Talking Trump, Twitter, employee revenge on ABC Adelaide

ABC logoFriday’s news that Donald Trump’s Twitter account had been deactivated for 11 minutes swept the world. No wonder it caught the attention of Peter Goers at ABC Adelaide.

Here’s the resulting 14-minute radio spot. It begins with a chat with Rebecca Fraser from the Career Development Association of Australia, and I’m after that.

I shamelessly steal some material from an article at The Clever, 15 Times Fired Employees Got Revenge On Their Company, which I think I forgot to credit. Sorry.

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This audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking trust and the uncanny valley on ABC Melbourne

ABC logoIt’s been a while since I’ve posted the audio from any of my radio spots, but we’re back. Here’s my conversation with Lindy Burns on ABC Melbourne from the evening of 31 October.

Two stories took our fancy.

First was the Australian tour of a supposedly intelligent robot called Sophia. I’m sceptical about how intelligent it actually was, but it gave me an excuse to talk about the uncanny valley, and the early chatbot ELIZA.

Second was the news that Amazon is launching a new service called Amazon Key, which will let couriers open people’s front doors and put deliveries inside. Would you trust strangers to come into your house?

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This audio is ©2017 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Talking Microsoft Tay on ABC 702 Sydney

ABC logoJust before before Easter, Microsoft let their youth-targeted chatbot named Tay loose on Twitter and other social networks — and it was a disaster.

Tay was meant to hold conversations with Americans aged 18 to 24, which is why it’s named after Taylor Swift. But the project was terminated after just 16 hours, because the bot started tweeting abuse at people, and even went full neo-Nazi, declaring that “Hitler was right I hate the jews.”

Art Technica reported some analysis of what went wrong. Davi Ottenheimer summarised the problem as “weak intelligence weakened by weakness”, and pointed me to more detailed research by Russell Cameron Thomas.

I spoke about this disaster with Robbie Buck on ABC 702 Sydney, debunking some aspects of the mainstream news stories along the way.

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This audio is ©2016 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Fine posts of 2015? There were none!

There’s a reason the list of most popular posts for 2015 was so disappointing. Take out the posts related to podcasts and crowdfunding, or were audio or video grabs from my media appearances, or were a Weekly Wrap, are you’re left with just two.

  1. It’s time to turn around the Revenue Ship, and fast, 5 April. This was a reflection on the need to get some revenue happening. I probably should have paid more attention.
  2. Algorithms and the Filter Bubble references for 2015, 11 September. These were the notes for my lecture at University of Technology Sydney.

Obviously all my interesting writing is now elsewhere, at the mastheads that pay for it. But this fact has gotten me thinking. More on these thoughts soon.

Most popular posts of 2015, such that they were

It has been my custom at the end of each year to list the most-read posts on my website. But this list for 2015 is most disappointing. Perhaps this list might be the last. Or at least the last in this form.

Chart of website traffic 2015

This website doesn’t get much traffic. Once you take out the home page, the about page, and the media page, most pages are only viewed few hundred times.

And in terms of popularity, you have to get past some ancient stuff that just happens to have plenty of Google juice — including all the pre-2015 items listed over the fold — before you get to something actually written in 2015. In 26th spot.

Even then, all ten items are posts related to The 9pm Edict podcast, and I’m pretty sure they only got traffic because I tweeted them repeatedly.

  1. Announcing “The 9pm Live Animal Experiments 1”, 3 November. Even this supposedly “most popular” post only scored 179 pageviews.
  2. The 9pm Sleepless in Canberra, 8 February.
  3. Coming Soon: The 9pm Urgent Hardware Refresh, 24 June.
  4. Live Blog: The 9pm Dirty, Dirty Chasm, which was published in May but taken down when I changed my mind.
  5. The 9pm Orgy of Confusion, 31 May.
  6. The 9pm Planet of Fascist Delusions, 21 June.
  7. The 9pm I can’t believe it’s not January, 1 February.
  8. The 9pm Public House Forum 1, 13 September.
  9. The 9pm Malcolmgasm, 20 September.
  10. The 9pm Statement of Regret, 15 April.

The first text article is down at the the 56th spot, It’s time to turn around the Revenue Ship, and fast. It was published on 5 April, and scored just 103 pageviews.

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