Weeknotes 197, art-ificial

Hi all! Back from a short break until last Wednesday. If you are into art and/or heritage and/or hiking you might consider having a look at esch2022.luloop22.luminetttrail.net; the place we went.

Not so much to share on last week for that reason. I attended Dutch Digital Day like every year since I was part of the program team again. Or more part of a reference board, almost all of the credits for the program are for Monique I think. It was a good mix. The event as a whole was the first one in person after corona and has to find its mojo again a bit I think. Or I need to find my connection of course… 

A short report in five tweets: On the first two speakers setting the stagesome doubts on new synthetic filter bubblesa live podcastdesign for emotions (and Tiktok)understanding culture.

On Friday evening I visited the opening of a new exhibition at Brutus: Wild Summer of Art, not so much related to the themes of this newsletter but if you are into art in Rotterdam style, it might be worth having a look.

Events for the coming time

With the summer started the event season is coming to a break of course. I am looking forward to the inaugural lectures of Anja Overdiek and Tomasz Jaskiewicz this Wednesday of course. Both much related to participatory design research and with Tomasz, I coordinate the research program Cities of Things Lab 010.

The Amsterdam UAS Communication and Multimedia Design has its yearly Golden Dots awards and a special celebration of 20 years CMD. Check it out.

So far for now.

News for this week

Art and memes. And with lots of artificial this week…

Where Is Design Fiction?
FUTURING – Julian makes this nice exploring emails on topics. Like this. Where is about what it is. “Design fiction brings a particularly expressive richness to the interpretation. It gives teams a chance to ‘feel’ and ‘handle’ the future. Design fiction artifacts become touch points to the future. They are not gee-gaws or things done ‘just for fun’.”
The Landing: Can GPT-3 write an academic paper on itself, with minimal human input?
ARTIFICIAL – “The short answer is, of course, yes, and it doesn’t do a bad job of it. This is conceptual art of the highest order.”What all these experiments deliver us is not a replacement of writing papers (or doing research), but an understanding what the essence of a paper is from the outside. And (even) better recognize these essence.
Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever 
DATA CITIES – Already back in 2020 the Google project in Toronto was killed, but “the Canadian city wants to get right what Sidewalk Labs got so wrong.” 
New PET-like plastic made directly from waste biomass – EPFL
MATERIALS – “EPFL scientists have developed a new, PET-like plastic that is easily made from the non-edible parts of plants. The plastic is tough, heat-resistant, and a good barrier to gases like oxygen, making it a promising candidate for food packaging. Due to its structure, the new plastic can also be chemically recycled and degrade back to harmless sugars in the environment.”
Meet your robot coach: Here are our predictions for ‘the next big thing’ in training tech for cycling 
COBOTS – “From real-time performance monitoring to training plans created by machine learning – what could be the next smart training tool that you need to know about?”
Robots that read human body language promise to boost productivity without taking our jobs
COBOTS – “Body language detection marks a new paradigm shift in human-robot interactions in an industrial setting.”
ETH Zurich develops wearable muscles – The Robot Report
BOOSTED HUMANS – “Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed Myoshirt, a soft exoskeleton that supports the upper body while the user moves their arms.”
ACMI x DALL·E mini. We thought we’d pass the ACMI… | by Simon Loffler | Jun, 2022 | ACMI LABS
ROBOTS – “In museums, collection object metadata is written for the museum’s catalogue by collection staff, registrars, and curators to describe what an object is, or looks like. In the absence of a digitised image of an object they are useful for a researcher or a museum staff member to find what they are looking for.”
Inside DALL-E Mini, the Internet’s Favorite Artificial Intelligence Meme Machine | WIRED
ARTIFICIAL – “The viral image generation app is good, absurd fun. It’s also giving the world an education in how artificial intelligence and machine learning may maliciously warp reality.” Hear hear.
filippo nassetti’s AI designs place spaceships into the painted worlds of bosch and caravaggio
ARTIFICIAL – Reverse Dall-E… “filippo nassetti’s AI generated artworks produce paintings in the style of famous figurative artists that include spaceships.”
Democratizing Reality: Designing for VR, AR and the Metaverse
UNREAL – “Explore how extended reality environments can be decentralized and reimagined through the metaverse and more.” Again with examples of Anadol’s work.
interview: refik anadol and hans ulrich obrist on ‘NFTs and public art’ at NFT ART DAY ZRH
ARTIFICIAL – It was super nice to see a work of Anadol at the Earthbound exhibition in Esch-zur-Alzette. Making art of artificial nature. So also interesting to check his opinion on artificial art markets. 
Box073: Pictures about Computers. – The Bounding Box
ARTIFICIAL – Another fine post by Tobias. With interesting links and an exploration on pictures about computers.
Pentagon finds concerning vulnerabilities on blockchain | TechRepublic
CRYPTO – “A new report reveals that blockchain is neither decentralized nor updated.” And explores possible consequences.
Mojo Vision CEO first to wear company’s smart contact lens
ARTIFICIAL – Also a layer added between real and interpreted reality. “Mojo Vision’s smart contact lens has finally made the leap to human testing, bringing the future of AR a major step closer.”
Scientists Are Trying to Grow Crops in the Dark | WIRED
ARTIFICIAL – It is always a interesting balance between disconnecting nature from the natural principles adding an optimizing layer, and at the same time bringing nature more near to us in cities. “One way to do that might be to grow crops in the dark using electricity provided by solar panels, which are many times more efficient than plants at turning sunlight into energy.”
Coca-Cola launches Pride NFTs, bringing the commercialization of Pride to new lows
PINKWASHING – Now combined with the best of hypes.

Paper for this week

There were a lot of people I know from academic design at DRS conference. Let me pick one of the papers that were presented.

Metaphors for designers working with AI

“This paper has set out some ideas around the use of metaphors when carrying out design with and around AI technology. It maps out some of the ways that metaphors are used generally, and picks out the use of abstractions and conceptual metaphor that characterize discussion around computer science.”

Murray-Rust, D., Nicenboim, I., and Lockton, D. (2022) Metaphors for designers working with AI, in Lockton, D., Lenzi, S., Hekkert, P., Oak, A., Sádaba, J., Lloyd, P. (eds.), DRS2022: Bilbao, 25 June – 3 July, Bilbao, Spain. https://doi.org/10.21606/drs.2022.667

This newsletter was sent earlier.

Published by

iskandr

Iskander Smit is an innovation 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, and chairman and organizer of ThingsCon Netherlands.