Learning To Live With Learning Machines

In my recent talk, OK Com­put­er, I briefly men­tion the impor­tance of pri­va­cy in sys­tems pow­ered by machine learn­ing, and hint at poten­tial dif­fi­cul­ties fac­ing Hel­lo Bar­bie, the new AI-pow­ered doll from Mat­tel when the wider world becomes aware that third par­ties could—or, will—be lis­ten­ing to what chil­dren say to it. Well, the wider world has […]

Blogging The Highlights: Sapiens [Part One]

Ear­li­er this year I read Yuval Noah Harari’s book, Sapi­ens: A Brief His­to­ry of Humankind. It is, with­out a doubt, one of the most amaz­ing, eye-open­ing, mind-expand­ing books I’ve ever read. I’ve want­ed for some time to write a review of it, but have been slight­ly daunt­ed by the thought of try­ing to do it jus­tice. Even using quotes […]

Universe Within: how the internet unites the world

The Can­da­di­an Film Board’s inter­ac­tive piece, Uni­verse With­in, is won­der­ful. It’s well-made, and it’s fas­ci­nat­ing. Uni­verse With­in is a dig­i­tal doc­u­men­tary that reveals the hid­den dig­i­tal lives of high­rise res­i­dents around the world. From inti­mate whis­pers on Skype, to explo­sive polit­i­cal uses of What­sApp in neigh­bour­hoods under siege, this sto­ry takes us inside the hearts, minds and […]

They Burn Witches Here

… and then they upload the pho­tos to social media. A fas­ci­nat­ing arti­cle about Papua New Guinea, and what hap­pens when you try to impose a mod­ern cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem on a coun­try where some peo­ple were liv­ing pale­olith­ic lifestyles as recent­ly as 80 years ago. The ques­tion as to whether this wide [cul­tur­al] gulf could ever have been […]