WeeklyTech #7

China’s surveillance technology

Millions of our global neighbors live under authoritarian and autocratic governments where the power of artificial intelligence (AI) is abused to retain a sense of control over others. Nations, such as China, use these tools, created for the common good, to diminish dignity in minority groups. Religious freedom and the pursuit of justice are threatened by the implementation of these tools each day.

AI tools and their limitless potential can be at odds with a belief in human dignity based in the image of God. To be clear, these tools lack a moral sense. However, individuals can use and develop them in ways that demean and oppress other human beings.

Furthermore, the use of technology doesn’t always lead to a dystopian future as some futurists predict. These same tools can be used in righteous ways that can give a voice to the voiceless and help set captives free. As Christians living in a fallen and broken world, how are we to navigate these tensions in a way that parallels how our Savior taught us to live in the world? (Matt. 22:37–39)

Interesting technology stories

A Ride in NYC’s First Self-Driving Service– Morning Brew

Optimus signed a two-year contract with the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300-acre industrial park which houses more than 400 manufacturing businesses and 10,000 employees. Six Optimus shuttles will run on a 1.1-mile closed loop from the park’s entrance to a ferry landing. Optimus projects it will shuttle more than 16,000 passengers a month.

Google and Amazon list gun accessories for sale  – The Washington Post

Google and Amazon, two of the biggest platforms for online shopping, have been offering for sale and profiting from listings of firearm and gun accessories, an apparent violation of their own stated policies that shows the pitfalls of software-driven retail.

The Weird, Dark History of 8chan and Its Founder Fredrick Brennan – Wired

Fredrick Brennan founded and, until 2016, served as the administrator of 8chan, which has provided an anonymous digital safe haven for the type of discussions that made many of its users unwelcome elsewhere on the web: abhorrent racism, violent misogyny, and rampant anti-Semitism.

Disney finally unveils Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu bundle for $12.99 monthly  – Axios

For $12.99 monthly, consumers can access Disney+, ESPN+ and the ad-supported version of Hulu. The deal will be available when Disney+ launches on Nov. 12. The combined package will be cheaper than Netflix’s premium package, which is $13.99 a month.

Self-Driving Trucks Are Ready to Do Business in Texas– Wired

For now, there will be a “safety driver” at the wheel to monitor the 18-wheeler, and make sure it doesn’t do anything wonky. (These drivers also guide the trucks on and off the highways, and into distribution terminals; most companies working on automated trucks have focused on simple highway driving, and plan to leave urban driving to humans for the foreseeable future.)