Travel – Page 2 – Dune Scholar

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Category: Travel (page 2 of 3)

National Digital Forum (NDF) Conference – Day 1

The National Digital Forum (NDF) 2015 Conference held at Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 13-14, 2015, was very good and, since almost everything was related to a local New Zealand context, dare I say even better than the Global Digital Humanities Conference in Sydney this past July. The keynotes were great, the presentations were great, and I met new people and came away having learned a ton and picked up ideas for future projects and teaching opportunities. The enthusiasm of the attendees and presenters and the occasional debates made it a very engaging two days. I gained insight into the wonderful digital initiatives taking place in the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) and related sectors. Plus, I met several science fiction fans and was treated to a full-on Dune reference (with accompanying slide of a fan poster) in one of the sessions. It seems no digital-related conference is complete without a good dose of science fiction!

That being said, I took a lot of notes because so much was interesting. Here are some of the highlights of the presentations I attended (I believe all were recorded and are available on YouTube for those who want to watch them).

NDF Conference Day 1

Welcome Remarks – Andy Neale

If it’s not online, it’s like it doesn’t exist. If kids can’t find a moa skeleton online, will they just choose an emu? Where are the New Zealand collections? How is GLAM helping?

People, Communities, and Platforms: Digital Cultural Heritage and the Web – Trevor Owens

Owens emphasized that LAM are sites of community memory. Viewshare is a free platform for digital collections. In looking at video games, the discussions in forums about the games are actually more interesting than the game itself. Regarding ethics: companies are now controlling our online community spaces; we need to think critically about the future of this trend. Software is ideological, enacts ideology. It has a point of view and perspective and shapes the way things work. He gave the example of a beach that can only be accessed via one road that goes under a bridge. If the bridge is built too low for buses, bus riders (i.e. low-income folks) can’t get to the beach. The decisions made in building the bridge will shape the access. Reference was made to Matthew Fuller’s Behind the Blip: Essays on the Culture of Software: “software constructs a way of seeing, knowing, and doing”.

Regarding cognitive extension, he explained that expert Tetris players actually move pieces more because it takes less mental energy to see and not think about manipulating the shapes. Reference was made to Andy Clark’s Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension and the “Extended Mind” cartoon. Owens then discussed collective intelligence and the shaming that happens when someone asks a question that could have been looked up online. They might be told, “Let me Google that for you” because Googling is considered digital literacy now. PhpBB and bulletin boards have been outshone by the turn toward social media, but the language used to talk about online communities has also changed from hosting to managing/owning. Users are seen as commodities for managers to extract value from and need to have their behavior controlled. He called for us to enable people to be a community in contrast with Silicon Valley’s vision. LAM needs a seat at the table in the digital infrastructure of community memory.

There is the prospect of One Big Library. David Lee King has asked: What’s the most visited part of your library? (often the website!) Are you staffing it adequately? The focus is still on the physical rather than enduring digital sites. There is an opportunity to curate all Creative Commons works, but also provide entry point for collections (continuous flowing of Web > LAM  > Web > LAM). Chronicling America hosts digitized newspapers from 1836-1922. Owens discussed how when he shared life on Mars pictures on Pinterest as part of a project, it generated a lot of responses from people and was even picked up by news sites. Ultimately, sharing the research process and not just giving something that’s done allows people to do their own research and contribute [this reminded me of the research on problem-based learning vs. traditional lectures]. If Pinterest closes, wouldn’t it be better if we had our own purpose-built tools and resources? For now, we can use ready-built tools like Pinterest, but we should think beyond them. If we want to avoid the bleak future of Silicon Valley’s casino-mindset where social networks try to get people while they’re hot and use them up as if they were commodities, we have to take the chance to change that by enabling community memory. He wondered why Google was able to get libraries together to digitize content but they weren’t able to do that themselves: Take ownership!

How Crowdfunding is Changing the World – Jackson Wood

Pledgeme is looking into crowdlending next. Instead of getting little in a savings account, people could invest in non-companies and get repaid either in better interest or products like burritos. It would open up opportunities for NGOs, nonprofits, etc.

