I don’t like to discuss religion or politics in polite company. It’s pointless. Both subjects provoke passionate lectures espousing personal worldviews, and minds are seldom, if ever, changed. But … after watching some of the speeches and debates, reading some tweets, and switching between the parade of pundits on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, I've started to wonder what @tjeff (my hypothetical twitter handle for a reincarnated Thomas Jefferson) would have had to do to find the facts upon which to base his independent thinking.
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.
Why is Twitter in real trouble? In a world that is becoming more and more connected every day, Twitter has done the unthinkable: it has shrunk. What's worse is that Twitter gets more free TV advertising than almost any other product or service which leaves two possibilities: (1) TV advertising does not work. (2) People don’t like the product. I’ll go with number 2. Here's why ...
The Arabic hashtag #stab is something I'd rather not see on a social media post. Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, recently showed a version of the instructional graphic that accompanied that hashtag to the UN Security Council with the English-language title, "How to Stab a Jew." Mr. Danon was making a point – but also describing a form of warfare so new it does not yet have a name.
Every crisis needs a villain. The advertising crisis is no exception. Some want to blame ad networks, others want to blame programmatic pricing tools, and still others believe that bad coding is at fault. Page load times are an obvious villain, but maybe we should blame the evildoers who clutter our world with massive amounts of interruptive, unwanted ad fodder. In practice, there are a number of easily identifiable tactical and executional factors contributing to the industry's existential crisis. Sadly, even if the industry could solve all of them, the effort would do very little, if anything, to correct the misalignment of outcomes and incentives that are the root of ad evil.