Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

1. Incubator launches AI-focused accelerator to help startups out of UC Berkeley
San Francisco Business Times (*requires registration)

The House, a local startup incubator and venture capital fund specifically targeting campus enterprises, is launching a new Google-backed Artificial Intelligence initiative, called AI@The House, also focused on Berkeley talent. "We started talking to some of these faculty members more and more about how we could support AI innovation and that since evolved into a vision into translating AI research into societal and economic impacts through our vehicle of startups," says co-founder Jeremy Fiance. Six AI faculty have been recruited to work as advisers and partners with the startups. They include Ion Stoica, Trevor Darrell, Michael Jordan, and Pieter Abbeel. According to Abbeel, an AI@The House co-founder: "Ethical development is the foundation of what we want to do. At Berkeley we have a Center for Human-Compatible AI, which has exactly the same mission as OpenAI. ... The insights from there are really relevant in not just what to do if an AI system becomes super smart, but how you communicate with it and help to ensure that any machine learning system is fair and unbiased."
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2. 'In my heart it is home': UC-Berkeley student detained by Border Patrol
Washington Post

As classes resume without political science student Luis Mora, who is currently facing the threat of deportation after being detained by immigration officials in San Diego over the holidays, many in the campus community are doing everything they can to help him, while also confronting their own fears about changing immigration policy in the U.S. This story details Mora's case, highlighting efforts to help him return to the classroom. While student groups and others campaign on his behalf, writing letters and raising funds for his bond and legal defense, Chancellor Carol Christ has told the community that the university is working to ensure that he has the resources he needs, including access to legal services, "to mount what we hope will be a successful effort to end this detention." Mora, who wants to become a U.S. diplomat, says he's not sure what he will do if returned to Ecuador. "I believe in God, and I believe there are things you're meant to do," he says. "All of this overwhelming support . . . tells me that there is a nation that tells me to be strong, for myself and many other people." Another story on this topic appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune.
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3. Op-Ed: Secret settlements are endangering the public. This California bill will fix that
Sacramento Bee

"California should join several other states in prohibiting settlement agreements that keep secret information about dangerous products and environmental hazards," argues Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky in a commentary endorsing a bill introduced by Assemblyman Mark Stone. "This is long overdue," Dean Chemerinsky concludes. "Secrecy that allows dangerous products and toxic conditions to remain uncorrected leads to deaths and injuries. AB 889 is an essential step to stop this."
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4. I Used to Insist I Didn't Get Angry. Not Anymore.
New York Times (*requires registration)

An extensive essay on female rage includes a reference to psychology professor Ann Kring's review of studies on gender and anger, conducted in 2000. She found that men and women self-report "anger episodes" at similar rates, but women were more likely to say they felt ashamed or embarrassed afterwards. Still citing Professor Kring, the essayist writes: "People are more likely to use words like 'bitchy' and 'hostile' to describe female anger, while male anger is more likely to be described as 'strong.' Kring reported that men are more likely to express their anger by physically assaulting objects or verbally attacking other people, while women are more likely to cry when they get angry, as if their bodies are forcibly returning them to the appearance of the emotion -- sadness -- with which they are most commonly associated."
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5. How to combat 'Trump trauma': What we've learned since the last Women's March
Sacramento Bee (*requires registration)

In a story about "Trump Trauma" -- the symptoms of stress and depression that many are suffering during the Trump presidency -- Shane Carter, a program coordinator for Berkeley's Office of Resources for International and Area Studies, remarks: "I joke with my friends that instead of meditating and being able to focus on nothing, I'm developing the ability to tolerate a near-boil level of anger."
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6. Big Screen Berkeley: 'Memories of Underdevelopment'

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is screening "Memories of Underdevelopment," a newly restored 1968 Cuban film by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, on Thursday evening. Based on the novel Inconsolable Memories by Edmundo Desnoes, it tells the story of a bourgeois writer who stays in Cuba after the revolution and subsequent departure to Miami of most of his friends and family. According to this critic: "It's Sergio's attitude to women that marks him as an unrepentant bourgeois, but director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea allows viewers to draw their own conclusions about his protagonist, who's otherwise an oddly sympathetic character. And this is not a dogmatic film: Memories of Underdevelopment even allows its characters to praise the wealth and ingenuity of the United States – including, prophetically, the mechanical superiority of American automobiles — suggesting that artistic freedom wasn't completely stifled in post-Revolutionary Cuba." For more on this, visit BAMPFA.
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