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Volume 470

Telepathy, mind-reading, cyborgs. No, this isn’t an X-men sequel. This week’s coolsh*t brings you Black Mirror-esque technological developments and some very human problems. Plus the much-anticipated (read: well-overdue) Next Agenda special episode of the coolsh*t podcast.

BMW Bots.

Another day, another step closer to AI robots taking over world. I’m not sure if any of you have watched The Creator, but you’ll love it if you wish to be filled with a sense of impending doom.

If you’re not familiar with the general plot line, it’s as follows: 1. Some genius creates an autonomous humanoid robot. 2. They employ said robot to do menial tasks to make life easier for the humans. 3. This works so well, they develop an army of them, because what could go wrong? 4. Unable to see they why they ought to be subjected to work when they could be living their best robot lives, robots develop sentience and demand free will. 5. Robots rise up, wreak havoc and wage war against the humans. The end.

So, tell me BMW, have you never watched any of these films? Have we learned nothing from iRobot? Clearly not, seeing as they have recently introduced humanoid robots to work and assist at their car production factory. The goal is to relieve employees of their unsafe, difficult or tedious tasks… But at what cost?

Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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Hats Off.

What’s that, you want more AI? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. How about a mind-reading AI hat? Try that on for size. Actually, it’s probably one-size-fits-all, but I digress. We’re finally at the point where technology is catching up with our imaginations. People thought 2000 would be the year of reading minds and flying cars but turns out we just needed 24 more years.

Researchers from the University of Technology Sydney have developed a portable, non-invasive mind-reading AI hat named brainGPT that is able to decode and translate silent thoughts into readable text. Interestingly, when it came to nouns, they saw a tendency towards synonym pairs rather than precise translations. Their understanding is that semantically similar words might produce similar brain waves. While the accuracy level is around 40% at the moment, it is still a huge feat, and they are aiming to increase this to 90% in the near future.

Being an avid weekly coolsh*t reader, it’s easy to become slightly desensitised to breakthroughs like this. So let me reiterate, this is big. We’re talking about LITERAL MIND READING HERE.

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It’s a big day for science, and things are feeling more and more like a Black Mirror episode as we speak. Elon Musk has taken to Twitter (or X, as I refuse to call it) to announce that his company Neuralink has successfully implanted one of its wireless brain chips in a human.

The study used a robot to surgically place a brain-computer interface implant in the part of the brain that controls intention to move. In layman’s terms, it’s telepathy, and the product has handily been named just that. The goal is for a person to be able to control their phone, a computer cursor, or a keyboard, just by thinking!

While social commentators have expressed fear of this futuristic tech – and rightly so – it’s undeniable that if successful, this could be a life-changing product for patients who have lost the use of their limbs or with neurological conditions.

The Karens of the internet wasted no time decrying the idea, saying there’s “no way I’m getting a chip put in my head”. But perhaps, dear Karen, this product might not be for you. Ever consider that?

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Blurred Lines.

Okay enough about robots and AI. Let’s talk about an experience that is human, all too human. The excruciating limbo between a relationship and causal dating. It’s more than friendship, but you don’t want to put a label on it. God no, that’s too scary. So, you continue to play pretend – one person always more invested than the other. And inevitably, that someone will get hurt. But when it comes to its fated end, you can’t be annoyed. You knew what you were signing up for, goddammit! Well, that’s what my friends tell me it’s like. I wouldn’t know.

Anyways, the much-loved brand Sweethearts are playing on this curious cultural phenomenon that has us in Cupid’s chokehold. They’re taking their misprinted candies, the ones that were faded and would likely be thrown away, and packaging them as ‘situationships’, with the tagline ‘messages as blurry as your relationship’.

This is being hailed as marketing genius by millions of TikTokers for being culturally relevant, satirical and sustainable – and painfully relatable (not to me, though. Shut up).

Next up, Reece’s Side Pieces?

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Shoot Your Shot.

I’ll be honest with you, football isn’t exactly my forte. My knowledge is limited to WAG-related drama, Ruben Loftus-Cheek being the best-looking Chelsea player, Messi’s goated status, and the seemingly near-universal hatred of Tottenham. For someone who knows so little about football, I have no business owning Real Madrid and Inter Miami shirts. Bandwagon, what?

So, when I heard whispers of Jordan shooting their shot with a new Premier League Club, my interest was piqued, if only from a fashion standpoint. Rumour has it Jordan are looking to collaborate with a London-based team, and considering Nike outfits only Chelsea and Tottenham, it’s a safe bet it’ll be one of them.

It’s no secret that the PSG x Jordan collab was one of the biggest drops of the last few years, establishing PSG as the leading streetwear club. The iconic Jumpman logo has a way of elevating a team’s appeal, attracting not just hardcore football aficionados but also casual admirers like myself, who just think the shirts look cute.

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GRWM For War.

If there’s one thing I know about Gen Z, it’s that they are completely unserious. Call them snowflakes all you want but they’re quick to find a joke in even the direst situations. The current topic: The UK’s rumoured conscription policy (that is likely not happening). News that had the potential to strike fear into a generation has now become the internet’s biggest punchline.

Gen Z have taken to TikTok with parody videos of them getting drafted for war, from ‘Get ready with me for war’ to POVs on the battlefield. And I’ll give credit where it’s due, they’re pretty funny.

As a generation Gen Z get some flak, but they’ve shown that laughter truly is the best armour, even in the face of uncertainty. So, while the world may tremble at the thought of Armageddon, Gen Z’s irreverent spirit reminds us to find the humour in life’s most daunting challenges. ‘Cos if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.

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