YouTube and “Reinforcing” Psychologies

“The new A.I., known as Reinforce, was a kind of long-term addiction machine. It was designed to maximize users’ engagement over time by predicting which recommendations would expand their tastes and get them to watch not just one more video but many more.

Reinforce was a huge success. In a talk at an A.I. conference in February, Minmin Chen, a Google Brain researcher, said it was YouTube’s most successful launch in two years. Sitewide views increased by nearly 1 percent, she said — a gain that, at YouTube’s scale, could amount to millions more hours of daily watch time and millions more dollars in advertising revenue per year. She added that the new algorithm was already starting to alter users’ behavior.

“We can really lead the users toward a different state, versus recommending content that is familiar,” Ms. Chen said.”

via “The Making of a YouTube Radical” by Kevin Roose in the New York Times

“Invisible Wire Pullers”

Eerily familiar to the American left…

Prideful of their own higher learning and cultivation, the intellectual classes could not absorb the idea that, thanks to “invisible wire-pullers”—the self-interested groups and individuals who believed they could manipulate the charismatic maverick for their own gain—this uneducated “beer-hall agitator” had already amassed vast support. After all, Germany was a state where the law rested on a firm foundation, where a majority in parliament was opposed to Hitler, and where every citizen believed that “his liberty and equal rights were secured by the solemnly affirmed constitution.”

— Read on www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/when-its-too-late-to-stop-fascism-according-to-stefan-zweig

Defending the Liberal Arts

Long overdue…

The new statement offers a counterargument to the notion that the liberal arts are impractical, and perhaps unnecessary. The disciplines, it argues, increase students’ curiosity, prepare them to be lifelong learners, and offer a foundation for academic freedom. As a result, the associations argue, the benefits of the liberal arts should be available to “all college students and not solely a privileged few.”

— Read on www.chronicle.com/article/2-Associations-Forcefully/243544

By eating less meat and more fruit and…

By eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables, the world could prevent several million deaths per year by 2050, cut planet-warming emissions substantially, and save billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs and climate damage, researchers said.

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/diet-fitness/vegan-eating-would-slash-cut-food-s-global-warming-emissions-n542886

The era of the fact is coming to…

The era of the fact is coming to an end: the place once held by “facts” is being taken over by “data.”

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/03/21/the-internet-of-us-and-the-end-of-facts

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Hi Sam, and all. My name is to be unable to chat with Ted, Citibank, I was calling to remind few ec event. Going to the polls to call Follett and, when you go to Naples. Thank you, the boat. It’s Akiva she’s a wonderful pistons representative of education, environment and hey i was kidding. Hi Florence, at 4:25. C is. That’s why I’m volunteer alright. Thank you. Goodbye. I hope you listen to my message.

I’ve listened to this voicemail three times and have no idea who she’s polling for on her message. 


Whoever it is, I wish them well in our local primaries.