The internet made us weird – just not in the right way

Have swipes and scrolls replaced deep thinking?

  • Technological advancements were supposed to free up our time and free up our minds, leading to a cognitive surplus. That hasn't happened, says Douglas Rushkoff.
  • The digital media environment deals in absolutes: yes or no; thumbs up or thumbs down. Chasing weird uncertainties and lines of thought is not a trademark of today's culture.
  • More time should equal more thought. But humanity seems to be swiping left on true cognitive engagement. So, asks Douglas Rushkoff, has the internet made us smarter, or just busier?
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The biggest A.I. risks: Superintelligence and the elite silos

When it comes to raising superintelligent A.I., kindness may be our best bet.

  • We have no guarantee that a superintelligent A.I. is going to do what we want. Once we create something many times more intelligent than we are, it may be "insane" to think we can control what it does.
  • What's the best bet to ensure superintelligent A.I. remains compliant with humans and does good works, such as advance medicine? To raise it in a way that's imbued with compassion and understanding, says Goertzel.
  • One way to limit "people doing bad things out of frustration," it may be advantageous for the entire world to be plugged into the A.I. economy so that developers, from whatever country, can monetize their codes.
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What is the 'Book of Changes'?

The I Ching serves as a foundation for many Eastern philosophies and Western mathematics.

  • The I Ching is the basis for polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's binary code and subsequently basis of our digital technology.
  • Psychologist Carl Jung used the Book of Changes to explore notions of synchronicity or "meaningful coincidence."
  • Alan Watts considered the I Ching to be a model that mapped the thinking processes of the human mind.
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Surprising Science

Privacy is a human right, we need a GDPR for the world: Microsoft CEO

Half of Americans do not trust the federal government or social media sites to protect their data.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella answers a shareholders question during the Microsoft Annual Shareholders Meeting at the Meydenbauer Center on November 28, 2018 in Bellevue, Washington. Microsoft recently surpassed Apple, Inc. to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Against the backdrop of a "techlash", the CEO of Microsoft called for new global norms on privacy, data and Artificial Intelligence.

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Technology & Innovation

You have doppelgängers. They’re quietly influencing your life.

Companies refer to like-minded strangers when recommending products to you.

  • One way companies recommend products to you is by referring the purchasing tendencies of individuals who have bought similar items in past. When these individuals have many similarities, they are referred to as doppelgangers.
  • This can also work in medicine. When someone gets sick, professionals may refer to the patient's health doppelganger, who's had similar symptoms, and prescribe treatments that previously worked.
  • It's a powerful methodology and it gets more powerful the more data you have. That is, the more data you have, the more likely you're going to find someone in that data set who's "really, really" similar to you.
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