Futuresagency Articles

We’re spending so much time trying to become robots that we’re forgetting how to be human (Scott Hartley via qz.com)

Totally my topic ;)
“The drumbeat of science, technology, engineering, and math has picked up tempo, but a crisis of culture has emerged from its cadence. As we embark ever more aggressively on the path to master machines, we are forgetting the very foundations of what it means to be human.”

We’re spending so much time trying to become robots that we’re forgetting how to be human
https://qz.com/1070296/were-spending-so-much-time-trying-to-become-robots-that-were-forgetting-how-to-be-human/
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The future of computing as predicted by nine science-fiction machines (watch these videos)

“Our vision is to create that Star Trek computer and work backwards from that. The Star Trek computer wasn’t limited to just the Enterprise, they could talk to it from their little badges anywhere, so anywhere where you think that instant access to an intelligent assistant is valuable in an ambient way, then that’s a great place for Alexa.””

The future of computing as predicted by nine science-fiction machines
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/04/science-fiction-computers-star-trek-the-matrix-hitchhikers-amazon-echo
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Why Voice Assistants Will Give You a Headache (great read via Backchannel / Wired)

“Picture this: It’s evening and, after a long day at the office, you’re finally home. You’re cutting some avocados as you prepare dinner when your voice assistant pipes up and reads you an important email that just came in. Without breaking your chopping stride, you dictate a reply—perfecting your guacamole while preserving your relationship with your boss.

This might sound like heaven to you—or, just as likely, hell. Either way, it’s about to be our reality.

When Amazon introduced Alexa, the tech industry quickly anointed voice as the next big thing. Sure, she was mostly reciting the weather and answering lewd questions from nine-year-old boys, but the future held much more. The rise of voice devices will rewrite the digital playbook in unpredictable ways—including how, when, and whether we have the ability to say, “Enough!” In a time when digital detoxing, unplugging, and disconnecting are widely discussed and even yearned for, voice could turn into the platform you can’t turn off.

As we currently experience them, voice assistants are passive devices. We call their names when we have a question, want to hear some music, or need to set a timer. Otherwise, they sit idle. Having Alexa operate the light switch for you, for example, isn’t a source of psychological stress. But it’s when these assistants begin actively demanding our time and attention that, some experts say, we’ll have a problem on our hands.”

Why Voice Assistants Will Give You a Headache | Backchannel
https://www.wired.com/story/why-voice-assistants-will-give-you-a-headache/
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Why Mercedes’ decision to let its self-driving cars kill pedestrians is probably the right thing to do (says Bloomberg )

In an interview with Car and Driver, the manager of driver assistance systems at Mercedes-Benz Christoph von Hugo has revealed that the company’s future autonomous vehicles will always put the driver first. In other words, it would choose to run the child over every time.

Although the fact someone has to make this choice feels uncomfortable, it would be more dangerous if they didn’t, because unless a self-driving vehicle is told what to do when a child runs into the road, it won’t do anything.

Previously, manufacturers have been quiet about what would happen under these circumstances, until Mercedes-Benz’s announcement at the Paris Auto Show this month. According to von Hugo, all of the company’s future Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving cars will be programmed with the decision to save the people they carry over anything else.

“If you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one. Save the one in the car,” von Hugo said in the interview. “If all you know for sure is that one death can be prevented, then that’s your first priority.””

Why Mercedes’ decision to let its self-driving cars kill pedestrians is probably the right thing to do
http://nordic.businessinsider.com/mercedes-benz-self-driving-cars-programmed-save-driver-2016-10/
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The age of AI surveillance is here (via QZ.com – made me think)

“Facial recognition in still images and video is already seeping into the real world. Baidu is starting a program where facial recognition is used instead of tickets for events. The venue knows who you are, maybe from a picture you upload or your social media profile, sees your face when you show up and knows if you’re allowed in. Paris tested a similar feature at its Charles de Gaulle airport for a three-month stint this year, following Japan’s pilot program in 2016, though neither have released results of the programs.

US governments are already beginning to use the technology in a limited capacity. Last week the New York department of motor vehicles announced that it had made more than 4,000 arrests using facial recognition technology. Instead of scanning police footage, the software is used to compare new drivers’ license application photos to images already in the database, making it tougher for fraudsters to steal someone’s identity. If state or federal governments expand into deploying facial recognition in public, they will already have a database of more than 50% of American adults from repositories like DMVs. And again, the bigger the dataset, the better the AI.”

The age of AI surveillance is here
https://qz.com/1060606/the-age-of-ai-surveillance-is-here/
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