Accidental people

They show up everywhere. We’ve never met, and probably never will. These bodies don’t only appear in Google StreetView, but in my digital photo albums whether I want them there or not. They are most visible when I zoom in. They even get singled out by the “faces” feature of my photo browser, and I’m…More

De-generation

Occasionally when browsing the Internet I’m struck by the new and unexpected, ie by the sheer quantity of creative production. I’m perhaps of a generation that is still impressed by the volume of newness brought to light by postings on YouTube, Vimeo, TED, music channels, and architectural picture galleries, not to mention presentations of technology…More

Neuroscience eclipses AI

… at least in its ambition. The Blue Brain Project is a venture centred at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland in collaboration with IBM to create a synthetic brain in hardware and software. The project name references “Deep Blue,” the IBM chess computer that reputedly “beat” reigning champion Garry Kasparov in 1996.…More

Game noir

Limbo is a grim, award-winning video game in black, white and grey, involving a small boy’s dash through a lethal forest. At one stage the boy jumps across the corpses of similar little boys bobbing along in a river. Another game, The Path, has similar narrative connotations, described as a short horror game updating Little…More

Play anywhere

Computer games are undoubtedly big business. Currently 76% of children in Scotland (where I live) have a games console according to a recent Ofcom report, a figure that is surely on the increase. Does this trend constitute any kind of problem for health (DVT), domestic life or for society? In the early days of the…More

What are audiences for?

Publishers, games companies, broadcasters, performers and artists need audiences. Audiences as consumers function to provide a direct revenue stream: the bigger the audience the greater the income. In the publishing and the academic arena large audiences (big classes, lots of readers, many citations) equate to recognition, esteem, success, and high “impact” in some measure. Audiences feature in…More

Portable memories

We used to store our memories in paper diaries, and boxes and albums of photographs. Now we can store them on line, and contribute to a bigger pool of social memories. We can see other people’s memories, and add our own. You can also attach memories to objects via barcodes, QR codes and RFID tags.…More

Thought transfer

Creative people need to be given the tools to express themselves, to vent what’s inside to the outside world. They also need to develop communication skills appropriate to their inner talents. We are all creatives in a sense. Thoughts arise in my mind and get communicated to others, to be unpacked in such a way…More

A nation addicted to smartphones

This is the cunning strap line accompanying the release of Ofcom‘s recent information-rich report on the communications market. The adoption of fully-featured mobile phones (Blackberry, iPhone, Android) has rocketed in the past 12 months.More