With researchers predicting how AI will be used for nefarious purposes, Facebook wrecking journalism at an alarming rate, the threat to democracy, the growing trend of deep fakes, there is an argument that we may be enjoying our last days of reality. And since big techs are not interested in fixing the issue, perhaps we need to fix it ourselves once we learn more about it. Very interesting times indeed.
[...] Never transparent about how it applies the information supplied by its two billion monthly users, Facebook had been caught red-handed: exploiting the weak spots of teenagers in their moments of greatest vulnerability, watching, waiting then delivering a targeted message at the moment of maximum impact. In another context, this could be read as something akin to torture or brainwashing. For Facebook, it was just business as usual.
The revelation forces us to confront some unpleasant thoughts about how the world works in 2017, and where things appear to be headed. As problematic as Facebook has become, it represents only one component of a much broader shift into a new human connectivity that is both omnipresent (consider the smartphone) and hypermediated—passing through and massaged by layer upon layer of machinery carefully hidden from view. The upshot is that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to determine what in our interactions is simply human and what is machine-generated. It is becoming difficult to know what is real.
|“He says he tries to use Facebook as little as possible, and that his children aren’t allowed to use that shit.”|
|"You can’t believe everything you read online."|
|Jacking in from the Slam the Spam Port|
|Tackling spam should be part of the campaign to reduce carbon emissions|
|“Systemd is, to put it mildly, controversial.”|
|“The Reality of Building Fantasy.”|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|iPhone 6, the First Smartphone to Disrupt NSA's Spying|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“The Amazon Dash button for horny men and women who don’t feel comfortable telling their partner they’d like to have sex.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“If you’re dating, you’re going to be let down. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.”|
|Testing Whether the Earth is Round or Flat|
|“A sophisticated global marketing strategy from an industry that is desperate to attract new smokers.”|
|“A low flyover of Jupiter's moon Europa.”|