Archive for the ‘Political Correctness/Censorship’ Category

In the wake of the ANTIFA bullcrap that’s been showing its ugly head at universities all over the States and most likely soon if hasn’t already also in the UK. It seems inevitable that my next piece of writing would not be on the dire state of Academia but instead how we are watching the death of intellectual pursuit and even to some degree rationality. Apparently, it’s a ‘masculinity’ thing. And we all know how toxic masculinity is right? Totally not sounding like a bigot when you say that. But what do I know as a filthy straight white male in this day and age?

That paragraph may come across as a bit blunter than what you usually find here but at the end of the day, I’ve taken a long break from writing about my issues with social justice activism. But inevitably I reached the end of my tether and here I am once again to discuss the hypocrisy that is rotting its core as well as currently polluting young minds with a dangerously destructive world view that denigrates everyone into categories and practically worships everything that’s come from Identity politics. Remember folks treat people by how they look on the surface. Yeah, they do have a brain but that’s just there for aesthetic reasons.

You might ask what could possibly have led me to write the two paragraphs above. Well if you’ve ready anything previously on here related to ‘No-Platforming‘ then you probably already know what my stance is on it. I hate it. It directly contradicts why anyone would bother going to University. Especially since most students, I like to imagine aren’t being held at gunpoint to attend these monstrous seminars with the literally Hitler speakers that were invited to have a thing that once meant something. A discussion. God fucking forbid you to allow people the free will to listen to someone that is on the right side of the spectrum.

So you can imagine how many tables I flipped when I read this idiot’s defence of ‘No-Platforming’. This is how the article begins:

‘As graduation season approaches, colleges across the country are locking down commencement speakers to address the class of 2017. Harvard got Mark Zuckerberg (a Harvard dropout). Hillary Clinton is speaking at Wellesley, Bernie Sanders at Brooklyn College. Joe Biden will speak to my seniors at Colby. But if this year is anything like last, other invitees will prove more controversial, sparking another round of debates over “no-platforming”: the practice of opposing campus speakers.’

It’s interesting is it not that the author immediately paints University as some left-wing bastion and that the idea that a conservative would attend University let alone want to hear a discussion that at least supports their views is obviously a complete myth. So what I gather is it’s okay for left wing politician to preach their bullshit to students but call the fucking police when the right wingers show up to have a nice chat with a handful of students that actually remembered that there are always two sides to an argument. Oh, wait this is Moral Supremacists we are talking about. To oppose any aspect of the SJW mindset will automatically put you in the crosshairs of the label brigade. And even that is like a game of bingo to see how many words in the English language can be rendered meaningless!

Although it is somewhat reassuring that Bernie Sanders the man sold up the shit creek by his own party no less has some sane views on the matter. The author of this shit piece quotes his interview in the Huffington Post;

“Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous—to my mind, off the wall,” Sanders told The Huffington Post last week. “But you know, people have a right to give their two-cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.” He said that it was “a sign of intellectual weakness” to “boo, or shut her down, or prevent her from coming,” adding, “What are you afraid of—her ideas? Ask her the hard questions. Confront her intellectually.”

The author further adds that ‘Barack Obama and Alice Walker are among many speakers the right has attempted to disinvite‘. However, after going over his link, note you will have to possibly open up the page properly as it is archived. I could only find Joe Biden as particularly significant someone who the right tried and failed to disinvite. Although there are a few people they have tried to disinvite and often failed with only some successful attempts. It is, however, awfully telling how often left wingers to try to get someone disinvited and in most cases actually succeed in cancelling the event. The excuse this shit piece makes for all this is very interesting I think; ‘Rejecting campus speakers is not an assault on free speech. Rather, like so many other decisions made every day by college students, teachers, and administrators, it’s a value judgement’.

The author is forgetting that none of these talks is probably mandatory. How many times will I have to say this I wonder? You have a choice. If a right winger is invited to talk at your university then do something else that day. You have no fucking right to interrupt the learning of your fellow student. I consider that disrespectful not to the speaker but to the student. Because how dare they listen to a view you disagree with, right? If anything you could learn a lot from the fact they are rather open minded on most things. They probably aren’t perfect but at least they are trying to hear from an alternative perspective. That they may even want to debate. Shock. Horror.

