From the 1831 revised edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, published by Colburn and Bentley, London.Frankenstein by English novelist Mary Shelley: with philosophy, literature, science, and history, Shelley speculated how humans would attempt to use scientific progress to tamper with nature as far back as 1818. Frankenstein and his rejected monster remain central to debates about … Continue reading "Frankenstein" and tampering with nature
With SeqAcademy.org, anyone can be a scientist.I seek to instill the virtues of a scientist in everyone. Through my writing and research, I think about what values scientists use in their work and how I can share those with non-scientists. Sharing stories about what research is like while valuing transparency and trust, I hope to achieve … Continue reading Anyone, even you, can be a scientist
Illustration by Matt Starr.I'm currently editing a personal memoir "Light in the Jail Cell" so I can publish it one day. Here's an excerpt from the prologue: As a scientist would proclaim, “In the absence of light, every object shows its true colors.” With this statement of blackbody radiation, we find parallels within ourselves. In discovering … Continue reading "Light in the Jail Cell" memoir sneak peek
The "Uncanny Valley" may leave us with existential questions of what it means to be human.Quick update to "A history of artificial intelligence" with more details about the emotional reactions to automata among ancient Greeks as well as the "Uncanny Valley."
Daedalus constructs wings for his son, Icarus, Rome (Meyers Konversationslexikon, 1888)Greek myths of Hephaestus and Daedalus incorporated the idea of intelligent robots and artificial beings like Pandora. These “automaton” beings such as Talos would protect Crete from invaders.Read this article on "A history of artificial intelligence"...
AI should be subject to scrutiny as it respects privacy and fosters thought. These were among the new norms and values brought upon by artificial intelligence, emphasized Christine Tappolet, a professor of philosophy at the Université de Montréal. They would form part of the Montreal Declaration for responsible AI. Read this article on "A history … Continue reading A brief update on the Montreal Declaration for Responsible AI
I'd like to proudly announce the creation of my new website "A history of artificial intelligence." (http://ahistoryofai.com). Through it, I show the various ways artificial intelligence has changed since its dawn thousands of years ago. I hope to use this website to craft a story of understanding between different civilizations and eras citing writers like … Continue reading New website: "A history of artificial intelligence"
Chinese scientists recently created gene edited babies using the controversial CRISPR-Cas9 technique. Scholars have alarmed the world about the ethical questions raised by genetic engineering. Writers also grappled with the recent explosion of machine learning and its effects. This includes the science behind how computers make decisions. This way they can determine its effects on society. … Continue reading How to improve your moral reasoning in the digital age
More than just a game: the video game character Psycho Mantis broke the fourth wall by speaking to the player. This is like writer Kurt Vonnegut's addressing of the reader him/herself in Breakfast of Champions. It served to remind us the limits of video game technology in disseminating information: no matter what, we're still players … Continue reading How a 2001 video game warned us about the dangers of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering
As I parse through A Field Guide for Science Writers on my Kindle cloud reader, I recognize how science writing is a craft that takes decades to hone. I also begin to hypothesize that, no matter what you write, there are always ways to improve it. In describing how writing differs from other activities, I draw … Continue reading The immortality of science writing