The New York Times has been publishing a series of "Op-Eds From The Future," giving fiction writers a chance to imagine our hellish circumstances to come.
Tech reporter and sf writer Brian Merchant (previously) calls our attention to the peculiar construction of the problem statement in articles about automation and obsolescence, in which "robots are coming to steal your job."
On Motherboard, Brian Merchant's (previously) new science fiction story The Convoy poses an eerily plausible future for political deepfake hoaxing — with James O'Keefe-alikes running the show — that skillfully weaves in elements of the Innocence of Muslims hoax with the current state-of-the-art in high-tech fakery. — Read the rest
In 2017, Pricewaterhousecooper published Using science fiction to explore business innovation, a guide for corporations that wanted to work with sf writers to think about the future of their businesses; it was part of a wave of corporate interest in the insights of sf writers, which also coincides with a parallel trend in academia (see, for example, ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination and UCSD's Clark Center for Human Imagination, both of which I have some involvement with).
It is routine for companies — and even individuals — to send emails with "beacons," transparent, tiny images that have to be fetched from a server. Through these beacons, companies can tell whether you've opened an email, whom you've forwarded it to, and even your location from moment to moment.
— Read the rest
If you've ever worked on a hopeless project that felt like it was going nowhere, you will draw spiritual strength from Merchant's account of life in the Purple trenches.
Vice today published a 5-part, deeply reported and researched science fiction series about what happens after the a massive earthquake hits an American city.
In 1974, the US National Institute on Drug Abuse commissioned sf giant Robert Silverberg to research and write Drug Themes in Science Fiction," a survey of 75 sf stories and novels that included fictional psychoactive drugs.
— Read the rest
Reed Morgan Milewicz, a programmer and computer science researcher, may be the first person to teach an AI to do Magic, literally.
The leaked slides were prepared by Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, at the behest of Transcanada, and they constitute a blueprint for tracking and influencing platform that spies on its participants in order to psychologically profile them and nudge them into becoming advocates for the oil industry.
Ukraine's dictatorship is revelling in its new, self-appointed dictatorial powers. The million-plus participants in the latest round of protests received a text-message from the government reading Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass disturbance.