Dan Williams: Unexpected Item In The Bagging Area

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Dan Williams (@IAmDanW) was talking about our software mediated world, its consequences and our role in it as creators at dConstruct these are my notes from his talk.

1966 Steward Brand was in San Fransisco was bored so took some LSD.  He'd just been to see Buckmister Fuller who would reframe things in a new way - houses are just fancy nozzles on a sewerage system.  He created design solutions waiting for people to find them when they needed them.  Brand saw the whole earth from space and started a campaign why haven't we seen a photo of the whole earth yet?  He created a whole earth catalog with everything you needed to create a whole earth. 

The modern equivalent is Alibaba.com.  The 808 camera is an HD camera in a key fob.  Chuck Lohr compiles a list of these and is the canonical way of naming these.  Most are made from parts from mobile phones.  You can get phones that look like key fobs which are popular in prison - nobody created a prisoner persona for this!

The foursquare API is used for burglar apps, find girls around me apps. Scene tap uses cameras to recognise demographic information about a venue and make that available to app users.  We encode our cultural biases in our software.  Apple use cameras to track footfall in their shops.  Cameras are everywhere.  Manifesto for CCTV film makers - use Data Protection Act to request the footage, best manual for how to submit these requests.

Acure vending machine in Japan changes the UI based on what you look like.  Ice cream vending machine gives out free ice cream if you smile.  Used Nick Clegg Looking Sad tumblr to test the Fraunhoffer facial recognition library - only one was recognised as being sad.  (David Cameron was not recognised as a valid human face.)  Unlike Sci-Fi there is no visible camera or interaction, we don't know what's behind it.  Wenlock the Olympic mascot has a camera - check the official design document.  Drones are CCTV cameras with wings.

"It's the future,  take it."  How do we get round this?  Makeup and hair patterns to foil the facial recognition technologies in Open CV.  Convert image to greyscale and then try patterns of black and white to see if anything matches.  Critical Engineering considers engineering is transformative.  Childrens' books are great ways to engage with a new subject.  Technology can be visible not legible.  Wonder is good for entertaining but not informing.

New bomb proof bins in London need advertising to fund them.  The track who's walking past which bins and when.  Didn't seem to understand why people didn't like it - the only way to find out about it was to read the company's press releases.  Those who cannot perceive the network are powerless to affect it.  City of London stepped in and blocked it.  This is the same org that uses CCTV and ANPR.  They're not good at being a bin.

The explainers need our help to properly understand what they are explaining.

Gibson:  I have no manifesto, only discontent.