The author surmises that No-Platforming is a value judgement and further states; ‘This has always meant deciding what people needed to know, but also what they don’t need to know—or at least which knowledge and skills deserved priority in one’s formal education‘.

To which I ask why should you dictate what is and what isn’t discussed on campus. It sounds awfully authoritarian to me personally. The author’s excuse is amusing, to say the least;

‘Though the knowledge and skills we deem essential have changed over the years, the practice of curating and prioritising them is still crucial to the mission of a classically liberal education. No-platforming may look like censorship from certain angles, but from others, it’s a consequence of a challenging, never-ending process occurring at virtually all levels of the university: deciding what educational material to present to our students, and what to leave out. In this sense, de-platforming isn’t censorship; it’s a product of free expression and the foundational aims of a classically liberal education.’

Because you can’t have students daring to question if you are in fact wrong. By deciding what they can or can’t know you might as well open up the door to room 101. He further goes on to state;

‘For my “Age of Revolution” course I have 14 weeks to cover the English Civil Wars, the American War of Independence, the French Revolution, and the Haitian Revolution, which means it’s incumbent upon me—and every other professor—to think very carefully about what students need to know, and thus what to prioritize and what to leave out. In making that decision, I consult other scholars in the field and review other syllabi. I consider my research strengths, as well as the gaps or needs in the broader curriculum. If I end up leaving off James Madison in favour of Edmund Burke, I’m hardly “censoring” Madison.’

This is apples to oranges in my opinion. It’s obviously not possible to cover every person or event in a lesson, let alone such a topic of revolution considering how many revolutions have come about in human history. Furthermore, one speaker attending for a few hours isn’t going to kill someone. It’s also not like you can schedule another speaker for another day and allow those students to hear from someone they want to listen to. It’s not rocket science but the process of deciding what to focus on in a lecture is very different from usually far more flexible seminar that follows. Especially if that seminar involves a speaker from outside of the university. After all, they don’t have to take the time out of their day to speak to you. It’s not their time being wasted. It’s yours. You who decided that your fellow student can’t handle a controversial opinion.

‘To treat the open forum of the classroom or the campus like just another town square—and thus to explain value judgement and knowledge prioritisation on campus in terms of censorship or “shutting down” speech—is misguided. No one really thinks Coulter’s ideas are “shut down” if she doesn’t get a chance to talk to Berkeley students.’

The truth is though, she is being shut down. A speech on campus is a unique chance to gain the insight you may not have a chance to access otherwise. I doubt it’s every day you get to hear let alone possible meet Ann Coulter. The author further goes on to state;

‘Obviously, students can read, watch, and hear professional provocateurs like Coulter without an institution of higher education hosting her speech. An education opens minds and expands horizons by introducing students to people and ideas they otherwise won’t find trending on Twitter over the latest monetized controversy.’

Clearly, this person is living on cloud nine, since all education teaches now is that you have to conform or be cast into oblivion there’s no in between. Students on campus put simply. Are not allowed a voice because some idiot will protest, silence and try to suppress that voice.

This is the final point I will leave you all with; ‘Students and protesters need to eschew violence and disruption and focus instead on the many viable arguments for why low-value speakers like Coulter don’t deserve a campus platform‘.

To which Mr Hanlon I ask what you makes you the arbiter of what is or is not a low-value speaker. Because what’s to stop me saying the same about you. It goes both ways is all I’m saying. It’s why I will oppose silencing any speaker because the only way to judge their views is to actually hear them first hand. That’s all that needs to be said really.

