From the NYTIMES: The Sublime and Scary Future of Cameras With A.I. Brains


From the NYTimes

Something strange, scary and sublime is happening to cameras, and it’s going to complicate everything you knew about pictures. Cameras are getting brains.

Until the past few years, just about all cameras — whether smartphones or point-and-shoots or CCTV surveillance — were like eyes disconnected from any intelligence.

They captured anything you put in front of them, but they didn’t understand a whit about what they were seeing. Even basic facts about the world eluded them. It’s crazy, for instance, that in 2018, your smartphone doesn’t automatically detect when you’ve taken naked pictures of yourself and offer to house them under an extra-special layer of security.

But all this is changing. There’s a new generation of cameras that understand what they see. They’re eyes connected to brains, machines that no longer just see what you put in front of them, but can act on it — creating intriguing and sometimes eerie possibilities.

At first, these cameras will promise to let us take better pictures, to capture moments that might not have been possible with every dumb camera that came before. That’s the pitch Google is making with Clips, a new camera that went on sale on Tuesday. It uses so-called machine learning to automatically take snapshots of people, pets and other things it finds interesting. Continue reading “From the NYTIMES: The Sublime and Scary Future of Cameras With A.I. Brains” »

Why We ‘Hear’ Some Silent GIFs

Does anyone in visual perception know why you can hear this gif?

— Lisa DeBruine ️‍ (@lisadebruine) Dec. 2, 2017

When she asked Twitter users in an unscientific survey whether they could hear the image — which actually lacks sound, like most animated GIFs — nearly 70 percent who responded said they could.

Once you “heard” it, it was hard not to start noticing that other GIFs also seemed to be making noise — as if the bouncing pylon had somehow jacked up the volume on a cacophonous orchestra few had noticed before.

Look at the other images and read the article on the NYTimes

650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing

This is an amazing PDF of all 650 prompts from this NYTimes article!

Every school day since 2009 we’ve asked students a question based on an article in The New York Times.

Now, seven years later, and in honor of the Oct. 20 National Day on Writing, we’ve collected 650 of them that invite narrative and personal writing and listed them by category below. Consider it an update of a previous post, and a companion to the list of 301 argumentative writing prompts we published in 2015.


A Reading List for High School Students About College

The NYTimes sent this to me, a short list of things worth reviewing with students working towards college.  I will be judicious where I use it; however, it is a nice list to see pulled together.  Check out the full article for additional links and information.

Amherst is among the elite colleges that have made progress in admitting low-income students. <a href="">Related Article</a>

Amherst is among the elite colleges that have made progress in admitting low-income students.

Most Junes we mark the end of the school year by rounding up commencement-speech advice and suggesting ideas for teaching and learning from it.

This year, however, we thought we’d celebrate high school graduates — and those who parent and teach them — with a broader, and possibly more urgent, list. Below, you’ll find a categorized collection of Times articles and Opinion pieces from the 2014-15 academic year about all aspects of higher education — from getting in, to thinking about why you are there, to considering how to fix what’s broken. We hope you’ll find plenty to discuss.

As the school year began last September, Frank Bruni, a Times Op-Ed columnist, issued a challenge to college freshmen to “construct their world from scratch” and seek out people who think differently:

Now more than ever, college needs to be an expansive adventure, yanking students toward unfamiliar horizons and untested identities rather than indulging and flattering who and where they already are. And students need to insist on that, taking control of all facets of their college experience and making it as eclectic as possible.

We hope some of the pieces below can help.

College Admissions

<a href="">Related Op-Ed</a>

Related Op-EdCredit Ben Wiseman

How to Survive the College Admissions Madness

Promiscuous College Come-Ons

Applications by the Dozen, as Anxious Seniors Hedge College Bets

Colleges Make It Easier for Students to Show, Not Tell, in Their Applications

For Accomplished Students, Reaching a Good College Isn’t as Hard as It Seems

Our Push for ‘Passion,’ and Why It Harms Kids

Why Colleges With a Distinct Focus Have a Hidden Advantage

A Changing Autumn Leaf

1019-sci-sub3LEAFchOne of the great wonders of life is watching the leaves change colors in the fall. When temperatures get cool, chlorophyll begins to break down revealing the underlying pigments in the plants’ sap. This depiction of the inner-workings of a maple leaf shows the process in action (see the annotated version that appeared in The New York Times for more detail).

Science illustrator Frank Ippolito is behind this beautiful illustration and a series of other “cube” drawings – drawings cleverly constructed to illustrate multiple dimensions in a scene. The first cube drawing he developed appeared in a lead story in the New York Times Science Times and was the basis for a series of postersshowing various ecosystems teeming with life: a tide pool, a deciduous forest, a desert, a rainforest. This maple leaf cube was originally commissioned by The New York Times to accompany the lead story in the Science Times titled “Those Brilliant Fall Outfits May Be Saving Trees,” by Carl Zimmer.

Ippolito’s portfolio at Production Post Studios contains his cube series, Life Underfoot, as well as other work. You can also find his work on