Death to Self-Service Kiosks!

Waiting in line at the airport was already an unpleasant enough experience, but now airlines want us to do their work for them. Rather than simply hand over our bags and have our tickets handed to us, passengers now must enter all our information on a computer kiosk ourselves. I encountered those stupid machines most … Continued

Culture, Tech

Why We Need a Return to Real Life

It’s time to return to real life. I think we all feel it. Perhaps few acknowledge it because of the consequence implied by the action: get off Facebook, put down the smartphone, and get face-to-face with someone. You can’t curate your existence as you stand in front of someone. “We have become so accustomed to … Continued

Culture, Tech

The Virtues of Reading the Fine Print

Holiday weekends, like the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, are a good time to catch up on rest, relaxation and . . . watching that thirty-two-hour webcast of Norwegians reading aloud the terms and conditions of various apps they’ve downloaded. That’s right. Norwegian television is broadcasting a program devoted to reading the fine print on all … Continued

Culture, Tech

AlphaGo and Our Future Computer Overlords

“We’re doomed.” These were the first words from a friend of mine upon hearing that a computer had beaten (arguably) the best living player of the board game “Go” in a five-round series of matches. “Computers” he said, “are going to take over the world.” Go is the world’s most complex board game, with more … Continued

Tech

Is Siri Sexist?

Just as smart phones went from being pricey, specialty gadgets to ubiquitous today, some tech industry leaders believe artificially intelligent personal assistants (IPAs) could be the next innovation to transform society and further embed technology into the fabric of our lives. Major companies are competing to design the most appealing IPA, and commentators are taking … Continued

Culture, Tech

Is Everything About to Vanish In The Cloud?

There’s an ongoing debate about whether we should be scared of technology. Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, recently extended that question in an interesting way: Should we be afraid of what the Internet does to cultural memory? Carr makes a great argument: Because memory is not just a mental phenomenon but is also tied … Continued

Tech

Is the Future of Fashion a Dress that can Tweet?

In a recently-opened exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, designers of so-called technological style showcased the future of fashion, including “clothes that respond to the environment, dresses you can tweet, and garments that come off a 3-D printer ready to wear.”  Such innovations in #techstyle are “poised to have a profound impact on the … Continued

Fashion, Tech

I’m a Millennial and I Use a Dumb Phone

It’s been a tumultuous 2016 so far for tech giant Apple. Its not-so-great stock performance has led to some not-so-happy investors, and the FBI is dragging the company through court in an epic battle pitting privacy against national security (and dividing much of Apple’s customer base). Recent events even prompted Donald Trump to call for … Continued

Tech

Fear, Loathing, and Artificial Intelligence

Recently in the Washington Post, Joel Achenbach wrote a long and very smart piece of reporting on the state of Artificial Intelligence doom mongering. The short version goes something like this: Science fiction writers have been worrying about the possibility that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could bring about a cataclysm since the 1950s, when computers barely … Continued

Culture, Tech

Facebook Ex’s and Oh’s

  Bravo, Facebook! I’d never expect to write those words but alas, the social media conglomerate has finally done right by their users. I’m not talking about Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan’s pledge of roughly $45 billion to philanthropic causes after the birth of their baby daughter. No, what’s impressed me is the recent … Continued

Tech