At what point will Google’s predictive technology grow so powerful that we begin thinking of its personalized recommendations as our own?

Photo: Paweł Czerwiński/Unsplash

I don’t like to say “hi.” I’m a “hey” person. But more and more, I find myself greeting friends and colleagues with a “hi” on email. Why? Because Google suggests that I do. In May, Gmail introduced a new “Smart Compose” feature that uses auto-complete technology to predict my next words in gray. I accept them simply by hitting tab.

Words matter to me. I am a professional writer, after all. But then Gmail made it tantalizingly easy to say “hi” instead of “hey,” and Google’s prediction, albeit wrong at first, became self-fulfilling. …


As the New York Times and L.A. Times spat about maps, the truth is red and blue maps only fuel ratings—they don’t promote understanding

Photo: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

This week, the New York Times ran a data visualization that is drawing criticism. Titled “An Extremely Detailed Map of the 2016 Election,” it’s a map of the United States, with every county painted Republican red or Democrat blue.

As you might expect, the map looks like chicken pox have eaten a Smurf. As with most maps we see of voting patterns, it takes landmasses into account, not the populations inside of them. As a result, the visual is intensely red with the slightest hints of blue—liberal shock bait that makes it look like democratic ideals are all but run…


MICROSOFT’S TOP SECRET TECH JOURNALIST DOSSIER

ENTRY #7982

Writer: [Redacted][But Probably You]

PROFILE: [Redacted] is a somewhat whiney technology journalist who smells vaguely like hotel moisturizer and barbecue almonds. He writes long — very, very long — articles that no one but close family members read to completion. He thinks he’s an expert on topics ranging from wireless networks to artificial intelligence to Black Lives Matter to Super Marios 1 through Sunshine to David Chang.

[Redacted] has 1,645 followers on Twitter. Half are Microsoft PR employees.

[Redacted] occasionally makes YouTube videos about bacon and various Frito Lay™ snack foods. …

Mark Wilson

Senior Editor at Co.Design. Founder of the late @philanthropr. Person who posts pictures of food.

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