Taxing Robots, Tackling Trolls, Trusting Facts not Opinions: Your Friday Briefing


Welcome to Friday on Earth, Pink Posse. This week we discovered three new planets that could support life. Ok to quickly clarify, we didn’t discover them. But facts can be so confusing compared to opinions, can’t they? Which brings us onto this week’s hand picks from planet fake news…


factsIs Confirmation Bias Genetic?

As the latest grenade in the fight against fake news, we really rated this piece from the New Yorker. It speculates that we may be genetically predisposed to  stick to our guns, regardless of their factual basis. The scientific method doesn’t seem to come as naturally as just agreeing with opinions in our Facebook feed that fit with our views. Come on people, let’s evolve. Everywhere we look, we see confirmation bias. Feel free to use that joke this weekend.


bill gatesI(RS), Robot: Taxing the Bots

Robots may not share our confirmation bias gene. But that doesn’t mean they should get a free ride, according to Bill Gates. This week he proposed an interesting way to redress the automation wave that’s eating up jobs. His idea: Tax the robots. Well, at least, the companies using them instead of you. Penalising innovation or levelling the playing field for the displaced knowledge worker?


trollTackling Trolls and Toxic Comments with Google’s new AI

Robots can do lots of things, but it takes humans to insult each other on the internet. Google’s doing something about it. Their new Perspective API reads comments and rates them for trolling and toxicity, a lot faster than human moderators can. Making the web more humane, or auto-censorship? Just wait until AI get its first tax bill and starts trolling.


techWhat New Tech Can Learn from Old Tech

APIs, AI, VR, nanotech – new tech developments are ushering in the fourth industrial revolution. But in this reflective piece from the World Economic Forum, we find out some of the things they should learn from their predecessors: overhyping their promise, dealing with backlash, confusing with terminology – new tech needs to watch its manners to ensure adoption.


muskWhat’s Elon Musk Reading?

And finally to a man who’s already planning his trip to those newly discovered planets: Elon Musk. How did he learn about rockets? His amazing secret: He read about them. Here are the 8 books that set him on his way. Not a bad bedtime list to see you through to summer. Or the trip to another galaxy. Be sure to charge the Kindle before you take off.


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