The Augmented City explores collisions in Culture and Code that are happening as AI evolves from being a tool we use, into an immersive environment we live in. This podcast is about city life in the age of AI.
Outlook on 2021 w. Francesca Marie Smith, Creative Consultant & PhD Candidate
“I think anger can be a very powerful motivating force to highlight a problem and demand change. But I personally don't believe that anger is the best engine to make that change happen.”
Election 2020: The End of the Beginning for Social Media and AI
We release this show while votes are being counted from the 2020 US General Election.
Four years ago, we published one of the first Augmented City shows in the week following the election of Donald Trump. That show tried to illustrate the decisive role played by social media in the 2016 contest [see below for a link]. This time, we look at how social media and AI have matured as potent political tools and ask the question: how well will democratic societies weather the onslaught of fake news and other forms of digital content designed to nudge people in a particular ideological direction?
The 2020 election will force a reckoning at all levels of society and the technology industry about the impact of social media and AI on our democratic processes. One of the most important intellectual hurdles will be a realization that the Internet and social media are now mature infrastructures.
If Andrew Ng is right that AI (even social media) is the new electricity, we must recognize that digital pollution is as real as its physical counterpart. "These are early days" is an oft-used phrase that must be retired.
From 2016: https://soundcloud.com/the-augmented-city/augmented-city-project-ai-elections
The AC Interview - The New Barbarians & Modern LIfe W. Prof. Ian Angell
Professor Ian Angell is one of the most influential and controversial thinkers about the global consequences of information technology. Formerly the chair of the Department of Information Systems at the London School of Economics, Prof. Angell wrote a book called "The New Barbarian Manifesto", which published on January 1, 2000. I know the book because Ian and I bounced around certain ideas within it while I was a student at the LSE. We take a look at the ideas of Empire and Barbarians from a socio-political viewpoint in the context of technology and the breaking apart of the Post WWII international order. We don't agree on everything and neither should you. But given current times, many of the warnings from 20 years ago ring terribly true.
AC speaks with Dr. Steven Schkolne about the History and Destinty of Machine Consciousness
AC interviewed Dr. Steven Schkolne about his new book, "Living with Frankenstein: The History and Destiny of Machine Consciousness". We cover some of the scientific, philosophical and humanistic ideas and controversies about consciousness and what it means for machines to exhibit similar attributes. The rubber will meet the road with digital humans, 3D avatars that combine Hollywood quality realism on the front-end with AI in the back. Even if these creations pass the classic Turing Test, does it mean they're actually intelligent and/or conscious or does it mean we need a new test for both?
This interview builds on our continuing work on digital humans, the signature example of merging culture & code.
Synthetic Characters and Retail's Future: AC Interview Natalie Monbiot
John speaks with Natalie Monbiot of Hour One, a NYC-based company that develops AI-powered synthetic characters for retail and other types of customer service. This interview is part of our ongoing series about the blurring lines between real and imaginary people we meet online.
AC Interview - Metastage's Christina Heller talks about Volumetric Capture
AC speaks with Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage, one of LA's premier creative technology service providers. Christina is an expert on volumetric capture, the ability to capture a 3D media asset from a human performance. We go over the fundamentals of volumetric as well as how it's being applied in Hollywood for movies and for music.