Algorithms Are Like Kirk, Not Spock

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.

Unhooked: Wonder in the Digital Age

Our neocortex is very adept at automation – at habitualizing complex behaviors and routines of thought. Consider: how much of your day is patterned? How much of your thoughts are processes you’ve repeated before? A lot! And this is a good thing: automation frees up our minds for the good life, the life examined, the life of the mind.

Futurist Brian David Johnson talking with students about futurism and robotics at Mater Christi School in Burlington, Vermont.

Futurist Brian David Johnson leaves Intel, joins Arizona State University

Renowned futurist, technologist, and author Brian David Johnson, who left his position at the Intel Corporation in January, will be joining Arizona State University as Futurist in Residence for spring 2016 at the Center for Science and the Imagination and as a Professor of Practice in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.