WIRED UK Jan/ Feb 2019

WIRED is the Magazine for smart, intellectually curious people who need and want to know what’s next. WIRED will always deliver stimulating and compelling content and stunning design and photography. If you want an inside track to the future, then WIRED is your magazine.

United Kingdom
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
6 期号


creating wired

STAR-STRUCK BY STELLA WIRED’s creative director, Andrew Diprose, was on hand to ensure our latest cover shoot went smoothly – because for the first time, our cover was created using a smartphone, the Google Pixel 3. “It was a pleasure to shoot Stella McCartney in her amazing store on Old Bond street,” says Diprose. “The interior is made of recycled materials, from concrete to plastics, and it even boasts an Airlabs air filter that removes 95 per cent of traffic fumes and airborne pollutants. It’s the cleanest air in London, and is probably the only time I’ll have left a shoot healthier than I arrived. We wanted a cover with a real ‘pop’, so we used bright yellow and ‘Yves Klein’ blue backdrops. Stella’s graphic, high contrast shawls were perfect –…

a backlash isn’t the solution to big tech’s problems

From one perspective, multinational technology companies have experienced what one seasoned observer of communal discontent, Queen Elizabeth II, following a particularly challenging 12 months for the monarchy, articulated as an annus horribilis. Growing disaffection about user privacy, fake news, attention-based business models, extractive economics, exacerbation of income inequality, employment status, legal but ethically questionable tax arrangements, sexual harassment and lack of gender and ethnic diversity has, over the past year, seen Big Tech face the type of questioning that is usually reserved for cavalier oil conglomerates after an environmental catastrophe. Two WIRED events this autumn put much of this into relief. From the academic and author Rachel Botsman who asked how technology companies might regain consumer trust, to the economist Mariana Mazzucato, who offered a vision of how government and private…

a tribute to the false idols of tech

Elon Musk looks to the heavens from beneath a plumed helmet, angel wings on his back, a novelty flamethrower at his hip. Jeff Bezos rides on horseback, clutching a spear in one hand and an Amazon box in the other. Edward Snowden lies dead on a slab, eyes solemnly closed, his phone and laptop smashed on the ground around him. These are three sculptures from a new exhibition by the artist Sebastian Errazuriz, born in Chile and based in New York. The figures look like classical marble statues, but rather than being chiselled from stone, they are digital 3D models that exist in augmented reality. The Beginning of the End exhibition creates, in the artist’s words, “a new mythology of a variety of the heroes, villains and characters that will be part…

keeping ai honest

Life-changing decisions are happening in the dark. Machine-learning algorithms now help make decisions from loan applications to cancer diagnoses. In France, they place children in schools. In the US, they influence prison sentences. They can set credit scores and insurance rates, and decide the fate of job candidates and university applicants. But these programs are often unaccountable. To arrive at their decisions, machine-learning algorithms automatically build complex models based on big data sets, so that even the people using them may not be able to explain why or how a conclusion is reached. They’re a black box. AI researcher Sandra Wachter is working to drag them into the light. The 32-year-old is a research fellow at both the Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute in London. She trained as a…

putting a lid on oil spills

Oil spills at sea are difficult to clean up, travel fast, and kill marine life quickly – and the environmental repercussions persist long after the physical mess has been removed. After the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 – the worst offshore spill in history – the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, and eight of the biggest oil companies, started searching for a way to prevent similar catastrophes. Six years later, a partnership with the Italian firm Saipem produced the Offset Installation Equipment Carrier (OIEC). After two years of testing, it’s ready. The OIEC is a 14-metre tall apparatus consisting of a metallic frame that is kept upright by four giant yellow towers filled with air. At the centre is a massive block known as a capping…

code-switching is it possible to program identity?

The first time Stephanie Dinkins met Bina48, in 2014, she worried the thing was dead. “She was turned off,” Dinkins says. Switched on, Bina48 whirred to life, 32 motors animating its facial expressions behind a layer of rubber. Dinkins caught the robot’s stare and knew she’d found her muse. Bina48 had been conceived several years earlier by Martine Rothblatt, the polymathic entrepreneur and founder of the transhumanist Terasem Movement. Rothblatt fashioned the AI-powered bot in the likeness of her wife, Bina, training its speech patterns on a database of Bina-isms. The humanoid now sits, Roman-bust-style, on a table above a friend’s garage in Bristol, Vermont, forever conjuring the real Bina: brown eyes, brown skin, brown highlighted wig. In other words, Bina48 looks like a black woman – and that struck Dinkins, an…