“It’s a big social change in the U.S.,” said Alison Gemmill, a demographer at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies fertility. “A gradual shift of family formation to later ages.” Read more (NY Times)
A report by strategic foresight consultancy The Future Laboratory, notes that the cosmetics industry creates 120 billion units of packaging a year and predicts that by 2050, the beauty industry will have contributed up to 12 billion tonnes of plastic to landfill.
In an effort to combat the plastic problem, a number of beauty brands are using innovative biomaterial alternatives. Below, we explore some of the most interesting solutions yet. Read more (Wallpaper)
In this session, we discuss “I (28M) created a deepfake girlfriend and now my parents think we’re getting married,” a fiction story about artificial romance by Fonda Lee. In Lee’s story, a young man who wants a fake girlfriend to get his parents off his back finds the fake relationship has consequences he hadn’t anticipated. We will examine the consequences that result when chatbots become good enough to turn to for our emotional needs, and even for relationships. Read more (MIT)
In Spike Jonze’s 2013 film, “Her,” the protagonist falls in love with an operating system, raising questions about the role of artificial intelligence (AI), its relationship with the users, and the greater social issues emerging from these. South Korea briefly grappled with its “Her” moment with the launch of the AI chatbot, “Lee Luda,” at the end of December 2020. But the Luda experience was not heart-wrenching or pastel-colored like “Her” – instead, it highlighted different types of phobia and risks posed by new technologies that exist within South Korean society. Read more (The Diplomat)
It is clear that we leveraged technology to our benefit during COVID-19 lockdowns. Tech was a welcomed lifeline that we will continue to engage to augment our lives or lean on as a crutch as we begin to hesitantly re-enter public spaces. Our fears will turn toward each other as we gauge who we can trust. How that will play out in a world that continues to be raw and divided needs to be understood. What remains unknown is the role of alternate reality spaces and how it will interplay with our lives. Read more
Older people will have to make sacrifices in the fight against climate change or today’s children will face a future of fighting wars for water and food, the EU’s deputy chief has warned.
Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the EU commission, said that if social policy and climate policy are not combined, to share fairly the costs and benefits of creating a low-carbon economy, the world will face a backlash from people who fear losing jobs or income, stoked by populist politicians and fossil fuel interests. Read more (Guardian)
In 2018, Google’s real estate group began to consider what it could do differently. It turned to the company’s research and development team for “built environments.” It was an eclectic group of architects, industrial and interior designers, structural engineers, builders and tech specialists led by Michelle Kaufmann, who worked with the renowned architect Frank Gehry before joining Google a decade ago.
Google focused on three trends: Work happens anywhere and not just in the office; what employees need from a workplace is changing constantly; and workplaces need to be more than desks, meeting rooms and amenities.
“The future of work that we thought was 10 years out,” Ms. Kaufmann said, “Covid brought us to that future now.” Read more (NY Times)