Problem with Gutenberg – Baruk Jacob

Jacob described the current age as a post-literacy one (digital culture) still trying to reconcile the previous pre-literacy age (oral culture) and book age (book culture, also known as the Gutenberg parenthesis). In oral culture, storytelling and making were the norm. Rather than reading a book, you would do something or hear a story. In digital culture, communication and learning are prioritized. These two non-book ages have commonalities. In fact, he said that while you’re using a literate format during texting, you actually are operating more in an oral format where grammar/syntax don’t matter as much as getting the message out immediately. He asked, How do we use makerspaces to develop postliteracy skills and how do we measure? Today most measuring is still literacy-based or numbers-based.

The Perfect Face, Tim Sherratt

Sherratt discussed the genetic testing done by www.23andme.com/ancestry and how www.faceplusplus.com/tech-gender/ can do gender, race, age, and expression facial analysis. There are potential issues with Australia’s “The Capability” facial recognition and Facebook’s DeepFace technology which are becoming highly accurate. Faces create a feeling of connection. With www.cvdazzle.com, you can learn how to camouflage yourself from recognition software. Consider that one outcome of these programs is that we become what they can measure; with measurement comes the power to control. But identifiers are not the same as identities.

Social Media: Do You Have an Exit Plan? – Adrian Kingston and Amanda Rogers

Te Papa Museum did an audit of social media usage and accounts. They determined that there were ones where it was unclear what the purpose is or who is contributing; basically, a lack of strategy. Things like TripAdvisor need to have a policy for how to respond to reviews. A project mentality of “deliver and walk away” doesn’t work in today’s world. If you do shut down an account, make sure to archive use/followers/screenshots for historical record. Do a health check on underperforming accounts. In the U.S., the NMAH did a survey and found out useful information. Tools to check out: Hootsuite, IFTTT, FollowerWork, GoogleAlerts. Have ongoing review and set periods to review performance. Use LeanCoffee to find and prioritize issues. Above all: avoid ghost towns!

Evolution of a Facebook Page – Janine Delaney

Facebook isn’t an archival site and it’s hard to find stuff as it falls down the page or in comment threads. The West Coast New Zealand group is outgrowing this platform and crowdfunding for  a Recollect site (westcoast.recollect.co.nz). It realized that Facebook Group content can’t be archived. Eventually an IT person made a script and was able to save most of the content. Facebook is good for capturing the spontaneity of people having conversations. Potential issues with the West Coast site are a perceived threat to cultural institutions: threat to revenue, challenge to professional standing, and personality clashes. However, site is very popular: 9,882 visitors in September 2015 with over 61,000 page views.

Our Collective Connections: How We Built a Collections-Led Social Media Game (#OneThread) – Gareth De Walters, Zoe Richardson, Rebecca Loud

The goal was to engage people more with collections at the Auckland Museum. The project used its existing network for contributors, including NDF, other museums, and Emerging Museum Professionals. Staff brainstormed ideas and needed collection literacy to get a good variety of object clues. They also used Trello to look at photos and collaborate with other contributors. Twitter has a good free analytics package. They have moved from people’s passive likes to engagement with the museum.

Collaborative Community Repository – Fiona Fieldsend

Kete is an open source tool for digitizing content. It partners with DigitalNZ to have community portals for people to contribute stories.

Talking to Each Other and Making Sense – Kate Hannah

Hannah is a cultural historian in a physics department. She notes that the terms STEAM or GLAM to those outside of academia are unfamiliar, or sound like punk rockers. A “public lecture” might seem public to us used to the academic environment, but it won’t be perceived that way by others. Public engagement is about more than school visits and guest speakers. There are multiple publics beyond schoolkids and those already familiar with universities/students.

Carrots and Sticks: Legal Deposit of GLAM Digitization Projects – Amy Joseph

This session raised awareness of the ability for the National Library to legally deposit digitized resources. The draft collections policy is that digitized resources are considered public documents for legal deposit and may be collected (principle no. 5). Research depositories like the University of Canterbury Research Repository are also included. Potential issues include a skewing of usage stats and reporting if resources are available in multiple places.

Cartography and Linked Data – Chris McDowall

The newly-formed Auckland Data Poets’ Society discusses visualizations and interesting insights. Mental scaffolding is useful. Having someone show you where all the points a human would touch the metadata really demonstrates how a user would use the system. McDowall advocated for making rough graphics and explaining them to each other; this is a really useful tool for thinking through ideas.

