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Ultrahouse3000 September 4, 2007

Posted by jmoran21 in Big Brother, Robots, Tech.
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Performative Ecologies is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s an engaging concept being studied by Ruairi Glynn, found via the New Media Blog. I got the gist of it from the project synopsis, but to get the full effect you need to watch the video of the “dancers” in action. What freaks me out is the way they compete with one another for attention. There’s all kinds of dystopian robo-terror in that concept. It also doesn’t help that they share a resemblance to a certain evil mega computer.

The way the dancers learn to entertain their audience based on both the reactions of the viewer as well as the successes of their peers is a very Darwinian process that I think pretty much every piece of electronics in your house could benefit from.  This may be an essential evolution of the robo-pet, as I believe the main problem with these things is the ability to hold their owners interest. Imagine an OS that reconfigures itself based on how long it takes you to do the tasks you do most often, whether it’s in a PC or a microwave oven. In a bizarre sort of inheritance, your new gizmos can learn what you like most about the stuff you had before them, ensuring you never again hear the phrase “I liked the old one better.” Here’s one idea that could potentially exist already: one of those music visualizers that uses your webcam to read facial expressions, discovering which visuals you like best and when you’ve gotten bored of them. On second thought, people spend too much time staring at those things as it is.

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