The anti-patterns of ASMR

The anti-patterns of ASMR Nic McPhee, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicmcphee/1390916763
Anti-patterns are great to play with ; the deliberate introduction of friction into people's lives to provoke an action or reaction. The concept of  Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is now being exploited to trigger reactions other than... "tingly". In his collaboration with Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory ...
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The sluggish growth of European startups

The sluggish growth of European startups
​​German news magazine ​Focus ​ recently published an article with a stark, graphic reminder as to the growth of European startups from digital and software... or, rather, the lack of growth.  SAP is the dominant force in Europe. Whatever your thoughts of SAP (which seemingly doesn't know good UX if it ran them over), it has a greater market c...
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How Facebook curates

How Facebook curates Antonio, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/antony/81937780/
​ ​The Web Foundation ran an experiment in Argentina where six new FB profiles were set up, and then ran an experiment to see what information each profile received: The way we experience the web today is largely through algorithms. Search algorithms determine the results we see. Targeting algorithms decide which ads we are shown. Algorithms on soc...
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How to stop AI reinforcing a male-dominated world

How to stop AI reinforcing a male-dominated world Jocelyn Kinghorn, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/joceykinghorn/14333305152
Ivana Bartoletti, writing in advance of the launch of the Fabian Women's Network: And if robots are taking human jobs, we need to figure out how we would deal with a large jobless population. Bill Gates believes that governments should tax companies' use of robots, as a way to at least temporarily slow the spread of automation and to fund other typ...
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Is the future the future?

Is the future the future? Tangi Bertin, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/tangi_bertin/3957184936/
  This is a good, long read on the opportunities and challenges of Artificial Intelligence, by Berkeley Professor Michael Jordan. He believes that such is the power of AI that contemporary public discourse is simply ineffective in addressing and understanding its scope and diversity. Jordan also paints a picture of the future based on AI and h...
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An excerpt from the Post-Truth and Irreconcilable Differences Commission

An excerpt from the Post-Truth and Irreconcilable Differences Commission Dennis Redfield, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/dennisredfield/16002294898/
​ A Valediction for a Platform (in the Form of Two Epigraphs) "Language is neither reactionary nor progressive, it is quite simply fascist; for fascism does not prevent speech, it compels speech." - Roland Barthes, 1977 "A lot of attention alone creates value." - DT, 1987 1. Intro Twitter has been cleansed. The publicly available corpus, numbering ...
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Web Curios 20/04/18

Web Curios 20/04/18
Another week, another startling demonstration from everyone in charge of everything that they are dreadful idiots. WHY IS EVERYONE IN CHARGE OF EVERYTHING SUCH A DREADFUL IDIOT?!?!? Sadly you’re going to have to wait for an answer to that question, as I have NO TIME - I need to pack bags and GET MOVING if I’m ever going to make this pla...
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YouTube sets out its priorities for the year

YouTube sets out its priorities for the year
​Perhaps rather belatedly, Google has refreshed its priorities for YouTube in 2018, and published them to Blogger. (Also, who uses Blogger anymore? It looks like it was last updated in 2002.) YT CEO Susan Wojcicki talks through transparency, communications, monetisation, policies, and education for creators. She introduces her update by talking hon...
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We've a good feeling about this

We've a good feeling about this Jeremy Segrott, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/23907666851/
 A cracking read on tacticality and surfaces: The tacticality of tactical goods is not an essential quality. It emerges from an assemblage of accidental qualities more atomic than itself. We've discussed three of those qualities. Alone, no one of them will make something "tactical". Together (and in concert with other qualities we've not discu...
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When algorithms become unexpected

mandelbrot Keith Hall, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/fire_brace/145565373/
This is a really good piece on the unpredictability of algorithms : Machine learning algorithms are not like other computer programs. In the usual sort of programming, a human programmer tells the computer exactly what to do. In machine learning, the human programmer merely gives the algorithm the problem to be solved, and through trial-and-error t...
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When computer-generated Instagram models fight

