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Addie Wagenknecht
"Addie Wagenknecht's work explores the tension between expression and technology. She seeks to blend conceptual work with forms of hacking and sculpture. Previous exhibitions include MuseumsQuartier Wien, Vienna, Austria; La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France; The Istanbul Modern; Whitechapel Gallery, London and MU, Eindhoven, Netherlands. In 2016 she collaborated with Chanel and I-D magazine as part of their Sixth Sense series and in 2017 her work was acquired by the Whitney Museum for American Art.

Her work has been featured in numerous books, and magazines, such as TIME, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Art in America, and The New York Times. She holds a Masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, and has previously held fellowships at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in New York City, Culture Lab UK, Institute HyperWerk for Postindustrial Design Basel (CH), and The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. She is represented by bitforms gallery in New York City."

[See also: https://www.instagram.com/wheresaddie/ ]

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BemLao4BMoREpoCJHysAY6r-dvc19-wxENCnX40/ ]

[See this specific show:
"Addie Wagenknecht: Alone Together: January 5 – February 17, 2018" at Bitforms
http://www.bitforms.com/exhibitions/wagenknecht-2018

"bitforms gallery is pleased to announce Alone Together, Addie Wagenknecht’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, which features a new series of paintings rendered in International Klein Blue pigment. The works speak to the artist’s longtime preoccupation with gendered labor, power structures, and technology. The title of the exhibition, Alone Together, refers to the book by technology and society specialist, Sherry Turkle.

Wagenknecht’s latest paintings expand upon themes in the artist’s prior series Black Hawk Paint (2008- current) and Internet of Things (2015), exploring dynamic action painting with small-scale drone aircraft and networked functionality using Roomba-based sculptures and wifi hardware that respond or jam networks within the space.

The Roomba is a product line of autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners sold as household consumer devices by a corporation focused on military defense technology called iRobot. Roombas have become cultural emblems of the Internet of Things, a network of physical devices embedded with electronics, software, and sensors which enable these objects to connect and exchange data. They are marketed and anthropomorphized as friendly domestic assistants, masking their nefarious associations with big data and surveillance. Though intended to alleviate the burden of domestic labor, the robots often have an adverse impact by requiring constant cleaning, assistance and maintenance.

To create the works in this exhibition, Wagenknecht modified a Roomba to paint on canvas as it enacts its preprogrammed algorithm intended to clean. As the Roomba maneuvers around the canvas, Wagenknecht reclines nude. The Roomba relentlessly attempts to navigate around her body because it is designed to continue on a trajectory until the entire area has been mapped by its algorithm. The result is a void in the shape of a female form surrounded by the blue strokes of the robot.

The paintings reference Yves Klein’s Anthropométries in which he directs nude female models, who he referred to as “living paintbrushes,” to press their pigment-covered bodies against canvases in front of an audience. In contrast, Wagenknecht abandons the spectacle of the objectified female nude in favor of drawing attention to what is absent. There is no performance or process documentation on display and the female form is only acknowledged in the negative space of the paintings."]

[more on "Alone Together"
https://www.placesiveneverbeen.com/details/alonetogether

"To create this series of mechanically assisted paintings. Wagenknecht modified a Roomba to paint on canvas as it enacts custom algorithms. As the Roomba maneuvers around the canvas, Wagenknecht reclines nude. The Roomba relentlessly attempts to navigate around her body because it is designed to continue on a trajectory until the entire area has been mapped by its algorithm. The result is a void in the shape of a female form surrounded by the blue strokes of the robot. The paintings reference Yves Klein’s Anthropométries in which he directs nude female models, who he referred to as “living paintbrushes,” to press their pigment-covered bodies against canvases in front of an audience. In contrast, Wagenknecht abandons the spectacle of the objectified female nude in favor of drawing attention to what is absent. There is no performance or process documentation on display and the female form is only acknowledged in the negative space of the paintings.

Artist Statement:

The roomba navigates around the artist body because it is designed to do so, to an extent, it is relentless until stopped. Her body prevents the roomba from accessing areas of the canvas while simultaneously transferring the labor of the production from the female to the AI. This gifts the artist with the privilege of rest rather than physical labor. The conundrum is that AI, machine or device, is a promise to optimize- the ability to perform basic tasks. Contrarily this doesn't encourage stillness on the woman's part, the AI simply creates more labor in exchange for its cohabitation of the domestic space.

The artist body actively claims the canvas, the artifact of her presence is thus void of color. Female bodies typically perform as an element of exhibitionism, so much so that seems to define the contemporary experience of being female. Sex and bodies of women, others and lgbtqa are historically welcomed as entertainment- whatever the circumstances (#metoo). As a response, the work serves to evoke the duality of being invisible while simultaneously claiming presence.

With the artist body being physically absent in the exhibition i.e. the un-selfie, she affirms these expressions of invisibility through representation or lack of, and to enter them into creative circulation for the confirmation of the art world/community as a space, a void in which there is no medium/paint/expression but rather the canvas as an artifact of her existence. What shape does the expressions of female agency take if the female body is not available for domestic labor or sex? "]
art  artists  addiewagenknecht  technology  roomba  robots  sherryturkle  yvesklein  ikb 
february 2018 by robertogreco
A mini, magnetic, all-terrain robot - YouTube
"A tiny robot is making leaps and bounds for small-scale locomotion. This soft robot really can walk the walk, as well as being able to roll, jump and swim. This could help it navigate the surprisingly tough terrain inside a human body."

[See also: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25443 ]
robots  classideas  locomotion  motion  magnets  2018  movement  robotics 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Line-us: The little robot drawing arm
"Line-us is a small internet-connected robot drawing arm.
 
Line-us mimics your motion with a pen and recreates whatever you draw on screen. Draw with your finger, mouse, stylus or
Apple Pencil and watch as it copies your movements in real time.
The Line-us App then lets you save your drawings and share them with friends or other Line-us machines!
 
Line-us is Durrell Bishop and Robert Poll. We both have many years of experience in product design and engineering. If you love drawing like we do Line-us and the Line-us community will be the start of something fun and exciting."

[via: http://interconnected.org/home/2017/11/13/filtered ]
robots  drawing  printing  printers  2017 
november 2017 by robertogreco
A Field Guide to 'jobs that don't exist yet' - Long View on Education
"Perhaps most importantly, the Future of Jobs relies on the perspective of CEOs to suggest that Capital has lacked input into the shape and direction of education. Ironically, the first person I found to make the claim about the future of jobs – Devereux C. Josephs – was both Businessman of the Year (1958) and the chair of Eisenhower’s President’s Committee on Education Beyond High School. More tellingly, in his historical context, Josephs was able to imagine a more equitable future where we shared in prosperity rather than competed against the world’s underprivileged on a ‘flat’ field.

The Political Shift that Happened

While the claim is often presented as a new and alarming fact or prediction about the future, Devereux C. Josephs said much the same in 1957 during a Conference on the American High School at the University of Chicago on October 28, less than a month after the Soviets launched Sputnik. If Friedman and his ‘flat’ earth followers were writing then, they would have been up in arms about the technological superiority of the Soviets, just like they now raise the alarm about the rise of India and China. Josephs was a past president of the Carnegie Corporation, and at the time served as Chairman of the Board of the New York Life Insurance Company.

While critics of the American education system erupted after the launch of Sputnik with calls to go back to basics, much as they would again decades later with A Nation at Risk (1983), Josephs was instead a “besieged defender” of education according to Okhee Lee and Michael Salwen. Here’s how Joseph’s talked about the future of work:
“We are too much inclined to think of careers and opportunities as if the oncoming generations were growing up to fill the jobs that are now held by their seniors. This is not true. Our young people will fill many jobs that do not now exist. They will invent products that will need new skills. Old-fashioned mercantilism and the nineteenth-century theory in which one man’s gain was another man’s loss, are being replaced by a dynamism in which the new ideas of a lot of people become the gains for many, many more.”4

Josephs’ claim brims with optimism about a new future, striking a tone which contrasts sharply with the Shift Happens video and its competitive fear of The Other and decline of Empire. We must recognize this shift that happens between then and now as an erasure of politics – a deletion of the opportunity to make a choice about how the abundant wealth created by automation – and perhaps more often by offshoring to cheap labor – would be shared.

The agentless construction in the Shift Happens version – “technologies that haven’t been invented yet” – contrasts with Josephs’ vision where today’s youth invent those technologies. More importantly, Josephs imagines a more equitable socio-technical future, marked not by competition, but where gains are shared. It should go without saying that this has not come to pass. As productivity shot up since the 1950’s, worker compensation has stagnated since around 1973.

In other words, the problem is not that Capital lacks a say in education, but that corporations and the 0.1% are reaping all the rewards and need to explain why. Too often, this explanation comes in the form of the zombie idea of a ‘skills gap’, which persists though it keeps being debunked. What else are CEOs going to say – and the skills gap is almost always based on an opinion survey  – when they are asked to explain stagnating wages?5

Josephs’ essay echoes John Maynard Keynes’ (1930) in his hope that the “average family” by 1977 “may take some of the [economic] gain in the form of leisure”; the dynamism of new ideas should have created gains for ‘many, many more’ people. Instead, the compensation for CEOs soared as the profit was privatized even though most of the risk for innovation was socialized by US government investment through programs such as DARPA.6"



"Audrey Watters has written about how futurists and gurus have figured out that “The best way to invent the future is to issue a press release.” Proponents of the ‘skills agenda’ like the OECD have essentially figured out how to make “the political more pedagogical”, to borrow a phrase from Henry Giroux. In their book, Most Likely to Succeed, Tony Wagner and billionaire Ted Dintersmith warn us that “if you can’t invent (and reinvent) your own job and distinctive competencies, you risk chronic underemployment.” Their movie, of the same title, repeats the hollow claim about ‘jobs that haven’t been invented yet’. Ironically, though Wagner tells us that “knowledge today is a free commodity”, you can only see the film in private screenings.

I don’t want to idealize Josephs, but revisiting his context helps us understand something about the debate about education and the future, not because he was a radical in his times, but because our times are radical.

In an interview at CUNY (2015), Gillian Tett asks Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Krugman what policy initiatives they would propose to deal with globalization, technology, and inequality.9 After Sachs and Krugman propose regulating finance, expanding aid to disadvantaged children, creating a robust social safety net, reforming the tax system to eliminate privilege for the 0.1%, redistributing profits, raising wages, and strengthening the position of labor, Tett recounts a story:
“Back in January I actually moderated quite a similar event in Davos with a group of CEOs and general luminaries very much not just the 1% but probably the 0.1% and I asked them the same question. And what they came back with was education, education, and a bit of digital inclusion.”

Krugman, slightly lost for words, replies: “Arguing that education is the thing is … Gosh… That’s so 1990s… even then it wasn’t really true.”

For CEOs and futurists who say that disruption is the answer to practically everything, arguing that the answer lies in education and skills is actually the least disruptive response to the problems we face. Krugman argues that education emerges as the popular answer because “It’s not intrusive. It doesn’t require that we have higher taxes. It doesn’t require that CEOs have to deal with unions again.” Sachs adds, “Obviously, it’s the easy answer for that group [the 0.1%].”

The kind of complex thinking we deserve about education won’t come in factoids or bullet-point lists of skills of the future. In fact, that kind of complex thinking is already out there, waiting."



"Stay tuned for the tangled history of the claim if you're into that sort of thing..."
benjamindoxtdator  2017  inequality  education  credentialing  productivity  economics  society  statistics  audreywatters  billclinton  democrats  neoliberalism  latecapitalism  capitalism  johndewey  andreasschleicher  kerifacer  lindadarling-hammond  worldeconomicforum  oecd  labor  work  futurism  future  scottmcleod  karlfisch  richardriley  ianjukes  freetrade  competition  andrewold  michaelberman  thomasfriedman  devereuxjosephs  anationatrisk  sputnik  coldwar  okheelee  michaelsalwen  ussr  sovietunion  fear  india  china  russia  johnmaynardkeynes  leisure  robots  robotics  rodneybrooks  doughenwood  jobs  cwrightmills  henrygiroux  paulkrugman  gilliantett  jeffreysachs  policy  politics  globalization  technology  schools  curriculum  teddintersmith  tonywagner  mostlikelytosuccess  success  pedagogy  cathydavidson  jimcarroll  edtech 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Sony’s New toio Wants to Inspire a Future Generation of Robotics Engineers | Spoon & Tamago
"Build, play, inspire. That’s the idea behind Sony’s new toy for kids, designed to inspire a future generation of robotics engineers. Toio is the result of 5 years of research into developing a toy that’s simple enough for kids to use, but also sophisticated enough to create a figurative sandbox where kids can explore the inner-workings of robotics engineering.

Toio, at first glance, is stunningly simple: the core of the toy is just 2 white cubes with wheels. But don’t be fooled by their appearance. The tiny cubes pack a whole lot of tech. They respond to motion, are able to detect the exact location of the other, and can be programmed but also remote controlled.

It would seem that the possibilities for toio are endless, which is why the developers teamed up with various creatives and designers to come up with various craft sets that help kids explore what robots can do. You can create your own robotic beast and battle others, you can play board games with them and you can make obstacle courses for them to go through. Sony has even teamed up with Lego for this project, allowing kids to build Lego structures on top of their robots.

But one of the most attractive features is a craft set designed by the folks behind the lovable PythagoraSwitch TV segment. It’s a simple paper set that encourages kids to join the two white cubes using paper. The cubes then interact with each other and come alive, resulting in different movements.

Check out the videos to get a better sense of what toio can do. Sony has released a limited quantity of toio sets that start at 21,557 yen (about $200 USD) and go up to 33,415 (about $300 USD) depending on how many craft sets you want to add on."

[Also here: http://prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com/post/161355896016/toio-programmable-robotics-toy-from-sony-uses ]
via:tealtan  robots  classideas  toys  learning  toio  sony  robotics  engineering  paper  lego 
june 2017 by robertogreco
David Byrne | Journal | ELIMINATING THE HUMAN
"My dad was an electrical engineer—I love the engineer's’ way of looking at the world. I myself applied to both art school AND to engineering school (my frustration was that there was little or no cross-pollination. I was told at the time that taking classes in both disciplines would be VERY difficult). I am familiar with and enjoy both the engineer's mindset and the arty mindset (and I’ve heard that now mixing one’s studies is not as hard as it used to be).

The point is not that making a world to accommodate oneself is bad, but that when one has as much power over the rest of the world as the tech sector does, over folks who don’t naturally share its worldview, then there is a risk of a strange imbalance. The tech world is predominantly male—very much so. Testosterone combined with a drive to eliminate as much interaction with real humans as possible—do the math, and there’s the future.

We’ve gotten used to service personnel and staff who have no interest or participation in the businesses where they work. They have no incentive to make the products or the services better. This is a long legacy of the assembly line, standardising, franchising and other practices that increase efficiency and lower costs. It’s a small step then from a worker that doesn’t care to a robot. To consumers, it doesn’t seem like a big loss.

