Reading Assignment #2

Intelligence on Tap:

It’s an interesting concept to basically give a machine a brain of its own.  How far we have come with technological advances is truly astonishing. However, things that are cool, for the lack of a better word, aren’t always good for us. You can teach a machine to track your habits and help you with everyday tasks, but a machine isn’t human. It cant account for you being spontaneous or just having a change of heart. And if we have machines becoming an even larger part of our lives and replacing living companions, how will that affect us socially? Will it keep people from forming normal relationships? Or will it give someone who is lonely something to be happy about?

Challenges for Working with Machine Learning as a Design Material:

I think using machine learning should continue to have as much human touch as possible. There are certain things that machines can achieve that humans can not and vice versa. While machines understand numbers, man can empathize. Within this world, we have already been given everything we need to have a beautiful and efficient system, yet we keep seeking alternatives. There is always room to improve, but I worry that we will get to a point where we have pawned off all life’s trials and tribulations to a machine and no longer have the knowledge to do things for our selves. It would be similar to societies who have forgotten their traditions and no longer poses the ability to make things half as spectacular as their ancestors once did using their bare hands and little to no tools.

Machines Learning Culture:
The first thing I thought while reading this article is that there is no such thing as normal. If there was to be a true definition for it then the machine would have to go to every part of the world, every little town and city, every neighborhood, talk to every individual, and then take into account age, gender, religion, and values. Even after getting all this information and bringing it into the arts and augmented reality something will seem “off”. What was supposed to be normal will just become an idealization, a fantasy.  Which leads me to worry about how much people can actually benefit from this.

One thought on “Reading Assignment #2

  1. In response to comments on Machines Learning Culture:

    Naturally, no learning method will lead to a worldwide consensus on normality. I could argue similarly that you and I have largely contrasting perceptions of what is normal. That could very well be taken into consideration (and should be) during the design of your product or experience. Users from different cultural backgrounds will respond differently, and it might be up to the machine to discern the user’s background and generate a response accordingly. You might have to explicitly tell the system partitioning of responses is necessary. Thus, how we present information to the system is important.

    More specifically in response to the installations presented in the article, they also serve the purpose of exposing the public to machine learning as it becomes more prevalent in their live. So, in a way, machine learning itself is influencing culture rather than just observing it. Off of that statement, we could then explore further implications of the extent machine learning should have in influencing culture, which is an interesting ethical question if you wish to explore that.


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