All Narratives (296)
Find narratives by ethical themes or by technologies.FILTERreset filters
- 6 min
Spreading of harmful content through Youtube’s AI recommendation engine algorithm. AI helps create filter bubbles and echo chambers. Limited user agency to be exposed to certain content.
- 6 min
How much agency do we have over the content we are shown in our digital artifacts? Who decides this? How skeptical should we be of recommender systems?
- 19 min
Once ships start mysteriously disappearing off the coast of Odo Island in post-WWII Japan, both scientists and villagers are confounded. Eventually, the culprit of these attacks is revealed to be Godzilla, a massive kaiju thought to be from the Jurassic era who has returned from the deep sea in order to wreak havoc and destruction on humanity. Scientists explain to government officials their theory that Hydrogen-bomb testing in the deep sea disrupted Godzilla’s natural habitat and provoked the attacks on Odo island. After debates over whether Godzilla should be killed or studied for contributions to science, the monster attacks Tokyo with flame breath. Emiko and Ogata implore Serizawa to deploy his new Oxygen Destroyer technology against this monster. This lethal device suffocates any living things before splitting oxygen molecules and liquefying anything organic in the range. While the technologies on display here are not necessarily digital in nature, this narrative nonetheless provides a non-American voice on the dangers of technology and innovation, especially as they are deployed in wars.
War Technologies and Global Impacts
How should dangerous technology be regulated, as to not purposefully or inadvertently harm innocent citizens if deployed in wars? What modern warfare technologies are currently being used which could have unforeseen consequences? Should dangerous technology or specimens be kept around for scientific study, or should they just not be allowed to exist at all? How can it be insured that innovations and innovators are not abused by evil powers? What appears to be the metaphorical meaning of Godzilla in this narrative? How can technology exacerbate global divides and xenophobia?
- 5 min
Jurassic Park is an under-review theme park where innovator John Hammond has managed to use computational genomics to revive the dinosaurs. The park is managed by a complex security system, involving an internet of things which connects security cameras, other monitors, and defense systems to the computers in the control room. Computer programmer Dennis Nedry, under command of a briber, uses malware to hack the computer systems and steal dinosaur DNA, turning the park into a very hostile environment for the scientists once the safety mechanisms fail.
Systems Errors in Entertainment Areas
How can workplaces be protected against hacks from someone who works within said workplace? Should safety systems be under the control of a small number of people or computers? Should volatile environments, such as nuclear power plants or dinosaur parks, be trusted with a security system involving a hackable internet of things? What are the alternatives? Is convenience worth the cost in this case?
- 15 min
Dinosaurs are an extinct species that are revived and brought into the modern day in Jurassic Park. This is accomplished through a cloning process involving extracting dinosaur DNA from mosquitos preserved in amber, and using computational genomics to create replicants with certain properties, such as breeding only female dinosaurs. Three scientists are sent to audit the park, and all three find problems inherent with the use of technology in attempts to control life itself. Eventually, the park’s founder, John Hammond, admits that his idea to create entertainment out of this dangerous technological revival was a failure, which is seen in action during the subsequent dinosaur attack.
Technological Revival of the Past
Is using computational genomics to alter the course of nature and natural selection itself inherently wrong? Are there contexts where this may be helpful or necessary? How should technology be used to tell the story of the past, and what limits should exist in this prospect? How can technological idealists like John Hammond be checked before their innovations lead to disaster?
- 14 min
On a faraway planet, kidnapped humans under the name of Oms live as an inferior race to the Draggs, giant blue aliens that either keep the Oms as pets or banish them to the wilds to be consumed by extraterrestrial monsters. One of these Oms, Terr, is the pet of Tiwa, and begins to acquire an education through a malfunction of Tiwa’s brain-computer interface, which beams knowledge directly into her head. Terr eventually uses this cutting edge technology to which Oms do not usually have access to spread knowledge to other Oms and begin a revolt.
Technology and Educational Inequalities
How can access to technology determine the quality of education that a certain person or group receives? How are people with less technological access or fluency somewhat at the mercy of those with more? How can educational technologies be made more equitable?
- 11 min
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Communication between Earth and space happens primarily through data streaming methods, such as video chats or satellite broadcasts. In the second part of this narrative, countries across the globe, specifically the U.S and China, work together to engineer a plan to get Mark Watney back on board the Hermes ship. While there are complications, Mark is eventually reunited with his crew.
Mars Rescue Part II: Global Alliances and Human Connection
Does space travel and exploration seem like a good use of scientific or technological capital? Is it too dangerous of a frontier to dispense so many technological resources on? How is the development of data streaming methods over long distances depicted positively here? How does technological innovation have the potential to spur global alliances? Is spending significant time and money on technology and innovation worthwhile if it leads to global cooperations?
- 10 min
- The Washington Post
The academic Philip Agre, a computer scientist by training, wrote several papers warning about the impacts of unfair AI and data barons after spending several years studying the humanities and realizing that these perspectives were missing from the field of computer science and artificial intelligence. These papers were published in the 1990s, long before the data-industrial complex and the normalization of algorithms in the everyday lives of citizens. Although he was an educated whistleblower, his predictions were ultimately ignored, the field of artificial intelligence remaining closed off from outside criticism.
Why are humanities perspectives needed in computer science and artificial intelligence fields? What would it take for data barons and/or technology users to listen to the predictions and ethical concerns of whistleblowers?