Steven Johnson

All Photos Twitter.com 4 hours ago
Lots of interesting conceptual ideas on AI & progress in this conversation between @demishassabis and @stevenbjohnson. Fun to zoom out from our hands-on work @manifold_ai. twitter.com/TEDchris/statu…
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19h
I love this idea from @demishassabis in the new TED Interview: the measure of true AI creativity is not whether it can come up with new strategies for chess or Go, but whether it can invent a new game that is as captivating as Go. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
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Anyone interested in tools for thought -- this is looking like a killer lineup, including the legendary @hrheingold who literally wrote the book on the subject. (I'm going to try to join as well.) betaworks.com/event/render-t…
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Thanks @TEDchris - I think AI is going to help bring about an amazing future through things like accelerating scientific discovery. Thanks @stevenbjohnson for a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation! twitter.com/TEDchris/statu…
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Anyone interested in tools for thought -- this is looking like a killer lineup, including the legendary @hrheingold who literally wrote the book on the subject. (I'm going to try to join as well.) betaworks.com/event/render-t…
Riveting episode of The TED Interview with Deep Mind's @demishassabis and @stevenbjohnson. Hello, amazing future. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
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And the latest edition of my @substack newsletter Adjacent Possible weaves together some shared themes about the creative process from my conversations with @demishassabis and @Egangoonsquad, and my profile of Doug Engelbart. adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/three-models…
If you share my obsession with SimCity-style sandbox games, you’ll also want to listen to the first section of the interview, where Hassabis talks about his years as a teenager (!!) designing classic sim games like Theme Park and Black & White in the 1990s.podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
I love this idea from @demishassabis in the new TED Interview: the measure of true AI creativity is not whether it can come up with new strategies for chess or Go, but whether it can invent a new game that is as captivating as Go. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
Good read - #walking puts the mind into a more open-ended, associative state. - Darwin had his own “thinking path.” - be physically active but not so active that you have to think about it. The Thinking Path, by @stevenbjohnson adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/the-thinking…
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Really enjoying @stevenbjohnson's Where Good Ideas Come From. It's like a greatest hits album of the future of computing and cogsci research I've been consuming these last few years, plus fun diversions into various natural sciences.
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No surprise that master storyteller @stevenbjohnson does a great job explaining the significance of Engelbart as well as "the mother of all demos," as I dubbed the iconic debut of the GUI. hiddenheroes.netguru.com/douglas-engelb…
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I actually linked to the preview version of the piece, not the final URL, which is here: hiddenheroes.netguru.com/douglas-engelb…
@stevenbjohnson AND most of the stuff he was demonstrating was superimposed on the projection of his speaking face. It really looked like his mind in action. Which it was.
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I've been playing with DALL-E & it is exciting. I think it may be like the birth of the synthesizer. Sociological research on the Moog traced how it changed from being a machine to an instrument as artists came to use it (jstor.org/stable/pdf/237…). I think this has similar energy. twitter.com/emollick/statu…
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The demo itself is worth watching in its entirety. Somehow in 1969, Engelbart was able to display glimpses of what would become word processors, data viz tools, outliners, presentation slides, hypertext, all while using the first computer mouse. hidden-heroes-ng.webflow.io/douglas-engelb…
Engelbart’s story—the latest in the Hidden Heroes project published by @netguru—is also a great case study in the power of what @brianeno called “scenius”: the collective intelligence/creativity of a specific place and time: in this instance, Menlo Park in the 1960s.
I’d always thought of Doug Engelbart’s “mother of all demos” as an origin point for modern software interfaces. But writing this piece made it clear how much innovation went into creating the demo itself, including a key contribution from @stewartbrand hidden-heroes-ng.webflow.io/douglas-engelb…
Before I get too far away from it, I wanted to share a bit about how amazing yet simple Barcelona's Superblocks are.
