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Tay.ai

Is Microsoft’s Tay Chatbot Really “a Bad Naughty Robot?”

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Tay is a combination chatbot and AI system designed by Microsoft to "engage and entertain people where they connect with each other online through casual and playful conversation." It was specifically "targeted at 18 to 24 year olds in the U.S., the dominant users of mobile social chat services in the U.S." If the words "designed" and "targeted" are off-putting, then you're really not going to care for one of the system's recent, now infamous, tweets ... but, there is much, much more to learn from Microsoft's mistake.

Instagram

Thanks, Instagram: The Age of Organic Social Is Over

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Instagram recently announced the inevitable – it will transition away from its pure, lovable, chronological feed to an algorithmically calculated feed. There is all kinds of goodness in this simple idea. On the other hand, posts that the algorithm scores as "less interesting to you" (whatever that content may be) will be demoted or ultimately not shown. Free social at scale is an endangered species (this is not news). But with the Instagram transition, it is more endangered than ever.

AlphaGo

AlphaGo vs. You: Not a Fair Fight

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What made move 37 so interesting is that no one expected it. It was early in game two of the million-dollar Google DeepMind Challenge Match, and AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence (AI) system developed by Google, placed its 19th stone on a part of the game board that no human Go master would have considered. Some called it a "mistake." Others called it "creative" and "unique." But considering that AlphaGo went on to win its third game in a row against one of the strongest Go players in the world, the move should probably have been called what it really was: "intuitive."

Encryption

Apple v. FBI: How to Sound Smart about Encryption

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Apple v. FBI has started a serious debate about the line between security and privacy. The FBI says this is a case about the contents of one specific iPhone 5c. Apple says this is a case about securing data for everyone. Since current vintage iPhones (5s, 6, 6s) can not be hacked the same way, we should not be talking about a particular phone; we should be talking about encryption writ large, and how it is used in our daily lives.

Apple v FBI

Apple v. FBI: How to Do Your Part

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Apple v. FBI is headed for the Supreme Court. The problem is, I don't want the Supreme Court (or any court) empowered to make policy – that's a job for the Legislative branch. Regardless of what you think of Congress, they’d better get this one right. What it means to be a digital citizen and identifying the border between security and privacy are two of the most important issues of our time.