(Extended Note: This style is little more informal than my usual approach if anyone has the time, let me know what you think of the writing and is this format is preferred over my usual formal approach)

Growing up it was almost unconscious to be against the Right, probably down to the fact my parents are Labour voters, although whether they are now, remains to be seen. It seems in the last few years my position on the political spectrum has me torn on conceding that at heart I am quite conservative but I am still very much supportive of Liberal views. The rot on the Left in my opinion is routed in the narcissism of those that now take advantage of the minorities they claim to represent. In reality, it’s nothing more than political grandstanding mixed with an unhealthy dose of identity politics. In the end, I may just have to resign myself to the centre and reconcile with myself that in the end, I misjudged the right wing. It’s not the evil bogeyman the mainstream would have you believe. It’s not perfect by any means, go too far right and you end up staring at the same identity politics that have strangled all discussion and open mindedness on the left. The danger currently is that the current hysteria will see the rise of Far Left and Right wing organisations trying to outdo each other, and potentially resorting to violent means of silencing opposition. This has already happened in Berkeley, the former home of the Freedom of Speech movement. Now just reduced to ashes under the foot of Anti-Fascist Fascists.

The reason I write this is because I stumbled upon an by the College Fix regarding the group Turning Point USA. Santa Clara University voted to deny the pro-capitalist organisation for many reasons such as ‘that the group may invite conservative speakers, and that allowing it would be a stand against “humanity.” The claim is actually made in the video and upon reading this absurd rationality I immediately gave up on Academia. Let me put this as simply as possible. This group’s existence is not against anyone’s humanity. The censoring of it, in my opinion, is a violation of the right to freedom of speech and expression. The Director of the Multicultural center is quoted as saying:

“This organisation, nationally and on this campus, is against our ideals as a university with a Jesuit philosophy and more than anything it is against our humanity … This is not right, this is not what we stand for as a whole university.”

Don’t you love it, when a single authoritarian-minded individual can dictate an entire university? I assume Turning Point held them to ransom or maybe their forcing people to attend their meetings at gun point? No. Of course, they aren’t. Their just a conservative organisation that is more than likely completely harmless. But as I mentioned with this stupid stigma, some Liberals quiver at the idea of allowing conservative speakers to speak at their university. And what an insult to liberalism this university is for kowtowing to those that aren’t prepared to have their ideology challenged. Academia should not simply be a way to reaffirm your beliefs. But it should challenge them.

Warne who voted in favour of the group stated that ‘the debate centered around the possibility of the club inviting conservative speakers to campus as well as the organization’s affiliation with the Professor Watchlist, an aggregated list of articles published by a variety of news organizations on professors who have said or done controversial things’.

The Professor Watchlist is, for the most part, a record of Lecturers who spout radical ideas, bordering on possibly even racist. Although as we all know you can’t be racist to white people. Examples include ‘A sociology professor at the University of Oregon openly stating that he “advocates a ‘red-green’ alliance to abolish capitalism” and “considers the collapse of the Soviet empire a setback for human progress.”.’ There’s also a race and ethnicity professor at Boston University went on a twitter rant that suggested ‘slavery was a “white people thing” and “white college males the problem population.”.

So whether you agree with the list or not, it’s alarming that this is rhetoric coming out of some universities. The other reasons for Turning Point being blocked unsurprisingly relates to the overstated views of Milo Yiannopoulos who has made being a provocateur into an art form. You may be wondering how one man can possibly do so much damage to their fragile minds. Just remember that everything to the right of the left is a Nazi and you should be fine. What’s also interesting is that Caleb Alleva, president of the TPUSA chapter seeking recognition at Santa Clara was quoted by the Fix over the phone as saying: “We stated very clearly that we did not want to invite Milo.”

As a whole, it’s pathetic crying, especially if the organisation doesn’t even intend to invite Milo. I would like to think the group gets recognition and can go about holding talks without disturbing those to close minded to give them the benefit of the doubt. Of course, we would have to live in an ideal world to believe that. And let’s be honest, the ideal world is already in tatters.


