Worldwide, video cameras have become an accepted feature of urban life. Many cities in China now have a dense network of them, and London and New Delhi are not far behind.
Now France is playing catch-up. Since 2015, the year of the terrorist attacks in Bataclan, the number of cameras in Paris has quadrupled. Police used such cameras to implement pandemic measures and protest monitoring.
Concerns have been expressed across the country. But the introduction of surveillance met with particular resistance in Marseille, the second largest city in France. Last year, President Emmanuel Macron announced that another 500 security cameras would be given to the city council and set up in a part of the city that is home to a large number of immigrants.
The turbulent, rebellious Mediterranean city is located on some of the fault lines that run through modern France. Known for modern bars, art studios and startup centers, it is also known for drugs, poverty and criminal activities. It is not surprising, perhaps, that activists are fighting against the cameras, emphasizing the overload and poor performance of the surveillance system. But do they succeed? Read the whole story.
– Fleur Macdonald
I combed the internet to find you the funniest / most important / scary / fascinating stories of today about technology.
1 One of Google’s engineers thinks his artificial intelligence is reasonable
Certainly not — but that hasn’t stopped a new round of speculation and debate in the research community. (WP $)
+ Google’s vice president believes the network is moving towards awareness. (Economist $)
+ Machine consciousness is a debate that never disappears. (MIT Technology Review)
+ Turning text into an image AI DALL-E struggled to draw a self-portrait. (Motherboard)
2 The Rise and Rise of Digital Twins
Experimenting with digital copies of everything from vital organs to planet Earth can help simulate disasters. (BBC)
+ How digital twins are helping to overcome the nightmare of the global supply chain. (MIT Technology Review)
3 We make the world too bright
And it harms our wild animals. (Atlantic $)
5 Meta investigates how Sheryl Sandberg used the company’s resources
Mostly related to her personal projects, including the promotion of her second book. (WSJ $)
6 A microchip testing more than 200 viruses could be on the horizon
Molecular electronics could speed up drug discovery – if it works. (Neo.Life)
+ This startup wants to make electronics from individual molecules. (MIT Technology Review)
+ Doctor’s application software collects marketing user data. (WP $)
7 Even when the TV is turned off, some ads continue to play on streaming services
Which is a complete waste of money for advertisers. (WSJ $)
8 It’s harder than ever to be a parent in America
But it is worth remembering that the children themselves are still incredibly resilient. (Vox)
9 A Facebook group is used to bring together young Pakistanis
After the country banned more conventional dating apps, including Tinder. (The rest of the world)
+ There is a growing reaction to applications around the world. (The Guardian)
10 Like it or not, we are all influencers now
And the endless effort to calm the algorithm makes us anxious. (Real life)
Quote of the day
“It took me hours to figure out what it was, why I was crying. I realized I was in grief. I mourned the destruction of the earth. “