Computational Tinkering
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How Technology Is Changing Architecture | The Creators Project

Smartgeometry is a four day workshop that looks at how digital tools and computational design are affecting architecture.

 

In recent years, workshop participants have expanded beyond developing design software and have begun developing interactive hardware. The "Bioresponsive Building Envelopes" cluster at Smartgeometry 2012 in Rensselaer, New York developed a unique computational approach to designing interactive facades. 

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Computational Tinkering
The impact of computational thinking on our view of the world
Curated by Susan Einhorn
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A New Beginning To Deep Learning – Towards Data Science – Medium

A New Beginning To Deep Learning – Towards Data Science – Medium | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
This is an introductory post to mark the start of a series of posts focusing on understanding Deep Learning & staying updated with the major advances due to it in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
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These Are Not the Robots We Were Promised

These Are Not the Robots We Were Promised | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
We were expecting Rosie from “The Jetsons” or maybe C3PO. Why did we end up with Alexa?
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MA SJC Ruling on Bail Instructive Re: Algorithms and Criminal Justice

MA SJC Ruling on Bail Instructive Re: Algorithms and Criminal Justice | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

One track of the Berkman Klein Center’s work on artificial intelligence ethics and governance concerns the use of algorithms, machine learning, and related technologies in ways that impact social and criminal justice. Among other things, this research examines technologies employed by courts in their disposition of criminal cases. Increasingly, judicial determinations are informed by software that helps judges perform “risk assessments” of defendants or otherwise process and weigh factors relevant to decisions about sentencing, parole, and the like. The Center (along with collaborators at the MIT Media Lab) is undertaking a number of efforts to evaluate ways in which these kinds of technologies might mitigate or exacerbate bias. The initiative has both technical and legal components, and a significant amount of our work to date has involved technologists and lawyers working together to correlate technical concepts with legal standards (and vice-versa). In the context of these efforts, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s recent ruling in Brangan v. Commonwealth — which has nothing to do with algorithms but concerns, broadly, the process of making bail determinations in Massachusetts — is of significant interest.

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Bio-Creation and Peace at the Intersection of Art and Technology

Bio-Creation and Peace at the Intersection of Art and Technology | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

An inspiring series of workshops, panels, installations, round-tables, concerts, and other creative and intellectual exchanges took place at Manizales, Colombia, one week ago, from June 11 to 18. 


Life and bio-creation were exalted by the city itself and complemented the panels, art installations, workshops, and other activities of the symposium themes. Media making and art creation were understood by artists, researchers, designers, and technologists as life creation through their different interventions.


As we inhabit mediated environments we are constantly engaged in the making of life with the images, texts, sounds, and data we produce and circulate. Image making, for instance, has become a ubiquitous form of life creation that is not only performed by humans but also by autonomous machines. Satellites, drones, and surveillance cameras actively contribute to the creation of lively media ecosystems. As the world is mediated by the intense fabrication of images by humans and non-humans, it is necessary that we think in ecological and sustainable terms about the kind of media environment where we would like to live. What kind of media ecologies we would like to inhabit? How can we think in ecological ways about the algorithmic culture that surround us? What are the ethics of bio-creation for humans and non-humans?

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The Industry of Virality (or what a raccoon video can teach us about the Internet)

The Industry of Virality (or what a raccoon video can teach us about the Internet) | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The author of the recent Pearson Airport racoon video shares his insights on today’s viral content business.


The first wave of viral video, which could be roughly framed as running from 2007 to 2010, i.e., a period when such phenomena happened perhaps a handful of times per year and during which YouTube was the sole site of distribution. 


 Compare this with what can be thought of as the second wave of viral content, post 2010, in which we witnessed extremely well-known videos such as Double Rainbow netting an impressive but significantly decreased 44 million views on YouTube, and, more recently, the kids crashing their dad’s BBC interview which received only 24 million YouTube views. One of the explanations behind the changes in the numbers is flooding on the supply side, with close to 500 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, 10 billion Snapchat views per day, 500 million tweets per day, and 100 million Instagram posts per day. 


