MSD Podcast #24: Home Pods, Hate Speech and Depressed Robots

Mindset Digital
Mindset Digital // June 28, 2017

Episode 24: Three Things: Home Pods, YouTube’s ad policy wrt Hate Speech and Depressed Robots

In this Three Things episode of the mIndset Digital Podcast, Matt Weiner, Hope Madden and Michael Harwick each take four minutes to get creative director Pete Brown up to speed on a variety of recent happenings in the digital world, including Apple’s Home Pod, YouTube’s new policy for advertising on hate speech videos and a chatbot who may help you feel better about yourself. Check it out!


Apple HomePod

Apple Unveils Home Pod, it’s Amazon Alexa competitor (CNN)

Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs Google Home (Cnet)

Why Apple’s HomePod won’t just collect dust on your shelf (TechCrunch)

Harmon Kardon teases its Cortana-powered speaker (The Verge)

YouTube clarifies Hate Speech definition

YouTube clarifies Hate Speech definition and which videos won’t be monetized (ArsTechnica)

YouTube cracks down on ads placed on hate speech videos (Wired UK)

The YouTube dilemma: When digital advertising and objectionable content collide (Forbes)



The Chatbot Therapist will see you now (Wired)

Forget your shrink; Woebot will see you now (Cnet) 

A Stanford researcher is pioneering a dramatic shift in how we treat depression (Business Insider) 

Delivering cognitive behaviroal therapy to young adults with symptoms of depression or anxiety using a fully automated conversational agent (Woebot): A Randomized Controlled Trial  (Peer-reviewed study in JMIR Mental Health)


Michael Harwick’s Top 5 Depressed Robots in Popular Culture

A ranking of famously depressed robots in pop culture, though there are MANY others who could have made the list.

1) Marvin, The Paranoid Android – The robot consigned to manual labor onboard the Heart of Gold in Douglas Adams’s hilariously bleak Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books. His depression stems from being made responsible for no task that can fully engage his vast intelligence, despite a planet-sized brain that makes him 50,000 times more intelligent than a human. In his words, “My capacity for happiness, you could fit into a matchbox without taking out the matches first.”

2) Butter Robot – A breakout and infinitely meme-able character from the first season of Rick and Morty, Butter Robot’s sole purpose is to pass the butter, and Rick is unafraid to tell him so. Unfortunately, the revelation of Butter Robot’s limited utility causes it to have a minor existential crisis. Happily, no real-life version of Butter Robot has yet to develop a crippling self-awareness of its own limited agency (“Yeah, welcome to the club, pal”).

3) Wall-E – Disney’s wide-eyed mobile trash compactor protecting a post-apocalpytic terrestrial wasteland has his cube-filled world turned upside down with the arrival of a sleek and shiny iBot who goes by EVE. But when she fulfills her directive eons before Wall-E can possibly carry out his cleanup, he enters a lovelorn depression that leads him on an intergalactic quest to save his electric dream girl – and humanity.

4) Dolores (Westworld) – Jonathan Nolan’s mind-bending reboot of the Michael Crichton cult film centers on the developing consciousness of an artificially intelligent Alice in Wonderland. Trapped in a narrative loop that forces her to see her father get killed over and over again and endure countless species of physical and sexual abuse, it’s no wonder the name she has been given means “sorrows.”

5) David (A.I. Artificial Intelligence) – Spielberg’s take on the late Stanley Kubrick’s final existential drama met with mixed reviews upon release, but time has been kind to the world’s most expensive Pinocchio. As a permanent child, David’s sole purpose is to gratify the emotional needs of childless parents, but the inventive script asks what happens when he, like most humans who live long enough, ends up an orphan. Freud couldn’t have written a better account of the need for parental love.


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