What does the future of technology look like? Will it be more inclusive or exclusive? Will it progress in positive or negative ways? Who will hold the power, and will it be wielded for good or for bad? Well, it depends who you ask.
Many of us don't second guess a prompt on our iPhones asking for permission to know our locations at all times, and we go even further by giving that access (and more) to random strangers; allowing them to drive us around the city. Is this normal? Is this safe? Technology has become such an intrinsic part of our lives that it can be difficult to take a step back and evaluate the private information we give away for the sake of convenience. But will this request for access keep growing? And should we let it?
Along with the help of our co-workers at Motherboard, Waypoint, and the Creators Project, we set out for answers to these questions and more. This is the Future of Technology Issue. Here's what's inside:
For features, we have the "VR Porn Diaries," where Future Sex author Emily Witt encounters looming sex gods and tentacle monsters. Rachel Riederer investigates two new technologies that are changing the meaning of memory and who will control them. In "Farming the Future," an excerpt from The Unsettlers, writer Mark Sundeen wonders if a young couple could solve Detroit's postindustrial blues by going back to the land. In "Man Versus Machine," we approach some of the leading experts in the tech industry and ask for advice on how to make technology work better for us. And we have an excerpt from Zachary Mason's upcoming novel, Void Star.
Also, we tour a cryonics center in Arizona where folks are betting on a chance at a second life, talk to some hackers who are making online dating simultaneously more and less complicated, visit recycling centers for old TVs that have become toxic-waste sites, look at why a fraction of the gaming work force is striking, and speak to the guy responsible for breaking Ticketmaster.
If you're of the tl;dr mindset, then we have four bite-size Q&As featuring a cyborg who's making biohacking more accessible, a Silicon Valley tech leader who's modernizing Washington's bureaucracies, the co-founder of a digital museum who's championing virtual reality in the art world, and an augmented reality advocate.
Of course, we've got photos, too, including a sneak peak of new work by famed documentarian photographer Richard Mosse. Paul Soulellis, the man behind Library of the Printed Web, shares his archives and an exclusive look at the fifth issue. In collaboration with the Creators Project, we ask seven multimedia artists to revitalize self portraiture. And this issue's cover took months to produce since we created the image based off previous VICE covers. To do this, we used a deep convolutional generative adversarial network, or DCGAN, a machine-learning technique that's at the forefront of image generation.
There's much more…