Uber is experimenting with cheaper fares for those willing to wait

An account executive at Uber may have prematurely let the cat out of the bag about a new feature that rewards patient passengers. Uber employee Gregory Jacobs first revealed the new feature, perhaps accidentally, yesterday. The image showed an option that allowed Jacobs to wait a little longer for a ride in exchange for a cheaper fare. He could get the ride now (4:46pm local time) for $10.18, or wait four minutes and pay $8.15 — a savings of about 25 percent. “If you’re OK with leaving later, we’ll request your ride for 17:00 for a lower price,” the app…

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Microsoft needs to pick a side in the ICE debate. The world is watching

Prior to today, most of us hadn’t spent a lot of time considering the logistics involved in snatching a couple thousand babies from their parents and holding them hostage. But Microsoft’s Azure team probably has. News broke earlier the company is aiding ICE through a government contract, something Microsoft says it’s “proud to support.” Assuming all of its employees aren’t monsters, one has to imagine there’s a fair amount of concern over exactly what ICE is using the cloud-based services offered by Microsoft’s Azure platform for. Running an internment camp must be hard. And, in today’s modern world, difficult problems…

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Pew Research shows fewer than 50 percent of Americans can tell the difference between fact and opinion

A new Pew Research Center survey found that only around one in four American adults could, practically-speaking, tell the difference between factual statements and opinion. The poll, which surveyed more than five thousand US adults asked those taking part to correctly identify five factual statements and five opinionated statements. The results were bad, real bad. Only 26 percent of those surveyed correctly classified five factual statements. They were slightly better at identifying opinion, with 35 percent managing to get all five correct. The statements, in case you were wondering, seem rather straightforward. For example: Spending on Social Security, Medicare, and…

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Google says its AI is better at predicting death than hospitals

Google’s Medical Brain team is now training its AI to predict the death risk among hospital patients — and its early results show it has slightly higher accuracy than a hospital’s own warning system. Bloomberg describes the healthcare potential of the Medical Brain’s findings, including its ability to use previously unusable information in order to reach its predictions. The AI, once fed this data, made predictions about the likelihood of death, discharge, and readmission. In a paper published in Nature in May, from Google’s team, it says of its predictive algorithm: These models outperformed traditional, clinically-used predictive models in all cases. We…

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