Bull Session201 podcasts

Bull Session

The AI Mind

July 27, 2018          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we dig into the broad array of applications of AI and the role that the AI mind has in augmenting human intelligence. When it comes to AI, what kind of intelligence are we talking about? On one end of the continuum, we have Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) that’s theoretically capable of human cognition. AGI is an intelligent agent, aware of its surroundings, adaptable to a variety of circumstances, and capable of solving problems and achieving goals. But AGI is a long way from being achieved. On the other end, we have AI services today that specialize in particular tasks, narrow AI that can be used for things like image or speech recognition. Within this continuum, there are, of course, many different ways that we can create and apply AI to augment human intelligence. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
The Space of Possible Minds

Bull Session

Secret Design Skills

July 20, 2018          

Episode Summary

Our special guest this week on The Digital Life is design strategist, Ben Sauer, who’s investigating the idea of secret design skills for his new book. Design is filled with cross-pollination from other fields, from writing to architecture, acting to music. From these other fields we find ways of seeking, thinking and doing that are useful to a designer. What’s your secret design skill? Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Ben Sauer
Contribute your secret design skill

Bull Session

Digital / Human

July 13, 2018          

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we take a look at the strange new world of developing digital humans — convincing CGI rendering of people in virtual space, which may or may not be connected to AI. Pioneering this category of virtual person are brand influencers and supermodels on Instagram, like Lil Miquela, who conceivably could make money endorsing fashion products like clothing and make-up. In a B2B context, when wired up to an AI-driven chat bot, these virtual people could take the place of person-to-person customer service, as in the case of Ava, from Autodesk. What happens when we’re able to create convincing digital representations of people who can communicate and influence? Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
CGI “Influencers” Like Lil Miquela Are About to Flood Your Feed

Bull Session

Digital Disguises and Facial Recognition

July 6, 2018          

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we examine facial recognition software and digital disguises. It seems like AI-driven facial recognition systems are just about everywhere—from the face-scanning technologies for law enforcement and government to everyday social media tagging. Tools like these can be used for the public good or harm. And there’s no doubt that we’re concerned about facial recognition surveillance encroaching on our personal privacy. While clothing like glasses, hats, or even masks can somewhat inhibit facial recognition, it’s not a huge surprise that disguises of a digital nature, anti-facial-recognition systems, are on the rise as well. For example, researchers at the University of Toronto have developed software to hinder facial recognition using an algorithm that slightly alters the images. And while humans can’t really tell the difference, an AI that scans a photo altered in this way, won’t be able to identify a face. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
This Filter Makes Your Photos Indecipherable to Facial Recognition Software

Bull Session

Bio Threat Games

June 29, 2018          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we discuss “gaming” techniques and design fiction for the purposes of imagining possible scenarios around emerging technologies and their effects and consequences.

Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security recently sponsored an exercise in Washington DC, CladeX, to evaluate governmental response to potential future pandemics. This exercise introduced a scenario—using realistic virology and epidemiological models—in which a man-made virus was released as part of a terrorist attack. This CladeX exercise is similar to the type of envisioning practice that’s used in design fiction to work through the implications of a new technology, imagine it within a human context, and look at elements related to its misuse. As a part of the event, the Center for Health Security also presented strategic policy recommendations for preventing or reducing the worst possible outcomes in future pandemics. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
It’s fiction, but America just got wiped out by a man-made terror germ