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Target_is_New - Issue #71

Last week was full of events, both ones those I visited as ones I organised. We had both a great edit
Target_is_New - Issue #71
By Iskander Smit • Issue #71 • View online
Last week was full of events, both ones those I visited as ones I organised.
We had both a great edition of ThingsCon Salon and Behavior Design AMS meetup. The talks of the ThingsCon meetup can be found on the ThingsCon YouTube channel. The mix of speakers gave a good overview of the smart mobility aspects I think. From policy to practice to future.

It was great to have Elger Blitz from Carve present next to Pamela Pavliscak, with a focus on the physical vs the digital influencers of city behavior. The PAUL project Marije Deutekom presented on, tries to combine those insights.

Next to that I attended part of the World Summit AI. Just like last year a lot of companies present themselves as the best place to work in AI, that seems main focus. Thursday morning an interesting part on ethics in AI with a good panel discussion. Especially Joanna Bryson had a clear view on the relation of humans and AI. Delegating tasks to the machines that might be smart to relate to, does not mean we can delegate responsibilities too. Robots should be slaves, she wrote in a paper some time ago.
I agree on that, definitely for now. The future might change our relations to the machines, something my research in Delft is all about of course.
At the summit a new alliance for AI was announced, to promote responsible AI in the Netherlands.
At the coming ThingsCon conference I will be -amongst the overall organisation- curate a track on city & home things, a broad spectrum but it make sense to connect these. The change of public and private space has always been the key of the discours in smart home thinkers. I remember a workshop with Alexandra Deschamp-Sonsino in 2009 that brought that topic to the foreground. She is one of the speakers at ThingsCon, talking on the book she just launched on Smarter Homes.

The change in products
Last week Ben Thompson of Stratechery did make a good analysis how the battle on the home space has really taken off now. Amazon was already very present, and Google also is upgrading its devices. New is Facebook that enters the market with a video-operated device. Totally Facebook like, with no relation to the current debate on the privacy so it seems. It probably is in line with their three steps forward-one step back strategy. People complaining, some adjustments are made but in the meantime the first step entering the home is set. Nevertheless. This time we are in a different time for Facebook; let’s see if they can survive this one with merging Instagram in the home.
A final thought on our changing augmenting realities as we are teaming up with the machines. With all the reviews and comparisons of the cameras on the iPhone XS and Google Pixel 3 it is often about what phone does the best representation of reality with their pictures. The iPhone added a smoothening function to the selfie camera that is normal for Asian phones. It could not switched off, that delivered the discussions, not the fact we are getting used to enhance our reality. And it is a bit weird how the best camera of the Pixel 3 (apparently) is totally relying on software to create the most real reality…
On the other hand, we as humans also rely on the computation of the reality, done by our brain. Our worlds will be blurry…
What's next
This week no public events, focus on research. Next week Dutch Design Week will start. I will do a presentation and a workshop at the DRIVE festival, on October 24.
Also a new edition of Tech Solidarity NL will take place at IMPAKT in Utrecht on October 25.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Iskander Smit

I am working @Infonl as innovation director and leading @LABSinfonl, also blogger @targetisnew, co-organising @ThingsConAMS & Behavior Design AMS meetup #bdams
Visiting professor TU Delft Industrial Design Engineering (Connected Everyday Lab) @pact_tudelft

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