So You Want to Prepare for Doomsday

So You Want to Prepare for Doomsday

And you dream: One day, after the smoke of civilization has drifted away, you’ll link up with others exactly like you.But a few months ago my family moved to an old house, not far from our old apartment.

A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society?

A 25-Year-Old Bet Comes Due: Has Tech Destroyed Society?

In the final pages of his Luddite book, Sale had predicted society would collapse “within not more than a few decades.” Kelly, who saw technology as an enriching force, believed the opposite—that society would flourish.

The Error of Fighting a Public Health War With Medical Weapons

The Error of Fighting a Public Health War With Medical Weapons

It was a singular medical triumph, from the first known case of a novel, fatal infectious disease to vaccines against it in just about a year.It’s a classic challenge—a fight between the public health of a society and the medical choices of, well, you.

The Perils of Moderating Depression on Social Media

The Perils of Moderating Depression on Social Media

Our most significant, and surprising, finding was that only 15 percent of users who post with the #depressed hashtag do so with what we call “real name” accounts (through which users share their name, pictures of themselves, and other identifying details).Most people using #depressed—76 percent of the accounts in our data set—do so pseudonymously to share humorous memes and inspirational content about mental health.

Raised by Wolves Questions Whether Humanity Can Be Saved

Raised by Wolves Questions Whether Humanity Can Be Saved

First, there are Mother and Father, two androids dispatched by their creator to raise human children to be pacifist atheists after religious wars destroyed Earth.Campion, a boy raised by Mother and Father on Kepler-22b on a vegan mono diet of tubers (scurvy who?

Dystopia Isn’t Sci-Fi—for Me, It’s the American Reality

Dystopia Isn’t Sci-Fi—for Me, It’s the American Reality

Under this framing, injustice becomes normal, oppression is realistic, and any move towards justice and equity must come from struggle.This moment may provide a way out of dystopia, but there has to be a collective reckoning with the dystopian aspects of American society as well as the cruel price of progress repeatedly placed on the backs of the oppressed.

Covid-19's Toll on Prison Labor Doesn't Just Hurt Inmates

Covid-19's Toll on Prison Labor Doesn't Just Hurt Inmates

In at least 20 states, from Florida to Michigan to Texas to California, incarcerated workers are making hand sanitizer, face masks, and protective gowns at prison manufacturing facilities.Social distancing is hard in prison workplaces, and incarcerated people are unable to self-quarantine to avoid Covid-19 when they’re off the job.

The Web's .Org Domain Is Still Run by a Nonprofit

The Web's .Org Domain Is Still Run by a Nonprofit

The Icann board reviewed hundreds of pages of documentation and responses from PIR, the Internet Society, and Ethos Capital before rejecting the proposal, according to the organization's announcement.In statements on the Ethos Capital website , both the Internet Society and Ethos Capital said Icann had overstepped its role.

TikTok Has a Pro-Anorexia Problem

TikTok Has a Pro-Anorexia Problem

So it’s no surprise that, as Buzzfeed reported last month, some TikTok users have found disturbing pro-ana content on their For You page, a personalized section of the platform that displays videos users are likely to enjoy.

A Practical Guide for Building Ethical Tech

A Practical Guide for Building Ethical Tech

Some ethics executives experimented with creating a new process for these “ethics checkpoints,” but quickly realized that this unduly burdened the notoriously tight product development cycle, or was ignored altogether.

For Fantasy Author N. K. Jemisin, World-Building Is a Lesson in Oppression

For Fantasy Author N. K. Jemisin, World-Building Is a Lesson in Oppression

In a lot of cases, to understand the character I need to understand literally everything about their world.” To do so, she applies two frameworks: one that focuses on macroworldbuilding (the creation of the physical environment in which the story will take place—planet, continents, climate, ecology, and culture) and one that focuses on microworldbuilding (the societies that result, in all their flavors of social stratification).

AI Algorithms Need FDA-Style Drug Trials

AI Algorithms Need FDA-Style Drug Trials

To protect the cognitive autonomy of individuals and the political health of society at large, we need to make the function and application of algorithms transparent, and the FDA provides a useful model.

