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The first instinct is to make the connection. During the referendum in the UK back in June, the cooler heads, the let's-try-to-work-together folk, the conventionally wise were supposed to win. But, in the end, the people advocating for Britain to "Remain" in the European Union lost. And those calling for Britain's exit, or "Brexit," prevailed. Yesterday, the world woke up to what was billed as another stunning referendum result, 5,000 miles away, where voters in Colombia rejected a widely-hailed peace deal with FARC leftist rebels to end a civil conflict that has consumed the country for more than 50 years. One reporter called the results in Bogota a "Brexit-style backlash."


What's going on with this whole democracy thing? Darío Acevedo Carmona, writing in top Colombian daily El Espectador, explained his vote rejecting the deal as a question of "dignity," in the face of an effort by the ruling government, global leaders and even the pope to jam the negotiated agreement down the throats of citizens. "What we who voted "no" to the deal want is to be listened to properly and be given serious consideration in any continuing peace discussions."


His remarks have the same whiff of sentiment as those espoused by people who voted for Brexit as a way to say "I am here. Don't tell me what to think."


Still, as The New Yorker correspondent Jon Lee Anderson notes, the Colombian referendum was different from Brexit because it needed voters to forgive the perpetrators of the war. Colombians, many of whom were directly affected by decades of violence, were being asked to effectively shake hands with the enemy. Still, it's hard to suppress the instinct to see a global trend here. Anderson's piece concludes with this warning from a Colombian voter: "First Brexit, now this," she said. "This means (Donald) Trump is going to win in the United States. What will you do?"

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Robot Artists And Us: Who Decides The Aesthetics Of AI?

Ai-Da is touted as the first bonafide robot artist. But should we consider her paintings and poetry original or creative? Is this even art at all?

Ai-Da at work

Leah Henrickson and Simone Natale

Ai-Da sits behind a desk, paintbrush in hand. She looks up at the person posing for her, and then back down as she dabs another blob of paint onto the canvas. A lifelike portrait is taking shape. If you didn’t know a robot produced it, this portrait could pass as the work of a human artist.

Ai-Da is touted as the “first robot to paint like an artist”, and an exhibition of her work called Leaping into the Metaverse opened at the Venice Biennale.

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