New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans #27 – Audio Edition

New World Same Humans #27 – Audio Edition

Welcome to the podcast version of New World Same Humans, a weekly newsletter on trends, technology, and society by David Mattin.

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This week: we need to talk about neural networks.

Many of you will already know why. You’ve seen the demonstrations, read the stories, surfed both the wave of hype and the backlash to it.

I’m here to reignite that hype all over again. Well, not quite. But I am here to question whether the hype backlash is, itself, over hyped. And that means asking some big questions about the nature of minds, and what the emergence of AI means for our shared future.

Our journey starts, though, with a short and strange paragraph. Enough reading: hit play and hear it!

If you prefer to read this week’s instalment, go here for the the text version of New World Same Humans #27.

Links in this week’s instalment

Do you mind:

1. A short story about Harry Potter written in the style of Raymond Chandler, by GPT-3.

2. GPT-3’s news article about the recent split in the Methodist Church.

3. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s tweet against excessive GPT-3 hype.

4. American philosopher Daniel Dennett’s views on consciousness.

5. Neural network expert Geoffrey Hinton on getting to a trillion parameters.

6. The Turing Test and what it is intended to tell us.

Attack of the robot dolphins

1. A New Zealand company has created incredibly realistic robot dolphins.

2. US investors including Sequoia Capital are making a play to buy TikTok.

3. A new poll says almost half of British people think Russia interfered in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

4. You can now play 90s-era first-person shooter game Doom inside the social video game Roblox.

All for one

Thanks for listening this week.

The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe. We can think of it as a piece of organic technology; one far in advance of any neural network we’ve so far managed to build. And it’s over 200,000 years old.

Those facts lie close to the heart of the core message of this newsletter. Yes, we live in a fast-changing and complex world. But amid all that we’re still the same humans, with the same old human nature. New World Same Humans is on mission to interrogate that fascinating predicament – to understand the trends reshaping the world around us, and what they mean for the way we’ll live, work, play and think in the decades ahead.

In 2020, that mission feels more urgent than ever. I hope that as our community grows, we can come to play our own small role in building a better future. So if you found today’s instalment valuable, please forward this email to one person – a friend, family member or colleague – who’d also enjoy it. Or share New World Same Humans across one of your social networks, and let people know why you listen to it:

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I’ll be back next Sunday; until then, be well.


David Mattin sits on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Consumption.

New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans
New World Same Humans is a weekly newsletter on trends, technology and our shared future by David Mattin.
Born in 2020, the NWSH community has grown to include 25,000+ technologists, designers, founders, policy-makers and more.
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