Finally, a Machine That Can Finish Your Sentence

These new language systems learn by analyzing millions of sentences written by humans. A system built by OpenAI, a lab based in San Francisco, analyzed thousands of self-published books, including romance novels, science fiction and more. Google’s Bert analyzed these same books plus the length and breadth of Wikipedia. Each system learned a particular skill…

Slowing Global Growth May Lessen the Threat of Rising Rates

Get the DealBook newsletter to make sense of major business and policy headlines — and the power-brokers who shape them.__________ One of the biggest threats to stock prices is suddenly looking less scary. Investors’ concerns about rising interest rates have helped fuel the recent selling that has left the S&P 500 stock index nearly 6.6…

In ‘Digital India,’ Government Hands Out Free Phones to Win Votes

Mr. Hussain said that a single client had hired the entire call center after the state stopped its surveys. He said that the deal had been struck by his boss, the company’s managing director, and he claimed not to know the identity of the client or the specifics of the contract. “We have rented out…

Better Local Journalism, by Local Reporters, Is the Goal of a New Database

She hopes word of mouth will be a catalyst. “National editors are an ‘if you build it they will come’ sort of thing,” Ms. Baird said when asked how she planned to encourage larger news organizations to use the database. The database could also be a boon for regional publications. Christina C. Smith, an assistant…

The Week in Business: Facebook Is on the Defensive, and Black Friday Sales Start Early

Nov. 18—25 What’s Next? Brexit’s Mayday In Britain, the challenges will continue for Prime Minister Theresa May as she attempts to woo support for her much-derided Brexit proposal. She has finally secured cabinet approval for her long-awaited plan — but critics argue that there are too many concessions to the European Union, which may prevent…

Making Business More Colorful – The New York Times

Times Insider delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how news, features and opinion come together at The New York Times. The idea behind the recent redesign of the Sunday Business section is that business is colorful — with rich characters and compelling stories. Of several new columns that debuted last week, the one that takes that premise…

Zuckerberg Defends Company in Friday Meeting with Employees

SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg fiercely defended Facebook in a question-and-answer session with employees on Friday afternoon, pushing back against criticism of the company in the wake of a New York Times investigation into how it reacted to Russian influence operations. In an hourlong videoconference broadcast to Facebook offices around the world, Mr. Zuckerberg responded…

What if Holidays Could Save the Planet?

It didn’t take long after Hurricane Sandy swept through New York in late 2012 for holiday shoppers to return to downtown boutiques and Fifth Avenue stores. I, on the other hand, stayed home. Maybe it was the waiter I met who lost his apartment when a wave roared through his living room. Or perhaps it…

Women Who Become Widows Are Faring Better Financially

The experience has paid dividends beyond the $50 each throws in at every gathering. “We meet once a month to discuss our portfolio, and everybody has a stock they study, so we have brief reports,” she said. “One of the things we try to avoid is having too many stocks and too little invested in…

When It’s Time for Giving, Some People Circle Around

On election night, Amy Rowland and 250 others gathered to wait for results at Dumbo Loft, an old industrial building-turned-event space in Brooklyn. While some were focused on Senate and House races, Ms. Rowland was nervously awaiting numbers from Michigan’s state election. Since February, she had been part of a group of 210 who were…