Developing a Digital Asshole

In this day and age, AI is far too safe. No, I’m not talking about autonomous weapons – those are a real concern – I’m talking about social automation. Organizations and brands are releasing chatbots that are wholesome, kind, polite, accommodating, and completely fucking boring. The problem is that humans aren’t nice all the time. Sometimes…

Half Man, Half Machine, All Centaur

A robot is going to steal your job. AI is only a handful of years away from being smarter than you. The bot uprising is coming to enslave or kill us all. Deep learning is creating code that we can’t understand. The great digital divide is coming. Maybe. Or maybe there is another path forward….

Posthumous AI and the Digital Confessional

Many people are stuck with their eyes fixed on the AI horizon and the believed-to-be-inevitable singularity when humans transcend their physical form into a world of digital bliss. Regardless of which side of the singularity debate you fall on, there are many stepping-stones ahead of this extreme that warrant recognition and discussion not in five…

Talking to Yourself: Deconstructing Chatbots

Scanning is a tool used in foresight to uncover weak signals that herald shifts within different industries, behavioral changes, and other emerging movements that will shape the future. To uncover the types of signals that give way to true breakthroughs, our goal must not simply be breadth of exploration, but also depth of analysis if…

Robotic UX is Playing God

And I, for one, am both wildly excited and extremely terrified. This isn’t simply because of my twisted delusions of supernatural infallibility, or the fact that I still daydream about taking over the world with an army of mechanized minions. Nay, I’m interested in experience design for robots because it gives us the opportunity to…

Parlor Games and Asian Rooms: The AI Debate

Today I want to write a bit about the two sides of the artificial intelligence debate. The bulk of this piece – save some fun thoughts at the end – is going to be nothing new to those in the know, but there’s a lot of important prerequisite here that, since most of you aren’t…

Sexbots and Terminators: Exploring Gender in AI

Article written with Victoria Scrubb and originally appeared in MISC magazine. We’re playing God again. Every day it seems that videos, articles, or images emerge of humanity’s latest triumph in the robotics world and, with each subsequent release, we inch closer and closer to looking at ourselves through a digital mirror. Our ability to push…

Creating Smart Assholes

Just because you made a machine “smart” doesn’t mean you made it intelligent. Smart homes, IoT, AI, ubicomp, robotics, ambient media, pervasive computing – all are words that in one form or another describe our attempt to embed digital intelligence into the otherwise dumb, lifeless devices around us. However, as we engineers so often do,…