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One of the joys of editing and publishing CoEvolution Quarterly was the freedom to print anything that seemed important. Hence the theme issue I called "Computers As Poison." With the subhead: "All panaceas become poison." 1985. archive.org/details/wholee…
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How do you write authentic stories for a changing world? In this episode, authors Jennifer Egan (@Egangoonsquad) and Steven Johnson (@stevenbjohnson) discuss tech, memory and fiction's power to change minds. Listen to The TED Interview on @amazonmusic: t.ted.com/Wr2EFYl
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How amazing! When can the rest of us hear it? (I think that is my favorite piece of all my magazine writing, but did not expect someone to put it to music!) twitter.com/thulamusic/sta…
“The Thinking Path” by @stevenbjohnson has me full of gratitude this morning. I have a great walking path behind my house, which I now see as a passage to more future creative thinking. *laces up sneakers* adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/the-thinking…
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⁉️Wikenigma: What if there was a Wikipedia for things we don’t know? That’s Wikenigma, which only has topics where the answer is unknown. There’s lots of cool stuff: we don't actually understand why moths like light, or the origin of “abracadabra.” 2/ wikenigma.org.uk/a-z_listing
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Keeping a “wish-list” of intellectual/creative challenges, even if you’re not exactly sure yet what the exact subject matter will be for those challenges—I think that’s a great routine to have, even for non-novelists. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
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And by the way, @Egangoonsquad's latest, The Candy House, is one of the most exciting novels I’ve read in years. (Even better than Good Squad, IMHO, and I loved Goon Squad.) simonandschuster.com/books/The-Cand…
So many gems in this @TEDTalks Interview with Egan: we talk about Dungeons and Dragons, the role of the novelist in making sense of technological change, non-dystopian sci-fi, GPT-3, and much more. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
Keeping a “wish-list” of intellectual/creative challenges, even if you’re not exactly sure yet what the exact subject matter will be for those challenges—I think that’s a great routine to have, even for non-novelists. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
In the latest TED Interview, I asked @Egangoonsquad about her dazzling formal inventiveness as a novelist in books like A Visit From The Goon Squad, and The Candy House. I thought her answer was remarkable. podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the…
Five cities, then and now. Somewhere today there's a quiet fishing village that will be a 2100 megalopolis. Hong Kong: 1964 | 2016
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Our current vaccines against COVID-19 no longer protect well against “getting it” but they do protect against “getting dead”. Nasal vaccines can induce mucosal immunity, increase IgA and thereby work well to prevent you getting the disease in the first place. We need them now! twitter.com/virusesimmunit…
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“Sometimes the secret to a creative workflow is as low-tech as it gets: going for a stroll.” And here’s a good read on the merits of taking a walk by @stevenbjohnson (that yesterday’s walking partner @johnjsills sent me after our walk) adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/the-thinking…
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Daily I walk to think so I naturally concur with @stevenbjohnson who writes about the benefits of walking to think. adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/the-thinking…
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Steve Jobs was a big proponent of this idea: taking walks improves creativity and innovation. It works. twitter.com/stevenbjohnson…
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I try to walk in Toronto's ravines or ride my bike every day ... twitter.com/stevenbjohnson…
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In today's @SciImmunology, @VirusesImmunity and I call for Operation Nasal Vaccine, the urgent need for a lightened speed initiative, to help block Covid infections and transmission science.org/doi/10.1126/sc…
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Walking as the secret to inventing new genre conventions for comedy. twitter.com/chrisbybike/st…
In a 2014 study, Stanford researchers found the simple act of taking a stroll doubled your capacity for creative thoughts. Other studies show regular walks increase connectivity in regions associated with creativity. A thread on walking and thinking... adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/the-thinking…
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More on this, including the practice of taking walking meetings and the link between pedestrian-based cities and innovation, in the latest edition of my Adjacent Possible newsletter… adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/the-thinking…
One key ingredient seems to be walking at your natural pace, being physically active but not so active that you have to think about it, as Daniel Kahneman describes it in Thinking, Fast and Slow…
Darwin built a gravel path around an oak grove at Down House, the estate where he lived for 40 years while developing his theory of evolution. He walked multiple loops on it almost every day. He called it his “thinking path.”
In his Confessions, Rousseau wrote: “There is something about walking which stimulates and enlivens my thoughts. When I stay in one place I can hardly think at all; my body has to be on the move to set my mind going.”
In a 2014 study, Stanford researchers found the simple act of taking a stroll doubled your capacity for creative thoughts. Other studies show regular walks increase connectivity in regions associated with creativity. A thread on walking and thinking... adjacentpossible.substack.com/p/the-thinking…
@stevenbjohnson The sensors are actually blocked/fouled pretty easily, they need unobstructed space and can’t be too close to certain things if you want accurate readings.
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Air quality sensors would be a logical next step for smart watches, no? Any reason that's difficult to implement? twitter.com/karpathy/statu…
Agreed. Those nebulae are a colossal waste of hydrogen. twitter.com/waitbutwhy/sta…
What an incredible breadth of meaning for a single word. Is this kind of crazy shit true for other languages as well? twitter.com/julian_723/sta…
As a soon-to-be-empty-nester/middle-aged person, my theory is that the secret to happiness is to create a new upward slope in "time spent with friends" right as "time spent with children" begins to decline. Basically a second, more mature, act of your college/young adult phase. twitter.com/DKThomp/status…
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