So, while it’s easier than ever to make and distribute media content, it’s harder than ever to get noticed. In this highly fragmented marketplace, capturing attention has therefore turned into an industry of its own, with companies specializing in planting, boosting, and monetizing videos such as Cameron Graham’s airport raccoon.

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Art With Watson Combines Human Creativity and AI Data

Art With Watson Combines Human Creativity and AI Data | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Is art still art if an AI bot helps create it?


Artists recently teamed up with the artificially intelligent (AI) bot IBM Watson to create an artistic pop-up event called Art with Watson in New York City last month. The exhibit featured seven notable figures in history, including Marie Curie and Nikola Tesla, but sought to reveal previously undiscovered aspects of their personality. This is where Watson came in. Although each of the seven pieces in the exhibit was created by the artists, Watson combed through massive amounts of data to find unknown details of these great thinkers that could inspire an artistic portrait. This exhibit might cause us to question the role technology can play in artistic creation.

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AI Advance – Berkman Klein Center Collection – Medium

AI Advance – Berkman Klein Center Collection – Medium | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Together with the MIT Media Lab, the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University recently launched the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative and the two now serve as anchor institutions for a fund aimed at developing activities, research, and tools to ensure that fast-advancing AI and related technologies serve the public interest.

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Re:Coding Refugee Camps

Re:Coding Refugee Camps | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Teaching coding to refugees and displaced youth in Iraq.


Re:Coded is a program based out of the Center for Global Affairs at New York University’s School of Professional Studies and is supported by the United Nations Development Program. Re:Coded trains refugees and displaced Iraqi youth in web development to create new pathways into in-demand technology careers. Re:Coded believes that learning to code offers thought processes and technical skills that are valuable for improving the lives of refugees and displaced youth.

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Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: A Lovely Children’s Book About the World’s First Computer Programmer

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: A Lovely Children’s Book About the World’s First Computer Programmer | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

How a little girl with dreams of flying changed the world in footnotes.


One of the most interesting and timeless aspects of Lovelace’s story is that her foray into programming bore the mark of what Albert Einstein called “combinatory play,” which he considered the key characteristic of how his mind worked and which bespeaks the combinatorial nature of all creativity — the ability to connect the seemingly unconnected by cross-pollinating questions and insights across disparate domains to create something entirely novel.

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Kano: A Computer Anyone Can Make

Kano: A Computer Anyone Can Make | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Create-your-own computer kit opens new tech opportunities for kids.

 

Kano opens up the world of physical computing to kids. As computers have become more affordable and reliable, fewer people are learning what is going on inside them. Kano aims to change the way kids see computers through creating kits with all the pieces necessary to build a fully-functional computer. The Kano approach to learning follows three guiding principles: (1) simple steps, (2) storytelling, and (3) physical computing. After tying all these principles together, the overarching goal is to create a sense of play.

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An Augmented Reality Lego Set Helps MIT Design Healthier Cities

An Augmented Reality Lego Set Helps MIT Design Healthier Cities | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
When groups collaborate at the MIT Media Lab, the creativity soars.

 

When designers team up with engineers and computer scientists, the results can be greater than what any group produces on their own. Take, for instance, the augmented reality Lego set created in order to visualize urban design.

 

This construction used augmented reality to display data visualization as a moving process, keeping track of statistics like population density and transportation patterns. The team’s goal is to use the augmented reality Lego cityscape to analyze the impact of design on wellness. 

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The Rise of AI Makes Emotional Intelligence More Important

 

Develop the skills machines can’t replicate.

 

The booming growth of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), like most transformational technologies, is both exciting and scary. It’s exciting to consider all the ways our lives may improve, from managing our calendars to making  medical diagnoses, but it’s scary to consider the social and personal implications — and particularly the implications for our careers. As machine learning continues to grow, we all need to develop new skills in order to differentiate ourselves. But which ones?

