It was a striking story. "Machine Bias," the headline read, and the teaser proclaimed: "There's software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it's biased against blacks." ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize–winning nonprofit news organization, had analyzed risk assessment software known as COMPAS. It is being used to forecast which criminals are most likely to reoffend.
The most recent episode of Rotten Tomatoes' new movie-review series, See It/Skip It, opened not with a rave, nor a thumbs-down, but a semi-apology. "We've seen the conversations online about the Justice League Tomatometer," co-host Jacqueline Coley told her Facebook Watch audience, "and we get it: You guys are passionate about this film. But we hope everyone understands the only thing we're trying to do is add context and conversation around the Tomatometer, and not just give a number."
One day, 16 hours, 10 minutes and 0 seconds – that's how much time Warner Bros. is allowing between the embargo lift on reviews for Justice League and its first public screenings. And if history tells us anything, that means the most ambitious DC Extended Universe film to-date could also be among its worst-reviewed. SEE ALSO: 17 infuriating, logic-defying plot holes in'Batman v Superman' A couple of months ago, we took a look at the relationship between critics' embargo times and release dates (as well as other studio marketing behavior) and found a striking correlation: When they allow more than two full days for critical consensus to gather, the scores tend to be fresh (above 60%). And as you can see in our chart (at the bottom of this post), the scale slides in both directions. The embargo for Justice League reviews lifts Wednesday, November 15 at 2:50 a.m.
Are loving movie reviews and reading their Rotten Tomatoes ratings mutually exclusive? Apparently, according to Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, who recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his hatred of the latter. "The worst thing that we have in today's movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes," said Ratner, whose company helped finance the famously panned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (he also directed X-Men: The Last Stand -- never forget). "I think it's the destruction of our business." "Now it's about, 'What's your Rotten Tomatoes score?'" he added later, referring to how movie reception has changed over time.
My academic background is in computer science and philosophy. My work has been about the relationship between those two fields. What do we learn about being human by thinking about the quest to create artificial intelligence? What do we learn about human decision making by thinking of human problems in computational terms? The questions that have interested me over the years have been, on the one hand, what defines human intelligence at a species level? And secondly, at an individual level, how do we approach decision making in our own lives, and what are the problems that the world throws at us? I find myself interested at the group level, the society level, and the civic level in a couple of different ways. I've been encouraged by what I've seen over the last few years in terms of the norms of the sciences changing. It used to be that people were scared to publish their models because that was the secret sauce; that was their advantage over other research groups.
Marvel's release of Captain America: Civil War is the most recent superhero movie to blow up the box office. Rotten tomatoes gave it a 90 percent rating, and it had the fifth highest domestic opening in history at 181.8 million. That got me thinking about how much we not only love but also need superheroes in our lives. They use their superhuman powers to protect the innocent or vulnerable people of our society, and we love that ideal. We can't get enough of it.