On a frigid January night, a Harvard genetics professor with a billowing white beard stood stage left in a theater on Manhattan's Upper East Side, an icon of the environmentalist movement in a fleece vest beside him. Both men were staring down a toothy problem: How could they convince their counterparts on the stage, along with the 300 people who'd filed into Hunter College's Kaye Playhouse for a debate, that the world should bring back velociraptors or, at the very least, an extinct pigeon?
We saw computers beat humans at chess in 1997, beat humans at Jeopardy in 2011 and vanquish the world's best human players of the ancient game of Go in 2017. On Monday, a computer edged out a victory over people in a far more nuanced competition: debate.
Can we all agree that Google Duplex demo was eerie? A robot, posing as a human being, scheduled a reservation over the phone. We all knew artificial intelligence was coming, but it was breathtaking to hear software come to life.
In the Trump era, tribalism bests morality. The party of Lincoln elected a reality television star who recently endorsed a senate candidate accused of molesting teenagers. Meanwhile, two Democratic leaders resigned this week after dozens of sexual assault allegations. Conservatism’s underlining principles of economic empowerment have fallen to deep state conspiracy, while liberalism’s social egalitarianism is subverted into media soundbites.
Two sides with decidedly different opinions on whether college athletes should be paid participated in a public debate on Tuesday night in New York City.
Whether college athletes should be paid has been a long-running debate in the world of intercollegiate athletics. The conversation has ramped up over the past few years in the wake of court decisions, conference realignments and the increased prominence of a limited number of institutions with powerful athletic programs.
If you’re tired of hearing college coaches and athletic directors stumbling over themselves to repeat the same tired, NCAA-issued lines about maintaining the “integrity” of college sports, you’re in luck.
If budget-cutters in Washington decided to eliminate food-stamp benefits to New Yorkers, the city’s politicians would be denouncing the cruelty of the “Republican war on the poor.” Yet Mayor Bill De Blasio and the city council are already inflicting the same sort of pain on low-income New Yorkers by denying them access to one of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty programs: Walmart.
In recent decades, Walmart has come to represent the epitome of capitalist success: The company’s founder, Sam Walton of Oklahoma, was a self-made billionaire and a retail pioneer who built his business on rock-bottom prices.
But for many of Walmart’s workers, the company illuminates the darker side of capitalism: The company does nearly $500 billion in worldwide sales each year, but its low prices are made possible by cheap, overseas production and hourly workers’ paltry pay. Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S.
Universities and students have come under attack in recent years for promoting the concept of "safe spaces." Proponents of the idea argue that safe spaces promise a reprieve from bigotry and oppression by allowing students of all backgrounds the opportunity to express themselves freely. But to their critics, safe spaces pose a dire threat to free speech.
Less than a decade old, the pioneering cryptocurrency Bitcoin is already worth billions. But some contend it could easily collapse -- vulnerable to hacks, wild volatility, or simply waning market enthusiasm. Is Bitcoin a bubble waiting to pop?
The Federal Communications Commission's recent decision to end net neutrality regulations has fueled a national debate about the future of the internet. On Tuesday, April 17 - the week before the FCC's decision takes effect - the "fantastic" (New Yorker) debate series Intelligence Squared U.S.