The Serendipity of Semiautonomous Systems

Ed Finn

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The Serendipity of Semiautonomous Systems

The MIT Press Podcast

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What Algorithms Want – Future Out Loud Podcast

Future Out Loud Podcast

What Algorithms Want

In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm—in practical terms, “a method for solving a problem”—has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking.

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Why Frankenstein is a Stigma Among Scientists

Peter Nagy, Ruth Wylie, Joey Eschrich, Ed Finn Science and Engineering Ethics Download article

“Imagine This”

Groton School Quarterly, Winter 2017

Power of social media: Erdogan’s smart use of a smartphone

By Ed Finn, CNN Opinion

Facebook Trending story: The Wizard of Oz algorithm

Stitching Together Creativity and Responsibility: Interpreting Frankenstein Across Disciplines

By Megan K. Halpern, Jathan Sadowski, Joey Eschrich, Ed Finn, and David H. Guston Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society

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.

What Algorithms Want

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.

We Can Build the Future

Three icons: one representing a museum building displayed on a laptop screen; one displaying a number of people holding maker and DIY tools; and one representing a toolbox with a variety of science-themed objects inside. Dotted arrow lines connect the three images to one another.

Using digital storytelling to grapple with scientific progress

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.

The Internet of Slow Things

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.

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Imagining Climate

Published as part of a series of short stories and essays over at Medium.com’s magazine Matter on climate change, climate fiction, and how to survive the future. Check out the

Apocalypse Moon: Neal Stephenson on his new novel, Seveneves, and the future of humanity

An interview with Neal Stephenson about his new novel, Seveneves, humanity’s resilience, and more.

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.

Project Hieroglyph Book Launch: Phoenix, AZ

Launch event for Project Hieroglyph’s first anthology, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (HarperCollins, 2014) at the Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ on October 22, 2014.

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New Book Explores Science Fiction Turned Reality

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The Inspiration Drought

By Ed Finn, Slate/Future Tense

The book cover for Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future

Hieroglyph: Stories & Visions for a Better Future

This anthology unites twenty of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries to contribute works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff.