Information Superhighway or Superstorm?

Dr. AI is in, but don't expect it to be replacing doctors anytime soon. Look to the structure of our shoulders to learn more about human power dynamics, how we got our big brains, and why we’re so different from other animals. Plus, are we actually living in an Information Superhighway, or is it more like a polluted river of data?

Heading

Welcome to the July 16 edition of The Digest.

Ever googled why you have a symptom and it told you it’s probably some form of cancer?

Well, move over Dr. Google, hello Dr. AI. Large language models, like Chat GPT, glean huge amounts of data from all over the internet, which has resulted in surprisingly accurate diagnoses. But the use of AI in medicine presents several concerns. Check out this 8-minute podcast to learn more. Link.

What separates humans from other animals?

Look to our ability to throw long distances, and the ranged weapons we learned to create. With our “super shoulders” and new technology, we were able to unpair the link between physical size and social dominance, as we see in several primate societies. This in turn affected the societal power dynamics, as well as the physical structure (and size) of our brains.

Long gone are the days of the atlatl or the crossbow. But “strongmen” continue to rule. Our brains just haven’t caught up with our quickly evolving, modern world. We still gravitate to large men in crisis, despite how illogical it is. It makes one think, perhaps we aren’t so different from our ancient ancestors after all. Link.

I’ve mentioned that we live in the age of data-overload before.

But it's not just the quantity of information we are being inundated with, but the quality, which, according to Ted Gioia, is pretty...well, crappy. Check out Gioia’s opinion on our Information Superhighway--or is it a Information Crapocalypse? Link.