Missed you! Here’s my latest news:
(1) I continue to write features for Backchannel, which is still publishing on Medium but no longer owned by Medium, having been acquired by Conde Nast. Index of my stories is here. Some (relatively) recent stuff:
- This Company Kills Passwords — Okta and the future of identity
- How Kik Predicted The Rise of Chat Bots
- Why the Tech Industry Shuns America’s Gun Problem
(2) At the start of August I began writing the NewCo Daily for John Battelle and NewCo. It’s an email newsletter that every weekday rounds up, summarizes, and comments on stories that relate to NewCo’s focus on mission-driven companies, cities, sustainability, tech, and how businesses are struggling to improve themselves and the world. You can subscribe over here, and the newsletters I write are indexed here.
(3) I had the pleasure of attending the Botness conference in June, and got drafted on the spot to deliver a very brief impromptu talk on “Fiduciary responsibilities of agents and bots”, which I recently discovered was preserved for posterity. I had one simple point to make: We used to imagine that “intelligent agent” software would represent the user’s interest. But the world of chatbots that’s emerging surrounds users with bots that represent somebody else’s interest (usually that of some large company). This is a problem!
- February 21, 2017 @ 10:48:56 [Current Revision] by Scott Rosenberg
- February 21, 2017 @ 10:48:33 by Scott Rosenberg
- February 21, 2017 @ 10:44:36 by Scott Rosenberg
- February 15, 2017 @ 14:08:34 by Scott Rosenberg
- February 7, 2017 @ 14:31:56 by Scott Rosenberg
The “smart gun” article would have benefitted from a conversation or two with someone who owns a gun or, if their views are going to be presented in the article, a representative of the NRA.
From the discussions I’ve had with other gun owners, the biggest obstacles are the government mandate, which everybody assumes would be imposed at some point, and the reliability issue. On the former, New Jersey let the cat out of the bag, and we can’t unsee what we’ve seen. If the tech is there, eventually the mandate will follow.
As for reliability, there is a significant segment of gun owners who prefer revolvers because they see self-loading handguns, a technology developed at the end of the 19th century, as too prone to failure. The point isn’t that gun owners are Luddites; they’re not. Innovation that increase reliability, accuracy, ergonomics, or other things they care about are welcomed. Innovations for their own sake, or in the case of “smart guns”, that degrade one of those things, meet hostility.