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From the archives

Liberal Interpretations

Making sense of Justin Trudeau and his party

Clock Watching

The nuclear threat lingers still

Spending Power

Can compassion and efficiency be combined in the use of public funds?

Brendan Howley

Brendan Howley spent a decade covering covert operations and white-collar crime for The Fifth Estate. He co-invented HUME, a context software engine.

Articles by
Brendan Howley

Lawgivers of the Mind

The moral coding of artificial intelligence July | August 2020
In the entranceway to our house, my significant other, a long-time wearer of the smart hat, keeps her hat stand. It’s a mock Victorian bust: on the surface of the ceramic head lies a phrenology map, created by one L. N. Fowler, Ludgate Circus, London, and “entered at Stationers Hall” sometime around 1850. Natives of upstate New…

Intelligence Test

Anticipating an artificial world November 2019
My dad was a mathematical ­logician, one of the key minds in IBM’s heyday, an expert on modal logic and its data processing applications. What many of his colleagues didn’t know is that the barrel-chested wisecracking guy with the Liverpudlian accent in the office next door was an entirely self-taught man. Fortunately for him, he had a…

Justice League

Defining a new international crime July | August 2019
Dateline: Serbia and Montenegro, September 1993. I’d landed in the first of the “CNN wars” — prequel to Operation Iraqi Freedom’s video game cinematography, to atrocities as media bait, to mass murder via technology “because we can” — set against medieval enmities and Balkan hyperinflation at an impossible level. In the parlance of the day, but before the Facebook-­era neologism “weaponized,” the…