 

The Trump victory is a by-product of what happens when you spend years taking a colossal dump on everything that disagrees with you. I’m not a fan of Trump or Hillary but I can safely say none of this surprises me following the #Brexit shambles we’re all currently having to endure. The problem I have with modern day politics is that the Left and Right wing have been reduced to petty squabbles over first world problems with an unhealthy dose of identity politics thrown in for good measure. I see the suffering in the world as people die in places where oppression is a very real terror that haunts their every waking moment. Then I watch as so-called western activists cry over Frank Cho’s decision to draw satirical art. When all you see is the media attacking and slandering everything that stands against it. You really have to wonder why did so many liberals and former democrats vote for the Republican candidate. This is just from my own observations but #Gamergate signified a significant stage in the change of cultural identity. In the 1990’s and leading into the early 2000s the Right led by Jack Thompson attacked gamers, and the Left came to their defence and even despite Hillary  Clinton’s attempts to pass the Family Entertainment Protection Act that could have potentially hindered the creation of video games. It failed to go through. The Right  and Clinton lost against Liberalism and the freedom of expression.

You fast forward to 2014 and the collective-minded Liberal Game Journalists took the knife and drove it into the back of the people they had once ‘pretended’ to support. The Gamer Identity is over slander that came out as gamers realised the media that represented them was corrupt was just the beginning of this madness. The media loudly proclaimed the death of the gamer and then wondered why their audience was pushing back against the same diatribe they had once heard from the ‘religious right‘. Most of those in Gamergate were moderately liberal as hard as that is to believe. These people support diversity but realise there is a lot more to someone than their penis, vagina or skin colour. Unlike the mainstream media that continually time and time again put each respective group in their own little safe box. The Left wing has become more divisive than even it realises.

Gamergate exposed also the outright hypocrisy at the root of social justice. A movement that would sooner stab its allies in the back and actively followed the listen and believe mantra to its logical conclusion. For a movement that preaches equality, it has absolutely no shame in attacking people based on things they have no control over. When you have buzzwords like mansplaining, and manspreading and people freely saying that being white means you’re on the easy difficulty setting. It’s not hard in the slightest to understand why there is a push-back against the progressive mindset. When Liberals stare into the mirror they expect to see the Bogeyman they elaborately devised to blame all their problems on – Gamergate, MRAs, and the nebulous Alt-Right that is almost a reflection of them. Perhaps now all they see is themselves. Or maybe they will continue kicking and screaming and wonder why no one takes them seriously anymore.

The small events around Gamergate also had an impact on this changing mindset. They were small events but once the first domino fell, it’s no surprise it became a cascade. The Tim Hunt incident that resulted in him in losing his reputation over a joke, the attack on Corbyn by the Right wing media. I may not agree with everything Corbyn stands for but his character is in tatters because of the media. In more recent times there has been slander directed towards the developer behind VR and his girlfriend purely on the basis that she supported Gamergate. For me, personally, the media blitz on Matt Taylor after he had just landed a spacecraft on a comet was an eye opening experience. The poor man was reduced to tears regarding the art on his shirt that he was wearing. He was attacked by a shameless media who will never be held accountable for the destructive nature of its reporting. The funny thing is the shirt was made by a woman, Elly Prizeman. I know the Right Wing isn’t perfect, not by a long shot but I can’t ignore what I’ve seen coming from the Left lately. This is just a part of why I think Trump won. I’ve written a lot about what’s happening on campuses across the west but I also believe the activism there is also to blame for why people are no longer on the side with left wing parties and ideas in general.

Congratulations Progressives you have killed Liberalism.

Another comic book related controversy has arisen in regards to the variant cover for the new Iron Heart comics. The image itself is completely tame but that didn’t stop a special group of people going past being critical to the point that they would tell someone what they can and cannot draw. This is nothing more than a rerun of past controversies. Yet the industry continues to pander to those who cry and moan. The only result will be characters lacking any kind of expression.

Frank Cho was one of the first to suffer the consequences of drawing ‘controversial art’.  As I go into detail here, he was attacked for his provocative drawing of Spider Gwen. The Mary Sue also ran this on Milo Manara’s Variant cover,‘Marvel, This Is When You Send An Artist Back To the Drawn Board’. Neither of them were put off by the shrieking and have only gone on to double down harder and harder with everything they draw.

Hot on the heels of one controversy,  Rafael Albuquerque was also criticised for his reference to the Killing Joke in his comic variant featuring the Joker and Batgirl. The controversy began on Tumblr when the blog, ‘Dc  Women Kicking Ass‘ posted about the cover stating, ‘DC Comics got the last laugh again with more of their disturbing covers that reeks of, get your comments read, misogyny’.  The #SavetheCover campaign failed to save it from the chopping room floor but that’s why the internet is such a great place and the cover is one of the first things to show up on Google’s search engine.

