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Traces of digital disruption


Sometimes, the online and the offline world cross paths. Here, you see an analogous trace of the disruption of our daily lives by the digitization of society. This is the gate to the apartment building where I live. Behind it, there is a bright blue staircase in the open air. This staircase has been...

Emilio says hi!


Emiglio is a nostalgic remnant of the 80s and 90s robotic toys. He (or it?) currently resides at the NEST Cultural Centre in the Hague, greeting visitors. First produced by the Giochi Preziosi Toy Company in 1989 under the slogan ‘Emiglio é meglio!’ (Emiglio is better!), he quickly became the most desired Christmas present...

Carbon reciprocity


Carbon is abundant. It can be found in all forms of life. It can be found in rocks and shells. It can be found in non-organic matters such as pencil graphite and coal used in power plants. Carbon is essential for humanity; fossil fuels, which are organic tissues from ancient plants and animals, in...

Energy cornucopia


We buy woke second-hand coats. We put solar panels on our roofs if we have the luxury to do so. And we do our best to turn off the lights when we leave a room. But when all of society is fueled by green energy, there is no need for scarcity anymore. The time...

Man and/or machine?


The development of robots with human-like AI and a human-like appearance may reshape our ideas of our own humanity. In this photo, the statue of a human figure is unclear, representing how, as humanoid robots may become more human-like, the distinction between man and machine may become less distinct. Moreover, we may begin to...

So long, Blockbot


Robots are leaving factories and are entering the human­ inhabited environment. This has caused great uncertainty on how their presence will affect not only human ­robot relations but also human ­human relations. Will perceptions of robots shift from an object to an artificial creatures that people are disposed to socially interact with? And will...

Nature in a box


Nature in a box Is nature a background or a commodity? Here we see the latter, enclosed within a human-sized architectural space that presents it as docile and ready-to-gaze. While urban green is usually a reassuring presence, the heavy architectural elements seem to constrain and stifle any natural impulse, served in a box for...

How to become more cyber resilient? Look at the ethical hackers!


Two weeks before the 2020 presidential elections in the US, a Dutch ethical hacker guessed the Twitter password of former president Donald Trump. He didn’t need any technical skills, only a few guesses. He tried variations of Trump’s slogan ‘Make America Great Again’. With maga2020! he got in. As an ethical hacker, he knew...

do not hire a phd student

Do Not Hire a PhD Student, Hire an Illustrator


For all senior academics working in the philosophy of technology, here is a wild idea. Next time you have a project, and you can hire someone;  don’t hire a PhD student, hire an illustrator. Here’s why. First of all, an illustrator (or graphic designer) can communicate your work. They can bridge human intellects from...

IT’S OUT OF THE BOX!


At the 2021 4TU.Ethics bi-annual conference on Ethics and Technology we, a group of 4TU.Ethics PhDs, decided to give the conference’s motto “IT’S ALIVE” a twist. In our symposium “It’s out of the box”, we had just one rule – break as many rules as possible; discursive rules, that is. Our hypothesis was—for some—provocative....

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