Faces and Failures – Ben O’Steen

He said NDF is nice because it is not like the “White paper-itis” in Europe where people come to give a paper but don’t really care what other people think. British Library Labs works with researchers on their specific problems and tries not to presuppose. Lab means experimentation and it has an annual competition. He said to try not to establish someone or a project as good or bad because of their affiliation. Although we often give names to a collection based on who paid for it or who found it, this is not necessarily relevant to the collection. He elaborated on common farce-inducing words which have so many meanings, when you use them people come away with completely different ideas: Collection, Access (“my favorite bugbear”), Content, Metadata, and Crowdsourced.

Due to paltry amount (too small, too big, other reasons) of material, there is a skewed digital corpus compared to overall holdings (bias in digitization). Reference was made to Allen B. Riddell’s “Where are the novels?” There are also peaks due to inferred dates/rounded-off dates (like 1815, 1820, etc.). Black boxes of algorithms are used to draw conclusions without context of the data. For example: a Google search of paintings of flowers will look through images, not necessarily just those keywords. We need to be skeptical of sentiment analysis and tendency to believe the labels. Reference made to @VictorianHumour and PoliticalMeetingsMapper.co.uk which tracked Chartist meetings through mining digitized newspapers and maps and organized actual walks around the city for people to learn the history. Keyword search fails miserably and bulk access is an issue. Simple data structure would help. Everything should have a URL and a descriptive page, be machine-readable, and enable access to all the data (images, XML, etc.).

The British Library has science fiction sets of images. Stripping context can stimulate research with the illustrations themselves. If fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. He mentioned Cory Doctorow and the fact that ebooks are actually licensed, not bought. There was a digital maps Halloween tagathon in Octobeer 2014 at the British Library. Google’s AutoAwesome can stitch together multiple photos (and choose only happy, smiling faces). Will AIs be changing history as they decide what a photo should be? Reference made to Robert Elliott Smith. Only mimicking the physical may not be the best idea. Nowadays, wanting access to everything is the default. Things don’t have to be catalogued or perfect to be useful to people.

~Something noted at one of the sessions: charging for images can actually lose money when staff time is considered.~

Highlights from 2015 Digital Humanities Conference in Sydney

One of the interesting aspects at the 2015 Global Digital Humanities Conference in Sydney was learning about the struggles in DH, which you don’t often hear about in academia. Because DH tends toward experimentation, people seem to be more open about discussing when aspects of a project didn’t work, or when a grand design had to be scrapped or modified due to unforeseen issues.

Here are some highlights of the sessions I attended over three days:

Organizational Practices in Digital Humanities Centers (Smiljana Antonijevic)
Having a separate DH center needs to be carefully planned because people may not use the space in the way you’re intending. One center built a nice computer lab but then undergraduates ended up moving in and going on Facebook all the time. Having a room with gadgets may not be enough to encourage people to get interested in DH. You need support (in accessible language, not “scholarese” or “programese”) to help train people. Otherwise, you can end up with an empty center.

The Question of the Luminary: Building a Resilient Campus DH Culture (Paige Courtney Morgan, Dale Askey)
There aren’t enough DH luminaries to go around so try to avoid relying on one person to carry a program and broaden the base by making local leaders (like library staff, IT staff, supercomputer labs). Even if you have a luminary, it can end up narrowing what people think DH is because they will associate DH with only that person’s projects. The best advice is to win the graduate students and the faculty will follow, and then the undergraduates will eventually follow. Having seminars that discuss the successes and failures is also important.

Psst! An Informal Approach to Expanding the Linguistic Range of the Digital Humanities (Elika Ortega, Alex Gill, Daniel Paul O’Donnell)
This was a really interesting session because it brought up an issue I had never considered that should be addressed not just at DH conferences, but any conference. Gill discussed the need for live translation so people who are comfortable in other languages can still engage and participate fully at the conference. He proposed a badge system that lists the languages you speak so people feel comfortable asking about them. He also called for the work of translating to become more prestigious so that academics will do it. This issue has come up again and again with other postgraduates I know who cannot find translations or transcriptions of commonly used references because that kind of work doesn’t count toward peer-reviewed publication quotas.

Publish: Whatever the Price? A French Study on Structuration of Costs during Publishing Process in Digital Humanities (Emmanuelle Corne, Anne-Solweig Gremillet, Odile Contat)
Apparently the main cost of publishing a journal is still the salary for the copy editor. The average time for an editor per journal/year is 10.5 months at a cost of 42,000 Euros. This means that digital publishing does not actually make much of a difference cost-wise. There is also the issue that paper versions still appear to present more legitimacy.

