Apple today confirmed it will hold one last virtual event in 2020. The event, which takes place on Tuesday, November 10, is expected to see the company unveil a lineup of Mac products equipped with Apple Silicon.
While the iPhone 12 will likely grab mainstream headlines over the holiday season, Apple fans have been eagerly anticipating the Mac’s transition away from Intel processors. Apple previously teased it would introduce ARM-based Macs that run on Apple Silicon chips at WWDC. We’ve seen what Apple Silicon can do in the iPhone and iPad, and now it’s time to see how its engineering holds up on the desktop.
This is Apple’s third event in as many months. The company previously announced the Apple Watch Series 6 in September alongside the new iPad Air, followed by the introduction of the iPhone 12 lineup in October. Notably, Apple is calling out its famed “One More Thing” tagline, which has long been used by the company during major events. Clearly, the company is excited about what it’s going to unveil.
Apple is rumored to launch a new 13-inch MacBook Pro running its own silicon. There have also been rumors the company could bring back the MacBook. Back over the summer when Apple confirmed it would release ARM-based Macs this year, the company offered developers a custom Mac mini with an A12Z chip, allowing them to prepare their apps for the transition.
The event could also see Apple unveil new over-ear headphones called AirPods Studio, along with AirTag item trackers. Similar to Apple’s previous two events, this one will be streamed online, so anyone can easily tune in. Apple has taken its events virtual this year following the spread of COVID-19.
Google Ousts Top AI Ethicist – Futurism
One of Google’s top AI ethicists says she’s out at the company — in part, she says, because the tech giant was censoring her research.
OneZero reports that Timnit Gebru, who had been the technical co-lead of Google’s Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team, says her employment was abruptly cut off — along with her access to her company email address — after a tense email exchange.
Gebru is known for influential research into racial bias in AI algorithms. Most recently, she’s been working at Google in a research position, exploring ethical implications of AI technologies.
Story So Far
But it now sounds like her experience at the search giant has been fraught. In an email obtained by Casey Newton’s new publication Platformer, Gebru told an internal listserv about a saga in which she had circulated a new research paper coauthored with a number of other Google employees — its precise topic remains unclear, though it appears to have to do with language models — to a large group of research peers.
Then, she wrote in the email, she was surprised when her “manager’s manager” told her that she needed to retract the paper.
According to a second email, also obtained by Platformer and sent by head of Google research Jeff Dean, Gebru then said that she would resign unless a list of conditions were met. In his email, Dean also pushed back against elements of Gebru’s narrative. For instance, he said that she only gave internal Google reviewers one day to read the paper, instead of the customary two weeks.
Gebru’s manager, she said on Twitter, subsequently told her that the company couldn’t meet her conditions — and would have to let her go immediately. Google instantly cut off access to her company email account, Gebru told OneZero.
Several of Gebru’s recent tweets suggest that she’s seeking legal recourse. In one message last Monday — before her termination — she inquired about legal protections for whistleblowers among AI researchers. And on Wednesday, she tweeted that she was looking for legal representation.
First and foremost I need an employment lawyer ASAP.
— Timnit Gebru (@timnitGebru) December 3, 2020
READ MORE: Noted A.I. Ethicist Timnit Gebru Let Go From Google Following Tense Email Exchange [OneZero]
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The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Three former presidents say they’d be willing to take a coronavirus vaccine publicly, once one becomes available, to encourage all Americans to get inoculated against a disease that has already killed more than 275,000 people nationwide.Former President Barack Obama said during an episode of SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” airing Thursday, “I promise you that when it’s been made for people who are less at risk, I will be taking it.”“I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed,” Obama added, “just so that people know that I trust this science.”That may not be possible for a while. The Food and Drug Administration will consider authorizing emergency use of two vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna later this month, but current estimates project that no more than 20 million doses of each vaccine will be available by the end of this year. Each product also requires two doses, meaning shots will be rationed in the early stages.Health care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line, according to the influential Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. That encompasses about 24 million people out of a U.S. population of around 330 million.Still, former President Bill Clinton would “definitely” be willing to get a vaccine, as soon as one is “available to him, based on the priorities determined by public health officials,” spokesman Angel Ureña said.”And he will do it in a public setting if it will help urge all Americans to do the same,” Ureña said in a statement Thursday.Ureña declined to say whether Clinton’s team has been in touch with other former presidents about perhaps setting up a joint public immunization session, whenever that might be possible.Former President George W. Bush’s chief of staff, Freddy Ford, told CNN that Bush recently asked him to meet with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response co-ordinator, to let them “know that, when the time is right, he wants to do what he can to help encourage his fellow citizens to get vaccinated.”