To Really 'Disrupt,' Tech Needs to Listen to Actual Researchers

To Really 'Disrupt,' Tech Needs to Listen to Actual Researchers

In fact, college students can learn about these issues in a wide range of existing fields: Science & Technology Studies (STS), communication, sociology, anthropology, political science, cognitive science, and digital humanities, to name a few.

How to Watch SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Launch a Solar Sail Tonight

How to Watch SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Launch a Solar Sail Tonight

The Planetary Society pressed on and a decade later launched the LightSail 1 into low Earth orbit. In 2010, the Japanese space agency launched IKAROS , which used solar sailing as its only form of propulsion on a mission to Venus and demonstrated that the technology actually worked for the first time.

The False Promise of “Lawful Access” to Private Data

The False Promise of “Lawful Access” to Private Data

Terrorists should not feel free to upload terrible images of slaughter, but neither should they be empowered to empty people’s bank accounts or to tap the phones of presidents and prime ministers.“But,” people say, “What if only legitimate requests can get into the protected communications?” Weaknesses in computer systems are discovered by attackers all the time.

How Tech Companies Are Shaping the Rules Governing AI

How Tech Companies Are Shaping the Rules Governing AI

Tom Simonite covers artificial intelligence for WIRED.One of the 52 experts who worked on the guidelines argues that foundation is flawed—thanks to the tech industry. Benkler says the program is an example of how the tech industry is becoming too influential over how society governs and scrutinizes the effects of AI.

The Society Is a Smart Show With Too Many Dumb Teens

The Society Is a Smart Show With Too Many Dumb Teens

In an early episode of The Society , Netflix's new YA drama about power and privilege in a socialist adultless future, a group of teens gather to play a game of Fugitive.

Supposedly "Fair" Algorithms Can Perpetuate Discrimination

Supposedly "Fair" Algorithms Can Perpetuate Discrimination

Thus began the contentious career of the notion of “actuarial fairness,” an idea that would spread in time far beyond the insurance industry into policing and paroling, education, and eventually AI, igniting fierce debates along the way over the push by our increasingly market-oriented society to define fairness in statistical and individualistic terms rather than relying on the morals and community standards used historically.

Google Says It Wants Rules for the Use of AI—Kinda, Sorta

Google Says It Wants Rules for the Use of AI—Kinda, Sorta

The search company champions self-regulation, highlighting how it has chosen not to offer a general-purpose facial recognition service—as Microsoft and Amazon do—due to concerns it could be used to “carry out extreme surveillance.” The paper also says Google has limited some of the AI research code it has released, to reduce the risk of misuse.

George Soros Attacks China's AI Push as 'Mortal Danger'

George Soros Attacks China's AI Push as 'Mortal Danger'

“I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes,” Soros said.

Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation

Surveillance Kills Freedom By Killing Experimentation

Of course the story is more complicated than that, but the ability for members of society to privately smoke weed was essential for putting it on the path to legalization.We don’t yet know which subversive ideas and illegal acts of today will become political causes and positive social change tomorrow, but they’re around.

Hey! Know-It-Alls! Can I Vote Online?

Hey! Know-It-Alls! Can I Vote Online?

You should probably just bring it.In some states you can bring your phone into the voting booth with you, and even post a “ballot selfie,” but in others you can’t, so again, check your local election sites.

Exxon, Chevron Climate U-Turn Includes $300 Million for Research

Exxon, Chevron Climate U-Turn Includes $300 Million for Research

Three of the biggest U.S. oil companies pledged $300 million toward research into lowering climate-change pollution as they joined an industry group led by European rivals. will join the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative and expand an existing $1 billion fund for carbon-reduction ventures, the group said on Sept.

One Conspiracy Theory at a Time: Flat-Earthers Don't Reject Climate Science

One Conspiracy Theory at a Time: Flat-Earthers Don't Reject Climate Science

It would be nothing short of irresponsible to question something with so much overwhelming evidence behind it and something that threatens us so directly as a species." [8 Times Flat-Earthers Tried to Challenge Science (and Failed)]