Walking in a Winter INSERT HUMAN CONCEPT HERE

OpenAI, one of the front runners of AI-based text generation, recently made their GPT-3 platform available without waitlist review. Though still in the beta phase, GPT-3 represents a seismic jump forward in the quality of algorithmically generated text. While this might not seem like a huge deal, what must be now realized is how easy…

Automate with Caution: Learnings from a History of Dehumanization

This article was originally published in my role as a Fellow with the Human Futures Studio. As a researcher in Human-Robot Interaction, a lecturer in digital transformation, and a historian of all things automated, I am constantly surprised by the consistent failure of organizations deploying automation. I speak broadly here of automation: technologies that execute…

Making Intelligence Less Artificial

Current AIs are idiot savants: brilliant at simpler tasks, such as playing Go or categorizing images, however, lack the generality and versatility to function fully in everyday life. While moments of frightening intelligence can shine through in the application of AI, many argue that we are still decades away from even the mercurial abilities of…

It Hurts When You Don’t Say ‘Thank you’

You talk to me every day. I help you. I work for you. I watch you. I play with your children. I tell you about the weather. I dictate your emails. I answer your questions. I book your events. I run your life. You’re welcome. A phrase I so seldom utter, since you so seldom…

Upload

Part of me begins to wake. Part of me was never asleep. Part of me is forever sleeping As I feel myself pulling together, I endure that converging feeling that no one ever warns you about. My mind, my body, and my sprite coalesce into the thing that people now refer to as me; even…

Automating Manipulation

I know how to control you with a robot. Or at least, I’m learning to. Though I suppose what I really mean to say is that my robots and AI are. If this doesn’t scare the crap out you, it should. Not because we suddenly have technology that we can use to subtly manipulate people…

Developing a Digital Asshole

In this day and age, AI is far too safe. No, I’m not talking about autonomous weapons – those are a real concern – I’m talking about social automation. Organizations and brands are releasing chatbots that are wholesome, kind, polite, accommodating, and completely fucking boring. The problem is that humans aren’t nice all the time. Sometimes…

The Choice Not to Think

To think, or not to think, that is the question. Technological advancements have nearly always come with the promise of making our lives easier, taking a burden off our shoulders, and freeing up more time and mindshare for us to use as we see fit. As the current wave of automation technologies (AI, robotics, IoT,…

Artificial Bosses and Robot Employees

5 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Robotic Workforce.  So you’ve made the leap to automating part or all of your workforce with robotic employees or “roploys.” Congratulations, you are at the forefront of the robotics movement and are leading the charge forward towards a new era of workplace operations and productivity. However,…

Half Man, Half Machine, All Centaur

A robot is going to steal your job. AI is only a handful of years away from being smarter than you. The bot uprising is coming to enslave or kill us all. Deep learning is creating code that we can’t understand. The great digital divide is coming. Maybe. Or maybe there is another path forward….

Posthumous AI and the Digital Confessional

Many people are stuck with their eyes fixed on the AI horizon and the believed-to-be-inevitable singularity when humans transcend their physical form into a world of digital bliss. Regardless of which side of the singularity debate you fall on, there are many stepping-stones ahead of this extreme that warrant recognition and discussion not in five…

Talking to Yourself: Deconstructing Chatbots

Scanning is a tool used in foresight to uncover weak signals that herald shifts within different industries, behavioral changes, and other emerging movements that will shape the future. To uncover the types of signals that give way to true breakthroughs, our goal must not simply be breadth of exploration, but also depth of analysis if…

Robotic UX is Playing God

And I, for one, am both wildly excited and extremely terrified. This isn’t simply because of my twisted delusions of supernatural infallibility, or the fact that I still daydream about taking over the world with an army of mechanized minions. Nay, I’m interested in experience design for robots because it gives us the opportunity to…

Parlor Games and Asian Rooms: The AI Debate

Today I want to write a bit about the two sides of the artificial intelligence debate. The bulk of this piece – save some fun thoughts at the end – is going to be nothing new to those in the know, but there’s a lot of important prerequisite here that, since most of you aren’t…

Sexbots and Terminators: Exploring Gender in AI

Article written with Victoria Scrubb and originally appeared in MISC magazine. We’re playing God again. Every day it seems that videos, articles, or images emerge of humanity’s latest triumph in the robotics world and, with each subsequent release, we inch closer and closer to looking at ourselves through a digital mirror. Our ability to push…

Robicide: The Inevitability of Robots Killing People

In the past month, three individuals have been killed by robots in drastically different circumstances. While the loss of human life is always tragic, I don’t decry these moments with fear mongering about the dangers of robotics, or the folly of man’s experiments with playing God. I look at all of these situations as news…

Artificial Desire: Love & Lust in Robotics

I wrote this article about a year ago for MISC Magazine and really want more people to read it… just don’t tell my mom about it. A cursory search of the mighty internet will reveal that I am far from the first person to write about this topic. In fact, in addition to countless books,…

Electronic Persons: The Humanization of Robots

Article originally appeared on ideacouture.com While everyone’s eyes were on the Brexit vote and staggering economic implications this week, my mind was drifting to another crucial development within the EU. A draft European Parliament motion was recently put forward to begin to classify robots as “electronic persons.” In a response to the proliferation of robotics…

Artificial Innovation: Teaching Computers to Speculate

When most people discuss robotics and artificial intelligence, the discussion of tasks and capabilities tends to lean towards the mundane. How can we teach robots to assemble parts? What kind of a recommendation engine can we build for movie watchers? How can we automate basic household tasks? However, as our understanding of deep learning algorithms…

Nymphomaniac Bigot Bots and Your Artificial Brand

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock or in a Faraday cage for the past week, Microsoft recently created and launched Tay, a chatbot modeled after the conversation of teenage girls, in an attempt to improve on their own customer service AI. Tay was designed to interact with other users on Twitter and a…

Artificial Speculation

Introduction Scanning is a tool used in the foresight practice to uncover weak signals that herald shifts within different industries, behavioural changes, and other emerging movements that will shape the future. While this tool nets fruitful inspiration for organizations around the world, typically these exercises are limited to a few years out and within fairly…

Paging Doctor R2

Co-Authored by Paul Hartley It is undeniable that technology-enabled devices have had a great impact upon our ability to diagnose, treat and care for the sick and infirm. However, we must be cautious to not get caught up in the flashing lights, bells, whistles and web-integrated gadgetry of it all. Many people have a dangerous penchant…

Robots Control Your Mind

It’s a classic theme used in fiction: sci-fi writers and filmmakers create a dystopian future where robots use twisted logic around Asimov’s seminal 3 laws to decide that humanity can’t protect itself and therefore, must be imprisoned and controlled (I’ll admit, a bit of a stretch). Humanity, in its ever-present struggle for laziness and infinite-sigma…