79-2

A travel writer from the National Geographic set herself a goal on her vacation to Belize: try not to use any single-use plastic. She ended up avoiding it 79 times.

“You don’t have to be perfect. Even if you mess up along the way, doing *something* makes a difference.”

And this goes for your English, too. It doesn’t have to be perfect; just do something.

Let’s all try to follow her example this summer. I’ll be back in September with more topics. In the meantime, there’s plenty in the archives to read, watch, and learn about, and then to talk about with your friends or write about in your porfolio.

 

 

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Recipes for success (or not)

“The AI revolution will be led by toasters, not droids” (from Aeon Magazine)

This article talks about how we may expect AI to become “wonder boxes” in part because of the movies we see (think C-3PO in Star Wars or any of these). But at this stage, we shouldn’t expect too much. If the technolgoy is used for more specific purposes and skills, it’s much more successful.

There’s a funny, if a bit scary, algorithmically generated photo, and an equally funny (and scary) recipe generated by looking at 30,000 recipes of all different kinds. The result is … head-scratching:

The last part says “Bake at 350F for 2 to 1 hour.” Okay…

When the algorithm was created to look at only recipes of cakes, it did much better, though it’s still a recipe for something inedible.

The article goes on to explain that ANI (artificial restricted intelligence) — focusing on specific, narrower functions, is working well.

 

“If the singing stops, so does the engine.”🎵

“Carpool Karaoke” made singing in cars a thing. For a few days in one city in Finland, you could sing in taxis instead of paying, says this short article from Japan Times Alpha (a good place to get some reading practice in English, this site has Japanese translations of the articles to help you understand and improve vocabulary). This article is labeled in the “easy” to read category. Read it to find out why the company did it.

 

The English: “Finnish karaoke taxi lets passengers pay for their rides by singing”

The Japanese: 「フィンランドの音楽フェス、シャトル運賃の支払いは「歌」で」