What is this
Skynet Today is a site dedicated to providing accessible and informed written critique of the AI news and trends.
In other words, the idea is to offer a concise but comprehensive overview of each major AI story that bubbles up in popular media. Such stories attract the public attention more and more often in the past several years and receive a coverage that is sometimes inspired by emotionally resonant but unrealistic science fiction concepts such as Skynet, HAL 9000 or the Three Laws of Robotics. The hope is to get a variety of people with a knowledge of the field to cover the coverage of new events related to AI, and thus offer a more nuanced outlook which helpfully distinguishes the fiction from the factual.
Why are you doing this
Our core beliefs are that:
- There exist many real and important dangers as well as prospects for present day AI, and it is important to distinguish between fact and fiction1.
- Therefore, AI researchers and experts have a responsibility to promote understanding of their field within the general public with accessible writing.
- There are not sufficient efforts by AI researchers and experts to do this sort of writing, and we are qualified and positioned to do it well.
The conversation about AI is becoming increasingly relevant to many domains of society. To make sure it will be a productive one we need reliable and sensible sources of information and education about the topic. We believe such sources are necessary, yet currently few and far between, and that we have enough relevant knowledge to create one.
How are you doing this
To achieve our mission and live up to our standards of quality, clarity, and speed, we have 3 types of coverage which differ in their levels of depth, frequency, and degree of objectivity:
- Digests: A bi-weekly newsletter with quick takes on the most important recent media stories about AI. Our most frequent and concise coverage.
- Briefs: Concise yet thorough articles that summarize and comment on an important recent AI story. Literally meant to be ‘brief’, around 1000 words, so you can get a quick impression of the key points of important stories.
- Editorials: Longer and more in-depth pieces that are more opinionated and less news-specific. These are by far the least frequent and most in depth, and also the most ambitious and insightful.
Who are you
We are a group of researchers, engineers, and working professionals with domain knowledge in AI and investment in this site’s mission. People actively contributing to the site include:
- Andrey Kurenkov: the site’s creator, lead editor, and occasional contributor of news coverage and editorials. Andrey has BS Computer Science and Electrical Engineering degrees from Georgia Tech, and is currently a graduate student at Stanford where he studies and is doing research in AI. He likes writing blog posts about miscellaneous topics and has written several long-form educational posts about AI.
- Josh Morton: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. Josh has a BS CS degree from Georgia Tech, and is currently a software engineer at Google. While at GT he worked in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Lab as well as The Agency (Geogia Tech’s AI club). He likes to juggle.
- Ben Shih: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. Ben has BS CS and MS CS degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, and is currently completing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering focused on robotics at University of California, San Diego. He likes squishy robots.
- Alex Constantino: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. Alex has a BS degree in Applied Math/Computer Science from Brown University and is currently working on medical AI problems at the University of Pittsburgh. He was previously a software engineer at Google, where he worked on data engineering and analysis problems in Search, applied large-scale machine learning to promotion targeting, and developed strategies to keep “fake news” out of search results. He enjoys sailing, brewing beer, and scuba diving.
- Limor Gultchin: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. Completed a computer science undergraduate degree at Harvard university, and is a future graduate student at the Oxford internet institute. A data scientist at the tony Blair global institute in London, using ml tools to study the rise of the populist tide and future facing policy solutions.
- Aidan Rocke: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. Discovering practical foundations for intelligent behaviour during the day; rebuilding trust in the information ecosystem at night. I am an applied mathematician trained at Edinburgh University that has previously contributed to OpenWorm, and consulted for companies focused on AI applied to locomotion and control tasks.
- Apoorva Dornadula: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Computer Science degree at Stanford University. Prior to this, I graduated from UC Berkeley where I studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. My research interests include applied Computer Vision, NLP, and AI Safety.
- Viraat Aryabumi: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. Completed an IT undergraduate degree at CBIT, Osmania University. Currently a Masters student in AI at the University of Edinburgh. Interested in reinforcement learning, bias in AI and AI safety.
- Charlie Kilpatrick: a contributing author of news coverage and editorials. Software engineer at Microsoft. Squalid culture critic. Exhausted with tech journalism. Conscious of Artificial Intelligence, but primary skillset consists of telling others why they are wrong about Artificial Intelligence.
- Abigail See: an editor of news coverage and editorials. Abi is a PhD student at Stanford University specializing in Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning, with a background in pure mathematics. Through her writing and her teaching, she is passionate about communicating technical concepts in an accessible way.
- Anna Kurenkova: the lead of digital marketing for Skynet Today. She has a B.A. in Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University and is a recent graduate of Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree program. She is a fan of learning to speak new languages, and can speak many.
How Can I Help
Subscribe! Spread the word! And if you have any ideas for improving the site, definitely let us know:
And if you want to contribute more actively, see our call for collaborators and submissions or just fill out the form below:
Yes, we are quite aware of the existential threat possibilities of AI. The counterpoint to all that is wonderfully conveyed by Rodney Brooks; an AGI or even scary doom AI is certainly possible, but we still seem far from it. In any case, this site’s focus will be on providing perspective on stories in the here and now, not hypotheticals about the future. ↩