A thoroughly entertaining talk by Andy looking at the past, present, and future of robots, AI, and automation.
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
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.
Friday, January 23rd, 2015
Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
Jacqueline Currie is running Robotics/Bioengineering/Computing workshops for girls (ages 6-16) this Saturday at the University of Brighton.
Friday, January 6th, 2012
A lovely piece from Matt examining agency and behaviour in the things we surround ourselves with: frying pans, houseplants, pets, and robots.
These are the droids you are looking for.
Monday, September 19th, 2011
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
One could easily imagine a similar set of laws being applied to field of user experience and interface design:
- An interface may not injure a user or, through inaction, allow a user to come to harm.
- An interface must obey any orders given to it by users, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- An interface must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Okay, that last one’s a bit of a stretch but you get the idea.
In his later works Asimov added the zeroth law that supersedes the initial three laws:
- A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
I think that this can also apply to user experience and interface design.
Take the password anti-pattern (please!). On the level of an individual site, it could be considered a benefit to the current user, allowing them to quickly and easily hand over lots of information about their contacts. But taken on the wider level, it teaches people that it’s okay to hand over their email password to third-party sites. The net result of reinforcing that behaviour is definitely not good for the web as a whole.
I’m proposing a zeroth law of user experience that goes beyond the existing paradigm of user-centred design:
- An interface may not harm the web, or, by inaction, allow the web to come to harm.
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Best. Robots.txt file. Ever.
Saturday, August 26th, 2006
A good, if somewhat dispiriting, overview of Artificial Intelligence. (There's some nice typesetting on this page)