Why AI needs more social workers, with Columbia Universitys Desmond Patton

Sometimes it does seem the entire tech industry could use someone to talk to, like a good therapist or social worker. That might sound like an insult, but I mean it mostly earnestly: I am a chaplain who has spent 15 years talking with students, faculty, and other leaders at Harvard (and more recently MIT as well), mostly nonreligious and skeptical people like me, about their struggles to figure out what it means to build a meaningful career and a satisfying life, in a world full of insecurity, instability, and divisiveness of every kind. In related news, I recently took a year-long paid sabbatical from my work at Harvard and MIT, to spend 2019-20 investigating the ethics of technology and …

Palmer Luckeys Secretive Defense Company Is Booming Under Trump

As many tech giants grow skittish about cashing in on the surveillance boom, one company helmed by an industry iconoclast seems custom-built for Big Brother. For Anduril Industries, scanning the California desert alongside border agents or helping drones home in on targets isnt toxicit isnt even controversial. That mostly has to do with the companys founder, Palmer Luckey. The 26-year-old is best known as the designer of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that shepherded the futuristic technology into the mainstream. In 2014, Luckey sold his 100-person virtual reality company to Facebook for $3 billion. Luckey was reportedly forced out of Facebook in early 2017 after role-playing games, Luckey named his new project after a mythical sword from The Lord …

‘Mirror Worlds’ Creator Wants to Displace FacebookWith Blockchain

David Gelernter’s giant macaw, Ike, has taken a tumble. One moment he was there, offering agreeable squawks as Gelernter spoke, and then, in a flash of lightning, he wasn’t. Ike is fine, the 64-year-old Yale computer scientist assures me, simply stunned. “Luckily he’s as light as a bird. So he can fall great lengths and it doesn’t bother him,” he says. Now where was he? Oh yes, Gelernter was in the middle of telling me about his plans to revolutionize social media—emphasis on revolution. On Thursday, Gelernter published a post on Medium declaring his grievances against our favorite social media overlord, Facebook. He’s directing his ire into a new company called Revolution Populi, a social network that emphasizes individual data …

Mama duck parades her babies through hospital, delighting everyone

These ducks are not licensed medical professionals, but they're a welcome sight at Thompson Health.Image: Thompson health Each year, a duck visits the courtyard of Thompson Health in upstate New York to lay her eggs. Once the fuzzy little ducklings hatch, they have a little parade through the hospital’s nursing home, the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center. Is there a better way to ring in the spring season every year? No. The University of Rochester Medicine Thompson Health Facebook page shared a little story on Thursday that would thaw the winter out of anyone’s heart, sharing pictures of 2019’s family of ducks and their journey through the facility’s hallways and out a door. The mother of the ducklings will tap …