Artificial ESP Comes to Twitter


Robert Waldmann is feeling creeped out:

An obvious twitter ‘bot followed me with tweets consisting only of advertising for, among other things, wasabi flavored ice cream. Now, I think you will agree that wasabi flavored ice cream is rather a niche product. You may not know that it exists (in Rome to which all roads lead). I hope with some (but rapidly declining) confidence that you don’t know that I really like wasabi flavored ice cream. HOW does a twitter ‘bot know I like wasabi flavored ice cream ??? I feel we have skipped artificial intelligence and gotten straight to artificial ESP.

How indeed? I’ll bet the answer is pretty interesting. I’m assuming, of course, that Waldmann hasn’t simply blanked out and forgotten that he wrote a tweet a couple of weeks ago about wasabi ice cream.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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