 

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American schools are teaching our kids how to code all wrong

American schools are teaching our kids how to code all wrong | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The typical coding apps don’t get at the heart of computer science. Instead they stay at the surface, teaching what is comfortable and catchy. In that sense, they are equivalent to the songs on today’s “Top 40”—fun to listen to but offering no real insight or understanding into music literacy, meaning, or theory. Computing and computer science is the equivalent of immersing in a thicker study of music—its origins, influences, aesthetics, applications, theories, composition, techniques, variations and meanings. In other words, the actual foundations and experiences that change an individual’s mindset.

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A beauty contest was judged by AI and the robots didn't like dark skin

A beauty contest was judged by AI and the robots didn't like dark skin | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The first international beauty contest decided by an algorithm has sparked controversy after the results revealed one glaring factor linking the winners


The simplest explanation for biased algorithms is that the humans who create them have their own deeply entrenched biases. That means that despite perceptions that algorithms are somehow neutral and uniquely objective, they can often reproduce and amplify existing prejudices.

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Cathy O'Neil | Weapons of Math Destruction

Cathy O'Neil is author of "Doing Data Science." In her PDF 15 talk, she explores the notion that while algorithms are good for campaigns, but are not necessarily good for democracy.

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A Beginner’s Guide to AI/ML �� – Machine Learning for Humans – Medium

A Beginner’s Guide to AI/ML �� – Machine Learning for Humans – Medium | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The ultimate guide to machine learning. Simple, plain-English explanations accompanied by math, code, and real-world examples.


Who should read this? Technical people who want to get up to speed on machine learning quickly Non-technical people who want a primer on machine learning and are willing to engage with technical concepts Anyone who is curious about how machines think This guide is intended to be accessible to anyone. Basic concepts in probability, statistics, programming, linear algebra, and calculus will be discussed, but it isn’t necessary to have prior knowledge of them to gain value from this series.

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Artificial Intelligence for good

As economic inequality grows, there is another kind of technology-fuelled inequality that’s growing, at an exponential rate – this relates to data. There is already a huge asymmetry in power between companies and some governments on one hand, and individuals and civil society on the other, as a result of the control that a handful of companies and governments exercise over unimaginable amounts of personal data. Whether it’s to sell us ads or for electronic surveillance programs, data gives formidable power to those who control it. 

But we’ve also heard how big data analysis and the micro-targeting of voters was used in the US elections and the Brexit referendum – data is now threatening the very concept of democracy itself. While the use of data in politics is not new, the difference is how powerful these techniques have become in a short space of time and how artificial intelligence could supercharge all this. What will happen tomorrow?
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6-year-old Girls Already Have Gendered Stereotypes of Programming and Robotics

6-year-old Girls Already Have Gendered Stereotypes of Programming and Robotics | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

But these gender differences regarding technology can be changed.


For the first time, a recent study examined whether gendered stereotypes existed regarding programming and robotics in 6-year-old children. The study aimed to figure out not only whether the stereotype existed, but also how it related to girls’ motivation and interest in these fields and whether more experience with robots and programming could help increase their participation. First, the researchers found that by the age of six, both boys and girls thought that boys were significantly better at programming and robotics. In addition, girls were less interested and had less confidence in both programming and robotics. Yet the second part of this study found that after only 20 minutes of a programming and robotics activity, that gap significantly closed.

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Kids, AI devices, and intelligent toys – MIT MEDIA LAB – Medium

Kids, AI devices, and intelligent toys – MIT MEDIA LAB – Medium | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

The dichotomy between machines and living things is narrowing. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is embedded in all kinds of technology, from robots to social networks. This affects the youngest among us as we see the emergence of an “Internet of Toys.” The trend is what prompted us to explore the impact of those “smart,” interconnected playthings on children.


