Tag: Technology

Why Do Tech Companies Want to Read Our Minds? (Brain-computer interfaces, surgical implants and the end of privacy)

We are free to think whatever we want. From a young age, we are told that no one else can know what we are thinking. Someone can study our actions, our facial expressions and our body language, but they can never know for sure what we are thinking. Our thoughts are private and secure, and ...

4 Ways to Innovate: Lessons from the Global Scholars Symposium

In June 2019, Rhodes House hosted the Global Scholars Symposium. The theme was Cultivating Innovation. Over the two-day event, speakers from all over the world talked about different ways to innovate. I left the event with a newfound appreciation for innovators, and several take-home messages. According to the dictionary, to innovate is to “make changes in ...

Fireworks Fly at Jeff Koons Event: Should An Artist Credit Their Assistants?

Fireworks flew in question time yesterday at an event celebrating the internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Koons. Visiting Oxford to promote his exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Koons was questioned by the Emeritus Professor of Art History Martin Kemp, before receiving mostly hostile questions from the live audience. Koons is best known for his reproduction of ...

United Kingdom Considers New Laws: Age Restrictions for Facebook Likes, Snapstreaks

The recent call for age restrictions on likes and streaks on Facebook and Snapchat is long overdue, but does not go far enough.  People of all ages should be protected from the psychological damage caused by likes, streaks and other online ‘reward’ mechanisms used by giant social media companies to make us all addicts. Likes, ...

Automation and the Classic Political Response – Retrain Workers – Inadequate

When the threat of automation is raised, politicians tend to respond with banal platitudes about retraining workers. "We need to train people for the jobs of the future," they'll say. When asked what those jobs will be, they inevitably say: coding. But what if there are no jobs? And what if we can't all be ...

Can Andrew Yang Become U.S. President?

For years, I've been reading and writing about the looming threat of automation, A.I. and new technologies, including their capacity to wipe out traditional jobs. The bulk of this writing was compiled into a book Essays in A.I. released a couple years ago. When confronted with the looming threat of automation, the traditional response from ...

We Need Less Experts: The Power of Educating Generalists

Imagine that you’re a doctor and that your patient has just died on the operating table. Now, you have the difficult task of telling the family the bad news. You’re an expert in medicine but you have no knowledge of...