A new project seeking to equip the Church with wisdom for a digital age
Nearly every area of our lives has been technicized or digitized in one way or another during the past century. Technology has ushered in innumerable benefits for humanity, which often overshadow some of the damaging effects of these massive shifts in our daily lives. Smartphones have led to a growing culture of digital addictions and isolation, especially among young people. We see this fact clearly in the recent reports of how Facebook — and by extension, all of social media — has become toxic for teenage girls and for the rest of us as well.
Social and mass media have connected societies across the world, opening up new opportunities for everyone’s voices to be heard, stories to be shared, and economic opportunities to be spread like never before. But they have come with a price, exacerbating an exponential breakdown of civil discourse and leading to a weakening of various control mechanisms that helped govern our common pursuit of truth. Modern medical technologies have allowed for longer and healthier lives for millions of people, but have also led to a devaluing of humanity. For all of the real benefits of technology, there are countless dangers that have often fallen outside of the public eye. In truth, technology has ushered in a breakdown of our social fabric and led to the commodification of everything.
Power shifts from Big Tech as digital crackdowns intensify – Sara Fischer | Axios
The findings suggest that a broader shift in power from tech companies to nation states over the past year has resulted in “a record-breaking crackdown” on freedom of expression online.
The covid tech that is intimately tied to China’s surveillance state – Darren Byler | MIT Technology Review
Heat-sensing cameras and face recognition systems may help fight covid-19—but they also make us complicit in the high-tech oppression of Uyghurs.
Slackers of the world, unite! – Ellen Cushing | The Atlantic
But even if you don’t use Slack, or something like it, you live and work in the world Slack helped create. It’s a world where openness and transparency are prized; where work is something we are always kind of doing; where who we are at the office and who we are outside it are closer than ever before; where all of these dynamics mean that sometimes things go very wrong, especially for people in power.
🔒Apple Studying Potential of AirPods as Health Device – Rolfe Winkler | The Wall Street Journal
Apple Inc. is studying ways to make AirPods into a health device, including for enhancing hearing, reading body temperature and monitoring posture, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the plans.
Apple takes down Quran app in China – James Clayton | BBC
In a statement from the app’s maker, PDMS, the company said: “According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App store because it includes content that requires additional documentation from Chinese authorities”.
A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click – Karen Hao | MIT Technology Review
The website is eye-catching for its simplicity. Against a white backdrop, a giant blue button invites visitors to upload a picture of a face. Below the button, four AI-generated faces allow you to test the service. Above it, the tag line boldly proclaims the purpose: turn anyone into a porn star by using deepfake technology to swap the person’s face into an adult video. All it requires is the picture and the push of a button.
🔒Credit-card firms are becoming reluctant regulators of the web – The Economist
Who should police the internet? For some time now the question has tied companies, regulators and campaigners in knots. Social networks spend billions moderating content posted on their platforms, but are still criticised either for not removing enough toxic material or for stifling free speech.