Those who oversee the AI and robots will, not coincidentally, make a lot of money as this trend towards less human interaction continues and accelerates—as many of the products produced above are hugely and addictively convenient. Google, Facebook and other companies are powerful and yes, innovative, but the innovation curiously seems to have had an invisible trajectory. Our imaginations are constrained by who and what we are. We are biased in our drives, which in some ways is good, but maybe some diversity in what influences the world might be reasonable and may be beneficial to all.

To repeat what I wrote above—humans are capricious, erratic, emotional, irrational and biased in what sometimes seem like counterproductive ways. I’d argue that though those might seem like liabilities, many of those attributes actually work in our favor. Many of our emotional responses have evolved over millennia, and they are based on the probability that our responses, often prodded by an emotion, will more likely than not offer the best way to deal with a situation.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio wrote about a patient he called Elliot, who had damage to his frontal lobe that made him unemotional. In all other respects he was fine—intelligent, healthy—but emotionally he was Spock. Elliot couldn’t make decisions. He’d waffle endlessly over details. Damasio concluded that though we think decision-making is rational and machinelike, it’s our emotions that enable us to actually decide.

With humans being somewhat unpredictable (well, until an algorithm completely removes that illusion), we get the benefit of surprises, happy accidents and unexpected connections and intuitions. Interaction, cooperation and collaboration with others multiplies those opportunities.

We’re a social species—we benefit from passing discoveries on, and we benefit from our tendency to cooperate to achieve what we cannot alone. In his book, Sapiens, Yuval Harari claims this is what allowed us to be so successful. He also claims that this cooperation was often facilitated by a possibility to believe in “fictions” such as nations, money, religions and legal institutions. Machines don’t believe in fictions, or not yet anyway. That’s not to say they won’t surpass us, but if machines are designed to be mainly self-interested, they may hit a roadblock. If less human interaction enables us to forget how to cooperate, then we lose our advantage.

Our random accidents and odd behaviors are fun—they make life enjoyable. I’m wondering what we’re left with when there are fewer and fewer human interactions. Remove humans from the equation and we are less complete as people or as a society. “We” do not exist as isolated individuals—we as individuals are inhabitants of networks, we are relationships. That is how we prosper and thrive."
davidbyrne  2017  automation  ai  business  culture  technology  dehumanization  humanism  humanity  gigeconomy  labor  work  robots  moocs  socialmedia  google  facebook  amazon  yuvalharari  social  productivity  economics  society  vr  ebay  retail  virtualreality 
june 2017 by robertogreco
FUTURESTATES | A Robot Walks Into a Bar | Episode | ITVS - YouTube
"Can a new bartending robot help patrons drown their sorrows, all while keeping them from harming themselves? He soon learns his mission may be next to impossible. A film by Alex Rivera."

[reminded of this series by: https://tinyletter.com/jomc/letters/future-series ]

[I have this episode and a bunch more from this series here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjtEkYRNN2ongZlotQoMYhkIr8wixZqtT ]
remigration  alexrivera  futurestates  film  video  future  futurism  sanfrancisco  speculativefiction  robots  labor  alcohol  injury 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Seeing and killing with police robots | Javier Arbona
"Much more will need to be studied in the weeks, months, and years ahead. However, I wanted to touch on a question about how “unprecedented” this case was, given how oft the words “first” and “unprecedented” are being thrown around. Anyone familiar with the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia should not be so surprised by this supposed “first”. More recently, the outcome of a standoff with Chris Dorner, a Black officer, ended with a robot shooting smoke bombs that burned down the cabin Dorner was hiding in. So, since it was not unprecedented, in effect, how come ‘we’ (what we?) are caught by surprise, playing catch-up with the ethics and capabilities of the police? Perhaps this raises more questions about the culture around policing with a certain lack of critical memory, than about the policing itself."



"I’m curious about these two goals for the robot; one as a ‘seeing’ entity, and another as a killing machine. These separated endeavours, anticipated more than a decade-and-a-half ago, bring up many questions about the nature of identification and violence. As a relative of mine put it, they did not send a robot to capture or kill, for an example, white supremacist Dylann Roof, the suspect in the mass killing inside a Black North Carolina church. So, thinking about the writing of Simone Browne here, in the very same context of the Black Lives Matter protests that were going on in Dallas in the wake of more police killings this past couple of weeks, it’s impossible to separate who becomes targeted by automated or semi-automated killing machines, and who is taken alive, and how are the visual regimes of each sort of operation organized."
javierarbona  dallas  police  blacklivesmatter  automation  robots  seeing  simonebrown  lawenforcement  us  militarization  2016 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Letter to the 10-year-old girl who applied to the Paris Summer Innovation Fellowship
"This will make your day, I promise. Eva, a 10-year-old, applied to our summer fellowship program amidst mostly computer science Phds and seasoned urban designers. A summary of her pitch: “The streets of Paris are sad. I want to build a robot that will make them happy again. I’ve already starting learning how to code on Thymio robots, but I have trouble making it work. I want to join the program so the mentors can help me.” Here is my reply to her."



"Dear Eva,

The answer is yes. You have been selected as one of Paris’ first-ever Summer Innovation Fellows among an impressive pool of candidates from all across the world: accomplished urban designers, data scientists and hardware specialists. I love your project and agree that more should be done--through robotics or otherwise--to improve Paris’ streets and make them smile again.

I am writing to you personally because your application inspired me. There was nothing on the website that said the program was open to 10 year olds but--as you must have noticed--nothing that said that it was not. You’ve openly told us that you had trouble making the robot work on your own and needed help. That was a brave thing to admit, and ultimately what convinced us to take on your project. Humility and the willingness to learn in order to go beyond our current limitations are at the heart and soul of innovation.

It is my hope that your work on robotics will encourage more young girls all over the world--not just to code, but to be as brave as you, in asking for help and actively looking for different ways to learn and grow. More good news: I wrote to Thymio, the robotics company whose tech you use and asked if they could designate a specialist to personally help you. They have decided that that person will be their President himself. They will also be providing you their latest robot.

Welcome aboard our spaceship, Eva. We’re very much looking forward to meeting you in person.

All the best from Paris,
Kat Borlongan
Founding Partner, Five by Five
www.fivebyfive.io

PS
Please ask your dad to call me :) "
katborlongan  children  girls  technology  inclusivity  robotics  robots  2016  fivebyfive  stem  engineering  sfsh 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Otherlab!
[previously bookmarked: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:2482ea1338ff ]

"We are mischievous scientists, practical dreamers, working on making the world the way it needs to be. Asking: "Wouldn't it be cool if..." is an excellent place to start:

If you'd like the more in depth version check out the video from our Show and Tell event. We're always on the look out for interesting folks so if this excites you then head over to Jobs to see what's going.

How we work

We have a strong track record of attracting research funding for early and risky ideas in areas such as ‘programmable matter’, robotics, solar energy, wind energy, energy storage, computational and advanced manufacturing, medical devices and more. These non-dilutive investments allows us de-risk the very early exploratory phase of our projects.

We develop enabling new technologies through an emphasis on prototyping coupled to rigorous physics simulation and mathematical models. Our design tools are often made in-house because it's lonely at the frontier and to create new things and ideas, you often have to create the tools to design them.

Core to our model are collaborations with external entities including commercial entities, universities and other research firms. In the past 5 years Otherlab has collaborated with Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, NASA, Autodesk, GE, FORD, Google, Motorola, IDEO and a host of others.

What we work on

Our principal domains of expertise are: Renewable and clean energy, Computational Geometry, Computational design tools, Digital Fabrication, Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics and automation & Engineered textiles.

Want a more practical idea? We like you! Head over to Projects for a better sense.

How to reach us

We are @otherlab on twitter and that is a great place to start a conversation. Visual learners may find our YouTube Channel and Instagram feed interesting.

You can email us at info@otherlab.com. We live in the old Schoenstein Organ Factory building in the heart of San Francisco's Mission district:

3101 20th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110"
sanfrancisco  engineering  robots  robotics  solar  wind  energy  manufacturing  otherlab  fabrication  computationalgeometry  saulgriffith  design  make  diy  innovation  tools 
may 2016 by robertogreco
How to Think About Bots | Motherboard
"Who is responsible for the output and actions of bots, both ethically and legally? How does semi-autonomy create ethical constraints that limit the maker of a bot?"



"Given the public and social role they increasingly play—and whatever responsibility their creators assume—the actions of bots, whether implicitly or explicitly, have political outcomes. The last several years have seen a rise in bots being used to spread political propaganda, stymie activism and bolster social media follower lists of public figures. Activists can use bots to mobilize people around social and political causes. People working for a variety of groups and causes use bots to inject automated discourse on platforms like Twitter and Reddit. Over the last few years both government employees and opposition activists in Mexico have used bots in attempts to sway public opinion. Where do we draw the line between propaganda, public relations and smart communication?

Platforms, governments and citizens must step in and consider the purpose, and future, of bot technology before manipulative anonymity becomes a hallmark of the social bot."
bots  robots  ethics  ai  artificialintelligence  twitter  bot-ifesto  programming  coding  automation  samuelwoolley  danahboyd  meredithbroussard  madeleineelish  lainnafader  timhwang  alexislloyd  giladlotan  luisdanielpalacios  allisonparrish  giladrosner  saiphsavage  smanthashorey  socialbots  oliviataters  politics  policy 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Robotic Sculptures Will Cross the U.S.-Mexico Border | The Creators Project
"Chico MacMurtrie's Border Crossers are sculptural statements that bridge borders, both physical and symbolic. MacMurtrie plans to install Border Crossers at a range of significant locations, including the U.S.-Mexico border in the artist’s home state of Arizona. Here, the artist would anchor sculptures on both sides of the border. Illuminated from within, the structures would then inflate simultaneously over the border to create six glowing archways, as shown above.

Like the Amorphic Robotic Works director’s previous works—which include his Biomorphic Wall and The Robotic Church—these six sculptures employ robotics to create lightweight, transportable installations. When compressed, Border Crossers can easily fit into a travel backpack. When inflated, however, MacMurtrie’s balloon-like creations can arch over fences and walls and are equipped with sensing and surveillance technology in order to stage the choreographed installation as a “mediatized event.” As the press release explains, “Border Crossers invites the public to rethink the notion of borders in a globalized world […] This project envisions technology as a positive tool to establish dialogues beyond borders, to question borders, and to create a symbolic suspension and transcendence of borders.”

MacMurtrie’s robotic sculptures debuted late last month in San José, California in collaboration with arts organization ZERO1, in the spirit of using art as a platform for social issues. The artist will further the discussion at CalArts’ symposium on Art and Immigration, Immigration: Art/Critique/Process, in March."

[See also: http://amorphicrobotworks.org/works/index.htm
http://www.zero1.org/events/exhibition/border-crosser-chico-macmurtrieamorphic-robot-works
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yeyn_8PSPU ]
chicomacmurtie  border  borders  art  sculpture  arizona  us  mexico  inflatables  robots  immigration  inflatable 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Silicon Valley’s Basic Income Bromance — Backchannel — Medium
"A cult of bros, brahmins and braintrusters is pushing the idea of a government-distributed living wage"



"Among the grassroots braintrust, Santens is elite.

His fascination with basic income started in his late 30s, with a Reddit thread about how quickly tech-induced unemployment was coming. He read about basic income as a possible solution, and was hooked. “When I came across this idea and read more and more into it, I’m like wow, this is something that can totally change the world for the better.” In the fall of 2013 he abandoned his career as a freelance web developer to become the movement’s most omnipresent advocate. “People passionate about basic income don’t have a very loud voice,” he says.

In person, Santens doesn’t have one either; he’s polite and thoughtful, a reed-like 6-foot-2. His microphone is Medium and The Huffington Post, the Basic Income subreddit he moderates, and his Twitter account, from which he tweets anything in the day’s news that can be summoned into a case for basic income. Santens also created a Twibbon to superimpose #basicincome on one’s Twitter or Facebook profile pic. Such is the newness of this movement in the United States that the guy who does all this wins a profile in The Atlantic, and gets invited to talk on a Brookings Institution panel.

The technologist crowd says a basic income will become a moral imperative as robots replace workers and unemployment skyrockets. Conservatives say it would replace the kraken of welfare bureaucracy, with its arbitrary income cutoffs and overlapping programs. Optimists say humanity will no longer have to work for survival, freeing us to instead work for self-actualization. (You know, start businesses. Go to school. Do unpaid care, volunteer, and parenting work that doesn’t add a cent to the GDP.) Progressives say it would level the playing field: the working classes could have a taste of the stability that’s become an upper-middle class luxury, and would have bargaining power with low-paid work.

It’s a compelling idea having an international moment: Finland’s government announced first steps toward a basic income pilot project in 2017. Details aren’t finalized, but early plans call for giving 800 to 1,000 euros a month to a large test group for two years instead of any other social benefits. (Tally it up to another socialist program from a Northern European country if you will, but Finland is trying to solve eerily familiar U.S. problems: a growing class of freelancers who were neither eligible for employment benefits nor unemployment, and Finns in the poverty trap: taking a temporary job decreases your welfare benefits.) Several Dutch cities aim to introduce similar programs next year, and the idea of a universal basic income has gotten some consideration and endorsements in Canada, where it was tried for five years in the 1970s in Manitoba.

In the United States, it only makes sense that Silicon Valley would be the natural habitat for basic income bros, brahmins, and braintrusts. The Bay Area is home to a fertile mix of early adopters, earnest change-the-worlders, the Singularity crowd, cryptocurrency hackers, progressives and libertarians — all of whom have their reasons for supporting a universal basic income. “Some of my friends [in favor] are hardcore libertarian types, and others will be left-wing even by San Francisco standards,” says Steven Grimm, an early Facebook engineer who now writes code for a cash transfer platform used by charities, the most direct way he could think of to apply his skills to advance basic income. If we’re name-dropping: Zipcar CEO Robin Chase, Singularity University’s Peter Diamandis, Jeremy Howard, Kathryn Myronuk, and Neil Jacobstein, and Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich, Tesla principal engineer Gerald Huff, author Martin Ford, Samasource CEO Leila Janah, and Silicon Valley optimist-in-chief Marc Andreessen all support it.

So of course, while Scott Santens isn’t from here, he needs to come kiss the ring."



"Back in San Francisco at the end of his trip, Santens was mostly killing time before a 2:00 am redeye (to avoid the hotel bill, of course). We leave Patreon and head out to Market Street, and Santens snaps a photo of the Twitter headquarters plopped in the middle of the city’s tech-gentrified skid row, where the city’s polarized classes come into sharp relief.

It’s a boulevard of all the ills Santens believes basic income will solve: the shuffling homeless people — they could get cash in one fell swoop instead of extracting it from a byzantine welfare system. Lining the sidewalk are drug dealers; they could do something else, and their customers — not having to self-medicate their desperation — might dry up, too. We pass the Crazy Horse strip club. No one would have to dance or do sex work out of poverty, leaving it to the true aficionados. The high-interest payday loan shop would lose its raison d’etre.

The thought experiment of basic income serves as a Rorschach test of one’s beliefs about human nature: some people instantly worry that human enterprise would be reduced to playing PlayStation; others point to the studies of cash transfers that show people increase their working hours and production. One cash transfer program in North Carolina revealed long-term beneficial effects on Cherokee children whose parents received some $6,000 a year from a distribution of casino profits. (The kids were more likely to graduate high school on time, less likely to have psychiatric or alcohol abuse problems in adulthood.) No one debates that $1,000 a month, the amount usually discussed as a basic income in the U.S., would only be enough to cover the basics — and in expensive cities like San Francisco, not even that. Anyone wanting to live with greater creature comforts would still have the carrot of paid work.

