Four short links: 12 December 2017

Learned Indexes, Text Tables, Weaponized Ed Data, and Bad Feedback Loops

By Nat Torkington
December 12, 2017
  1. The Case for Learned Index StructuresOur initial results show that by using neural nets, we are able to outperform cache-optimized B-Trees by up to 70% in speed while saving an order-of-magnitude in memory over several real-world data sets. More importantly, though, we believe that the idea of replacing core components of a data management system through learned models has far-reaching implications for future systems designs and that this work just provides a glimpse of what might be possible. (via Simon Willison)
  2. tty-tabledisplays ASCII tables in your terminal emulator or browser console. Word wrap, padding, alignment, colors, Asian character support, per-column callbacks, and you can pass rows as objects or arrays. Backward compatible with Automattic/cli-table.
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  4. Weaponization of Ed Data (Audrey Watters) — 2017 made it clear, I’d like to think, that the dangers education technology and its penchant for data collection aren’t simply a matter of a potential loss of privacy or a potential loss of data. The stakes now are much, much higher.
  5. Money as Instrument of Change (YouTube) — asked about exploiting human behaviour in social media, the former VP of User Growth, Mobile & International at Facebook says, The short-term dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. The whole talk is interesting. And sweary. (via Gizmodo)
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