The Old Familiar Faces: On the Consumption of Digital Scholarship (Daniel Paul O’Donnell, Gurpreet Singh, Roberto Rosselli Del Turco)
Despite the increasing number of digital editions, scholars do not use them very much even though they know of and have access to them. There is a disconnect between interest in electronic resources and their reported use. On average, it takes around eight years for an edition to be cited after publication. There is still resistance to citing new editions even when they are being used.

Disciplinary Impact: The Effect of Digital Editing (Elena Pierazzo)
Humanities scholars must decide whether they are okay with the field splitting like Computational Linguistics did and cutting the relationship with the traditional discipline. Now, there is no interchange between them and mainstream linguists. The DiXiT (Digital Scholarly Edition Initial Training Network) meets every six months and is an intensive training camp populated largely by PhD students from a traditional scholarly background. The number of digital papers at disciplinary conferences has stayed around 14% since 2010. Could this be because there is no clear career path for in-betweeners in most countries? Pierazzo wants the discipline to innovate from within, rather than creating a new discipline.

Pedagogical Hermeneutics and Teaching DH in a Liberal Arts Context (Diane Katherine Jakacki and Katherine Mary Faull)
They discussed teaching DH to first and second year students in a Comparative Humanities program. They exposed students to different methodologies, like distance and close reading, and network and spatial visualization. Students had to think critically about what each method revealed about the subject matter. It was a high risk/high reward learning model. The course evaluations were overwhelmingly positive and even non-participating students eventually got engaged. Best quote: anyone who says you can’t teach DH to 18-year-olds…I challenge you.

Remembering Books: A Within-book Topic Mapping Technique (Peter Organisciak, Loretta Auvil, J. Stephen Downie)
The HathiTrust Research Center has 4.8 million books scanned. Why do we use the page as the unit of analysis and will this have to change with the changes in book publishing? Different editions of books might give different results in research projects.

Press F6 to Reload: Games Studies and the Future of the Digital Humanities in India (Padmini Ray Murray, Souvik Mukherjee)
She referenced Tara McPherson’s “Why are DH so white?” and how tools like XML are not neutral. There is cultural swapping that goes on when video games move countries/cultures. For example, rice bowls become doughnuts when they move from Asia to North America. There are no Indians in Call of Duty set in India, just Russians and Americans, as if they wouldn’t be concerned at the violence occurring in their neighborhoods. The postcolonial exotic is fashionable in games. There is a Developers Dilemma where women in India are doing a lot of the grunt work but not the original work of game design and creation. There are implications for those who speak up about issues like GamerGate.

Game of Thrones for All: Model-based Generation of Universe-appropriate Fictional Characters (Matthew Parker, Foaad Khosmood, Grant Picket)
Video games have ever-expanding universes as they develop. Huge worlds need an increasing number of characters to keep the suspension of disbelief and achieve a higher immersion. But producing characters is cost-prohibitive. Audiences are asking for more sophistication. This project is part of a larger one, NPCAgency, to create off-the-shelf characters with unique names and histories who can converse with main characters realistically.

Gender Markers: Distinctive Words in Male and Female Authorship (Sean G. Weidman, James O’Sullivan)
Using textual analysis, they looked at differences in the words female and male authors used in books over time. In the Victorian era, female authors used more words around family and personal pronouns, while male authors used more contractions, words about beer, and sexual language. Male authors’ words were more colloquial and quantitative. Interestingly, the use of personal pronouns is linked to mental health (Secret Life of Pronouns). More recently, female authors used more words of private/micro places (home, church, school), while male authors used words of public/macro places (country, earth). Females used the language of uncertainty (wondering, seemed, believed) and males the language of certainty (exactly, absolutely). But the context is key. Women may still write more about the home, but it is in a different way, can be critical of it.

What Do You Do With a Million Readers? (Roja Bandari, Timothy Roland Tangherlini, Vwani Roychowdhury)
There is research that can be done on crowdsourced literary criticism (like Goodreads or LibraryThing), like examining how people read and remember books. They often focus on events they like or plot summary. This project compared the reviews of books that had over a thousand reviews with information from SparkNotes to see how accurately people remembered the books.

