Collaborating Authors


Could this wearable device be the answer to workplace social distancing?


With numerous organisations rapidly adapting to the use of new technologies within and outside of the workplace, wearable devices could soon become a common sight in offices as a means of enforcing workplace social distancing. Many are still working from home, but for those unable to carry out their jobs remotely, or those who have chosen to return to the workplace, ensuring they can do so safely is of paramount importance. The UK government has advised businesses to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, develop hygiene procedures, maintain workplace social distancing and manage transmission risk. But applying this to a busy workplace where employees attend meetings, collaborate on projects or simply socialise within the workplace makes keeping two metres apart a challenge. With this in mind, robotics company Tharsus has come up with a technology-based solution to "get businesses working again". The company, which has already developed technology solutions for companies such as DHL, Ocado, Rolls Royce, Automata and Small Robot Co, has developed "Bump", a Fitbit-style personal motion system designed to be a "simple, intuitive and friendly" way of improving workplace safety during the pandemic.

Digital Threats to Democracy: Ruling with a Silicon Fist


The first tactic in the digital authoritarian toolkit is to establish information walls through fear, friction, or flooding. While employing traditional methods of repression and punishment to censor through fear, digital authoritarians also make it more difficult for citizens to access information through internet shutdowns, firewalls, and paywalls. In addition, digital dictators target traditional democratic values and freedoms by flooding the internet and other outlets for speech, press, and assembly. Inauthentic accounts ("bots"), deepfakes, and new tools of digital propaganda help states amplify narratives, build polarization, and increase "us versus them" divisions. With information walls, regimes can shape public opinion in newly-sophisticated ways by establishing state control over the messages their population can access--and the information they do not.

E-Referendum on AI-Powered Economy


California Transhumanist Party has announced the e-referendum mediated by Artificial Super Intelligence (mASI) regarding the post-COVID-19 economy revival. The American people are voting online about the current socioeconomic issues: The necessity to introduce UBI (Universal Basic Income), capital tax and free medical care. Newton Lee, Chairman of California Transhumanist Party, has described the e-referendum as a first step towards establishing equality that the world desperately needs: "Eradicating diseases and establishing socioeconomic equality are the answers to COVID-19 pandemic and racial tension." The U.S. Transhumanist party leaders realize that we are living in a period of great social and economic transformation. The COVID-19 pandemic and racial riots have a devastating effect on global economy.

Consumers vs. Citizens in Democracy's Public Sphere

Communications of the ACM

From foreign intervention in free elections to the rise of the American surveillance state, the Internet has transformed the relationship between the public and private sectors, especially democracy's public sphere. The global pandemic only further highlights the extent to which technological innovation is changing how we live, work, and play. What has too often gone unacknowledged is that the same revolution has produced a series of conflicts between our desires as consumers and our duties as citizens. Left unaddressed, the consequence is a moral vacuum that has become a threat to liberal democracy and human values. Surveillance in the Internet Age, whether by governments or companies, often relies on algorithmic searches of big data.

A Council of Citizens Should Regulate Algorithms


Are machine-learning algorithms biased, wrong, and racist? Essentially rule-based structures for making decisions, machine-learning algorithms play an increasingly large role in our lives. They suggest what we should read and watch, whom we should date, and whether or not we are detained while awaiting trial. Their promise is huge–they can better detect cancers. But they can also discriminate based on the color of our skin or the zip code we live in.

America Must Shape the World's AI Norms -- or Dictators Will


As Secretaries of Defense, we anticipated and addressed threats to our nation, sought strategic opportunities, exercised authority, direction, and control over the U.S. military, and executed many other tasks in order to protect the American people and our way of life. During our combined service leading the Department of Defense, we navigated historical inflection points – the end of the Cold War and its aftermath, the War on Terror, and the reemergence of great power competition. Now, based on our collective experience, we believe the development and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning will dramatically affect every part of the Department of Defense, and will play as prominent a role in our country's future as the many strategic shifts we witnessed while in office. The digital revolution is changing our society at an unprecedented rate. Nearly 60 years passed between the construction of the first railroads in the United States and the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.

Societies in the automation era – Idees


Artificial Intelligence is a technology used to plan for the future. Planification implies intelligibility, calculability, and systematization. The future as a concept has been, in occidental cultures, closely tied to monotheism and the development of a linear narrative about societies, with a predicted end of the world, where individuals end up either in paradise or hell. This was a radical change from the narratives of classic cultures, where there was no notion of the past or prehistory, but rather a narrative of a cultural, god-given origin similar to the present. It did not anticipate change in the manner of future narratives. Future narratives see the time to come as a time when evolution happens, when neither clothes nor context nor social habits remain the same. With the development of Protestantism and capitalism, the future became more than a point in time when the story would end. It became an unwritten point of opportunity to be shaped by human beings.

COLUMN: Trump's China trade deal ignores real issues


By many counts, the trade deal President Trump signed on Jan. 15 with China lacks heft. It doesn't remove all the tariffs, it doesn't impose any major penalties on intellectual property theft, and it punts completely on issues including China's state subsidies to prop up its own companies in international markets. Yet on one matter, the agreement could dramatically alter the U.S.-China relationship and the future of global democracy. If he means it, the United States will make an enormous strategic error: treating this minor trade deal as reason for a closer relationship with Beijing and turning a blind eye to its unfolding atrocities. This new ceasefire on trade should mark the beginning -- not the end -- of assertive, values-based engagement with China.

Can technology plan economies and destroy democracy?


ABOUT A CENTURY ago, engineers created a new sort of space: the control room. Before then, things that needed control were controlled by people on the spot. But as district heating systems, railway networks, electric grids and the like grew more complex, it began to make sense to put the controls all in one place. Dials and light bulbs brought the way the world was working into the room. Levers, stopcocks, switches and buttons sent decisions back out. By the 1960s control rooms had become a powerful icon of the modern. At Mission Control in Houston, young men in horn rimmed glasses and crewcuts sent commands to spacecraft heading for the Moon. In the space seen through television sets, travellers exploring strange new worlds did so within an iconic control room of their own: the bridge of Star Trek's USS Enterprise. A hexagonal room built in Santiago de Chile a decade later fitted right into the same philosophy--and aesthetic. It had an array of screens full of numbers and arrows. It was linked to a powerful computer. It had futuristic swivel chairs, complete with geometric buttons in the armrests to control the displays.

Deepfakes: Informed digital citizens are the best defense against online manipulation


More than a decade ago, Internet analyst and new media scholar Clay Shirky said: "The only real way to end spam is to shut down e-mail communication." Will shutting down the Internet be the only way to end deepfake propaganda in 2020? Today, anyone can create their own fake news and also break it. Online propaganda is more misleading and manipulative than ever. Deepfakes, a specific form of disinformation that uses machine-learning algorithms to create audio and video of real people saying and doing things they never said or did, are moving quickly toward being indistinguishable from reality.