Building Better Algorithms Requires Human Judgment (and Values)

At the end of last week Facebook announced that it would stop having humans write summaries of trending news stories. This follows previous allegations that the selection of trending stories had been changed to remove conservative ones. This is a good time to revisit some foundational questions about the spread of information in a digital world. First, it is too easy for information cascades to occur. It takes much less effort to like, share, retweet than it does to read, think and possibly even verify. In the language of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, the internet is geared towards, which is based on the emotional and instinctive systems in our brain. Any naive un-weighted algorithm for selecting trending topics will always amplify this problem. What could be done? An algorithm could over time determine who seems to be more prone to fact checking and thinking and could weight Continue reading "Building Better Algorithms Requires Human Judgment (and Values)"

SoftTech VC Closes $150M Across Two New Funds

Early in January 2016, I was thrilled to announce Stephanie Palmeri and Andy McLoughlin becoming Partners! At that time, we filed SEC Form Ds disclosing the creation of two new funds – SoftTech VC V and SoftTech Plus. We’re delighted to announce that both funds have closed at their hard cap, respectively $100M and $50M –  great news as we celebrate our 12-year anniversary. Most importantly, we are beyond excited by the myriad of new, radical innovations we see coming from early stage entrepreneurs and the opportunity we have to help them realize their vision with our active support and capital. To share a bit of background: we invest our funds on a 3-year investment cycle and will be wrapping up Fund IV (that held a final close a couple of years ago) as planned sometime in Q316. Why raise a fund when we had plenty of dry powder in
SoftTech VC Fund V Sectors
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