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In the film, Bicentennial Man, Andrew, an artificial intelligence (AI) android played by Robin Williams, is welcomed into the home of the Martin family. Though originally programmed as a live-in butler of sorts, Andrew becomes a clockmaker, fashioning elegant wooden timekeepers. When the ownership of Andrew’s unique clockmaking ability comes into question, the audience is presented with a moral conundrum. Should the clocks and any proceeds from their sale belong to Andrew — an artificial intelligence? Or do the clocks belong to Richard Martin, Andrew’s owner; or for that matter, NorthAm Robotics, which created Andrew in the first place?

For…


“Danger, Will Robinson!” warned the robot in the 1960’s science fiction television show Lost in Space. An artificial intelligence, the robot helped the Robinson family navigate the unfamiliar depths of space, providing advanced calculation, physical defense, and perspective. While our present future is lightyears away from the Robinson’s family exploits and their robot, at best, contemporary bots (an abbreviation for robots) are rapidly attaining a similar role in society of helping people achieve their goals. Bots today are voice (e.g., …


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If I told you that over 90% of consumers accept Privacy Policies without reading them, you probably wouldn’t be surprised. Thanks to the COVID-19 crisis, many of us have collected numerous emails in the last couple of months alone about updated Privacy Policies from companies you hardly knew you’ve ever interacted with.

As we spend increasing time online, we’re continuing to be asked to share our personal data in ways that we don’t understand. Many organizations ask us to accept broad usage agreements because they don’t even know for sure what they’re going to use our data for. Some organizations…


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For many Americans, it’s hard to imagine a world without the internet. How would you look up the news or find directions to the grocery store? How would you order airline tickets? From dating to grocery shopping to staying connected with friends or searching for an apartment, the internet is woven into the fabric of our lives. In the wake of COVID-19, it’s easy to see how critical internet-based services have become. A Pew Research study found that 87% of Americans view the internet as essential or important during the pandemic (Vogels, 2020). As offices around the world close to…


Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Facebook and other similar social tools undoubtedly provide value. They connect us and help coordinate and share information. But amidst concerns of threatened democracy under a blanket of digital misinformation and unethical practices that abuse human psychology — resulting in a depressed and addicted public — Facebook’s net benefits to society have been called into serious question. Despite these concerns, Facebook seems hesitant to regulate advertisers or itself, leading vulnerable Facebook users to unknowingly bathe in strategic misinformation and zombification. But what if there were easy ways to emphasize the best of what Facebook has to offer by using simple…


Cultured meat is the growing of animal protein cells for human consumption in a laboratory setting rather than through traditional livestock practices using a living animal. In the last several years, the cultured meat industry has blossomed into several leading companies domestically and abroad; it has seen millions of dollars in investment from prominent venture capitalist organizations and individuals like Richard Branson and Bill Gates. While cultured meat has yet to reach consumers, many of these leading technology organizations see only 1–2 years before products like ground beef, chicken and even lab-grown fish are available in restaurants or supermarkets. …

Elliot Trotter

Content Designer, UX Writer | Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington | Master of Communication in Digital Media

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