A new short story from the author of the Nebula Award–winning All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders.
Stubbornness may be the defining characteristic of the moment we’re in. People seem increasingly reluctant to listen to other points of view or deviate from their tribe. So how can we get people to reconsider long-held—but perhaps poorly thought through—beliefs? In this informal workshop, Torie Bosch, editor of Slate magazine’s Future Tense channel and coeditor of What […]
RSVP here >> Algorithms tell us what to read, where to go, and whom to date…but do we really understand them? It’s easy to think of algorithms as magical beings, delivering purely objective, admirably efficient, and sometimes startlingly insightful solutions to our everyday problems, but in his new book What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age […]
“She’d seen the coat before in this moment, exiting this train, here. Every face in the crowd looked somehow familiar.”
Read the full story on Slate.com
In April 2016 CSI launched a new experiment with the Future Tense Channel at Slate: a regular writing series featuring original science fiction stories by well-known authors. We launched Future Tense Fiction with a story by climate fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi, whose tightly scripted story “Mika Model” imagines the moral and legal consequences of autonomous, […]
“The girl, the robot … this thing—I’d seen her before, all right. I’d seen her in technology news stories about advanced learning node networks…”
When technologists describe their hotshot new system for trading stocks or driving cars, the algorithm at its heart always seems to emerge from a magical realm of Spock-like rationality and mathematical perfection. Algorithms can save lives or make money, the argument goes, because they are built on the foundations of mathematics: logical rigor, conceptual clarity, and utter consistency. Math is perfect, right? And algorithms are made out of math.
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.
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.
An interview with Neal Stephenson about his new novel, Seveneves, humanity’s resilience, and more.
An experimental philosopher’s project to document 100 or even 1,000 years of change with a single photograph.
Slate – Future Tense
A new project by experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats at Arizona State University involves creating simple, incredibly durable pinhole cameras that will slowly create a single image over the course of a century or a millennium.
Climate fiction, or “cli fi,” can be a dreary genre. Storytellers like to make a grim business of climate change, populating their narratives with a humorless onslaught of death, destruction, drowned monuments, and starving children. Margaret Atwood is the conspicuous exception, somehow managing to tackle the subject, including these familiar elements, with deadpan wit and an irreverent playfulness, making it both more interesting and believable. The flood is coming, her MaddAddam trilogy promises, but there is hope.
You just don’t see many illuminated manuscripts these days. There’s a good reason why: They take a long time to make.
I learned this recently when I set out to commission a thoroughly modern illuminated manuscript: not a religious text, but an interview with theoretical physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies, a professor at Arizona State University and the author of books like How to Build a Time Machine.
On October 2, 2014, Future Tense and Issues in Science and Technology hosted an event in Washington, DC inspired by Project Hieroglyph.