Can Technology Make The World Great Again?

We’ve all heard the promises: Technology is going to give us a better world. It will allow us to feed the masses, democratize education, enjoy unfettered free speech. Healthcare, energy and transport will all be revolutionized and demonetized. We’re heading for a brave new world.
And -- despite what you may see on the news -- there’s lots of evidence that life is getting better for humanity as a whole. Last June, Peter Diamandis compiled 10 charts demonstrating this progress: dramatic decreases in absolute poverty, child labor, percent of income spent on food, the under-five mortality rate, the teen birth rate, the homicide rate… even a random one about guinea worm infections.

Kaila Colbin
Ethics Are For Everyone

I admit to an overwhelming amount of schadenfreude at the challenges recently faced by Uber.


After all, its behavior has been egregious for ages. The company lied about how much drivers will make. It lied about their safety fees. It investigated criticsand threatened a female journalist who dared to speak negatively about it. In New Zealand, where I live, Uber has encouraged drivers to break the law, without guaranteeing it would pay any fines or provide legal cover.

Kaila Colbin
But How Can I Make Money From It?

Another day, another presentation on exponential technologies. This one, to a group of high-growth business leaders. We go through the usual: The Law of Accelerating Returns. Doubling phenomenon applying to any technology that becomes information-enabled. Technological unemployment. Convergence. Opportunity. Terror.

Kaila Colbin
Still Wondering How Trump Won? Try Psychographic Targeting

You wake up, yawn, stretch. Pick up the phone. Check Facebook. “Like.” “Like.” “Like,” again.
After 10 “likes,” Michal Kosinski knows you better than your work colleagues. After 70, he knows you better than your partner does, including -- whether these things were explicitly referenced in your clicks or not -- your skin color, your sexual orientation, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, whether you smoke or do drugs… The list goes on.

Kaila Colbin
Under Science-Unfriendly Administration, Internet And Its Data Are In Your Hands

In the final days of 2016, the website of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources got a bit of a refresh.
Unless you were paying close attention, you might have missed it. After all, most people don’t regularly visit the Wisconsin DNR. But the changes were caught by a website-monitoring service and shared on some blogs, starting with a guy named James Rowen.

As World Gets More Automated, We Have A Bigger Problem Than Losing Our Jobs

I attended a funeral today.
I knew him casually. We frequented many of the same social and business circles, and had had more than one good chat about our social and political environment. But we had never graduated to the category of close friendship.

So it was wonderful to hear from his father, from his sister, from his daughter, from his childhood friends. Over an hour and a half, I got to know him better. I got to know how successful he was. How loved and respected he was. How tortured he was.

Kaila Colbin