Santens is, unsurprisingly, of the optimist group. He tells me about his baby boomer dad who moved into The Villages, the luxury retirement community in Florida (“basically Walt Disney World for senior citizens”). He says it’s a great case study in that people stay busy even when they don’t have to work: the seniors join kayak and billiards clubs, paint watercolors, and go to Zumba. “People do all sorts of things.” His dad is partial to golf.

Before he goes, I ask what he would do if he truly got a basic income, one that was not dependent on advocating basic income. “I’d do more screen-writing,” he says. “I’m a sci-fi writer at heart.”
You might be a basic income bro if, if and when basic income comes, you finally can do something else."
laurensmiley  siliconvalley  universalbasicincome  libertarianism  economics  2015  policy  government  miltonfriedman  richardnixon  edwardsnowden  martinlutherkingjr  scottsantens  arjunbanker  robinchase  peterdiamandis  jeremyhoward  kathrynmyronuk  neiljacobstein  samaltman  robertreich  geraldhuff  martinford  leilajanah  marcandreessen  rosebroome  jimpugh  finland  erikbrynjolfsson  federicopistono  singularityuniversity  automation  future  robots  bullshitjobs  efficiency  publicassistance  mlk  ubi 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Imperial Designs | The Unforgiving Minute
[via: https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/667000828113260544 ]

"[image]

Here’s an example: the Chand Baori Stepwell in Rajasthan, built in the 8th and 9th centuries. (You can watch a video about Chand Baori, and another about stepwells, based on an article by journalist Victoria Lautman.) Stepwells were a critical part of water management, particularly in western India and other dry areas of Asia, the earliest known stepwell forms date from around 600AD. The Mughal empire encouraged stepwell construction, but the administrators British empire decided that stepwells should be replaced with pumped and piped water systems modelled on those developed in the UK – a ‘superior’ system. It was of course also a system that moved from a communal and social model of water management to a centralised model of water management – and the British loved centralised management, because it’s easier to control.

[image]

Here’s another model of water management – the Playpump, which received a lot of media attention and donor support after it was proposed in 2005. The basic idea was that kids playing on the big roundabout would pump water up from the well for the whole village. This doesn’t seem very imperial at first sight: it looks like these kids are having fun, and the village is getting water. Unfortunately it was a massive failure because it flat out didn’t work, although the Playpumps organisation is still around; if you want to know more about that failure, read this article in the Guardian and this lessons learned from the Case Foundation, and listen to this Frontline radio show on PBS. TL;DR: the Playpump didn’t work because it was designed by outsiders who didn’t understand the communities: a classic case of design imperialism. There are lots of examples just like this, where the failure is easy to see but the imperialism is more difficult to spot.

About 5 years ago there was a big hoo-hah about an article called “Is Humanitarian Design the New Imperialism?” by Bruce Nussbaum. Nussbaum accused people and organisations working on design that would alleviate poverty as yet another imperial effort. This depends on defining “empire” as a power relationship – an unequal power relationship, where the centre holds the power (and resources) and the periphery will benefit from those resources only when the centre decides to give it to them. At the time, there was a lot of discussion around this idea, but that discussion has died now. That’s not because it’s no longer an issue: it’s because a new imperial model, more subtle than Nussbaum’s idea, has successfully taken root, and few people in the design world even realise it."



"Q&A:

During the talk I mentioned that I was planning to show video of robot dogs, but I didn’t because they freak me out. They don’t really freak me out – I think they’re astonishing feats of technology – but what they say about our attitudes towards warfare worries me. They’re being built by Boston Dynamics, who started out under military contracts from DARPA, have recently been acquired by Google X, and who post a ton of promo videos. Particularly funny is this supercut video of robots falling over.

One question raised the issue of whether our education system enables people to recognise the trap that they might be in, and give them the tools to make their own way. The short answer is no. The industrial model of education is not equipped for the 21st century, although I remain hopeful that the internet will also disrupt education as it has other sectors. At the same time I am sceptical of the impact of the most-hyped projects (such as the Khan Academy and the wide range of MOOCs) – it seems to me that we need something that learns from a wider range of educational approaches.

We also discussed whether there is an underlying philosophy to the invisible empire of the internet. I believe that there is, although it isn’t necessarily made explicit. One early artefact of this philosophy is A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace; one early analysis of aspects of it is The Californian Ideology. Evgeny Morozov is interesting on this topic, but with a pinch of salt, since in a relatively short time he has gone from incisive commentator to intellectual troll. It’s interesting that a few Silicon Valley big beasts are trained in philosophy, although to be honest this training doesn’t seem to be reflected in their actual philosophy."

[See also: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/nov/24/africa-charity-water-pumps-roundabouts
via: https://twitter.com/tealtan/status/667031543416623105 ]
designimperialism  design  via:tealtan  humanitariandesign  2015  africa  paulcurrion  control  colonialism  technology  technosolutionism  evgenymorozov  siliconvalley  philosophy  politics  mooc  moocs  doublebind  education  bostondynamics  googlex  darpa  robots  yuvalnoahharari  californianideology  wikihouse  globalconstructionset  3dprinting  disobedientobjects  anarchism  anarchy  legibility  internet  online  web  nezaralsayyad  smarthphones  mobile  phones  benedictevans  migration  refugees  fiveeyes  playpumps  water  chandbaori  trevorpaglen 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Teaching Machines and Turing Machines: The History of the Future of Labor and Learning
"In all things, all tasks, all jobs, women are expected to perform affective labor – caring, listening, smiling, reassuring, comforting, supporting. This work is not valued; often it is unpaid. But affective labor has become a core part of the teaching profession – even though it is, no doubt, “inefficient.” It is what we expect – stereotypically, perhaps – teachers to do. (We can debate, I think, if it’s what we reward professors for doing. We can interrogate too whether all students receive care and support; some get “no excuses,” depending on race and class.)

What happens to affective teaching labor when it runs up against robots, against automation? Even the tasks that education technology purports to now be able to automate – teaching, testing, grading – are shot through with emotion when done by humans, or at least when done by a person who’s supposed to have a caring, supportive relationship with their students. Grading essays isn’t necessarily burdensome because it’s menial, for example; grading essays is burdensome because it is affective labor; it is emotionally and intellectually exhausting.

This is part of our conundrum: teaching labor is affective not simply intellectual. Affective labor is not valued. Intellectual labor is valued in research. At both the K12 and college level, teaching of content is often seen as menial, routine, and as such replaceable by machine. Intelligent machines will soon handle the task of cultivating human intellect, or so we’re told.

Of course, we should ask what happens when we remove care from education – this is a question about labor and learning. What happens to thinking and writing when robots grade students’ essays, for example. What happens when testing is standardized, automated? What happens when the whole educational process is offloaded to the machines – to “intelligent tutoring systems,” “adaptive learning systems,” or whatever the latest description may be? What sorts of signals are we sending students?

And what sorts of signals are the machines gathering in turn? What are they learning to do?
Often, of course, we do not know the answer to those last two questions, as the code and the algorithms in education technologies (most technologies, truth be told) are hidden from us. We are becoming as law professor Frank Pasquale argues a “black box society.” And the irony is hardly lost on me that one of the promises of massive collection of student data under the guise of education technology and learning analytics is to crack open the “black box” of the human brain.

We still know so little about how the brain works, and yet, we’ve adopted a number of metaphors from our understanding of that organ to explain how computers operate: memory, language, intelligence. Of course, our notion of intelligence – its measurability – has its own history, one wrapped up in eugenics and, of course, testing (and teaching) machines. Machines now both frame and are framed by this question of intelligence, with little reflection on the intellectual and ideological baggage that we carry forward and hard-code into them."



"We’re told by some automation proponents that instead of a future of work, we will find ourselves with a future of leisure. Once the robots replace us, we will have immense personal freedom, so they say – the freedom to pursue “unproductive” tasks, the freedom to do nothing at all even, except I imagine, to continue to buy things.
On one hand that means that we must address questions of unemployment. What will we do without work? How will we make ends meet? How will this affect identity, intellectual development?

Yet despite predictions about the end of work, we are all working more. As games theorist Ian Bogost and others have observed, we seem to be in a period of hyper-employment, where we find ourselves not only working numerous jobs, but working all the time on and for technology platforms. There is no escaping email, no escaping social media. Professionally, personally – no matter what you say in your Twitter bio that your Tweets do not represent the opinions of your employer – we are always working. Computers and AI do not (yet) mark the end of work. Indeed, they may mark the opposite: we are overworked by and for machines (for, to be clear, their corporate owners).

Often, we volunteer to do this work. We are not paid for our status updates on Twitter. We are not compensated for our check-in’s in Foursquare. We don’t get kick-backs for leaving a review on Yelp. We don’t get royalties from our photos on Flickr.

We ask our students to do this volunteer labor too. They are not compensated for the data and content that they generate that is used in turn to feed the algorithms that run TurnItIn, Blackboard, Knewton, Pearson, Google, and the like. Free labor fuels our technologies: Forum moderation on Reddit – done by volunteers. Translation of the courses on Coursera and of the videos on Khan Academy – done by volunteers. The content on pretty much every “Web 2.0” platform – done by volunteers.

We are working all the time; we are working for free.

It’s being framed, as of late, as the “gig economy,” the “freelance economy,” the “sharing economy” – but mostly it’s the service economy that now comes with an app and that’s creeping into our personal not just professional lives thanks to billions of dollars in venture capital. Work is still precarious. It is low-prestige. It remains unpaid or underpaid. It is short-term. It is feminized.

We all do affective labor now, cultivating and caring for our networks. We respond to the machines, the latest version of ELIZA, typing and chatting away hoping that someone or something responds, that someone or something cares. It’s a performance of care, disguising what is the extraction of our personal data."



"Personalization. Automation. Management. The algorithms will be crafted, based on our data, ostensibly to suit us individually, more likely to suit power structures in turn that are increasingly opaque.

Programmatically, the world’s interfaces will be crafted for each of us, individually, alone. As such, I fear, we will lose our capacity to experience collectivity and resist together. I do not know what the future of unions looks like – pretty grim, I fear; but I do know that we must enhance collective action in order to resist a future of technological exploitation, dehumanization, and economic precarity. We must fight at the level of infrastructure – political infrastructure, social infrastructure, and yes technical infrastructure.

It isn’t simply that we need to resist “robots taking our jobs,” but we need to challenge the ideologies, the systems that loath collectivity, care, and creativity, and that champion some sort of Randian individual. And I think the three strands at this event – networks, identity, and praxis – can and should be leveraged to precisely those ends.

A future of teaching humans not teaching machines depends on how we respond, how we design a critical ethos for ed-tech, one that recognizes, for example, the very gendered questions at the heart of the Turing Machine’s imagined capabilities, a parlor game that tricks us into believing that machines can actually love, learn, or care."
2015  audreywatters  education  technology  academia  labor  work  emotionallabor  affect  edtech  history  highered  highereducation  teaching  schools  automation  bfskinner  behaviorism  sexism  howweteach  alanturing  turingtest  frankpasquale  eliza  ai  artificialintelligence  robots  sharingeconomy  power  control  economics  exploitation  edwardthorndike  thomasedison  bobdylan  socialmedia  ianbogost  unemployment  employment  freelancing  gigeconomy  serviceeconomy  caring  care  love  loving  learning  praxis  identity  networks  privacy  algorithms  freedom  danagoldstein  adjuncts  unions  herbertsimon  kevinkelly  arthurcclarke  sebastianthrun  ellenlagemann  sidneypressey  matthewyglesias  karelčapek  productivity  efficiency  bots  chatbots  sherryturkle 
august 2015 by robertogreco
Do the Robot – The New Inquiry
"Miya Tokumitsu had a good critique of the Do What You Love ideology in Jacobin, in which she argues that “do what you love” means turn your passion into human capital — the real subsumption of identity in another guise. She writes,
According to this way of thinking, labor is not something one does for compensation, but an act of self-love. If profit doesn’t happen to follow, it is because the worker’s passion and determination were insufficient. Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace.

Having a “real” passion for your job is the extension of exhibiting “genuine” feeling in the workplace, but instead of serving a customer, it serves a boss or client. Again the metric that establishes the reality of feeling is ex post profit. If no one wants your passionate work, it’s not really passionate and you are self-deluded.

Tokumitsu argues that genuinely lovable work is a privilege that comes at the expense of lots of unlovable work being done by others:
Work becomes divided into two opposing classes: that which is lovable (creative, intellectual, socially prestigious) and that which is not (repetitive, unintellectual, undistinguished).

As a result, Tokumitsu argues, unlovable work becomes “dangerously invisible” to those whom it permits to do what they love. And in the meantime, those who love what they do work harder for less or no pay.

But the logic that sees competitive advantage in the “human touch” means that all work must be lovable and be performed as such for customers (and the managers who are supposed to be their proxy). Unlovable work isn’t made invisible but is made to seem visibly, irrepressibly loved. After all, what keeps a crappy job from being automated, from this perspective, is the joy in it that a worker can manifest and woo customers with. What prevents a job from being automated is not necessarily its complexity, as Peter Frase explains in this post (and elsewhere):
From the perspective of the boss, replacing a worker with a machine will be more appealing to the degree that the machine is:

• Cheaper than the human worker
• More convenient and easier to control than the human worker

If workers demand more wages, machines become more attractive to bosses. Likewise with “meaningful work”: If workers demand more meaningful, lovable work, then they become less “convenient” to bosses. But workers whose value rests in how much they show they love their job are quite easy to control. Servility is built into the practice. Frase writes that “the truly dystopian prospect is that the worker herself is treated as if she were a machine rather than being replaced by one.” Even more dystopian is the prospect of being treated like a de facto machine while being expected to express boundless “human” joy about it.

The threat of automation, then, can be used to extract more emotional labor and more competitive advantage from humans. After all, one of the few things a robot can’t supply is enthusiasm."
labor  robhorning  authenticity  exploitation  robots  automation  emotionallabor  sales  2015  economics  business  peterfrase  miyatokumitsu  work  humans  huamntouch  passion 
august 2015 by robertogreco
What I learned by asking 100 school kids about the future of work
"In May this year I gave a different style of presentation at an Ignite event in San Francisco to the ones I normally do. As an analyst and someone who gets excited by telling stories about the possibilities of technology I do a fair bit of research and digging around, but I needed something different. Simply regurgitating the same facts and numbers over and over in meme fashion that we read every week wasn’t enough.

So I went back to school. Literally.

I approached the head teacher of a local primary school and asked her help, I needed to find out from the kids what they expect their future to look like when they enter the business world. She graciously agreed and roped in the other teachers to coordinate. Bear in mind we’re talking a vast age range here, from 5 to 11-year-olds, girls and boys. I really didn’t have any expectations, save for feedback like ‘flying cars’, ‘moon based offices’, like a cross between the Jetsons and Star Trek.

