Weeknotes 121; a model for AI collaboration

These weeks running into ThingsCon annual event are busier than expected, although I probably would have written this down last year too… In the end I did not have the time I usually have to browse the news and with a day of meeting decided me to skip last weeks edition.We are looking forward to a very nice edition. Rather different than last year for certain, as an online experience. But we think we made a program in good style of ThingsCon I think. Well, check out our full program here: goodthingsfest.org/program

Next to the overall organization I am active involved in the sessions on Trust Toolkit for AIwalk and talk on creating physical audio spaces, and, no surprises, the session on living with intelligent things. And the student program will be very nice too, come and see the exposition on Tuesday afternoon.

It is meant to pick a couple of sessions in the week and at Friday we have a more plenary feeling with talks accessible for all registered (more than 200 already). 

Back to the main component of this newsletter, at least in page-space: I could browse some of my most valuable newsletter sources and my Feedly stream and saw some uplift in posts on the AI/robot-human collaboration:

Software and Hardware for General Robots
So I have a feeling that there is more attention to the question how we will live together with robots, how we will divide tasks, or can do tasks together. A key development for next gen intelligent things imho.
R2D2 as a model for AI collaboration
R2D2 as a model for AI collaboration
Another nice piece on the changing relation between human and nonhumans (aka people and robots. She also refers to a positioning by Matt Webb on collaborative AI (“team AI”) and using Starwars references is always a win :-)
Four reasons why hyping AI is an ethical problem 
As counter viewpoint on the endless possibilities and the acceptance of AI, this is a nice counter argument?  Bias, discrimination, privacy violations, lack of accountability — AI entails a lot of ethical problems. Hyping AI creates additional ethical challenges on top of the existing ones.
Artificial Intelligence Is Now Smart Enough to Know When It Can’t Be Trusted
“How might The Terminator have played out if Skynet had decided it probably wasn’t responsible enough to hold the keys to the entire US nuclear arsenal?” Building in responsible thinking in AI sounds like an interesting starting point to prevent “a future AI-led apocalypse”.
Part human, part machine: is Apple turning us all into cyborgs?“With its iPhones, watches and forthcoming smart glasses, Apple’s gadgets are increasingly becoming extensions of our minds and bodies. It’s the big tech dream.”Is this the dream or is it more about the right interaction.
This is how we’ll merge with AI 
“In the same way that culture co-evolved with larger brains, we will co-evolve with our AI creations.”Another article exploring the relations of man and (intelligent) machine.
Amazon’s Echo Buds can now track your running workouts I have been mentioning the move towards Edge AI and the interesting hybrid concepts. Here is another example for using the intelligence: build a fitness tracker in the buds… Amazon is now outsmarting Airpods here.
Conversational storytelling 
I was listening to a podcast (That’s Myrony) with guest Marc Canter talking on his new initiative Instigate.ai, a tool to tell stories with AI (next to a lot of stories on the history of Silicon Valley). The premises sounded interesting but it is still very early judging the website.

And also…

social mask, the intelligent mask that can identify air-borne pathogens
social mask, the intelligent mask that can identify air-borne pathogens
Here in the Netherlands masks become finally also legally mandatory for public buildings. These type of masks are masks can help to survive the next couple of years of bubble society. “in order to detect asymptomatic people, the social mask has an integrated biosensor has been integrated that can detect infected particles.”
Last week we had a lab-session of the Connected Everyday Lab at TU Delft.  Angella Mackey did a nice presentation on her research through design approach for augmented fashion. This green dress brand was one of the research artefacts. Triggering nice questions on fashion as part of identity, eye of the beholder, etc.
This Autonomous, Wheeled Toyota Drone Would Refuel or Recharge Your Car On the Road“Toyota has filed a patent for an “autonomous fueling drone,” a wheeled vehicle loaded up with spare gasoline or a battery charger.“ Filing patents doesn’t say anything about the seriousness of an idea. And what to think of the concept. Does it solve a problem? Changing a battery pack seems more likely, but even more likely would these kind of ideas are overhauled by the shortening of charging times I think. 

Ok, one bit on ThingsCon

Podcast – ThingsCon
We decided to interview all authors of this year’s RIOT publication and so it was a small step to create a podcast. The first done by ThingsCon team. The first series is about the RIOT report, and we hope we can continue these “ThingsCon Stories”. You might expect me in one of the podcast together with Dries De Roeck to discuss our article on Ludicrous IoT.

Ok, next week I might do another short edition, and will be back with back-to-normal after ThingsCon. Hope to see you at some of the sessions next week, and/or in the online hangout after!

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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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