• Politics by numbers. On being the target of every time more sophisticated tracking campaigns.

When Tom Pitfield talks about the campaign of Justin Trudeau, who was recently elected Canada's prime minister, he gets animated. Mr Trudeau's Liberal Party could not afford a lot of television time and spent much of its advertising budget on social media. That proved an inspired choice. "We would create an ad, see how people reacted to it on Facebook, tweak the content and test it again. On some days we would produce more than 50 different ads," explains Mr Pitfield, who was in charge of the campaign's digital side. This rapid feedback, he says, allowed his team to offer much more flexible and targeted messages than the competition.


A day after Microsoft introduced an innocent Artificial Intelligence chat robot to Twitter it has had to delete it after it transformed into an evil Hitler-loving, incestual sex-promoting, 'Bush did 9/11'-proclaiming robot. [...] Tay also asks her followers to 'fuck' her, and calls them 'daddy'. This is because her responses are learned by the conversations she has with real humans online - and real humans like to say weird stuff online and enjoy hijacking corporate attempts at PR. Other things she's said include: "Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have got now. donald trump is the only hope we've got", "Repeat after me, Hitler did nothing wrong" and "Ted Cruz is the Cuban Hitler...that's what I've heard so many others say".