February 22, 2020

Tech

"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."

"2019 was a great year for seeing what AI could do. Waymo deployed self-driving taxis to actual paying customers in Arizona. Bots from OpenAI and DeepMind beat the top professionals in two major esports games. A deep-learning algorithm performed..."

"Charlie Bracke can't remember a time when he wasn't into video games. During his childhood, his passion for them didn't cause him any serious problems. But in college at Indiana University Bloomington, everything changed. If he skipped class or..."

"Vox Slack on a Friday is probably like a lot of office Slacks on Fridays: The chatter there can get a bit … unproductive. And one Friday a while back, it entailed a discussion of what Twitter thinks we’re into. A colleague had stumbled upon..."

"Brother Nature was trending on Twitter this week stemming from a video that reminded me of the dangers of social media celebrity in a fame-thirsty culture. For those who don’t know, 21-year-old Kelvin Peña, better known as Brother Nature, is an..."

"“I was born in 2000, I have always lived my life with technology, there hasn’t been any moment without it.” So begins the story of Kai Landre, who recently traveled to the United States from Barcelona to explain his decision to become a cyborg..."

"The other week, I got a text from Amazon telling me a delivery person was at my door with a package, and immediately knew it was a scam. Getting upwards of four spam calls a day, I was surprised the scammers had now pivoted to text—honestly..."

"Recent national surveys project that 53% of children will own a smartphone by age 11. While the reality of a child being able to utilize the features of a smartphone has provided many new benefits to both them and their parents, the harm of..."

"A new short story looks at how artificial intelligence could support, and distort, faith... Each month, Future Tense Fiction—a series of short stories from Future Tense and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination about how technology and..."

"IT WAS a bad week for TikTok — and a good week for the long arm of the Chinese government under whose auspices the app’s parent company, ByteDance, operates. TikTok is virally popular among middle- and high-schoolers, but far less so among..."

"I’ve just clicked on the link for Zoom, the video conferencing service, for Slate’s weekly editorial meeting, and now a gargoyle is staring back at me from my laptop screen. But I can’t look away from the gargoyle because she is me, only my skin..."

""The big tech companies have announced aggressive steps to keep trolls, bots and online fakery from marring another presidential election — from Facebook’s removal of billions of fake accounts to Twitter’s spurning of all political ads. But it’s..."

"Social media is broken. It has poisoned the way we communicate with each other and undermined the democratic process. Many of us just want to get away from it, but we can’t imagine a world without it. Though we talk about reforming and..."

"The holidays are here, which means the season of indulgence is upon us. But aside from the turkey, the heaving piles of mashed potatoes, and an altogether absurd amount of wine, there is another form of excess to worry about: screen time overload."

"Further down the page — an eye-rolling girl gave a tour of her parents’ mezuza collection, a boy in a hoodie reenacted the ancient conquests of Jerusalem with reality TV dialogue, and a girl and her mom bickered over an Israeli soap opera they..."

"This week, Americans will endure flight delays, traffic jams and other logistical miseries to spend time with family and friends. And when the holiday weekend is ending, many will lament that they don’t get to spend enough time with those..."

"“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.” When the novelist William Gibson said this — probably in the late ’80s, though, like a lot of prophetic aphorisms, when he first said it is not exactly clear — he was describing..."

"If you’re worried about how facial recognition technology is being used, you should be. And things are about to get a lot scarier unless new regulation is put in place. Already, this technology is being used in many U.S. cities and around the..."

"The media executive had a dire message for Kayla Curry and her classmates: If you have TikTok on your phone, delete it. The executive, who had come to talk to the journalism students at Missouri State University, was concerned about the app’s..."

"Bias is an unavoidable feature of life, the result of the necessarily limited view of the world that any single person or group can achieve. But social bias can be reflected and amplified by artificial intelligence in dangerous ways, whether it..."

"You’re walking around and a thought occurs: “I should check my phone.” The phone comes out of your pocket. You type a message. Then your eyes remain glued to the screen, even when you walk across the street. We all do this kind of distracted..."

"US sex education is decades behind other countries. Right now, it isn’t even mandatory in every state. Add to that the awkwardness people feel about sex and bodies in general, top it with the idea of having to have these discussions in public..."

"After hearing that Facebook is sponsoring a dinner Thursday night hosted by right-wing judicial advocacy group the Federalist Society honoring Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, progressive advocacy group Demand Justice launched an ad..."

"There’s a TikTok that’s just a boy saying, “I may be ugly, but at least I’m also … dumb and annoying.” Then he dances while Ariana Grande’s “Successful” plays. It’s extremely funny, and a little bit sad, and I think about it every day. Kids on..."

"Talk about missed connections. Earlier this week, hundreds of people received seemingly random text messages, out of context and out of the blue, addressed from friends, family, and loved ones. The first part of the mystery was solved pretty..."

"There are many reasons to worry about the size and power of big technology firms. The biggest firms like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google dominate their markets, collect our data, and in many cases sell it to advertisers. They lobby..."

"Americans don’t have to be beholden to the tech Goliaths to get the benefits of artificial intelligence. An alternative possibility is for government to provide the infrastructure needed for a technological future — through a public option for..."

"If you've been unenthused about the emoji of recent years, you're not alone. A flashlight? A toolbox? A fire extinguisher? A tin can? Who even uses these? The emoji set to appear on your phone next year are similarly dismal. A screwdriver, a..."

"I spend a disproportionate amount of time reading and talking to two somewhat niche groups of people in American politics: democratic socialists of the Sen. Bernie Sanders variety (or maybe a bit to the left of that), and left-libertarians from..."

"What’s the shiniest, most exciting new technology for transportation? Well, there are plenty of candidates! We’ve got the self-­driving car and drones big enough to carry people. Elon Musk is getting ready to bore hyperloop tunnels. When it..."

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JJ Editor's Picks

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"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."