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Newspaper Watch

Tell me you don’t know anything

On Saturday, Musk announced that Twitter was limiting the ways all users could access tweets “to address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation”. In other words, Musk was blaming commercial services that might want to scrape tweets and incorporate them into machine-learning models. There is no reason to believe this is actually happening, but Musk’s longtime hostility to artificial intelligence must have led him to deploy such services as likely suspects to blame for Twitter’s fragility.

Musk is a significant investor in AI.



For Many Transgender Women, Facetune Is an Unlikely Ally
Battling gender dysphoria and attacks on life-saving health care, many trans women use the photo-editing app to envision their lives and bodies the way they want to.

Reality doesn’t match the fantasy, eh? Gosh.


Such issues are big enough, but on top of them comes artificial intelligence — quite probably the greatest opportunity but darkest threat of our lifetimes, bringing an incalculable impact on democracy and global security. The intimate relationship that the US and UK have built up since the Second World War has a new and immense challenge: how to take trusted co-operation into a new field while also building a global understanding that allows AI to benefit humanity rather than destroy us.

#That youth delivering beer didn’t exactly sharpen Billy Hague’s thinking, did it?

Err, what?

Euphoria is grappling with a key tension in modern western democracies: how can we stop desiring the thing that will bring about our own destruction, namely endless economic growth in an increasingly automated world?

It’s the word salad, the unthinking collection of cute phrases.

Sure, growth is regarded, over there in the green left, as being simply wrong and dangerous. That they’re wrong is neither here nor there. Automation, well, we’ve been doing that for millennia and also, yes, people do worry about that, not all of them Luddites. #

But what’s the connection there, other than word salad? “endless economic growth in an increasingly automated world?” it’s just “fasionable phrase, fashionable phrase” isn’t it.


The AI is getting better, isn’t it?

The UK needs an ambitious industrial strategy more than ever. To achieve this, the government needs to take a systematic approach, forming symbiotic partnerships with the private sector and investing in the state’s capacity to create mission-oriented policies and effectively engage citizens. Backroom deals are no substitute.

Mariana’s articles are now just cliches rather than actively wrong.

Ouch, that hurts

FT editor chose not to publish
The claim has been made by The New York Times (NYT), which reported that Madison Marriage, an FT journalist, had investigated the Cohen affair and had on the record interviews with two named women and documentary evidence on others, but Roula Khalaf, the FT’s editor, chose not to publish it.

Sources told the NYT that Ms Khalaf said Mr Cohen did not have a high enough profile in the business world to make him a story for the publication.

I should mention that Nick Cohen was extremely kind to me when I was just starting out as a scribbler. Not quite mentoring but certainly supportive. Whether that has any relevance right now I’m not sure but did want to mention it.

Last summer, The Telegraph disclosed that Mr Cohen’s suspension from The Observer came in the wake of a row over trans rights with Jolyon Maugham, a campaigning lawyer. Mr Maugham, who represents Ms Siegle, appealed for other women with complaints against Mr Cohen to come forward.

One with fewer editors, My Luvver

US news
Vice is going bankrupt, BuzzFeed News is dead. What does it mean?
Margaret Sullivan

The standard observation about American journalism is that it is stuffed full of vastly too many layers of editors, tweakers, executives and bureaucrats.

Essentially, US newspapers were local monopilies for most of a century. They grew the bureaucracies common to such. Now the country is – as the UK has been for over a century – effectively the one media market. The American press therefore needs to kill off those layers of nonsense. As the Brits already have done.

The mistake of the new media folk was to think that that old monopoly paid for layer upon layer of editing was and is how journalism works. It isn’t. And that, simply, is what the problem is. Fire somewhere between 75 and 85% of all those who are not actually journalists putting ink to paper and work out where to go from there.

Seriously, I once did a piece for the Washington Post that had three layers of editors making suggestions. All making different ones of course. Back and forth, what about this comma and so on. They also took out my one good joke.

When I’ve written for The Times, or Daily Telegraph, I send something in. The one editor that deals with that section then adjusts to house style, possibly removes a joke or insult, then without even referring to me hits print. Sure, that second is possibly more abusive of fragile journalistic egos but it works as a business system. As the American does not when those monopoly profits disappear.