Intelligence is Social

Opposable thumbs are great, but they’re not what makes us special. Ask just about any social scientist about the thing that has allowed human beings to accomplish our most awe-inspiring feats of art, science, and progress, and they’ll likely say something about the importance of society and social interaction. What makes us smart isn’t just […]

The End of Purpose: Automation Implications

The whole point of automation is to make our lives easier. Designers aim to take steps out of someone’s day (drive your car, prep your meal, brush your teeth, etc.) and transfer that responsibility to a machine of some kind. In theory, this setup sounds ideal – the more mundane tasks we can transfer to […]

Automating Manipulation

I know how to control you with a robot. Or at least, I’m learning to. Though I suppose what I really mean to say is that my robots and AI are. If this doesn’t scare the crap out you, it should. Not because we suddenly have technology that we can use to subtly manipulate people […]

Humanlike Objects and Our Social Minds

Research and article done in collaboration with Isabella Kuo Why do we yell at our computer when it struggles to work? Why do some cars look like they’re smiling? Why does your guitar seem free-spirited? This is because of our innate human tendency for anthropomorphism: the ascription of humanlike characteristics, intentions or emotions in nonhuman […]

The Choice Not to Think

To think, or not to think, that is the question. Technological advancements have nearly always come with the promise of making our lives easier, taking a burden off our shoulders, and freeing up more time and mindshare for us to use as we see fit. As the current wave of automation technologies (AI, robotics, IoT, […]