Technology

Cyborg Chess and What It Means

Reading Time: 3 minutesWhen arguably the greatest chess player of all time, Garry Kasparov, was beaten by Deep Blue in 1997, some took it to mean that human intelligence had become irrelevant. For instance, Newsweek ran a cover story about the match with the headline “The Brain’s Last Stand.” However, the chess-related conflict between human and computer cognition turned out to be somewhat more convoluted than that.

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Sockpuppetry is the new normal. That doesn’t make it healthy

Reading Time: 2 minutesIt’s been nearly three years since Adrian Chen first discussed the Internet Research Agency, a euphemistically titled group which was pumping out pro-Kremlin and anti-American messages for money. At the time, eyes were elsewhere online – it was the year of Ashley Madison, after all, and a time when China ranked alongside Russia (if not higher) in the space of public paranoia.

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The Efficacy of Bot Purges

Reading Time: 2 minutesThere’s something rather brutal about the idea of bot purges – perhaps a reflection of the humanity with which we endow human-looking accounts. Twitter’s decision to suspend thousands of accounts last month was less horrific than it sounded: a small attempt to solve a problem which has plagued the platform for over a year now, and has brought into the radar of US and British politicians as an ambivalent if not mercenary hawker of propaganda.

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There is No Solution to the Problem of “Fake News”

Reading Time: 4 minutesIn the aftermath of the 2016 election, the term “fake news”, seldom heard previously, became ubiquitous. This was, of course, no coincidence: the unexpected victory of Donald Trump cried out for an explanation, and invoking the concept was one such attempt by the president’s many critics, who could not bring themselves to face the possibility that he won fairly […]

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Murdoch’s Right: Facebook would be better off paying publishers cash than lip service

Reading Time: 3 minutesRupert Murdoch, perhaps the most polarising media owner in the world, may seem an odd man to be a prophet of the future. He did sell off a large chunk of his media empire to Disney, after all: a move some have read as a retreat from the game of newsmaking which he lead at for so many years (often enough with dubious practices). It’s hard to side politically with […]

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Does the Future of Religion Lie in Technology?

Reading Time: 7 minutesPeople’s lives are so saturated with it that they sometimes speak of “withdrawal symptoms” on those increasingly rare occasions when they find themselves without internet access. The question then is whether religion dies out and mankind continues without it, or whether one or many new religions are born into the vacuum that will be left {…]

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