Category: Opinion

Donald Trump is threatening to punish Twitter. Here’s why everyone should take this seriously

US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Thursday afternoon declaring social media companies to be broadcasters (as opposed to carriers). While the exact language of the EO has yet to be revealed, an alleged draft has circulated on social media throughout the day. If what we’re seeing is close to the final order, it’s safe to say there will be huge ramifications for the tech community and the billions of us who use social media regularly. For your reading pleasure, here’s the draft of Trump’s upcoming EO regarding social media. 1/2 — Angry Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff)…

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Elon Musk completes his transition to the Dark Side with a salute to extremists

Elon Musk, the PT Barnum of tech, just became the living, breathing embodiment of a shitpost when he and White House Advisor Ivanka Trump had a playful exchange on Twitter where they apparently bonded over a shared appreciation for white supremacy, Men’s Rights Advocates (MRAs), and the far-right extremist movement. Taken! — Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 17, 2020 I call him a living shitpost because, like the anonymous cowards he’s paying homage to when he tweets about being “red-pilled,” he’s playing a game. “Red-pilling” or “taking a red pill” is a reference to the movie The Matrix. The film’s…

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Using ‘personalized AI’ to end coronavirus lockdown is a stupid, cruel idea

A trio of AI and business experts from INSEAD, a prestigious business school, recently penned a lengthy article in the Harvard Business Review extolling the virtues of “personalized AI” prediction models to end the coronavirus lockdown. It’s the kind of piece that politicians, academics, and pundits refer to when discussing how technology can aid in the world’s pandemic response. It’s also a gift to politicians who think we should ignore medical professionals and prioritize the economy over human life. In short, the article is a travesty of ambiguous information. It uses the generic idea of artificial intelligence as a motivator to…

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SRAM dialed my bike rides up to 12 with its radical wireless electronic gears

A certain professional cyclist who allegedly won the Tour de France seven times famously said: “It’s not about the bike.” British author and round the world cyclist, Rob Penn, later wrote a book detailing a build of his dream bike entitled: “It’s all about the bike.” And well, they’re both kind of right. Let me explain, by means of a convoluted review. [Read: Canyon’s latest race bike is hella expensive — but you get what you pay for] Recently, I’ve been test riding an undeniably nice, super-high end race bike from German manufacturer Canyon. You can read my initial thoughts…

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Apple’s new $399 iPhone SE couldn’t have come at a worse time

Apple today released its long-awaited iPhone SE, a $399 smartphone with bells and whistles for days, but none of which are likely to force an upgrade. The launch wasn’t the spectacle we’re all used to. Apple quietly dropped the news to a handful of news outlets and then added a new page to the website. There were no black turtlenecks, no talks about a lack of diversity on stage, and no beautiful teasers meant to showcase its quality design. Oh, and one more thing… there was no “one more thing.” In fairness, the release has been in the cards for…

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I listened to the coronavirus playlists on Spotify so you don’t have to

As the COVID-19 global pandemic has turned us all into hermit crabs, amusing ourselves has become more important than ever. So, because I’m kinda bored and I want to see what people have created, let’s check out the coronavirus-related playlists on Spotify and see what kinds of songs are on them. My Spotify playlists have become even more important to me now that I’m basically at home all the time — I’ve scored almost all aspects of my life just to make up for the fact that I’m seeing the same four or five rooms most days. And because a…

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The future of AI journalism is less hyperbole and smarter readers

Today we launched Neural, our new home for human-centric AI news and analysis. While we’re celebrating the culmination of years of hard work from our behind-the-scenes staff, I’m taking the day to quietly contemplate the future of AI journalism. The Guardian’s Oscar Schwartz wrote an article in 2018 titled “The discourse is unhinged: how the media gets AI alarmingly wrong.” In it, he discusses the 2017 hype-explosion surrounding Facebook’s AI research lab developing a pair of chat bots that created a short-hand language for negotiating. In reality, the chat bots’ behavior was remarkable but not entirely unexpected. Unfortunately the media at-large…

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Why Jeff Bezos might run for president to spite Elon Musk and Donald Trump

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is suing Donald Trump over the Pentagon’s decision to award a lucrative military artificial intelligence and cloud services contract to Microsoft instead of his company. Normally these kinds of lawsuits are yawn-inducing, but this case has some interesting caveats. And, if you’ll let me set the stage first, I’ll explain why I’m convinced the court case will lead to a successful presidential campaign for Jeff Bezos in 2024. ICYMI: Amazon prepares to strike back after Microsoft wins $10B JEDI contract The Pentagon started shopping for a partner to build a cloud services suite meant to work…

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Why Amazon’s Ring and facial recognition technology are a clear and present danger to society

“The deployment of connected home security cameras that allow footage to be queried centrally are simply not compatible with a free society.” Amazon engineer Max Eliaser The greatest threat posed to democracy in any free nation is that of ubiquitous government surveillance. Many countries today are struggling to find the proper balance between useful facial recognition and connected-camera technologies and those that threaten our privacy. We’re here to make it easy: Public-facing facial recognition or connected home-security camera systems that offer access to law enforcement are dangerous and should be banned outright. Read: Amazon Engineer: ‘Ring should be shut down immediately…

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Why using AI to screen job applicants is almost always a bunch of crap

Millions of potential employees are subjected to artificial intelligence screenings during the hiring process every month. While some systems make it easier to weed out candidates who lack necessary educational or work qualifications, many AI hiring solutions are nothing more than snake oil. Thousands of companies around the world rely on outside businesses to provide so-called intelligent hiring solutions. These AI-powered packages are advertised as a way to narrow job applicants down to a ‘cream of the crop’ for humans to consider. On the surface, this seems like a good idea. Anyone who’s ever been responsible for the hiring at…

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