A clever bit of AI software transforms my voice into a silky-smooth ‘Lisa’ – almost an archetypal radio host. In the near future we’ll be able to make ourselves sound – and look – like anyone else. How will we know if we’re being fooled?
Three big transformations – one that’s has already happened (the Web), one happening now (augmented reality), and one about to happen – illuminate the path (and pitfalls) for those anyone who wants to articulate the future. Listen, and learn how to be your own futurist!
Big thanks to the folks at Quantium for allowing me to share this in-house talk I gave to staffers in August 2022.
At the age of 19, Palmer Luckey founded Oculus, bringing a comatose VR industry back to life. Will he to do the same for defense with his new startup, Anduril – and has he solved Australia’s submarine problem? A wide-ranging interview covering everything from the search for the ‘ultimate’ gaming display to the future of warfare.
“Rebooting the Arsenal of Democracy” is Anduril’s own statement about what they’re about.
And an article about the XL-AUV project Anduril is doing with the ADF.
Palmer Luckey is speaking in Sydney on the 18th of August, 2022 – book your tickets here.
A recent experiment showed that any AI can be ‘turned to the dark side’ simply by reframing its goals. It’s surprisingly easy – and that points to a big problem.
If you’d like to read the paper – published in Nature – click here.
Close relationships with machines change the way we think, rewiring our nervous systems. How can we stay safe – and ourselves – into the future?
Fiona talks about the ‘The Art & Science of Looking Up’ report – which is available here.
Over a billion seconds ago, sci-fi legend Vernor Vinge conceived of a “Technological Singularity”, when our machines outthink us. Should we worry?
Be sure to read Vernor’s 1993 paper, “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era” – it’s linked here.
From faucets you can speak with, to lawnmowers that drive themselves – artificial intelligence was everywhere at CES 2019.
Social media promised a voice for the marginalised and powerless. Danah Boyd shows us how our voices – amplified – redefined power.
Wonderful links from points mentioned in our conversation, courtesy of Danah:
- Madeleine Elish / Moral Crumple Zones:
- Becca Lewis / Alternative Influence Network:
- Whitney Phillips / Oxygen of Amplification:
- Francesca Tripodi / Searching for Alternative Facts:
- Danah on Strategic Amplification:
- Data voids:
- Alex Rosenblat / Uberland:
- Adam Kalai / bias in gender search:
Here is Danah’s incredible RE:PUBLICA talk from May 2018. Trust me, you will not regret taking the 50 minutes to watch this.
And Richard Metzger’s funny, poignant and farseeing opening of DISINFOCON, back in February 2000:
Why is it so hard to tear ourselves away from Facebook’s feed? What is it feeding us that makes it so addictive?
The power of artificial intelligence combined with the eternal surveillance of the smartphone made a monster out of Zuck’s social network – but has it divided us more than it united us? How are people using this social network to spread fake news? How is fake news being weaponised to change the way we vote?
All of these questions – and much more – are answered in our special two-part episode, “The Last Days of Reality”.
Part one tells the tale of how we ended up where we are – addicted to Facebook and in the thrall of shadowy firms like Cambridge Analytica. Here’s a taste:
(ANZ listeners only)
And because this isn’t fake news, here’s the links to the stories referenced in the episode:
Buzzfeed reports on Macedonian content farms
Facebook exploits ‘insecure’ to sell ads, Darren Davidson, The Australian 1 May 2017
Facebook’s formula for winning with AI
Experiment shows how to talk women into lower maths scores
May 2017 Observer exposé on links between Cambridge Analytica and Brexit
Cambridge Analytica becomes Emerdata
Jimmy Wales founds WikiTRIBUNE
And, finally, a link to WikiTRIBUNE
The ‘Next Big Thing’ always promises to be the cure for all our ails – but inevitably the high promises tarnish and all our best efforts fall back to earth. For as long as we’ve had technology, we’ve believed in its capacity to craft a perfect world – even though we ourselves are far from perfect.
Author and philosopher Erik Davis has spent twenty years dissecting our attitudes toward technology, utopia and belief – and writes about a future where we ‘wise up’ enough to understand the human value of our imperfections.
Here’s a bit of a taste of our wide-ranging conversation about faith, reason, utopia, and why we seem to make the same mistakes over and over again…
One of the the fun sides of doing a regular podcast is when a special event comes along, and taking the time to cover it in detail. In this case, it was an announcement from Google that their Alpha Go artificial intelligence program had taught itself how to be better than any human player – in 3 days.
Here’s how that looks: