Options Techtonic with Mark Hurst: Playlist from May 3, 2021 Options

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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.

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Options May 3, 2021: Frank Pasquale, author, "New Laws of Robotics"

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Tonight: Frank Pasquale, author, "New Laws of Robotics"


New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI, by Frank Pasquale

Frank Pasquale's bio at Brooklyn Law School

Roujin Z, anime movie referenced in Frank's book (about robots and healthcare). Sorry for the toxic YouTube link.

Frank's first appearance on Techtonic (Nov 19, 2018 show), about his book The Black Box Society - see also playlist.

More Than a Feeling (by Frank Pasquale in Real Life magazine, Oct 19, 2020): "Emotion detection doesn't work, but it will try to change your behavior anyway. ... As affective computing is slowly adopted in health care, education, and policing, it will increasingly judge us and try to manipulate us."

NYPD Sending Its "Creepy" Robot Dog To The Farm Upstate (by Jake Offenhartz in Gothamist, Apr 29, 2021): The NYPD has "terminated a contract with Boston Dynamics, which had been leasing the 'Digidog' to the department since last year. NYPD officials initially said the camera-equipped, 70-pound dog was 'going to save lives, protect people, and protect officers' by responding to emergencies too dangerous for police. But after video showed the dog trotting through a Manhattan public housing complex earlier this month, several lawmakers raised concerns about surveillance implications, and argued that the deployment demonstrated the NYPD's over-policing of low-income New Yorkers. 'We keep hearing the same rhetoric from Mayor de Blasio that he believes in community based policing, but I don’t see any community that’s calling for these creepy robots,' Albert Fox Cahn, the founder of the advocacy group Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), told Gothamist at the time."

• If you haven't seen it yet, find someone with a Netflix account and watch Metalhead, the Black Mirror episode (2017) about autonomous dogs.

Listen to the Techtonic interview with Maxim Pozdorovkin (Feb 18, 2019), director of "The Truth About Killer Robots." See playlist.

As for marrying robots...

• Akihiko Kondo "married" a hologram of anime character and virtual pop star Hatsune Miku, via a digital platform called Gatebox. Sources: Reuters (Nov 14, 2018) and CNN (Dec 29, 2018). Hatsune Miku was also mentioned in the Bob Ostertag interview (Apr 19, 2021).

The Future of Celebrity Is a Japanese Hologram Named Hatsune Miku (by Stephen Marche, July 24, 2018): "Her name is Hatsune Miku. She is a piece of software. Tonight, in the final show of her American tour, she is appearing in the form of a hologram at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The crowd is shouting their mass adoration to the shape of a human with no substance, to a flickering light projected onto a series of screens. They want an emptiness to know that they love her."

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Artist Track Images Approx. start time
  Frank Pasquale discusses his book "New Laws of Robotics." Mark recommends it highly.
Tomaš Dvořák  Game Boy Tune   Options
  Mark's comments  
  Interview with Frank Pasquale  
0:05:45 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
  Mark's comments after the interview  
0:48:15 (MP3 | Pop‑up)
The Cool Greenhouse  Alexa!   Options
0:55:22 (MP3 | Pop‑up)

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Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:00pm ultradamno:

Mark! Techtonobophobes!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm melinda:

hello techties
Avatar 6:01pm Bas NL:

Mark! Techtonicbotics!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:01pm listener james from westwood:

  6:02pm Roland from Australia:

Greetings all.
  6:02pm David in London:

Evening Technoids. Hi Mark.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:02pm Webhamster Henry:

Hi Mark and Book-reading technonauts!
Avatar 6:03pm TDK60:

Hello Mark.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Hello, Mark and techtoroids! A robot that makes sandwiches would be helpful in the kitchen, but there is likely a downside somehow.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:03pm Otis:

Hi Mark and fellow Tic-Tacs of Tech.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm DjLorraine:

Hi friends. Anyone see the 60 Minutes about how we are gonna run out of chips?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:04pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Hey Mark and folks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:05pm listener james from westwood:

By bizarre coincidence re: that Casio poster, I am rereading Nick Pileggi's Casino while listening to this show.
  6:05pm wendy del formaggio:

Hello Mark and friends!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:06pm Fuzzy:

Hello Mark and Techtons!

Looking forward to the battle between AI and the humans over the last remaining planetary resources!
  6:06pm David in London:

Ultradamno, TDK, Bas, tim, Melinda, webhamster et al. Hello!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm melinda:

I found 'Her' difficult to get into and didn't finish it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Do we include our name / handle in the recording? Or just state the suggestion straight away?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:07pm ultradamno:

Hey DiL!

