Babysitter vetting and voice-analysis: Have we reached peak AI snakeoil?

The ever-useful Gartner Hype Cycle identified an inflection point in the life of any new technology: the "Peak of Inflated Expectations," attained just before the sharp dropoff into the "Trough of Disillusionment"; I've lived through the hype-cycles of several kinds of technology and one iron-clad correlate of the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" is the "Peak of Huckster Snakeoil Salesmen": the moment at which con-artists just add a tech buzzword to some crooked scam and head out into the market to net a fortune before everyone gets wise to the idea that the shiny new hypefodder isn't a magic bullet. Read the rest

1950s live television: tricks of carnival game swindlers

This is a fascinating seven-minute segment from a 1950s television show called You Asked for It, which exposes the tricks of crooked carnival concession games. Robert Haskell, the vice president of the Society of American Magicians at the time, demonstrated the props and chicanery used by dishonest midway game operators that make it impossible to win.

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