Hi everyone. Last week’s top-of-mind news was a bit hard to think of… Scrolling back the layoffs in Silicon Valley remain on top of the news; Alphabet, Spotify, and no exceptions it seems, apart from Apple. The latter is doing some silent product updates and switching on some hidden features in the Homepod mini, which is the way to go for product development nowadays. Nice to see how someone improved Siri by using a ChatGPT integration.
Speaking AI; The speed-up is still happening, and Microsoft has now officially made an additional investment in OpenAI, with new tools continuously appearing. Questions about the Intellectual Property of the generated visuals and text have been raised, and legal claims have been announced. In the meantime, Google is believed to be freaking out on ChatGPT. At the same time, Google Research is sharing its research progress. It is passing the Turing test already. It needs cheap human labor still to get it less toxic, Time claims.
I attended the launch of a new book – or rather, a collection of “cahiers” – called Action Design for Urban Futures, written by Ben Schouten and many other contributors. It is intended to form a Civic Empowerment Toolbox to help local movements organize activities to improve their neighborhoods and collective personal environment. It is targeted towards future designers, scholars, and policymakers, but also – and perhaps especially – those who are initiating these kinds of changes, with a planning tool to jump-start their civic initiatives. The planning tool is a matrix covering aspects of empowerment on one axis (mobilization, organization, operation) and societal levels of influence (individual, collective, institution). Previous initiatives are evaluated to gain learnings. The most actionable part is a game-like canvas to explore all these aspects together.
It is definitely an interesting toolkit. In the end, it is probably more useful for the professionals involved in bottom-up initiatives. I will look into it more deeply as part of our initiatives connected to neighborhood-driven design for the Cities of Things.
In the meantime, we have started the development of (software) tooling for the STRCTRL method and language. Working on the prototype and preparing for the next iterations will be the focus for the coming months.
Events in the Coming Week: What to Do and See? For those who are not following me on Instagram, there is a nice hidden gem in the old Foodcenter Amsterdam we explored; Markt Centraal is organizing evenings and lunches in the central market building that is worth a visit if you are curious about the heritage (like an original Keith Haring piece on the old Cooling Building) and nice food.
The more regular tips:
- Tonite, Design for Planet is happening again in London and online, with a lovely line-up.
- Also from London but fully online: IxDA is exploring AI co-creation in the design process this Wednesday
- A new edition of General Seminar, next Wednesday
- New for me, is this initiative on Metaverse & The City. This afternoon.
On with the news from last week. I captured too many things, but this is a selection.Continue reading Weeknotes 223; action design for AI futures