Technology

The Worst Gift to Give a Middle-School Student

Reposted with permission from The Cripplegate.

by Jesse Johnson

What is the worst Christmas gift you can give your middle-school student? I don’t mean that spiritually—as in unbelief—or theologically—as in The Jesus Calling Student Edition. I mean it seriously. What is the worst gift that you can give your middle-school student?

This Christmas thousands of middle school students are going to get a gift under their tree or in their stocking, and it is going to wreck their lives.

The worst gift you can give your middle-school student is … 

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No Neutral Ground: The Problem of Net Neutrality

"The name is, perhaps, misleading; to support net neutrality is to support placing the internet more fully under government supervision. The related political debate often divides traditional allies with arguments for free expression pitted against defenses of small government." Center for Vision & Values

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An AI Bot Granted Residency in Tokyo Teaches Us About Our Creator

Shibuya Mirai is an AI chatbot designed to interact as a seven-year-old boy. Mirai was granted residency status in Tokyo, marking another milestone in the journey to the development of consciousness in machines. Cognitive scientists Dehaene, Lau, and Kouider suggest that “consciousness arises in the only physical system that undoubtedly possesses it: the human brain,”1 and they essentially consider consciousness to be computations, report, and self-monitoring.

Mirai possesses at least computational aspects of consciousness and even personality, and gives occasion for inquiry into whether or not these attributes ultimately require a divine spark, or whether they can be demonstrated simply through natural processes. In short: if humanity can create machines that can fulfill core human functions, perhaps that would be evidence that no supernatural creator is necessary at all.

The pursuit of artificial intelligence is an incredible one, and significantly worthwhile, even if only for different reasons. Mirai’s existential setting illustrates the value of the process, and evidences some vital truths:

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Tweets & Peeps: When Social Media & Friends Collide

Republished from Baptist Bulletin April/May 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved.

by Daryl A. Neipp

In 2013, researchers conducted an online survey and discovered that 78 percent of users have experienced a rise in arguments and hostility within social media platforms.

Specific findings include these:

  • 3 in 4 have witnessed an argument on social media;
  • 4 in 5 report rising incivility online;
  • 2 in 5 have blocked, unsubscribed, or unfriended someone as a result;
  • 1 in 5 have reduced in-person contact with someone over a cyber argument;
  • 88 percent believe that people are less polite on social media than in person;
  • 81 percent say emotional conversations held on social media are most often unresolved.
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