Competition is often seen almost as a universal good. But economist Nicholas Gruen says a slavish adherence to making everything a competition is damaging our trust in public institutions. Also, the Belgian community trialling an ancient form of democracy. And if big data is made collectively, would nationalising it help to ensure the benefits are widely distributed?
In this episode, we look ahead to the news and broader media environment in 2020 and pressing issues for local content in a globalised world. We also hear about the need to “decomputerise” in order to decarbonise.
The dystopian best-seller 1984 was published exactly seventy years ago. Its influence has been profound. But does it really speak to today’s politico-cultural environment?
The dystopian best-seller 1984 was published exactly seventy years ago. Its influence has been profound. But does it really speak to today’s politico-cultural environment? Broadcaster Scott Stephens believes Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a closer match.
Also, author and New York Times journalist David Itzoff talks us through another prescient piece of fiction, Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 original screenplay Network.
Are entrepreneurs the great innovators we’re told they are? What if the ideal of the lone genius is simply a myth? Innovation is a buzz term that’s become so over-used as to be almost meaningless. It’s time to be more innovative in our understanding of innovation.
Analysts say that many countries and companies will soon be forced to make a decision between the Chinese version of the Internet and the liberal, Western model – both models have a very different underlaying philosophy and understanding of governance.
How do you read? And how will you be reading in the future? Writers, journalists and publishers discuss the changing digital and literary world and how it could look in the years to come.
Smart phones have become an essential part of our lives. But are they so familiar, we sometimes underestimate their importance? The role they’ve played in helping to shape our interests and interactions?
So if I were to give a down and dirty, so to speak, over what an effective listener is, it would be somebody that takes a step back, that allows the other to speak, that gives their full attention, that hears the message with their ears, with their heart, with their mind, with their emotional intelligence, that suspends judgement and makes a connection with the other individual
It is time to put aside the novelty aspect of unmanned aerial vehicles and start designing domestic drones that are fit for purpose. But how do you regulate a technology that has so many different uses and such varying capacities?
Cross-laminated timber is becoming a construction staple and the towers of tomorrow may soon be predominantly built of wood. It’s cheaper and faster.
Forget the humans versus machine dichotomy. Our relationship with technology is far more complicated than that. To understand AI, first we need to appreciate the role humans play in shaping it.
Diplomacy is often viewed as a way of smoothing the friction points between states, but international relations are becoming increasingly assertive and highly personal.
The second part of the episode addresses the Dark Web.
Let’s look at the virtue of sharing: How could sharing shape our future, and what do we stand to lose if we refuse to share?
Nature Based Solutions is an environmental approach that seeks to counter the negative effects of climate change by working with nature.
Are rituals still needed in a world mediated through digital devices?
I think there’s two pieces. I think there’s the reflection and formulation of intention, what do I want from this experience, what does it mean. You know, a lot of rituals will include some element of solitary reflection as part of that process, and I think that is hugely valuable when it comes to thinking about our digital lives. But then the other piece is really almost the mirror image of that. Yes, there’s a piece of ritual that is about solitary reflection, but then there’s another piece that’s really about community recognition and understanding that you are now taking your place in a community or changing your relationship to the community or the community is now offering you a different form of participation or membership, and that notion, that when you join a community or when you change your relationship to the community, that you need to have some kind of mutual negotiation of what that means, that I think is a big part of what’s missing and it really has to do with giving us a chance to say, you know, hey, your Facebook login or your Instagram account or your new blog are not just about you, you are taking a place in a larger community that has a stake in how you use of this access.
This made me wonder if approaching the web following the #IndieWeb principles is somehow ritualistic. Rather than merely commenting or sharing, I now make the effort post content on my own site and syndicate from there.
My only question is whether this is the way it is simply because the technology is yet to develop and as it currently is, the #IndieWeb involves a little bit more effort and investment? Or will the community nature of it sustain the reflective nature?
Are the systems we’ve developed to enhance our lives now impairing our ability to distinguish between reality and falsity?
Dr Laura D’Olimpio – Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Notre Dame Australia
Andrew Potter – Associate Professor, Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University; author of The Authenticity Hoax
Hany Farid – Professor of Computer Science, Dartmouth College, USA
Mark Pesce – Honorary Associate, Digital Cultures Programme, University of Sydney
Robert Thompson – Professor of Media and Culture, Syracuse University
This is an interesting episode in regards to augmented reality and fake news. One of the useful points was Hany Farid’s description of machine learning and deep fakes:
When you think about faking an image or faking a video you typically think of something like Adobe Photoshop, you think about somebody takes an image or the frames of a video and manually pastes somebody’s face into an image or removes something from an image or adds something to a video, that’s how we tend to think about digital fakery. And what Deep Fakes is, where that word comes from, by the way, is there has been this revolution in machine learning called deep learning which has to do with the structure of what are called neural networks that are used to learn patterns in data.
And what Deep Fakes are is a very simple idea. You hand this machine learning algorithm two things; a video, let’s say it’s a video of somebody speaking, and then a couple of hundred, maybe a couple of thousand images of a person’s face that you would like to superimpose onto the video. And then the machine learning algorithm takes over. On every frame of the input video it finds automatically the face. It estimates the position of the face; is it looking to the left, to the right, up, down, is the mouth open, is the mouth closed, are the eyes open, are the eyes closed, are they winking, whatever the facial expression is.
It then goes into the sea of images of this new person that you have provided, either finds a face with a similar pose and facial expression or synthesises one automatically, and then replaces the face with that new face. It does that frame after frame after frame for the whole video. And in that way I can take a video of, for example, me talking and superimpose another person’s face over it.
Has our contemporary embrace of disruption become a problem rather than a solution?