FROM Paul Saffo
Are Computers Learning to Think? In 1997, IBM's " Deep Blue " computer defeated chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. This week, " Watso n" defeated two champion humans on Jeopardy . Because Watson answered some tricky questions, IBM says the machine has "the ability to understand natural human language." Watson isn't available on your laptop — yet. It's a supercomputer the size of 10 refrigerators, programmed by 25 IBM scientists with the equivalent of one million books, including entire encyclopedias. It performs 80 trillion operations per second. But does Watson really think? Super-computers already invest on Wall Street and land airplanes at busy airports. What will they do next? Is artificial intelligence nearing the point where it replaces not just our jobs but also our minds?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.