Futurama ep "Fear Of A Bot Planet"!
  6:07pm Glistener MW:

!! GREAT documentary title! Will add it to my LB watchlist
  6:08pm Another Patrick from Hoboken:

Mark, at some point will you look at what can be learned from the recent war between Azerbaijan and Armenia? Apparently drones were used with deadly effect by Azerbaijan.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:08pm Mark Hurst:

@Listener James - what if it's not a coincidence - perhaps Big Tech surveillance knew you were reading it. (KIDDING, not to worry)
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Webhamster Henry:

Although both movies are male robot mate fantasies, Ex Machina was predictable and full of ghastly developer sterotypes, but Her was very very close to how that AI tech would work, and how people would bond with it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:09pm Mark Hurst:

Hi ultra, melinda, Bas, James, Roland, DiL, Webham, TDK, KfHP, Otis, Lorraine, Tim, Fuzzy, MV, and Patrick!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Mark Hurst:

@Patrick thanks for the pointer - I hadn't heard anything at all about that
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:10pm Webhamster Henry:

Hey! Has anyone NFT'd Hatsune Miko?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Mark Hurst:

@KfHP for the audio submissions, you can choose whether to identify yourself or not - I'll just play it as-is. Everyone so far has identified themselves.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm Mark Hurst:

@Wendy thanks for joining! Great to see you here.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:11pm ultradamno:

I enjoyed her, it was one of the better 'Scarlett Johansson transcends to a higher internet consciousness above mere men' movies.

Sorry, spoilers.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Got it! Thanks, Mark.
  6:12pm hoeg:

good evening Mark and technuts and any remaining station skeletons.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm Mark Hurst:

@hoeg welcome
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:12pm ultradamno:

The other being Lucy, the next year.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:13pm Webhamster Henry:

The elephant of the room (or the ROM) is : why don't people obey laws like the Laws of Robotics.
Avatar 6:13pm disco_nap_:

Don't forget "Underneath the Skin"
Avatar 6:14pm disco_nap_:

*Under oops
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:14pm Mark Hurst:

@disco thx!
  6:14pm Another Patrick from Hoboken:

Thanks Mark; it was mentioned a few times in the New York Times coverage. Azerbaijan had overwhelming advantage in deadly drone systems, demoralizing Armenian conscript army and apparently contributing to defeat
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm ultradamno:

She kind of went the other way in that one, though.

Great movie.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:15pm Mark Hurst:

@Patrick thanks, will have to take a look. Frank Pasquale's book goes into some depth about LAWS (lethal autonomous weapon systems, aka "killer robots") though we don't really get into it in this interview. But I'm interested in this development.
Avatar 6:15pm northguineahills:

considering I've been accused of talking like a robot, alexa/siri would be confused (never used either).
Avatar 6:16pm disco_nap_:

Haha true...it's hard to talk about that one without spoiling it for others.
Avatar 6:17pm disco_nap_:

Whoa how did I not know about the NYPD robo-dog?
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:18pm Webhamster Henry:

It generally boils down to : the Funds!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:19pm Mark Hurst:

The TikTok piece was written by The Markup: themarkup.org...
Avatar 6:22pm TDK60:

I /do/ need a stress pill..
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:22pm tim from champaign (now washington):

I've been by HAL 2000's birthplace many times.
Avatar 6:26pm Bas NL:

Technology amplifies the human equation. A psychopath might not push the stop button when reasonable.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:26pm Mark Hurst:

"Human Contact is Now a Luxury Good" www.nytimes.com...
  6:27pm The Butterman:

Tell that shit to Teddy Ruxpin. Or A.G Bear who imitated up to four syllables. He was my good friend. I’d say “hello A.G.Bear” and it would say back to me “wyuh wyuh wyuh wyuh”
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:27pm ultradamno:

There have been a series of tech shorts on the FXX show Cake this season. The last one involves a phone that becomes a Hal like consciousness attempting to talk the user out of updating to the new model citing the creation of tech junk (while ignoring the planned obsolescence/refusal of updating that enforces updating)
Avatar 6:29pm disco_nap_:

Thanks, Mark, for posting the NY Times article...and for this entire talk. Really hitting home.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:30pm Mark Hurst:

@disco thanks!
  6:31pm Roland from Australia:

