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Weekend reading list – Week of June 26, 2017

June 30, 2017

Each week, we share the top five articles that caught our attention. Here are your must-reads, published here and abroad, for the week of June 26th 2017.

Ken 2.0
Blond (usually). Blue eyes. Tall. Sun-kissed skin and athletic build. Dreamy Ken has showed off his all-American good looks for decades. In recent years, the iconic Barbie has begun to embrace more realistic, inclusive and diverse looks, but her partner-in-crime was stuck in white-boy-next-door mode… until now.
Read it on GQ Pocket

RuPaul’s Drag Race Resistance
The very essence of drag is rooted in resistance. Actor and drag queen RuPaul learned this early on in his career, so it’s no surprise that his show is loaded with political themes/symbols. The winner of season nine proved to be one of the most politically outspoken contestants in the series’ history. A simple coincidence or the result of our current, tense political climate?
Read it on The Atlantic Pocket

Harry Potter, through the eyes of an AI
It was 20 years ago (already!) that J.K. Rowling published the first novel in a series that would eventually break literary records. In honour of the occasion, IBM’s artificial intelligence supercomputer, Watson, analyzed the books and movies to decode variations in tone and character personalities.
Read it on Business Insider Pocket

Ethics in design
James Williams, ex-Google Design Ethicist, believes that tech doesn’t have to be distracting and addictive. In this interview with journalist Annabelle Laurent, Williams explains that the ethical challenges of modern times revolve around levels of attention and distraction. How can tech—from social media to news websites to VR games—be designed to better respect our mental and physical health?
Read it on Usbek & Rica (In French) Pocket

The future of jobs is empathy
When we collectively freak out about losing jobs to robots and automation, we rarely stop to think about the jobs supercomputers won’t be able to perform. For example, computers can’t love, be compassionate or show sensitivity. While emotional labour is still undervalued today, in the future, this type of work will be crucial and more in demand than ever before.
Read it on Aeon Pocket

In your earbuds: Games UX
Charlie Deets, product designer at WhatsApp, also hosts the Games UX podcast. A few times each month, Deets and his guests explore games through (you guessed it) UX design and examine the process of designing video/computer games.
Listen to it on Games UX

This week’s favourite thing
Jukdo is a tiny island in South Korea. In order to properly map it, Google couldn’t send its usual car. Instead, it sent a traveler with a special backpack camera used for remote locations with little-to-no roads. While he documented the area, the Google Maps provider found out he was being followed by a fluffy friend.

Image from GQ