E-mail and work: enhancing productivity or source of stress?

E-mail … we hate it, we love it. We use it, we have to use it. Or, do we? Is it essential to work? Does it really enhance productivity? Or, does it ramp up stress, cause health problems, and actually reduce work productivity? Is there a better way to do work? What does the research say? Featured articles (these articles have been added to the…

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Technology will not protect us from human weakness–and can make it worse

“When we think about misinformation … we tend to focus on the presence of bad information — but really we should be focusing on the presence of doubt.” “A platform like YouTube or Facebook can claim to be building a “marketplace of ideas” by algorithmically presenting, say, a story about a new vaccine alongside a story claiming vaccines are dangerous. But what it is really…

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Is Facebook hazardous to our well-being?

Is use of Facebook (and other social media sites) a genuine hazard to our physical and mental health? Are the purported benefits of digital social media outweighed by the risks? Past research has found negatives and some positives. “Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen…

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Updated: Chatbots — propaganda is being taught how to speak

Bots–“simple computer scripts–were originally designed to automate repetitive tasks … sparing humans hours of tedium.”  But, bots “can also be used to operate large numbers of fake [social media] accounts, which makes them ideal for manipulating people.” As became evident after the 2016 election in the United States and from many other examples, not only do bot-operated fake social media accounts “broadcast extremist viewpoints,” but…

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Electric vehicles: benefits, technology, obstacles

Vehicles (cars and trucks) can be powered partially or wholly by electricity. “All-electric vehicles (EVs) have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The vehicle uses a large traction battery pack to power the electric motor and must be plugged in to a charging station or wall outlet to charge. Because it runs on electricity, the vehicle emits no exhaust from a tailpipe and does…

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Facial recognition: technology and privacy

Quick bibliography: Reviews/recent articles on facial recognition–the technology and privacy concerns. Classic reviews: Bowyer, K. W. (2004). Face recognition technology: security versus privacy. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 23(1), 9-19. [PDF] [Cited by] “Video surveillance and face recognition systems have become the subject of increased interest and controversy after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In favor of face recognition technology, there…

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