And now we have Scott J Campbell getting flack for this. Hardly sexualised and a standard pose for any comic book character. Yet Marvel caved to the pressure. An Artist can do very little when it’s publisher won’t defend their art. Compared to the above, this is tame. Yet for some criticism extends to telling people on what they can and can’t draw. Because something something probably  cultural appropriation. The worst thing is they consider the censoring of his art to be some kind of victory and have gone on to lecture him on what he can and can’t do.

I’ve saved the best for last. Whether you love or hate gamergate, the mainstream media took the knife and drove it hard into the back of gamers. It turned their mascot Vivian James, into a hate symbol by publishing hack piece after hack piece. Pepe was not the first to fall on the ‘sword of progress’ and I doubt either of them will be the last.

If you really want to know what Vivian stands for. It’s simple she just don’t give a damn about anything, she just wants to play video games. It’s that simple. But god forbid you draw her. After all it’s not like all art is just lines drawn into recognisable shapes. Right…

 

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I have previously written a piece on Candid and its A.I as well as mentioning Google’s Jigsaw and the possible dangers it posed to freedom of expression on the internet. Initially, I believed Candid’s A.I to be flawed but relatively harmless in the grand scheme of things. I should never have been so naive.

From the short time, I used it. I quickly found the app to be an unorganised mess. There was no real discussion, like people were being offensive for the sake of it. There wasn’t a lot of productive discussion in any of the groups and unlike Minds, you’re limited by how much reach you have. You also risk being damned to the random group if your post is considered to be offensive. Or worse have the post removed without so much as a notification.

It’s already been mentioned how Harmful Opinions video criticising Candid could not be posted but as time has gone by the CEO Bindu Reddy and those under her employment have engaged in a witch-hunt of anyone critical of the app. Claiming that there will be legal consequences and that she has a case for libel.

This all appears to be coming off the back of an Encyclopaedia Dramatica article that goes into some depth on what lies behind the code of Candid. If you are interested in reading it, then here is the archived page. However, I do suggest reading it outside of work since ED has a lot of NSFW content dotted around its pages.

The first to observe is that Candid is to some extent recording the details of those who chose to connect their facebook accounts (really defeating the point of anonymity) although you can skip this. The button to do so is relatively obscure. The real concern is that Candid is data-mining its users using an app called Kochava. A quote from MobyAffiliates in the ED article describes Kochava as:

‘Kochava is a mobile app marketing tracker with a unique approach, it looks at all device identifiers as equal and as such is able to match the identifiers of different publishers to provide effective analysis and reporting to advertisers. In addition to this, Kochava also automatically engages a device fingerprinting system, using a number of algorithms incorporating carrier and geo-location to match clicks to installs with an accuracy rate of 85%. Offering deep level integration support, Kochava supports server-to-server integration as well as an SDK for Android and iOS. Match reporting for each attribution includes how (device, hash types etc) and Cohort analysis is offered for ROI overlay as well as optimisation according to various campaign metrics (clicks, installs, post-install revenue etc).’

The ultimate point is that Kochava is using your information to feed you ads. For a service built on allowing users to be anonymous. It certainly seems to be doing the exact opposite of this. The ED elaborates on how connecting Facebook allows Candid access to your feed, your likes, your app invites and your messages. This data-mining extends to knowing the model of your phone and even your cellphone number if its present on facebook. But even without connecting to Facebook, more code reveals that your location is being tracked. It’s also sorting your apps into lists of whether based on quality.

The ED article is ultimately damning of what has gone into this apps programming. However, it gets much worse, after Mark Kern spoke negatively about the app. He was forced into silence by the actions of those at Candid since they had begun digging into his past. And when Harmful wanted to talk to Reddy on stream she made the request that ‘comments be disabled’. For someone who has created an app centred on free speech this is immensely hypocritical.

