Four short links: 23 April 2019

Worker-run Gig Factories, Persistence of Firefighting, Discriminating Systems, and Activation Atlas

By Nat Torkington
April 23, 2019
Four short links
  1. When Workers Control the Code (Wired) — workers form co-ops to code and run gig economy apps, and make decent rates because there’s no rent-seeker platform in the middle. A great counter for rising prices and plummeting driver pay post-IPO. (via BoingBoing)
  2. The Persistence of Firefighting in Product DevelopmentThe most important result of our studies is that product development systems have a tipping point. In models of infectious diseases, the tipping point represents the threshold of infectivity and susceptibility beyond which a disease becomes an epidemic. Similarly, in product development systems there exists a threshold for problem-solving activity that, when crossed, causes firefighting to spread rapidly from a few isolated projects to the entire development system. Our analysis also shows that the location of the tipping point, and therefore the susceptibility of the system to the firefighting phenomenon, is determined by resource utilization in steady state.
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  4. Discriminating Systems — headlines from the major findings: There is a diversity crisis in the AI sector across gender and race. The AI sector needs a profound shift in how it addresses the current diversity crisis. The overwhelming focus on “women in tech” is too narrow and likely to privilege white women over others. Fixing the “pipeline” won’t fix AI’s diversity problems. The use of AI systems for the classification, detection, and prediction of race and gender is in urgent need of re-evaluation. Also comes with recommendations.
  5. Activation AtlasBy using feature inversion to visualize millions of activations from an image classification network, we create an explorable activation atlas of features the network has learned which can reveal how the network typically represents some concepts. Beautiful.
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