Posted on February 13, 2016 by lewisshepherd
Supreme Court Justice Scalia passed away today. My wife Kathryn Ballentine Shepherd, a semi-retired attorney, has worked at the Supreme Court since 2003 (in the Curator’s Office, giving Chambers tours and lectures on the history of the Court and its Justices). Through her I’ve met and spent quite a bit of time with Justice Scalia over the years, and always enjoyed his writing and analyses, his humor and humanity. You see here a recent photo of Kathryn joking with him at the Supreme Court – he really seemed to love spending time with her, joshing with her in front of crowds (perhaps because she was a smart lawyer as well), and he always seemed to steer visiting friends to her for a “private” tour.
I was at Chief Justice Rehnquist’s funeral in 2005; he was deeply loved by the Supreme Court “family.” On today’s Court, the most-loved by them in my observation: Antonin Scalia.
One of the funnier moments in my recollection was at a 2006 Supreme Court Historical Society reenactment of the Aaron Burr treason trial held in the Court’s actual Chambers one evening, with Justice Scalia playing the role of the actual trial judge, Chief Justice John Marshall. Scalia peered down from the bench as the DC attorneys recruited for the event began to play out their own roles – among them Scalia’s own son Eugene, a powerhouse lawyer in his own right. “Chief Justice Marshall” (Justice Scalia) looked over his glasses and boomed out, “OK, who’s next – it says here your name is, um, Scall-ee-a, Scall-eye-a, what kind of name is that??” The audience roared with laughter. That was the common reaction to his ever-present, ever-witty humor.
For seven years I’ve recycled an old Reagan-era joke (it was originally about Thurgood Marshall), updating it for the Obama Administration and asking, “Who’s the most important conservative in Washington DC? Justice Scalia’s doctor.” In today’s hyper-politicized era, we’re about to see why….
Filed under: Government, Society, Technology | Tagged: Antonin Scalia, legal, politics, Scalia, Supreme Court | 8 Comments »
Posted on July 28, 2015 by lewisshepherd
I’ve had several special opportunities in the last few weeks to think a bit more about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its future import for us remaining humans. Below I’m using my old-fashioned neurons to draw some non-obvious links.
The cause for reflection is the unexpected parallel between two events I’ve been involved in recently: (1) an interview of Elon Musk which I conducted for a conference in DC; and (2) the grand opening in London of a special art exhibit at the British Library which my wife and I are co-sponsoring. They each have an AI angle and I believe their small lessons demonstrate something intriguingly hopeful about a future of machine superintelligence…
Filed under: innovation, Society, Technology | Tagged: ai, art, artificial intelligence, British Library, Burning Man, David Normal, deep learning, Elon Musk, Technology | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 5, 2015 by lewisshepherd
In addition to periodic think-pieces here at Shepherd’s Pi, I also contribute a monthly online column over at SIGNAL Magazine on topics relating to intelligence. This month I keyed off a recent discussion I had onstage at the 2015 AFCEA Spring Intelligence Symposium with Elon Musk, particularly a colloquy we had on implications of the emerging cleavage (post-Edward Snowden) between Silicon Valley technology companies and their erstwhile innovation partners, U.S. intelligence agencies.
Filed under: Government, innovation, Intelligence, Technology | Tagged: analytics, bigdata, Government, innovation, Intelligence, Library of Congress, search, Technology, Twitter | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 8, 2015 by lewisshepherd
I just published a short piece over at SIGNAL Magazine on an increasingly public debate over artificial intelligence, which the editor gave a great Shakespearean title echoing Hamlet’s timeless question “To be, or not to be”: Continue reading
Filed under: Intelligence, R&D, Technology | Tagged: ai, artificial intelligence, Betty Sapp, Elon Musk, Intelligence, NRO, Technology | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 16, 2015 by lewisshepherd
Question: Why did Elon Musk just change his Twitter profile photo? I notice he’s now seeming to evoke James Bond or Dr. Evil:
I’m not certain, but I think I know the answer why. Read on… Continue reading
Filed under: Government, Intelligence, R&D, Technology | Tagged: AFCEA, Elon Musk, Government, IC, innovation, Intelligence, research, SpaceX | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 6, 2015 by lewisshepherd
A few days ago I travelled down to Orlando – just escaping the last days of the DC winter. I was invited to participate in a conference hosted by the Intelligence Community’s Center of Academic Excellence (IC CAE) at the University of Central Florida. The title of my speech was “The Internet, 2015-2025: Business and Policy Challenges for the Private Sector.” But I actually learned as much as I taught, maybe more. Continue reading
Filed under: Intelligence, Society, Technology | Tagged: cybersecurity, future, Intelligence, research, Technology, UCF | 2 Comments »