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robertogreco : firefly   3

The Fire Phone at the farmers market — The Message — Medium
"With the exception of a few paintings, all of Amazon’s demo “items” were commercial products: things with ISBNs, bar codes, and/or spectral signatures. Things with price tags.

We did not see the Fire Phone recognize a eucalyptus tree.

There is reason to suspect the Fire Phone cannot identify a goldfinch.

And I do not think the Fire Phone can tell me which of these “items” is kale.

This last one is the most troubling, because a system that greets a bag of frozen vegetables with a bar code like an old friend but draws a blank on a basket of fresh greens at the farmers market—that’s not just technical. That’s political.

But here’s the thing: The kale is coming.

There’s an iPhone app called Deep Belief, a tech demo from programmer Pete Warden. It’s free."



"If Amazon’s Fire Phone could tell kale from Swiss chard, if it could recognize trees and birds, I think its polarity would flip entirely, and it would become a powerful ally of humanistic values. As it stands, Firefly adds itself to the forces expanding the commercial sphere, encroaching on public space, insisting that anything interesting must have a price tag. But of course, that’s Amazon: They’re in The Goldfinch detection business, not the goldfinch detection business.

If we ever do get a Firefly for all the things without price tags, we’ll probably get it from Google, a company that’s already working hard on computer vision optimized for public space. It’s lovely to imagine one of Google’s self-driving cars roaming around, looking everywhere at once, diligently noting street signs and stop lights… and noting also the trees standing alongside those streets and the birds perched alongside those lights.

Lovely, but not likely.

Maybe the National Park Service needs to get good at this.

At this point, the really deeply humanistic critics are thinking: “Give me a break. You need an app for this? Buy a bird book. Learn the names of trees.” Okay, fine. But, you know what? I have passed so much flora and fauna in my journeys around this fecund neighborhood of mine and wondered: What is that? If I had a humanistic Firefly to tell me, I’d know their names by now."
amazon  technology  robinsloan  objects  objectrecognition  identification  objectidentification  firefly  mobile  phones  2014  jeffbezos  consumption  learning  deepbelief  petewarden  ai  artificialintelligence  cameras  computervision  commonplace  deeplearning 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Smart Pop Books — Girls, Guns, Gags
"This is how feminism is supposed to work-women aren’t better than men at everything, they’re better at some things and less good at others, and thus they are equals. This is illustrated by the fact that they talk to each other like equals—teasing, mocking, and cracking jokes, acknowledging each other’s strengths and weaknesses with humor and generosity, and occasionally outright spite. That’s what you got in Firefly. Yes, Mal could have taken Saffron in a fist-fight. And she could have taken him in a battle of wits—not because she had feminine wiles, but because she was willing to take advantage of his humanity. And Mal knew that; that’s why he had Inara on his team. He won in the end, just like Buffy, not by being the strongest individual, but by having the strongest gang. They were bound together by affection, and that’s why jokes were the key. Lucky Firefly only ran for half a season, or I might have got the idea that everything could be this good."
difference  differences  violence  scifi  sciencefiction  women  gender  television  tv  via:anne  nataliehaynes  2012  buffy  feminism  humor  firefly  future  futures 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Blackbeltjones/Work » Jessica Helfand and Tony Stark vs. Don Norman, Paul Dourish and Joss Wheedon
"3 years on from Firefly, most of the audience watching scifi & action movies/tv will have seen or experienced a Wii or iPhone, and so some of the work of moving technology from star to set-dressing is done"

[Now at: http://magicalnihilism.com/2008/07/28/jessica-helfand-and-tony-stark-vs-don-norman-paul-dourish-and-joss-wheedon/ ]
mattjones  interface  scifi  sciencefiction  technology  wii  iphone  ux  firefly  josswhedon 
july 2008 by robertogreco

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