Black Like Me: Robot Pushes the Boundaries of Blackness

What does it mean to be Black and a woman? Can either experience be distilled into a computer program? Meet BINA48, a social android that runs on an artificial intelligence (AI) program. Since being activated in 2010, the robot has taken two college courses and rung the bell of the New York Stock Exchange. It continues to machine-learn from its interactions with humans and the internet.

BINA48 is based on a composite of several people, including Bina Aspen, the African-American co-founder and vice president of the Terasem Movement Foundation. The foundation runs the LifeNaut Project, a social experiment focused on saving a person’s memories, values, and beliefs in a digital file (dubbed a “mindfile”). Terasem’s long-term goal is figuring out how to download a mindfile into a biological, mechanical, or digital form or into a yet-to-be-invented mashup of all three.

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The Power of Story: From History to Her-story

Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Roy Moore, Mike Oreskes, Al Franken, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, John Conyers, Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor. All recent inductees to an ignominious hall of fame.   This year has been exasperating on so many levels, but the gathering flood of stories about successful men sexually harassing […]

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The Demise of Net Neutrality Bodes a Grim Future for Public Media

The reason dystopian tales are so appealing is they play to our deepest fears about a future where technology, greed and lust thrive unbridled by human compassion, social justice and environmental consciousness. Dystopian thrillers may be exhilarating, but only because no one expects to actually live that way. As the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced […]