Stephen Baker

The Boost
Why IBM's Watson is slow out of the blocks
January 9, 2014News

Picture a high school graduate of staggering genius. Her skills are spell-binding, but at this point, she doesn't have any experience in the work place or, for that matter, know anything. What's more, her social skills are abysmal. Now when this prodigy knocks on the door of Citigroup or the Mayo Clinic or General Electric, what can she offer?

Selling such a job candidate is more or less the challenge the IBM team has when they try market Watson to corporate customers. It's a fabulous machine. With its blend of big data retrieval, natural language, question-answering and analytics, It represents cognitive computing, the future of knowledge work. But what job can it do today?

We don't know. In these early days, Watson, just like other newcomers to the job market, will take boring jobs for which it's overqualified. A call center assistant, for example. People see that and wonder what all the fuss is about. Spencer Ante of the Wall Street Journal reports (behind firewall) that Watson's numbers are disappointing, and below projections. IBM is now building an entire Watson division.

But Watson, like that high school prodigy, is still in the development phase. This has to be frustrating to investors who are looking for winners in the next stage of the information economy. But it's just the way things move. It's similar, in a sense, to the early period of the personal computers, when no one knew exactly what they'd do. People said that homemakers would use computers in the kitchen, to keep records of food and manage recipes. Finally, speadsheets and word processing programs gave people a reason to buy the machines. (And then many promptly wondered why anyone would do anything else on a computer, including hitching it to a network.)

The fact is that cognitive computing technology, like Watson, will not only do jobs. It will transform work. In information industries, having question-answering machines on hand, in pockets, always on call, will alter our thinking about knowledge and what we have to know. But we don't yet know exactly how these machines will get from here to there, nor which companies will build them. Changing metaphors, if this is spring training and I'm trying to pick the two teams in the World Series, I'd bet on IBM and Google, one coming from the corporate side, the other from consumers. 

***
I was quoted in Spencer's story, which got me an invite to Fox Business News yesterday to discuss Watson's challenges. I went in there, got made up and waited and waited while they aired Gov. Chris Christie's never-ending press conference about the Bridgegate scandal. In the end I was bumped. It reminded me of going to Chicago for a day of Numerati events on the day that Gov. Rod Blagoyevich was arrested for trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat. And then when I was pitching Final Jeopardy and had a nationwide slot on Ira Flatow's Science Friday, most markets pre-empted me to cover the fall of Hosni Mubarak. You might assume that I'm unlucky. I'd just say that news happens on a frequent basis. Going back to Fox Biz today...

add comment link to post share:

Books, 2013
December 31, 2013General

Thinking of books I read in 2013. A sampling...

Anna Karenina, by Tolstoy. I had read it in my 20s, and remembered almost nothing of it. Figured it was a good book to read in winter months, so I downloaded. I found it frustrating to read on the Kindle app, so I actually went to Watchung Booksellers and paid nearly $20 for a nice big paperback. I'd say I read it dutifully, enjoyed the scenes of 19th century life, but didn't get caught up nearly as much as Tolstoy might have liked in the ethical and spiritual issues. 

Trees of Smoke, by Denis Johnson. A great novel about trust, family, America, and a life running on auto-pilot in Southeast Asia. 

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. I had picked up this book a couple of years ago and found it unreadable. Then I started hearing that so many of my friends loved it, so I gave it another try. This time it worked. I've bought the follow-up, Bring up the Bodies, but haven't gotten to it yet. What I love about her style is the way she manages to make the story clear while providing a minimum of context. Sometimes you have to stop and figure something out. Who is this person? Who is the "He" she's referring to, etc. But this keeps the author hidden, and makes it feel like the story is being imparted directly, without artifice. It's full of artifice, of course. Otherwise it would be unintelligible. But she builds the context with little bits, small phrases between commas and short asides. 

1493, by Charles Mann, Globalization. I learned a ton about the modern world reading this book, and I read it while traveling in Brazil's Northeast, where the effects of decisions made right after 1493 were all around us. The hills were blanketed with sugar cane and many of our hosts had ancestors brought from Africa five centuries ago to farm it.  

El Camino, by Miguel Delibes. Small town life in Spain under Franco and the Church. Funny and beautiful, reminded me of Mark Twain. I read this while preparing for the bike trip in Spain, where we rode through lots of small villages like the one Delibes describes.

Mother, Daughter, Me, by Katie Hafner. A wonderful memoir, which I reviewed in September.

The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game, by John Fox. An engaging history of the ball, by an anthropologist.

Catastrophic Care, by David Goldhill. I was working most of this year on a health care book, which is coming out in May. I'll write about it in a separate post, and will flog the issues as we approach publication. But the book, of which I'm the co-writer, shares a perspective with Goldhill's book. 

L'Adversaire, by Emmanuel Carrere. This is the story of Jean Claude Romand, a Frenchman who fabricated an entire false life for nearly 20 years, and killed his family when his secret started to come out. Sounds gruesome, but most of the book is about a guy surrounding himself with an ever more complex web of lies. I'd read it in 1999, soon after we moved to Paris. One of the best non fiction books I've ever read.

In the Garden of Beasts, by Eric Larson. The American ambassador to Germany and his family try to make sense of what's happening in Berlin in the 1930s. Great reading. I enjoyed the American side, too. So interesting that Roosevelt settled on a fairly obscure history professor, whose specialty was the American South, to represent the US in Europe's most important post (though I'm sure the Paris hands would have disputed that, back then). It's seems so quaint. 

Smart Machines : IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing by John Kelly and Steve Hamm. I 

There were others, I'm sure. If I think of another, I might add to the list. But the one that's been keeping me busy since mid-November is Marcel Proust's giant novel, A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time). After our trip to France in November, I was looking at French books on the Kindle, and Amazon promoted the entire work by Proust for $3,99. I thought what the hell. I'd always thought that someday I'd read it. Why not now/? So I've been spending at least an hour a day, sometimes much more, curled up at home or in a cafe, waltzing through 19th century French with a wordy, sickly, hypersentitive aesthete as a guide. So far, I've made it through 22% of the total, probably about 850 pages. That means I'm about halfway through the second volume, A L'Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleur (known as Within the Budding Grove). I'm not tiring of it the least bit, and I figure I'll finish the whole work around May, when this health care book and my novel, The Boost, both come out. 

Proust's novel is one book that I find easier to read electronically. One reason is that when I look at two full pages of the paper book, the big blocks of grey in tiny font can seem daunting. Sometimes the two pages feature one single paragraph, other times just a mega-sentence or two. But if I blow up the font and read the book on a screen, the language goes by like a stream of words, and I don't obsess on finishing something or getting anywhere in particular. I imagine it feels a bit like the Appalachian Trail. Yesterday I blew up the font even bigger and flipped through tiny pages of it on my phone while on the elyptical trainer at the Y. (So you could probably conclude at this point that I've plunged into the deep end.)

Last weekend, I took a short break from the novel and read Edmond White's short biography of Proust. It had quite a bit about Proust as a closeted gay author. At one point, Andre Gide gave Proust, whose sexuality was no secret (though not openly discussed), a hard time about the negative treatment he gives to homosexuality in his Sodom et Gomorrhe, a volume I'll probably be reading in March or April. Proust reportedly told him that most of the girls the narrator falls in love with are actually based on men he loved. There the reader encounters the beauty and mystery of love. And Proust apparently didn't have much of the positive side left over for the gays and lesbians in Sodom et Gomorrhe (which for some reason, possibly squeamishness, is translated in English versions as Cities of the Plain

We can only speculate about what Proust's life would have been like, and how his art would have changed, if he had lived in a time when rich asthmatics (like him) can live normal lives, and gay men and women can not only develop open and loving relationships, but also marry. He would no doubt have been an artist under such conditions, but anyone's guess as to what he would have written.

***

Funny that only a full week after writing this post do I remember, while staring at the book shelf, that I read Ian McEwan's latest novel, Sweet Tooth. I'm still sitting here reassembling the plot in my head, where it was utterly absent for months. Not a very consequential novel, I guess. But I'll read anything Ian McEwan writes, if only for his sentences, story-telling and intelligence. 


add comment link to post share:

Pyongyang Chronicle: The demise of a trickster
December 14, 2013News

Word that Jang Song-thaek was a trickster emerged the day he was executed, or perhaps the following day. Chronology is always hard to nail down in North Korea. In any case, a 2,000+-word government news release disclosed that in addition to being a gambler, thief, capitalist, careerist and a lesser form of life than dog, Jang was also a trickster. It would seem that the government was unaware until very recently of this fact. You might expect as much. After all, don't tricksters keep secrets? They do. Perhaps better than anybody.

But signs that Jang was a trickster had been evident for years, perhaps decades. Insiders in Pyongyang were aware that Jang was--not necessarily in this order--the dictator's uncle, confidente, coach, and that he was a trickster. At least one person must have seen him lift $4 million from one account or another. They don't have automatic withdrawals in North Korea. People do such work. But such people also know to keep quiet when a trickster who happens to be the second most powerful person in the realm tells them mum's the word. Several others knew that he blew millions in international casinos. People who lose that kind of money get seen. Many of those who saw him at crap tables in Macao later told government inspectors that Jang, surprisingly for such a notorious trickster, lost his millions with good cheer and forbearance. They wished him the best and looked forward to his return. 

So it was known. Jang was a trickster, but largely a discreet one. When his nephew, Kim Jong-um, showed interest in executing criminals and traitors, Jang pointed toward other people, professors and army officers, certainly not to himself. He was not stupid.

It's hard to say, in retrospect, what led to the clapping incident. I should say the non-clapping incident, or perhaps half-hearted clapping one. The leader had spoken. Everyone was clapping. Clapping is what is done. It is loud and enthusiastic, probably more loud than enthusiastic, in truth, but it is carried out whole-heartedly, with solid impact, maximum noise, and preferably a smile. And there was Jang, his expression grim, like that of someone who had lost millions in casinos. He may have been suffering the ravages of a hangover. He was barely touching his palms to each other. People noticed. Among a circle of people surrounding him, morale collapsed. Yes, Jang was a trickster. That much they knew. He was hardly clapping. That was new. 

He was arrested tried and executed the next day, or maybe the following one. Why do tricksters meet such untimely ends? 

add comment link to post share:

Watson Off-Broadway show is born, a cousin of The Boost
December 6, 2013General

The other night I saw Watson in the theater. This wasn't just the IBM Watson, but a whole posse of them--all played by a single actor. It was a new play, The Curious Case of The Watson Intelligence, which is opening this month off Broadway (a stone's throw from the Port Authority). Written by Madeleine George, it's an engaging group of stories about intelligent helpers named Watson. One helps Sherlock Holmes, another Alexander Graham Bell, and a third is a not-too-distant future version of IBM's Jeopardy machine. It's a question-answering robot that can provide information. It's like Siri or Google voice a couple or three years from now, endowed with fairly primitive empathy "awareness" and more context than today's version.

IBM invited me to the show. I took along a galley of the Boost, hoping I could deliver it to Madeleine George, because I view her play and my book as first cousins, both progeny of the IBM Watson project. (I had to leave the post-performance panel discussion to catch my bus back to New Jersey.) It was 2011, after I had finished and published Final Jeopardy, that I felt a certain discontent. I had worked hard on the book, was proud of it, and I thought it wrestled with fundamental questions facing us, such as how are we going to use our minds in the future, and much a part of our "thinking" will be done in conjuntion with a computer of some sort? The book didn't sell all that well. Actually, I think people were interested in the Jeopardy project, but figured they knew enough about it from the TV shows and all of the surrounding publicity and interviews. To many, reading the book probably looked like overkill.

I wanted to reach a broader audience. So I took the advice of a Spanish friend and began writing a novel that takes place in this future. That became The Boost. I just got the galleys this week, and it will be coming out this May or June. In my book, most people (except for the wild) operate networked cognitive chips in their head. It looks at how we store and regard memories and knowledge, and how we network with these chips for friendship and love, while coping with massive surveillance. The template for this world, needless to say, already exists, and some form of the technology, descending from machines like the iPhone and Google Glass, is en route (whether or not it actually goes inside the head).

Madeleine George takes a different tack. While my chip is in the head, her's functions in another person, or robot, who tends to our needs. It's engaging, smartly written and wonderfully acted. I'd say it goes on about a half hour too long. But I can understand why. She has a lot of great material, and chopping out scenes has to be painful.

Probably no surprise, my favorite parts of the play took place in the near future in which a woman, a computer scientist who has left IBM's Watson team, is building a next-generation empathetic and conversational AI. She becomes emotionally entangled with this intelligence, which seems to shift between the machine and humans. Is that happening? Or is it something she feels because she spends her life threading these two cognitive systems?

This was fascinating, and well acted. The same trio of actors also traced other 19th century dramas, both involving helpers named Watson. They were entertaining and kept my attention, but it was the 21st century part that captivated me.



                                                                         Madeleine George

I went to the play with Steve Hamm, my frend and former BusinessWeek colleague. We edited each other's stories. He now works as a blogger-videoman-content guy at IBM. (His post on the play) After the play, I was trying to summarize for him my feelings, and I dipped into the spiel we would give each other in the editing process. It goes like this: "You have a lot of great stuff! Loved the part where (fill in the blank), and also (ditto)....(Changing voice to more somber tone)  I think we need to make it clearer up top where we are taking this story. And actually, instead of covering the whole industry, why not focus on one company, or even one person? Yes, I know you have a lot of great stuff about the marketing angle. That's another story! etc etc.

Long story short: The play about Watson is very good. It has what it takes to be a niche success. But the theme of the human helper isn't nearly as compelling as the other developing intelligence that works in conjuntion with us, cohabiting in our minds. If Madeleine cut out the 19th century scenes and expanded the 21st, it could be a big hit. 

Or maybe she could move on straight to The Boost. She'd be great for it.


add comment link to post share:

The Boost: Galleys out
December 3, 2013News


Just got a box of these galleys of The Boost. It's coming out late spring. Fun to page through it. I like the pages and the font. It's missing corrections that I sent in yesterday. But I guess that gives meaning to "uncorrected proof." If anyone would like to review the book or turn it into a feature film, please get in touch.

add comment link to post share:

IBM's Smart Machines details era of cognitive computing
November 14, 2013News

Imagine this. The baby is sleeping upstairs. One of those monitors in her room plays her noises down to the kitchen. The parents can hear her thrash and gurgle. But those sounds are in the background. More prominent is a computer voice that announces: "The baby wet her diapers at 1:23. She's been awake for four minutes." She cries. Is it time to nurse her already? No, the computer says. Her stomach hurts. 

I picked up this idea from the new book from IBM Research, Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing. It is co-written by John Kelly, the director of IBM Research and Steve Hamm, my friend and former colleague at BusinessWeek.

It's a useful, concise and engaging guide to the future of computing--which is also the future of knowledge, sensing, decision-making and discovery. I read it in about two hours. It led me from employment opportunities for Watson to frontiers of Big Data and the physics of new computing. It's hard to summarize the future of cognitive computing, but these two sentences come pretty close: "In the programmable-computing era, people have to adapt to the way computers work. In the cognitive era, computers will adapt to people."




Now, back to the baby example. Given what we know about data, it really shouldn't be so surprising that machines will be able to decode baby noises. With enough data about the noises babies make, apps will be allow babies to talk to us. Of course, not all babies will use the same noises. I imagine that the program will come with a standard template, and that parents will have ways to correct the machine's early mistakes, helping it to customize its analysis for each baby. And as those fixes make their way to the cloud service, it will grow more sophisticated, just like Google Voice or Siri. 

Another similar challenge, I imagine, will be to interpret the noises and gestures of animals, and to get them also to talk to us. This animal analysis could probably benefit from smell sensors. They could pick up molecules of chemicals signaling an animal's fear, confusion, hunger and sexual drive.

Do we want a machine announcing that Rover is hungry or horny or needs to go out for one reason or another? That could be too much information. But the marketplace will iron out those issues. For now, we at least know from a very good IBM book that the technology is en route.

add comment link to post share:

How I shamelessly exploited Twitter (and don't anymore)
November 8, 2013News

Five years ago, I was the Twitter guy at BusinessWeek. As Roben Farzad recalled Thursday on Brian Lehrer's show, I wandered around the the offices telling colleagues to tweet. Now, as the new Twitter stock debuts, I barely tweet anymore. The reason: Much as I'd like to, I don't participate anymore in the "nugget economy."

I'll explain. When you tweet, you send out a nugget of information wrapped in self-branding. If people like that nugget, they retweet, and the information spreads, along with the branding. Maybe they respond with interesting information, or a relevant link. Those nuggets can be valuable. When I was at BusinessWeek, nuggets I harvested turned into blog posts and stories. And the branding was vital for me. BusinessWeek was in late stages of collapse, and I needed the branding to promote my post-BW career, and (hopefully) to sell books. My brand, as I saw it, had been locked up in the magazine for 20 comfortable years. But now I needed to fashion it into a lifeboat.

An example of how shamelessly I used Twitter for my own ends. I started on Twitter on Jan. 5, 2008. I was in Steve Rubel's office at Edelman, above Times Square, asking him how Heather Green and I could update our three-year-old story on blogs. (I remember the day because Barack Obama had just won the Iowa caucases, and his face was on every television in the lobby.) Steve urged me to jump onto Twitter. At that point, I remember, he had 2,400 followers. And he asked them with a tweet why @stevebaker should get onto Twitter. Responses poured in. He was clearly at the controls of a powerful tool. I had a book, The Numerati, coming out later that year and wanted some of that network magic. But how was I going to get thousands of followers?

After a month on Twitter, I had barely 100. But then I came up with a plan to leverage my mainstream journalism asset. I would write a BusinessWeek article explaining Why Twitter Matters. But instead of calling up the usual sources, like @jayrosen_nyu, @jeffjarvis, and @biz (Twitter co-founder Biz Stone), I would research the piece on Twitter. I would tweet topic sentences for each paragraph, and the Twittersphere would respond with examples, links, and insights. Hopefully, they'd discuss and argue. Through this process, Twitter would write the story. Word would quickly spread about this story, and people who wanted to participate would follow me. I would catch up to Steve Rubel, or even pass him! I'd be hoisted up in the nugget economy.

It turned out that turning 250 tweets into a coherent article took a lot of work. But it worked. The article went mildly viral and my Twitter following quintupled, finally reaching 1,000. My evil strategy worked. And I even won a minor magazine award for the story. (I'll note, in passing, that traditional journalism awards carry zero weight in the nugget economy, not unless they're branding giants, like Pulitzers. If I were still focussed on nuggets, I'd trade my dusty old Overseas Press Award for 10,000 Twitter followers in a minute.)

Months after that triumph, the economy cratered and BusinessWeek spiraled toward death. I left after Bloomberg snapped it up for barely the price of a Superbowl commercial, and I got a book contract to write about IBM's Jeopardy computer, Watson. Since then, I've been doing books. That has removed me from the nugget economy. Much of what I'm doing is vaguely secret. For instance, I'm co-writing a healthcare book that Penguin will publish next spring. But they're not publicizing it. So I don't either. As a result, I don't generate good targeted nuggets. And my Twitter presence has degenerated into the occasional note about my life, a wine I drank in France, a slideshow from Africa. I'm a scattered Tweeter, virtually lapsed.

Now that I think about it, though, I should jump back on. I have a novel coming out next spring, The Boost. Maybe if I break down the first chapter into 150 nuggets.... No, really, I should get serious about this.

But this social media marketing is so exhausting, don't you think?







add comment link to post share:

Photos from France
November 7, 2013General


We took a week in France, and traveled a lot more than usual in that time. We started in Avignon, drove down to Narbonne, stopping for lunch in Nimes. Then we dipped into the Pyrenees on a personal quest, before hurrying up to Lyon, mostly to eat, and then finishing in Paris.

All in all, a wonderful time. Below, a picture of the best bottle of wine we had on the trip which, oddly enough, was at the worst restaurant, a touristy place with slovenly service in Avignon. 


The second best came at the best restaurant, Le Viverais in Lyon. Some might notice that we ordered the Cote du Rhone in Avignon and wine from the Avignon area when we were dining on the cote of the Rhone. Rookie mistake. Still, no complaints. 


We had a nice last dinner at Astier, in Paris (below), in the 11th arrondissement. The wine list, though, was terrible, at least for those wanting to spend less than $80 on a bottle. We paid about $55 for a Cotes de Rhone that tasted like two-buck-chuck


add comment link to post share:

Is Bill Clinton today's Joe Dimaggio?
October 21, 2013General

I was listening to Slacker as I cooked last night, and Mrs. Robinson came on. I remember hearing the song when I saw the movie, The Graduate, before going to summer camp in 1968. The most famous line: 

"Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you..."


Dimaggio and Monroe

That got me to thinking about time. When I heard that song, I was 12. Joe Dimaggio had been retired from baseball for 17 years. Lots had happened in the interval. TV was born, and went from B&W to color. Dimaggio had married Marilyn Monroe, divorced her, and she had killed herself. The Kennedy presidency, the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam war, the assassinations. A lot had happened. Rock and Music was just a form of southern blues when Dimaggio retired. Now we had the Doors' Light My Fire, the Beatles' Sgt Peppers, Motown.

These were huge changes. So when Simon & Garfunkel sang about Joe Dimaggio, it evoked values from a distant time. But it was only 17 years. Maybe it seemed far back just because I was young. Did it seem so distant to people who were then in their 50s? I ask, because if you mention a figure from 1996, it seems to me almost like yesterday.

This led me to wonder how 12-year-olds today would regard a historical figure from the 1990s. The world has certainly changed a lot since then. The Internet has exploded, as has 9/11 and all of its repercussions, the Obama election, the global economic collapse. Kids today have been living their share of history. So which name would evoke for them what Joe Dimaggio's did for me?

I thought about sports figures who retired back then. Joe Montana, Cal Ripken? Nowhere close. Michael Jordan? Closer, no doubt. Then I considered a different realm, which led me to Bill Clinton. He was president in a time of (relative) peace and strong economic growth. It was pre-9-11. Is he today's Dimaggio? I have no idea.

***

A couple of notes, comparing '68 to '51. The number one hit in 51 was Patti Page's Tennessee Waltz. In 1968? The Beatles' Hello Goodbye. (I was going to embed it here, because their outfits are priceless. But the video includes a 30-second Vidal Sassoon ad I didn't feel like hosting.)


add comment link to post share:

Nelson Rockefeller's strange choices
October 19, 2013General


Imagine living in a place with a view like this with all the money you could ever want. While you're at it, imagine that you have a fabulous art collection, with enormous Warhol portraits of you and your wife, and lots of Picassos, including a set of intricately woven tapestries based on his paintings and overseen by the master himself. Nelson Rockefeller had all that, and he decided to remodel a dank basement at his family estate, Kykuit, to house the collection. 

Here in New Jersey, we have a split-level house worth only a fraction of one of Rockefeller's canvases. And yet there is not one room here that is uglier or more depressing than the basement in which he housed his art collection. (One exception might my "office," a converted laundry room.) We were told on our tour of Kykuit yesterday that Rockefeller had the architect Philip Johnson help him design the space. The result is a claustrophic corridon with no windows, ceilings hung at about seven feet and lined with ugly ceiling tiles. 

He had plenty of money to build a beautiful space for his art. He had hundreds of acres with spectacular views of the Hudson, or, looking in the other direction, the family's "reversible" nine-hole golf course bordered by forest. Yet he stored his art in the basement. Maybe it felt "modern" to him, a respite from the old stuff upstairs. Maybe he wanted a quiet place he could wander to in the middle of the night, in his bathrobe and slippers, and have a drink.

The larger point for me is that the beauty we experience has more to do with the choices we make than the resources at hand.

One other note about Nelson. He did what he could to add modern comforts to this grandfather's mansion. He dug a couple of extra swimming pools in the garden (since buried) and installed false book shelves in the study, which open up to show a color television. What a throwback it is. A state-of-the-art from the late sixties, it's probably 25 inches, maybe 27. Again, I thought, this guy had all the money in the world, and he had to watch the kind of TV that people today leave out on the sidewalk, hoping against hope that someone will pick it up.

In Nelson's defense, have to say that he placed statues beautifully.  



add comment link to post share:




©2014 Stephen Baker Media, All rights reserved.     Site by Infinet Design







Kirkus - Kirkus Reviews

Andrew Dunn - Bloomberg News

Culture Mob - Dan Sampson

Shelfari (Amazon) - Tom Nissley

read more reviews



The Boost: an excerpt
- April 15, 2014


My horrible Superbowl weekend, in perspective
- February 3, 2014


My coming novel: Boosting human cognition
- May 30, 2013


Why Nate Silver is never wrong
- November 8, 2012


The psychology behind bankers' hatred for Obama
- September 10, 2012


"Corporations are People": an op-ed
- August 16, 2011


Wall Street Journal excerpt: Final Jeopardy
- February 4, 2011


Why IBM's Watson is Smarter than Google
- January 9, 2011


Rethinking books
- October 3, 2010


The coming privacy boom
- August 17, 2010


The appeal of virtual
- May 18, 2010


My next book: IBM's Jeopardy mission
- March 22, 2010