Weeknotes 203; humanoids and co

Hi! Hope you have a great vacation. Working in a relatively quiet environment, or enjoying real vacation, or even a ‘workation’, it seems to be a thing becoming more popular as an overflow of the homeworking years…

My week was intense working on the startup I mentioned last week. Intense but rewarding, diving deep in fleshing out the language, applying it and thinking about the product.

For this week, the mix continues working on this and also writing further on the Web3 research document. The field labs are in vacation mode for this week. Events are also not on my planning, so let’s dive in the news of last week right away. Speaking of events, this one is new to me; not really a fit for my budget (and schedule), and I am not near Malmo, but if you are, the speaker’s program is quite nice. The Conference.

Most remarkable maybe the news Amazon is buying the data of your home via iRobot acquisition, leading to memes already on the nosy visitor proposing you should buy new stuff based on its scanning.

Another article praised a lot is a short fiction story by Matt Webb. Normally he does his post more as personal reflections, the fictional story is a nice way to introduce a phenomenon. I think the new form of interacting with our intelligent collaborators as we now start to get used to GTP-3 and Dall-E 2 is based on a ‘prompt-mode’. Conversational interfaces in reverse.

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Weeknotes 202; DAOs and Dall-Es 2

Hi all. Busy weeks unless the vacation times. Less different activities, mixing the work on the research paper combined with the first activities in participating to build a new startup. It will be the reality for the coming month.

I will keep collecting news bits and inspiring events to visit. However, that will be further in the future as we are in peak summer, of course.

Via the newsletter of David Mattin, I saw that House of Beautiful Business is running an “asynchronous conference” on Web3, or as they frame it, it fits their style, “the future of humanity, technology, and business in a decentralized world.” I do not expect to dive into it fully but listen to some contributions. I like to hear different viewpoints and mindsets.

I checked the meetup calendar, and Sensemakers is still going strong in the summer with a DIY session. Last week I mentioned dConstruct a bit further ahead, and it happened they announced the line-up just after. And instead of events, there are always podcasts, too many to keep up. Like Near Future Laboratory podcast and Another Podcast of Benedict Evans.

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Weeknotes 201; robotics and wheels

Hi! End of July already. Here and in the rest of Europe at least we see that the proof of a changing climate is happening. It is hot again…

In this summer vacation week, there is not so much to tell about events as they are not happening. I have had nice conversations about the field labs MUC AMS and C010 and am starting up a new activity, having a role at this start-up. Let’s share more later. Also collected some good stuff around Web3 from different perspectives. I am writing a report on this for a not-for-profit financial institution.

I finally finished Ways of Being, a bit later than planned. I liked it a lot, James is always adding different lenses on the things happening, which is inspiring and applicable.

All these activities will continue in the coming months I expect in maybe different focus/balance.

Not much to do at events. I skipped General Seminar for this time as with the time difference it starts end of the evening. You might have a look at some conferences in September like NEXT(Hamburg) and two golden oldies returning: dConstruct (Brighton) and Interesting (London). 

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weeknotes 200; autonomous ethics

Hi all. I continue posting the weekly newsletters for those who are not on holiday yet or are still reading the email from their holiday address :-)

I keep it short for the update part. Maybe good to mark the moment that INFO left the office at the St. Antoniesbreestraat. It was the office where I always worked; I had desks on every floor and built the lab with the numerous students that did projects. The basement was a great place for organizing regular meetups. Not only Behavior Design AMS that had multiple editions per year, and the same for ThingsCon Salons (the first Dutch ThingsCon edition took place in the building), but we also welcomed other organizations such as UX Cocktail Hour, Amsterdam UX, Club of Amsterdam, to name a few. So it feels a bit strange, but looking forward to the new office later this year, construction needs to be finished.

I don’t have any events on the roll for this week; it is a quiet time, low season. So let’s dive into the news of last week. I leave out the Twitter saga here but will share another Dall-E 2 tool as there was a kind of upheaval in attention last week. I can now use not only the Dall-E mini but also the original via Midjourney. Funny enough, they use Discord for the authentication and as an interface to enter search queries. Extra benefit is that you can look into all the queries and results of everyone else… 

On with the rest of the news; on the well-known topics of robotics and autonomous driving and the ethics of technology.

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Weeknotes 199; insightful robots

Hi all! One of the last weeks before the big vacation stop. Not for this newsletter though and just like TV is adapting to remote living and continuous accessibility to media, I am curious to see if there is a dip in reading here.

Anything noticeable last week?

We had a very insightful session with the people of Afrikaanderwijk for the Citylab 010 project of Cities of Things. And also had some good meetings for both the Amsterdam and Munich part of the MUC AMS project. And we discussed DLTs for resource communities in the context of a research project of AUAS

I attended the public lectures that is part of the inaugural ceremony of professors of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences Tomasz Jaskiewicz (partner in crime for C010 project) and Anja Overdiek. Both dealing with forms of co-design, participatory design, with different lenses: Civic Prototyping and Cybersocial design. Their publications are worth reading, I will share the links as soon as they are online.

