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surveillance
Video camera lens

China Leads the World in Face Recognition Exports

The global power is exporting the AI to weak and autocratic countries, according to a report from Brookings Institute

China is the world’s leading exporter of facial recognition technology, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard and MIT. The study aimed to elucidate the ramifications of the AI revolution and what it means for such technology to be exported from a global power like China. They found that China is more likely than other countries to export AI technology to other countries. China also focuses on exporting facial recognition to countries with weak democracies that are experiencing social unrest and upheaval. Political motivation might be driving such trades. The authors write, The Chinese government’s demand for surveillance and political control translates into more exports of AI. Moreover, our finding that autocrats and would-be autocrats abroad demand surveillance Read More ›

living forever
Abstract image of Artificial Intelligence

Do You Really Want to Live Forever?

Organizations like Altos Labs are funding research in cell rejuvenation and biological longevity

2023 is expected to yield “breakthrough” research in aging treatments, led by the Palo Alto medical company Altos Labs. Jeff Bezos is among the donors of the organization, which notes on its homepage that its mission is “to restore cell health and resilience through cellular rejuvenation programming to reverse disease, injury, and the disabilities that can occur throughout life.” A Wired article is optimistic about the direction of the research and compares its potential to the development of antibiotic treatment. Andrew Steele writes, In 2023, early success of these treatments could kickstart the greatest revolution in medicine since the discovery of antibiotics. Rather than going to the doctor when we’re sick and picking off age-related problems like cancer and dementia Read More ›

monk praying in forest
Monk figure praying in the forest

Do You Struggle to Focus? Medieval Monks Did Too

New book shows how ancient monks fought distraction and what they can teach us today

While the battle against constant distraction might seem like a new problem posed by our diffuse technologies, a new book from Jamie Kreiner argues that the struggle is perennial. The book is The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction. Kreiner takes the problem of distraction and puts it into the hands of the religious recluses of late antiquity. It turns out they had a lot to say. Like us, they struggled to maintain vigorous work routines. They courted the opinions of other monks and writers on what a modern-day LinkedIn guru would call “workflow” or “hustle.” In short, they were not so different from us. In his review of the book for Wired, Matt Reynolds writes, Early Read More ›

high-ranking-military-man-holds-a-briefing-to-a-team-of-government-agents-and-politicians-shows-satellite-surveillance-footage-stockpack-adobe-stock.jpg
High-Ranking Military Man holds a Briefing to a Team of Government Agents and Politicians, Shows Satellite Surveillance Footage.

Sci-fi Saturday Books: Will World War III Be the U.S. vs. China?

One thing that is certain is that it will be a cyber war

Wired Magazine devoted its entire February 2021 issue to the first four chapters of a book depicting a near-future dystopia in which the U.S. goes to war with China. You can read the first part of the book here. The authors of 2034: A Novel of the New World War have military backgrounds and were inspired by Cold War literature that speculated on the worst-case scenario if the U.S. and Russia had gone to war. The reason for the Wired editors’ interest is that 2034 is no ordinary thriller. Admiral James Stavridis comes with a wealth of experience in how such a conflict might play out. He is a retired four-star U.S. naval officer who has received numerous medals and Read More ›