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Misapplied metaphors in AI policy

June 17, 2019 - 11:26 -- Admin

Many querulous conversations fan the flames in policy debates about artificial intelligence. Everyone agrees we are transitioning to something, but not on what that will be. Anyone want to venture a guess? It is safe to bet on widespread use of neural networks and deep learning. Anything else?

The unintended consequences of France’s ban on statistical analysis of Judges

June 7, 2019 - 00:13 -- Admin

If someone had said that I would be writing a blog post to consider a law that might imprison people for conducting statistical analysis on publicly available data, I would have thought that was unlikely because who would ever propose, let alone enact, such a law?

The other day we got our answer: France! The very country that produced Laplace, Pascal and Guerry!

A tax on targeted ads?

May 8, 2019 - 03:14 -- Admin

When Paul Romer expresses an opinion, it is always worthwhile to listen because it is always well-considered. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, he puts forward a proposal to restore what he terms is the “public commons” of the provision of information in support of democracy.

The Podcast Business Model

April 26, 2019 - 22:11 -- Admin

This week saw the launch of a new podcast startup, Luminary. With $100 million in the bank and podcasters like Trevor Noah and Adam Davidson signed up, they are hoping to become the Netflix of Podcasts. To access that content costs $7.99 but the content is ad-free. They had a post on Twitter proclaiming that “podcasts don’t need ads.”

Are broken promises an antitrust violation?

April 21, 2019 - 22:54 -- Admin

That is the question that Dina Srinivasan answers in the affirmative in her paper “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook.” This is an interesting set of issues because, frankly, my observation is that Facebook, while having a dominant position in social media (which is not an antitrust violation) had not violated antitrust law getting to that position and did not appear to b

Six Infrastructure Trends

February 22, 2019 - 23:54 -- Admin

Today internet infrastructure encompasses root servers, broadband lines, routers, content delivery net-works, cloud storage and cellular towers. Broadly construed, these physical assets perform two related and essential services for the modern digital economy. Infrastructure acts as an intermediate input for the production of many services by firms and it acts as an intermediate input into the delivery of access and related services to the internet for households.

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