Technology as a Driver of Global Change.
Technology as a Driver of Global Change. Links to Support Ukraine View this email in your browser
The NYC Media Lab is deeply troubled by the senseless aggression against the people of Ukraine. Hundreds of innocent people are losing their lives and the numbers are growing by the day. Here’s a LINK where you can donate and provide priority supplies to people in need:
There is an increasing argument that E.U.’s dependence on Russian oil and gas is front and center, and that technology is a central concern. But, in the same week that NASA revealed how lattice confinement fusion (LCF) eliminates massive magnets and powerful lasers to provide a shortcut to fusion power we are beginning to learn that the only limit around the future of energy is our imagination.
At the same time, neural noise show’s the uncertainty of our memories. Elsewhere, we are beginning to see the emergence of a new era in voice user interface technology which promises to create a unique user experience.
At the same time, the return of Steven Soderbergh and a sleek and scary tech thriller. The movie — KIMI — tells the story of an Alexa type home speaker, with an even more scary outcome. Check out the trailer of this modern-day Hitchcockian film — and the amplification of a murder.
Please reach out with your thoughts, feedback, or ideas on how we can work together. Steve@NYCMediaLab.org
The NYC Media Lab
President Biden Will Call For More Limits on Social Media.
Five years ago, Facebook allegedly told advertisers that it could leverage sensitive user data to aim ads at teenagers who felt anxious and worthless. In 2022, President Biden revealed limits on potentially harmful interactions between children and social media platforms. Biden is expected to ask Congress to ban targeted ads aimed at children on social media sites.
The president also advised that social media platforms “should be required to prioritize and ensure” the safety and health of young people, including when they make design choices for their product. Could this be the end of moving fast and breaking things?
New York Times/ 1 min read
NASA’s New Shortcut to Fusion Power
News this week that Lattice confinement fusion eliminates the need for massive magnets and powerful lasers has excited the scientific community. But the use of gamma rays left some worried about we could end up unwittingly creating the hulk. But the real excitement is around daring to imagine a future where LCF powers small power plants and reduces our dependency on fossil fuels while also increasing grid resiliency.
Remember the name Larry Forsley because he looks destined to go down in history for creating new ways of generating clean nuclear energy, not just for space missions but also for people on Earth.
IEEE Spectrum/ 11 min read
Neural Noise Shows the Uncertainty of Our Memories
According to Neuroscientific studies, our uncertainty about its accuracy is part of the recollection process when we call up memories. Learn more about how neuroscientists use decoders to predict what people are looking at from fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans of their brains. The article explores how these programs can be trained to find the links between a presented image, the pattern of blood flow, and neural activity in the brain that results when people see it.
Wired/ 7 min read
Tech + Media
Why Voice Assistants Could Be the Future of User Experience
Our love and hate relationships with in-app voice assistants look set to continue as we prepare to enter a new era for voice user interfaces that act as a dynamic interface that can be used in various ways to each user with a unique experience. Instead of having your users adapt to a very convoluted user interface, having an in-app voice assistant makes a simple user interface that adapts to your users.
For both new and experienced users, the humble voice assistant is promising to be a huge differentiating factor that can improve conversion and retention rates. Watch this space…
Venture Beat/ 6 min read
Why the True Test for Today’s Conversational A.I. Chatbots Is Time
Nine of us know what conversational A.I. will look like in a decade from now. However, what we do know is that we need to optimize our chatbots now to make room for future progress. If we are serious about maintaining a conversational experience, this article explores why we can’t keep adding more and more complexity without considering the latency of the whole system. Food for thought, indeed.
VentureBeat/ 4 min read
War in Ukraine: We Need to Talk About Fossil Fuels
With Russia taking control of a nuclear plant in Ukraine this week, there is an increasing belief that we need to start talking about the E.U.’s dependence on Russian oil and gas. Although one of Europe’s primary responses to Russia’s Ukraine invasion is a pledge to cut fossil fuel use by 40 percent by 2030, the room for rapid changes is limited. But, the E.U. remains determined to double down on renewables.
IEEE Spectrum/ 6 min read
What We’re Watching
KIMI — Official Trailer
Steven Soderbergh returned this week with a sleek and stylish tech thriller called KIMI. Early reviews are mixed. But the trailer for the Hitchcockian story of an agoraphobic character who hears a murder via an Alexa-style device captured our attention. The movie’s tagline, “What if every breath…every sound…every moment was recorded?” will resonate with tech fans. The film will hit HBO Max on 2/10.
Hollywood has a bad reputation for technobabble that makes no sense in the real world. We hope that KIMI will be different, but please let us know what you liked and disliked about the movie and your favorite tech films.
Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube/ 2:25 min watch
What We’re Listening To
Marketplace Tech — A Closer Look at China’s New Algorithm Regulations
China’s government enforces regulations on companies that use algorithms to control search results, recommend videos, or set prices. It’s part of China’s broader efforts to crack down on its tech sector. Among other things, these new rules would prohibit companies from using someone’s personal information to show them a different price for a product than someone else.
Apple Podcasts/ 8 min
Virtual Events & Jobs
Director of Partnerships — NYC Media Lab
The Director of Partnerships leads the strategic planning, business development, and programmatic partnerships of the NYC Media Labs. The position is responsible for identifying and launching new programs and initiatives, managing the innovation portfolio for NYC Media Labs. The position will also have direct oversight of the $2 million dollar Verizon 5G Ed Tech Challenge.
Tuesday, March 08, 2022
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video & live speakers combine to spark deep discussion & connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.
The Data Summit — The New Oil Of The Digital Age
Wednesday, March 09, 2022, at 11:00 AM
As enterprises realize that data is the new oil of the digital age, navigating their data journey becomes paramount. Learn about end-user case studies from various industry verticals such as healthcare, finance, retail, manufacturing, technology, security, among others that deal with the data journey of multiple organizations.
Where Do Black Women Fit In Women’s History Month
Friday, March 11, 2022, at 10:00 AM
A Deeper Look
I Feared Remote Work Would Kill My Startup’s Culture. Here’s Why It Didn’t
Take a deep dive into how a tech company entered a hypergrowth phase just as the pandemic hit. Its co-founder shares how the switch to WFH softened the hard edges of scaling. Rather than kill the culture, learn how transitioning to a remote-first hybrid company transformed the startup and is helping it scale up in ways they never previously felt possible.
Fast Company/ 4 min read