Posted inClimate Crisis

Saudi Arabia surprises no one with its oil plans

Reading Time: 7 minutes It’s the sort of story you couldn’t get past a fiction editor as “realistic”, but which is nonetheless par for the course in our relentlessly self-destructive world: Ahead of COP28, the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference to be held from November 30 to December 12 in the United Arab Emirates, an undercover investigation has confirmed […]

Posted inClimate Crisis

Do we have the technology to ease our melting ice sheets?

Reading Time: 11 minutes This past year, news outlets have been reporting that initial predictions for polar ice melt were overly optimistic: ice sheets are melting much faster than models for the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report suggested. Irrespective of whether we achieve a low greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenario, or continue within intermediate […]

Posted inTechnology

Our AI future: What AI can and (probably) can’t do

Reading Time: 6 minutes The wildest claims about AI—both the optimistic and the pessimistic ones—are unlikely to come true. However, the technology has genuine potential both to liberate humans from toil, or to allow greed and bias to run wild. The solutions we need aren’t sci-fi constructs like Asimov’s three laws, but better laws and policies to guide the technology down beneficial paths.

Posted inTechnology

AI-driven internet opens floodgates for child sex abuse images

Reading Time: 5 minutes In the past week, recent reports and investigations have revealed a damning state of affairs for the role of so-called artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms in the child sex abuse material (CSAM) market. While machine learning software, including large language models like ChatGPT, has been the subject of great scrutiny as corporations test the limits on […]

Posted inTechnology

The ongoing ethical erosion of popular online platforms

Reading Time: 4 minutes Anti-corporate-monopoly and digital rights advocate Cory Doctorow calls it the “enshittification” lifecycle. First, a company caters to a demographic, offering free services to build a user base worth selling to investors. Then it caters to business clients at cost to the original users (maybe by scraping their data, or maybe by clawing back free features […]

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