Weeknotes 205; AI art and human AI

Hi all. A short update. Vacations are running to an end, but the events are not back yet. Personal activities are rather comparable to last week, working on helping the startup and the research paper on Web3.

I had a short and pleasant conversation with Julian Bleecker, and one of the topics was the new role that will emerge of a prompt engineer. Like being an expert in entering the right search queries to make interesting Dall-E 2 images. Two weeks ago it passed this newsletter connected to a different story. It will be a super important role indeed, and it will be a core interaction concept in many digital tools and services of the coming time, I expect.

So things are starting up again slowly with events. I considered this event this Wednesday ‘Hoe intelligent is AI’ (in Dutch). And if you are in London, definitely check out Interesting next week. And dContstruct of course as I mentioned before. In case you are planning to go to the Service Design Days in Barcelona in September, don’t forget to attend the workshop by Structural

The news of last week

The week that Adam Neumann arranged to fund a new initiative that a lot of people wondered if it was not the same old principles repeating… And a mix of updates on robotics and intelligent systems.

these 3D printed soil structures could become the building blocks of future homes
BIG DREAMS – “a team of researchers at the University of Virginia have developed a unique bioconstruction technology that could change the future of the building.”www.designboom.com  •  Share
Things You Should Know About Artificial Intelligence and Design 
AIART – “Armstrong assembles a fantastically broad collection of work exploring this new era of human-machine design.”www.archdaily.com  •  Share
Your smartphone could recognise you just by the way you hold it 
SECURITY – No people act the same; that opens up opportunities… “An artificially intelligent algorithm has learned to recognize people from the way their hands shake when they hold a smartphone”www.newscientist.com  •  Share
Erik Prince wants to sell you a “secure” smartphone that’s too good to be true 
SUSTAINABLLE – “MIT Technology Review obtained Prince’s investor presentation for the “RedPill Phone,” which promises more than it could possibly deliver.”www.technologyreview.com  •  Share
Algorithm learns to correct 3D printing errors for different parts, materials and systems 
PRINT – Mundane AI is really the following big things. “Engineers have created intelligent 3D printers that can quickly detect and correct errors, even in previously unseen designs, or unfamiliar materials like ketchup and mayonnaise, by learning from the experiences of other machines.”www.cam.ac.uk  •  Share
A New Neuromorphic Chip for AI on the Edge, at a Small Fraction of the Energy and Size
SILICON – I always am interested in the latest developments on a deeper level. Like chips. “An international team of researchers has designed and built a chip that runs computations directly in memory and can run a wide variety of AI applications–all at a fraction of the energy consumed by computing platforms for general-purpose AI computing”ucsdnews.ucsd.edu  •  Share
Resilient robots
GROWING UP – “Resilient robot teams juggle competing priorities without deadlock” www.seas.harvard.edu  •  Share
What Happens When A Robot Becomes Self-Aware Of Its Body?
ROBOTICS – Robots typically lack forms of awareness but allowing them to image map their bodies and maneuverability might help them perform better.screenrant.com  •  Share
For the First Time – A Robot Has Learned To Imagine Itself
ROBOTICS – “Humans develop our body models as infants, and robots are starting to do the same. A team at Columbia Engineering revealed today that they have developed a robot that, for the first time, can learn a model of its whole body from scratch without any human aid.”scitechdaily.com  •  Share
Snap is giving up on its Pixy drone after just four months
PRODUCT ARE HARD – “Snap won’t be developing future versions of its recently introduced Pixy selfie drone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company apparently still plans to sell the current model.”www.theverge.com  •  Share
Stacey on IoT
NEW OFFICES – “If you live in a smart home, how do you interact with it? Chances are you do so in one of two ways: Either you speak to a voice assistant or you tap around on a mobile application…. ”mailchi.mp  •  Share
At Google, robots go to school and learn using AI algorithms
HUMANAI – “In a drab Google office park in Silicon Valley, robots are going to school, using AI algorithms to learn how to play ping pong and clean up after humans.”www.washingtonpost.com  •  Share
meet SOULS, the interactive NFT collectibles that dance and sing by SiA and david oreilly
NFT – Fun. “SiA and David OReilly have collaborated on SOULS, an NFT collection of 10,000 unique interactive beings living on Ethereum.”www.designboom.com  •  Share
Beyond Hyperanthropomorphism – by Venkatesh Rao
INTELLIGENCE – “I am talking about “special” fears of AI and robots. In particular, ones that arise from our tendency to indulge in what I will call hyperanthropomorphic projection, which I define as attributing to AI technologies “super” versions of traits that we perceive in ourselves in poorly theorized, often ill-posed ways.”An essay by Venkatesh Rao (behind a paywall, I am afraid), I hope I will find time soon to read.studio.ribbonfarm.com  •  Share
Adam Neumann, WeWork’s former CEO, has new real estate startup Flow, reportedly valued at more than $1 billion
EVERYTHING TECH – “Nearly three years after Adam Neumann stepped down as CEO of WeWork following a failed attempt to take the company public, he is said to once again be in charge of a billion-dollar real estate startup.”edition.cnn.com  •  Share
April Dunford on Twitter: “Product walkthrough demos generally suck (I’ve seen a lot of them). I think doing a good one is easy. Here’s how I like to think about it – 1/13” 
BIZDEV – Sharp Twitter stream on the needed steps for a good product position and sale.twitter.com  •  Share

Paper for this week

One of the newer articles on web3 and related I used in the research paper I’m writing is this one diving deeper in Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul.“In this paper, we illustrate how non-transferable “soulbound” tokens (SBTs) representing the commitments, credentials, and aliations of “Souls” can encode the trust networks of the real economy to establish provenance and reputation.”Weyl, E. G., Ohlhaver, P., & Buterin, V. (2022). Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul. Available at SSRN 4105763Find the full paper here (PDF).

This is a repost of the newsletter.

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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.