Best Of The Web
“The World Economic Forum annual meeting convenes this week in Davos, Switzerland. (I’m skipping this year; there’s a lot to be done in the office.) One of the biggest topics on the 2019 agenda, as it was last year, is artificial intelligence. That’s because A.I. is at once an irrefutably important technological trend sweeping the business world and the subject of a commensurate amount of hype.
After all, an immutable law of technology and business is that any complicated development brings with it self-proclaimed priests of said subject intent on frightening the less-informed into buying their goods and services. A corollary to this law is that the program in Davos will include oodles of panels devoted to the subject. As I note in this article from the current issue of Fortune, no fewer than 11 sessions reference A.I. this year. Enlightenment isn’t promised to follow.”
A.I. is no hoax. Hype is the natural byproduct of innovations that can make people money. The point, as various experts explain in my article, is to understand what A.I. can do—discrete tasks its designers have trained it to learn to do—and what it can’t, just about anything that requires the human qualities of nuance, empathy, or wisdom.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Have world leaders really got the will to bring peace to Yemen? We hear much about Yemen’s crisis, but far less about the hypocrisy of states fuelling the very conflict they condemn."
"No poll so far in our database has tested Trump against the relatively unknown Weld... Indeed, Weld seems like one of the weakest candidates that anti-Trump Republicans could put up in a national campaign. "
"An initiative by the mayor of Tiberias for the municipality to help provide public transportation on the Sabbath has caused the issue of the social status quo to the forefront of public discussion."
"Like “30 Rock,” “Kimmy Schmidt” obviously slanted leftward, but most always exhibited a similar eagerness to skewer politics more generally than just the GOP."
"Yes, we’re all overwhelmed with email. One recent survey suggested that the average American’s inbox has 199 unread messages. But volume isn’t an excuse for not replying."
"... platforms now have a stranglehold over publishers who, individually and even as a group, have little-to-no bargaining power when it comes to algorithmic changes, ad rates, and much else."
"[There's] a subgenre known as National Socialist black metal, which espouses neo-Nazi views and has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as aiming to recruit youth to white-supremacist causes."
"“The Ideas That Made America” by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen is an anomaly in the genre. Its brevity is a point of pride, yet it aspires to do a little of everything."
"My wish is to die in my own bed, cared for by people I love—clean, comfortable and relatively free from pain. I hope to have time to say my goodbyes and give my final blessings."
"A diet for fast weight loss is a pipe dream. Many of us want to lose weight without making permanent changes, because we view thinness instead of health as a success."
"Opportunity casts a long shadow over all subsequent Mars rovers, setting a gold standard of JPL engineering. Customized versions of its mobility software are used on the rovers Curiosity and upcoming Mars 2020."
"Biblical scholarship has deepened our understanding of the Torah and at the same time challenges us to consider the implications of our declaring the Torah to be emet. What is emet and what does it mean to say that the Torah is emet?"