“First, the vaccines need to be deemed safe and administered to the priority populations,” Ford told the network. “Then, President Bush will get in line for his, and will gladly do so on camera.”The only other living former president, Jimmy Carter, who at 96 is the oldest ex-president in U.S. history, also encouraged people to get vaccinated, but stopped short of pledging to do so himself in public.“Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, said today that they are in full support of COVID-19 vaccine efforts and encourage everyone who is eligible to get immunized as soon as it becomes available in their communities,” the Carter Center said in a statement.The voice of support comes as the U.S. recorded more than 3,100 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, far outpacing the record set last spring. The number of Americans hospitalized with the virus also has eclipsed 100,000 for the first time.President Donald Trump was asked this summer if he would consider being the first to take the vaccine to send a message that it was safe. The president said that going first could also lead to accusations that he was being selfish, but that he would take it if recommended to do so.“I would absolutely, if they wanted me to, if they thought it was right. I would take it first or I would take it last,” Trump said during a July interview with Fox News. “You know that if I take it first, I will be, either way, I lose on that one, right?”Making Trump among the first to get the vaccine could indeed be controversial, given that he tested positive for the virus so recently. Vaccine trials excluded volunteers who had diagnosed infections — including those who had gotten treatment for the virus, which Trump had in October.Still, Trump is promoting the vaccine. At the ceremony for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, which was taped Monday and streamed Thursday evening, Trump said, “It is truly a Christmas miracle, one of the great achievements medically, they say, ever in history.”During a Thursday roundtable in Memphis, Tennessee, with Vice-President Mike Pence, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the U.S. must restore national trust in immunizations.“There’s been a great deal of challenge over the years of this growing concern of what I call ‘vaccine hesitancy,'” Redfield said. “It’s really sad as an infectious disease physician to see many people choose to leave vaccination on the shelf for themselves, their family and the community.”Asked if he’d personally be taking a vaccine, Pence gave a thumbs up and replied, “Absolutely.”President-elect Joe Biden said months ago that he’d take “a vaccine tomorrow” as soon as doing so was possible.Biden told CNN during an interview Thursday that he too would be happy to get his vaccine publicly to encourage people to follow suit.“People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work,” Biden said. “Already the numbers are really staggeringly low, and it matters what the president and vice-president do.”That follows Biden’s warning on Wednesday that the spread of the coronavirus pandemic over the next two months could kill as many as 250,000 more people, though he didn’t offer details to back up such a bleak assessment.“You cannot be travelling during these holidays,” Biden told the public “as much as you want to.”___Associated Press Writers Kevin Freking and Darlene Superville in Washington and Adrian Sainz in Memphis contributed to this report.__This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of Birx.Will Weissert, The Associated Press
A year in 60 secs: TikTok lists top videos, creators of 2020 – Cochrane Today
NASHVILLE — From skateboarding to Fleetwood Mac to learning Cardi B’s rump-shaking choreography, TikTok users got creative in a pandemic year with new songs, dances and memes in 60 seconds or less.
The social media video app on Wednesday shared its list of top 100 videos, creators and trends in America during 2020, recapping a year of viral videos that were sometimes a needed distraction in a tumultuous year.
“The through line is that these are videos that brought joy and inspiration to millions of Americans in a year that has been a bit of a whirlwind for everyone as we all try to figure it out,” said Kudzi Chikumbu, director of creator community at TikTok.
The platform has been widely associated with Generation Z and millennials who experiment with the app’s digital effects like green screens and and influencers who have launched careers based on the shared videos.
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” and Jason Derulo’s “Savage Love” inspired TikTok dance challenges that made them among the top songs used on the app, as well as the not-safe-for-grandma “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.
For some TikTok creators, the pandemic itself became inspiration to create a connection with other users. Comedian Caitlin Reilly used the app during quarantine to make fun of those annoying coworkers on Zoom for one of the top liked videos. And rapper Curtis Roach made an anthem for the endless days at home with his song and meme “Bored in the House.”
The second most popular video was an Idaho man named Nathan Apodaca who shot to fame after casually and coolly belting out “Dreams” by Fleetwod Mac while skateboarding on an interstate.
“It’s really about capturing an essence and a moment,” said Chikumbu of Apodaca’s video. “What Gen Z would call ‘immaculate vibes.’”
But the most liked TikTok video is actually even harder to explain to those who haven’t used the app. Bella Poarch, who has 45 million followers, created a simple but cute lip synch video with a few seconds of well-timed head nods and eye rolls.
“She’s gone on to create a lot of more dances and facial expressions and launching her own businesses and really turning her art form into her career,” said Chikumbu.
While the app might be geared toward youth, Chikumbu said that the growth of TikTok this year has pushed it more into mainstream culture.
“You’re seeing everyone from the teenager to the college students with their parents and then their grandparents all making videos,” said Chikumbu. “And now TikTok truly transcends generations, particularly in this year when people had a lot of time to dig in and not only watch, but try.”
Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press
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