Anatomy of a Drop-Off Reading Curve (Cyril Bornet, Frederic Kaplan)
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the topics in this session. It was about how ebooks can track precisely how they are read and the analytics can be used for multiple marketing purposes. In a July 2012 Wall Street Journal article “Your E-Book is Reading You” it found that science fiction readers read more quickly and finish most books they start. There seems to be an assumption that slower reading is negative. Will reading analytics be part of a digital novelist’s toolbox? As in, will they consider how people will consume their book and have that affect how they write? If they are paid by how much of the book is read (as Amazon is now doing with some books), will this stifle creativity? There is an ethical dimension to how ebook data is used.

Traces of Lives in Digital Archives: Life Writing, Marginalia, and Google Books (Tully Barnett)
Andrew Norman lost his job for taking pictures of workers leaving Google Books scanning facilities for his project ScanOps. Today’s reader can’t leave a trace like writing in a book or having a stamped library record. There is a loss of corrections, spelling changes, or a comprehensive intervention on the text that some readers have historically made. Google Books scanning has made books stuck in amber. This has also led to the discovery of handwritten notes which are enshrined in digitized form. OCR can pick up some handwriting. Writing in a book leaves traces of the multiple lives it touches which can alter the reading and research of these texts. Barnett also mentioned the Book Traces project.

Modeling Concepts to Improve the Search Capabilities on Ancient Corpora (Muhammad Faisal Cheema, Judith Blumenstein, Gerik Scheuermann)
Doing a simple keyword search on ancient texts is not always helpful when you are looking for concepts. Also, ancient texts have free word order, ancient vocabulary, different ideas, cultures, and practices we’re not aware of. Building in a feedback loop allows scholars to make changes.

Azar Nafisi and The Power of Literature at the Sydney Opera House

I am glad I discovered that Azar Nafisi would be speaking at the Sydney Opera House during my time in Sydney before I bought tickets to the opera Turandot (although I’m sure that would also have been enjoyable). Her talk on July 5, 2015, was so timely to everything I have been experiencing at a university in crisis, which pours money into STEM and sacrifices the Arts, and enrolls students who would rather stare at their phones than read a book.

She reminded me why literature is so important, and why it is one of the first things to be banned in authoritarian states. I immediately wanted to re-read her book Reading Lolita in Tehran and soon after the talk bought and devoured her new book, The Republic of Imagination.

It wasn’t easy taking notes in the cramped environment without a desk, but I didn’t want to forget some of her best points:

  • Books are irrelevant? What would a post-book world look like and would we want to live in it?
  • iPhones change every year but books don’t.
  • We need a wonderland to go to in order to refresh ourselves. We can transcend reality’s limitations. This helps us transcend tyranny of humanity and time.
  • “Irrelevance of the humanities” by the elite ignores that humans like stories, mythologies of creation.
  • We live in society that segregates science and technology and the humanities. Passion of scientist and precision of poet (quote).
  • 30-year-olds in Silicon Valley forget that creating a visual representation of water is not the same as actual water.
  • Power of curiosity. Margaret Atwood described how she saw a cleaver that “needs to be investigated” and this is how many authors come to write their stories.
  • All religious texts begin with a story.
  • In American, we box everybody.
  • Book wither and die if there are not new readers. Shakespeare, Moliere, Homer are validated when they’re translated.
  • Basis for empathy is curiosity.
  • Culture takes you to worlds you have not been to (would be great if our leaders did this).
  • Crisis of vision (not just crisis of economy, politics) since 2008. The Rein of Ignorance is threatening us.
  • In criticism, there’s an element of respect. You think they should know better. (Idea that FGM [female genital mutilation] is ‘just their culture’ is ridiculous and demeaning.)
  • Every culture has something to be ashamed of. Society is more sophisticated than the regime (pro- and against veil argued since 19th century).
  • Clinton, Palin, and Obama are all Christian, but who is more Christian? (same as her grandmother with the veil and her mother without it, but both are Muslim).
  • Immigrants bring new and alternative perspective.
  • Brutality is obvious in authoritarian countries. And authorities know the power of imagination to challenge authority. Engineers are not sent to jail; writers and artists are. Art shows us that we are all the same…we all fall in love, etc… Insidious and complex are threats to freedom that are less obvious in the West. We want to be laid-back, be entertained, let things go by (Kim Kardashian kind of thinking).
  • If you love your country, what kind of American do you want to be?
  • Can democracy survive without a democratic imagination?
  • American only had its newness to offer (Huck Finn and American literary independence).
  • Danger is complacency. How violent conformity can be.
  • As readers, we need to start conspiring, where we ask basic questions that our leaders are not.

