Sparkwith Nora Young


Walden, revisited

How can we find solitude in a world that runs at the speed of a smartphone?

Why this woman's family abstains from technology 1 day a week

In an effort to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect more meaningfully, Tiffany Shlain's family adopted a technology Shabbat: one day of the week, they turn off their screens to spend face-to-face time with one another, to cook, or to simply do nothing at all.

3 experts on failure explain what we can learn from our mistakes

Failure is having a moment in the tech industry. What can that teach us about our limitations and how we measure success?

Technology and unintended consequences

We're not very good at predicting the potential side effects of our tech

When information is freely available online, learning institutions are forced to change

The internet offers a huge amount of information, usually for free. So how has that affected the institutions we have traditionally learned from: our schools, colleges, and universities?

Disabled people want disability design—not disability dongles

People with disabilities want to be participants in design, not recipients of design

The case against predictability

Everything we do is analyzed, measured, and quantified to create a model of us online, which then tries to influence our behavour. But how accurate is our quantified self?

People rely on devices to store information, but that's not a bad thing, researchers say

With smartphones and automated technologies taking care of our information for us, the means to store information outside of our brains is endless. But does this “information offloading” have an impact on the brain’s memory function?

How smart home tech could perpetuate discrimination and racial profiling

Amazon and Google have made a hard push into the home security market, but civilian surveillance could have real impacts on privacy and racial profiling.

From lab-grown meat to molecular coffee: How tech is disrupting the food industry

With plant-based burgers, bean-free coffee and the proliferation of insect farms, experts say alternative foods are on the verge of upending the traditional agriculture and livestock industries.

Fake news isn't new: Modern disinformation uses centuries-old techniques, author says

Author Heidi Tworek says we can learn from media manipulation's long history to understand how disinformation functions now.

Could your tweets come back to haunt you?

Journalist Eve Peyser took a hard look at her Twitter history. It was painful.

How urban design can help people with dementia navigate neighbourhoods and public spaces

As waitlists for care facilities grow longer and more people with dementia are choosing to live within their own communities, urban planning and design will play an increasingly important role in helping them live safe, comfortable and independent lives.

Rethinking "craft" in the age of digital reproduction

There are few darkrooms, and drawing by hand is increasingly rare. So do we still practice "craft" in this digital era?

Inside the machine: Hidden technologies from sea to sky

From weather forecasting to sending email, there is an astonishing amount of hidden technology involved - we take a peek inside the machinery.

Revealing your emoticon side: how digital technology has changed the way we talk to each other

Communication has changed thanks to our use of digital and mobile tools. From emojis and abbreviations to how we talk to our virtual assistants, how do we talk to each other today?

The Spark Guide To Life, Episode Ten: AI and Us

How we interact with virtual assistants, the rise of digisexuality, and Booker-Prize-winning author Ian McEwan on his new book, Machines Like Me.

We trust our virtual assistants more than we should

AIs like Siri and Alexa aren't as smart as they seem.

'Digisexuality' emerges as a new sexual identity

Immersive new tech allows for intense sexual and emotional experiences.

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.

The Spark Guide To Life, Episode Nine: New Perspectives

Google Street View birding, embroidered computers, STEM and the Girl Guides, and using FortNite to teach about climate change

Computer made of cloth challenges our concept of technology

Embroidered electronic tapestry beautifully illustrates the workings of computers

Is that a pixel or a Pileated Woodpecker? Birders flock to Google Street View

Search for elusive species from your desk.

Girl Scouts introduce 'cybersecurity' badge

Girl Guides and Scouts increase focus on STEM

Scientists play Fortnite to teach us about climate change

Oceanographer streams video games on Twitch.