Friends, if we can’t hold the current CEO’s responsible for most if not all of their indiscretions, how on earth will we hold the makers of robotics responsible for their actions and for the consequences of robotics misbehaving ?
Avatar 6:32pm northguineahills:

When I was a kid, I used to play GnR on my younger bros Teddy Ruxpin....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm Mark Hurst:

@Roland excellent point. Hoping the many federal lawsuits here, in the EU, Canada, etc. will begin to hold Big Tech leadership accountable.
Avatar 6:32pm disco_nap_:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:32pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I'd like to know what AI George Carlin would have to say about this.
  6:32pm P-90:

“New York Times reports ‘Human contact is now a luxury good’” —now THAT’S Ballardian
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm Mark Hurst:

welcome, P-90
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:33pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Oh wow. When I heard "ed tech" I was thinking about job training like industrial arts - not a teaching tool.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm PaulRobeson1920:

Context is everything baby.

Howd’y ya’ll!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Mark Hurst:

@Tim edtech is a huge, huge issue. starting w/Google Classroom. but not limited to that.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:34pm Mark Hurst:

@PaulR hi!
  6:35pm Miss G:

*waves hello* Had to skim this and listen at the same time, but here is one link re: edtech and the current moment, from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood https://commercialfreechildhood.org/edtech_statement/
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:35pm Mark Hurst:

@MissG hi and thanks!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm LeBongWizard:

Frank Pasquale for Mayor!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:36pm Mark Hurst:

@LBW he has my vote
Avatar 6:42pm disco_nap_:

Ready to canvas for FP
Avatar 6:42pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

All the Profit (VAST) - all the Controls
- none of the Accountability, none of the Transparency
...none of the Honesty...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Mark Hurst:

I don't have time to cover the Senate hearings last week about algorithmic amplification, but if you're interested, I wrote this summary: creativegood.com...
  6:42pm wendy del formaggio:

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t that interested in a show about AI...but of course it’s about so much more, and things I am very interested in! I shouldn’t be surprised. This is Techtonic, after all. Thank you, Mark and Frank.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:42pm Mark Hurst:

Aw thanks, Wendy!
Avatar 6:44pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

You don't know what you're looking @ any more
- or what you're listening to
...so how about what you're interacting with...
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:44pm dave miss:

Thank for another great show.
  6:44pm David in London:

This sounds like a must-read.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Mark Hurst:

@dave & @David thanks! and yes.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm ultradamno:

When they achieve personhood, it won't be long before Battlebots will be regarded as equivalent to dogfights.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Sure, if a corporation can be considered a person, it's not that far of a bridge to AI rights.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm WR:

Look at what has being done for rights of a corporation.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm Mark Hurst:

@ultra interesting point
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:45pm melinda:

I am a human supremacist
Avatar 6:46pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

An extension of giving Corporations rights - & not the Workers... 'Corporation' in fact means literally 'put into a body'...
  6:46pm wendy del formaggio:

“Poor HAL!” Poor HAL, my ass. That robot killed Dave’s space-partner!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm Mark Hurst:

  6:46pm Miss G:

I didn't read Mr. Pasquale's article on emotion detection softwares but I read another article today about its current use in places like insurance claim call centers, and I had no idea, and it was horrifying.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:46pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Say it loud and proud, Melinda!
  6:47pm ?:

Dr. Noonian Soong , creator of DATA is in totally disagreement with your premise on cyber technology
  6:48pm P-90:

I’m going to toss this link into the mix if I may, to a little article from a few years ago that reminds us that futurist theorists like Buckminster Fuller were already fascinated by the possibilities of (what we’re now calling) “ed tech” back in the late fifties and early sixties, inspired by the penetration of television into American homes, and the more interactive technology of “personal computing” which hadn’t really arrived yet, but a lot of smart people knew was on the way:

Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:48pm DjLorraine:

Thank You
  6:50pm Derbs:

Good talk...
  6:50pm grtyvr:

Christine Sunu does work in emotive tech. She plays with what is the minimum to invoke feelings about a robot. http://www.christinesunu.com/
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:50pm melinda:

@tim I am also a card-carrying member of Team Human! (I joined Douglas Rushkoff's podcast Patreon)
  6:50pm wendy del formaggio:

OMG, tell it, Frank! So much of the gross homophobic opposition to marriage equality was this snarky statement, “What’s next? I can marry my toaster?” Toasters and robots are not people. DUH.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm PaulRobeson1920:

I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield...
Down by the riverside &
Study war no more!
I ain't gonna study war no more,
Ain't gonna study war no more
Ain't gonna study war no more!

