Author: Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

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The Dictatorship of Data

Robert McNamara is remembered as JFK’s and LBJ’s secretary of defense, who was a primary motivator in escalating the Vietnam War. What is less known about McNamara–as discussed in this recent MIT Technology Review article– is that he was obsessed with accumulating data for any objective that he undertook. While ordinarily we would think this …

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Why Facebook Can’t Fix Itself

Underside of leaf of Begonia Rex

This article from The New Yorker dives into the longstanding content moderation troubles at Facebook. At heart is the difficulty of balancing a platform that values “free speech,” on the one hand, with policing and stopping the spread of hateful content on the other. The article’s author Andrew Marantz critiques Facebook at failing to adequately …

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Google offers to help others with the tricky ethics of AI

Google is planning to offer new services to tech companies regarding AI ethics, despite having a spotty past itself on such issues. Some services are specific, such as detecting racial biases in computing vision technology (e.g., that is involved in facial recognition software), but they also plan to offer general advice on developing ethical frameworks. …

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