Defending Reality

Defending Reality

Supasorn Suwajanakorn¬† [ 7:15 | Machine Learning ] Look at these images and tell me which Obama here is real. . . . to help families refinance their homes, to invest in things like high-tech manufacturing, clean energy and the infrastructure that creates good new jobs . . . Anyone? The answer is, “none of them.” None of these is actually real. Let

Persuasion Architectures

Persuasion Architectures

  Zeynep Tufecki [ Machine Learning ] When people voice fears of artificial intelligence, very often, they invoke images of humanoid robots run amok. You know, Terminator. That might be something to consider, but that’s a distant threat. Or, we fret about digital surveillance with metaphors from the past. “1984,” George Orwell’s “1984,” it’s hitting the bestseller lists again. It’s a great book,

Language Barriers

Language Barriers

Lera Boroditsky [ Bilingualism 1:04:02 ] Humans communicate with one another using 7,000 or so different languages, and each language differs from the next in innumerable ways. Do people who speak different languages think differently? Do languages merely express thoughts, or do they secretly shape the very thoughts we wish to express? Are some thoughts unthinkable without language? The question of whether the

Field Guide to Lies

Field Guide to Lies

Daniel Levitin [ Attention Economy ] I started writing the book in 2001, because my job was to teach students at McGill University how to think critically. Both undergraduates and graduate students. We used a little textbook, “How to Lie with Statistics” that was written in the 50s. And it’s a wonderful book, but all the examples came from the US Steel Annual

Maria Polinsky

Maria Polinsky

Maria Polinsky [ Bilingualism ] It’s very common to assume when people talk about language that everyone speaks a particular language and speaks it well. and this assumption comes from large countries with large dominant languages like English in the United States or Russian in Russia or Chinese or Mandarin in China. So you have a large country, everyone’s supposed to learn the

Weapons of Math Destruction

Weapons of Math Destruction

Kathy O’Neil [ 12:15 ] Imagine that you’re seeing Mathematics. I stole this from my husband’s desk yesterday. Mathematicians use notation like that — hope you can see it — because mathematicians are lazy. Mathematicians use notation as shorthand for much more complicated things, that they’d have to write out with words, and it takes too long to do that — and we’re