December 1, 2018 Curated Content: When the Tech Mythology Collapses

When the Tech Mythology Collapses,” Alexis C, Madrigal, The Atlantic, November 15, 2018

Draws a parallel between the recent fall from grace of America’s tech behemoths and a similar fall from grace of the country’s railroads and railroad barons a century earlier.



The Truth About Killer Robots: the year’s most terrifying documentary,” Zach Vasquez, The Guardian, November 26, 2018

Describes a new documentary about the dangers of robot automation, including issues of job loss, robot-caused human fatalities, and the loss of empathetic response as we adapt to a world co-inhabited by robots.



Student group explores the ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence,” Kim Martineau, MIT News, November 27, 2018

Describes the launch of a student-led MIT AI Ethics Reading Group, and some of the initial topics on which the group has focused.



Through All the Hype, Self-Driving Cars Remain Elusive,” Norman Mayerson, The New York Times, November 27, 2018

Notes that true autonomous driving is still “a long time away,” and then briefly profiles the startups that are important to this burgeoning new industry.



The ‘Monstrous’ Immorality of Creating Genetically Engineered Babies,” Arthur Caplan, Medium, November 28, 2018

Caplan, a professor at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, lists five severe ethical failures associated with He Jiankui’s assertion that he recently created the world’s first genetically engineered babies.

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The Week in Tech: Facebook’s Three Big Problems,” Kevin Rose, The New York Times, November 30, 2018

Argues that Facebook has three different categories of problems — political problems (mistrust by lawmakers), perception/PR problems, and most importantly, product problems, i.e., where the basic design of its products intrinsically invites abusive behavior. Also notes that new tech entrants are increasingly turning away from working for Facebook.



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