The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
Robots run amok: It’s the doomsday scenario of countless science-fiction tales.
It’s no joke. Technological advances are rekindling “a long-standing debate over whether we are on the verge of an ‘intelligence explosion,’ in which smart machines begin reproducing themselves like in James Cameron’s Terminator movies.”
In this weekend’s Q&A, a researcher at San Diego’s Neurosciences Institute tells us that we should be concerned about the threat of runaway artificial intelligence.
A San Diego charter school hasn’t needed artificial intelligence to boost test scores among students. It’s success has led to push for an expansion.
But there’s a problem in the eyes of education officials: The school is racially imbalanced, and they fear any expansion might continue that trend.
Here’s the twist: the school’s students are 93 percent African-American, and apparently all of those are of Somali descent.
A charter school advocate thinks the district is missing the point.
In commentary, contrarian columnist Rich Toscano continues to tweak the conventional wisdom. He looks back at the early 1990s, another time of declining home prices, and finds plenty of evidence of false starts during the spring and summer. Maybe we’re in one now too.
Toscano’s column, by the way, refers to the Case-Shiller index, which often appears in our housing coverage. Its co-creator is Robert Shiller, a Yale economics professor who just appeared on “The Daily Show” to talk about the U.S. treasury secretary’s home-selling savvy (poor) and taste in bathroom tile (worse).
Toscano likes to tweak his target, but our columnist Scott Lewis prefers to needle them. Incessantly. He’s been doing just that to Mayor Jerry Sanders recently, challenging the mayor’s efforts to lower the bill the city will face from its pension system.
Sanders finally responded, setting off a tweetstorm between Lewis and the Mayor’s Office. Twitter could become “a constant, open-to-everyone press conference” that gives people a chance to challenge those in charge, Lewis writes. When they do, politicians will ignore it at their peril.
Elsewhere, the U-T reports that Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña seems to have noticed something: There’s a lot of traffic in Pacific Beach, where she lives, and it’s hard to get in and out of there. (Who knew?) So she’s off to live in Mission Valley.
Her move makes her eligible to run for an open county supervisor seat, as she has announced she plans to do. Someone at the U-T has a good memory: The paper digs up an eight-year-old letter to the editor that suggests Saldaña was no fan of carpetbagging, at least back then.
The Coffee Collection (If you missed these good reads this week, check them out over a cup of java).
I Dreamed a Dream: No, you don’t need to pinch yourself. The first signs of an improving economy are starting to appear. Our story provides the perspective you need to understand what might come next.
Here Comes the Fun: After-school programs can have all the appeal of the after-school TV specials that many of us grew up with: They’ve got a message and you have to listen. Ugh.
But in Southeast San Diego, a teen center is throwing conventional wisdom on its ear.
Quote of the week: “With all those assets and the nukes [we have], the next step to making us a world power is a warm-water port. I propose that we buy San Diego for $450 million.” — Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, making a tongue-in-cheek (we hope!) bid for our fair city.