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The ghost in the machine – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on the net.wars column on June 16th, 2017 Humans are a problem in decision-making. We have prejudices based on limited experience, received wisdom, weird personal irrationality, and cognitive biases psychologists have documented. Unrecognized emotional mechanisms shield us from ...

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The power of privacy – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

“It’s about power.” Because humans like to count in handfuls, this year’s Privacy Law Scholars, the tenth, kicked off with a panel considering a simple question: how have our ideas about privacy changed in the last decade. “Power has entered ...

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Hate week – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on pelicancrossing.net on May 26th, 2007 When, say ten years from now, someone leaks the set of rules by which self-driving cars make decisions about how to behave in physical-world human encounters of the third kind, I suspect ...

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Policy questions for 2022 – Net.wars by Wendy Grossman

For last weekend’s OpenTech I had recklessly suggested imagining the Daily Mail headlines of the future. Come to actually plan the talk, a broader scope seemed wiser, and after some limbering up with possible near-future headlines, which you can read ...

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Google’s You Tube rating illusion – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on pelican crossing.net on the net.wars column Before there was the internet there were commercial information services and conferencing systems. Since access to things like news wires, technical support, and strangers across the world who shared your weird ...

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Re-accommodating… – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on the Net.Wars column on pelicancrossing.com Last year, some folks at MIT implemented a version of the trolley problem they called the Moral Machine, a series of scenarios in which you choose which people and/or pets a self-driving car should sacrifice in a fatal ...

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Google vs book authors as Fair Use bites – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on the Net.Wars column on pelicancrossing.com This week, the veteran screenwriter Ken Levine started a thread on outdated terms in common use that no longer make sense, like “dial” and “tape”. “Carbon copy” persists as the “cc:” line email headers; ...

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What is next for tech journalism? – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on pelicancrossing.com on the Net.Wars column Yesterday in Cambridge, the veteran journalist Charles Arthur held an eventat the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) that asked this: Has the public been well served by technology journalism? Arthur assembled ...

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Who wants a working Internet? – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on the Net.Wars column on pelicancrossing.net on March 3rd 2017 “I thought the phone company would do it all,” John Connolly told me in 1993. Connolly is a largely forgotten grandfather of the internet: while at the National Science ...

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Facts are scarred – Net.Wars by Wendy Grossman

Originally published on pelicancrossing.net The late Simon Hoggart once wrote that the reason to take the trouble to debunk apparently harmless paranormal beliefs was this: they were “background noise, interfering with the truth”. There were, at the time, many people ...

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