Consider the fairly typical residence in this picture from Mfuwe, Zambia. This site has external sanitation facilities, a wood cook… Read More
Which Came First: Technology or Society?
By Jim Isaak on October 2nd, 2017 in Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Which came first: technology or society? Did the formation of social collaboration among early humanoids precede the first “technological” advances (fire, stone tools, etc.), or did these technologies form the catalyst for building more complex social structures?
An interesting thread
By Jim Isaak on July 7th, 2017 in Articles, Privacy & Security
All web sites such as this, that permit feedback, comments, etc., get some amount of “SPAM” (with apologies to Hormel)… Read More
A Not-So-Flat World – Friedman 2.0
By Jim Isaak on June 7th, 2017 in Articles, Human Impacts, Societal Impact
I’m preparing a course for this Fall on the future, and pursuing a number of related books that will no… Read More
Call Me Irresistible (or Else)
By Jim Isaak on May 5th, 2017 in Articles, Health & Medical
This new book, Irresistible: the Rise of Addictive Technology, points to a challenge that may be hitting a tipping point:… Read More
The Boundaries of Ethics
By Jim Isaak on April 26th, 2017 in Articles, Case Studies, Ethics
The U.S. government recently announced sanctions targeting Syrian scientists (and no doubt engineers; newspapers are not clear on the differences)…. Read More
By Jim Isaak on April 17th, 2017 in Articles, Ethics, Societal Impact
United Airlines has been having it’s problems since recently ejecting a passenger to facilitate crew members getting to their next… Read More
AI Apocalypse (not)
By Jim Isaak on April 11th, 2017 in Articles, Ethics, Societal Impact
Presumably we will reach a tipping point when Intelligent Devices surpass humans in many key areas, quite possibly without our… Read More
By Jim Isaak on February 21st, 2017 in Articles, Environment
A recent anthology of “climate fiction,” Loosed Upon the World, projects climate change forward some years into dystopian scenarios. The editor,… Read More
Your TV Might be Binge Watching You!
By Jim Isaak on February 7th, 2017 in Articles, Privacy & Security
VIZIO is reportedly paying fines for using TVs to track user’s viewing patterns in significant detail as well as associating… Read More
Tele-Kiss … Hmmm
By Jim Isaak on January 11th, 2017 in Articles, Societal Impact
London haptic researchers have developed a device to add to a cell phone that will allow remote persons kiss, as… Read More
Online Physical Attack
By Jim Isaak on January 3rd, 2017 in Articles, Health & Medical
It should be noted that an early, if not first, instance of an online physical attack on a person has… Read More
Alexa Called as Witness?
By Jim Isaak on December 29th, 2016 in Articles, Privacy & Security
“Alexa, tell me, in your own words, what happened on the night in question.” Actually the request is more like,… Read More
Who’s Monitoring the Baby Monitors?
By Guest Author on December 14th, 2016 in Articles, Privacy & Security
Guest Blog entry by Cassie Phillips With the recent, record-breaking distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks carried out with hijacked Internet-of-Things… Read More
Big Brother/Big Data 2016
By Jim Isaak on December 1st, 2016 in Articles, Privacy & Security
The powers of big data, AI/analytics, and subtle data collection are now converging to a future only hinted at in Orwell’s 1984.
Who Do You Want Listening In at Your Home?
By Jim Isaak on November 9th, 2016 in Articles, Privacy & Security
With Siri and Alexa, you are being asked to “bug your house” with a device that listens to every noise in the house.
Ethics of Killing with Robots
By Jim Isaak on July 20th, 2016 in Articles, Ethics, Societal Impact
The ability to kill a target from a “position of safety” is essentially the basic design criteria for many weapon systems.
By Jim Isaak on March 17th, 2015 in Articles, Privacy & Security, Robotics, Societal Impact
Should children have toys that can combine speech recognition with a Wi-Fi connection to capture and respond to them, and that potentially are able to record their conversations as well as feed them “messages”? Welcome to the world of Hello Barbie.
Who is Watching My Car — Car Monitoring
By Jim Isaak on March 13th, 2015 in Articles, Privacy & Security
Who is Driving Your Car? Car Hacking
By Jim Isaak on February 21st, 2015 in Articles, Privacy & Security
A recent CBS Sixty Minutes program interviewed folks at U.S. DARPA, including a demonstration of how a recent hacking of… Read More