Defending Reality

Defending Reality

Supasorn Suwajanakorn¬† [ 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 me tell

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,

Bias Networks

Bias Networks

David R. Williams [ Bias Networks ] An article in the Yale Alumni Magazine told the story of Clyde Murphy, a black man who was a member of the Class of 1970. Clyde was a success story. After Yale and a law degree from Columbia, Clyde spent the next 30 years as one of America’s top civil rights lawyers. He was also a

Machine Intelligence

Machine Intelligence

Zeynep Tufekci [ Machine Learning ] I started my first job as a computer programmer in my very first year of college — basically, as a teenager. Soon after I started working, writing software in a company, a manager who worked at the company came down to where I was, and he whispered to me, “Can he tell if I’m lying?” There was

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

Prospective Hindsight

Prospective Hindsight

Daniel Levitin [ Attention Economy ] A few years ago, I broke into my own house. I had just driven home, it was around midnight in the dead of Montreal winter, I had been visiting my friend, Jeff, across town, and the thermometer on the front porch read minus 40 degrees — and don’t bother asking if that’s Celsius or Fahrenheit, minus 40