What I got back was so grounded and well thought out its made me challenge just how we seem to approach our own thinking about the future.

I, robot
Kids love robots but there wasn’t a hint of Optimus Prime anywhere. They wanted helpers in the office, assistants to help them achieve their work in a more productive way. They expect things like virtual assistants that we are learning to live with in Cortana and Google to be completely woven into the fabric of business, ambiently aware of our needs and not explicitly called into action. They understood that robots have a purpose and they should be part of the process, not extraneous to it.

What, no PC and Pa$$w0rd5?
There was no mention of the humble PC. In fact, if it has a surface, kids expect to be able to interact with it, be it a table, wall, window. Everything was game. Virtual reality and holography were key to how kids today expect to conduct business tomorrow. Not only that, the notion of passworded security didn’t even feature. Everything was passively tied to a user’s biometrics, whether fingerprint, facial or voice recognition, security and privacy was again an ambient process that wasn’t explicitly invoked.

Children value the idea of privacy long before they understand the full implications of it.

I don’t want e-mail
What child does? These were no exception. They valued multi-video collaboration and mobile working above traditional methods we use today. Kids collaborate using Google Hangouts and Skype to complete their homework assignments — at the age of 11. Yet in an office environment we still find it rare to conduct business this way. Kids won’t when they enter the business world, they expect it as a minimum.

Change the emotion of work
Perhaps the best conclusion from the entries was that children expect work to have an emotional connection, not be a hard, grey environment they spend the vast majority of their lives in. The whole office is expected to be crowdshaped according to the moods from the workers, in real-time. Colours, visuals, smells, sounds.

It’s not a bad idea, and beat the ubiquitous bean bag and pinball machine afterthought some companies subscribe to.

Another brick in the wall?
This became the title of the presentation, which you can find on my Slideshare account and also can view the Ignite talk from the MemSQL HQ. After reading 100+ golden nuggets of inspiration four things became clear:

1. We are ignoring a key generation in understanding what they want us to build for the future, and not everything they suggest is far-fetched. Millennials are the wrong people we should be talking to if we want to stay ahead of the game.

2. We are guilty of not taking the business and IT world into the classroom earlier. We surround ourselves in stats and scores to affirm our position around STEM education, genders in classrooms, and wait for the policymakers to change things. We should be the ones to change things.

3. We need more -eers. There has been an overt focus on developers. Indeed most curriculums are looking into computer science and programming to be part of the education system because of the shortfall in skills predicted. But we need to think broader than this. We need more engineers, imagineers, creationeers. People who can create, build and program. If we truly are entering an age where 50 billion devices will connect and talk across the Internet then who is going to build and maintain them all? A developer can’t, but an engineer can.

4. It was the girls who gave the most detailed feedback in the entries I received. Stop creating pie charts about girls leaving STEM subjects and just talk to them.

Kids want to learn about business, IT, and STEM subjects faster than we are prepared to keep up with because we’re so preoccupied about creating a future we want to see, but will never inhabit by the time it’s built.

So, my advice. This year go back to school. Search out the golden nuggets that are hidden in the classrooms across your countries. Talk to the real generation we should be building a future for.

You might learn something."
2015  theopriestley  children  wrok  future  via:willrichardson  education  email  robots  automation  work  labor  fulfillment  collaboration  videoconferencing  computing  technology 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Poetry For Robots
"What if we used poetry and metaphor as metadata?

Would a search for 'eyes' return images of stars?

Click an image and write a poem. Your poem will be stored in the database with the picture as 'poetic metadata.' Later, when we search the database, we'll see if the robot has learned how we see, describe, and feel the world."



"Patterns and connections
We understand the world through metaphor. Our minds seek and spin patterns and connections, likenesses and equations. Biologist and anthropologist Gregory Bateson observed that metaphor is “how the whole fabric of mental interconnections holds together. Metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive.” As above, so below.

The most effective and explicit specimens of metaphor are found in poetry. Weaving metaphors into poems is an age-old and far-flung human act: we see and search the world with a poetic mind.

Why write poetry for robots?
Why, then, do we search a simple on-line image bank with such literal terms? Because the robots haven’t been taught our poetry. They only know the technical EXIF metadata and whatever descriptive adjectives they’ve been begrudgingly fed by underpaid (or unpaid) interns. But what if we write poetry for the robots? What if we used poetry and metaphor as metadata? Would a search for “eyes” return images of stars?

Poetry for Robots is a digital humanities experiment instigated by this Imaginary Papers blog post and sponsored by Neologic Labs, Webvisions, and Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. Starting today, we will populate a database with poetic metadata affiliated with specific images. At Webvisions Chicago 2015, we will perform search operations on the image bank and see what the robots have learned from our poetry and metaphorical connections, our human view of the world.

Next steps
Beyond this, we may extrapolate and investigate further. Will this reveal a “pattern of metaphors,” as posited by the great author and poet Jorge Luis Borges? Can an algorithm, informed by our poetic input, generate compelling works of its own? Let’s compose poetry for the robots and see."
poetry  bots  robots  poems  metaphor  metadata 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Eyeo 2014 - Leah Buechley on Vimeo
"Thinking About Making – An examination of what we mean by making (MAKEing) these days. What gets made? Who makes? Why does making matter?"



[uninscusive covers of Make Magazine and composition of Google employment]

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

"I'm really tired of setting up structures where we tell young women and young brown and black kids that they should aspire to be like rich white guys."

[RTd these back than, but never watched the video. Thanks, Sara for bringing it back up.

https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477546169329938432
https://twitter.com/arikan/status/477549826498764801 ]

[Talk with some of the same content from Leah Buechley (and a lot of defensive comments from the crowd that Buechleya addresses well):
http://edstream.stanford.edu/Video/Play/883b61dd951d4d3f90abeec65eead2911d
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2013-10-29-make-ing-more-diverse-makers ]
leahbuechley  making  makermovement  critique  equality  gender  race  2014  via:ablerism  privilege  wealth  glvo  openstudioproject  lcproject  democratization  inequality  makemagazine  money  age  education  electronics  robots  robotics  rockets  technology  compsci  computerscience  computing  computers  canon  language  work  inclusivity  funding  google  intel  macarthurfoundation  opportunity  power  influence  movements  engineering  lowriders  pottery  craft  culture  universality  marketing  inclusion 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Robots by Javier Pierini Javier Pierini... - FUTURESCOPE
"Javier Pierini creates hilarious flat-pack future stock-images for getty. Part of his work are simple robots in domestic environments and robots in relationship with people.

Above, you can see one of his works entitled: “Young female maid dusting robot drinking and smoking on sofa”. Following the scenario “Robot and group of executives looking at laptop in conference room”.

The captions are even better than the pictures. Here are a few more:

• Young maid scrubbing floor while robot drinks and smokes on sofa
• Robot holding computer cables
• Boy (9-11) covering ears behind sofa while robot vacuums living room
• Robot and young woman kissing in living room, side view
• Robot serving beer to young man lying on sofa with remote control
• Bride kissing robot on cheek in entryway of house, dusk
• Robot giving bouquet of flowers to young woman in entryway, side view

(Sorry for the embedded content. I would have liked to post a screenshot of the gallery but I have no idea if it’s legit and within the copywight law. But it’s worth to view the post outside of tumblr on futurescope)

[see more http://www.gettyimages.de/search/photographer?family=creative&photographer=Javier+Pierini ]"
robots  stockphotos  photography  javierpierini  getty  gettyimages  humor 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Super-strong robot pulls heavy loads - YouTube
"Two robots borrow techniques from both inchworms and geckos to climb up walls while carrying huge loads"

"Full story: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27413

"Mighty things come in small packages. The little robots in this video can haul things that weigh over 100 times more than themselves.

The super-strong bots – built by mechanical engineers at Stanford University in California – will be presented next month at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle, Washington.

The secret is in the adhesives on the robots' feet. Their design is inspired by geckos, which have climbing skills that are legendary in the animal kingdom. The adhesives are covered in minute rubber spikes that grip firmly onto the wall as the robot climbs. When pressure is applied, the spikes bend, increasing their surface area and thus their stickiness. When the robot picks its foot back up, the spikes straighten out again and detach easily.

The bots also move in a style that is borrowed from biology. Like an inchworm, one pad scooches the robot forward while the other stays in place to support the heavy load. This helps the robot avoid falls from missing its step and park without using up precious power.

Heavy lifting

All this adds up to robots with serious power. For example, one 9-gram bot can hoist more than a kilogram as it climbs. In this video it's carrying StickyBot, the Stanford lab's first ever robot gecko, built in 2006.

Another tiny climbing bot weighs just 20 milligrams but can carry 500 milligrams, a load about the size of a small paper clip. Engineer Elliot Hawkes built the bot under a microscope, using tweezers to put the parts together.

The most impressive feat of strength comes from a ground bot nicknamed μTug. Although it weighs just 12 grams, it can drag a weight that's 2000 times heavier – "the same as you pulling around a blue whale", explains David Christensen – who is in the same lab.

In future, the team thinks that machines like these could be useful for hauling heavy things in factories or on construction sites. They could also be useful in emergencies: for example, one might carry a rope ladder up to a person trapped on a high floor in a burning building.

But for tasks like these, the engineers may have to start attaching their adhesives to robots that are even larger – and thus more powerful. "If you leave yourself a little more room, you can do some pretty amazing things," says Christensen."

[via: http://futurescope.co/post/117611592479/microtugs-super-strong-nanobot-pulls-heavy ]
robots  strength  2015  robotics 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The Machines Are Coming - NYTimes.com
"But computers do not just replace humans in the workplace. They shift the balance of power even more in favor of employers. Our normal response to technological innovation that threatens jobs is to encourage workers to acquire more skills, or to trust that the nuances of the human mind or human attention will always be superior in crucial ways. But when machines of this capacity enter the equation, employers have even more leverage, and our standard response is not sufficient for the looming crisis.

Machines aren’t used because they perform some tasks that much better than humans, but because, in many cases, they do a “good enough” job while also being cheaper, more predictable and easier to control than quirky, pesky humans. Technology in the workplace is as much about power and control as it is about productivity and efficiency.

This used to be spoken about more openly. An ad in 1967 for an automated accounting system urged companies to replace humans with automated systems that “can’t quit, forget or get pregnant.” Featuring a visibly pregnant, smiling woman leaving the office with baby shower gifts, the ads, which were published in leading business magazines, warned of employees who “know too much for your own good” — “your good” meaning that of the employer. Why be dependent on humans? “When Alice leaves, will she take your billing system with her?” the ad pointedly asked, emphasizing that this couldn’t be fixed by simply replacing “Alice” with another person.

The solution? Replace humans with machines. To pregnancy as a “danger” to the workplace, the company could have added “get sick, ask for higher wages, have a bad day, aging parent, sick child or a cold.” In other words, be human."



"This is the way technology is being used in many workplaces: to reduce the power of humans, and employers’ dependency on them, whether by replacing, displacing or surveilling them. Many technological developments contribute to this shift in power: advanced diagnostic systems that can do medical or legal analysis; the ability to outsource labor to the lowest-paid workers, measure employee tasks to the minute and “optimize” worker schedules in a way that devastates ordinary lives. Indeed, regardless of whether unemployment has gone up or down, real wages have been stagnant or declining in the United States for decades. Most people no longer have the leverage to bargain.

In the 1980s, the Harvard social scientist Shoshana Zuboff examined how some workplaces used technology to “automate” — take power away from the employee — while others used technology differently, to “informate” — to empower people.

For academics, software developers and corporate and policy leaders who are lucky enough to live in this “informate” model, technology has been good. So far. To those for whom it’s been less of a blessing, we keep doling out the advice to upgrade skills. Unfortunately, for most workers, technology is used to “automate” the job and to take power away.

And workers already feel like they are powerless as it is. Last week, low-wage workers around the country demonstrated for a $15-an-hour wage, calling it economic justice. Those with college degrees may not think that they share a problem with these workers, who are fighting to reclaim some power with employers, but they do. The fight is poised to move up the skilled-labor chain.

Optimists insist that we’ve been here before, during the Industrial Revolution, when machinery replaced manual labor, and all we need is a little more education and better skills. But that is not a sufficient answer. One historical example is no guarantee of future events, and we won’t be able to compete by trying to stay one step ahead in a losing battle.

This cannot just be about machines’ capabilities or human skills, since the true solution lies in neither. Confronting the threat posed by machines, and the way in which the great data harvest has made them ever more able to compete with human workers, must be about our priorities.

It’s easy to imagine an alternate future where advanced machine capabilities are used to empower more of us, rather than control most of us. There will potentially be more time, resources and freedom to share, but only if we change how we do things. We don’t need to reject or blame technology. This problem is not us versus the machines, but between us, as humans, and how we value one another."
zeyneptufekci  future  automation  robots  labor  work  machiens  humans  2015  empowerment  control  surveillance  economics  history  technology  wages  shoshanazuboff 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Brave Robots Are Roaming the Oceans for Science | WIRED
"We’re bobbing in the sea just south of Santa Cruz, California; the Paragon is a pickup truck-shaped vessel, cabin in front and a flat deck with edges about a foot high, run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. There’s no bathroom on board. “Guys, it’s super easy. Any time, you’re welcome to go over the side,” says Jared Figurski, the MBARI marine operations division’s jack of all trades. “Ladies just…let us know and we can set that up on the back deck too.”

While the old adage goes that scientists know more about the surface of the moon than the seafloor, that’s a two-dimensional way of thinking. The oceans remain mysterious up and down the water column: the incredibly complex chemical and biological relationships, or how exactly the oceans are changing under the weight of global warming and other human meddling … acidity, temperatures, currents, salinity. And the most powerful tool to help figure all that out is the drone. MBARI has a fleet of them, three different kinds—autonomous machines that prowl the open oceans gathering data, allowing researchers to monitor it in real time. The machines do not tire, and they cannot drown. They survive shark bites. They can roam for months on end, beaming a steady stream of data to scientists sitting safely onshore.

So while aerial drones may get all the love, it’s autonomous underwater vehicles like the one the Paragon just snagged that are doing the grunt work of ocean science. They’re the vanguard of the robotization of Earth’s oceans."
oceans  robots  exploration  srg  edg  science  2015  mattsimon  via:debcha  mbari  drones  woodshole  auvs 
april 2015 by robertogreco
The American Scholar: Empathy for Inanimate Objects - Josie Glausiusz
"“Watch this poor, abused, washing machine go completely insane and explode,” urges the technology website Gizmodo. Over the next three or so minutes, a videographer, “Aussie50,” inserts a heavy piece of metal into the drum of a front-loading washer and activates its spin cycle. The machine hammers itself to death: its door flies open, the back falls off, wires twist loose, and finally the washer lies deconstructed on the ground. “Best washer-kill ever,” says Aussie50, tittering.

I showed the video to a friend, who said he felt sorry for the machine and asked why it deserved to be destroyed? That empathic reaction makes me wonder why humans feel pity for inanimate objects.

Some insight into this question comes from Astrid M. Rosenthal-von der Pütten, a social psychologist at the University of Duisberg-Essen in Germany. She and her research team have published two studies analyzing how humans respond when a robot is tortured.

