Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #240

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Death By Robot – The New York Times. Asimov cooked up three laws of robotics that governed how robots would behave. Turns out they were pretty smart laws: don’t kill humans, do what they say, that kind of thing. But nobody’s suddenly building a fully-formed, anthropomorphic robot today. Instead we’re surrounded by dozens of special-purpose robots, without much of Asimov’s conscience. When robots are charged with everything from ending lives to saving them to extending them, it’s high time for some ethics.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future – Medium“Over the holidays, someone joked that Santa Claus was the perfect model for government surveillance — he knows when you’re bad, after all — and that the Elf on the Shelf was training us for growing up in the Panopticon. Here’s what it means to live under permanent surveillance. And as this long, packed piece demonstrates, that future is about to happen to all of us.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • If every Norwegian’s a millionaire, why’s Alberta in hock? – Canadian Dimension. “Diffrent strokes for different folks, I guess. Norway seems to manage its oil wealth prudently. Canada, not so much.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • In Your Wildest Schemes – The Nib. “A great – what do we call this? ‘Graphic essay’? ‘Long-form comic’ ? – piece on climate change, and the failure of our current political/social machinery to grapple with the problem in a sensible way. Medium really is becoming the medium for long-form stuff, isn’t it?” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Researchers create ‘self-aware’ Super Mario with artificial intelligence – Mashable. “In case you didn’t know, Elon Musk believes that robots will become smarter than human beings… and that they will eventually kill us all. Not a joke. Not a plot from a science fiction movie. He just put ten million towards the Future of Life Institute, which is working to keep artificial intelligence safe. So, that’s a headline that has been capturing a lot of media attention. Then, I see this article on Mashable. It turns out that the next version of Super Mario may not require you to play at all… instead, you will be able to watch Mario learn, grown and – potentially – become even smarter than you… maybe even kill you?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Facebook report says it adds more than $200 billion to global economy – Reuters. “On Monday, I will be in Toronto for Advertising Week. As a part of the event, I will be taking part in a live debate with Andrew Keen (moderated by Mathew Ingram) about the future of the Internet in our lives. I actually believe that Keen’s voice needs to be heard. I have often wondered what will happen to us, in a world where companies like Facebook can grow to their current size and revenues with so few people, compared to the generations before us. That is a lot of wealth in very few hands, and not a lot of jobs for the rest of us. While this could be a very self-serving report, Facebook makes the case that they have contributed over $200 billion to the global economy and 4.5 million jobs. ‘The report looks at the businesses that maintain pages on Facebook as well as the mobile apps and games that consumers play on Facebook and measures all the economic activity that result. It also considers the demand for gadgets and online connectivity services that are generated by Facebook.’ So, should we stop looking at just how many people companies like this directly employ, and start trying to figure out how many people are making a living because of it?” (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.