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AI is here and increasingly being woven into the fabric of our lives.

Tools that can create media that looks and sounds just like us — that can mimic behavior, convey any kind of information, and resonate deeply with people on an emotional level, are both exciting and scary. With fake media and deepfakes already threatening objective reality toward manipulative ends, it’s imperative that there be ethical policies, guidelines, and safeguards around how beneficial AI is created, and dangerous AI is prevented.

There is no question that AI is here and increasingly being woven into the fabric of our lives. However, there is an urgent question. How do we prepare to co-exist with AI? A tool that will rapidly transform jobs, entertainment, communication, and more. The optimist in me believes the true promise of AI is to create a positive future for humanity. I am also well aware that any tool can be used for good or for ill. …


The true promise of technology is to amplify the best traits in humanity. It doesn’t always seem like that, and I’ll admit there are legitimate concerns about the possible negative impact of the fourth industrial revolution. However, being the hallucinogenic optimist that I am, I like to focus attention on the bright spots that show us a beautiful future.

I’ve recently invested in one of those bright spots. Visit is a startup in India that amplifies humanity — while solving a very big and serious problem. Visit plans to democratize healthcare by shrinking the shortage of doctors using AI. According to the World Health Organization, the world suffers from a shortage of at least 7.2 …


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Image from freepress.net

Jack published this Twitter Thread, because he knew it was the right thing to do. I am 100% supportive and helped write it. I’m republishing it here for a similar but different audience because I hope any organization serving the public conversation, will take note. The work Twitter does openly in this space will ideally help similar organizations.

We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.

Why? We love instant, public, global messaging and conversation. It’s what Twitter is and it’s why we‘re here. But we didn’t fully predict or understand the real-world negative consequences. …


Note: These are not my words. I copied them here so they would be easier to read. These words were posted by Twitter’s @Policy account in a Twitter thread. https://twitter.com/Policy/status/912438046515220480

***

Some of you have been asking why we haven’t taken down the Tweet mentioned here.

We hold all accounts to the same Rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules.

Among the considerations is “newsworthiness” and whether a Tweet is of public interest.

This has long been internal policy and we’ll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it. We need to do better on this, and will.

Twitter is committed to transparency and keeping people informed about what’s happening in the world.

We’ll continue to be guided by these fundamental principles.


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Photo: ABC News

The hashtag was born on Twitter 10 years ago today, and it has become one of the most recognizable and widely used symbols of our time. Here’s how.

In the summer of 2007, a web marketing specialist and avid user of Twitter, Chris Messina walked into our grungy office at 164 South Park (yes, people would just walk in back then) and made a suggestion to me and a few other Twitter employees who were sitting nearby. We were working frantically to fix a tech issue that had brought Twitter down, as was often the case in those early days.

Many iconic features of Twitter have been created over the years by listening and watching what people who use Twitter do with it and then working to make it easier and better for them — we still do this today. Back in those early days, Jack and I even published our phone numbers on the front page. …


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Jack and I in 2006 at 164 South Park — Twitter’s first HQ.

I worked at Twitter for about six years. In that time, the service grew from zero people to hundreds of millions of people. Jack was the original CEO and when he returned I was very happy.

There’s something about the personality of a company that comes from the folks who start it. There’s a special feeling they bring with them. Jack coming back was a big step forward. And now, it’s my turn—I’m returning to full time work at Twitter starting in a couple of weeks! How this came about is kind of a crazy story but, it’s happening.

How It…


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Pinterest has acquired Jelly

Ben Finkel and I co-founded Jelly four years ago to create a human powered search engine. We’ve accomplished that with our tiny little team — despite a pivot and an un-pivot. Askjelly.com works as we dreamed it would. We’re proud of the work, and we’re proud of our team. We’re proud of our company culture, and we’re proud of all the Helpers who signed up.

My advice to entrepreneurs when raising another round, as Jelly was about to do, is to consider acquisition offers. Reasons for accepting vary. One reason is getting your work to millions of people right away. Ben and I deliberated and decided to take my own advice. Interest came from several companies. Among those companies was Pinterest. …


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Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Tap, and Echo

The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap are all smart, voice-activated speakers for your home. People use them to set timers and play music. But, you can ask Alexa, the nice lady inside these devices, anything you want because she’s connected to the web and web search. Now, you can ask her subjective questions because Jelly is one of her new skills.

If you say, “Alexa, install Jelly.” She will prompt you on how to use Jelly over the Amazon Echo. Jelly, in case you don’t know, is a new kind of search engine that finds the right person to answer your question rather than a web document. …


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Jelly introduces paid time off for civic engagment.

The time is always right to do what is right. Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free men. I didn’t come up with those words, they are from Martin Luther King Jr. and President Eisenhower, respectively. Nevertheless, they ring true today. That is why, today, Jelly is adopting a new internal policy.

Following the lead of Evan Weaver, a rare talent and wonderful person who worked with me early at Twitter, Jelly now offers paid time off for civic engagement. Those who feel they ought to be at a protest, calling political representatives, or in some other way feeling a need to exercise civic engagement, then Jelly will offer them paid time off to do so. …


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Trust is earned on Jelly.

Jelly officially offers you our Trust. Let’s say a person is continually helpful. You can give that person your Trust using our new Trust button. That means their Trust count goes up, showing the world they are trustworthy. The same goes for anyone with an account on Jelly who is helpful to others. Trust is a powerful thing—and useful in judging answer quality.

When I first designed the Follow model (for Twitter) the intent was to put you in complete control. Whomever you chose to Follow, that would be the only content you would see. Today, the Follow model is widely used on many apps and it’s more complicated. …

About

Biz Stone

Dad, husband, entrepreneur.

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