Weeknotes 193; more than human intelligence

Hi all. Last week of May. It seems that every organizer of events that normally take place in wintertime has moved their events to this period. Just like we did with ThingsCon; you know it when lot of the supporting functions are already booked. It makes the organizing a bit busier.

Speaking of which; the ThingsCon program starts to round up. We need some final sessions to confirm and it looks very nice I think. If you missed it, check it out!

Last week was dedicated to the Munich workshop as described in last week’s newsletter. We had some tours in the city on Tuesday to check two potential neighborhoods for the Collect|Connect Community Hub we are developing as field lab project. The Kreativ Quartier is an old industry place with lots of creative companies, maker spaces, theaters etc. It will also have dwellings in the future so it is maybe more for later a place for the hub we foresee, but it is a nice place to visit when in Munich. Same goes definitely for the area ‘behind’ Ostbahnhof. Back in 2004 when I visited Munich for the first time it was still a abandoned industry area turned into nightlife, now it becomes a typical creative place with offices and new dwellings mixed together. They left some of the old factories in that mix which gives it good vibes. A new building like this one by MVDRV that won some prizes makes it also worthwhile to check out.

For our community hub we will look in some adjacent living areas like Obergiesing or Haidhausen; thanks to our guide from the municipality of Munich we got a good feel for the places. I am looking forward to being back a next time! I might reconsider the train as a travel option; I have had huge delays on every trip I had in the last year (3 times). On the other hand, avoiding flying is a good habit of course.

I also visited a symposium on a new European research program that is set up on Inclusive Smart Mobility Hubs. Definite something to keep following; curious to see how it will develop further. It still needs some clear definitions for what hubs are but it looks like a nice consortium. The first research results on smart mobility typologies can be found here, including an open data platform they introduced to collect insights into all kinds of hubs.

We also visited some galleries and events of Rotterdam Art Week. We skipped the main event just like last year, and it is not easy to find out all of the side programs, but as a tip for next year: The New Current was again a collection of very nice work. My favorites this year were Tina Farifteh, Carl Rethman, and the work of Nath, Smink & Acket.

Events for the coming week

As mentioned, I will visit Micromobility next week. I bought my tickets for the special early bird price luckily as they are raised substantially after…

Work in the Metaverse is later today. Sounds a bit hyped but I think this institute is ok.

I will be visiting a symposium on “Gebruiksgerichte Mobiliteitsdiensten” at TU Delft today.

Back to in-person events is AiTech Agora; with Alessandro Bozzon this week.

I have never visited yet a Creative Morning in Rotterdam (and will not do this time, but I keep it on the list).

If you are into art; this piece Sun & Sea was one of the most popular Venice Art Biennale back in 2019; and not in a quite unique place in Rotterdam.

And if you are in the North of Italy, you might check this out.

If you are into academic IoT, don’t forget the call for paper deadline of this conference later this year.

News of last week

Now let’s go quickly through the captured news of last week.

