Humble Wheat: Oppressor of Humanity? And What This Means for A.I.

When Silicon Valley prognosticators warn about the existential dangers of A.I., that danger is often described as existing in an imminent future. We’re told to fear artificial general intelligence, algorithms and technologies that achieve some level of simuluated sentience. Such systems, we’re warned – often with allusions to Terminator or The Matrix – may view … Continue reading Humble Wheat: Oppressor of Humanity? And What This Means for A.I.

Is more speech always better? That’s the wrong question to ask.

Last summer, following the release of a civil rights audit critical of Facebook's handling of hate speech on the platform, I wrote an essay exploring a different way to think about regulating hate speech and misinformation. Given the decision this week by Facebook's Oversight Board upholding the suspension of President Trump's account, it seems like … Continue reading Is more speech always better? That’s the wrong question to ask.

Redistribution Isn’t Enough

Imagine for a moment that you and a group of strangers are asked to design a set of rules that will govern the city that you live in. Except there’s a catch: while deciding on these rules you don’t know whether you’ll be rich or poor; young or old; able bodied or disabled; smart or not; black, white, male, female, gay, straight, etc. In other words, you know nothing about what your circumstances will be when you emerge from your deliberations.

Hunting for a sense of community in Hunters Point

Sitting outside of Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in the Hunters Point area of Long Island City, yesterday, I stared at the glass towers and wide side walks around me. I took in the street-level retail -- a handful of restaurants and a coffee shop -- and noted the playing fields in the middle of it all. I watched as masked couples pushed strollers by... The neighborhood felt soulless and I was struggling to put my finger on why.