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Kaila Colbin

Member since July 2007 Contact Kaila

Articles by Kaila All articles by Kaila

  • When Watson Comes For Your Job, Give It To Him in Online Spin on 05/13/2016

    A week ago, the venerable law firm BakerHostetler announced a new hire, Ross. Ross is joining the bankruptcy department of the 100-year-old firm. Despite being new to practicing law -- BakerHostetler is Ross' first job -- Ross brings a myriad of skills to the role. In addition to reading and understanding language, Ross can also "postulate hypotheses when asked questions, research, and then generate responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions." You've guessed it: Ross is the world's first artificially intelligent "lawyer," based on IBM's Watson.

  • Google, Amazon and Netflix Are A New Breed Of Monopoly; Same As The Old Breed in Online Spin on 04/29/2016

  • Of Course Facebook Will Want Your Credit Card -- And Of Course, You'll Give It To Them  in Online Spin on 04/15/2016

    I'm at the counter and I've just ordered my coffee. "That'll be five bucks," says the lady at the register. I hold my credit card to the machine for a second or two, it beeps, and I turn to go. "You use that system?" my friend asks, dubiously. "You bet," I say. "It's amazing what I'll do to save a few seconds." It's something I only noticed once I started using Uber: the startling feeling of luxury and sense of satisfaction I get from arriving at my destination and simply emerging from the vehicle like a movie star at the Oscars. No pedestrian wallet-fumbling for me, thanks. My people have it covered.

  • AlphaGo Might Be The Most Effective Marketing Campaign Ever in Online Spin on 04/01/2016

    The Los Angeles Times said, "The results are in and history has been made... [This development] brings to a close the era of board games as benchmarks in computing."

  • Today Pizzabots, Tomorrow The Future: Autonomous Cars Coming Fast  in Online Spin on 03/18/2016

    I think we need a new word for "future." When I hear people talking about "the future," I usually make a couple of baseless assumptions: It's in my lifetime, but far enough away that I don't really have to worry about it. Maybe 20 or 30 years. Maybe more. This tendency to arbitrarily assign a timeline can be misleading.

  • No More Moore? Don't Be So Sure  in Online Spin on 03/04/2016

    "The chips are down for Moore's Law," read the headline in last month's Nature. Finally, the semiconductor industry was going to admit "what has become increasingly obvious to everyone involved," and the party will be over. After 50 years of riding an exponential wave, we're maxing out on our ability to double the number of transistors on a chip.

  • Waze, Google, Facebook: The Observer Effect And Our Interconnected, Co-Created Reality in Online Spin on 02/18/2016

    In science, the "observer effect" describes the impact of measurement on behavior. To measure voltage, for example, you have to stick something in the current, and that something will in turn modify the voltage. The photons used to measure electrons affect their paths; a thermometer exchanges heat with the object whose temperature it is taking. As a metaphor, the concept can be easily extrapolated. Our society, our economy, our politics, our impact on the planet -- all co-created in a complex feedback loop of which each of us is an integral part.

  • Hey, Movie Studios: You Can't Force Us To Love You  in Online Spin on 02/05/2016

    The iTunes store opened on April 28, 2003. In just five years it became the largest music vendor in the United States, proving Steve Jobs right when he said that it's not that people want to steal, it's just so darn hard to be law-abiding and so freaking easy to grab a free MP3 off a file-sharing service. The message was clear: If you make it easy for us to pay, we'll pay. A simple message. And yet, here we are, eight years later, and the movie industry never got the memo.

  • The Death Of Media In The Age Of Trump in Online Spin on 01/22/2016

    Information being a prerequisite for effective participation in a democracy, without freedom of speech and freedom of the press our democracy fails to function. We need access to facts and opinions that are unbiased, unafraid, and without obligation to anyone other than the public good. Sadly and scarily, our channels of communication are under threat on multiple fronts, starting with the fact that the companies that provide us with information have no economic incentive to, you know, inform us.

  • The Online Ad Ecosystem, Along With Others, Is Unwell in Online Spin on 01/08/2016

    "The perfect business is a computer plugged into the Internet. Starting with me, every human thereafter is overhead." -- Henry Ward, eShares CEO Ward's quote, which came from a post he published called ""How to Hire," suggests a worldview in which the company exists separate of its containing ecosystem. Ideally, customers thrive through their consumption of eShares' services, but that's about it. Every new employee is overhead, and overhead is bad. I am being unfair to Ward. It is one quote, taken out of context. His article is excellent and I agree with almost all of it. But the quote is illustrative. It is illustrative of a set of assumptions: that success is defined by financial return, that individual actors (whether people or companies) succeed or fail independent of each other, that "we" are somehow distinct from "the market" that we serve.

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