"...Neurala’s difference is in our DNA. Our first project for NASA was to design AI for autonomous planetary exploration. Supercomputers, GPS, active sensors, and Cloud were not an option. Essentially, we were asked to build AI that can run anywhere. To do that, we created The Neurala Brain, a highly efficient software which is based on the way brains work in nature. Today’s Neurala Brain builds upon that effort to enable industry-leading performance on devices with low-cost sensors and processors." Read more at https://www.neurala.com/tech/
Elise Thomas writes at Hopes & Fears:
"Right now, in a handful of computing labs scattered across the world, new software is being developed which has the potential to completely change our relationship with technology. Affective computing is about creating technology which recognizes and responds to your emotions. Using webcams, microphones or biometric sensors, the software uses a person's physical reactions to analyze their emotional state, generating data which can then be used to monitor, mimic or manipulate that person’s emotions."
"Corporations spend billions each year trying to build "authentic" emotional connections to their target audiences. Marketing research is one of the most prolific research fields around, conducting thousands of studies on how to more effectively manipulate consumers’ decision-making. Advertisers are extremely interested in affective computing and particularly in a branch known as emotion analytics, which offers unprecedented real-time access to consumers' emotional reactions and the ability to program alternative responses depending on how the content is being received.
For example, if two people watch an advertisement with a joke and only one person laughs, the software can be programmed to show more of the same kind of advertising to the person who laughs while trying different sorts of advertising on the person who did not laugh to see if it's more effective. In essence, affective computing could enable advertisers to create individually-tailored advertising en masse."
"Say 15 years from now a particular brand of weight loss supplements obtains a particular girl's information and locks on. When she scrolls through her Facebook, she sees pictures of rail-thin celebrities, carefully calibrated to capture her attention. When she turns on the TV, it automatically starts on an episode of "The Biggest Loser," tracking her facial expressions to find the optimal moment for a supplement commercial. When she sets her music on shuffle, it "randomly" plays through a selection of the songs which make her sad. This goes on for weeks.
Now let's add another layer. This girl is 14, and struggling with depression. She's being bullied in school. Having become the target of a deliberate and persistent campaign by her technology to undermine her body image and sense of self-worth, she's at risk of making some drastic choices."
"Yahoo has filed a patent for a type of smart billboard that would collect people's information and use it to deliver targeted ad content in real-time."
It goes on to explain in the application:
Also, depends on the mindset of the generation that comes next too... What if we don't even want to remember?
It never ceases to amaze me just how stupid screen culture is.
But now it's even parodying itself---in the way only the online spectacle can: by folding back into itself to keep us watching.
The problems and concerns, long since established, are all now just a big joke. Short attention spans. Superficial engagement with information. Advertising masquerading as content. The convergence of extremely powerful corporate empires that influence what we think, feel, and do, in a way never before possible. Distraction from the real world, while the real world burns.
The story of this first short is about the end of the world, and nobody even cares. Could that be any more close to home?
There's also a short about an "Uber for people," invoking the themes of exploitation, surveillance, and the enslavement-addiction to technological solutions that parodies the screen culture of today---especially the mindset of "apps fix all."
Can we see this as one thing in terms of another?
Likewise with, "Enter the Hive Mind."
What will you do, when it's time you're asked to put your whole self into the global computer even more completely than now? What is your personal threshold? Will you continue to "breathe life" into the machine?
This short video explores how the online world has overwhelmingly become the popular outlet for public rage by briefly illustrating some of the many stories of everyday people which have suddenly become public enemy number one under the most misunderstood of circumstances and trivial narratives. With the web acting like a giant echo-chamber, amplifying false stories and feeding on the pent-up aggression of the audience watching the spectacle, The Outrage Machine shows how these systems froth the mob mentality into a hideous mess, as a good example of where the spectacle goes and how its intensity has to keep ratcheting up in order maintain the audience attention, in a culture of dwindling attention spans, distraction and triviality.
Filmmaker and author Jon Ronson also recently wrote a book about this topic too, which is quite good. So You've Been Publicly Shamed. His TED talk is essentially a 17 min overview:
And a longer presentation with interview and Q&A from earlier this year:
"Alphabet's [Google] executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, recently joined a Department of Defense advisory panel. Facebook recently hired a former director at the U.S. military's research lab, Darpa. Uber employs Barack Obama's former campaign manager David Plouffe and Amazon.com tapped his former spokesman Jay Carney. Google, Facebook, Uber and Apple collectively employ a couple of dozen former analysts for America's spy agencies, who openly list their resumes on LinkedIn.
These connections are neither new nor secret. But the fact they are so accepted illustrates how tech's leaders -- even amid current fights over encryption and surveillance -- are still seen as mostly U.S. firms that back up American values. Christopher Soghoian, a technologist with the American Civil Liberties Union, said low-level employees' government connections matter less than leading executives' ties to government. For instance, at least a dozen Google engineers have worked at the NSA, according to publicly available records on LinkedIn. And, this being Silicon Valley, not everyone who worked for a spy agency advertises that on LinkedIn. Soghoian, a vocal critic of mass surveillance, said Google hiring an ex-hacker for the NSA to work on security doesn't really bother him. "But Eric Schmidt having a close relationship with the White House does..."
"Jason Bourne takes off his jacket, punches a man unconscious, looks forlornly off camera, and then a title card appears. The ad -- five seconds of action -- is a teaser for the full Jason Bourne trailer (video), which immediately follows the teaser. In fact, the micro-teaser and trailer are actually part of the same video, the former being an intro for the latter. The trend is the latest example of metahype, a marketing technique in which brands promote their advertisements as if they're cultural events unto themselves."
"Last year, the studio advertised the teaser for Ant-Man with a ten-second cut of the footage reduced to an imperceptive scale. [...] But where previous metahype promoted key dates in a marketing campaign---like official trailer releases and fan celebrations---the burgeoning trend of teasers within trailers exist purely to retain the viewer's attention in that exact moment. The teaser within the trailer speaks to a moment in which we have so many distractions and choices that marketers must sell us on giving a trailer three minutes of our time. This practice isn't limited to movie trailers, though. Next time you're on Facebook, pay attention to how the popular videos in your newsfeed are edited. Is the most interesting image the first thing you see? And does that trick get you to stop scrolling and watch?"
".....The Alternate Anatomies Lab is an interdisciplinary lab that interrogates the aesthetics, the ethics and the engineering of prosthetics, robotics and virtual systems. Its interest encompasses the post-modern condition, post-humanism, identity, embodiment and the evoking of agency in machine systems. Thus it creatively incorporates biomechanics and biomimicry in exploring aliveness with robots. AAL aims to generate concepts of the future that can be contested, critically examined and possibly appropriated."
Read more - http://www.alternate-anatomies.org/