I have thought this too. Mundane sociology of technology.
Posted: 15 March, 2023
Explainer of how large language models work.
Posted: 19 February, 2023
There’s no knowledge in chat GPT…
Posted: 28 January, 2023
Chat GPT is an epistemic agent
Posted: 28 January, 2023
Posted: 24 December, 2022
The first good analysis of language models I’ve seen.
Posted: 18 December, 2022
Posted: 18 December, 2022
more 99%I teaching content on bicycles.
Posted: 17 November, 2022
99% invisible does it again – a story about people representing wild rice in the US legal system.
Posted: 19 July, 2022
Interview with Vauhini Vauna who is a tech writer. She wrote an essay collaboratively with the open AIs GPT3. End of the interview touches on this, and particularly the affective dimensions of working with AI. It would be a good unexpected teaching case.
Posted: 9 May, 2022
Sensitive podcast on American’s relationship with an endangered species. Takes a kind of socio-technical systems / actor-centred approach to Grouse as an issue.
Posted: 2 May, 2022
The default metaphor for intellectual property in modern times is “ownership.” In this model of ownership, all ideas, stories, inventions, characters, product names, techniques are understood to be inherently born as the property of their creator. These thoughts-made-real are seen to be owned by the mind that births them. You think them, you own them. With this status of ownership, intangible creations such as a novel, a musical melody, a plot, a phrase, formula, etc — all things created by a mind — are given a monopoly of rights in order to encourage further creations by the same creator. And to spur others to create. This lawful monopoly — such as copyright, patents, trademarks — protects the creation from being used by others for gain. By current law, this inherent monopolistic ownership is held strongly for long periods of time, ranging from decades to a century, depending on the conceptual type (patents may be 17 years while copyright may exceed lifetimes). This awarded monopoly has a few exceptions for very limited special cases, such as “fair use” and public domain. In these modes anyone can fairly use the invention for their own purposes. Certain restrictions may apply, like if the use might need to be for education, or for parody, or so used in a transformative way, or bettered by the use. These exceptions were to be kept to an absolute minimum in order to maximize the monopoly of the hard working creator. This framing plays into both the modern idea of ownership as the sacred foundation of wealth and prosperity, but it also plays into the idea of creator as a hero, or at least as the bedrock of progress.
Posted: 4 February, 2022
Big tech companies’ research budgets are massive
Posted: 24 January, 2022
An inventor finally offers an interesting take on responsibility, centring on narratives and the ability to talk about the ambivalences of NFTs.
Posted: 15 November, 2021
Podcast with Max Chafkin, author of a book on Peter Thiel. Has a really nice bit of emerging tech disassembly on a scary technology (Palantir) and an example of how the wrong assessment of some tech visionaries about a problem (9/11 – failure of surveillance) led to its development.
Posted: 6 October, 2021
Surreptitious data sharing mental health apps
Posted: 8 August, 2021
Uranium mining in the USA
Posted: 3 August, 2021
Economist article on Google releasing petition folding predictions
Posted: 29 July, 2021
Government creates a new science and technology council, chaired by the prime minister, to make decisions about research to address societal challenges.
Posted: 21 June, 2021
Great case study of funding and technological change and its imbrication in politics (it made Britain better at being Imperialistic)
Posted: 22 May, 2021
Profile of a bioengineering person who doesn’t think in terms of genes and is trying to drive regeneration using bioelectrical signals. Very reminiscent of Karen barads talks
Posted: 5 May, 2021
Academic title = The role of digital technologies in changing international politics: the case of diplomacy
Posted: 3 May, 2021
How collaboration shapes knowledge production: "A 2009 study showed that about 80 per cent of Central Africa’s research papers were produced with collaborators based outside the region. With the exception of Rwanda, each of the African countries principally collaborated with its former coloniser. As a result, these dominant collaborators shaped scientific work in the region. They prioritised research on immediate local health-related issues, particularly infectious and tropical diseases, rather than encouraging local scientists to also pursue the fuller range of topics pursued in the West."
Posted: 25 April, 2021
Amazing article about how AirPods are evil
Posted: 19 April, 2021
Somatosphere forum on the origins of the coronavirus responsible for this pandemic.
Posted: 6 March, 2021
You could imagine a future in which the pandemic drives vaccine development which negates the need for eradicating mosquitoes from the world.
Posted: 1 March, 2021