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Jim Lillie

Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

Saturday, 18 November 2017 00:00

Confusing Smartphones to Safeguard Privacy


Videos and photos taken by smartphones have proliferated recently, documenting everything from questionable traffic stops to more serious crimes such as assault.

While those images have often proved useful in prompting authorities to act, smartphone cameras aren't always welcome in every environment...like, say, locker rooms, where people invariably pull out their phones even in the presence of signs forbidding the practice in the interest of protecting privacy.

Producers of live theater performances aren't thrilled by smartphone use inside theaters, either; after all, why fork over major bucks for a ticket if you have access to someone else's clandestine recording of it?

Now, researchers at the University of California, San Diego have come up with a method for complicating smartphone camera use.

It all seems easy enough: A customer asks a voice-operable device a question and the automated assistant provides information.

But there's more going on than providing users with easy answers to their sometimes difficult questions. The technology is changing the entire landscape of how people shape, search, and interact with businesses.

Scott Galloway, clinical professor of marketing at the New York University Stern School of Business and founder of research firm L2, recently told Analog Folk, "Voice-based ordering eliminates the need for packaging, design and end-caps, all the things that brands have poured billions into and have spent decades perfecting."

Which means that brands will be required to entirely reshape their messages to consumers who shop and purchase in a whole new world.

Monday, 06 November 2017 00:00


Worshipping Artificial Intelligence

In 2015, a former Google and Uber engineer filed documents with the state of California to begin Way of the Future, a nonprofit religious group focused on worshipping artificial intelligence (AI).

Based on paperwork obtained by Backchannel, the group's stated mission is "to develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society."

Anthony Levandowski is the person identified as the CEO and president of Way of the Future.

LiveScience reports that Candi Cann, an author and religious studies scholar who teaches comparative religion at Baylor University, believes that Levandowski's faith-based program isn't really all that strange when viewed with a perspective for history.

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