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Category Archives: Human Elements

Facebook Fallibility—Algorithms vs. Judgment vs. Ourselves

– A front page article in the May 21, 2016 issue of The New York Times, by Mike Isaac has the title “At Facebook, Human Backup for Algorithms Proved Fallible.” The article describes how a team of Facebook leaders discussed how to “use human judgment to make algorithms better at finding news on…

Lip Reading Computers … Here Comes HAL

– When I read about lip-reading computers in an article by Prachi Patel with the intriguing title “Machines Just Got Better at Lip Reading” available at http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/software/machines-just-got-better-at-lip-reading , I was immediately reminded of HAL 9000, the…

Taxing Robots to Train Humans

– In the winter of 1994, I wrote a column with the title “Byte the Bullet: Tax Technology’s Returns” for a limited-distribution magazine called “Short Circuit” produced by Bill Livingston. The premise of the article was that a small tax should be applied to each personal computer sold. The…

Auto-Auto Driving Culture Clash (Crash?)

– It was bound to happen sooner or later … An autonomous automobile (auto-auto) equipped with Google’s self-driving technologies caused a crash while in autonomous mode. As described in a February 29, 2016 Wired Magazine article, “Google’s Self-Driving Car Caused Its First Crash,” by…

It’s the Culture … and Dead Canaries

– It appears that Volkswagen’s internal auditors “… found no evidence to suggest that members of the executive board or supervisory board were involved in the diesel fraud …” according to an article “VW Says ‘Culture’ Flaw Led To Crisis” by William Boston, Hendrik Varnholt…