This November, the Prague Philharmonic will perform the third and final movement of “From the Future World,” an AI-completed composition based on an unfinished piano piece by the famous composer Antonín Dvořák, 115 years after his death.
In a blockbuster paper in 1948, Claude Shannon introduced the notion of a “bit” and laid the foundation for the information age. His ideas ripple through nearly every aspect of modern life, influencing such diverse fields as communication, computing, cryptography, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cosmology, linguistics, and genetics.
According to the most recent cave drawings, children nowadays are using fire more than ever before. And it’s no wonder: fire has many wonderful applications, such as cooking meat, warming the home, and warding off wild animals in the night. We adult Homo erectus, with our enlarged brains and experience of pre-fire days, can moderate our use, but our children—some of whom never lived during a time when you couldn’tsimply strike two rocks together for an hour over a pile of dried grass to eventually produce a spark that, with gentle coaxing, might grow into a roaring flame—can have difficulty self-monitoring their interactions with fire.