design tags

Bull Session

Creativity and the Future of Work

January 26, 2018          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat about design and creative professionals and what the future of work might look like for them. Our special guest on the show is Daniel Harvey, Head of Product Design and Brand at The Dots, a professional network for “no collar’” professionals.

Alongside with the immense power and flexibility that technology can bring, comes an evolution in, not only how we get creative work done, but also why we do it. Values and behaviors are changing among job seekers in creative industries. We see some of this, for example, in the growing emphasis on project work, rather than on continuous employment. Further, with such powerful emerging technologies as AI, will it be possible, eventually, to automate creativity? And if this is the case, will people be able to accept that technology driven output as creative? How will designers and other creative professionals survive and thrive in this environment? It’s critical that we design roles and organizations that make the most of people, while leveraging technology. And, that we properly educate the next generation of designers so they can thrive and compete in the future. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
The Dots
The Dots iOS app

Bull Session

Smartware: Design and Function

September 28, 2017          

Episode Summary

On the podcast this week, we conclude our multi-episode discussion about the evolution of software and the future of computing, looking at how a handful of advances will come together to transform software and hardware into something new, which we’re calling “Smartware”. Smartware are computing systems that require little active user input, integrate the digital and physical worlds, and are continually learning on their own.

This week we’ll look at five ways in which Smartware will manifest in the design and functionality of future computing: Machines will do more of the “mechanical” work, interfaces will become invisible, environments will become customized to the individual user, physical presence will be optional, and apps, while fewer in number, will create a greater, networked ecosystem.

Bull Session

The Race for the Brain-Computer Interface

July 13, 2017          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we discuss the race for the brain-computer interface. Voice and typing are imprecise: A link from our brain to the computer would be much more effective. While this sounds like it could be the realm of science fiction, major research efforts are already underway. For instance, social media giant Facebook is attempting to build a brain-computer interface to translate your thoughts directly to the computer screen. This effort is being led by Regina Dugan, who previously ran the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Resarch Projects Agency (DARPA) and is now in charge of Facebook’s research lab, Building 8. At the same time, DARPA is investing $65 million in new funding to develop neural implants, allowing the human brain to interact directly with computers. And Elon Musk’s new company, Neuralink is embarking on a similar mission, to link the human mind to computers via brain implants.

Resources:

Facebook is developing a way to read your mind
DARPA awards $65 million to develop the perfect, tiny two-way brain-computer interface
With Neuralink, Elon Musk Promises Human-to-Human Telepathy. Don’t Believe It.
U.S. to Fund Advanced Brain-Computer Interfaces

Bull Session

Automating Scientific Discovery

May 11, 2017          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week we’ll look at automating knowledge work, and scientific discovery, in particular. There’s no doubt that knowledge work will change significantly in the coming decades due to massive computing power coupled with AI. It’s fascinating to consider the aspects of science, technology, and design that might be easily automated. AI and deep learning are rapidly changing areas of activity that were previously thought to be the exclusive arena of human cognition. For instance, in the pharmaceutical industry, AI might automate aspects of drug discovery and development, by helping to characterize drug candidates according to likely efficacy and safety. Additionally, the number of scientific papers published each year far exceeds any scientist’s ability to read and analyze them. It’s reasonable to assume that AI and deep learning could assist scientists in navigating this data.

Resources:
Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities
The BGRF is helping develop AI to accelerate drug discovery for aging and age-associated diseases

Bull Session

Celebrating 200

March 30, 2017          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we celebrate our 200th episode with a look back at some of the themes and guests that shaped the show over the past 7 years, including those at the top of their game in design, science, and technology like Kelly Goto, Phillip Hunter, and George Church. From episode 24, Kelly Goto talks about her pioneering research on emotional design. From episode 51, Phillip Hunter delves into “making things people want, not making people want things”. And from episode 169, geneticist and molecular engineer George Church discusses brain augmentation to fight cognitive decline.

Resources:
Episode 24: Emotion and Design
Episode 51: Making Things People Want, Not Making People Want Things
Episode 169: Genomics and Life Extension
An Interview with George Church of the Personal Genome Project