Sparkwith Nora Young


Machine consciousness is 'hugely problematic,' says Ian McEwan

Can we own a consciousness? Can we buy and operate someone else's subjective experience? These themes of Ian McEwan's novel, Machines Like Me, force us to confront our relationship with technology and examine whether our human morality extends to AI beings.

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Booker-prize-winning author Ian McEwan talks about AI and his latest book, Machines Like Me. CES restores its 'Innovation Award' to womens' pleasure product, The Osé. And are 'smart' prisons necessary for safety, or an invasion of privacy?

Balancing safety with privacy in prison: should 'smart' technology monitor inmates?

Nila Bala, an expert on criminal justice policy, argues that we ought to proceed with caution when it comes to implementing 'smart' technology in prisons.

Feminist sex toy maker gets its CES innovation award back after tech show critiqued for gender bias

Following accusations of sexism and gender bias, CES, the world's biggest consumer electronics convention, has apologized to women-run startup Lora DiCarlo.

Windows Solitaire a surprising inductee into video game hall of fame

It wasn't flashy, but it helped billions of people waste time and get better at a card game.

MLB umpires need tech help at the plate, says researcher

A study of four million MLB game pitches leads to a call for the league to employ human-software collaboration so umpires can do a better job.

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Robo umpires, a new AI-designed sport, spy plane archeology, and the internet gets a health check-up.

Introducing Speedgate: the world's first AI-designed sport

The world's first sport invented with the help of AI is a hit with players, including the research team that helped develop it.

Cold War spy plane images illustrate human development—and destruction

How one archeologist is using Cold War spy plane images to study how land use has changed in Iraq.

The health of the Internet in 2019: Deepfakes, biased AI and addiction by design

Mozilla's 2019 Internet Health Report takes a look at manipulation of the news, the addictive design of devices, and the relentless pace of artificial intelligence.

Canadian philosopher Mark Kingwell examines the idea of boredom and our digital devices

Boredom can open us up to the question of meaning and other deeply philosophical perspectives, but today, we look for a way out of boredom by endlessly scrolling and swiping. Philosopher Mark Kingwell argues that we're in a political economy of 'neoliberal boredom' fueled by digital devices.

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Ryerson's DMZ breaks the stigma around mental health in startup culture. Kids in Nunavut use role-playing computer games to manage depression. What we can expect from "Wi-Fi 6." And philosopher Mark Kingwell reclaims boredom in his new book, "Wish I Was Here."

From Maori to Inuktitut: how a therapy game is helping Indigenous youth

'SPARX' is a role-playing computer game designed to help Maori youth in New Zealand to manage depression and anxiety using cognitive behavioural therapy. Now researchers here are redesigning the game for Canadian youth in the North with a project called Making I-SPARX Fly in Nunavut.

Bringing mental health tools to startup culture

The tech sector and entrepreneurial startup culture can often have an ethos of 'toughing it out'. Abdullah Snobar, the executive director of Ryerson University's DMZ, opens up about his own experience with online therapy, and why mental health issues are still stigmatized in the tech world.

Next-generation Wi-Fi promises a good connection, even in airports

While the world awaits the arrival of the age of 5G, the Wi-Fi Alliance has been quietly working away at the next iteration of Wi-Fi technology. Dubbed Wi-Fi 6, the new standard offers a small increase in download or upload speeds and improved latency and better coverage.

Confused by 'smart city' hype? This expert explains what it is and why we should care

As cities around the world begin integrating technology more deeply into urban infrastructure, it's still not clear what people mean when they talk about "smart cities." Urban sustainability professor Andrew Karvonen talks about how to define smart cities, as well as some concerns critics have about the so-called cities of the future.

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A special on Smart Cities. It's a big buzzword these days, especially as cities are bigger and denser than ever before. But there are competing visions for what it should be, who should run it, and how to protect your privacy.

Remote Canadian communities look to adopt smart city technology

The Cree Nation of Eastmain, Quebec, is hoping to build smarter homes if it wins some of the prize money offered by the federal government.

Most Canadians skeptical about smart cities when it comes to their privacy

Earlier this year, a survey found that 88 per cent of Canadians are concerned on some level about their privacy when it comes to smart cities. Researcher Sara Bannerman says that governments need to step up when it comes to protecting people's data.

What living in a hyper-connected city means for human beings

Canada Research Chair in the Internet of Things and OCAD University professor Alexis Morris says people need to be at the centre of smart cities with contextually aware public spaces.

No single company should have a monopoly on building smart cities, tech entrepreneur says

If a smart city's infrastructure is built by a single corporation, it may end up being like like a technological walled garden, which could harm collaboration and innovation, says Kurtis McBride.

To protect privacy, there need to be limits on smart cities' surveillance

A panel at a security and privacy conference in Victoria, B.C., earlier this year, discusses how a smart city can be efficient, safe and open. Speakers include former Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, David Izzard, the Architecture & Cyber Security Manager for the City of Surrey, BC, and Andrew Clement, a member of the Waterfront Toronto Digital Strategy Advisory Board.

Cheese wheels bombarded by music taste different

One cheese wheel listened to "The Magic Flute". One to "Stairway to Heaven" and another got A Tribe Called Quest's "Jazz (We've Got)." Yet another cheese just hung out in silence. Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler explains why he played a 24-hour loop of music to wheels of cheese—and whether it had an impact on the flavour.

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Cheese that's been exposed to music tastes different. The surprisingly political world of emoji. A plan to calculate the value of the digital services we get for free. Neural networks that power AI systems largely came from Canada.

Tiny icons with big impact: New doc looks at the evolution of emoji

Martha Shane's new documentary, 'Picture Character', takes an in-depth look at the evolution of emojis (Japanese for "picture character"). Have smiling poops and heart-eyed faces become their own global language?