Technology Triple Trivia

TTT133 Questions (or statements). 3 Hints. 3 Answers

June 28, 2016

  1. Like a toilet seat cover, this added feature could enhance privacy:


Answer: it’s a simple, less sticky, solution.  With many computer users covering their system’s webcam with tape (and in Mark Zuckerberg’s case, the audio as well) for privacy reasons, why not equip screens with little sliding or hinged covers?  While webcam hacking threats are real and should not be ignored, the fix seems obvious.  Read more here.

2. What technology must inevitably take a utilitarian approach into consideration?


File:Portland Vintage Trolley.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Answer: the age old trolley problem resurfaces in the context of autonomous vehicle programming choices.  In one recent study, when surveyed, respondents appeared to favor utilitarian theory when human life is at stake: kill one to save a greater number.  However, when faced with the question of whether they would purchase a vehicle that had built-in capabilities to sacrifice the driver (i.e. themselves), those surveyed were less keen.  Read the details here.

3. How are college student writers reaching more readers than some of the nation’s top news outlets?


Answer: Wikipedia has replaced the old-fashioned encyclopedia and it is getting renovated and expanded content-wise by college students with the support of (gasp!) their professors.  Over 14,000 students have “created or edited 35,000 Wikipedia articles as part of a program run by the Wiki Education Foundation.”  Adds one professor from Duke University, “[i]t’s so much better than a term paper, from a student’s perspective…  [t]his way, when students write something, someone besides their teacher actually reads it.” Read the story here.

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LSI Faculty Fellow Brad Allenby Publishes in Slate

In The Self-Driving Car Generation Gap, LSI Faculty Fellow Brad Allenby discusses technology most often associated with freedom: the car. However, Allenby notes that the car’s representation of freedom really belongs to older generations — the young guns are not lining up as quickly to test for and receive driver’s licenses.  In fact, some younger folks are even selling the vehicles they own, in favor of Uber or Lyft transportation claiming it is less expensive and less of a hassle.

As Allenby points out, in terms of freedom, the smartphone of today is the car of yesteryear.  These days, having to drive is a distraction from smartphone use.  At red lights many (younger) people are on their smartphones, often annoyed that the light is already green.  The self-driving car allows for the luxury of texting, web-surfing and using social media while driving — a dream come true for many.  For older folks, not so much.  However,  it is hoped that for those who really should no longer be controlling the wheel, brake and gas pedal, the automated vehicle meets the difficulty of having to let go at least half-way freedom-wise.

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Update: June 21, 2016 Technology Triple Trivia

On June 21, 2016 we posted the following trivia:


Update: “NIH Panel Approves CRISPR-Edited T Cell Safety Trial, First In-Human Use” courtesy of GenomeWeb.



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Worldwide Web Watch

WWWJune 22, 2016

In an opinion piece titled Disruption or Dispalcement? authors David Beier, Jonathan Krause and Andrew Sullivan consider a centuries-old concern — the fear of technological unemployment — and highlight that future implications of technology on jobs should be considered today.  The authors’ specific focus is on the effects on employment through AI, robots and the GIG economy.  They point out that revised policy should promote the following: 1) revision of employment and labor laws that are more effective at addressing the issues, such as worker categories, emanating from the flexible, uncharted and growing GIG economy; 2) lifelong education programs, in and outside the classroom.  These are encouraged as away for workers to keep up with the rapid pace of workplace technological innovation so that workers maintain useful skills; and 3) tax policy modernization.  The authors emphasize the value of socially beneficial worker programs.  They suggest expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and instituting a basic income guarantee pilot program in vulnerable parts of the U.S.

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Video Presentations: 2016 Governance of Emerging Technologies Conference

GETKeynote, Panel and Special Session video presentations are now available!

ALL video presentations are available here (click next on the |> icon on the YouTube screen to view the next presentation)

Video footage courtesy of Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics (ASU)

SAVE THE DATE! Fifth Annual Governance of Emerging Technologies Conference will be held May 17-19, 2017 in Phoenix, AZ

The 2017 event will be held at the brand new Arizona Center for Law and Society, the College of Law’s new home in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.
Photo Gallery: GET 2016:

garyGary Marchant, Faculty Director, Center For Law, Science & Innovation (LSI), Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law ( ASU Law)

KeynoteMildred Solomon (The Hastings Center)

GETDiana Bowman, (LSI/ASU Law), Richard Williams (Mercatus Center), Jason Robert (LSI/ASU)

KarenKaren Bradshaw Schultz (LSI/ASU Law)

PosteGeorge Poste (ASU) Final GETJames Weinstein (LSI/ASU Law), Andrew Maynard (LSI/ASU), Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh (Cambridge), Subbarao Kambhampati (ASU), Wendell Wallach (Yale), Yvonne Stevens (LSI/ASU Law), Charlie Kennel (Scripps), Victoria Krakovna (Harvard), Braden Allenby (LSI/ASU)

GET full houseLaw Center wordmark_LSI

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Technology Triple Trivia

Tech Trip Triv3 Questions. 3 Hints. 3 Answers.

