DNA Phenotyping, DAO Liabilities, Infinity Articles, and Roundup #19
When we’re done, I’ll keep the maintenance going. You help NASA get ready for moon fights.
Image of Boris Dennler’s Compact Disc Chair
This may be the first issue without robots. (Apologies, future robot overlords.) Plus, I’m evolving the format a bit.
At the top, we explore the biggest of the new, and then we move into the quick links roundup below.
And before we start, a thank you to everyone who gave me their thoughts after the last issue. Our shared riffs directly influence the changes I’m playing with here. Please keep the feedback coming.
Okay, let’s roll.
Three Big Things
Police have created their first-ever suspect wanted poster that was a generated 3D image of someone they have never seen. The source for the image? DNA.
For a 2019 case that was turning cold, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) ran through all their options, so they turned to technology and tapped into a “genetic witness.” By pulling predictive descriptions just from the DNA, EPS built a wanted poster of the subject.
The potential of “DNA to Face” has many applications, including new methods of facial recognition (first spotlit back in Issue 11).
It is also problematic on a few levels. For example, the technology does not factor in the suspect’s age, BMI, or environmental factors, such as facial hair, tattoos, and scars. Many in the industry are calling it a pseudoscience. EPS pulled the poster two days after sharing it due to community concerns around bias and accuracy.
Good and bad, the door is now wide open. As MIT Technology Review recently wrote, this is “just one part of an apparatus that can identify people by a range of techniques, fusing personal information across connected databases into a sort of data panopticon.”
The future of crypto is an existential crisis around what may be the worst of all worlds.
When looking at what web3 means to our futures, how it taps into the rising stakeholder economy, and how it exemplifies the prospects of collective ownership (first spotlit back in Issue 12), the view was positive. Exciting. Empowering.
One obscure DAO and charges from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) later, and there are “existential implications for a burgeoning sector of the crypto industry.”
Why? DAOs are owned collectively by their members rather than by a central governing body. This means “their tokens are similar enough to corporate shares to be subject to securities laws but different enough to create unlimited liability for their holders.” In other words, if the CFTC takes action on your DAO, you must lawyer up and pay up. There are no centralized bodies protecting you.
The stakeholder movement is building incredible strength. As I see it, while the risks rise, DAOs — and crypto overall — will continue evolving into new frontiers of success.
How close are we to having a personal AI that can write the perfect thing just for us?
We are in the midst of the generative AI revolution. This piece asks the big question above. The answer is both inevitable and incredibly compelling:
“The next frontier for content recommendations is going to be AI merging content rather than users flipping between articles. Imagine an app that is a continuous article and writes itself as you read based on its understanding of your interests and your interaction with the content.”
Less doom scrolling, headline skimming, and isolated article reading.
More single-stream, conversational-like 1:1 tutoring sessions.
The Infinity Article will greet “you each morning with an overview of the things you’re most likely to care about. From there, you can ask it to tell you more about anything you like, and the words magically fill themselves in. When reading, you can stop any time, ask questions, and get answers!”
Rounding It Out With the Roundup
Brain Organoids, the first “sentient” lab-grown brain in a dish? It taught itself to play pong
GriefTech, helping you converse with someone who has passed away as if they are still around
AI Political Leaders, a new political group, The Synthetic Party of Denmark, is following an AI entity known as Leader Lars
It’s Electric Up There
Balcony-based Solar, bringing the benefits of solar panels to renters’ walls and fences
Satellite Electricity Beaming, a global wireless energy matrix would send energy around the globe just like data — and the energy is renewable
Moon Fights, getting NASA astronauts ready for a new frontier for conflicts
Heat Shock Proteins, exploring the many benefits of heat exposure
Crocodile Crawl, the latest way grandparents are staying fit
Working it Out
Edible QR Codes, tagging food without messing up its original appearance and flavor
Biodegradable Water Bottles, like, for real this time
Disappearing Maintenance, notably missing from ‘reduce, reuse, recycle,’ the right-to-repair movement may mark the return of maintenance
Still Rattling Around
The New New will be back again.
Until then, let’s take the cue from Issue 12, and do some brainwave driving to the mall to hang with our scentless accountability buddies.
The New New is an irregular—and often irreverent—roundup of emerging experiences, culture-driven experiments, and scoops of perception.
Now, I’m off to grow some organoids.