In the first study, she divided 41 participants into two groups. Group One watched a two-minute video of a person in a black sweater choking and beating a robot dinosaur, Pleo, as it emitted sounds of suffering, including crying. Group Two watched a two-minute video of Pleo being stroked and fed as it sang, purred, and babbled. The Group One subjects felt significant pity for the robot and anger at the torturer when the robot was tormented; they also experienced higher “physiological arousal,” a measure of human “fight or flight” response.

In the second experiment, published in 2014, Rosenthal-von der Pütten and her team employed brain-scanning to examine how 14 participants would respond to videos of a human, a robot (Pleo), and an inanimate object (a green box) being tortured or treated nicely. Activation of neurons in the brain’s limbic system—areas that process emotions such as anger, happiness, or fear—was similar when robots and humans were treated affectionately. Subjects showed significantly more empathy and emotional distress, however, when the human was abused, as compared to the robot.

Do humans feel empathy for robots because they seem humanlike or, as in the case of the robot-dino, because it appears to suffer when mistreated, as do live animals? “I think, to some extent robots activate the same mechanisms of empathetic processes” that humans do, Rosenthal-von der Pütten responded to my question via email, “but there are not enough studies to draw concrete conclusions. But one can say that the human likeness of robots (in terms of their appearance and of their behavior) plays a role.”

If that is the case, why would anyone feel empathy for a washing machine, which doesn’t seem human at all? Rosenthal-von der Pütten said she is “not aware of any study investigating empathy in the context of non-robotic machines” and cannot explain what the underlying brain mechanisms might be. But one clue, I believe, comes from the studies of Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget. He noted that children go through a stage of “animistic thinking,” in which they imbue inanimate objects with human emotions; or, as my four-year-old son recently said, “the tiny tractor is tired so he is not scooping up.”

Perhaps adults’ feelings for wasted washers and other non-living matter are a residue of childhood. Or maybe we express empathy because we see what a waste of resources it is to shatter a decent device. Possibly, as we watch the wanton destruction, we intuit the human care with which it was created."
objects  empathy  josieglausiusz  2015  pleo  technology  astridrosenthal-vonerpütten  robots  machines  destruction  waste  care  caring 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Seeing Like a Rover: How Robots, Teams, and Images Craft Knowledge of Mars, Vertesi
"In the years since the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and Rover first began transmitting images from the surface of Mars, we have become familiar with the harsh, rocky, rusty-red Martian landscape. But those images are much less straightforward than they may seem to a layperson: each one is the result of a complicated set of decisions and processes involving the large team behind the Rovers.

With Seeing Like a Rover, Janet Vertesi takes us behind the scenes to reveal the work that goes into creating our knowledge of Mars. Every photograph that the Rovers take, she shows, must be processed, manipulated, and interpreted—and all that comes after team members negotiate with each other about what they should even be taking photographs of in the first place. Vertesi’s account of the inspiringly successful Rover project reveals science in action, a world where digital processing uncovers scientific truths, where images are used to craft consensus, and where team members develop an uncanny intimacy with the sensory apparatus of a robot that is millions of miles away. Ultimately, Vertesi shows, every image taken by the Mars Rovers is not merely a picture of Mars—it’s a portrait of the whole Rover team, as well."
books  space  robots  marsrovers  2015  janetvertesi  mars  sensors  imagery  photography  spaceexploration 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Kinshasa's traffic robots: 'I thought it was some kind of joke' - in pictures | Cities | The Guardian
"Gridlock has seized Kinshasa. Faced with rising car ownership and a lack of trust in police, city authorities have recruited solar-powered ‘robocops’ to control the DRC capital’s chaotic streets. For Panos Pictures photographer Brian Sokol, whose images are part of the Sony-backed #FutureofCities initiative, the project provides an insight into a more ‘positive’ side of a tumultuous country"



"The robots are made by Therese Izay’s company Women’s Tech, which designs and manufactures the robots. Izay hopes the idea will catch on in other cities across Africa and beyond"
drc  kinshasa  congo  africa  robots  traffic  2015  technology  thereseizay 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Crews and Robots
"An ex­ten­sion for the Chrome browser that re­places oc­cur­rences of ‘manned’ with ‘crewed’ and ‘un­manned’ with ‘ro­botic’."
chrome  extensions  space  robots  robertmcnees  2015  sexism  gender  language 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Japan's Robot Dogs Get Funerals as Sony Looks Away
[See also: “http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/12/mourn-robotic-dog-human-sony”
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/12/mourn-robotic-dog-human-sony

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/sony-aibo-robot-dog-funeral-in-japan/
http://www.popsci.com/worlds-saddest-funeral-robot-dogs-held-japan
http://toyland.gizmodo.com/japan-is-holding-actual-funerals-for-sonys-robotic-aibo-1688175542
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2968691/Funerals-held-ROBOTIC-dogs-Japan-owners-believe-souls.html ]

"In 1999, Sony launched a robot dog named Aibo in the U.S. and Japan that not only responded to external stimuli, but was able to learn and express itself. These capabilities, a press release from the time explained, “allow each unit to develop a unique personality including behavior shaped by the praise and scolding of its owner.” And Aibo, short for “Artificially Intelligent Robot,” quickly became a hit--especially in Japan.

At around $600 to $2,000 a pup, each iteration of Aibo cost less than some real dogs. And the perks didn’t end there. “When I leave on holiday I can just turn him off, I don’t need to feed him,” Hideko Mori, a robot dog owner of eight years, told AFP. “He doesn’t need taking out, well, not exactly. From time to time he cocks his leg and there’s this noise like water running. It’s a beautiful noise.”

Mori purchased the pooch after the death of her husband and, like many other Aibo owners, became attached to her unique cyborg companion.

“I can’t imagine how quiet our living room would have been if Ai-chan wasn’t here,” Sumie Maekawa, a longtime Aibo owner, told The Wall Street Journal, using an honorific suffix applied to girls’ names.

Tatsuo Matsui, who owns two digital dogs with his wife, added, “I can’t risk my precious dogs because they are important members of our family.”

Despite the loyal fanbase, Sony decided to discontinue the bot in 2006, after selling around 150,000 units.

"Our core businesses are electronics, games and entertainment, but the focus is going to be on profitability and strategic growth," a Sony spokeswoman said at the time. "In light of that, we've decided to cancel the Aibo line."

For years following the announcement, Sony would repair Aibos that experienced technical difficulties. But in July 2014, those repairs stopped and owners were left to look elsewhere for help.

“The first time I spoke directly to a client he told me, ‘He’s not very well, can you examine him?’” Hiroshi Funabashi, a robot dog repairman, told AFP. “I realized he didn’t see it as a robot, but as a member of his family whose life was more important than his own.”

The Sony stiff has led not only to the formation of support groups--where Aibo enthusiasts can share tips and help each other with repairs--but has fed the bionic pet vet industry.

“The people who have them feel their presence and personality,” Nobuyuki Narimatsu, director of A-Fun, a repair company for robot dogs, told AFP. “So we think that somehow, they really have souls.”

While concerted repair efforts have kept many an Aibo alive, a shortage of spare parts means that some of their lives have come to an end. The following images show the funerals of 19 Aibos that engineers at A-Fun were unable to save.

Each formerly automated animal is wearing a tag with its owner’s name, as well as where it is from.

Newsweek reached out to Sony about Aibo’s gradual extinction and those who are watching their not-so-furry friends vanish, but they declined to comment.

"It’s not at all unusual for people to develop strong emotional attachments to non-living objects or machines," says cyberpsychologist Eleanor Barlow, giving the common examples of naming a car, or a child becoming attached to a doll. "Research suggests this can happen in order to satisfy a need in us...to care for something to improve our own sense of well-being or by way of a child substitute."

As artificially intelligent machines are increasingly incorporated into our modern lives, Barlow forsees people substituting robot interfacing for human interaction. And when a machine resembles something living (like Aibo), people are likely to both form a stronger bond to it and feel a greater sense of loss when it vanishes, she added.

The funerals show that this notion is not so far-fetched."
aibo  dogs  japan  robots  pets  sony  2015  technology 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Humane Representation of Thought on Vimeo
"Closing keynote at the UIST and SPLASH conferences, October 2014.
Preface: http://worrydream.com/TheHumaneRepresentationOfThought/note.html

References to baby-steps towards some of the concepts mentioned:

Dynamic reality (physical responsiveness):
- The primary work here is Hiroshi Ishii's "Radical Atoms": http://tangible.media.mit.edu/project/inform/
- but also relevant are the "Soft Robotics" projects at Harvard: http://softroboticstoolkit.com
- and at Otherlab: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gyMowPAJwqo
- and some of the more avant-garde corners of material science and 3D printing

Dynamic conversations and presentations:
- Ken Perlin's "Chalktalk" changes daily; here's a recent demo: http://bit.ly/1x5eCOX

Context-sensitive reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/MagicInk/

"Explore-the-model" reading material:
- http://worrydream.com/ExplorableExplanations/
- http://worrydream.com/LadderOfAbstraction/
- http://ncase.me/polygons/
- http://redblobgames.com/pathfinding/a-star/introduction.html
- http://earthprimer.com/

Evidence-backed models:
- http://worrydream.com/TenBrighterIdeas/

Direct-manipulation dynamic authoring:
- http://worrydream.com/StopDrawingDeadFish/
- http://worrydream.com/DrawingDynamicVisualizationsTalk/
- http://tobyschachman.com/Shadershop/

Modes of understanding:
- Jerome Bruner: http://amazon.com/dp/0674897013
- Howard Gardner: http://amazon.com/dp/0465024335
- Kieran Egan: http://amazon.com/dp/0226190390

Embodied thinking:
- Edwin Hutchins: http://amazon.com/dp/0262581469
- Andy Clark: http://amazon.com/dp/0262531569
- George Lakoff: http://amazon.com/dp/0465037712
- JJ Gibson: http://amazon.com/dp/0898599598
- among others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_cognition

I don't know what this is all about:
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/
- http://worrydream.com/ABriefRantOnTheFutureOfInteractionDesign/responses.html

---

Abstract:

New representations of thought — written language, mathematical notation, information graphics, etc — have been responsible for some of the most significant leaps in the progress of civilization, by expanding humanity’s collectively-thinkable territory.

But at debilitating cost. These representations, having been invented for static media such as paper, tap into a small subset of human capabilities and neglect the rest. Knowledge work means sitting at a desk, interpreting and manipulating symbols. The human body is reduced to an eye staring at tiny rectangles and fingers on a pen or keyboard.

Like any severely unbalanced way of living, this is crippling to mind and body. But it is also enormously wasteful of the vast human potential. Human beings naturally have many powerful modes of thinking and understanding.

Most are incompatible with static media. In a culture that has contorted itself around the limitations of marks on paper, these modes are undeveloped, unrecognized, or scorned.

We are now seeing the start of a dynamic medium. To a large extent, people today are using this medium merely to emulate and extend static representations from the era of paper, and to further constrain the ways in which the human body can interact with external representations of thought.

But the dynamic medium offers the opportunity to deliberately invent a humane and empowering form of knowledge work. We can design dynamic representations which draw on the entire range of human capabilities — all senses, all forms of movement, all forms of understanding — instead of straining a few and atrophying the rest.

This talk suggests how each of the human activities in which thought is externalized (conversing, presenting, reading, writing, etc) can be redesigned around such representations.

---

Art by David Hellman.
Bret Victor -- http://worrydream.com "

[Some notes from Boris Anthony:

"Those of you who know my "book hack", Bret talks about exactly what motivates my explorations starting at 20:45 in https://vimeo.com/115154289 "
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574339495274876928

"From a different angle, btwn 20:00-29:00 Bret explains how "IoT" is totally changing everything
https://vimeo.com/115154289
@timoreilly @moia"
https://twitter.com/Bopuc/status/574341875836043265 ]
bretvictor  towatch  interactiondesign  davidhellman  hiroshiishii  softrobotics  robots  robotics  kenperlin  jeromebruner  howardgardner  kieranegan  edwinhutchins  andyclark  jjgibson  embodiedcognition  cognition  writing  math  mathematics  infographic  visualization  communication  graphics  graphicdesign  design  representation  humans  understanding  howwelearn  howwethink  media  digital  dynamism  movement  conversation  presentation  reading  howweread  howwewrite  chalktalk  otherlab  3dprinting  3d  materials  physical  tangibility  depth  learning  canon  ui  informationdesign  infographics  maps  mapping  data  thinking  thoughts  numbers  algebra  arithmetic  notation  williamplayfair  cartography  gestures  placevalue  periodictable  michaelfaraday  jamesclerkmaxell  ideas  print  printing  leibniz  humanism  humanerepresentation  icons  visual  aural  kinesthetic  spatial  tactile  symbols  iot  internetofthings  programming  computers  screens  computation  computing  coding  modeling  exploration  via:robertogreco  reasoning  rhetoric  gerrysussman  environments  scale  virtualization 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The real robot economy and the bus ticket inspector | Science | The Guardian
"Hidden in these everyday, mundane interactions are different moral or ethical questions about the future of AI: if a job is affected but not taken over by a robot, how and when does the new system interact with a consumer? Is it ok to turn human social intelligence – managing a difficult customer – into a commodity? Is it ok that a decision lies with a handheld device, while the human is just a mouthpiece?

What does this mean for the second wave robot economy?

Mike Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey from Oxford University have studied the risk of automation in the US economy, concluding that 47 per cent of jobs in the current workforce are at high risk of computerisation. They come to this conclusion by looking for jobs that can’t be automated; the 47 per cent is what’s left over. In their model, there are three bottlenecks that prevent automation:
…occupations that involve complex perception and manipulation tasks, creative intelligence tasks, and social intelligence tasks are unlikely to be substituted by computer capital over the next decade or two.


These are bottlenecks which technological advances will find it hard to overcome. The authors predict that the next decade will see steps forward in the algorithms that automate cognitive tasks, including cutting edge techniques like machine learning, artificial intelligence and mobile robotics.

This second wave of the robot economy follows a first wave that automated manufacturing and repetitive manual tasks. So many of the desk jobs that our parents and grandparents would have done, like typing and manual data entry, are now becoming obsolete. And according to Osborne and Frey, some of the jobs that are most at risk of automation, were formerly present in droves at many city offices. This includes the likes of accountants, legal clerks and book keepers - dying breeds, and casualties of the robot economy. But Osborne and Frey think that tasks like navigating complex environments, creative thinking and social influence and persuasion will not be automated as part of these advances.

Some of my colleagues are interested in the second kind of task – creativity. They are working with Osborne and Frey to understand how resistant the creative economy is to automation: how many jobs in the creative economy involve truly creative tasks (if that’s not tautologous). Preliminary results look pretty good for creative occupations. 87 per cent are at low or no risk of automation.

Maybe service occupations where persuasion and influence are important will be saved too. The bus ticket inspector requires exactly the kind of social intelligence that Osborne and Frey argue a machine cannot replicate. But this doesn’t take into account the subtleties I witnessed on the top deck of the 76. It may not be job titles or wages that are most affected by the day-to-day of a robot economy. Automation of parts of a job, or of the context that someone works in, means that jobs not taken by machines are fundamentally changed in other ways. We may become slaves to hardwired decision-making systems.

