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Johnian magazine issue 51, autumn 2023

Editor’s note

Written by Ellie Collingwood

1 min read

In this first digital-only issue of Johnian, I wanted to capture a snapshot of the diverse digital careers that our alumni have gone into. The format of this digital magazine also provides a wonderful opportunity to include video and audio content and more visual content than the usual print format allows.

With increasing mainstream access to artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT and Midjourney, many people are beginning to consider what impact AI will have our work and lives. Consequently, a number of the articles grapple with this issue, giving varied perspectives of the opportunities, challenges and questions presented by this rapidly developing technology. Illustrator Imogen Slater discusses significant changes and challenges in her industry since the proliferation of AI image generators, while recent graduate Jamie Bernardi explains why using AI safely is so important. Chiara Garofoli, Senior Counsel for Google, talks about how internet lawyers such as herself will have exciting opportunities to consider and defend responsible innovation in this area. And we hear how a life-threatening incident with a whale led Tom Mustill to look at nature through the lens of AI and consider whether we might one day be able to speak to whales.

Other alumni have used technology to create opportunities to improve the world around them. Eben Upton was Director of Studies for Computer Science at St John’s when he first had the idea for Raspberry Pi, a company whose programmable hardware and educational foundation have helped to increase access to computer science. We also hear from entrepreneur Caroline Walerud about how she has used deep tech to improve footwear sizing and tackle climate change one forest at a time.

This issue also has an emphasis on the musical and visual arts. In addition to artist Imogen Slater’s feature article, you will also be able to read BBC Music Correspondent Mark Savage’s stories about some of his most interesting interviewees in his ‘Johnian Playlist’ article and about content producer Colin Burrows’ personal and professional highlights in the ‘In a nutshell’ feature.

PS Please email me your thoughts on the magazine and look out for more College updates and Johnian stories on our news pages and in our monthly alumni enewsletter.

The opinions expressed in Johnian magazines are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of St John’s College and the University of Cambridge.

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Ellie is the Publications and Project Manager at St John’s. As Editor of Johnian magazine and The Eagle and manager of the alumni blog, she project manages print and digital publications as well as commissioning, writing and editing their content. Ellie has previously worked in the Development Office at Darwin College and for a Heritage Lottery funded landscape partnership scheme in the Brecks. She holds a BA in History from Cardiff University and an MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies from the University of Cambridge (Clare College).

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