A thoroughly entertaining talk by Andy looking at the past, present, and future of robots, AI, and automation.
The transcript of Josh’s fantastic talk on machine learning, voice, data, APIs, and all the other tools of algorithmic design:
The design and presentation of data is just as important as the underlying algorithm. Algorithmic interfaces are a huge part of our future, and getting their design right is critical—and very, very hard to do.
Josh put together ten design principles for conceiving, designing, and managing data-driven products. I’ve added them to my collection.
- Favor accuracy over speed
- Allow for ambiguity
- Add human judgment
- Advocate sunshine
- Embrace multiple systems
- Make it easy to contribute (accurate) data
- Root out bias and bad assumptions
- Give people control over their data
- Be loyal to the user
- Take responsibility
I can forgive our answer machines if they sometimes get it wrong. It’s less easy to forgive the confidence with which the bad answer is presented, giving the impression that the answer is definitive. That’s a design problem.
The Robot Life Survey is an alternative-history from design company After the flood, where mechanical intelligence is discovered by man, noted and painted for posterity and science.
Absolutely brilliant stuff from Mandy (again). A long hard at today’s tech industry’s narrow approach to bots and artificial intelligence compared to some far more interesting and imaginative approaches in fiction:
- Ann Leckie’s superb Imperial Radch series,
- Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, and
- Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.
So in addition to frightening ramifications for privacy and information discovery, they also reinforce gendered stereotypes about women as servants. The neutral politeness that infects them all furthers that convention: women should be utilitarian, performing their duties on command without fuss or flourish. This is a vile, harmful, and dreadfully boring fantasy; not the least because there is so much extraordinary art around AI that both deconstructs and subverts these stereotypes. It takes a massive failure of imagination to commit yourself to building an artificial intelligence and then name it “Amy.”
Mappa Mundi Rubrum.
Print out the plans, fold and glue/sellotape the paper together, and you’ve got yourself the best sci-fi robots in recent cinema history.
This nifty place in Brighton is just down the street from me:
Our classes allow kids to get creative with exciting, cutting-edge technology and software.
See that helmet? That’s my helmet. Jim borrowed it for this video.
And now I think that the Future Friendly posse has a theme song.
I, for one, welcome our autonomous swarming robot overlords.
Wonderful musings from Matt on meeting the emerging machine intelligence halfway.
Electronic rock songs about anger, loss, frustration, love, the surveillance state, the Iranian election, uranium enrichment, Twitter, gene therapy cures for AIDS, the financial crisis and World of Warcraft.
Just imagine the world we would be living in if it weren’t for the warnings given to us by these film-makers.
Best. Robots.txt file. Ever.
Scroll to the bottom to see a nice robots-into-zomies effect.
A cute little game all about robots.
An online animated spaceship and experimental aircraft art magazine. Gorgeous.
Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.
User-agent: zombies Disallow: /brains