Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

November 20, 2019

From: Interview by Garett Sloane, AdAge

If not Facebook and Twitter, what entities would create the social algorithms that sort news feeds?

The thing I was most dealing with was automated ranking of content. That is one of the big issues, obviously. There is lots of content out there in the world. A lot of what is important about these platforms these days is their ability to rank what content a particular person should see and when. That seems to be the place where there’s sort of a lot of angst. How is that ranking working? What’s blocked? What’s ranked highly? How does that all work?

These platforms have gotten themselves into what seems to me to be a very difficult business position. They are effectively trying to become kind of moral arbiters for the world. By saying this is content we think should be here, this is content that shouldn’t be here. That’s a very difficult position for them, and people will inevitably be upset with them.

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