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Kaila Colbin

Member since July 2007Contact Kaila

Articles by Kaila All articles by Kaila

  • OF COURSE Google Home Is Spying On You in Media Insider on 10/13/2017

    It was a shocking headline: "Google Home Mini spied on user 'thousands of times a day,' sent recordings to Google." But not really that shocking. Home, Echo, Siri... they all have a job to do: wait until you say their name, and then deliver whatever you ask. But here's the catch: In order to hear you saying their name, they have to listen. All. The. Time.

  • The American News Media's Most Important Story Right Now  in Media Insider on 09/29/2017

    There is no debate that the media is not adequately covering the story of Puerto Rick after the hurricane, where there's no power, limited food, limited clean water and limited operational infrastructure.

  • Thanks To Technology, Propaganda Is Now Exponential in Media Insider on 09/15/2017

    Remember when propaganda used to be straightforward? It came in the form of leaflets, flyers, treatises. It was aired on state-run television and broadcast on state-run radio. In its more insidious form, it came via "independent media" -- without the audience being aware of how much that media may have been controlled by shadowy authority figures lurking in the background. Those were the days. Today, thanks to the disintermediation of the media, propaganda happens online, peer to peer, by armies of trolls and bots crafted ever more exactingly to resemble real humans

  • The Internet Isn't Optimized For Meritocracy  in Media Insider on 09/01/2017

    In July of 1993, the cartoonist Peter Steiner doodled a cartoon that he wasn't particularly proud of. He submitted it, along with a batch of others, to his bosses at The New Yorker. They liked it more than he did, and published it. It had a slow start, but it also had sticking power. Twenty years later, it was the most reproduced cartoon in New Yorker history. The premise is simple. A dog is sitting at a computer. "On the Internet," he says to the dog sitting next to him, "nobody knows you're a dog."

  • Solving For Hate in Media Insider on 08/18/2017

    Like you -- I assume -- I hope-- I was saddened and sickened by the events that unfolded in Charlottesville last weekend. Saddened by the hatred. Sickened by the violence. Filled with grief, and despairing of our ability to soothe these tensions and heal these divides. To be clear -- because these times require us to make no assumptions -- I denounce, unequivocally, neo-Nazism, the alt-right and white supremacy. Denouncing these things is easy (for most of us). Figuring out what to do about them is hard.What should we do, for example, about hate speech?

  • AI Predicts The Future Will Be As Bad As The Past  in Media Insider on 08/04/2017

    It's the age of machine learning, they say. Thanks to algorithms, we can finally eliminate bias. There was no subconscious prejudice -- the decision was made by a computer. After all, computers don't have a subconscious. Except, of course, they do. When we build machine learning algorithms using historical data, we effectively build these biases and injustices into the model.

  • Immortality Is In The Eye Of The Beholder in Media Insider on 07/21/2017

    The immortalists believe we can and should live forever -- that death is a technical problem, and that it therefore has a technical solution. The New Yorker, covering the topic a few months ago, quoted Dr. Joon Yun: "I have the idea that aging is plastic, that it's encoded... If something is encoded, you can crack the code... If you can crack the code, you can hack the code!"

  • Everything You Know May Be Wrong  in Media Insider on 07/07/2017

    Last year, I wrote an article called "The real reason this elephant chart is terrifying." In it, I looked at the work of Christoph Lakner and Branko Milanovic, who charted change in real income, for every percentile of global population, across a 20-year period from 1988 to 2008. While lots of folks had their incomes go up over the period, there's a big dip in the chart between the 75th and 90th percentiles. Those folks -- poor people in rich countries -- are seeing their incomes stagnate or decline. The scary bit, I explained, is that the price-performance of technology is improving at an exponential pace.

  • For The News Media, It May Already Be Too Late in Media Insider on 06/23/2017

    You might not agree, but I believe most people want to know the truth.

  • On Both Sides, The Media Is Peddling A False Dilemma About Trump  in Media Insider on 06/09/2017

    An op-ed headline in The Washington Post this week intrigued me: "Our town's newspaper was mocked for endorsing Trump. Here's what we think now." The column was from Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of the Hillsboro, Ohio Times-Gazette. It was accompanied by a photo of an idyllic rural scene: a field of soybeans, a combine harvester, a setting sun.

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