Tags: 2nd reading ambient informatics ambient intelligence ambient personality and data pov apple t-shirts barbie BIOTailor burroughs coffeeist design intentions directional ticket dispepsi final project update Fogg iphone apps ipod lie detector lockton media midterm MIPs Netflix non-human persuasive technology poison snooper Question 1 question2 Question 2 Reading 1 Reading 2 redesigning emotions Sandra's Exposure Presentation sensor networks social persuasion technology and transparency technovelgy Technovelgy Group Assignment tv weapons week2 Week 2 Week 3 Technovelgy Response week 4 non-human post week 4 reading response week 8 emotions

By (February 8, 2009) ()

HAL 9000
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

While not directly related to any of the previous reading, the concept of a machine intelligence that is both superior to human intelligence but also flawed in human ways is very interesting. Science fiction is a way of extrapolating where humanity will go, and some of it always carries over into hard science as well. Since we perceive the universe in human ways, the things that we create, whether “real” or fictional acquire human traits. A fundamental belief of many contemporary physicists and philosophers is that we will never truly understand the universe because of our human limitations – there are questions we will be unable to answer. This doesn’t sound so revolutionary, but for a while there, people did in fact believe that we would someday know everything. So the idea that we can create a superior intelligence is very compelling, but we add human flaws to it because it’s created by imperfect humans.

Architectural Coral
A Gift From Earth, Larry Niven

Architectural coral was another gift of the ramrobots. A genetic manipulation of ordinary sea coral, it was the cheapest building material known. The only real cost was in the plastic balloon that guided the growth of the coral and enclosed the coral’s special air-borne food.

Another idea I love, because it’s so close to what’s being done already. We have rapid prototyping, genetic, algorithms, smart systems of assembling architecture. The only thing that is missing is the bio-engineered architectural organism. This is the ultimate persuasive technology in a way, because the material really is the message. Plant it and feed it are the instructions – very natural actions that people intuitively do. It seems like the closer things are designed to the natural world, the more we can relate to them on an emotional level. What if the intent of the designer is to create things that are indistinguishable from the natural world?

Pape Machine
Ubik, Phillip K. Dick

Joe Chip hazily seated himself at his kitchen table, lit a cigarette and, after inserting a dime, twiddled the dial of his recently rented ‘pape machine. Having a hangover, he dialed interplan news, hovered momentarily at domestic news and then selected gossip

This is something we already have, and this exact scenario happened to me on Friday morning as I fired up my computer and visited my Google Reader account. Substitute Gawker for gossip, and coffee for the cigarette, and you’re most fof the way there. A fabulous example of machine-formatted information being pulled into your home, and an interesting example of how easy it is to get sucked into homophily. You would never need to read the interplan news or the domestic news, just head straight for Perez Hilton! In this case, it’s almost more like he’s cruising the internet even more than just using RSS – he’s actually dialing up a newspaper. It would be cool to know what else the author intended the character to access on his ‘pape machine…


February 8, 2009


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