Embracing The Totality Of Thanksgiving

You’ve ingested the turkey and the tryptophan. You’ve carefully avoided talking about politics. You’ve given thanks for all your abundant blessings. And you’re probably not even reading this column because you’re out shopping. Happy Black Friday!

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Kaila Colbin
Yep, We Should Be Scared Of AI

They had invited me to talk about the technological singularity: the moment when computer intelligence surpasses human intelligence.
"Is it true?" they asked, brows furrowed. "Are the robots going to kill us all?"

"Very possibly," I replied. "But that's not why we should be scared."

Let me explain.

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Kaila Colbin
Thanks To Technology, Propaganda Is Now Exponential

Remember when propaganda used to be straightforward?
It came in the form of leaflets, flyers, treatises. It was aired on state-run television and broadcast on state-run radio. In its more insidious form, it came via “independent media” -- without the audience being aware of how much that media may have been controlled by shadowy authority figures lurking in the background. At its worst, it was disseminated by covert agents infiltrating key opposition groups.

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Kaila Colbin
The Internet Isn't Optimized For Meritocracy

In July of 1993, the cartoonist Peter Steiner doodled a cartoon that he wasn’t particularly proud of. He submitted it, along with a batch of others, to his bosses at The New Yorker. They liked it more than he did, and published it. It had a slow start, but it also had sticking power. Twenty years later, it was the most reproduced cartoon in New Yorker history.
The premise is simple. A dog is sitting at a computer. “On the Internet,” he says to the dog sitting next to him, “nobody knows you’re a dog.”

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Kaila Colbin
Solving For Hate

Like you -- I assume -- I hope-- I was saddened and sickened by the events that unfolded in Charlottesville last weekend.
Saddened by the hatred. Sickened by the violence. Filled with grief, and despairing of our ability to soothe these tensions and heal these divides. How can people come together when their starting frames don’t share even the slightest shred of commonality?

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Kaila Colbin