In other news: who is surprised by the tactics of Uber? The research is impressive but we knew already of the geofencing in the apps to mislead regulators. But maybe it is a logical segway into the promises of Web3 I’m now diving into (more) for a research project. It is nice to listen and read back on the intentions of a different model of ownership and control and the hope to break the power of dominant platform makers such as Uber. We are just at the beginning of a hopefully near future where the promises become also tangible and applicable for the general users…

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Weeknotes 198; art and memes

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.

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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.

Continue reading Weeknotes 197, art-ificial

Weeknotes 197; autonomous

Hi all! Happy summer!

Looking back to last week let’s reflect on The Next Web. It was the first good old edition since pre-covid. Last October was an in-between edition I understood, and I missed that one. The location has changed to Taets in Zaandam; when living on the west side of Amsterdam well reachable by bike; for all others, it was kind of a hassle I heard from different visitors. I need to say that the talks I saw were not too inspiring and sometimes felt like ‘back to the future’. The atmosphere was nevertheless as always and met many familiar faces. So it was a good time to catch up.

Was there anything to conclude about the next web? Not really I think, the usual topics from metaverse to blockchain and some web3. There was less focus on startups, and the stages there were smaller than ever. There was more attention to spirituality and personal growth. Contemplating with someone trying to catch the current and next state I draw the conclusion we are still looking for what is a new state of reality after everything has pivoted into digital default. We are not back again, we maybe are living a hybrid life that feels like the in-between world of Being John Malkovich. Is this also linked to the shift to fluidity in identities? Or am I going too far now?

Despite the lack of direct inspiration was it valuable to be triggered into this kind of thinking. It proves that not always the content is defining the quality, it is in the end what it triggers.

It was nice to see colleague Anandita present on the Digital Twin together with Ard of Growy. It is a nice example of how making sense of connected things is in the digital twinning on multiple levels. Analyzing the twin is a great way of understanding. On the website of INFO you can find more.

Speaking on digital twinning; Monday morning I attended the first part of a conference on eHubs, aka metropolitan mobility conference, the final event of an Interreg research program. I could only see the first session with some politicians from different cities and researchers from different universities addressing some main topics. The connection of data for nudging people into a certain mobility behavior, from monomodal to multimodal, would benefit from a digital twin lens; what if the data and the service layer are the core place for the design of behavior? How will that relate to the physical touchpoints, and the orchestration of different mobility modes? This is something that deserves more elaboration but this newsletter is not the place for that.

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Weeknotes 196; ThingsCon recap

Hi all! Summer is nearing. And we are in a new peak event season, pre-summer is popular more than ever. The share of event-wallet is challenging next to a kind of unwary after two years of online gatherings. We experienced at ThingsCon last week how nice it is to be together in sessions sharing experiences and especially meeting each other in between. So we hope to be able to get back to the routine again with more events. The smaller size makes it even better, cozier, and more intense.

Speaking on ThingsCon, as I was going around dealing with production matters I could not experience the sessions myself. The wrap-up at the end showed however the learnings. We hope we can publish some impressions later. In a lot of sessions the relation between human and tech, from conversations with robots to concepts of trust, on an interaction level or philosophical, was covered. Justyna Zubrycka addressed a nice question to start with “How do we move about between the virtual and real-world so that our human experience is enriched instead of diminished?” She made references to the Japanese art of Mitate “the perception of an object in a non-habitual way, to contemplate an object as if it were something else in order to renew its meaning and experience”. Kris Vanherle showed with their Telraam open sensor solution how AI and sensing become part of the toolkit of a designer and maker of the currently connected devices, and what practical consequences it has.

At the exhibition, the animistic prototypes, AI mirror art installation and unintended consequences of smart objects, also illustrated a current phase in our relationship with intelligent technology that rules the physicality of things and vice versa; building on the ethical discussions we started in the earlier editions.

Events planned

This week I will attend some of The Next Web for old times’ sake. I have been visiting TNW since the second edition I think but skipped last year for the first time. The nature has changed a bit after it was sold to FT I think, but I am curious to find out if there is still a good social vibe, something that TNW for me always was known for; running into a lot of people from the digital community. We have good weather, that will help. INFO will do a session on digital twin with one of our clients Growy on Friday (14:40 at Growth quarters if you are there), with service designer Anandita presenting; looking forward to seeing that.

I do not see other events. CogX is happening in London if you are into that, Amsterdam Digital Society School has its yearly showcase on Wednesday.

Continue reading Weeknotes 196; ThingsCon recap

Weeknotes 195; intelligent car play

Dear subscribers. A day later; due to busi-ness and the day off for Whit Monday) we had yesterday. It might be the last week that I mention ThingsCon as the conference will take place this Friday. Maybe not the last week, I might report next week on the experiences.

For now, I leave it here with another shout-out. Check the latest program including exhibiting projects. You are of course still warmly invited to join and check it out for yourself!

About last week: I did visit Micromobility Europe. More tradeshow than sharing visions on the role of mm in our lives and our cities; which I missed a bit.

So many scooters, steps, e-bikes and other micro vehicles that all share an electric drivetrain and some smartness via a phone. Service providers were there in that sense often what is.

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