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Alex Rudnick
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Absolutely.

Also, if you haven't read Bowling Alone, I can't recommend it highly enough!
This 1993 essay by Robert Putnam (who later wrote the classic book Bowling Alone) on social capital, civic engagement, and prosperity is completely relevant to today's politics.


https://5calls.org/

Great tool for calling your elected representatives, with very nice scripts to get you started for what to say. Please call your elected representatives.

Feinstein and Ro Khanna seem to have full mailboxes right now (Saturday evening), but I left a message for Kamala Harris.

I'll keep calling. Please do the same.


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Word Lens in Japanese \m/
The Google Translate team continues to connect users all over the world to the places and cultures they explore with Word Lens: https://goo.gl/2nH2y7 

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An inside look at the Google Brain team

For the past few months, we've had NY Times Magazine reporter +Gideon Lewis-Kraus visit the Google Brain team several times and hang out with us for a few days at a time, with an eye towards writing an article about how our research team operates and what we're working on. We gave him pretty open access to our building, the people in the team, many of our meetings, etc., and over the course of several visits, he decided to focus his story on the origins of the Brain team, and on our in-progress collaboration with the Google Translate team to replace the old phrase-based translation system with a neural machine translation system (essentially part of the article is a behind-the-scenes look at how the scientific work in https://arxiv.org/abs/1609.08144 and https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.04558 came about).

This long article is the result of his visits and synthesis of what he learned. Gideon, I think the article turned out really well!




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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh0DJwSznxw&list=PL590L5WQmH8duxGC2KkpCrehZRguas-rC&index=9

Nice video showcasing some Translate features that you might not know about yet!

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Recently, we announced that +Google Translate is switching to a new system called Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT), an end-to-end learning framework that learns from millions of examples, and provided significant improvements in translation quality.

Today on the Google Research blog (linked below), we go into how we are extending our previous GNMT system, allowing for a single system to translate between multiple languages - even between language pairs the system has never seen before!

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quote: Using your Presidential transition website to promote your own business properties is not normal.

Calling for millions of federal employees to sign nondisclosure agreements apart from standard government forms is not normal.

Blasting journalists with product placements for the labels your child, who is on your transition team, is wearing is not normal.

Having a wide range of senior figures in your own political party distance themselves from your transition team, citing the profound irregularity of it and worrying about future ugliness, is not normal.

Placing your children in charge of your business empire, then placing them on your transition team, then seeking top secret security clearances for them, is not normal. The conflicts of interest that this represents are almost too many to count, but at a basic level: you do not give someone with a financial interest to work against U.S. policy access to sensitive information — at all, ever.

Putting one’s children into senior positions of a government is the behavior of a banana republic, not a constitutional democracy with strong institutions. This is not normal.

For a president who ran on his business acumen to refuse to disclose his taxes to the public, which in turn denies anyone the ability to see if financial conflicts of interest are driving his policy decisions, is not normal.

Asking if he can decline the President’s salary, so as to avoid paying taxes, is not normal.

Owing hundreds of millions of dollars in business debt to a foreign bank and refusing to fully divest yourself from those finances is not normal.

Ascending to the White House while your eldest son, who is also on your transition team, and for whom you also seek a top-secret clearance, seeks out seven-digit business deals in Russia, is not normal. When Russia then names the President elect an “honorary Cossack,” it is not normal.

Asking a hostile foreign intelligence agency to hack into the emails of your opponent in the campaign is not normal. Refusing to comment while they expand those hacks into other institutions is not normal.

Watching that same government’s propaganda network dramatically change its tone in order to benefit the incoming president is not normal. That this foreign government is also the subject of numerous investigations into the President elect’s improper business conduct is not normal.

Threatening to cut off Europe from NATO if payment is not received, like a gangster demanding protection money, in a way that benefits said foreign government, is not normal.

Chanting for the summary imprisonment of your political opponent despite repeated conclusions that she has committed no crime is not normal. Refusing to back down from that call to summarily imprison her is not normal. Essentially suggesting a show trial before you’ve even assumed office is not normal.

Hiring an avowed white supremacist and proud antisemite to be the chief of strategy at the White House is not normal. That the new White House chief strategist has bragged, openly, of his desire to destroy the United States is not normal. That the cofounder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center raised money for this is not normal.

Staff participating in authoritarian victim-blaming and antisemitic conspiracism is not normal. Collaborating with cable news channels in that antisemitic conspiracy about protests is not normal.

When one of the new administration’s most senior proxies and spokesmen calmly discusses committing war crimes in the Middle East, it is not normal. When he is shortlisted for the Department of State — despite lobbying for terrorists who killed Americans, despotic regimes in the Middle East, and the tyrannical government of Venezuela — it is not normal.

When that proxy is simply following in the footsteps of the new President-elect, who has called for reinstating torture and summarily executing the families of alleged terrorists, it is not normal.

The leading candidate for the department of education (who himself has no background as an educator or in education policy) openly suggesting to censor speech on universities is not normal. Nominating an oil executive as the Secretary of the Interior is not normal. Nominating a climate change denialist funded by the oil industry to run the EPA is not normal. When the leading candidate for Defense Secretary having a long history of openly racist comments toward his own staff it is not normal.

The FBI intervening decisively in the last week of the election to alter its outcome for one candidate is not normal. But the FBI refusing to address the president elect’s violation of sanctions against a communist country is also not normal.

When a woman accuses a presidential candidate of having raped her as a child, but then refuses to go forward with her allegations because of a barrage of death threats yet still receives almost no media coverage, it is not normal.

It is not normal for a president-elect to have 75 pending lawsuits against him, ranging from business fraud to illegal hiring practices. It is not normal for his lawyers to demand those lawsuits be delayed until after his inauguration for not discernable reason other than to retreat behind the immunity of the office.

Relentlessly attacking the legitimacy of the media (to be distinguished from criticizing media conduct) is not normal. Threatening to sue the media because you don’t like being criticized is not normal.

Being so steeped in the language of fascism that you and and your staff mirror Hitler (“make the trains run on time“), appeasing Hitler (“America First“), or Mussolini (“drain the swamp“) is not normal.

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https://blog.google/products/translate/found-translation-more-accurate-fluent-sentences-google-translate/

Deep learning translation models are up for English <-> Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.

Can't stop, won't stop!

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https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.04558

"""We propose a simple, elegant solution to use a single Neural Machine Translation (NMT) model to translate between multiple languages. Our solution requires no change in the model architecture from our base system but instead introduces an artificial token at the beginning of the input sentence to specify the required target language. The rest of the model, which includes encoder, decoder and attention, remains unchanged and is shared across all languages."""


We're on the move over here \m/

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Even after all this, the media still is making more of the anti-Trump protests than of the wave of threats and violence against minorities in the last couple of days[1]. This is irresponsible.

So if it won't be reported in the mainstream, we'll spread it ourselves[2][3]:
https://twitter.com/i/moments/796417517157830656
https://twitter.com/shaunking

Share other aggregators in the comments and I'll add them to the post.

[1] I looked on Google News and a number of individual news sites and saw nothing on the frontpage about the threats and violence. About half of them reported on the protests.

[2] Unvetted, but that should be the media's job.

[3] Hopefully unnecessary caveat: violence against Trump supporters is equally unacceptable.
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