X Media Lab

July 12, 2016 – ISSUE #1



NEWS FOR SMART DATA-DRIVEN AUGMENTED CREATIVE PEOPLE


X Media Lab Supporters,

Welcome to your weekly round-up of news you need to know – for smart, data-driven, augmented, creative people.

Change the world!
Brendan

“I sing the body electric“
Walt Whitman – Leaves of Grass

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SMART
Smart

What would a post-work world look like? Peter Frase gives four possible answers in Four Futures: Life After Capitalism: Communism, Rentism, Socialism, or Exterminism – take your pick.

Smart

And If advanced machines are taking all the jobs how will people earn money to support themselves? I read anything by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson.

Smart

In 2012 Momentum Machines built a robot that can make, wrap and bag 360 individually customised hamburgers in an hour. Co-founder Alexandros Vardakostas said “Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them.”

Smart

Amazon’s announcement hints at a growing trend where technology is facilitating an existence in which we never have to talk to, or interact with, anyone that we don’t want to, both in person and online.

DATA-DRIVEN
Data-Driven

In her new book, Weapons of Math Destruction, data scientist Cathy O’Neil discusses examples of algorithms that make troublingly unfair decisions. Algorithms that reinforce and magnify the old biases and power dynamics that we hoped they would eliminate.

AUGMENTED
Augmented

The world’s best-ever funded start-up, Magic Leap’s  allegedly revolutionary augmented reality technology may in fact be years away from completion and, as it stands now, is noticeably inferior to Microsoft’s HoloLens headset.

CREATIVE
Creative

The Garbage of the Week Award goes to the MIT Media Lab: Researchers from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) claim to have developed a deep learning system that analyses a static photo and predicts what will happen next.

Absolutely nothing can be inferred from any static image without a pre-existing narrative – what happens “next” in the Mona Lisa? Does anything happen, or even need to happen? Totally mistaken understanding of images.

Creative

I read The Circle when I was in SF last year and spoke with Dave Eggars but he declined to be interviewed because he said he didn’t have anything to say about transmedia storytelling or social media. The book’s pretty lame actually. Hope the film is better. Better read Ready Player One instead.

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