Today, recommendation engines are perhaps the biggest threat to societal cohesion on the internet--and, as a result, one of the biggest threats to societal cohesion in the offline world, too. The recommendation engines we engage with are broken in ways that have grave consequences: amplified conspiracy theories, gamified news, nonsense infiltrating mainstream discourse, misinformed voters. Recommendation engines have become The Great Polarizer. Ironically, the conversation about recommendation engines, and the curatorial power of social giants, is also highly polarized. A creator showed up at YouTube's offices with a gun last week, outraged that the platform had demonetized and downranked some of the videos on her channel.
Some state colleges in California are apparently not impressed by the Parkland high school shooting survivor who helped become a voice for a global gun control movement. David Hogg, 17, has so far been rejected by four University of California campuses -- UCLA, UCSD, UCSB and UC Irvine, he told TMZ. According to the UC site, a minimum 3.4 GPA is required for non-California residents to get in. The Florida teen has a 4.2 GPA and an SAT score of 1270. "At this point, we're already changing the world," Hogg, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High School, told the outlet.
Modern artificial intelligence is way beyond playing chess; it has mastered Go and kicks butt in Dota 2, among other games. What started as a test-lab monkey has evolved into something akin to a prodigy child. Artificial intelligence, or AI, may still have to be fed information, but once it has gathered enough, it can come up with results that mimic the original data. First came the static images -- AI managed to create perfectly convincing images of people who have never existed. Then it showed it was perfectly capable of mimicking different seasons.
Everyone needs a distraction now and then, so here are some things we spotted in the news that put a little smile on our faces this week. We hope they do the same to you. Former US First Lady Michelle Obama met, and danced with, two-year-old Parker Curry this week. Parker went viral after her mum posted a photograph of her mesmerised by Mrs Obama's official painting. "Maybe one day I'll proudly look up at a portrait of you," the former first lady wrote on Twitter.
Nearly three weeks after the Parkland high school shooting that killed 17, another American business has distanced itself from guns. Bumble, the dating app where only women are allowed to initiate contact in heterosexual matches, announced Monday it would systematically delete photos on users' profiles that feature guns, with the exception of military or law enforcement members in uniform. We were founded with safety, respect and kindness in mind. As mass shootings continue to devastate communities across the country, it's time to state unequivocally that gun violence is not in line with our values, nor do these weapons belong on Bumble.