To avoid this, we need to design human-machine jobs with the humans who will be part of them. I met Carla Brodley, Computer Scientist from North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in the US a few months ago. She has applies advanced computing techniques to med­ical imaging, diagnosis and neu­ro­science. Brodley has publicly argued that the most interesting problems for machine learning come from real world uses of these computational techniques. She says the tough bit of her job is knowing when and how to bring the expert - doctor, radiologist, scientist - into the design of the algorithm. But she is avid that the success of her work depends entirely on this kind of user-led computational design. We need to find a Brodley for the bus ticket inspector."

[via: "'The real robot economy and the bus ticket inspector' @pesska on why we need user-led computational design."
https://twitter.com/Superflux/status/567745423163789312 ]
automation  robots  2015  design  jessicabland  computationaldesign  technology  london  mikeosborne  carlbenediktfrey  computerization  economics  services  socialintelligence  ai  artificialintelligence 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Minibuilders: Small robots printing big structures
"Large-scale 3D printing isn't a new technology, but past experiments have required massively intensive infrastructure. Minibuilders was conceptualized as a community of three modestly sized robots which were tasked with very specific jobs that aggregated to a large scale operation.

Each robot completes its programmed job in sequence to fully construct an automated, inhabitable structure. Ultimately Minibuilders shows the capacity for robotics to have a significant impact on the architecture discipline and industry."
3dprinting  construction  robots 
february 2015 by robertogreco
In Japan, Dog Owners Feel Abandoned as Sony Stops Supporting ‘Aibo’ - WSJ
"Masters Run in Circles Seeking Help for Aged Robotic Pets; Failing Joints"
via:debcha  pets  robots  aibo  sony  japan  2015  dogs 
february 2015 by robertogreco
In 2015, we’ll need different words to talk about the future - Quartz
"But “hackers,” “algorithms,” and to some extent “robots,” sit behind metaphorical — or actual — closed doors, where obscurity can benefit those who would like to use these terms, or exercise the realities behind them to their own benefit, though perhaps not to ours. We need better definitions, and more exact words, to talk about these things because, frankly, these particular examples are part of a larger landscape of “actors” which will define how we live in coming years, alongside other ambiguous terms like “terrorist,” or “immigrant,” about which clear discourse will only become more important.

Language is power—power that often implies, or closes down knowledge and understanding, both of which we need to make informed decisions about individual and collective futures. Everyone doesn’t need to become a technical expert, or keep a field guide to drones and robots handy (though it might be useful sooner than later), but, as I’ve pointed out in the case of complex systems and supply chains, we might all benefit from having a clearer understanding of how the world is changing around us, and what new creatures we’ll encounter out there. Perhaps it’s time we all start wielding language with greater clarity. I’m sure the robots will."
words  power  hacking  language  robots  algorithm  scottsmith  2015  knowledge  transparency  definitions  technology 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Ai Weiwei is Living in Our Future — Medium
'Living under permanent surveillance and what that means for our freedom'



"Put a collar with a GPS chip around your dog’s neck and from that moment onwards you will be able to follow your dog on an online map and get a notification on your phone whenever your dog is outside a certain area. You want to take good care of your dog, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the collar also functions as a fitness tracker. Now you can set your dog goals and check out graphs with trend lines. It is as Bruce Sterling says: “You are Fluffy’s Zuckerberg”.

What we are doing to our pets, we are also doing to our children.

The ‘Amber Alert’, for example, is incredibly similar to the Pet Tracker. Its users are very happy: “It’s comforting to look at the app and know everyone is where they are supposed to be!” and “The ability to pull out my phone and instantly monitor my son’s location, takes child safety to a whole new level.” In case you were wondering, it is ‘School Ready’ with a silent mode for educational settings.

Then there is ‘The Canary Project’ which focuses on American teens with a driver’s license. If your child is calling somebody, texting or tweeting behind the wheel, you will be instantly notified. You will also get a notification if your child is speeding or is outside the agreed-on territory.

If your child is ignoring your calls and doesn’t reply to your texts, you can use the ‘Ignore no more’ app. It will lock your child’s phone until they call you back. This clearly shows that most surveillance is about control. Control is the reason why we take pleasure in surveilling ourselves more and more.

I won’t go into the ‘Quantified Self’ movement and our tendency to put an endless amount of sensors on our body attempting to get “self knowlegde through numbers”. As we have already taken the next step towards control: algorithmic punishment if we don’t stick to our promises or reach our own goals."



"Normally his self-measured productivity would average around 40%, but with Kara next to him, his productiviy shot upward to 98%. So what do you do with that lesson? You create a wristband that shocks you whenever you fail to keep to your own plan. The wristband integrates well, of course, with other apps in your “productivity ecosystem”."



"On Kickstarter the makers of the ‘Blink’ camera tried to crowdfund 200.000 dollars for their invention. They received over one millions dollars instead. The camera is completely wireless, has a battery that lasts a year and streams HD video straight to your phone."



"I would love to speak about the problems of gentrification in San Francisco, or about a culture where nobody thinks you are crazy when you utter the sentence “Don’t touch me, I’ll fucking sue you” or about the fact this Google Glass user apparently wasn’t ashamed enough about this interaction to not post this video online. But I am going to talk about two other things: the first-person perspective and the illusionary symmetry of the Google Glass.

First the perspective from which this video was filmed. When I saw the video for the first time I was completely fascinated by her own hand which can be seen a few times and at some point flips the bird."



"The American Civil Liberties Union (also known as the ACLU) released a report late last year listing the advantages and disadvantages of bodycams. The privacy concerns of the people who will be filmed voluntarily or involuntarily and of the police officers themselves (remember Ai Weiwei’s guards who were continually watched) are weighed against the impact bodycams might have in combatting arbitrary police violence."



"A short while ago I noticed that you didn’t have to type in book texts anymore when filling in a reCAPTCHA. Nowadays you type in house numbers helping Google, without them asking you, to further digitize the physical world."



"This is the implicit view on humanity that the the big tech monopolies have: an extremely cheap source of labour which can be brought to a high level of productivity through the smart use of machines. To really understand how this works we need to take a short detour to the gambling machines in Las Vegas."



"Taleb has written one of the most important books of this century. It is called ‘Anti-fragile: Things That Gain from Disorder’ and it explores how you should act in a world that is becoming increasingly volatile. According to him, we have allowed efficiency thinking to optimize our world to such an extent that we have lost the flexibility and slack that is necessary for dealing with failure. This is why we can no longer handle any form of risk.

Paradoxically this leads to more repression and a less safe environment. Taleb illustrates this with an analogy about a child which is raised by its parents in a completely sterile environment having a perfect life without any hard times. That child will likely grow up with many allergies and will not be able to navigate the real world.

We need failure to be able to learn, we need inefficiency to be able to recover from mistakes, we have to take risks to make progress and so it is imperative to find a way to celebrate imperfection.

We can only keep some form of true freedom if we manage to do that. If we don’t, we will become cogs in the machines. I want to finish with a quote from Ai Weiwei:
“Freedom is a pretty strange thing. Once you’ve experienced it, it remains in your heart, and no one can take it away. Then, as an individual, you can be more powerful than a whole country.”
"
aiweiwei  surveillance  privacy  china  hansdezwart  2014  google  maps  mapping  freedom  quantification  tracking  technology  disney  disneyland  bigdog  police  lawenforcement  magicbands  pets  monitoring  pettracker  parenting  teens  youth  mobile  phones  cellphones  amberalert  canaryproject  autonomy  ignorenomore  craiglist  productivity  pavlok  pavlov  garyshteyngart  grindr  inder  bangwithfriends  daveeggers  transparency  thecircle  literature  books  dystopia  lifelogging  blink  narrative  flone  drones  quadcopters  cameras  kevinkelly  davidbrin  googleglass  sarahslocum  aclu  ferguson  michaelbrown  bodycams  cctv  captcha  recaptcha  labor  sousveillance  robots  humans  capitalism  natashadowschüll  design  facebook  amazon  addiction  nassimtaleb  repression  safety  society  howwelearn  learning  imperfection  humanism  disorder  control  power  efficiency  inefficiency  gambling  lasvegas  doom  quantifiedself  measurement  canon  children 
january 2015 by robertogreco
IFTF: Artifact from the Future: Energy Wants To Be Free
"The UN has teamed up with the global Pirate Party, a political party with a platform of open intellectual property (IP), to provide new disaster relief kits that use open-source components to build ad hoc infrastructures for everything from power to water to Internet access. At the core of the relief kit is the now famous Tesla Box—a 10-foot shipping container that can power a neighborhood by harnessing the sub-atomic Casimir Effect. What else will you find in the open-source kit? Wireless lightbulbs, mobile device chargers, rechargeable desalination straws, and an Internet-in-a-suitcase."
pirateparty  iftf  speculativefiction  infrastructure  mesh  meshnetworks  enelctricity  robots  drones  construction  resilience  2013  solarpunk 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Inside Google's Secret Drone-Delivery Program - The Atlantic
"For two years, the company has been working to build flying robots that can deliver products across a city in a minute or two. An Atlantic exclusive."
alexismadrigal  2014  google  drones  droneproject  delivery  robots 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Transformer Paper Turns Itself Into A Robot. Cool! : NPR
"It's now possible to print electronic circuits on a flat sheet of paper. So if you use some clever folding techniques (based on the ancient art of paper folding called origami), you can fold these sheets into useful structures — maybe a crab-shaped robot that could scuttle across the floor, or a swan-shaped robot that could really fly.

The problem is, it takes a long time for humans to make all the necessary folds in these flat sheets.

"Our goal then," Felton says, "was to try to make them fold themselves in order to save time." So he and his colleagues attached a tiny microprocessor to the paper that tells each hinge when to fold into place.

To actually accomplish the fold, the engineers use a child's toy called Shrinky Dinks. These are sheets made from elastic, shape memory polymers that shrink by about half when you heat them up. You attach the Shrinky Dink to the paper, and when the microprocessor wants to execute a particular fold, it turns on a tiny electronic heater that's printed on the paper, causing the Shrinky Dink to shrink.

"And this, in turn, pulls on the paper," Felton says, "causing the paper to fold."

He's now working on tiny, bug-size folding robots made not with paper and Shrinky Dinks but with aluminum foil and shrink-wrap. He also sees a day when there may be printable spacecraft, sent into space as flat sheets, only to fold up into something useful when they reach their target."
robots  2014  robotics  paper  folding  shrinkydinks  origami 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The undersea drones revealing the ocean's secrets - CNN.com
"Beyond averting disasters, the drone is being used on missions to break new water in understanding the 95% of the world's oceans that remain unexplored. Wave Gliders are measuring acidification levels and environmental damage, and monitoring wildlife to aid conservation efforts. They are searching for new sources of fuel, chemicals and medicines, and providing security against mines and other hazards.

Hine believes the drone has already transformed exploration and foresees rapid progress. "The more you use the more efficient they are because if you launch 50 you only use one ship -- which is the bulk of expense," he says. "It's a paradigm shift toward using large fleets for wider coverage and research. And the (sensor) technology gets better the more you use it."

The fleet is expanding steadily -- this summer saw the largest set of Gliders yet probing the Arctic ice to chart the effects of warming as well as to search for hydrocarbons. Such capabilities have earned the company a growing list of conservation, fuel and military clients.

The current SV3 model is being upgraded to improve power storage, reliability and the sophistication of its algorithm, but experts believe the systems are already mature."

[See also: http://www.liquidr.com/technology/waveglider/sv3.html
and http://openrov.com/ ]
oceans  drones  oceanography  droneproject  2014  openrov  waveglider  liquidrobotics  robots 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Robotic Raptors to the Rescue | Audubon Magazine
"3-D printed robotic replicas of the eagles and falcons may actually save flocks of smaller birds from harm. Here's how."
birds  animals  robots  2014  via:alexismadrigal 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Donna Haraway, "Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene: Staying with the Trouble", 5/9/14 on Vimeo
[transcript: http://opentranscripts.org/transcript/anthropocene-capitalocene-chthulucene/ ]

"Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene: Staying with the Trouble

Sympoiesis, not autopoiesis, threads the string figure game played by Terran critters. Always many-stranded, SF is spun from science fact, speculative fabulation, science fiction, and, in French, soin de ficelles (care of/for the threads). The sciences of the mid-20th-century “new evolutionary synthesis” shaped approaches to human-induced mass extinctions and reworldings later named the Anthropocene. Rooted in units and relations, especially competitive relations, these sciences have a hard time with three key biological domains: embryology and development, symbiosis and collaborative entanglements, and the vast worlds of microbes. Approaches tuned to “multi-species becoming with” better sustain us in staying with the trouble on Terra. An emerging “new new synthesis” in trans-disciplinary biologies and arts proposes string figures tying together human and nonhuman ecologies, evolution, development, history, technology, and more. Corals, microbes, robotic and fleshly geese, artists, and scientists are the dramatis personae in this talk’s SF game."
donnaharaway  2014  anthropocene  capitalocene  chthulucene  lichen  ursulaleguin  sciencefiction  multispecies  symbiosis  life  biology  collaboration  reworlding  speculativefiction  soindeficelles  sympoiesis  autopoiesis  synthesus  transdisciplinary  art  arts  glvo  ecologies  ecology  evolution  development  history  technology  humans  coral  corals  microbes  robots  animals  scottgilbert 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Seeing Spaces on Vimeo
"What if we designed a new kind of "maker space" -- a space that isn't just for putting pieces together, but also for seeing and understanding a project's behavior in powerful ways? - seeing inside - seeing across time - seeing across possibilities "I think people need to work in a space that moves them away from the kinds of non-scientific thinking that you do when you can't see what you're doing -- moves them away from blindly following recipes, from superstitions and rules of thumb -- and moves them towards deeply understanding what they're doing, inventing new things, discovering new things, contributing back to the global pool of human knowledge." Presented at the EG conference on May 2, 2014. Art by David Hellman. Bret Victor -- http://worrydream.com "



"I think people need to work in a space that moves them away from the kinds of non-scientific thinking that you do when you can't see what you're doing -- moves them away from blindly following recipes, from superstitions and rules of thumb -- and moves them towards deeply understanding what they're doing, inventing new things, discovering new things, contributing back to the global pool of human knowledge."
bretvictor  makerspaces  seeing  understanding  making  invention  behavior  howwework  2014  howwelearn  design  robotics  robots  software  engineering  seeingspaces  time  possibilities  displays 
june 2014 by robertogreco
18. Webstock 2014 Talk Notes and References - postarchitectural
[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/91957759 ]
[See also: http://www.webstock.org.nz/talks/the-future-happens-so-much/ ]

"I was honored to be invited to Webstock 2014 to speak, and decided to use it as an opportunity to talk about startups and growth in general.

I prepared for this talk by collecting links, notes, and references in a flat text file, like I did for Eyeo and Visualized. These references are vaguely sorted into the structure of the talk. Roughly, I tried to talk about the future happening all around us, the startup ecosystem and the pressures for growth that got us there, and the dangerous sides of it both at an individual and a corporate level. I ended by talking about ways for us as a community to intervene in these systems of growth.