Beyond ethical and security issues, the emergence of these devices raises serious questions about how children’s interactions with smart toys may influence their perceptions of intelligence, cognitive development, and social behavior. So, our long-term research objectives are motivated by the following questions: How could exposure to, or interaction with, these smart bots affect children? What are the short- and long-term cognitive and civic implications? What design considerations could we propose to address the ethical concerns surrounding these issues?

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Hip-Hop Coding: Exploring the Connections Between Computational Thinking and Hip-Hop Culture

Hip-Hop Coding: Exploring the Connections Between Computational Thinking and Hip-Hop Culture | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Since its 1970s Bronx origins, hip-hop culture has been driven by youth and the appropriation of technologies and cultural materials for creative expression. 


Although terms such as looping, remixing, and sequencing are common to the language of both hip-hop production and coding, the relationships between these two techno-cultural worlds have largely remained unexamined. One of the highlights of the Hip-Hop and Scratch Coding Summit that took place last month in Cleveland, Ohio was precisely the exploration of those relationships through a series of hands-on activities and conversations with teachers, after-school facilitators, librarians, and hip-hop educators from all over the U.S.


Via Andrew Csizmadia
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Machine learning could help us tackle depression

Machine learning could help us tackle depression | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

By detecting trends that humans are unable to spot, researchers hope to treat the disorder more effectively.


Recently, many artificial intelligence researchers have begun to develop ways to apply machine learning to medical situations. Such approaches are able to spot trends and details across huge data sets that humans would never be able to, teasing out results that can be used to diagnose other patients. The New Yorker recently ran a particularly interesting essay about using the technique to make diagnoses from medical scans.

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Complex Computational Thinking in Gameplay

Complex Computational Thinking in Gameplay | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Board games are an unexpected way to unlock computational thinking.


While computational thinking has been recognized as a valuable educational practice, there has been little research examining this skill in everyday practices. Computational thinking is not necessarily tied to a computer environment and instead can be applied to many planning tasks such as packing for a trip or playing a board game. This study examined computational thinking embedded in the collaborative play of a cooperative board game.

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How Digital Literacy Empowers Young Student Activists

How Digital Literacy Empowers Young Student Activists | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it

Social justice movements have increasingly turned to social media to organize. Hashtags such as #icantbreathe, #nodapl, and #bringbackourgirls have created increased awareness around issues affecting communities across the U.S. and internationally. Two researcher-educators explored digital literacy as a site for activist work with tween-aged students in New York. The two-year collaboration between these teachers aimed to promote inquiry, enhance student learning, and generate action toward social justice.

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Matthew Battles,  technology’s impact on our experience of art, culture, and the natural world, etc

The Associate Director of metaLAB digs deep for his upcoming book, TREE.

 

Matthew Battles is a maker and thinker whose work merges literary, scholarly, and artistic forms of inquiry. His writing on the cultural dimensions of science and technology appears in The American Scholar, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, and The New York Times. At metaLAB, Matthew advances an agenda of creative research exploring the dark abundance of collections in libraries and museums; technology’s impact on our experience of art, culture, and the natural world; and the conditions of culture and experience in the context of deep time.

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Debating the Ethics of Machine-Enhanced Humans Is a Learning Curve

Debating the Ethics of Machine-Enhanced Humans Is a Learning Curve | Computational Tinkering | Scoop.it
Philosophical frameworks give technological advancement a moral compass.

 

As human augmentation becomes more common for everything from improving memory to vision, public discourse on the ethics surrounding the practice have grown. Deus Ex is leading this conversation with their newly released ethical design framework for human augmentation.

 

How much can humans be altered before they are no longer considered human? Can robots who feel pain, learn, and respond emotionally be considered human? What if everyone around you adopts a special augmentation, but you don’t want it, do you have the right to say no? Deus Ex is working with academics, entrepreneurs, and developers to answer these questions.

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