Will Quantum Computing Save Us From Ourselves?

NYC Media Lab
9 min readMar 26, 2022

Will Quantum Computing Save Us From Ourselves? The dangers of doomscrolling View this email in your browser

Will Quantum Computing Save Us From Ourselves?

We have returned from SXSW 2022 buzzing with ideas about how today’s tech trends will help reshape tomorrow’s world. Although NFTs and Web3 dominated the headlines post-event, the fact the Metaverse will require new technologies and vast sums of money has left many questioning if the Metaverse is even feasible?

By contrast, ideas around quantum computing for design and social good were something that helped audiences explore the art of the possible. Recent news that quantum computers are getting smarter at simulating chemistry further fueled excitement around the possibilities ahead. If you are interested in learning more about the tech behind the hype, we recommend that you check out this map of quantum computing video on YouTube.

As the global tensions continue to escalate, there is also increasing concern that disconnecting or booting Russia from the Internet’s governing bodies could create an irreversible “splinternet” that will change the Internet for everyone. But as you endlessly scroll down your newsfeeds, TNW offered a timely reminder this week that doomscrolling isn’t just bad for your mood; it can harm your cognition too, and they provide a few tips on how you can rein it in.

Finally, this week, Nimo took the smart glasses concept to a whole new level. The mini-computer sits on your head and gives users six virtual screens to work with when away from their desks. We have not been this excited since seeing Huge Jackman’s multi-display set from the movie Swordfish. But what is the coolest tech you have seen in the first few months of 2022?

As always, we would love to hear from you Steve@NYCMediaLab.org

Steven Rosenbaum
Executive Director
The NYC Media Lab


Russia Is Risking the Creation of a “Splinternet” — and It Could Be Irreversible

We often forget how much of our digital life relies on big tech, from the ever-present apps on the home screen of our smartphones to the browser that stores all of our browsing history and logins. However, Russian citizens are increasingly being cut off from the world without access to
Twitter and Facebook. Apple, Microsoft, TikTok, Netflix, and others are also removing their services from the region.

Elsewhere, the great firewall in China is further strengthening the concern that a splinternet driven by politics rather than technology is becoming increasingly plausible. But if the Internet is allowed to fracture, there could be no going back to the connected world we take for granted today.

MIT Tech Review/ 6 min read

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Doomscrolling Isn’t Just Bad for Your Mood, It Can Harm Your Cognition Too — Here’s How to Rein It In

Have you ever spent excessive screen time endlessly scrolling down your newsfeed consuming negative news? It’s well documented that doomscrolling for extended periods can promote feelings of anxiety and depression. But did you know that it can also prevent you from thinking flexibly and make it difficult to switch between different perspectives? Learn how to reset your brain to stay positive and resilient — for your sake and others around you.

TNW/ 4 min read

Read More

Tech + Media

Is the Metaverse Even Feasible?

The success of any technology will be determined by mainstream adoption. Although Meta’s marketing teams do a great job of selling its vision of friends sitting around a virtual table, bringing that concept to life is not as simple as big tech would have you believe. For example, just making the network work will require new technologies and vast sums of money, which begs the question, is the Metaverse even feasible?

The solution we are being sold is a fully simulated “embodied internet” that we experience through an avatar. Figuring out how to translate our physical forms to virtual avatars is one hurdle. But moving data between users thousands of miles apart with very low latency is just one of many other obstacles that need to be overcome before we can even think about taking the concept seriously.

IEEE Spectrum/ 3 min read

Read More

EleutherAI: When OpenAI Isn’t Open Enough

One of the most disturbing things about artificial intelligence is that it transcends the power of nation-states to control, contain, or regulate it. Yet it can yield frightening results, such as the drug-discovery AI that recently took a wrong turn into discovering deadly toxins that could be used as chemical weapons. However, many believe the biggest risk of AI is not some person using it to do evil but building a powerful AI system that no one knows how to control.

Check out how a group’s free and open-source AI language model aims for GPT-3 power with Linux-scale collaboration and distribution. They have already enabled research into the interpretability, security, and ethics of large language models, proving that studying these systems will play a critical role in understanding how we can control them.

IEEE Spectrum/ 5 min read

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These Smart Glasses Want to Replace Your Laptop

Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are all heavily rumored to be working on a smart headset. Whether it will be the moment where mainstream audiences will embrace augmented reality and smart glasses is a debate for another day. But early-adopting techies had an excellent reason to be excited this week with news that a new pair of smart glasses are on a mission to replace their laptop.

