Issues and Controversies

Is Video Game Addiction Real? | Above the Noise

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As the video game Fortnite is taking over the world, there's a rising panic that some gamers are getting full-on addicted, with headlines like “Parenting the Fortnite Addict” and “I almost lost my sons to Fortnite” popping up all over the place. Even the World Health Organization is worried about video games—just recently, it officially recognized “Gaming Disorder” as a mental health condition. But it’s not that simple. The American Psychiatric Association isn’t convinced, and says there’s not enough research showing that video game addiction is its own disorder. So what’s going on? Is video game addiction REALLY a thing? Find out in the latest Above the Noise episode. And join the discussion about video game addiction with other students on KQED Learn by going to Activity in Support Materials. (Log in required.)

Algorithms and Society | STEAM: Ideas That Shape Our World

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Emily Dreyfuss, a senior writer at Wired magazine, discusses artificial intelligence (AI), social media, and how algorithms work. She describes how the use of algorithms changes society and explains how people can be more thoughtful in their use of technology. Her talk was part of the 2017 IdeaFestival in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Cyberpunk Future | STEAM: Ideas That Shape Our World

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Science fiction writer, computer scientist, and mathematician Rudy Rucker (The Ware Tetralogy) says the cyberpunk future is already here. Merriam-Webster defines cyberpunk as “science fiction dealing with future urban societies dominated by computer technology.” Rucker says a key element of cyberpunk, however, is an anti-establishment outlook on life. He talks about cyberpunk and imagines the technology of the future. Rucker spoke as part of the 2017 IdeaFestival in Louisville, Kentucky.

Virtual Reality | STEAM: Ideas That Shape Our world

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Technology writer Ben Kuchera explains how virtual reality technology works and the history of its development. He also demonstrates what can be seen in a virtual reality simulation. He then examines the pros and cons of indulging in experiences that are not real, but virtual. He spoke as part of the 2016 IdeaFestival in Louisville, Ky.

Is Facial Recognition Invading Your Privacy? | Above the Noise

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Facial recognition is creeping more and more into our daily lives. Facebook and Google use it for autotagging photos. Snapchat uses it to create hilarious filters. And Apple’s new iPhone will allow you to use your face to unlock your phone. But this same technology can be used by governments and companies to learn as much as they can about you. Find out how facial recognition technology works in the newest Above the Noise video.

INL Nuclear Waste | Idaho Science Journal

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In early 2015, former Governors Cecil Andrus and Phil Batt spoke out against a new proposal to bring spent commercial nuclear fuel to the Idaho National Laboratory. 

Reporter Aaron Kunz explains more about the proposed shipment and why INL scientists have the support of Governor Butch Otter to bring the spent rods to the state.

Coal and Nuclear: Problem or Solution?

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In this video, students consider the challenge of finding the best sustainable energy solution for the global population. Renewables, biofuels, solar, wind, and other energy sources may be alternatives to fossil fuel, but it is impossible to ignore the ubiquity of coal and the power capabilities of nuclear, despite their many drawbacks. These controversial resources may be major players in a sustainable energy future, however, thanks to new developments in carbon capture and sequestration and improved nuclear technologies.

Psychology of Computing: Crash Course Computer Science #38

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So today, we’re going to discuss some psychological considerations in building computers, like how to make them easier for humans to use, the uncanny valley problem when humanoid robots gets more and more humanlike, and strategies to make our devices work better with us by incorporating our emotions and even altering our gaze.

Robots: Crash Course Computer Science #37

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Robots are often thought of as a technology of the future, but they're already here by the millions in the workplace, our homes, and pretty soon on the roads. We'll discuss the origins of robotics to its proliferation, and even look at some common control designs that were implemented to make them more useful in the workplace.

The Singularity, Skynet, and the Future of Computing: Crash Course Computer Science #40

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In the past 70 years electronic computing has fundamentally changed how we live our lives, and we believe it’s just getting started. From ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars to brain computer interfaces, wearable computers, and maybe even the singularity there is so much amazing potential on the horizon.

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