We are only now beginning to understand why the unstated norms that shape the design and use of computational algorithms need to be made more explicit—and therefore subject to critical public debate. For now, Google and Facebook don't have mastheads or editorial pages. The names of the people who make judgments about what an algorithm does are hidden. All we have is the veneer of mechanical neutrality and the invocation of an objectivity that operates beyond the human.
It is at the point of this speculative possibility that Searle’s argument becomes both more interesting and more problematic, for it probes—somewhat indirectly, but powerfully nonetheless—the significance of the “artificial,” a category under which we can put both “art,” “artifice,” and certainly “technology.”
The new U.S. Census report on poverty and income offers a glimmer of light in an otherwise somber landscape.
In art as in life, the real adults are often hard to recognize.
I don’t deny that Thiel offers genuine, authoritative insight into entrepreneurship and the dynamics of a startup organization. It’s when he tacitly suggests that society derives its crucial and even salvific dynamism from the startup that I become both skeptical and nervous