Instead of lugging around your 3-pound machine, you’d grab your Nimo, a slim Bluetooth keyboard, and a mouse, put on the glasses, and the dual displays on the edge of each lens will serve up to six virtual screens. An early video of Nimo Beta looks promising, but the glasses are not expected to ship until 2023, and the price of early entry to the new computer era will be a cool $799.

Wired/ 5 min read

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What We’re Watching

The Map of Quantum Computing | Quantum Computers Explained

There is a great deal of hype surrounding quantum computing, and some critics argue it’s built on unrealistic future promises. However, this video clearly explains how it all works and why people are excited about quantum algorithms. It also explores the potential applications of quantum computers, including quantum simulation, artificial intelligence, and the different physical implementations people are using to build quantum computers.

DoS YouTube/ 33 min watch

Watch Here

What We’re Listening To

Darknet Diaries (podcast)

In the Darknet Diaries Podcast, Lack Rhysider explores the true stories of the dark side of the Internet and takes listeners on a journey through the chilling world of hacking, data breaches, and cybercrime. In addition, this episode features the story of Adam, who got a job doing IT work at a learning academy. Adam loved his new role and quickly felt a part of the team. But a strange series of events took him in another direction that didn’t make him happy…

Apple Podcasts/ 54 min

Listen Here

Virtual Events & Jobs

The Creator Economy vs Media Death Stars
Tue, March 29, 2022. 11:00 AM — 12:00 PM EDT

The NYC Media Lab’s Executive Director Steven Rosenbaum will engage Evan Shapiro in a crisp and provocative conversation. As platforms like Apple TV and Netflix dig deep to spend huge dollars on content, will creators become little more than highly paid properties of the platforms they serve?

Shapiro is a mapmaker, and in this presentation of the battles ahead, Rosenbaum will endeavor to turn Shapiro’s maps into a guidebook for how creators can navigate their path toward a future as kings of content. Kings, or court jesters? That remains to be seen. Live Q&A with Evan Schapiro to follow.

DeFi & The Future Of Programmable Money
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Sommelier Finance partners with TechCrunch to bring decentralized exchanges, liquidity providers, stablecoins, degens & regulators together to provide a glimpse into the fast-approaching future of finance. DeFi & The Future of Programmable Money covers everything from the basics of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) to what cutting-edge programmable money projects you must understand. Join engineers, retail investors & institutions as they build a better global financial system.

Three Insights To Influence Your Leadership — Culture, Connect & Competence
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Great Resignation, The Great Reshuffle, The Tsunami of Turnover, The She-cession, The Turnover Surge- these are just some of the headlines you see each day. Join AG “Pete” Hinojosa, Master Trainer and Thought Leadership Director, as he takes you through the Three C’s: Creating a climate of communication, tackling the concerns of change, and strengthening your culture!

Participants can expect to walk away with a foundational truth of employee culture every business leader needs to know and seven preventative strategies to increase communication-based on trust.

Digital Dozen — Breakthroughs in Storytelling
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Registration is now open for the 7th edition of Columbia DSL’s “Digital Dozen Breakthrough in Storytelling Awards!” Join us in celebrating 12 innovative works exploring new forms and functions of storytelling. This is a virtual event. Award Presentations by Jake Sally, Ziv Schneider, Paola Antonelli Aramique Krauthamer. RSVP early to save your spot

A Deeper Look

Quantum Computers Getting Smarter at Simulating Chemistry

In theory, quantum computers are destined to achieve a quantum advantage where they will find the answers to problems no classical computers could ever solve. The more components known as qubits that a quantum computer has, the greater its computational power can grow exponentially. Whether it lives up to these promises is often fiercely debated, but another significant milestone reached this week suggests there is much to be optimistic about.

Scientists recently completed the largest chemistry simulations involving quantum computers to date using Google’s Sycamore quantum processor. In experiments, scientists employed up to 16 qubits on Google’s 53-qubit quantum computer to calculate the ground state of molecules, the one in which they have the least amount of energy, making it the largest chemistry simulations performed to date.

IEEE Spectrum/ 3 min read

Read More Today’s newsletter written in partnership with Neil C. Hughes, the Tech Blogger and host of Tech Talks Daily


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NYC Media Lab connects university researchers and NYC’s media tech companies to create a new community of digital media & tech innovators in New York City.