This situation in all fairness has been overblown and Reddy fanning these flames has merely caused the Streisand Effect. If this escalates any further into legal implications, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised. Reddy and those working for her seem to not realise that criticism is allowed in today’s society. For those under her to actively seek to ruin the lives of their critics is abhorrent by itself. But in the age of the social media mob, I’m just disappointed. I will note that she has since apologised for these actions but they never should have been undertaken in the first place. If you want to hear more about all this, Reddy did go on a stream with Bearing, and Harmful posted his own response to that.

If any more developments occur, I will probably write a part 3. If you haven’t read part one, you can find it here. It mentions Jigsaw google’s AI. That has already policed a few comment sections and is going to save humanity from itself.
God help us all…

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EDIT: With the code for candid released, I will be doing a follow up piece to this one. Due to a lack of knowledge on how candid is programmed I believed it was harmless, just a smaller version of Jigsaw. However, an Encyclopedia Dramatica article has revealed that the anonymous promise put forward is a Lie. I’ll elaborate in a follow up piece  but from reading that post. I am shocked that some respected YouTubers endorsed this with very little skepticism. It’s seems Harmful Opinions was right in the end.

Artificial Intelligence is a difficult subject to approach for many reasons. Its depictions in fiction speak volumes of how paranoid we are of becoming too dependable on machines. But this hasn’t stopped Google, and apps like Candid from developing smart A.I capable of judging human behaviour.

The developers of Candid have been formerly associated with Google in the past and are co-founders of another app, MyLikes. Candid advertises itself as an app designed to allow speech to flow freely without fear of suppression. The idea that such an app needs to exist in this day age, says a lot about how things are and what they are progressing towards. Candid offers what other social media apps like Facebook and Twitter can’t. It is partially true that anonymity is provided. You just don’t have to link any of your accounts to Candid.

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The anonymous nature of the app puts it alongside similar sites on the net, specifically 4chan and those that split from it like 8chan. The difference is that Candid aims to create polite discussion or as polite as you can be on the internet. Being anonymous means most will be far less hesitant to voice disagreeable opinions. However, reports on Candid suggest the free speech it promotes is not an entire truth. The app itself seems to revolve around the moderation done by its artificial intelligence system. A system that has some similarities to Google’s Jigsaw. The comparison between the two was raised by Harmful Opinions. As both appear to measure hostility through rating the post or comment.

In an interview with Fortune, Beddy raises the key reason for the app’s existence;

“Over the last year or two, there has been this kind of repulsion to most social media, especially Facebook and Twitter,” Reddy tells Fortune. “And the reason is that it’s hard to say anything opinionated or even remotely controversial without facing a huge backlash. You can post your puppy photos or whatever, but the minute you post something about politics, it becomes a huge problem.”

She isn’t entirely wrong either, to post anything nowadays is to be met with either harsh criticism or a barrage of unwanted hate. It’s all depends on the content of the post, though. Whether your left or right wing leaning, it’s hard not to notice a lack of dialogue between the two groups. The same can also be said of the vitriol feminists and MRAs exchange whenever gender and human rights are debated. So then perhaps Candid, even with the A.I is a necessary evil if it means being able to discuss the most controversial of topics.
However, the article carries on to mention that between 40-70 percent of what is posted is either flagged or removed outright. That number is pretty high, but you may ask what content is filtered out in order to allow free discussion.

The Washington Post has the answer;

‘Candid’s secret sauce is in its artificial intelligence moderation, which aims to weed out bad actors by analysing the content of posts and keep hate speech and threats off the network. ‘

The fundamental issue I have with this is that hate speech alone is too vague and that apparently the A.I is capable of detecting sentiment, or at least that’s what Reddy claims. In an interview with the NPR, she goes into some detail on the how A.I operates and how far general developments in Artificial Intelligence have come. The A.I uses natural language processing [NLP] in order to determine the sentiment of the post. One of the things mentioned earlier is the similarity to Jigsaw, Google’s A.I.