Algae-powered computer runs for a year on light and water
ROBOTICS – Mixing different species of nonhuman artefacts; “An algae-powered computer demonstrates a sustainable, reliable way we could power small IoT devices in the future.”www.freethink.com  •  Share
Barcelona bets on ‘digital twin’ as future of city planning – POLITICO
CITIES – “In five years’ time, the structure of Europe’s cities won’t be decided in local town halls but inside a quiet 19th-century chapel in a leafy neighborhood of Barcelona. Housed in the deconsecrated Torre Girona chapel, the MareNostrum supercomputer — one of the world’s most powerful data processors — is already busily analyzing how to improve city planning in Barcelona.”www.politico.eu  •  Share
AMD launches Kria KR260 robotics starter kit – The Robot ReportROBOTICS – An Arduinof for robots? “AMD’s Kria KR260 robotics starter kit is scalable and out-of-the-box development platform for robotics with native ROS 2 support.”www.therobotreport.com  •  Share
Apple’s VR Headset Gets Closer to Actual Reality | WIRED
METALIFE – We will see. Is the Eyes Pod on the verge of introduction?www.wired.com  •  Share
Apple shipped me a 79-pound iPhone repair kit to fix a 1.1-ounce battery – The Verge
RIGHT TO REPAIR – It is good that there is more happening on repairability, although “The more I think about it, the more I realize Apple’s Self-Service Repair program is the perfect way to make it look like the company supports right-to-repair policies without actually encouraging them at all.”www.theverge.com  •  Share
The Myth of the Machine – by L. M. Sacasas
INTELLIGENCE – “If the myth of the machine in these three manifestations, was, in fact, a critical element of the culture of modernity, underpinning its aspirations, then when each in turn becomes increasingly implausible the modern world order comes apart.”theconvivialsociety.substack.com  •  Share
The AI and the Tree | booktwo.org
INTELLIGENCE – More Bridle, this time a blog by himself. “What we need are intelligences that help us do useful things in new and better ways, ways which we could not have imagined alone. AIs which are colleagues and collaborators, rather than slaves and masters.”booktwo.org  •  Share
Ways of Being – The Low Carbon Design Institute
NONHUMAN – Conversation with two bright minds; Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino is interviewing James Bridle. “For artists who are engaged with the world – which is not a requirement of art, but an interesting way to go about it – I think there is a responsibility to address the many problems we face, and artists have many ways of doing this.”lowcarbondesigninstitute.org  •  Share
Opinion: Elon Musk’s autonomous vehicle forecasts are not just too optimistic — they’re wrong – MarketWatch
AUTONOMOUS – I am not sure if this is about Musk or AV promises more in general. I think the latter, Musk is clickbair. That said, it is more interesting to read and think if you agree…. “Yes, the technology in AVs can make them much safer. But the faster the vehicle travels, the less safe it becomes.”www.marketwatch.com  •  Share
Robot can fly, swim or hitch a ride by sticking to other objects | New Scientist
ROBOTICS – Is it a hitchhiker of a parasite? “An amphibious drone that can attach itself to other objects with a suction cup could be used to track marine animals such as whales”www.newscientist.com  •  Share
Adam Mosseri Says He Wants Big Tech to Give Up Control | WIRED
DAOGRAM – “The head of Instagram has a vision for using Web3 to shift power from tech platforms to content creators—which he says will ultimately benefit both.”www.wired.com  •  Share
Using everyday WiFi to help robots see and navigate better indoors
ROBOTICS – I like these kind of different use of mundane technology to unlock new functions. “UC San Diego engineers have developed a low cost, low power technology to help robots accurately map their way indoors, even in poor lighting and without recognizable landmarks or features. The technology uses WiFi signals, instead of light, to help the robot “see” where it’s going.“jacobsschool.ucsd.edu  •  Share
🔮 Superminds bridging the innovation chasm #373
INTELLIGENCE – Better than focusing on AI leaping over humans, it is interesting to take a centaur-route: “I describe future superminds as the result of the interplay of networks of people and intelligent machines, thus generating emergent, superior (and possibly exponential) cognitive properties.”www.exponentialview.co  •  Share
The web3 world computer is at a 1970 level of development (Interconnected)WEB3 – “If the web3 world computer has only just reached 1970 then, first, don’t expect too much. There’s real utility to be found but in very prescribed use cases. But also, second, there are wild and unrecognisable transformations to come. There is room for imagination and invention.”interconnected.org  •  Share
Building a Better Middleman – O’Reilly
PLATFORMS – We are over the platforms, but what is next? “If you understand how your parties interact and what they want to achieve, you’re in a position to spot new product opportunities that will make your customers happy.”www.oreilly.com  •  Share
Haptics Device Creates Realistic Virtual Textures – USC Viterbi | School of Engineering
TOUCH – Will haptics become separate think after all? “USC Viterbi computer scientists have created a user-driven haptics search that can generate dead-ringers for real-world textures.”viterbischool.usc.edu  •  Share

Paper for the week

I need to mention the new paper for the Aitech research group:

“The concept of meaningful human control has been proposed to address responsibility gaps and mitigate them by establishing conditions that enable a proper attribution of responsibility for humans; however, clear requirements for researchers, designers, and engineers are yet inexistent, making the development of AI-based systems that remain under meaningful human control challenging.”

“Meaningful human control: actionable properties for AI system development”

Cavalcante Siebert, L., Lupetti, M. L., Aizenberg, E., Beckers, N., Zgonnikov, A., Veluwenkamp, H., … & Lagendijk, R. L. (2022). Meaningful human control: actionable properties for AI system development. AI and Ethics, 1-15.

Check it out here!

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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.