Archive (Page 2 of 8)

The Conversation #63 — Kim Stanley Robinson

I vacillate…between think­ing that we’re doomed because we have giv­en our­selves over to a stu­pid sys­tem that’s now backed up by guns. And then a much more utopi­an view that we’ve always lived in stu­pid sys­tems and that we’re always mak­ing them bet­ter.

The Conversation #61 – Rainey Reitman

As we’ve moved into increas­ing­ly dig­i­tal spaces, so online worlds, we’re mov­ing away from your tra­di­tion­al phys­i­cal spaces where you have pub­lic streets; where you have pub­lic squares; where peo­ple can go to protest, and into areas, if you would call them that, that are entire­ly con­trolled by cor­po­ra­tions.

Alternate Futures

The unre­lent­ing pace of tech­nolo­gies is deeply iron­ic, giv­en the orig­i­nal intent of them to make our lives more effi­cient and give us more time. But we can all attest that the actu­al effect of this esca­la­tion of effi­cien­cy has been to increase the pace of work and play in our worlds.

The Oppenheimer Moment

Where did this evil stuff come from? Are we evil? I’m per­fect­ly will­ing to stip­u­late you are not evil. Neither is your boss evil. Nor is Larry Page or Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. And yet the results of our work, our best most altru­is­tic work, often turns evil when it’s deployed in the larg­er world. We go to work every day, gen­uine­ly expect­ing to make the world a bet­ter place with our pow­er­ful tech­nol­o­gy. But some­how, evil is sneak­ing in despite our good inten­tions.

Geek of the Week: Marshall T. Rose

It’s kind of like we could have the Congress of the United State pass a law with regards to time trav­el, but let’s face it you know, no one has a time trav­el machine so what’s the point of it? You can’t change phys­i­cal laws by mak­ing admin­is­tra­tive pol­i­cy. Why should you think you can stan­dard­ized com­pli­cat­ed tech­nol­o­gy with­out under­stand­ing it?

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.

Virtual Futures Salon: Fucking Machines

We are here to talk about fuck­ing machines. In London, on a fog­gy evening, on a Tuesday, for yet anoth­er debate about fuck­ing machines. Another curat­ed dis­cus­sion under­lined by our own human inse­cu­ri­ty about ver­sions of us in sil­i­ca. Fucking anthro­po­mor­phic fuck­ing machines. Machines that fuck us. And let’s face it, machines are already fuck­ing us, or so we seem to be told.

Virtual Futures Salon: Beyond Bitcoin, with Vinay Gupta

Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the peo­ple have gone from not hav­ing it around to hav­ing it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a lit­tle younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t real­ly need to be explained. It does how­ev­er need to be con­tex­tu­al­ized.

Artificial Intelligence is Hard to See: Social & Ethical Impacts of AI

The big con­cerns that I have about arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence are real­ly not about the Singularity, which frankly com­put­er sci­en­tists say is…if it’s pos­si­ble at all it’s hun­dreds of years away. I’m actu­al­ly much more inter­est­ed in the effects that we are see­ing of AI now.

Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super-open, absolute­ly non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was adver­tis­ing.