Posts

Summer is a Season Again

Last summer didn’t count. We couldn’t go anywhere, do anything, see anyone. Already, this summer is making up for lost time. We’re going everywhere, doing everything, seeing everyone. But save a tear, please, for the online lives…

By the Dawn’s Early Light

I want to go to America. So do you. I know we live in a beautiful land. But like everyone else on earth, crossing a border makes our destination more exotic and exciting. I also want Americans to come here. They’re so much fun to admire, decry…

Feats of Clay

We all have three lives, a friend once told me. Our public life, our private life, and our secret life. How many times is some Citizen of the Year revealed to be a sadistic fantasist, with us tut-tutting “You just never can tell?” This…

Hell is other robots

Technology didn’t miss a beat during the pandemic. Before COVID, computer voices sounded fake and HAL-like. Now, you can hardly tell if you’re talking to a person or an AI impersonator. The same boldface-progress holds for facial recognition,…

Queen Victoria is not amused

It’s her weekend and are we planting our gardens without fear they’ll freeze overnight? Are we opening our cottages, swatting the blackflies, gassing up at Tim Horton’s?  Well, we are more than last year when we were all locked up…

Love letters

“Whatever field you are in, if it uses language, it is about to be transformed.” That’s the subhead of last week’s New Yorker article by Torontonian Stephen Marche. This is not just a big claim; it’s a stupendous and even preposterous…

The Plague-Ground – How baked-in bias cooks chaos

Back in 2018, Barack Obama claimed publicly that “President Trump is a total and complete dipshit.” No, he did. Really. Watch it here. That was one of the very first Deep Fake Videos in the world. But in the past two years, the technology…

The Plague-Ground – When you’re the lead dog, the view always changes.

In 2014 when the Rogers’ family gave $150 million to create the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, part of that went to discover how AI can prevent and treat heart failure. Last year when Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman gave $100…

The Plague-Ground – Do you not be happy with me as the writer of the words of you?

In 1997, Gary Kasparov, the reigning world chess champion who many think is the greatest player in the 1,500-year history of the game, lost to a computer. By 2017 when he spoke at a RamsayTalk in Toronto, he was the Head of the Human Rights…