the 1989 Sierra murder mystery. Colonel’s Request.

“What made me come back to this genre was that I started seeing games made by lone developers,” says Minamata. “Yatzee Croshaw did Cho myth, Francisco Gonzalez directed the series about Ben Jordan. This is one person using Adventure Game Studio and it inspired me a lot.”

And while tools like Adventure Game Studio can help simplify the coding process, there are still no shortcuts to creating great illustrations. Kalata spent months creating monkey islandinspired game called Christopher Columbus is an idiot, but crashed into a wall when it came time to polish the visuals. “It was all sketched out in MS Paint and it eventually got to the point where I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can make time for this without turning it into a commercial project, and to make it a commercial project, I need some good art. ‘ he says.

Listen to the full interview with Julia Minamata and Kurt Kalata in episode 459 of the series. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (higher). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Kurt Kalata on point and click games and text parser games:

“[With a point-and-click game]you have so many tools to interact with the world so in the end if you just try enough things you will solve this problem and that was a comfort blanket feeling for me. You can try everything and eventually you will find it. And the text parsers in Sierra games weren’t particularly good compared to Infocom games that had the best vocabulary. I think if the game was a little more explicit about telling you what things it understands, and also if you didn’t have to guess what it decided to call a noun, or at least it had if there were more synonyms for certain words… it would be better.”

Julia Minamata on game designers:

“Before the current situation we are in right now, I went to Pax Westand I got to know Lori and Corey Colewhich was really amazing and I got to know Douglas Herring who was the artist for Colonel’s Requestwhich is the main source of inspiration for my game. Al Lowe was there too, so it was really cool. They were talking about adventure games together, so I saw them and had a little chat with Laurie and Corey Cole. … So it was really cool to see and go to events to show my game – just meet people here and there and see people who are still developing. [games]. It was just very inspiring.”

Julia Minamata on Colonel’s Request:

“Artists were given a lot of leeway in what they created. They were given reference material, a few photographs of similar houses, but mostly they were left to their own devices. With things like royal questwhat would happen Robert Williams sketched a simple “Here is a tree, and here is a stream, and here is a rock,” and handed it over to the artists, who, in turn, interpreted it as something more professional. But what was good about Colonel’s Request she didn’t. She just said, “Go do it,” like that. [the artists] We were able to create this amazing atmosphere from scratch.”

Kurt Kalata on the future monkey island:

“I was connected with limited edition project, and I know they were hoping that this whole project would spark interest from Disney. Disney is so big they didn’t even really know what it was [Monkey Island] was because it’s just “some old game from the 90s that people like”. So we hoped that enough money would come in that they would say, “Okay, people are interested in this.” monkey island thing, and here is the original designer who It would be interesting do something with it, so maybe some kind of connection will happen.” … The stars must align. One who works with [these companies] must be a fan of these games. Someone has to take care.”

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