June 21, 2016

  1. How is pepper, but not salt, a potential cure for loneliness?


Answer: meet Pepper.  A robot created to relieve human loneliness and provide companionship.  Boasting near-human levels of empathy and compassion, Pepper is one of the first of many such technologies to become part of the human family.  Former SoftBank developer, Kaname Hayashi also known as the “Father of Pepper,” is already working on a follow-up model.  In the meantime, for just under $2,000, Pepper is set to hit the U.S. market later this year.  Read more here.

2. What might CRISPR’s next target be if a University of Pennsylvania proposal is approved?


Answer: editing human genes is controversial.  However, when it comes to editing human cells to combat cancer, the ethical arguments against the process do not pack the same punch as say, editing human genes for intelligence or similar traits.  University of Pennsylvania scientists hope to remove and modify cancer patients’ T cells (essential for immunity) using the more precise and efficient CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology.  The modified cells would then be returned to the patient, where they would identify and destroy sarcoma, myeloma and melanoma tumor cells.  Efforts to alter human DNA are subject to review by a federal panel.  Read the story here.

3. What rolls, talks and carries up to 12 people?


Answer: Meet Olli.  If you follow ice hockey, and know your Pittsburgh Penguins you will recognize Olli Maatta.  But there’s also another Olli, developed by Phoenix, AZ’s Local Motors.  Olli is the first self-driving IBM-Watson empowered “smart” vehicle of its kind.  Olli will soon debut on public roads in Washington DC followed by parts of Florida.   Using data derived from 30 on-board sensors, Olli will learn as it rolls along thereby continuously upgrading passenger experience.  Read the details here.


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TGIF Funny Fix for June 17, 2016


ARIZONA: JULY 26-27, 2016


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Worldwide Web Watch

WWWJune 15, 2016

In a law school class called Law, Science and Technology, LSI faculty Gary Marchant and Yvonne Stevens, devote an entire class to the question “what is science?”  It can be a tricky question and in some ways, it is easier identified by what it is not.  Unfortunately, science is not only prone to misidentification, it is also liable to mistrust.   During a recent commencement address, reprinted in The New Yorker, surgeon and public health researcher Atul Gawande unwrapped the flaws that lead people, often highly educated people, to get the science wrong and down the path of mistrust.  Science is always subject to testing and re-testing.  There are no absolutes — as Gawande pointed out, “all knowledge is probable knowledge.”  Regrettably, private agendas and other reasons often bring out individuals cloaked as “scientists” who make pseudo-scientific claims, confusing and creating unfounded fears in the public.  These fears ultimately have a negative impact on the progress and acceptance of real science.  Gawande relayed how to best defend actual science, highlighting some dos and don’ts.  He closed the speech by setting out the role of the newly-minted scientist: to explain science and help “it reclaim [the] territory of trust.”

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Technology Triple Trivia

TTTJune 14, 2016

  1. What suggests technology will be a step ahead of many formal medical diagnoses in the near future?


Answer: online health symptom searches on Bing have led a group of Microsoft scientists to claim that pancreatic cancer detection is possible in 5-15% of cases prior to actually receiving a formal diagnosis by a physician.  The research raises whether online health alerts will eventually become available for all kinds of conditions when user search data raises a red flag.  Read more here.

2. How are some people winning step-tracker challenges?


Answer:  folks who take step-challenges in the workplace or elsewhere, sometimes, whether out of panic or a desire to win, come up with interesting “assistants.”  From power machines, to dogs and clothes-driers, some devices are running circles around others.  Their owners, however, are often caught – for how can an individual possibly walk 30 miles a day with a full-time desk job?   What such participants should get a medal for, if not steps taken, is creativity.  Read the details here.

3. How will virtual assistants’ effectiveness and efficiency likely improve in months to come?


Answer:  detecting user emotional states, user voice mimicking, recalling prior requests, having contextual understanding — these are all the things companies designing and developing personal virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are working on so that user and assistant are in better sync.  Read the story here.

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Stevens Presents at AzAJ Annual Ethics Seminar

CB2Yvonne Stevens

On Friday, June 10, 2016 Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law LSI Faculty Fellow Yvonne Stevens spoke at the Arizona Association for Justice Annual Ethics Seminar on the legal ethics implications of emerging technologies and the issues facing practicing attorneys.  Stevens’ presentation is available here.

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