Don’t look now if you’re someone who enjoys driving. Blame Elon Musk, blame Google, blame Al Gore… but there’s no escaping the fact that, in just a few short years, we’ll all be coddled from one destination to the next inside shiny, smart transportation appliances. And you thought holding out hope for a stick-shift was audacious.
Don’t we all wish to look into someone else’s mind every once in a while? With the evolving technique called EEG, electroencephalography, we can measure brain activity and ultimately even read the brain. The newest inventions are becoming more and more portable, ready to be implemented into our everyday life.
This year, on April 6th, a baby was born with three genetic parents: two mothers and one father. Thanks to a revolutionary technique, two egg cells of two different women were combined into one new healthy egg cell. After living for almost six months on this planet, the boy seems to be healthy.
Remember how a decade ago everybody had a BlackBerry? Those days are over now, as the Canadian tech firm has confirmed that it will no longer create these phones, marking the end of an era for the once dominant leader of the smartphone market. While the news is hardly surprising, BlackBerry has greatly contributed to how mobile telecommunication is shaped, as we know it today. Consider this a eulogy to how BlackBerry became a relic of the past.
Last week The Hague hosted the 12th edition of TodaysArt, a festival dedicated to contemporary experiments in music, art and digital culture. As the event – called “Public Under Construction” – incorporated meetings, performances, installations and concerts all focused on the future, it gave more questions than answers. Some of them are worth pointing out.
As the pace of technological innovation is accelerating, we need to inform ourselves to understand what is means to live in a highly advanced society. In an ongoing lecture and debate series, Pakhuis de Zwijger is exploring our digital society in which humans matter, and invited NNN director Koert van Mensvoort and professor of Stochastic Networks Johan van Leeuwaarden to discuss the topic of Humane Technology.
One of the most rewarding parts of our relationship with dogs is how we humanize them, they seem to smile at us, speak and understand our feelings. But in the end we are just putting a human layer on an animal with a brain that is still a mystery to us. What we know very well is how to train them, we study their reaction to certain basic stimuli and take advantage of it to get them to perform a specific task. This method was set thanks to the behavioural studies developed by physiologist Ivan Pavlov. Now, more that 100 years after, his research became relevant again because we have to deal with a new kind of mysterious brain that needs to be trained: deep machine learning.