Can scientists agree on a code of ethics? The World Economic Forum Young Scientists community just proposed a Code of Ethics, which was a topic of discussion at the recent World Economic Forum's meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Everybody seems to be making money on bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, but not many people grasp how the underlying technology works. Bitcoin is now traded on the exchanges for futures contracts. Is this problematic for amateur day traders that may not understand how bitcoin works?
The rise of driverless cars will save lives, time, and spark a $7 Trillion "Passenger Economy." But it will also destroy jobs. What should we do?
A new study by the European Commission found that video game piracy may increase the downloading of legitimate games by 24%.
Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have developed a tattoo ink that could potentially be used to monitor medical conditions, with ink that changes in response to physical conditions.
The US Navy will begin swapping out expensive periscope joysticks in exchange for off-the-shelf Xbox controllers.
By using the DoNotPay chatbot, you may be able to quickly file a small-claims case against Equifax for up to $25,000.
The internet is ablaze in controversy over the new AI "Gaydar" study. Did the researchers do anything wrong by pursuing this research?
Silicon Valley needs more diversity of thought and well-rounded thinkers. An interview with Scott Hartley, author of The Fuzzy and The Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World.
Our utopian vision of the future is typically less more and more leisure. But if advancing technology really lessens the importance of our careers in the future, is this something we could actually adjust to?
Employees at 32M, a company based in Wisconsin, now have the option of getting microchipped. Workers implanted with the RFID chip will be able to open doors, store medical info, and pay for purchases. Should this be the future workplace?
A new game called Factitious aims to help people determine real from fake news online. Will this work? Exploring ways to be more media literate.
A programmer was able to automate his remote job; collecting a full-time paycheck while working for two hours a week. The employer, none the wiser, is satisfied with the completed work. But is it ethical?
Is the government overpaying by $300 million? Elon Musk of SpaceX has long argued that there needs to be greater competition with the awarding of space launch contracts. New reports indicate that SpaceX may be $300 million less than the US government is currently paying.
Facebook researchers have found that dialog agents being trained to negotiate will create their own non-human language to be more effective. What does this mean for the future of language?
How can we make the internet a better place for kids? Google has just released a free program called Be Internet Awesome to educate kids on phishing, passwords, media literacy, and being kind online. Will it help?
Known as Cunningham's Law, it is the assertion that "the best way to get a right answer on the internet is to post a wrong answer." It turns out our impulse to correct a wrong online may outweigh our desire to merely give answers.
Our future as humans might be great. Or non-existent. Is our government, or Silicon Valley, prepared to handle the consequences of advancing AI?
Are Americans finally embracing a better work-life balance? New Research by Project: Time Off indicates that Americans used more paid vacation days in 2016. On the downside, Americans still feel guilty about taking time off and often forfeit their vacation days. Men are also more likely than women to use their time.
Has Google become our modern confessional? Former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz discusses how Google knows you better than your friends and family--maybe even yourself. He is the author of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.
A new study from Yale researchers found that people rate familiar fake news as more accurate than unfamiliar real news. This is a troubling finding that makes the fight against fake news increasingly difficult.
Even though there is no ramification for being rude or cold to AI, we may have a tendency to display gratitude. Why? An interview with the founder of x.ai, Dennis Mortensen.
The SATs are often criticized for being biased towards wealthy students able to afford expensive tutors and test prep. Khan Academy is aiming to level the playing field through its free tutorial program, made in collaboration with the College Board. New findings by Khan Academy and the College Board showed that students who spent 20 hours on their free program did 60 points better than non-users.
Our "one beer an hour" rule of thumb is based on drinking a bottle of Bud. Now that more people are drinking pints of stronger craft brews, how do we adjust this rule of thumb?
The world's first malaria vaccine will be released in Ghana, Keyna, and Malawi in 2018. While malaria was eradicated in the US by 1951, it still kills over 400,000 people worldwide each year. Will this vaccine help eradicate malaria?
The Repair Cafe movement was started in the Netherlands in 2009 to allow people to bring in their goods to be fixed by volunteers for free. There are now over 1200 Repair Cafes throughout the world. Should you start one?
A new study broke down the pizza prices from 3,678 pizza joints throughout the United States to see if ordering a large pizza is the best deal. It is. We break down the price per square inch of pizza from three options at Pizza Hut.
Is Disney creating a G-Rated Westworld? Disney Enterprises recently filed a patent for a "soft body robot for physical interaction with humans." The result may be similar to Baymax, the inflatable therapeutic robot from Disney's Big Hero 6.
Microchipping humans may be common in the future. The prospect of constantly being tracked and online raises some major ethical concerns. Futurist and humanist Gerd Leonhard provides insight into where we're headed.
Do you want your voice heard? Facebook recently unveiled a tool called Town Hall which makes it incredibly easy to contact your elected officials. By removing the friction of contacting politicians, Facebook may be creating a "social infrastructure" that increases civic engagement.
Your Internet Service Providers are collecting and selling your browsing history. Does that bother you? If so, it may be time to setup a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to better encrypt your data and spoof your location.
Congress has voted to repeal online privacy rules that would have given consumers greater notice and control over their data. Internet Service Providers such as AT&T and Verizon will now be able to sell your browsing history, app usage, and geo-location.
How are we preparing for the massive disruption that AI and automation will have on the workplace? We're not. Despite a PwC report stating that 38% of American jobs may be automated in the near future, US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin states that losing jobs through AI is "not even on our radar screen."
Despite our focus on China, Amazon may be displacing more American workers. How do we create a human-first economy when what is beneficial to us as consumers may not align with what's best for American workers?
Bottoms ups! A Southern Calfornia brewery is taking its beer from toilet to tap. San Diego's Stone Brewing has started making Full Circle Pale Ale using treated sewage water and recently held a tasting. While Bill Gates has shown that drinking "poop water" is perfectly fine, will consumers chug down this beer?