The framework of finding places to intervene comes from Leverage Points by Donella Meadows, and I was trying to apply the idea of 'monstrous thoughts' from Just Asking by David Foster Wallace. And though what I was trying to get across is much better said and felt through books like Seeing like a State, Debt, or Arctic Dreams, here's what was in my head."
shahwang  2014  webstock  donellameadows  jamescscott  seeinglikeastate  davidgraeber  debt  economics  barrylopez  trevorpaglen  google  technology  prism  robotics  robots  surveillance  systemsthinking  growth  finance  venturecapital  maciejceglowski  millsbaker  mandybrown  danhon  advertising  meritocracy  democracy  snapchat  capitalism  infrastructure  internet  web  future  irrationalexuberance  github  geopffmanaugh  corproratism  shareholders  oligopoly  oligarchy  fredscharmen  kenmcleod  ianbanks  eleanorsaitta  quinnorton  adamgreenfield  marshallbrain  politics  edwardsnowden  davidsimon  georgepacker  nicolefenton  power  responsibility  davidfosterwallace  christinaxu  money  adamcurtis  dmytrikleiner  charlieloyd  wealth  risk  sarahkendxior  markjacobson  anildash  rebeccasolnit  russellbrand  louisck  caseygollan  alexpayne  judsontrue  jamesdarling  jenlowe  wilsonminer  kierkegaard  readinglist  startups  kiev  systems  control  data  resistance  obligation  care  cynicism  snark  change  changetheory  neoliberalism  intervention  leveragepoints  engagement  nonprofit  changemaki 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Tunzelbots on Vimeo
"Ever since reading Richard Dawkins' book 'The Blind Watchmaker' I'd wanted to try my hand at some evolutionary programming. The idea is to model natural selection inside the computer by generating procedural creatures and allowing them to vary and improve over time without user intervention.

The code to build and rig the robots was written in Python, as was the code to run the rigid body simulation, using the Open Dynamics Engine to drive the sim. I wrote an importer for Side Effects' Houdini to read in my robot simulations so I could render them out as pictures.

If you enjoyed the Tunzelbots, here are some other videos you might like:

Karl Sims - Evolved Virtual Creatures, Evolution Simulation, 1994
youtube.com/watch?v=JBgG_VSP7f8

Nick Cheney, Rob MacCurdy, Jeff Clune, Hod Lipson - Evolving Soft Robots with Multiple Materials
youtube.com/watch?v=z9ptOeByLA4

Thomas Geijtenbeek, Michiel van de Panne, Frank van der Stappen - Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures
vimeo.com/79098420

And there's a bit about Richard Dawkins' Biomorphs here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blind_Watchmaker "
tunzelbots  eugénievontunzelmann  robots  evolution  naturalselection  2014  video 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Workalong: Critical Design / Design Fiction lecture finally written up. (loooooong)
[A very thorough catalog of "design fiction" examples]

"So futures. Design fiction, critical design, speculative design and all that stuff tends to be based in the future, or a futures, or futures. Why? Because it's a fertile playground and fair game. We're open to the suggestion of future images. It's how advertising works. It's evocative, it compounds hopes and fears and it's malleable. Most work isn't about the future, it's about now, but you can explode the now into the future to make it much more visible and understandable.

The archetypal quote. [WILLIAM GIBSON] This is one of the cornerstones of futures work. Somewhere, someone else has your future, and right now, your iPhone is someone else's future.We have to understand there's no kind of absolute rule for 'the' future. There is no 'the' future. There's just a bubbling and propagating mess of technologies and hopes and fears that sometimes arrange themselves into 'a' future.

So this is kind of where you aim at when thinking about the future. This is the futures cone, another one of those tools or symbols that comes up and over and over again. Uncertainty tells us that the future opens up to possibilities. The Google Glass future vision sits in that green preferable part but is unlikely to happen. Where it becomes interesting is exploring some of those wild cards that sit right on the outside. You lend that perspective to people and you can blow their minds. 'Hey there's this new technology and they say it'll do this, but what if it did this instead.'"



"Right, so this is the end and I want to leave you with some questions that I don't have answers to, having seen all of that stuff.

First up, 'Yes, but is it art?' Most of the projects I showed end up in a gallery. They're not sold in shops or made into real products, so how is this not art? There are cleverer people than I that could answer that question. I believe on some fundamental level that it's design because it uses the language of design to try and attract an audience. Because like I said earlier, it rearranges existing phenomena we can understand to give them new meaning and because it's for other people, not for the creator.

Secondly 'What if? ... Then what?' Critical design poses difficult questions and forces us to confront them, but then what? Once we have the questions and we have the provocation how do we deal with it, individually and societally? I don't know, I'm trying to figure that out.

'How do you measure success?' A question that is coming up more and more. You can measure the success of a normal design project by it's kickstarter funding or by units sold, but here we're not selling units or launching startups, we're trying to get people to deal with difficult things so how do you measure if that works? Well, there's a good spread of projects that get a lot of media attention so I guess that's a success, but is it enough?"
tobiasrevell  designfiction  speculativefiction  criticaldesign  design  futurism  2013  fionaraby  hertziantales  robots  superstudio  williamgibson  bigdog  saschapohflepp  goldeninstitute  power  normalcy  venkateshrao  anabjain  superflux  nickfoster  brucesterling  stanleykubrick  childrenofmen  diegetics  diegeticdesign  davidkirby  revitalcohen  prophecyprogram  stanleymilgram  phillippronnenburg  jamesbridle  berg  berglondon  littleprinter  newaesthetic  liamyoung  vincentfournier  josephpopper  larissasansour  peckhamouterspaceinitiative  cristinademiddel  hefinjones  welshspaceprogram  materials  3dprinting  markuskayser  thomasthwaites  toasterproject  jeremyhutchinson  cohenvanbalen  stelarc  choykafai  sputniko  agathahaines  unnaturalhistory  aihasegawa  synthetics  georgetremmel  shihofukuhara  art  canon  davidbenque  geopolitics  yosukeushigome  zoepapadopoulou  stacktivism  julianoliver  dunne&raby  anthonydunne  posthumanism 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Furbidden Knowledge - Radiolab
"In 1999, Freedom Baird was in grad school, and Furbies--those furry little robot toys that talk to you and tell you to play with them--were all the rage. So Freedom, who was thinking about becoming a mom someday, decided to get a little practice by adopting two gerbils and one Furby. And that led to a chance discovery...and an idea for an experiment that Freedom believed could serve as a kind of emotional Turing test, a way to ask whether machines are more alive than dolls.

In order to test Freedom's idea, we gathered up a Barbie, a hamster named Gerbie, and a Furby. Then, we invited five brave kids into the studio: Taro Higashi Zimmerman, Luisa Tripoli-Krasnow, Sadie Kathryn McGearey, Olivia Tate McGearey, Lila Cipolla, and Turin Cipolla.

We ran our results by Caleb Chung, the man who created Furby. And according to Caleb, the reason Furby gets under our skin is simple...but Jad and Robert aren't ready to buy his explanation. Sherry Turkle returns to help us think about what's going on."

[Complete show: http://www.radiolab.org/story/137407-talking-to-machines/ ]
furby  furbies  machines  behavior  interaction  2011  1999  freedombaird  toys  robots  turingtest  calebchung  sherryturkle  radiolab 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Anab Jain: Designing the future
"Anab Jain talks about design in a future world of insect cyborgs, mass surveillance, DNA monetization and guerilla infrastructure. "This sort of speculative work explores the remarkable potential of technology and its new experiential aesthetics.""

[See also: http://www.superflux.in/work/staying-with-the-trouble ]

[Alt video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-stunrZcB24 ]
anabjain  superflux  design  future  cyborgs  surveillance  infrastructure  speculativedesign  designfiction  biotech  biotechnology  genetics  science  nearfuture  robots  bostondynamics  23andme  2013  drones  jugaad  thenewnormal  bees  humanism  bodies  humans  vision  blind  prosthetics  memory  consciousness  supervision  film  storytelling  speculativefiction  shanzai  china  innovation  resilience  ingenuity  poptech  body 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Humans will befriend a stick — as long as it moves properly - Boing Boing
"Human emotions and social interaction have a lot to do with body language — how our faces express what we're thinking and feeling, how our gestures are read by other people, and how we invade (or retreat from) each other's personal space. In fact, those movements and behaviors are so important that, if you map them onto an otherwise completely non-human, non-animal form, we'll start interpreting it as engaging with us — even if that form is nothing more than a moving stick.

This video, clips from a study that was published in 2011 by computer scientists at the University of Calgary, shows what test subjects did and said when they were left alone in a room with a stick-like robot, and asked to just think out loud and interact with the robot in whatever ways felt natural. Some people made friends. Others tried to fight it. And a few tried to talk it out of wanting to fight them."

[Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqPDenb6ByM ]
robots  psychology  behavior  johnharris  ehudsharlin  robotics  language  communication  friendship  social  socialinteraction  movement 
august 2013 by robertogreco
The Drone as Privacy Catalyst - Stanford Law Review
"Daniel Solove has argued that the proper metaphor for contemporary privacy violations is not the Big Brother of Orwell’s 1984, but the inscrutable courts of Franz Kafka’s The Trial.[11] I agree, and believe that the lack of a coherent mental model of privacy harm helps account for the lag between the advancement of technology and privacy law. There is no story, no vivid and specific instance of a paradigmatic privacy violation in a digital universe, upon which citizens and lawmakers can premise their concern.

Drones and other robots have the potential to restore that mental model. They represent the cold, technological embodiment of observation. Unlike, say, NSA network surveillance or commercial data brokerage, government or industry surveillance of the populace with drones would be visible and highly salient. People would feel observed, regardless of how or whether the information was actually used. The resulting backlash could force us to reexamine not merely the use of drones to observe, but the doctrines that today permit this use."
drones  privacy  law  legal  robots  danielsolove  mryancalo  nsa  technology  surveillance  bigbrother  1984  georgeorwell  government  industry  data 
july 2013 by robertogreco
‘Blue’ Businesses Eye a Planning Sea Change | Voice of San Diego
"Lots of industries under what’s being called the “blue economy” umbrella aren’t new. But they’re banding together with new technologies to confront some major hurdles to the work they want to do in the oceans.

The phrase encompasses ancient industries like maritime travel, defense, fishing, boat-building, shipping and cartography. But it also includes innovative “blue tech” endeavors like underwater robots, submarines, aquaculture, wind energy and desalination.

Their combined footprint in San Diego is big. More than 1,400 companies in the blue economy generate more than $14 billion in sales, according to a 2012 report produced by the San Diego Workforce Partnership, the Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Maritime Alliance, an interest group organized in 2007 to promote the blue economy."
blueeconomy  oceans  sandiego  kellybennett  2013  economics  business  robots  seabotix  regulation  aquaculture  desalination  fishfarms  marinespatialplanning 
july 2013 by robertogreco
JACK SCHULZE - Fabrica Lecture on Vimeo
“By expressing things, artifacts, ideas about the future, you cause the present to drift towards it, like an oil tanker towards an iceberg.”
technology  future  design  video  language  internet  robots  jackschulze  fabrica 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Tobias Revell on the future of art and design at 'A New Dawn' by ArtEZ studium generale, 24 May 2013 on Vimeo
"Tobias Revell outlines how the willing acceptance and grasping of uncertainty has led to a new way of thinking in the present and a resurgence of romantic futurism. He gives specific examples of solutions outside of a 'grand plan', new production methods that liberalise and free design and art from larger systems. He shows how science-fiction imagery and fantasy have penetrated the arts.
Opening lecture at 'A New Dawn' by ArtEZ studium generale on 24 May 2013, Enschede, the Netherlands."
tobiasrevell  2013  art  design  designfiction  futurism  systems  towatch  artez  uncertainty  video  debate  reflection  critique  change  futures  kickstarter  bitcoins  makerbot  3dprinting  reprap  globalvillageonstructionset  opensource  opensourceecology  cohenvanbalen  thomasthwaites  manufacturing  control  consumption  economics  systemsthinking  bigdog  robots  technology  normalization  marsone  uncannyvalley  spacetravel  space  film  nasa  hierarchy  music  vincentfournier  prosthetics  evil  googleglass  internetofthings  superflux  dance  computing  data  anabjain  iot 
june 2013 by robertogreco
IsoBots
"Welcome to my robotics site, first a little about myself, I am a product designer and educator. As a product designer I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects including concept automobiles, electric vehicles, medical equipment, exhibit design, wearable computers and toys. Although I am a certifiable car nut and lover of cutting edge technology, my favorite projects are toys. I love creating toys that might become a child's treasured object, I look back on my favorite toys that I had as a kid and can clearly see how they allowed me to develop my imagination. My goal is to give today's kids the opportunity to learn how things work and make working robots! My partner Anne Mayoral and I developed the ArtBots to implement this goal. Many times it is the first time the girl or boy has actually constructed something that actually works! The pride on the young makers face is priceless and the successful completion of the working bot instills confidence which is needed to encourage further engagement. I feel that this encouragement is missing in so many of today's toys and games. We have created several generations of kids that can turn on and off toys, have excellent hand eye coordination but lack in the knowledge and even the curiosity of how stuff works.

I reside in San Francisco and spend my free time tinkering with British cars, old motorcycles, RC gliders and building various robotic creatures. I teach at the Academy of Art University in the Industrial Design Department. I also run an after school robotics class for seven to nine year olds called ArtBots."

[via: http://make.berkeley.edu/ ]
robotics  robots  youth  kids  education  bayarea  sanfrancisco  making  chrismeyer  criticalmaking  makers  design  learning  toys  toydesign  toymaking  glvo  edg  srg  isobots  berkeley 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Chinese DIY Inventions - In Focus - The Atlantic
"One visible sign of China's recent economic growth is the rise in prominence of inventors and entrepreneurs. For years now, Chinese farmers, engineers, and businessmen have taken on ambitious do-it-yourself projects, constructing homemade submarines, helicopters, robots, safety equipment, weapons and much more. Some of the inventions are built out of passion, some with an eye toward profit, (some certainly safer than others), and a few have already led to sales for the inventors. Gathered here are recent photos of this DIY movement across China."
china  engineering  photos  photography  invention  inventions  robots  housing  arks  submarines  2013  vehicles  motorcycles  slides  houses  portability  mobility  nomads  disasters  airplanes  diy  making  makers  bikes  prosthetics  helicopters 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Null Object - interview - Domus
"To create Null Object, a block of Portland Roach (a type of limestone deposited 145 million years ago in the Jurassic geological period) was cut into a perfect cube measuring 50 cm on each side and then excavated using a KUKA industrial robot. The form of the void created by the robot is derived from an EEG (electroencephalogram) recording of Metzger's brain while he attempted to think about nothing for a period of 20 minutes."
nullobjects  objects  computation  eeg  robots  algorithms  brain  thinking  2013 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Romotive
"By combining smartphones with a mobile base, we create robots that do awesome things (telepresence, autonomous navigation, machine vision). Because software for Romo is distributed through the Apple App Store, our users download new behaviors and personalities for their robots at the click of a button. Anyone can build and distribute new apps for Romo using the Romotive SDK."