I'm gonna lay down that atom bomb!
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
& Studyy war no more!

How bout that, AI? U ready to lay down-that atom bomb? Lay down humanity’s sword & shield and study war no more!?

“Investments in Livingry rather than Killingry” is where we must and will trend- Bucky Fuller
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:51pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Tweaky from Buck Rogers is pretty damn cute though.
  6:51pm Sam:

Machines already have more rights than humans in public streets. Pedestrians have the least rights while cars are always treated like royalty.
  6:52pm hoeg:

ha they've been telling us that computers will revolutionise education for so long...
  6:53pm wendy del formaggio:

Sam, good point.
  6:53pm Glistener MW:

I highly recommend the anthology-film “Robot Stories” from 2003! — 4 short films very in the vein of today’s conversation
  6:53pm David in London:

The Forbin Project gets more relevant with every passing year.
  6:53pm dano59:

I went to Discogs today and negated their entire cookies policy. Intrusive stuff
Avatar 6:54pm northguineahills:

or, it looks like Soundwave's Ravage dog from the cartoon Transformers.
  6:54pm Sam:

Robot dogs are practical in the city. You never have to clean up poop. And they only chew up your slippers if you program them to.
  6:55pm Jojo:

The dancing robots video is digital, not physical.
  6:55pm Sam:

Those dogs are more bark than byte
Avatar 6:55pm disco_nap_:

Watching that robot dog walk made my skin crawl
Avatar 6:56pm Bas NL:

Scary! www.bostondynamics.com
  6:56pm grtyvr:

  6:56pm David in London:

Boston Dynamics are literally forging our chains in front of us. I absolutely hate it.
Thanks Mark, great show.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:56pm Human Otis:

Thanks Mark, fantastic episode and putting this one on my read list.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm tim from champaign (now washington):

Thank you, Mark!!!!!!!
  6:57pm Roland from Australia:

So the story of the world so far ... God makes humans in his image ...... then lots ups and down, twists and turns ..... then man imitates God and make a robot, .... robot is a cruel hard mean master .... then God rescues man .... and says Man when will you ever learn!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm ultradamno:

Did the Texas robobrothel ever open? If you can pay them for that, you should be able to marry them
  6:57pm Sam:

And whatever you do, don’t marry a hologram!!
  6:57pm Miss G:

Thanks so much Mark Hurst and Frank Pasquale!
  6:57pm ?:

What about Johnny 5 and Chappy!
Avatar 6:57pm Bas NL:

Thanks Mark! Thanks Frank!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Mark Hurst:

Thanks, everyone! Great comments tonight.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:57pm Mark Hurst:

@wendy I totally agree
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm WR:

Thank you Mark!
Avatar 6:58pm disco_nap_:

Thank you, Mark, Frank, and skeleton crew!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm ultradamno:

I will say this for Netflix and why I keep it, it has all my Korean TV
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:58pm Megaroni:

Thanks Techtonic for calling out targeting low income areas of the city by the mayor and NYpD
  6:58pm P-90:

I’m pretty sure that whatever reasons the NYPD administration gave publicly for terminating the”robot police dog” contract, the true motivation was the potential for a PR nightmare.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Mark Hurst:

@P-90 agreed. same attitude as the Big Tech monsters. they really, really hate bad PR.
  6:59pm dano59:

Yes, thanks as always Mark! New week, more stuff to watch out for.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Thanks, Mark. We reserve the right to use our personal robots to monitor the police.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm PaulRobeson1920:

Thanks Mark & Frank!

Peace & LOVE YA’LL!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 6:59pm Mark Hurst:

@dano59 thanks for joining!
Avatar 7:00pm northguineahills:

ultradamno: I have my bros Netflix, all I've lately is Korean, Finnish, and Israeli tv....
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:00pm Mark Hurst:

@ultra @ngh if you have good recs for int'l viewing, let me know!
  7:00pm Roland from Australia:

Thanks Mark, time will make Mark’s shows very popular as the future unfolds.
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm Mark Hurst:

@Roland thanks for being with us!
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:01pm ultradamno:

I loved Kingdom and School Nurse Files
Avatar Swag For Life Member 7:02pm Mark Hurst:

roger that
  7:03pm Miss G:

*L* I was staring off into space and thought "wow, that amusing song about Alexa has taken quite a turn!" (now Vocal Fry)
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