Digital detoxes don’t actually work

Each Monday, I get a “digital well-being” alert on my phone. It tells me how much time I spend staring at the screen each week, and highlighting the apps I use the most. It helps me cut down on unnecessary use. But a more extreme approach to dealing with technology overwhelm has become popular: digital … Read More

Distance learning, e-learning, online learning, or virtual learning?

Many people use the terms “distance learning”, “e-learning”, “online learning”, and “virtual learning” interchangeably. E-learning, online learning, and virtual learning all fall into the umbrella concept of technology-enhanced learning. However, they mean different things, and all focus on a different aspect of education. In order to distinguish them, it’s useful to think about where and … Read More

GPT-3 and the future of human productivity

The idea of artificial intelligence taking over the world is at least as old as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which was published in 1818. Public figures such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have warned us against the reckless creation of superintelligent machines. In June 2020, OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory based in San Francisco, … Read More

Neuralink and the future of knowledge work

Yesterday evening, Elon Musk gave the first public presentation about Neuralink, a company he founded in 2017 to build brain-computer interfaces. While most of the research in that field has been focused on restoring functionality lost due to paralysis, Elon targets healthy and able-bodied people. Elon considers that artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence is not … Read More

Measuring brain function: how do fMRI scanners work?

In 1977, Dr. Raymond Damadian performed the first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on a live human patient (Edelman, 2014). MRI is a non-invasive medical imaging technique producing detailed pictures of anatomical structures and physiological processes inside the body (McRobbie et al., 2017). MRI scans are considered safer than CT scans and PET scans as … Read More