Marseille’s surveillance fightback, and the endless AI sentience debate

All over the world, video cameras have become an accepted feature of urban life. Many Chinese cities now have close networks, and London and New Delhi are not far behind.

Now France is playing catch-up. Since 2015, the year of the Betaclan terrorist attacks, the number of cameras in Paris has quadrupled. Police have used such cameras to apply pandemic lockdown measures and monitor the protest.

Concerns have been expressed across the country. But the surveillance rollout has met with special resistance in Marseille, France’s second-largest city. Last year, President Emanuel Macron announced that the city council would be given 500 more security cameras and placed in areas of the city where large numbers of immigrants live.

The sad, rebellious Mediterranean town sits on some of the defective lines that run through modern France. Known for hip bars, artist studios and startup hubs, it is also notorious for drugs, poverty and criminal activity. It is not surprising, then, that activists are fighting the cameras, which highlight the overreach and underperformance of the surveillance system. But do they succeed? Read the full story.

– Flair MacDonald

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I used the internet to find out some of the most fun / important / scary / compelling stories about technology today.

1 An engineer from Google believes that his AI is sensitive
It’s almost certainly not પરંતુ but it doesn’t stop a new round of speculation and discussion in the research community. (WP)
, Google’s vice president believes the network is moving towards consciousness. (Economist)
, Machine consciousness is a debate that never goes away. (MIT Technology Review)
, Text-to-image AI DALL-E struggled to draw self-portraits. (Motherboard)

2 The Rise and Fall of the Digital Twins
Experimenting with digital copies of everything from vital organs to the earth can help mimic disasters. (BBC)
, How digital twins help the world’s supply chain Nightmare weather(MIT Technology Review)

3 We are making the world so bright
And it harms our wildlife. (Atlantic 2)

4 Leading a deep space mission is more stressful than you can imagine
Every day new problems arise. (Slate 2)
, A rocket carrying two NASA satellites failed to enter orbit on Sunday. (Space)

5 Meta Sheryl Sandberg is investigating how the company’s resources were used
Mainly in relation to his own personal project, including the promotion of his second book. (WSJ)

6 A microchip that tests for more than 200 viruses could be on the horizon
Molecular electronics can accelerate drug discovery – if they work. (Neo. Life)
, This startup wants to make electronics out of single molecules(MIT Technology Review)
, Doctor Check-In is collecting user data for software marketing. (WP)

7 Although the TV is off, some ads continue to run on streaming services
Which is a complete waste of money for advertisers. (WSJ)

8 Being a parent in America is harder than ever
But it is worth remembering that children themselves are still extremely resilient. (Vox)

9 Facebook groups are being used to connect young Pakistanis
After banning more traditional dating apps including Tinder in the country. (Rest of the world)
, The reaction against apps is growing worldwide. (The Guardian)

10 Like it or not, we are all influencers now
And the relentless efforts to please the algorithm are making us restless. (In real life)

Quote of the day

“It took me hours to figure out what it was, why I was crying. I realized that I was in pain. I mourned for the destruction of the earth. “

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