technology tags

Bull Session

Diversity in Tech

November 10, 2016          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life podcast this week, we discuss diversity in the world of tech, and the cultural, economic and societal factors that contribute to the oftentimes difficult landscape of inclusion in the industry.

 
Resources:
John Maeda Steps into New Role to Help Bring Inclusion to the Tech World
Dear Tech Companies: Focus on Diversity, Not Foosball
The Lack Of Diversity In Tech Is A Cultural Issue

Bull Session

Are We Too Trusting of Technology?

September 30, 2016          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we discuss the question: “Are we too trusting of technology?”

It takes time to build trust in technology — using e-mail instead of mail, for instance, or using a credit card to purchase something online, rather than going to the store and paying there. But we now have a host of new, emerging technologies that could help us navigate life and death situations. How do we develop trust in these new systems?

An study conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology, placed people in a fake emergency situation to see whether they would blindly follow a robot, rather than trust their own instincts. According to the researchers, 26 out of the 30 participants decided to follow the robot, even though it was clear that it was potentially leading them in the wrong direction and into a dangerous scenario. What kinds of questions does this raise for battlefield robots or even surgical robots? How do we maintain a healthy skepticism, but still incorporate such emerging technologies into our lives?

 
Resources:
People Blindly Follow Their Robot Leaders

Bull Session

The Next Wave of Innovation

June 16, 2016          

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life, we discuss the next wave of innovation in technology and new forms of design that will come along with it. Emerging technology needs design —from the IoT to AI, virtual reality to robotics, nanotechnology to 3D printing, genomics to synthetic biology. We talk about where we’ve been, and where we’re going next.

Resources
LiveWorx
Gigaom Change
Journal of Design and Science

Bull Session

AI Goes to Art School

April 14, 2016          

Episode Summary

Can an AI create art? This week on The Digital Life we chat about the brand new “Rembrandt”, which was 3D-printed by an artificial intelligence algorithm, trained by analyzing the artist’s catalog of 346 paintings. The Next Rembrandt project, recently unveiled in Amsterdam, is, of course, not exactly the work of the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, but rather a portrait that replicates both the subject matter and the style of the artist with eerie accuracy. If art is an expression of humanity, a reaction to the world and the events around us, what does this latest AI advancement mean? We discuss all this and more.

Resources
The Next Rembrandt
A New Rembrandt: Can a machine capture an artist’s essential style?

 

Bull Session

Engineering Synthetic Biology

April 7, 2016          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we chat about the intersection of computer science / engineering and synthetic biology and Cello, a programming language for living cells.

At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Boston University (BU) synthetic biologists have created software that automates the design of DNA circuits for living cells. This software, called Cello, has the potential to help people, who are not necessarily skilled biologists, to quickly begin designing useful, working biological systems. Using Cello, oil companies, for example, could develop smart bacteria that could clean up oil spills. Cello, which is open source, can be downloaded from the online repository GitHub or accessed via a Web interface.

Resources
A Programming Language for Living Cells