The Deaths that Keep Her Alive: A Review on Alien

Alien is a classic horror sci-fi movie. No matter how diverse the interpretations are, an accepted fact is that the fear of death works as a main thread. Deaths build up the pace of the discourse and string the emotional reaction of the spectators. Meanwhile, intentions, viewpoints, and aesthetic values are told implicitly in the expression of deaths. In this paper, I’d like to look through the deaths in the Alien with two questions—what information it offers and what logical operations it performs. In addition, speak of killing, there are two more questions worth thinking about—who makes the decision and how the killing is carried out.[……]

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Max Tegmark, 汪婕舒(译者)
June 15, 2017



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The Singularity Is Not Near, But Why?

The technological singularity is a hypothesized time in the near future where machine intelligence surpasses humans. Many people consider it a threat to humanity while others think it will augment humans to a much higher level, physiologically and psychologically. In this paper, I review the state of the art of computing and conclude that singularity will not happen in the near future because of the physical limits of silicon-based computing paradigm. Alternative paradigms are not promising enough to drive the observed exponential growth into the future. Even if artificial general intelligence is possible in the future, it is unnecessary to worry about the bad AI scenario. Instead, we need to worry about the stupidity of machines. AI-related research should be encouraged in order to find the real problems and their solutions. In order to regulate AI, we can treat them as legal persons like companies.[……]

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How Will AI Impact Jobs?

Today, AI is advancing so fast that it beats people in many tasks. Concerns are raised whether AI will take our jobs in the future. In this paper, I reviewed recent AI progress and potential. Then I discuss AI’s impact on employment, including employment rate, wages, employment structure, and the nature of work. My opinion is AI will definitely cause technological unemployment, but not all jobs at risk will actually be substituted. Besides, AI will raise the wages of people who complement AI but reduce overall average wages, increasing inequality. Middle-class employment will decline, pushing workers down the occupational ladder or even out of work. In addition, AI will change the nature of work as well as the workers’ skills as more and more cognitive efforts are offloaded onto AI-related technologies.[……]

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From Technological Determinism to the Future Growth

I once was a technological optimist and technological determinist. Until recently, I discovered many interesting opinions. This paper is my reflection on the readings so far. First, I discuss the disadvantage of determinism. Then, I use a taxi example to demonstrate why policymakers tend to be technologically deterministic. After that, I show a physicist’s view that sociology is so complex that it can’t be determined by only one factor. Then I discuss the politics in technology and predict that technologies will continue to promote economic growth but at a slower pace.[……]

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Band in Your Hand: De-blackboxing GarageBand

GarageBand is a music software for Apple devices such as iPhone and iPad. It has a library of sound effects and can be used to create songs with multiple audio tracks. In this paper, I discuss the design principles in GarageBand, such as modularity, affordance, and constraint. I also examine whether GarageBand fulfills Alan Kay’s vision of meta-media.[……]

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