Author page: Alison

Part II: Facing AI ethics

Last week I promised a Part II on Faces and the Digital based on an interesting podcast: The Digital Human: Visage, but this has morphed into thinking about AI, and the predictions of mass production of smart robots. So as a wrap-up of a series of 10 blogs I present my subjective view of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey – the 1968…

Part I: What’s in a Face?

High-Tech Faces The World’s first AI news presenter developed by Xinhua (China state news agency) and Sogou (Chinese search engine company) was recently unveiled ‘during China’s annual World Internet Conference’see Guardian article of 9 Nov 2019 and BBC video: My first reaction to this was: why would people prefer to hear their news from a fake person? AI as entertainment, art or…

Mind the Ga p: Sans Forgetica

Do we need more typefaces or individual fonts? As my last blog mentioned – we do a lot of reading on and off screen. Therefore, the background scaffolding to all that content – the type face, type font, and general formatting – is essential design to aid legibility. Typefaces are most often designed to be easy to read. But a recently released…

RSVP: What the Dickens!

In Charles Dicken’s Bleak House, a major theme of the book is reading and the inability to read – who can and who cannot read. One of those who is illiterate is Jo, a desperately poor boy who sweeps streets, and is continually being ‘moved along’ by others. As a English Literature lecturer vividly portrayed, when Jo aimlessly wanders around nineteenth century…

Fragments

Fragmentation and risk taking Maffessoli observes that the idea of the ‘individual’ is in retreat and is suffering fragmentation; and that the individual Self seeks a more profound way of being and is returning to the support of larger groups – this Maffessoli describes as tribalism (italics my emphasis): “The heir of the culture of reason, of a history we can control…

Who moved my data?

‘These would be a lot easier to identify with leaves‘. Standing amongst a thicket of white-frosted shrubs and broken twigs, minus temperatures, up to my hiking boot ankles in snow with a steady wind freezing my hands alongside two other chilled Albertans. ‘But I’m told by the expert shrubwatcher that you can do it‘ our volunteer guide added enthusiastically as she pulled…

“All the world’s a stage”

Amsterdam canal houses - credit Alison Carter

UrbanDash – a Virtual Reality game with as goal to get from Amsterdam Central Station to Herengracht in the shortest possible time without arguing with other avatars. The visuals and renderings of textures are supremely realistic – historic buildings, cafes, fast food restaurants – every element of commercial enterprise – even road works clutter the route. Any collision with non-human life forms,…

Dealing with bears on the (internet) road

Returning to my first blog, and Canada, ironically digital media helps me stay in touch with wilderness. YouTube films, for example, are reminders of a geography, if not exact location, I’ve experienced for real. There are many examples of people-wildlife encounters uploaded on YouTube. I like the following version of a ‘person-encounters-bear’ film, called ‘Grizzly Bear Encounter’ published by Shaun SW  for…

Pre-Myst generation

There are a couple of everyday, digital media terms that really bother me: ‘digital natives’, because it presupposes you can classify people into generations and dismiss alternative life experiences based on year of birth; and ‘social media’ because the term ‘social’ implies friendly interactions, not just neutral organisation of society, whilst it really hides negative behaviours such as bullying, hate speech, and…