[See also: http://romotive.com/meet-romo ]
romo  android  iphone  robots  robotics  api 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Why People Really Love Technology: An Interview With Genevieve Bell - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic
"There's something in it that you recognize as being a kind of truth. The early ideology of the Internet was about radical transparency, free information, and the sense that the consequences of that would be this sort of massive social upheaval. I sometimes think the more-interesting things are the really mundane, banal things that the Internet and digital technologies are now part of: everything from how we balance our checkbooks to how we arrange our romantic lives to how we insure that there's still a paper that gets delivered to our houses every two weeks. I'm fascinated by that piece. And the ways in which the Internet has become not just part of our romantic lives but also our spiritual and religious ones, and clearly it's part of our political landscape."

"We've been in a decade of dematerialization, all the markers of identity. You and I, when we were younger, knew how to talk about ourselves, to ourselves and others, through physical stuff--music, the books on our shelves…"
society  fear  culture  web  internet  dematerialization  haptics  tactility  japan  robots  3dprinting  geography  intel  genevievebell  alexismadrigal  2012  technology 
december 2012 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] signs of life [These quotes are only from the beginning. I recommend reading the whole thing.]
"I've been thinking a lot about motive & intent for the last few years. How we recognize motive &… how we measure its consequence.

This is hardly uncharted territory. You can argue easily enough that it remains the core issue that all religion, philosophy & politics struggle with. Motive or trust within a community of individuals.

…Bruce Schneier…writes:

"In today's complex society, we often trust systems more than people. It's not so much that I trusted the plumber at my door as that I trusted the systems that produced him & protect me."

I often find myself thinking about motive & consequence in the form of a very specific question: Who is allowed to speak on behalf of an organization?

To whom do we give not simply the latitude of interpretation, but the luxury of association, with the thing they are talking about …

Institutionalizing or formalizing consequence is often a way to guarantee an investment but that often plows head-first in to the subtlies of real-life."

[Video here: https://vimeo.com/51515289 ]
dunbartribes  schrodinger'sbox  scale  francisfukuyama  capitalism  industrialrevolution  technology  rules  control  algorithms  creepiness  siri  drones  robots  cameras  sensors  robotreadableworld  humans  patterns  patternrecognition  patternmatching  gerhardrichter  robotics  johnpowers  dia:beacon  jonathanwallace  portugal  lisbon  brandjacking  branding  culturalheritage  culture  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  future  politics  philosophy  religion  image  collections  interpretation  representation  complexity  consequences  cooper-hewitt  photography  filters  instagram  flickr  museums  systemsthinking  systems  newaesthetic  voice  risk  bruceschneier  2012  aaronstraupcope  aaron  intent  motive  storiesfromthenewaesthetic  canon 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Procrastineering - Project blog for Johnny Chung Lee: Robots: Cute and Less Cute
"When it comes to robotics, I typically jump to the technical aspect of planning, kinematics, & tracking. It can get nitty gritty really fast. But, it's great to see what just a little bit of artistic creativity can do when applied to even the most modest of robots. I hardly ever see anything quite this "cute" come out of the robotics research community:

[video]

Okay well, there's KeepOn by Hideki Kozima & Marek Michalowski which is pretty good.

At the complete other end of the "cute" spectrum is this recent video from Boston Dynamics…

Boston Dynamics continues to push hydraulic actuators farther than I think anybody thought they could. But, why does it have run like some kind of giant insect rather than an actual cheetah? Surely, staggering the foot falls would provide mechanical advantages I am not knowledgeable enough to articulate. Developing a robot capable of matching the maneuvering performance & speed of a cheetah would be quite remarkable."
marekmichalowski  propulsion  movement  animals  cheetahs  bostondynamics  2012  uncannyvalley  hidekikozima  kawai  cuteness  cute  design  johnnychunglee  robotics  robots 
september 2012 by robertogreco
[this is aaronland] the status of truth
If you, as curators and archivists and generally anyone involved in the preservation of promotion of cultural heritage, think that the authority record is the pinnacle of your careers – that is, the most important thing you will leave behind – then you are about to be eaten by robots.
I am here to suggest that this the work we need to face in the years to come because the unit of measure for whether or not something is important is no longer dictated by the cost of inclusion.
Google has never wavered from their goal of being an information retrieval company because “information retrieval” is just a benign way of saying “everything”. If every natural language researcher on the planet uses Wikipedia as its training set Google was clever enough to realize that they could do what Facebook is trying to do by building a suite of tools – often very good tools – and treat the entire Internet as their training set for teaching robots how to interpret meaning and assign value.
Dispute is notoriously difficult to codify, especially in a database, but one of its most important functions is to shine a light on two or more opposing views so that might better see the context in which those ideas exist. I am not suggesting that we do away with structured metadata but this is not necessarily where all of your time is most needed today. You have the gift of magic that no robot will ever have: We call it language and story-telling and these are the things that you are good at.
I am saying that by encouraging documentary efforts outside the scope of the contemporary zeitgeist we create a zone of safekeeping for historical records and their stories for a time when we are ready to reconsider them.
I am saying that all those works not yet deemed worthy of a scholar’s attention still have value to people and their inclusion within a larger body of work is an important and powerful gesture for encouraging participation. Consider the authority record as a kind of gateway drug to scholarship.
internet  data  curation  waggledance  digitalhumanities  aaronstraupcope  glvo  cv  storytelling  human  humans  art  archives  search  google  metadata  language  robots  whatmatters  choices  via:tealtan 
august 2012 by robertogreco
The world's first city for robots | Green Futures Magazine
"A technology firm is building a metropolis in the New Mexico desert, replete with schools, parks and an airport, to test out future technologies in the absence of people.

A science project of unprecedented scale begins this month in the New Mexico desert, as a technology firm breaks ground for a model metropolis. Washington-based Pegasus Global Holdings will build a town replete with schools, parks and an airport.

But the intended residents are not people, but robots."
2012  robotcity  newmexico  robots  cities 
august 2012 by robertogreco
OPENROV
"OpenROV is a DIY community centered around underwater robots for exploration & adventure. We're a group of amateur and professional ROV builders and operators from over 50 countries who have a passion for exploring the deep."
robot  robots  openrov  underwater  rov  hardware  opensource  diy  robotics  drones  oceanography  droneproject 
august 2012 by robertogreco
lonelysandwich - Human-computer-human interaction
"As we learn to speak to Siri, we’ll learn more about how we formulate ideas into words, how to express those so that they may be understood with less margin of error, ultimately shortening the gap between intention and comprehension.

It’s safe to assume that as we learn to talk to Siri, Siri learns to listen to us. So we’re not simply assimilating with the robot culture, we’re fostering a new understanding between our vastly different types of intelligence.

Which is to say, Siri will teach us how to talk to Siri but maybe more importantly, how to talk to each other."

[via: http://spiegelman.tumblr.com/post/27082261842/on-the-virtue-of-brevity-in-email ]
human  interaction  language  accuracy  intention  comprehension  robots  2012  clarity  communication  lonelysandwich  adamlisagor  siri  apple 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Secretive US military space shuttle lands itself at California base | World news | guardian.co.uk
"A secretive unmanned US space shuttle landed at a California military base early Saturday, having completed a 15-month clandestine mission. The air force craft, which was launched from Cape Canaveral air force station in Florida in March 2011, conducted in-orbit experiments during its time in space, officials said. It was the second such autonomous landing at the Vandenberg air force base, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles. In 2010, an identical unmanned spacecraft returned to Earth after seven months and 91m miles in orbit."
space  USA  USAF  satellite  Guardian  2012  espionage  robots  via:Preoccupations 
june 2012 by robertogreco
The New Aesthetic Needs to Get Weirder - Ian Bogost - Technology - The Atlantic
"The New Aesthetic is an art movement obsessed with the otherness of computer vision and information processing. But Ian Bogost asks: why stop at the unfathomability of the computer's experience when there are airports, sandstone, koalas, climate, toaster pastries, kudzu, the International 505 racing dinghy, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to contemplate?"

[Nice selection of quotes chosen and comment by @litherland below]

Yes.
Rather than wondering if alien beings exist in the cosmos, let's assume that they are all around us, everywhere, at all scales.
Why should a new aesthetic [be] interested only in the relationship between humans and computers, when so many other relationships exist just as much? Why stop with the computer, like Marinetti foolishly did with the race car?
Being withdraws from access. There is always something left in reserve, in a thing.

Cf. Derrida, e.g., “L'annihilation des restes, les cendres peuvent parfois en témoigner, rappelle un pacte et fait acte de mémoire.”
thinking  via:litherland  futuristmanifesto  filippomarinetti  thecreatorsproject  gregborenstein  timmorton  levibryant  grahamharman  brucesterling  aggregation  ontography  carpentry  dada  futurism  surprise  disruption  ubicomp  georgiatech  awarehome  michaelmateas  zacharypousman  marioromero  tableaumachine  robots  robotreadableworld  timoarnall  alienaesthetic  nataliabuckley  avant-garde  craftwork  craft  art  design  intentionality  jamesbridle  computing  computers  davidmberry  philosophy  technology  thenewaesthetic  newaesthetic  2012  ianbogost  ooo  object-orientedontology  objects 
april 2012 by robertogreco
An Essay on the New Aesthetic | Beyond The Beyond | Wired.com
[New URL: http://www.wired.com/2012/04/an-essay-on-the-new-aesthetic/
See also: http://booktwo.org/notebook/sxaesthetic/
http://www.aaronland.info/weblog/2012/03/13/godhelpus/#sxaesthetic
http://www.joannemcneil.com/new-aesthetic-at-sxsw/
http://noisydecentgraphics.typepad.com/design/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-commercial-visual-culture.html
http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2012/03/sxsw-the-new-aesthetic-and-writing.html ]

"The “New Aesthetic” is a native product of modern network culture. It’s from London, but it was born digital, on the Internet. The New Aesthetic is a “theory object” and a “shareable concept.”

The New Aesthetic is “collectively intelligent.” It’s diffuse, crowdsourcey, and made of many small pieces loosely joined. It is rhizomatic, as the people at Rhizome would likely tell you. It’s open-sourced, and triumph-of-amateurs. It’s like its logo, a bright cluster of balloons tied to some huge, dark and lethal weight.

There are some good aspects to this modern situation, and there are some not so good ones."

"That’s the big problem, as I see it: the New Aesthetic is trying to hack a modern aesthetic, instead of thinking hard enough and working hard enough to build one. That’s the case so far, anyhow. No reason that the New Aesthetic has to stop where it stands at this moment, after such a promising start. I rather imagine it’s bound to do otherwise. Somebody somewhere will, anyhow."
machinevision  glitches  digitalaccumulation  walterbenjamin  socialmedia  bots  uncannyvalley  surveillance  turingtest  renderghosts  imagerecognition  imagery  beauty  cern  postmodernity  hereandnow  temporality  pixels  culturalagnosticism  london  theory  networkculture  theoryobjects  smallpieceslooselyjoined  collectiveintelligence  digitalage  digital  modernism  aesthetics  vision  robots  cubism  impressionism  history  artmovements  machine-readableworld  russelldavies  benterrett  siliconrounsabout  art  marcelduchamp  joannemcneil  jamesbridle  sxsw  brucesterling  2012  newaesthetic  crowdsourcing  rhizome  aaronstraupcope  thenewaesthetic 
april 2012 by robertogreco
David Graeber, On Bureaucratic Technologies & the Future as Dream-Time [at SVA]
"The twentieth century produced a very clear sense of what the future was to be, but we now seem unable to imagine any sort of redemptive future. Anthropologist and writer David Graeber asks, "How did this happen?" One reason is the replacement of what might be called poetic technologies with bureaucratic ones. Another is the terminal perturbations of capitalism, which is increasingly unable to envision any future at all. Presented by the MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department."
occupywallstreet  ows  anarchism  davidgraeber  alvintoffler  timothyleary  futurism  situationist  capitalism  collapse  economics  anthropology  robots  robotfactories  future  labor  efficiency  sva  self-governance  paperwork  decentralization  scifi  sciencefiction  humanrights  corruption  politics  policy  organization  2012  startrek  automation  technology 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Gardens and Zoos – Blog – BERG
"So, much simpler systems that people or pets can find places in our lives as companions. Legible motives, limited behaviours and agency can illicit response, empathy and engagement from us.

We think this is rich territory for design as the things around us start to acquire means of context-awareness, computation and connectivity.

As we move from making inert tools – that we are unequivocally the users of – to companions, with behaviours that animate them – we wonder whether we should go straight from this…

Ultimately we’re interested in the potential for new forms of companion species that extend us. A favourite project for us is Natalie Jeremijenko’s “Feral Robotic Dogs” – a fantastic example of legibility, seamful-ness and BASAAP…

We need to engage with the complexity and make it open up to us.

To make evident, seamful surfaces through which we can engage with puppy-smart things."
williamsburroughs  chrisheathcote  nataliejeremijenko  companionship  simplicity  context-awareness  artificialintelligence  ai  behavior  empathy  2012  interactiondesign  interaction  internetofthings  basaap  robots  future  berglondon  berg  mattjones  design  spimes  iot 
january 2012 by robertogreco
AU 2011: Otherlab's Saul Griffith, Part 1 - Pneubotics Yields Soft Robots on Vimeo
"At Autodesk University 2011, Saul Griffith, founder of Otherlab, discusses his pioneering work in Pneubotics. Otherlab is working on soft, fabric-based robots that are actuated by compressed air."

"At Autodesk University 2011, Saul Griffith, founder of Otherlab, talks about inventing and the type of follow-up required to see that invention go out into the world." [ http://vimeo.com/33131553 ]

"Part 3 of our video chat with Saul Griffith, co-founder of Otherlab, at Autodesk University 2011. Griffith answers questions about Theory vs. Making Stuff in education, advice for design students, and how to enable yourself to make truly unique things." [ http://vimeo.com/33131913 ]

[Later: "Solve for X: Saul Griffith on inflatable robots" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqP3IpEqkk4# ]
design  tools  toolmaking  saulgriffith  education  projectbasedlearning  2011  core77  glvo  making  doing  learning  learningbydoing  advice  robots  invention  failure  howwework  howwelearn  pneubotics  otherlab  pbl 
december 2011 by robertogreco
The Technium: You Are a Robot
"Everywhere we look in pop culture today, some of the coolest expressions are created by humans imitating machines. Exhibit A would be the surging popularity of popping, tutting, and dub step dancing. You've seen these dancers on YouTube: the best of them look exactly like robots dancing, with the mechanical stutter of today's crude robots trying to move like humans. Except the imitators robotically dance better than any robot could -- so far."
kevinkelly  robots  trends  technology  jaronlanier  computers  computing 
october 2011 by robertogreco
growbot Garden
"A large part of our mission is to facilitate a discussion between technologists and growers so that each can learn from one another. In order for this conversation to happen, it’s important for our participants to feel like they have enough of an understanding of robotics basics that they can thoroughly imagine solutions for their small farm. Simple DIY teaching tools allow illustration of and interaction with these concepts. The sensor station below, for example, indicates how sensors can read moisture, light, and proximity, all of which have relevance to small-scale, organic farmers and their day-to-day needs."
technology  robots  research  tech  via:russelldavies  diy  growbotgarden  gardening 
august 2011 by robertogreco
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