The ‚Tron‘ Suffix and the Promise of Future Technology

The suffix -tron, along with -matic and -stat, are what the historian Robert Proctor at Stanford University calls “embodied symbols.” Like the heraldic shields of ancient knights, these morphemes were painted onto the names of scientific technologies to proclaim one’s history and achievements to friends and enemies alike. Stat signaled something measurable, while matic advertised free labor; but tron, above all, indicated control. To gain the suffix was to acquire a proud and optimistic emblem of the electronic and atomic age. It was a totem of high modernism, the intellectual and cultural mode that decreed no process or phenomenon was too complex to be grasped, managed, and optimized. The suffix emblazoned the banners of nuclear physics’ Cosmotron, modern biology’s Climatron, and early AI’s perceptron—displaying to all our mastery over matter, life, and information.

The ‚Tron‘ Suffix and the Promise of Future Technology – The Atlantic

Zeynep Tufekci: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

Zeynep Tufekci: We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

We’re building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren’t even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us — and what we can do in response.

Racial Projects in Black Box Societies

Quelle: Racial Projects in Black Box Societies – Digital Sociology at VCU – Medium

Is there a coherent ideology at the core of Silicon Valley? Adam Greenfield responds

Is there a coherent ideology at the core of Silicon Valley? Adam Greenfield responds

„It is inescapable that those determining the shape of our choices when engaging with Information Technology are physically and culturally located in a very small region. Apple, Facebook, and Google are within a stones throw of each other, and even though they recruit from all over the world, there is an astonishing physic self-similarity among the people who work there, whatever their national or cultural origin.“ – Adam Greenfield, author of Radical Technologies

Das Kulturelle Gedächtnis und die digitalen Geisteswissenschaften

Das Kulturelle Gedächtnis und die digitalen Geisteswissenschaften

Das Kulturelle Gedächtnis, verstanden als generationenübergreifende, interaktionslose Kommunikation über aufgezeichnete kulturelle Äußerungen (Text, Musik, Malerei etc.), kann nur dann dauerhaft, nachvollziehbar und zuverlässig funktionieren, wenn der Kommunikationsfluss durch Gedächtnisinstitutionen organisiert wird. Gedächtnisinstitutionen pflegen das Kulturelle Gedächtnis durch den Aufbau eines Bestandes kultureller Äußerungen, ihre Bewahrung und Vermittlung an gegenwärtige und zukünftige Nutzer. Der Aufbau einer Sammlung entspringt im Analogen einer Idee, folgt einem Plan, entwickelt sich in der Geschichte, wird von Generation zu Generation weitergebaut, ist ortsgebunden, strukturiert und eingehegt. Mit anderen Worten: ermöglicht kulturelle Nachhaltigkeit. Nur, wenn sich kulturelle Nachhaltigkeit auch für über digitale Medien kommunizierte kulturelle Äußerungen gewährleisten lässt, kann auch von einem Funktionieren des Kulturellen Gedächtnisses im Digitalen gesprochen werden. Hierauf sind die digitalen Geisteswissenschaften angewiesen um nachhaltig Innovation und neues Wissen hervorbringen zu können!

AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals

The latest paper shows that some more troubling implicit biases seen in human psychology experiments are also readily acquired by algorithms. […] The AI system was more likely to associate European American names with pleasant words such as “gift” or “happy”, while African American names were more commonly associated with unpleasant words.

These biases can have a profound impact on human behaviour. One previous study showed that an identical CV is 50% more likely to result in an interview invitation if the candidate’s name is European American than if it is African American. The latest results suggest that algorithms, unless explicitly programmed to address this, will be riddled with the same social prejudices.

Hannah Devlin, AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals

Steve Jobs’s design philosophy was fascist more than it was exacting. 

Steve Jobs’s design philosophy was fascist more than it was exacting. The man was a not a demigod of design, but its dictator. He made things get made the way he wanted them made, and his users appreciated his definitiveness and lack of compromise. They mistook those conceits for virtues in the objects themselves.

The Myth of Apple’s Great Design, Ian Bogost

European historic mobility 0 to 2012 CE – YouTube

This video depicts European birth to death network dynamics 0 to 2012 CE according to „deceased persons“ in Freebase.com. The video was first published as Movie S1 in the article „A Network Framework of Cultural History“ by Schich et al. in Science Magazine on August 1, 2014. More: http://www.cultsci.net/

via European historic mobility 0 to 2012 CE – YouTube.

TMH5, Panel Three: Second Screens, Connected Viewing, Crowd-funding and Social Media: Re-imagining Television Consumption on Vimeo

TMH5, Panel Three: Second Screens, Connected Viewing, Crowd-funding and Social Media: Re-imagining Television Consumption on Vimeo on Vimeo

As the television industry has been remapping the flow of media content, as new forms of producers and distributors enter the marketplace, there has also been an accompanying effort to rethink their interface with media audiences. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a renewed emphasis on audience engagement strategies which seek to ensure consumer loyalty and social buzz as a way for individual programs or networks to “break through the clutter” of the multiplying array of media options. New metrics are emerging for measuring the value of engaged viewers and the kinds of social and cultural capital they bring with them when they embrace a program. So, for example, the rise of Black Twitter has been credited with helping to rally support behind new programs with strong black protagonists, such as ABC’s “Scandal,” Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” and BET’s “Being Mary Jane.” Second-screen apps are becoming ubiquitous as television producers seek to hold onto the attention of a generation of viewers who are prone to multitasking impulses. The successful “Veronica Mars” Kickstarter campaign opens up the prospect of fans helping to provide funding in support of their favorite stars, creators or series. And the commercial success of “50 Shades of Grey,” which was adapted from a piece of “Twilight” fan fiction, has alerted the publishing world to the previously underappreciated value of women’s fan fiction writing as a recruiting ground for new talent and as a source for new creative material. Yet, for all this focus on engaged audiences, does the industry value some form of viewers and viewership more than others? Which groups are being underrepresented here and why? Are the new economic arrangements between fans and producers fair to all involved?

Panelists:
Ivan Askwith – Lead strategist, “Veronica Mars” Kickstarter Campaign
Vicky L. Free – Chief marketing officer, BET Networks
Nick Loeffler – Director of business development, Kindle Worlds
Stacey Lynn Schulman – Senior vice president, chief research officer, Television Bureau of Advertising
Sharon L. Strover – Professor, College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin

Moderator:
Henry Jenkins – Co-director, Transforming Hollywood / provost professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Arts and Education, USC Annenberg School for Communication

via Transforming Hollywood: The Future of Television Conference Videos (Part One)

BoxOfficeQuant — Statistics and Film

BoxOfficeQuant — Statistics and Film

As a fan of film as well as data, I saw that there was a wealth of quantitative information about the movie world, and far too few outlets that examined them – so I founded BoxOfficeQuant.com.

Through this site, I hope to report on the financial state of the industry and attempt to predict its future; but I’d also like to dive deeper into the creative aspects. I’d like show that statistics can be beautiful themselves, as well as a route to appreciate the art of film.