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May 24th, 2018 by: Judith Sutz

Health Inequalities in the Global South: Transforming Inspiring Stories into Effective Policies

Inequality is usually considered in economic terms, but is, in fact, a much broader social situation. Income inequality does lead to different types of inequality, particularly in the fulfillment of basic needs, but other forms of deprivation exist that cannot be deduced from economic origins.  The Economy Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen has insisted in…

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May 24th, 2018 by: Suzanne Moon

Social Progress in a Technoreligious World

What is the place of religion in work for social progress? This question often produces widely divergent responses, with some seeing religion mainly as a source of conflict in societies, and others pointing to the role of religious people and communities in important work for peace, and social welfare. The truth is that there is…

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May 15th, 2018 by: Helga NowotnyJohan Schot

It could be otherwise: social progress, technology and the social sciences

The idea of social progress and the origins of modern science and technology are inextricably intertwined. Indeed, it was this idea that kept the entire enterprise of modern science and technology going. Reinforced by the actual scientific and technological practices, this belief became the open-ended, future-oriented project that was shared among a minority of (then…

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March 12th, 2018 by: Kira Lussier

From the Intuitive Human to the Intuitive Computer

In an early scene of Her, Spike Jonze’s 2013 romantic science fiction film, the protagonist, Theodore, purchases a new operating system marketed as a revolution in personalized computing. After setting up the operating system, Theodore asks its surprisingly personable female voice (played by the unseen Scarlett Johansson): “what makes you work?” The operating system, who…

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March 12th, 2018 by: Colin Garvey

Broken Promises & Empty Threats: The Evolution of AI in the USA, 1956-1996

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is once again a promising technology. The last time this happened was in the 1980s, and before that, the late 1950s through the early 1960s. In between, commentators often described AI as having fallen into “Winter,” a period of decline, pessimism, and low funding. Understanding the field’s more than six decades of…

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