Publications

President Trump and the Myth of American AI

Author(s): 
Ryan Calo
Publication Date: 
March 22, 2019
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

On February 11, 2019, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order (EO) directing the federal government to promote artificial intelligence (AI). President Trump’s EO aims to stimulate basic research in AI, reduce barriers to innovation, train AI technologists, and protect America’s advantage in AI such as it is.

The Christchurch shooting suspect comes from an extreme online culture

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
March 15, 2019
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Details are still emerging about the attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which at least 49 people were killed at two mosques. However, it appears that one person with advance knowledge of the planned attack is an active participant in a radicalized online right-wing media culture. Before the massacre, a man posted a long manifesto, police said, which was full of inside references to online memes and ideas that are commonly circulated among the radical right.

Zuckerberg’s announcement changes everything for Facebook

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
March 6, 2019
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

In a post on Facebook’s website, Mark Zuckerberg has announced profound changes to Facebook’s approach to privacy and, by implication, its business model. Facebook is going to change so that it becomes much more like WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned entity that allows people to communicate privately with one another.

Theranos: How a broken patent system sustained its decade-long deception

Author(s): 
Daniel Nazer
Publication Date: 
March 4, 2019
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

When Patent Office Director Michelle Lee gave that speech, Theranos appeared to be one of the most impressive companies in Silicon Valley. But later that year, the public learned that Holmes hadn’t “proven” anything. Whistleblowers told The Wall Street Journal that Theranos wasn’t even using its own devices for most of its blood testing. Holmes had apparently spent more than a decade building a company based on unrealistic or outright false claims about its revolutionary technology.

How Trump speaks like a mob boss

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
February 28, 2019
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

In Michael Cohen’s testimony Wednesday, he said President Trump “doesn’t give orders. He speaks in code. And I understand that code.” James Gagliano, a former member of the FBI’s organized crime squad, has said on Twitter that he couldn’t “begin to number” the amount of cooperating witnesses who described the orders that they got from mob bosses using similar language. This way of operating descends from the Mafia, which has its roots in Sicily.

Your Speech, Their Rules: Meet the People Who Guard the Internet

Author(s): 
Alex Feerst
Publication Date: 
February 27, 2019
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

When Facebook started 15 years ago, it didn’t set out to adjudicate the speech rights of 2.2 billion people. Twitter never asked to decide which of the 500 million tweets posted each day are jokes and which are hate speech. YouTube’s early mission wasn’t to determine if a video shot on someone’s phone is harmless speculation, dangerous conspiracy theory, or information warfare by a foreign government. Content platforms set out to get rid of expression’s gatekeepers, not become them.

Trump may be about to call Europe’s bluff on Iran. Europe isn’t bluffing.

Author(s): 
Henry Farrell
Publication Date: 
February 25, 2019
Publication Type: 
Other Writing

Last Friday, the editorial board of Bloomberg Opinion condemned Europe’s new INSTEX arrangement, a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle set up to allow European companies to engage in humanitarian trade with Iran, despite the renewal of U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic. This arrangement — which was set up by Germany, France and the United Kingdom — has made the United States very unhappy.

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