Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Trainee - Writer
Jack recently graduated from the University of Amsterdam, where he studied Comparative Literature. He is particularly interested in the way people, systems and languages interact.
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robot with citizenship
Anthropomorphobia

Sophia: World’s First Robot with a Citizenship

Robots are becoming more lifelike every day. As these increasingly human machines get closer to us, many are wondering how exactly we should relate to them, socially, politically and legally. Sophia the Humanoid is one such robot, designed to be especially human-like in appearance and mannerisms – and she was just granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia.

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video games
Society of Simulations

The Next Nature Guide to Games in 2017

In the next nature, many people spend as much time in the digital world of gaming as they do in the real world. We have covered video games before, but this year we thought it could be fun to list some of our favorites. These are the games that in 2017 have been transporting us into the future, blurring the line between virtual and real, and giving us access to new hybrid experiences.

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sandra rey eco coin award
Microbial Factories

ECO Coin Award Interviews: Sandra Rey

The world is changing and it’s important that we evolve with it. The ECO Coin Award is our way of recognizing innovations and initiatives which help us adapt to our next nature. The nominees are all aiming to create a more humane and sustainable future for us all. Now, in the lead-up to the announcement of this year’s winner, we’re interviewing each of the three finalists to learn about their values, insights and visions for the future. This week, we spoke to Sandra Rey, founder of Glowee, nominated in recognition of her work to harness bioluminescence as a new light source.

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Wild Systems

How to Fool a Neural Network

Computers are smart and, thanks to artificial neural networks, they are getting smarter. These networks, modelled after real neurological systems, allow computers to complete complex tasks such as image recognition. Until now, they have been impressively tough to fool. But one group of researchers claims to have found a way to reliably trick these networks into getting it wrong.

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eco con award
Suburban Utopia

ECO Coin Award Interviews: Ritsert Mans

The world is changing and it’s important that we evolve with it. The ECO Coin Award is our way of recognizing innovations and initiatives which help us adapt to our next nature. The nominees are all aiming to create a more humane and sustainable future for us all. Now, in the lead-up to the announcement of this year’s winner, we’re interviewing each of the three finalists to learn about their values, insights and visions for the future. This week, we spoke to Ritsert Mans, Dutch designer nominated in recognition of his unique creation: a wooden motorcycle running on algae oil.

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Making of The Modular Body
Augmented Bodies

The Making of the Modular Body

Remember OSCAR, the strange organism created by Cornelis Vlasman in our fellow Floris Kaayk’s award-winning speculative project, The Modular Body? Curious about how OSCAR was really created? Keen to know more about the project as a whole? You’re in luck! Check out the videos below, which provide an in-depth look at what went on behind the scenes of The Modular Body project.

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Wild Systems

ECO Coin Award Interviews: Shubhendu Sharma

The world is changing, and it’s important that we evolve with it. The ECO Coin Award is our way of recognizing innovations and initiatives which help us adapt to our next nature. All the nominees aim at creating a more humane and sustainable future for us and the planet. Now, in the lead-up to the announcement of this year’s winner, we’re interviewing each of the three finalists to learn about their values, insights and visions for the future. First up is Shubhendu Sharma, founder of Afforestt, nominated for the award in recognition of his efforts to spread the unique Miyawaki method of afforestation across the world.

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No Drones in the Park, Please!
Suburban Utopia

No Drones in the Park, Please!

Our peculiar image of the week comes from Iceland, where the use of drones has been forbidden in some national parks. The ban is apparently intended to protect nature, as well as visitors who would prefer not to have nuisance drones crash into them. No camping, dogs to be kept on leashes, and please, leave your drones at home!

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In Silico Farming
Food Technology

Farming in Silico

Agriculture has been with us since the dawn of civilization, and since then all kinds of machinery have helped make the process physically easier. But farming is more than just manual labor. For many farmers, the hard part is not planting and harvesting, but knowing when, where and how to plant in order to get the best yield. Thankfully, there’s an app for that too: growing crops in silico – on a computer screen.

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Rights for Robots
Wild Systems

Rights for Robots: EU Calls for Regulation

The science of robotics is a swiftly advancing field. We are inching ever closer to artificial intelligence and robot workforce. But do we really know how and where robots fit into our lives? Are robots tools, coworkers, or friends? And will this change in the future? A new report from the EU’s legal affairs committee recommends that we clarify the legal status of robots sooner rather than later. It even suggests that they could be given a form of personhood and rights.

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horsepower
Suburban Utopia

After Horsepower Comes Robotpower?

We fear being replaced by robots. They have the potential to be smarter, stronger and more hardworking than us. Yet, one could say that horses are bigger, faster and tougher than humans, and still no-one outside of “Gulliver’s Travels” fears being replaced by horses. Instead, we note these useful qualities in horses and quite literally harness them for our own advantage.

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Internet of Bees
Hypernature

The Internet of Bees

Do you ever wonder what bees talk about amongst themselves? A beehive is a very busy home, and gossip must spread fast. But what kind of information can we take from that buzz of conversation? With the help of a new monitoring system, a Canadian researcher is hoping to find out.

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New iPhones Recognize Your Face
Intimate Technology

iPhones Are Happy to See Us

Passcodes are increasingly a thing of the past. Nowadays you can log in to your devices simply using your thumbprint. What if you could do the same by looking into your phone’s camera? According to Apple’s recent press conference, this is precisely how the new iPhone X will work. Will our phones soon greet us like pets happy to see their owners?

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computer virus
Boomeranged Metaphors

DNA Hacking: Catch a Computer Virus

We’re familiar with the term virus referring to both biological infections and to similar infections meant to affect computers. But researchers at the University of Washington have discovered a new and surprising conflation of these two ideas: the possibility of encoding a computer virus into a strand of human DNA. We know how it feels to catch a cold, but how does it feel to catch a malware?

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Nomophobia
Intimate Technology

Nomophobia: the Fear of Phonelessness

You step outside your home without your phone and are seized by a sudden fear. Or you notice that your battery is low when out and about and decide to get home as quickly as possible. Do you recognize these anxieties? According to researchers from universities in Hong Kong and Seoul, they may be symptoms of something called “nomophobia”. That is, no-mobile-phobia: the fear of being separated from your smartphone.

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Google Cars Sniff Out Pollution
Suburban Utopia

Google Cars Can Now Sniff Out Pollution

Google Street View allows us to take a (virtual) look at almost any street in the world. Soon enough, it might also make us smell them. In partnership with Aclima, Google has been equipping its cars with various sensors designed to measure urban air pollution. Or, as Aclima CEO Davida Herzl put it: “It’s kind of like we’ve given the cars a nose”.

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