Tech entertainment picks for July
This month, I bring you a talking whale (with Meryl Streep’s voice), the chance to escape your perceptions of reality, two fellas baring their souls, and lots of great AI reads
Welcome to the latest in my Tech Entertainment Picks series, where I point you in the direction of various media exploring the diverse world of technology.
This carefully curated selection offers a glimpse into the fascinating ways tech permeates our lives and how it can change the way we live in and think about the world around us. Whether you’re a serious tech enthusiast or merely curious about the latest trends, there’s something for everyone.
Let’s dive in…
Thank you to my colleague Nida Choudhary for recommending Extrapolations. Set over 33 years, this sprawling, star-studded AppleTV+ anthology series tells eight interconnected stories that explore the potential impact of climate change on all aspects of human life.
Extrapolations has sadly attracted almost universally dismal reviews from professional and armchair critics alike, primarily for Scott Z. Burns’ often chaotic storytelling and his failure to effectively tie all episodes together into a satisfying whole — as is expected of any good anthology series.
I definitely see where those critics are coming from, but how about we let the show’s flaws slide and focus instead on Burns’ well-intentioned efforts to underscore the existential threat of global warming to humanity — and, of course, the role of technology in averting it?
A highlight for me was episode two, ‘2046: Whale Fall’. We’re 23 years in the future, blistering temperatures and poor air quality mean humans can only spend so long outside, and elephants are extinct. Whales are dangerously close to meeting the same fate, so marine biologist Rebecca (Sienna Miller, in a moving performance) uses new tech to communicate with a female humpback (voiced by the one and only Meryl Streep) before it’s too late.
Watch the trailer here:
VISIT: Illusionaries: Memories of a Dead Poet
I get tremendously excited by the convergence of technology and almost any other discipline — especially art. That’s why I was thrilled to learn of Illusionaries: Memories of a Dead Poet, a new multisensory art odyssey in London, where a series of digital masterpieces that draw on light, sound, and motion defy all expectation.
With echoes of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern (itself worth a trip before closing in September), this spectacular, thought-provoking show is very cool indeed. Promising an escape from the mundane, its creators invite the curious to embark on a mesmerising, transformative journey beyond perception into the intricate depths of reality, emotion, and spirituality.
Illusionaries lasts roughly 40 minutes, so it’s an ideal lunchtime or after-work activity for those who work in Canary Wharf — I’m looking at you, 25 Churchill Place EY colleagues. However, it too runs only until September, so get your skates on.
LISTEN TO: Analog(ue)
If you fancy a lowkey technology podcast that delivers those feels, Analog(ue) could be just the ticket. Hosts Casey Liss and Myke Hurley focus not on tech itself but on the more human side of our digital age, on the way our devices impact us emotionally and change our lives — for the better or worse.
It’s a delight to hear this intelligent pair candidly shoot the breeze on the benefits and challenges of tech with a healthy dose of good humour. Analog(ue) isn’t as big and shiny as many tech podcasts out there, but this is the show’s biggest USP, giving it a really down-to-earth, relatable vibe that keeps listeners coming back for more. Will you become one of them?
READ: Assorted AI Content
I normally recommend articles or books by non-EY writers, but given the overwhelming interest in AI of late — thanks to the arrival of ChatGPT — today I bring you content by yours truly and a talented colleague or two.
Business leaders have quickly realised that advanced generative AI tools like OpenAI’s now infamous natural language processing model — and AI-powered systems in general — have the potential to augment human productivity and creativity in so many ways. It’s use cases a gogo. The dawning of the GenAI age has also hastened the need for meaningful corporate governance and such comprehensive AI regulation as the EU AI Act and UK’s proposed principles-based AI rules.
For an accessible long read on the possibilities and risks of AI, pick up a copy of my 2022 book AI by Design. With a sci-fi twist, I look to the past, present and future through a behavioural psychology lens to contemplate our relationship with AI as its capabilities grow rapidly. For a briefer discussion, check out my last blog or this one by EY UK Tech Thought Leader Harvey Lewis. Or if you’re specifically interested in the UK’s regulatory approach, Harvey recently published this paper with EY Global AI Ethics & Regulatory Leader Ansgar Koene.
FOLLOW: Toju Duke
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking alongside Toju Duke, Google’s Responsible AI Programme Manager, at a couple of events this year. A true force of nature, this brilliant lady shares my commitment to the development and deployment of responsible AI practices.
It’s this commitment that inspired Toju to write Building Responsible AI Algorithms, an upcoming book that sets out a framework for the creation of safe AI systems, and to launch Diverse AI, a new volunteer-led membership organisation working to increase diversity in AI by supporting, championing, and building diverse communities in the field through collaborations, education, and research.
We recently had the honour of hosting Diverse AI’s first research mixer at our London Bridge wavespace innovation centre and look forward to welcoming Toju and her colleagues again in the future.
As always, please swing by the comments to let me know what you think of my picks — and feel free to share your own. Until next time.