We spend an awful lot of time now thinking about what algorithms know about us: the ads we see online, the deep archive of our search history, the automated photo-tagging of our families. We don’t spend as much time asking what algorithms want.
By Ed Finn,
Computer, IEEE Computer Society 48
In 1562, Don Carlos, the seventeen-year-old heir apparent to the Spanish throne, falls down a flight of stairs. Tragically, he sustains a terrible head wound. His father, King Philip II, orders physicians to attempt every available cure. Nothing works – not the birthwort powder applied to the skull, not the mixture of turpentine and egg […]
Researchers at Arizona State University have received a four-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to use the interactive, engaging nature of digital narratives to invite deeper conversations about questions of scientific creativity and responsibility.
Just in time for the United Nations’ World Space Week (October 4-10, 2015) comes Journeys through Time and Space, a new anthology of creative, thought-provoking visions of the future shaped by excursions through space and time, and into the labyrinthine caverns of the human mind.
Higher education is obsessed with 3-D printing. Makerspaces and fab labs are sprouting like extruded weeds on college campuses, and everyone from business school deans to librarians are asking how 3-D printing and fabrication can be implemented in teaching.
The Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative at Arizona State University invites writers to submit short stories that explore climate change, science and human futures for its first Climate Fiction Short Story Contest. The submission deadline is Jan. 15, 2016, and contest entry is free. The contest will be judged by science fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson.
Every sea on Earth is plagued by massive amounts of trash. Refuse in the ocean kills hundreds of thousands of birds and marine mammals per year, and hazardous heavy metals bind to plastic particles and enter our food chain. The Ocean Trash Write-Away contest challenges writers to imagine solutions to this global challenge and write an inspiring short story set in a future where we’ve turned the tide on ocean trash.
In Paolo Bacigalupi’s most recent science fiction novel, The Water Knife, Phoenix is dried up and California and Nevada are not too far behind. The millions of people who rely on the Colorado River to survive are not only thirsty, but fighting for their lives. It’s a compelling story that captures a not-so-distant future. Will Phoenix eventually collapse? Will the river dry up?
Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, an anthology of ambitious, technically-grounded science fiction visions of the near future curated by the center, has been honored with an award for Most Significant Futures Work by the Association of Professional Futurists.
A lot of ink and electrons have been spilled on the task of getting our machines to pass the Turing test. It is indeed an accomplishment of some proportion if a computer’s linguistic or artistic output can pass for human-generated. But does a passing grade really mean genuine awareness?