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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The tech engineers at Google have had a pretty good six months. In December, the company’s AlphaZero computer taught itself the strategy of chess in nine hours and licked the world’s best chess-playing computer, Stockfish, in a 100-game match. This spring has brought the innovation of Google Duplex, a device which programmers say can pass the Turing Test, or simulate real conversations with human beings without people catching on.

Stephen Colbert is impressed. But he can’t resist temptation to needle the big dog. Colbert plays a clip of Google Duplex in action, and we’re sad to say the dialogue has “white privilege” and “first-world problem solving” written all over its bytes.

In fact, Duplex (which plays second banana in the skit next to Netflix’s “hot robot” and a couple of Terminator gags) has mastered one of the staple characteristics of corporate America – insincerity. Backbone is forced to call foul after a vapid exchange in which the software confirms a hair appointment with itself. Can’t we program any soul into our machines?

Press play for Skynet, or at least hair net.

Donald Trump Jr.

Screenshot from Twitter

You've probably heard about Donald Trump's claim that his Democratic rival got "a big fat se onhot in the ass" before delivering a nearly perfect performance on a recently televised town hall. Or his more recent demand that Joe Biden get a "drug test" before their debate on Tuesday night. Having spent months lowering expectations for Biden, the Trumps are now busily defaming him as a junkie.

But that particular slur backfired spectacularly over the weekend when the Trump campaign posted a bizarre video of Don Jr. -- seemingly in a condition that called for rehab services. As his father might put it, "many people are saying" that the presidential spud looked and sounded like someone abusing a controlled substance. (His slurred message was disturbed too, something about an "army of able-bodied men and women" to intimidate voters).

It's both funny and sad to watch Don Jr. decompensate on Twitter. (More funny, though.)

Click and judge his condition for yourself.