Photo of Torie Bosch, and Cover for What Future. The year's best ideas to reclaim, reanimate and reinvent our future. 2017 Edition Edited by Torie Bosch and Roy Scranton. Cover photo of a tree in the jungle.

Workshop: “Writing to Change Minds” with Slate’s Torie Bosch

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 […]

What Algorithms Want

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 […]

Illustration of a woman with long hair, pronounced eyebrows, and full lips, against a red background.

Future Tense Fiction

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, […]

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.

An Interview With Margaret Atwood

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.