Aura of Inevitability (or: When a Technology’s Time has Come)

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New technology products often take us by surprise. In 1992, for example, we couldn’t possibly have dreamed of how the Internet would transform the world by 1997, only 5 years later. The best innovations are things “you never knew you wanted but cannot live without” kind, inventions that come out of nowhere. YouTube, for example. … Continue reading Aura of Inevitability (or: When a Technology’s Time has Come)

The Empathy Test

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“Let me tell you about my mother…” In the movie Blade Runner, the “Voight-Kampff Empathy Test” detects whether or not a test subject is a real human being or an android “replicant”. A machine reads the body’s physical reactions to various psychologically- provocative scenarios (“Capillary dilation of the so-called blush response? Fluctuation of the pupil. … Continue reading The Empathy Test

Elegant Experiments

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The classic Skinner box experiment. A comment by Steve Baty on my recent series about design research got me thinking about the fine art of experimental research design: Where research (in all forms) becomes a waste of time and effort is when the research design and methodology applied invalidate the conclusions _before_ they can be … Continue reading Elegant Experiments

Tagging -2.0?

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I was at first impressed with the power of folksonomy-based tagging (in the sense of allowing users to invent their own taxonomies and metadata for information objects). But now I’m not so sure. I just attended a SXSW panel called “Taxonomy 2.0”, with Tom Vander Wal, Prentiss Riddle, Rashmi Sinha, Adina Levin and moderated by … Continue reading Tagging -2.0?

ZOMBIES!

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I just re-read Alan Turing’s “Computing Machinery and Intelligence“, for something like the 5th time. It’s worth reading every few months or so just to see how cogent, thorough, and prescient it is. I can’t punch a hole in it. And everything I’ve ever read where someone else tries to punch a hole in it … Continue reading ZOMBIES!