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EXCLUSIVE

World fair

25 minutes

The future was now at the 1939 World’s Fair – and it is still awesome

From the perspective of the 21st century, it’s hard to imagine what a marvel the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair would have been to its visitors. Still living in the heavy shadow of the stock market crash of 1929, the many people who flocked to the big exhibition found not only bounteous luxuries such as free Coca-Cola, but the unveiling of unthinkable new technologies that promised that a better world lay ahead. Using sparkling, rare, colour film footage – itself a brand-new technology at the time – the US director Amanda Murray mines the memories of several people who attended the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

Director: Amanda Murray

Website: Wicked Delicate

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Essay/
Automation & Robotics
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What stands in the way of all-powerful AI isn’t a lack of smarts: it’s that computers can’t have needs, cravings or desires

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Essay/
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The blitzscaling illusion

All the great inventions took painstaking, risky, indirect routes to fruition. Has Silicon Valley really escaped history?

Edward Tenner