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Disposable Life: Max Silverman

My approach to the ques­tion of dis­pos­able lives is this: In an age of late cap­i­tal­ism, advanced tech­nol­o­gy, and mass media, are lives eas­i­er to dis­pose of now than in the past? And my response is, unfor­tu­nate­ly, yes it is eas­i­er now. And this isn’t sim­ply because of the tech­nol­o­gy that is avail­able today that sim­ply wasn’t avail­able in the past.

Beyond Legal Talismans

Once we under­stand that legal tal­is­mans are pro­tec­tive invo­ca­tions, we have to be crit­i­cal of them. Even the ones we like. The short­hand is not com­pre­hen­si­ble to users. And the short­hand is not com­pre­hen­si­ble to peo­ple more gen­er­al­ly.

What Should We Know About Algorithms?

When I go talk about this, the thing that I tell peo­ple is that I’m not wor­ried about algo­rithms tak­ing over human­i­ty, because they kind of suck at a lot of things, right. And we’re real­ly not that good at a lot of things we do. But there are things that we’re good at. And so the exam­ple that I like to give is Amazon rec­om­mender sys­tems. You all run into this on Netflix or Amazon, where they rec­om­mend stuff to you. And those algo­rithms are actu­al­ly very sim­i­lar to a lot of the sophis­ti­cat­ed arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence we see now. It’s the same under­neath.