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Partisan Innumeracy

Partisan Innumeracy

In his memoir, China in Ten Words, writer Yu Hua recalled an event following the end of the cultural revolution. Literature had been banned for many years but the memory of its joys had lingered in much of the population. Hua’s formative years had been during the intellectually desiccated period. Emerging from a time when being seen with any book other than officially sanctioned volumes of or about Chairman Mao could have grave consequences, he and many others craved stories…

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News startups aim to improve public discourse

News startups aim to improve public discourse

A Nieman Reports article highlights four startups seeking to improve public discourse. Let’s hope efforts to create methods and technologies along these lines accelerate and succeed in producing positive outcomes.

Analysis of inept interviewer raises several interesting questions

Analysis of inept interviewer raises several interesting questions

Misleading and sensationalist news personalities have ceased to be noteworthy. They are the norm in American mainstream media. Interviewers strive to oversimplify and shape guests’ messages–tactics interviewees who are good communicators can cast in sharp relief. Experts tend to present information in systemic, relational, and process terms no longer welcome in or compatible with the aims of popular media outlets. A fascinating article in The Atlantic not only surfaces these tactics (which may have become habits more than deliberate interviewing methods) but highlights…

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Seeing my blindfold

Seeing my blindfold

I’ve found some thought-provoking answers on the Q&A social media site, Quora. Follow the link to a perceptive and helpful answer to, “Can a person be able to objectively identify exactly when and how their thinking processes are being affected by cognitive biases?” The author provides some practical (if exhausting) recommendations that, if even partly followed by a third-to-half of people (my guestimate), would possibly collapse the adversarial culture in our country.

Are We Racists?

Are We Racists?

BMAI friends. The following ramble is my first cut at making sense of the grave role racial (and other) bias is playing in the world today. This was prompted by comments I see daily from my family and friends on social media. Thinking about the great lack of self- and group-awareness many of the commenters display, I turned my scope inward. How do my own innate, evolved biases slant me to take my group’s and my own privileges for granted and…

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Gender role bias in AI algorithms

Gender role bias in AI algorithms

Should it surprise us that human biases find their way into human-designed AI algorithms trained using data sets of human artifacts? Machine-learning software trained on the datasets didn’t just mirror those biases, it amplified them. If a photo set generally associated women with cooking, software trained by studying those photos and their labels created an even stronger association. https://www.wired.com/story/machines-taught-by-photos-learn-a-sexist-view-of-women?mbid=nl_82117_p2&CNDID=24258719

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