Bull Session

AI and the Juvet Agenda

November 16, 2017          

Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we chat about artificial intelligence (AI) and Juvet Agenda. In September of this year, a group of designers, innovators, and futurists gathered at the Juvet nature retreat in Norway to discuss AI, its trajectory and potential outcomes. The group explored making AI human centric, the big and small problems to solve using AI, and dealing with unintended consequences of the technology. The Juvet Agenda, an online publication that came out of the conference, highlights four major areas of discussion, including: power and control; bias, transparency, and authenticity; human and societal well-being; and perspectives for action. How do we understand and prepare for the opportunities brought about by AI? How do we consider AI within the toolset of emerging technologies? Join us as we discuss.

Resources
The Juvet Agenda
Clearleft

Bull Session

Designing New Experiences

November 9, 2017          

Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we chat with special guest Karen Kaushansky about designing new user experiences and interfaces for emerging technologies. Karen is an Experience Designer and Futurist, who works on products 5-10 years before they are on most people’s radars — designing new experiences from speech recognition to biometrics to autonomous vehicles. We discuss new technologies that should be on a designer’s radar now and how both the design field and the designer’s job is evolving. For instance, the design process for creating new experiences, like autonomous vehicles, needs to include ways of managing the unforeseen consequences of emerging technologies — a much different approach from design for more established product categories. Creating these new experiences requires understanding how a broad array of design factors intersect, from industrial design to interaction design to service design.

Resources

From Speech Recognition to Autonomous Vehicles
Evolving To Car 3.0
Microsoft and Amazon have decided to let Alexa and Cortana work together to control your smart home
Kuri

Bull Session

3D Printing Metal and the Future of Manufacturing

November 2, 2017          

Episode Summary

For our podcast topic this week, we chat about new developments in additive fabrication / 3D printing and the implications for the future of manufacturing. In the past, additive fabrication systems have used powered metal materials, which are both dangerous to inhale and have a risk of exploding. However new 3D printing machines from Markforged and Desktop Metal are impressive on many fronts — faster, safer and much less expensive than previous technologies. These 3D printers use plastic-encapsulated powders and extrusion systems, which can produce parts at 1/10th of the cost. They can currently handle copper and steel. Soon even aluminum and titanium will be coming. Designers need to pay attention to the overlap of digital and physical design advanced by these technologies. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
DEVELOP3D LIVE
Markforged
Desktop Metal

Bull Session

Techno-Utopia and Alphabet’s Smart City

October 27, 2017          

Episode Summary

For our podcast topic this week, we discuss the design proposal by Sidewalk Labs—a smart city technologies firm, owned by Alphabet, Google parent’s company—for the City of Toronto. Sidewalk Labs will be partnering with the city to create a mixed-use community on Toronto’s waterfront. The aim of the pilot project is to build a smart city from the ground up, drawing on recent technological innovations in software analytics, the IoT, and self-driving cars, as well as improvements in methods of construction, waste disposal, and energy systems. Concerns about privacy abound, however. A recent Toronto Star editorial voiced some skepticism that promises of security and privacy protection would actually be built into the new infrastructure of the smart city. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Alphabet is Trying to Reinvent the City, Starting with Toronto
Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to turn Toronto area into a model smart city
Don’t lose sight of personal privacy in futuristic city: Editorial

Bull Session

Tech Angels and Devils

October 19, 2017          

Episode Summary

For our podcast topic this week, we discuss the changing public perceptions of tech giants — Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon — and their power in and over our lives. Once seen as the facilitators of a potential techno-utopia, they’re now seen as … threats? Technology is no longer seen as neutral; It is, after all, created by people. And, the user is less and less seen as being in control; rather, we are being controlled. For instance, recently, Facebook’s tools have been used to undermine the US democratic process. But, where are we headed next? Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Tech Giants, Once Seen as Saviors, Are Now Viewed as Threats