Posted inTechnology

You thought HAL was creepy? Meet Sydney

Reading Time: 4 minutes We’ve already seen what havoc technology-exploiting evil operators can wreak on people and societies. More than 70 million presumably-sensible Americans voted in 2020 for a presidential candidate whose entire political message was—and continues to be—built on easily-shredded tissues of falsehoods.

Yet considering that advances in AI are currently sprinting at breakneck speed into reality, Trump’s seduction of a huge swath of the American electorate was decidedly low-tech.

Posted inMeaning & Purpose

AI is here: Are we finally ready to rethink the value of being human?

Reading Time: 6 minutes It’s been a good few months for machine-learning software—and a confusing one for the humans trying to live their best lives around it. Last fall, digital art generators like Midjourney and DALL-E drew the alarm of illustrators, photographers, and other digital artists: not just because the algorithms were trained on data not expressly sanctioned by […]

Posted inTechnology

Anonymity, privacy, transparency, integrity: Do we even know the future we want?

Reading Time: 8 minutes In the late 2000s, research blossomed around our use of online avatars. Did our videogame icons and social media profiles represent our actual selves, our ideal selves, or something else entirely? And did they have a reciprocal impact, a “Proteus effect” that transformed self-perception? Did we change in the real world based how our online […]

Posted inPolitics

Vote for character, not shady characters

Reading Time: 3 minutes When you go to the polls to vote in Tuesday’s midterm election, if you didn’t vote early, keep one word in mind: character. The critical importance of that under-emphasized virtue to the health of the republic is eloquently underscored in a wise (as always) essay by David French in The Atlantic magazine’s “The Third Rail” […]

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