Q&A

  • Recommendations for authors to read:
    • Dick Davis, British poet and translator of Persian
    • Ferdowsi’s “The Book of Kings”
    • Faces of Love (translator Dick Davis)
    • My Uncle Napoleon
    • Mage Publishers (Iranian Persian literature)
  • They demolish you because they can’t understand there can be other people who are different. (I think referring to terrorists and extremists.)
  • Monsters don’t come to you in monstrous shapes (lesson learned from Lolita).
  • Commercializing the imagination (Google, FB) is a bad thing. And our compliance, we’re buying this stuff.
  • With expanding canon, would minority writers be as popular? Reading Sojourner Truth in Tehran. (I think she said, she wouldn’t see why not.)

Digital Humanities Conference Keynote: Tim Sherratt and History

Tim Sherratt (@wragge; famous for “The Real Face of White Australia” project) gave the final keynote on “Unremembering the Forgotten” at the Global Digital Humanities Conference on July 3, 2015. He discussed memory and how certain information is considered important and worth remembering, and other info is discarded. He also provided several examples of Twitter bots that automatically tweet and can be powerful reminders of history that might otherwise be forgotten.

Some of the highlights were:

  • Problematizing the WWI Centenary
    • Ernest Rutherford and others were subsidized to travel to Australia during WWI, while German scientists in Australia were interred with many others because believed to be spies.
    • Commonwealth Handbook called Aboriginals the most backward race.
    • Celebration of the centenary does not deal with the legacy of racism. A half billion Australian dollars have been spent on activities, caught up with issues of nationhood and identity.
    • How are other deaths memorialized? What about worker deaths? Or childbirth deaths? Could we use Trove to learn about other deaths not being celebrated?
  • Memory
    • Fragmentary, uncertain, and colored/clouded by context.
    • Not like a query where you get the same answer every time.
  • Access
    • We think of it like a searchbox, but really it constrains us and constructs things (control not liberation) [Google’s algorithms].
    • Open Access vs. Closed Access: how can you have closed access?
    • Cannot simply be given; at some level it has to be taken.
    • Is political.
    • Data is not just a product of government, but an instrument of power.
  • Example of Practical Tools
  • Takeaway: It’s not about making things; it’s about making a difference.

Digital Humanities Conference Keynote: Genevieve Bell and Robots

The July 2, 2015, keynote at the Global Digital Humanities Conference in Sydney entitled “Making Life: the Art and Science of Robots” by Genevieve Bell (@feraldata), an anthropologist by degree who is now a VP at Intel, was phenomenal. It’s the best presentation I’ve heard and now I feel I am ruined for keynote presentations in the future because hers was so good. She moved so fluidly across the stage and really used the space; her voice was clear and compelling; and she used interesting stories and examples rather than just listing facts. I would love to be able to present like that one day and capture an audience.

She talked about science fiction and technology — and knew her stuff — and wove everything into powerful statements about why we need Arts minds alongside Science minds to consider the hard questions. I can’t stop thinking about and sharing with others her example of the driverless car and who is in the room when decisions are being made about which lives the algorithm might prioritize: a pedestrian in the road, a pregnant woman in the back seat, etc.

Some of the highlights I took away were:

  • You don’t want to leave engineers to build and run the world, entirely.
  • ROW = rest of world (not America) is how Silicon Valley can envision others.
  • Technology brought to life is anxiety-provoking. America goes from Furby to Apple’s Siri to Terminator without missing a beat. Yet 10 million+ Roomba vacuums have been sold.
  • Literature and film have been fascinated with bringing things to life and the consequences.
  • What questions might be ask of robots?
    • Problem of bodies: only some are marked female or minority. Do they need to look like humans?
    • Locomotion is complicated mechanics which movies make look easy.
    • What is their purpose?
    • What is degree of autonomy?
      • We already grant autonomy in many places (drones, driverless cars, Amazon algorithms, dating websites)
      • In Japan, robots are seen as our friend.
      • Who regulates the autonomy?
      • What if they become independent or sentient?
    • Is there an inner life of robots?
      • Right now, it is displayed as either poetry or death.
      • Masahiro Mori’s The Buddha in the Robot considers robots that would be more patient and Buddhist. We don’t like to acknowledge that people kill, not robots.
    • Technology is not ahistorical.
    • Conversations between engineers and scientists and Arts people should always be happening. Romantic poets were some of the only ones criticizing the Industrial Revolution.
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