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Building a better 'bot': Artificial intelligence helps human groups -- ScienceDaily

In a series of experiments using teams of human players and robotic AI players, the inclusion of "bots" boosted the performance of human groups and the individual players, researchers found. The study appears in the May 18 edition of the journal Nature. "Much of the current conversation about artificial intelligence has to do with whether AI is a substitute for human beings. We believe the conversation should be about AI as a complement to human beings," said Nicholas Christakis, co-director of the Yale Institute for Network Science (YINS) and senior author of the study. Christakis is a professor of sociology, ecology & evolutionary biology, biomedical engineering, and medicine at Yale. The study adds to a growing body of Yale research into the complex dynamics of human social networks and how those networks influence everything from economic inequality to group violence. In this case, Christakis and first author Hirokazu Shirado conducted an experiment involving an online game that required groups of people to coordinate their actions for a collective goal. The human players also interacted with anonymous bots that were programmed with three levels of behavioral randomness -- meaning the AI bots sometimes deliberately made mistakes. In addition, sometimes the bots were placed in different parts of the social network. More than 4,000 people participated in the experiment, which used a Yale-developed software called breadboard. "We mixed people and machines into one system, interacting on a level playing field," Shirado explained. "We wanted to ask, 'Can you program the bots in simple ways?' and does that help human performance?" The answer to both questions is yes, the researchers said. Not only did the inclusion of bots aid the overall performance of human players, it proved particularly beneficial when tasks became more difficult, the study found. The bots accelerated the median time for groups to solve problems by 55.6%. Furthermore, the researchers said, the experiment showed a cascade effect of improved performance by humans in the study. People whose performance improved when working with the bots subsequently influenced other human players to raise their game.

One Year Later, Erika Christakis Breaks Her Silence on Yale Halloween Controversy - FIRE

Christakis’ Halloween email of last year merely asked students, in a thoughtful manner, to consider whether it was the appropriate role of a university to police students’ Halloween costume choices.

As A Poor Kid From The Rust Belt, Yale Law School Brought Me Face-to-face With Radical Inequality

. A student survey found that over 95 percent of Yale Law’s students qualified as upper-middle-class or higher, and most of them qualified as outright wealthy. Obviously, I was neither upper-middle-class nor wealthy. Very few people at Yale Law School are like me. They may look like me, but for all of the Ivy League’s obsession with diversity, virtually everyone—black, white, Jewish, Muslim, whatever— comes from intact families who never worry about money. Early during my first year, after a late night of drinking with my classmates, we all decided to stop at a New Haven chicken joint. Our large group left an awful mess: dirty plates, chicken bones, ranch dressing and soda splattered on the tables, and so on. I couldn’t imagine leaving it all for some poor guy to clean up, so I stayed behind. Of a dozen classmates, only one person helped me: my buddy Jamil, who also came from a poorer background. Afterward, I told Jamil that we were probably the only people in the school who’d ever had to clean up someone else’s mess. He just nodded his head in silent agreement.

Yale blues

“The reason I chose Yale is that Yale School of Management was known for nonprofit and social business,” says Mao. “I naively thought they cared about society, that they cared about people, that they cared about their students. But my experience didn’t tell me anything about that.”

Yale Lecturer Resigns After Email on Halloween Costumes

“I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious,” she wrote, “a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?”

Email From Erika Christakis: "Dressing Yourselves," email to Silliman College (Yale) Students on Halloween Costumes - FIRE

I don’t wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation[…] […]But I wanted to share my thoughts with you from a totally different angle, as an educator concerned with the developmental stages of childhood and young adulthood. As a former preschool teacher, for example, it is hard for me to give credence to a claim that there is something objectionably “appropriative” about a blonde-haired child’s wanting to be Mulan for a day.

Tom Wolfe leaves Yale

e re-writes his thesis. He lards it up with academic jargon and creates a phony emotional distance from his material (he refers to “an American writer E. Hemingway”), and it is accepted. Then he flees Yale as fast as he can. He’s entering his late 20s with only the faintest idea of what he might do to earn a living. But he’s ambitious, eager to find his place in the world. His father introduces him to business associates. Wolfe writes to the head of a sales institute and sends “excerpts from work I have done on the subject of Communist activity among American writers and other ‘intellectuals.’ ” He applies for jobs in public relations. He writes to American Airlines to inquire about a post. He even considers, briefly, a position teaching economics

Why do you have to be so accomplished to get into college?

I graduated from Yale in 1984, although I’d never get in today. It occurs to me that I’d also not likely get into Colby College, where I have been a professor for almost 20 years, or Tufts, where I worked as an adjunct for seven years before that. After all, I was just a smart kid. I got good grades and did well, but not extraordinarily, on the SATs. I was the editor of the school literary magazine and wrote for the school newspaper. I didn’t play any sports. I thought of those in need with distress but that was the sum total of my humanitarian efforts. I babysat a little, read a lot. The only thing I really excelled at was having no friends. But being a bright, socially awkward teenager won’t, it seems, get you very far anymore.

Key to great "Harvard sucks" prank was failure and new recruits

Unfortunately, many of their original collaborators from the year before were discouraged by the original plan's untimely demise. According to Kai, a new group of Yale students was recruited for the prank at Harvard Stadium. "Most of the people who helped us our junior year didn't want to help senior year, after seeing the failure," Kai told Business Insider. "So it became a mix of close friends and freshmen, who hadn't seen the failed plan."

Vietnam Memorial and Woolsey Hall at Yale

The power of a name was very much with me at the time, partly because of the Memorial Rotunda at Yale. In Woolsey Hall, the walls are inscribed with the names of all the Yale alumni who have been killed in wars. I had never been able to resist touching the names cut into these marble walls, and no matter how busy or crowded the place is, a sense of quiet, a reverence, always surrounds those names. Throughout my freshman and sophomore years, the stonecutters were carving in by hand the names of those killed in the Vietnam War, and I think it left a lasting impression on me…the sense of the power of a name.
Only 831 students enrolled in Yale College last year came from families below that $65,000 threshold. That figure, 15 percent of the student body, is virtually unchanged from Tynan’s and my class over a decade before it. In the class of 2017, an additional 16 percent of the student body comes from families making between $66,000 and $120,000. The remaining 69 percent of the class comes from families that earn more than $120,000 per year.
Though the program has been available for students’ use for the last three semesters, it was only last Wednesday that the brothers were approached about the website. University Registrar Gabriel Olszewski sent them an email citing concerns that the website was “making YC course evaluation available to many who are not authorized to view this information,” asking how they obtained the information, who gave them permission to use it and where the information is hosted. In subsequent exchanges Olszewski raised concerns over the website’s unauthorized use of the Yale logo and the words “Yale” and “Bluebook,” the prominence of class and professor ratings, the application’s accessibility to non-undergraduates, and the fact that it wasn’t hosted on Yale’s servers. When the brothers met with Olszewski two days after the first email, they said they were told that the website had to be shut down.