Killer robots won't exist if we don't create them

Killer robots won't exist if we don't create them
​ What is it? New predictions from Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Oxford Professor of Computer Science, regarding the future of robots, robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. What is it about? "The danger is clearly not that robots will decide to put us away and have a robot revolution," he said. "If there [are] killer robots, it will be because we've been st...
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New writing: Flesh Moves part 2

New writing: Flesh Moves part 2
Noor smiled, cracked lips over the black tooth. "That's right. You use a pay4phone, you tell me where you at. And you wait there. No matter how Bigurl screams, no matter what sort of shit you see in the lot, no matter if Tibetan Santa comes with a gift-wrapped key for your addled ass. You take the fucking dock, and you wait for me to get there. Som...
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Almost 75% of Internet users are concerned with data leaks in every transaction

Almost 75% of Internet users are concerned with data leaks in every transaction
A study of 2000 adult Internet users by security company BullGuard has revealed that nearly three quarters of those polled believe that data is at risk upon every online transaction that they make. Other statistics include: Identity fraud (71%) Credit card detail theft (69%) Stolen bank details (64%) The biggest share is from a positive respon...
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The Open Data Institute wants artists

The Open Data Institute wants artists " Unauthorised Copy", Antonio Roberts. On display in "Data as Culture exhibition Hybrid Landscapes 2017- 2019", ODI
Claire Selby at the ODI gets in touch to tell us about the call that the ODI currently has open for artists and partnerships. The Open Data Institute's Data as Culture art programme engages new and diverse audiences with work by artists who explore data critically and materially. We commission internationally renowned artists and artists in re...
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Extraordinary AI program remakes music videos in real time

Extraordinary AI program remakes music videos in real time
Artist Mario Klingemann has produced many works using code, data and AI, but his latest project is perhaps his most stunning so far. Klingemann has developed an AI bot which "watches" video clips, and then remakes the video in real time using similarly-looking archive footage. Klingemann has pointed the bot onto some popular music videos to kick of...
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Elon-gate

Elon-gate JD Lasica, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/3017880307
There's a powerful argument in  ​Wired ​ as to why ubiquitous entrepreneur Elon Musk needs to have his Twitter account taken away from him. One might argue that other well-known people, formerly in business, should have theirs taken away first, but the article makes for good reading as to the damage that Musk followers are doing, to themselves...
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Becoming Leonardo da Vinci

Becoming Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-06
 Terence Eden played a fun game with Verisart, a Blockchain-based service for artworks. He convinced it that he was da Vinci, although "convinced" is somewhat extreme; he simply uploaded the painting with some personal details, and there it was, immutably verified forevermore. There's no way to permanently attach a digital certificate to a phy...
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Culture and economic development in NYC and London

Culture and economic development in NYC and London SonofErat via Wikipedia
A new paper looks at the connections between economic development and culture, taking New York and London as its two cities of analysis. Written by scientists from Nokia Bell Labs, the paper examines how cultural capital links into local economies (eg an impact on house prices) and the resulting economic development that takes place. It also studie...
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How online ads follow you around, even when you don't want them to

How online ads follow you around, even when you don't want them to
Chris Yiu, technologist at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (yes, really) has written a good thread about online advertising and targeting. His view is that it's generally A Good Thing, and there are other, bigger problems to worry about: This doesn't mean I think the status quo is OK - we could do with a lot more transparency about how a...
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Buy tickets directly from Snapchat

Buy tickets directly from Snapchat Anthony Quintano, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/32926837384
​Snapchat has announced an integration with US ticket vendor SeatGeek, allowing popular event tickets to be purchased directly from the Snapchat app. While SeatGeek is only available in the US market (and Snapchat announced tickets from LA Football to be the first event provider through the partnership), it's probable that integrations with other v...
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NYM tears Vice a new one

NYM tears Vice a new one
​New Yorker ​ has published a long read about  ​Vice ​, the magazine-turned-multimedia-empire founded in Montreal by billionaire bighead Shane Smith, Suroosh Albi, and right-wing nutjob Gavin McInnes. It is uncompromising in terms of how the company's culture went bad... very bad. Both male and female Vice employees told me that beyo...
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Not the theory of everything

Not the theory of everything Milestoned, CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/baccharus/5817342671
From 2015, this is a really good Sunday read on why universal theories - of science, but perhaps of everything else - never scale, and will never scale in the future.  The advent of quantum mechanics changed everything. When quantum mechanics is combined with relativity, it turns out, rather unexpectedly in fact, that the detailed nature ...
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The ODI wants a data artist

The ODI wants a data artist ODI
Claire Selby from the Open Data Institute gets in touch, and asks if we can pass on some information regarding their call for an artist to work with data.  The ODI is entering its second year of a three-year R&D programme funded by Innovate UK. The programme goal is to advance knowledge and expertise in how data can shape the next generati...
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Celebrating Jaime Levy

Celebrating Jaime Levy Wikipedia
​New Yorker ​ has an excellent piece on Jaime Levy's work in the early days of net culture. Those around at the time are guaranteed to get rather misty-eyed at it, and it's great to see Jaime's work celebrated in this way. In the early '90s, Jaime Levy, a punk-rock hacker chick from Los Angeles, marched into the Tisch Building at NYU without a...
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How hate groups spread messages online

How hate groups spread messages online
Internet scholar and author Whitney Philips spent two years examining the ways in which hate groups have succeeded in, to use the marketing phrase, achieved cut-through. It's a cracking, if depressing read, once again outlining the necessity for marketers to understand the effectiveness of other ways of media planning and usage. Offering extremely ...
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Facebook Trending, RIP

Facebook Trending, RIP Christoph Scholz, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/25076399117
It's going. Alex Hardiman, head of news products at Facebook, has announced that the news headlines bit to the right hand side of FB is to be replaced. It was never that good anyway: We're removing Trending soon to make way for future news experiences on Facebook. We introduced Trending in 2014 as a way to help people discover news topics that were...
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This is the Pews: Facebook is no longer the most popular social network for US teens

This is the Pews: Facebook is no longer the most popular social network for US teens
The Pew Center's latest report,  ​Teens, social media and technology ​ gives us an insight into some of the macro factors affecting US teen Internet use. Most notably, Facebook has been supplanted as the most popular social network for this demographic. Headline stats include: ​Facebook usage has declined by 20% to 51% It has been eclipsed in ...
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New writing: Flesh Moves

New writing: Flesh Moves
Flesh Moves is a new work from friends of Imperica Brendan C. Byrne and Adam Rothstein.  Over to Brendan to introduce it: " Two years in the making, it's a heist story about the future of autonomous long haul trucking, the accelerating opioid crisis, and the break-up of the USA. Adam and I hope you 'enjoy' it." J's eyes pop open as Bigurl...
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Globalisation: the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning

Globalisation: the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning Shenzhen Bay Bridge
This is a good, well-argued piece on the future of globalisation with an absolute shedload of statistics. It strings concepts such as IOT, fast fashion, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the TPP together in one sweeping article on  ​Foreign Affairs ​. The geography of globalization is even changing within the developing world. The McKinsey Glo...
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Mary Meeker releases her report for 2018

Mary Meeker releases her report for 2018 JD Lasica, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdlasica/3007695650/
Mary Meeker's annual  Internet Trends report has been published. Here are the highlights, culled from the summary slide. At 3.6Bn, the number of Internet users has surpassed half the world's population. When markets reach mainstream, new growth gets harder to find - evinced by 0% new smartphone unit shipment growth in 2017. Internet ...
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