AI Safety, Contemplative Reading, and the Importance of Leisure

I wanted to alert my readers to the following articles I’ve recently published at various outlets:

  • ‘AI Safety’ Without Virtue Will Never Be Safe.” This article, published on December 19th at Mere Orthodoxy, explores the current virtue deficit in AI innovation. The fixation with “AI Safety,” most evident in the Biden Administration’s recent Executive Order on the subject, masks over the true danger of AI, which is that an exclusive rule-based approach eclipses the debt we owe to human factors. I take a deep dive into the philosophy of the Enlightenment to understand how we reached the post-virtue situation today and the associated risks this entails when it comes to technological innovation.
  • In the latest issue of The Christian Librarian, I have an article on contemplative reading from the perspective of academic librarianship. The article argues that there is a cognitive difference between reading printed materials vs. reading off the screen, with one difference being that the latter is less conducive to contemplative immersion. Knowing this, academic librarians can be proactive in creating spaces and experiences that prioritize physical materials.
  • Continuing the theme of contemplative reading, I have published four articles in my Salvo column, and these cover leisure in general, and leisure reading in particular. In “Leisure and its Discontents,” I discuss the counter-cultural theories of leisure espoused by Josef Pieper (1904–1997), while a follow-up article, “The Joys of ‘Useless’ Books,” offers a defense of non-utilitarian reading. Finally, in an article published yesterday, “Amusing Ourselves Into Slavery,” I explore why the cult of fun is a trojan horse for totalitarianism, and how the classical Christian concept of leisure can protect us from the servility of both a work-induced statism and a play-induced statism.
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