Married Americans are now having sex 11 fewer times per year than in 2002, according to a new study published in the Archives for Sexual Behavior. What is causing this dramatic change?
Is Alzheimer's triggered by too much sugar? We have long known that consuming too much sugar is related to obesity and diabetes. A new UK study has found a molecular "tipping point," where a crucial enzyme related to insulin regulation is damaged by excess glucose. This may have a major impact on our understanding of the cognitive disease along with our diet.
The new data dump by WikiLeaks showcases just how vulnerable our smartphones and smart TVs are to hacking. This first release, part of the larger Vault 7, provides insight into the massive capabilities of the CIA to use popular tech tools as a form of surveillance. Now, what happens when it gets into the wrong hands?
Is AI a job booster or job killer? 41% of Americans fear getting replaced by AI, automation, and digitization, according to a new survey by SelectHub. What does this mean for the future of work? The survey also found that Gen Xers were most likely to be concerned and that certain industries were more worried than others.
New Zealand is enticing people to join their growing tech scene by offering an expenses-paid trip to check out the country, get interviewed, and make a giant career move.
Handle, the latest robot from Google-backed Boston Dynamics, elicits both excitement and anxiety. The company's founder has described it as "nightmare-inducing."
Self-driving hobbyists and researchers can now build a self-driving vehicle for around $700. Utilizing free software and hardware plans from George Hotz's startup Comma, brave enthusiasts are crowdsourcing solutions as we move towards more autonomous vehicles.
Facebook knows about your past, present, and likely future. But how do they know this information? Data Selfie is a creepy new tool that will give you an answer. The free plugin provides a gateway into the data mining and predictive analytics that is used by Facebook to create your online identity.
The world's largest social network now has a feature, Jobs on Facebook, that is free for both job posters and job seekers. For millions of underemployed workers already on Facebook, it may be a welcome feature.
The 1971 cult classic Harold and Maude is an unlikely love story between a depressed 18-year-old Harold and a lively 79-year-old Maude who meet at a funeral. Given the rise is online dating and its impact on how couples unite, it is fair to ask: If Harold and Maude was set in 2017, would Harold pick Maude on Tinder?
Should political preference be a deal-breaker when looking for love? There are now dating sites for progressives, Trump fans, and Americans looking to escape the Trump presidency by marrying a Canadian. In an age of deep political polarization, dating sites based on ideology may exacerbate the problem and prevent a star-crossed love from blossoming.
Do we really care about privacy? An interview with Manoush Zomorodi, host of WNYC's Note to Self, about The Privacy Paradox campaign. She discusses an ethical code needed for technologists, why the typical ad-based business model online is not sustainable, and why it's time for internet users to be "digitally woke."
Kellyanne Conway's recent appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, where she used the dystopian-sounding phrase "alternative facts," sounded eerily similar to George Orwell's 1984 concept of newspeak and doublethink.
The spreading of misinformation and doubt has undermined support for climate change. Despite broad consensus from climate scientists that humans are largely responsible for climate change, only 27% of Americans think there is agreement. New research points to a possible way to "vaccinate" against this misinformation.
Many teens are showing up to school sleep-deprived from late night social media use, and it may be hurting their academic performance. Researchers find that "over a third of young people appear to be waking up during the night to send or check messages via social media."
Over 2 billion people worldwide eat insects, such as crickets. Crickets are easy to harvest, high in protein, and nutrient rich. In an age of growing environmental awareness about the significant resources needed for raising livestock, crickets would seemingly be the food of the future. Why aren't they on your dinner plate?
Important new research on the right amount of screen time for teens. A Large-Scale Test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis: Quantifying the Relations Between Digital-Screen Use and the Mental Well-Being of Adolescents, tested the theory that instead of a linear relationship between teen screen-time and harm, there was an amount that was just right.
Research being done with brain organoids ("mini brains" deriving from cells, such as teeth) from those with autism and Williams syndrome is providing insight into what makes humans social.
Can big data help determine how happy we are? Using findings from Facebook and UC Berkeley, author Andrew Zolli shows how the levels of happiness we display online may not correlate with how happy we truly are. Featuring Zolli's talk from the Aspen Ideas Festival.
A Japanese company is laying off 34 workers and replacing them with artificial intelligence based on IBM's Watson Explorer. While advancing automation may be helpful in alleviating Japan's aging and declining population, what does this mean for other workers across the globe?
Researchers at the American Chemical Society examine whether or not cough medicine has scientific merit.
The average worker sends and receives over 120 emails every day, and many employees are stressed from late night and weekend work emails. France recently created a "Right to Disconnect" from the neverending emails. Will it work?
Got Milk? If you are holding a carton of Soymilk you don't. Right now there is a battle over what can be defined as milk, and what can't be. With milk sales going down and plant-based beverage sales going up, it could be an all-out war.
Will actors have to compete against dead celebrities for roles? Given the advance in CGI (Computer Generated Images) and VFX (Special Effects), Hollywood’s desire for bankable stars, and estates looking for additional revenue, it is all possible.
David is an ambidextrous thinker who likes big ideas. As a “Tech Ethicist,” he explores our evolving relationship with social media and tech from an ethical, legal, and emotional perspective. Utilizing his background as an attorney, educator, and pop culture aficionado, David offers a fresh perspective on potential trends and ways to humanize our digital lives. He is currently a speaker (3-time TEDx), branding and communications consultant, and Trust & Safety for social messaging platform Friendbase. David is researching the impact that “scaling intimacy” has on human relationships, and working on an upcoming book. He is also the co-host for Funny as Tech.
He can be contacted at TechEthicist.com and @TechEthicist.