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Weekend Recs: Artificial Intelligence

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

AI, or artificial intelligence, is becoming a more and more prevalent topic in the U.S. What once was a sci-fi work of fiction is now a very real possibility, albeit (likely and hopefully) less dystopian. Although the AI we see today is far from the likes of films such as Smart House, The Matrix, or Tau, it still raises some interesting questions and concerns. This weekends’ recs will help you enter the AI conversation.

If you have 1 minute…and want to see AI at work for yourself, watch this TikTok. It features a filter that uses AI to generate a background based on what words you type (which you can test yourself).

If you have 10 minutes…and don’t know a lot about AI, read Guru99′s guide to AI. It gives important background and basic information about AI.

If you have another 10 minutes…and are interested in a recent AI-related controversy, read this New York Times article about an AI-generated digital painting winning an award at an art competition. This certainly is a fitting example of the popular concern that AI might eventually replace human labor.

If you have 15 minutes…and are a mental health proponent, read this New York Times article about an AI therapy bot (that surprisingly performed decently well, all things considered).

If you have 20 minutes…and have some questions on AI sentience, read this New York Times article. It might debunk some common misconceptions about just how “human” AI actually can be.

If you have 30 minutes…and want to read a thought-provoking piece on the ways in which social biases are often inadvertently coded in AI technology, read “Engineered Inequity: Are Robots Racist” from Ruha Benjamin’s book Race after Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code. This chapter genuinely changed the way in which I think about AI for the better. Just because something is becoming “more human” does not make it better.

If you have 2 hours and 20 minutes…and want to cross a cinematic classic off your list, watch 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you’re a sci-fi fan, Stanley Kubrick enthusiast, or just an enjoyer of good movies, this is definitely worth a watch.

If you have 12 or more hours…and are into story-based video games, play (or watch a playthrough of) Detroit: Become Human. This game, set in 2026 Detroit, features the rise of AI androids in the American workforce. It’s basically a sci-fi movie that you can play, and it touches on some of the (realistic or not) concerns many have with the rise of AI technology.


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 

 


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Falvey Memorial Library: Portable Power Packs Now Available for Loan

Falvey Memorial Library recently added two portable power packs to the list of equipment items available for patron use. The power packs can be checked out at the service desk on the Library’s first floor for a three-hour loan. The packs are able to charge an item for up to two hours. Each pack has three USB ports and one USB-C port. Each pack also has one USB to USB-C cable and one USB-C to USB-C cable included.

“Access Services decided to add the power packs to our collection as part of a broader effort to revamp and expand the tech resources available to students at the service desk,” said Nicole Daly, Social Science Librarian, and former Access and Collections Coordinator.

“We wanted to make sure we were anticipating the needs of our students, and throughout the fall and spring semesters students were asking about charging stations. To meet that need we decided to add a selection of the most popular device chargers. We also added power banks so that students weren’t restricted to study spots near a power outlet. Adding these power banks offers students the ability to move around and find the perfect study spot, which is especially important during midterms and finals when study space is a hot commodity.”

Image of portable power pack.

Portable power pack.

In addition to power packs, Falvey Memorial Library maintains a variety of technology equipment for the use of our patrons, including laptops, calculators, headphones, and personal DVD players. Equipment is available for Villanova University students, faculty, and staff on a first-come, first-served basis. View a full listing of equipment loans and borrowing policies here. Courtesy patrons are also eligible to check out items on an hourly basis. For additional information on courtesy memberships and borrowing policies click here. Please visit the service desk on Falvey’s first floor to check out equipment.

Questions? Stop by the service desk Monday—Thursday; 9 a.m.—7 p.m. Email: circ@villanova.edu. Phone: 610-519-4270. 


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Weekend Recs: The World of Technology

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Whether it’s because I finally invested in a new iMac after a decade or I’m still mourning the predictable, yet still upsetting death of BlackBerry phones, technology has been top of mind lately. It seems like every day there’s talk of the latest technology trend catching on and spreading like wildfire. For this weekend, I’ve compiled recs to help you keep up with the latest technology news, whether you have 3 minutes or 4 hours. 

If you have 3 minutes… watch this video about the Icelandverse. We’ve all heard about the Metaverse, but have you heard about the Icelandverse? This Icelandic tourism ad pokes fun at Zuckerburg’s Metaverse video and does a good job at making viewers want to book a trip to the real Iceland. 

If you have 5 minutes… get an overview of everything going on regarding the 5G upgrades taking place nationwide and why airports and the FAA aren’t too happy about it. 

If you have 8 minutes… read predictions about 2022 being the year of the smart house and what technological developments we can expect to see in the home. 

If you have 2 hours and 20 minutes… watch Ready Player One on Hulu. Ready Player One is based on the 2011 science fiction novel by Ernest Cline. The story takes place in 2045 where people escape the world by entering into the virtual reality entertainment universe, OASIS. If you haven’t yet seen this movie, it’s definitely worth a watch! 

If you have 4 hours and 30 minutes… read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Arguably one of the greatest dystopian novels of all time, Brave New World takes place in a world where technology has taken the place of some of humanity’s most important traditions and purposes. Despite being written in 1931, Huxley’s novel is still incredibly relevant and thought-provoking today.  


""Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Last Modified: January 21, 2022