When computer-generated Instagram models fight Bermuda /v Instagram
Lil Miquela is a 19-year old singer, model, and influencer. With around 900k followers on Instagram, you might wonder why she hasn't occupied the ​Mail Online ​ sidebar of shame yet. The answer is simple: ​she doesn't exist ​. The space in which Miquela occupies is the hyperrealistic one predicted in many a famous SF novel over the past 40-or-so ye...
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Mailchimp offers GDPR advice

Mailchimp offers GDPR advice Robyn Mack, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/robynmack96/35573892502
​You're going to be bombarded with promoted tweets by companies offering GDPR advice over coming weeks, in advance of its enforcement from 25 May onwards. Thankfully, Mailchimp has published some advice on web form compliance with the legislation. Here are some things to know before you begin this process. Enabling GDPR fields on your signup forms ...
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Everyone is the same but different

Everyone is the same but different Uggboy, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/uggboy/5457409837/
This is very good on how algorithms are creating a homogenous gloop of style and fashion, rather than diverse individualism: The threat of banality (or the lack of surprise) implicit in full machine curation reminds me of the seemingly random vocabulary meant to improve SEO on Craigslist posts. As one chair listing I encountered put it: "Goes with ...
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The shape of change - Marcus Brown waxes lyrically on digital transformation

​ "It's my change and when I get to define it, I can control it". Here's Marcus's first posting in his series of TubeNotes. It's clear, it's eloquent, and it's beautifully produced. The first few seconds take you in through their setting of the Bavarian countryside, and it just gets better and better from there.

The art of shitposting: how Simpsons fans learned to steam a good ham

The art of shitposting: how Simpsons fans learned to steam a good ham
​ A scene from a 1996 episode of The Simpsons recently spawned a fresh clutch of memes across the web, shedding light on a very specific – and, for the average web user, peculiar and dubiously-named – form of online fan activity: shitposting. Like other Internet memes, shitposting involves users remixing and remaking snippets of popular culture – i...
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French Parlimentarian debates AI ethics

4635679132_7b97d7222b_b Jody McIntyre, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/scjody/4635679132/
This is a very good read, from Cedric Villani, mathematician and member of the French Parliament: Defining artificial intelligence is no easy matter. Since the mid-20th century when it was first recognized as a specific field of research, AI has always been envisioned as an evolving boundary, rather than a settled research field. Fundamentally, it ...
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If robots are intelligent, can they be criminals?

Think lawsuits involving humans are tricky? Try taking an intelligent robot to court. While autonomous robots with humanlike, all-encompassing capabilities are still decades away, European lawmakers, legal experts and manufacturers are already locked in a high-stakes debate about their legal status: whether it's these machines or human beings who s...
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TubeNotes: Marcus launches short talks on the future

TubeNotes: Marcus launches short talks on the future
"I really want a more difficult channel, a more demanding channel, that allows me to mix up all of the things that I'm interested in at the moment." Friend of Imperica Marcus Brown ​ has launched ​TubeNotes ​, a regular dispatch on what he's doing, what interests him at the moment, and the development of his forthcoming book, ​The Passing ​. "​This...
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Sir Martin Sorrell leaves WPP

Sir Martin Sorrell leaves WPP Wikipedia, CC licence
Sir Martin Sorrell has resigned from WPP. Here is his statement to employees of the group which he started in 1985, through its takeover of Wire & Plastic Products after Sorrell left his position as CFO at Saatchis. Here is his leaving letter to employees. Disappointingly, for as much as WPP companies talk about the 24/7 always-on reputation-le...
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Web Curios 13/04/18

Web Curios 13/04/18
HELLO WE ARE BACK DID YOU MISS US WE MISSED YOU HELLO HELLO HELLO! Well, it's great to be back in the saddle. One more week and I'd have done a right Scanners, so your reading this is effectively an act of mercy; rest assured, I am VERY VERY GRATEFUL. So while we were away Imperica has undergone a bit of a refresh - it will have MORE STUFF on it, b...
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