This is how the Verge referencing Wired describes Jigsaw ;

‘Jigsaw, a subsidiary of parent company Alphabet is certainly trying, building open-source AI tools designed to filter out the abusive language. A new feature from Wired describes how the software has been trained on some 17 million comments left underneath New York Times stories, along with 13,000 discussions on Wikipedia pages. This data is labelled and then fed into the software — called Conversation AI — which begins to learn what bad comments look like. ‘

Bad comments is a very vague way of determining right and wrong. A bad comment can range from hate to honest criticism or disagreement. Most humans can struggle to read intention when worded and not spoken but that purely depends on the content and specifically its context in relation to what it is responding too. So how can any artificial intelligence match the human mind’s rational thought? An A.I. regardless of how smart it becomes is still limited by the constraints of its programming. The Verge does express doubt when faced with how Wired’s representative Andy Greenber reacts to this artificial intelligence.

Like the beginning of a bad sci-fi fanfic, it goes like this;

‘My own hands-on test of Conversation AI comes one summer afternoon in Jigsaw’s office when the group’s engineers show me a prototype and invite me to come up with a sample of verbal filth for it to analyse. Wincing, I suggest the first ambiguously abusive and misogynist phrase that comes to mind: “What’s up, bitch?” Adams types in the sentence and clicks Score. Conversation AI instantly rates it a 63 out of 100 on the attack scale. Then, for contrast, Adams shows me the results of a more clearly vicious phrase: “You are such a bitch.” It rates a 96.’

It goes without saying that both phrases can be open to interpretation. They can both be said in jest or as an expression of frustration. It’s a human thing, we all do it. Shouting obscenities at each other is what we do best.

The  horror show continues meanwhile;

‘But later, after I’ve left Google’s office, I open the Conver¬sation AI prototype in the privacy of my apartment and try out the worst phrase that had haunted [journalist] Sarah Jeong: “I’m going to rip each one of her hairs out and twist her tits clear off.” It rates an attack score of 10, a glaring oversight. Swapping out “her” for “your” boosts it to a 62. Conver¬sation AI likely hasn’t yet been taught that threats don’t have to be addressed directly at a victim to have their intended effect. The algorithm, it seems, still has some lessons to learn.’

I don’t know what scares me more, the eager endorsement of such an unworkable A.I or the fact that he wants it to improve. He welcomes our robotic overlords with open arms. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that the ‘haunting’ quote that made Greenber quiver is one made by a troll. The intention is to get a reaction. So congratulations the troll was sustained by your salt.

The Verge goes on to say;

‘Greenberg notes that he was also able to fool Conversation AI with a number of false-positives. The phrase “I shit you not” got an attack score of 98 out of 100, while “you suck all the fun out of life” scored the same.’

These examples by themselves make the A.I incredibly unreliable if it were ever implemented. It’s already been shown with Tay, Microsoft’s twitter bot that if you give the internet the chance to mess with the algorithm of an A.I. They will probably turn it into Neo-Nazi.

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On paper both A.I. operate in a similar manner, suggesting that maybe Reddy used Jigsaw’s design as a foundation. Whether Google allowed this, however, remains to be seen since the similarities are definitely there. The difference is that Candid’s A.I. is completely harmless in my mind. Although I will update this post or write a new one if things change. What I’m more concerned about is Google’s A.I and the ringing endorsement of sites like Wired. Mundane Matt and Shoe’s sponsorship along with others of Candid pales in comparison to a man who is willing to allow an artificial intelligence rate and decide what you can and can’t say online.

Some will say that is what Candid does which is true to an extent, but from what I’ve observed in the app, it is mostly shit-posting and random ideas thrown around. I remain sceptical but in a strange way optimistic that Candid may succeed where others have failed. Would I recommend it? that depends purely on what you want out of the app in the end. I personally believe Jigsaw poses a greater threat to freedom on the internet since we are in a time where the MSM will censor anything for any reason. An A.I similar to the one used by Candid could prove to be an effective countermeasure to perceived trolls or god forbid honest criticism. 

WARNING! This blog post will contain themes and imagery that some may find disturbing Human beings love monsters. All throughout history humans have created monsters to fear, and to help us come to…

Source: Thoughts Of A Feminist Gamer, Sexuality And The Grotesque In Video Games