May AI help you?

May AI help you?
Two years ago, Alison Darcy built a robot to help out the depressed. As a clinical research psychologist at Stanford University, she knew that one powerful way to help people suffering from depression or anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy, or C.B.T. It's a form of treatment in which a therapist teaches patients simple techniques that help...
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Alphabet: The Internet needs more friction

Alphabet: The Internet needs more friction
The Internet's lack of friction made it great, but now our devotion to minimizing friction is perhaps the internet's weakest link for security. Friction—delays and hurdles to speed and growth—can be a win-win-win for users, companies, and security. It is time to abandon our groupthink bias against friction as a design principle. Highways have speed...
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Steps forward, steps back: how the world deals with priorities

Steps forward, steps back: how the world deals with priorities
​ It's easy to voice an opinion as to what the government of the day should focus on; it's much harder to deliver it. When presented with a set of conflicting and connected priorities, do our responses change? How do we even try to address the threats and challenges of tomorrow, while simultaneously trying to address the many, increasing, threats o...
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Web Curios 16/11/18

Web Curios 16/11/18
What is it about politics that attracts the world's worst people? I mean, it's true isn't it - look at them this week, plotting and preening and self-regarding and mindwanking themselves raw on the power fantasies whilst only-just-metaphorically sh1tting all over us. Thanks, Conservatives! Thanks! Thanks everyone! I don't know if I've ever mentione...
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David Byrne on big data

David Byrne on big data Dirk Haun, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/dhaun/42584723175
I was reading a piece in Artforum by Mario Carpo on big data and how it is being used by a new wave of architects. He made some surprising comments—none of which relate to architecture—that sort of blew my mind. He pointed out that for many hundreds of years, science has been about discovering the essences behind phenomena—it is a method to find th...
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Roland Barthes and me

Roland Barthes and me
  As a teenager I was often and intensely bored. No, that is not quite right. As a teenager I was often and intensely afraid. For the adolescent they are really the same thing. One is frightened of being bored, and fed up with being afraid, but most of the time the two feelings are inextricable – adolescence is a time for what Roland Barthes (...
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The extraordinary story of Threatin, a band on a huge European tour with no fans

The extraordinary story of Threatin, a band on a huge European tour with no fans Magnified Media, CC licence
We have all, at one point in our lives or another, spent a little money on overpromoting ourselves. It might be buying the more expensive wine in a bar in order to impress one’s date, for example, or taking a contract on a top-of-the-range phone because it feels good. Jered Threatin, it seems, has taken this feeling to something of an extreme. Jere...
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Motion design in digital experiences of the future

Motion design in digital experiences of the future
When designers create products, they tell stories to users. Designers have a lot of tools to make a story more interesting. Motion design is one of the most powerful tools designers have. The true power of motion can be seen in mobile experiences. A mobile app without motion is just a sequence of independent screens. But when designers introduce mo...
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Web Curios 09/11/18

Web Curios 09/11/18
Well thank GOD that's all done with - the culture wars are over! AHAHAHAHAHAHA NO THEY ARE NOT THEY WILL NEVER END! As we move into a new reality, one in which the ostensibly simple fact of a press conference can usher in a spittle flecked debate about the very nature of truth, it dawned on me this week that, more than anything else, it very much f...
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Fascism is not an idea to be debated, it's a set of actions to fight

Fascism is not an idea to be debated, it's a set of actions to fight
Back when I was in high school in Sarajevo, my best friend was Zoka. We listened to the same bands, went to the same rock shows, found the same stupid things hilarious, played soccer together, skied on the same mountain, supported the same soccer club, confided in each other re: girls, got drunk in the park after school from the same bottle of toxi...
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How I made musical instruments from lab equipment to create empathy with the Arctic

How I made musical instruments from lab equipment to create empathy with the Arctic
The global crisis of climate change is one of the most complex and wicked of problems we currently face. It is a physical, technological and economic challenge, and one that raises questions right at the heart of our relationship with the environment in which we live. In the light of the IPCC's most recent report , we face difficult decisions that ...
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Bring a keynote speaker to your office

Bring a keynote speaker to your office
We recently covered Justin Kirby’s excellent new book The definitive guide to strategic content marketing . It is, genuinely, a pretty excellent book. So, why not have the author himself turn up for a talk in your office? Justin has launched a new service entitled Keynote in your office . Rather than spend a four-figure sum - per person, remember -...
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The crisis of intimacy in the age of digital connectivity

The crisis of intimacy in the age of digital connectivity
​ I am a hybrid, of the halfway generation, neither a digital nor an analog native. My intimate life has coincided, almost exactly, with the arrival of digital connectivity. My wife was born the same month that Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf published A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication describing the TCP/IP, which defined the connections that...
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The Designers Republic gets a definitive book

The Designers Republic gets a definitive book
Currently enjoying significant and deserved success on Kickstarter, The A-Z of The Designers Republic is probably the book you need this year. We don’t need to introduce Ian Anderson and TDR to you, do we? The graphic design studio behind The Orb, PWEI, Pulp, Supergrass, and many of the artists on Warp Records including Aphex Twin, as well as ...
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The Welsh dream becomes a nightmare

The Welsh dream becomes a nightmare
It's quite a surprise, and certainly a rarity, to see one of the best brand executions of the year get together with one of the worst brand strategies of the year. To savour this special occasion, I'm going to take you to Wales. Over the years, transport in Wales has been the responsibility of a handful of different organisations. The UK loves gove...
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A rules-based order to keep the Internet open and secure

A rules-based order to keep the Internet open and secure
When J.P. Barlow presented his 1996 Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace  in Davos, cyberspace was idealized as a separate universe, detached from the 'real' world, with no government controls and no national boundaries. Twenty-two years later, this libertarian dream of the open internet has been buried with J.P. Barlow. The inte...
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Web Curios 02/11/18

Web Curios 02/11/18
I know this has been a tricky week, with all sorts of stress and pain and difficulty and quite a lot of general 'wow, everything seems really quite messy and terrible, doesn't it?'-type vibes knocking about, but, well, I have spent much of it being a digital cowboy and frankly that's been enough to ensure that I've not really spent too much time th...
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Real time art: gimmick or a postmodernist necessity?

Real time art: gimmick or a postmodernist necessity? Sigrid Artmann
Whether this is the first event of its kind or not, Berlin recently played host to a gallery where the works were being made in front of its visitors. Generously, all  proceeds from the event went to sponsoring students at the Design Akademie Berlin. Held in the U3 tunnel venue (a disused railway station under Potsdamer Platz, conver...
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Does art have any relevance in the age of AI?

Does art have any relevance in the age of AI? Mediengruppe Bitnik, “Alexiety“, 2019. Image c/o Roehers & Boetsch
​ Christie's recently sold for $432,000 a rather amusing portrait created by AI. Last Summer, (human) participants deemed that the artworks created by a computer system were more communicative and inspiring than human-made ones. A few years ago, an artist convincingly automated the kind of texts written by art critics. I could multiply the attentio...
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New exhibition enters the eerie vacuum between human and machine creativity

New exhibition enters the eerie vacuum between human and machine creativity Detail from “Deep Meditations 1.0”, Memo Akten
In partnership with the Cyland media arts lab in St. Petersburg, Goldsmiths is unveiling a major new exhibition on the “twilight between human and machine creativity“. Entitled Creative Machine 2 , it is curated by amongst others, William Latham, whom we profiled back in 2013 . There are works within the exhibition in which Latham is involved;...
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