How the marketplace of ideas went rogue

Opinion ruined journalism and Facebook killed truth—but there's a way to make it right.

  • The marketplace of ideas is a better metaphor than it's intended to be, notes Eli Pariser. As any good economist will tell you, the best product doesn't always rise to the top.
  • The institutional gatekeepers and experts who once kept checks and balances on the marketplace of ideas have been replaced by social media algorithms that reward emotion and outrage over expertise and truth.
  • How can media institutions like Facebook make this right? By reevaluating the business model that serves advertisers instead of readers, and by clearly stating their values—even if that means losing some of those 2 billion users.

The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.

Watch: The first AI-scripted commercial is here, and it’s surprisingly good

A new AI-produced commercial from Lexus shows how AI might be particularly suited for the advertising industry.

Lexus
  • The commercial was written by IBM's Watson. It was acted and directed by humans.
  • Lexus says humans played a minimal part in influencing Watson, in terms of the writing.
  • Advertising, with its clearly defined goals and troves of data, seems like one creative field in which AI would prove particularly useful.
Keep reading Show less

Preserving truth: How to confront and correct fake news

Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?

  • "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
  • The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
  • Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
Keep reading Show less

How much does "free" really cost?

In Life After Google, George Gilder writes that we're paying a heavy cost for "free."

Photo: Hugh Han / Unsplash
  • The famed technology and financial writer says we're paying for "free" with our most valuable resource: time.
  • Gilder predicts that the lack of focus on security will be Google's downfall.
  • He says decentralization offered by blockchain technology will be the only path forward.
Keep reading Show less
Image: PIX
  • The Pix backpack features a built-in screen that displays customizable messages and animations.
  • Pix is currently available for pre-order on Kickstarter for $199 and is expected to deliver in January 2019.
  • Pix raises questions about the future of wearable technology, especially in terms of advertising potential.
Keep reading Show less