Weeknotes 108 – on robots, automated arts, new systems, and thinging service

Last week I attended as planned the online seminar of Stacey on IoT with some nice panels with the theme Everything is Connected. The panels had good line-ups and it did a nice mixture of business in IoT with a touch on responsible implementations. I think it made clear how defining the services are for the IoT and both the design as the orchestration in partnerships brings challenges and opportunities. Due to the time difference, I could not experience roundtable discussions but luckily the video can be watched online.

I had to think about the book of Thinking in Services of Majid Iqbal of last year that also makes very clear how new types of things are not physical objects but services. Thinging in services.

On Thursday, I watched the NGI Forward session on ‘Dialogues on Digital Identity’ (watch replay) discussing what identities mean in times of fluid assemblages. This connects to that notion of services too. How do you know that the one that is onboarding your service is genuine? How to trust? With AI in the mix, it makes no sense to create ethical frameworks to regulate technology but focus on the processes. An important part of the conversation was on the question of centralized vs decentralized identity management. The UX of trust is super important.

We are looking into this topic too for the next ThingsCon event, a workshop on the Code of Trust on the 2nd of September. I will share the details next week.
This week summer has really kicked in and there are no (online) events on my calendar. However, I look forward to visiting the temporary exposition of the Boymans Ahoy Drive-thru museum that only can be visited driving in electric cars. I will let you know how it was (or follow me on Instagram and you will see some pictures/stories for sure :-) )

Maybe a bit off-topic, rather analog however the cars are electric. But not autonomous. Maybe an idea for car-makers for the future. Robot news is there of course as all weeks.

Kiwibot delivery robots head to San Jose with new partners Shopify and Ordermark More delivery pods. techcrunch.com

On our interaction with our new companions

A friendly, autonomous robot that delivers your food The future (now) robot is not designed for its core functionalities but for the way it interacts with us humans. www.youtube.com

iRobot’s New Education Robot Makes Learning to Code a Little More Affordable Robots as teachers. spectrum.ieee.org

Away from robots, to those things. And services.

Revolution R180 Smart Toaster This is what I like to call a complicator: adding smartness to make products seemingly more complex. “This one in particular aims to assist you in taking your bread toasting to a whole new level” www.blessthisstuff.com

More interesting on systems changing.

Could electricity be the currency of parking buildings in the future? I like this kind of rethinking systems to look at the future. I created a similar story fof energy market on its own as trading system for everyone (but supported by assistants). www.greencarreports.com

Apple reportedly acquires startup that could turn iPhones into payment terminals The payment market as next big field for competition. “Apple reportedly has acquired a startup with technology that could turn iPhones into mobile payment terminals.” www.theverge.com

KU author questions smart city assumptions I won’t claim big new insights here, but good to have another one with a kind of reputation jumping on the bandwagon. www.wibw.com

When Leaderboards Backfire: the dark side of zero-sum mechanics — and what to do instead “As a game designer with a psychology background, I’m not surprised. When we showcase zero-sum mechanics in our UX, we’re communicating what we value and telling customers how to think about our offering.” medium.com

The Security Value of Inefficiency – Schneier on Security True. Efficiency is ineffective. www.schneier.com

Automated & arty

Clients loved this designer’s work. Turns out, he was an AI I once visited the Art-Lebedev Studio for a studio tour. It was empty, too early end of the morning. I guess it was meant as a statement. Like this one: “His name was Nikolay Ironov, and for a year, he designed logos for influencers, restaurants, apps, and new products. As a critical member of Russian design firm Art. Lebedev Studio, his clients were happy with his work.” www.fastcompany.com

Photoreal Roman Emperor Project. 54 Machine-learning assisted portraits Not because you need it but because you can… Using the neural-net tool Artbreeder, Photoshop, and historical references, this guy has created photoreal portraits of Roman Emperors. medium.com

And heads-up for the new normal

Face masks are breaking facial recognition algorithms, says a new government study There is a famous Dutch saying (or better Cruyffiaans): elk nadeel heb zn voordeel. Every negative has its positives: Hiding from the invisible surveillance power by doing good. www.theverge.com •

Some longer reads. On the coming of age of a watch

Apple Watch: The Secret History of the iPhone Killer One of these long reads that are tempting to read but remain bubbling under the surface…. “The inside story of the Apple Watch: the people who made it, why it’s important, and just how much the world’s largest company has riding on it.” www.wired.com

Or a secret spot

The Cold War Bunker That Became Home to a Dark-Web Empire Diving into dark web narratives….www.newyorker.com

More darkness

Why Zuck is Betting on Social Collapse “In case you haven’t noticed, Facebook appears to give zero effs about preserving the integrity of the next election. And that’s a very bad sign because one of the key ways Trump is going to steal…” eand.co

To close, a nice time-killing-tool Drive & Listen A simple idea executed well: “Listen to local radio stations while driving through the cities around the world.” driveandlisten.herokuapp.com

Thanks for reading (or at least scrolling :-). Have a fruitful week!

For some years I send out newsletters via Getrevue. I started doing this weekly this year again. Last week I started by sharing this newsletter also via my blog.

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I am a design director at Structural. I curate and organize ThingsCon Netherlands and I am chairman of the Cities of Things Foundation. Before I was innovation and strategy director at tech and innovation agency INFO, visiting researcher and lab director at the Delft University of Technology coordinating Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.

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