Climate Chaos And Artificial Us: 6 Links We’re Talking About

Climate Chaos And Artificial Us: 6 Links We’re Talking About
Design

Climate change and AI were the focus of stories circulating among the PSFK team this week

Isabella Alimonti
  • 14 july 2017

It’s our job to look to the future, but the interest extends to our downtime as well. This week, the Slack channel that serves as our virtual water cooler was abuzz with conversations surrounding two paramount subjects: climate change and artificial intelligence.

FOREBODING PLANET

We’ve covered a lot of projects on PSFK that prioritize sustainability, raising awareness of environmental concerns and alleviating human impact. On Monday, David Wallace-Wells’s controversial New York cover story kept us up at night with its worst-case scenario predictions of the havoc climate change could wreak within our and our children’s lifetimes. Then, we delved into Dave Levitan’s piece for The Outline, which recounts the backlash to the New York article and the backlash to the backlash—and proposes that doomsday thinking might actually prove a helpful tool in spurring discussion. Levitan writes, “given that 38 percent of Americans believe the effects of global warming have yet to begin, maybe clickbait isn’t such a bad idea.”

The science behind climate change is ever-developing and as yet incomplete. But a dire outlook could be a source of motivation: Presented with a worst-case scenario, what would you design or innovate? The New York Times has a surprising answer as to the most effective place to start.

MR. ROBOT

Artificial intelligence had an especially newsworthy week with Google announcing its PAIR initiative for the advancement of human-centric AI systems. We also explored a series from Quartz (presented with Hewlett Packard Enterprise) that looks at “What it means to be human in a world that’s increasingly filled with robots” from a number of angles, with an impressive interactive layout. In one article, writer Mike Murphy tries out an AI app called Replika that creates, as the name suggests, a bot replica of you based on your text messages (just like that episode of Black Mirror).

There’s a lot to consider with the growth of AI, not the least of which is how algorithms can contain bias just like us humans, as MIT Technology Review reports. And tying us back into our other topic, Microsoft launched a new program called AI for Earth to make artificial intelligence a more accessible tool in solving environmental challenges.


Lead Image: James Pond | Unsplash

It’s our job to look to the future, but the interest extends to our downtime as well. This week, the Slack channel that serves as our virtual water cooler was abuzz with conversations surrounding two paramount subjects: climate change and artificial intelligence.

+AI
+artificial intelligence
+climate change
+Design
+environment
+Google
+Microsoft
+new york magazine
+Public
+Quartz
+Sustainability
+Sustainability
+technology
+The New York Times

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