Many of those with severe speech disorders use a computerized device to communicate. Yet they choose between only a few voice options. That’s why Stephen Hawking has an American accent, and why many people end up with the same voice, often to incongruous effect. Speech scientist Rupal Patel wanted to do something about this, and in this wonderful talk she shares her work to engineer unique voices for the voiceless.
In the last German election, every major party had a policy on dealing with noise pollution. Increasing urbanisation and automation look like making the future an increasingly rowdy place. But then there’s noise and there’s noise, with many young people, research suggests, now finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate in a quiet environment. We explore our changing attitudes to noise.
During our 50 min conversation with Dr. Ishiguro we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: how and why he got interested in building androids and geminoids; whether it is possible to build disembodied Artificial Intelligence; what is human; the cultural East-West divide on the perception of robots as being good or evil; the uncanny valley and the Turing Test; the importance of implementing emotions such as pleasure and pain; the differences (or lack thereof) of hardware and software; telenoid robots…
Folks looking for a lighter take on the problems of designing for an imagined future might want to screen “Desk Set,” a romantic comedy from 1957 starring Tracy & Hepburn. It concerns a group of researchers at a national network (a thinly disguised NBC) who fear being replaced by an “electronic brain” named EMERAC. Although its name is very similar to the University of Pennsylvania’s ENIAC, EMERAC is really more like Remington Rand’s UNIVAC—the first widely available mainframe.
Considering the fact that this “sci-fi” is set, not in a world centuries beyond the Eisenhower era, but in a world we can now easily recognize as the mid-1960s, it’s amazing how much the writers, designers and set decorators got wrong. By the late ‘50s, it was already apparent that transistors would make mainframes ever smaller, yet EMERAC is gigantic, easily dwarfing every other element on the set. Granted, the size of EMERAC may have more to do with the idea that technology was a huge threat to the “ladies” of the research department. Its size was merely the physical embodiment of what the electronic revolution would mean to people who earned their livings with pencils and paper.
In spite of the laughable beeps, boops and groans emitted by EMERAC (at one point it actually vents steam), a critical scene absolutely nails what the computer/Internet revolution would mean to clerks and librarians. The president of the network challenges the researchers to retrieve an obscure statistic about damage to U.S. forests caused by the spruce bud worm. We’re informed in an aside that it had taken weeks to find the information with traditional, library-based methods. The nerdy mistress of EMERAC sits down at a keyboard and types in: “How much damage is done annually to American forests by the spruce bud worm?” Almost instantaneously EMERAC spits out the answer.
The original Broadway playwright, William Marchant, clearly saw where the world was headed, because we all do pretty much the same thing every day with Google.
It’s been around for over 40 years and is something we all use but take for granted. Email, it may not be as sophisticated as some of our newer social technologies, but in 2013 it’s estimated that there were over 2.4 billion users worldwide. But as the volume of messages increases what does it mean for the future of our already bulging inboxes?
From driverless cars to 3D printing, inventions that we once only imagined are now reality. M.I.T. experts Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson have dubbed this era of growing automation and digitization "The Second Machine Age." They join us to talk about what these vast and ongoing technological changes mean for our societal and economic futures.
Host: Michael Krasny
Guests: Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of "The Second Machine Age" Erik Brynjolfsson, professor in the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of the MIT Center for Digital Business and co-author of "The Second Machine Age"
Bruce Sterling on Augment Ubiquity Aboagora symposium, Wednesday 14th August 2013.
http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2013/2-402 Today, we see digital-based appliances and services appearing in different forms, places, and providing ever more diverse services. Improved attention to design has meant that complexity of the use of each has dropped dramatically, and yet, the collective complexity experienced across the spectrum of devices and scenarios from indoor to out, at home and on the go, is increasing significantly. Bill Buxton will share his perspectives on the premise that in this emerging world of ubiquitous computing, it is vital that devices, applications, and services are designed, from the start, by taking the other members of the ecosystem into account. Individually, they must offer great value, experience, and satisfaction, and combined, great design must derive value from all the other devices, applications, and services in the ecosystem, while continually reducing overall complexity.
No more dumb cars, the Federal government decreed this week. Or at least, no mute cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it will soon require all new cars to talk to one another. Share location, speed, direction and more, electronically. Vehicle-to-vehicle – “V2V” – communication. Right behind that comes the next frontier: self-driving cars. First they talk to one another, next they drive themselves. The auto industry, Google, and the law are all gearing up.
Tom Costello, correspondent for NBC News. (@tomcostellonbc)
Burkhard Bilger, science, nature and technology staff writer at The New Yorker.
Bryant Walker Smith, fellow at the Center for Internet and Society and the Center for Automatice Research at Stanford Law School and Stanford University. Lecturer in law. (@bwalkersmith)
John Absmeier, director of the Silicon Valley Innovation Center for Delphi Automotive. (@johnabsmeier)
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