Tag: Society of Simulations

Young people who are afraid of making a phone call
Society of Simulations

What Is Next Nature? #9

There is something about texting and chatting that makes it so interesting for young people. It might be that in the turbulent transition from a child to an adult text messages take away many social insecurities. The digital medium gives a sense of anonymity, and typing allows for more control over the conversation. Typing costs more time than speaking, but it permits to think about the content and to correct or rewrite something before pressing enter, managing the irrevocability of direct social contact. As children grow up using this reassuring medium they become awkward in making, for example, phone calls, where the safety net of text messages is absent.

Read the entire Next Nature is… series.

Facebook suicide prevention tool
Society of Simulations

Facebook Provides a Suicide Prevention Tool

Let’s say an old schoolmate, whom you haven’t spoken to in ages but is your friend on Facebook, posts a status update that sounds like a suicide note. What to do? Message the friend? Then what to say? Facebook is setting up a tool that advises what to do and directly seeks contact with the person who might be on the brinck of committing suicide. Is a social network morally obliged to have such a feature or is it trespassing privacy borders? This is a sensitive topic.

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Brexit climate change
Wild Systems

Brexit: the Cultural Climate Warms Up

On the aftermath of such a historic day for Britain and the EU, it’s easy to get swayed into the polarities of political discourse, particularly on social media and the Internet, where things heat up and move fast. The results of the referendum have just come out, and the Internet is already burning with tension. This, dear readers, is called “climate change” – just not the one you are used to hear about.

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teaching assistant jill watson
Wild Systems

Your Teaching Assistant Is a Robot

We tend to think that there are certain categories of jobs that can’t be replaced by machines, yet. Something like a college teacher, for example. Jill Watson performed as teaching assistant for several students of the Georgia Institute for Technology. The thing students didn’t realize is that she wasn’t a real person. The experiment lasted five months during which Jill’s task was to help students, by answering their questions online. Her responses were so credible and elaborate, that they didn’t doubt her identity.

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reputation monkey whispering
Wild Systems

Rating the Reputation Economy

A ten part series exploring the design of an invisible technology: money.

Our online reputation permeates throughout our digital world. With every website we visit, comment we leave, person we “friend”, spammer we flag or badge we earn, we leave a trail of how well we can or can not be trusted. Though it may not seem like it, our reputation is becoming a valuable currency that is hard to earn and easy to lose.

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Texting smiley faces with a straight face
Society of Simulations

What Is Next Nature? #1

Laughing is meaningful in a social environment. We do most of our laughing together. But with smartphone interfaces slowly replacing real world interaction, our facial expressions become obsolete. In order to express our emotions in text messages we outsource them to emoji. At the moment we are awkwardly divided between laughing at our smartphone or texting laughing smileys while expressing nothing but a poker face.

This post is part of the Next Nature Is… series. Every week we will post an image with a statement about next nature in action. Some of them will be very recognizable, others will surprise you. Our next nature is unfolding itself all around us and we want you to recognize it as well.