• Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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The math problem that could change the world: Does P = NP?

Depending on the answer, one of the famous unsolved Millennium problems could have major implications in our lives.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
  • The Millennium Prize Problems are a set of seven unsolved mathematical problems laid out by the Clay Mathematical Institute, each with a $1 million prize for those who solve them.
  • One of these problems asks whether P = NP. Put simply, this asks whether computationally hard problems actually contain hidden, computationally easy solutions. This, however, is a major simplification.
  • Proving that P does not equal NP would be a major milestone, and it's the result that most computer scientists expect. However, if the opposite is true, then our world would become drastically different than it is now.
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Harvard's Cass Sunstein: Algorithms can correct human biases

A tool that can slowly build a better world.

Image: Flickr
  • Algorithms help drive the modern world.
  • Algorithms reflect human biases, but some — as Harvard's Cass Sunstein notes — can be built to help correct our biases.
  • If you build the right algorithm, you might be able to help contribute to a better world.
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Algorithmic catastrophe: How news feeds reprogram your mind and habits

The most powerful editors in the world? Algorithms.

  • According to a Pew Research poll, 45% of U.S. adults get at least some of their news from Facebook, with half of that amount using Facebook as their only news outlet.
  • Algorithms on social media pick what people read. There's worry that social media algorithms are creating filter bubbles, so that they never have to read something they don't agree with and thus cause tribal thinking and confirmation bias.
  • 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.
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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.
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