Ben Hammersley is curating a series of three lectures at the Royal Institute of Great Britain during February. The RI is a 200-year-old research and public lecture organisation for science. Much of Faraday’s work on electricity was done there.
One of the lectures is with me!
All three lectures are at 7pm, and they are…
- Uncanny & lovable: The future of emotional robots, by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (also of @iotwatch on Twitter, where she tracks the emerging Internet of Things). This is on the 10th, this coming Thursday.
- Botworld: Designing for the new world of domestic A.I. — I’m giving this lecture! My summary is below. It’s on Wednesday 16th February.
- Finally, A.I. will kill us all: post-digital geopolitics, with Ben Hammersley, series curator and Editor-at-large of Wired UK magazine. Date: Thursday 24th February.
You’ll need to book if you want to come, so get to it!
My talk is going to build on a few themes I’ve been exploring recently at a couple of talks and on my personal blog.
Botworld: Designing for the new world of domestic A.I.
Back in the 1960s, we thought the 21st century was going to be about talking robots, and artificial intelligences we could chat with and play chess with like people. It didn’t happen, and we thought the artificial intelligence dream was dead.
But somehow, a different kind of future snuck up on us. One of robot vacuum cleaners, virtual pets that chat amongst themselves, and web search engines so clever that we might-as-well call them intelligent. So we got our robots, and the world is full of them. Not with human intelligence, but with something simpler and different. And not as colleagues, but as pets and toys.
Matt looks at life in this Botworld. We’ll encounter a zoo of beasts: telepresence robots, big maths, mirror worlds, and fractional A.I. We’ll look at signals from the future, and try to figure out where it’s going.
We’ll look at questions like: what does it mean to relate emotionally to a silicon thing that pretends to be alive? How do we deal with this shift from ‘Meccano’ to ‘The Sims’? And what are the consequences, when it’s not just our toys and gadgets that have fractional intelligence… but every product and website?
Matt digs into history and sci-fi to find lessons on how to think about and recognise Botworld, how to design for it, and how to live in it.
I’ll be going to Alex’s and Ben’s too. I hope to see you there.