Imagine if your devices could have their own life: after a hard day facilitating your social life, your iPhone simply does not go to sleep, but ventures out to hold intimate conversations with its own peers. Guy Farber’s playful short movie “A iReal” explores this very possibility.
Birds are fascinating creatures, but for farmers, airport staff, and waste management specialists, they can prove to be a profound nuisance. How to deal with a flock of birds eating your crops, or causing an obstruction on the runway? One company has come up with a creative new solution: the Robird.
The robots have arrived! Yesterday we celebrated the launch of HUBOT, job agency for people and robots at MediaMarkt, as part of the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Our virtual office had opened a week before the physical launch, and the applicants were pouring in from all over the world. Now it was time to welcome job-seeking futurists to the offline opening of our office, this entailed drinks, jobs… and robots!
As a focused assembly worker, you are a real go-getter thanks to your smart tools. Wearing smart factory goggles and using a transparent LED screen, these give you direct instructions to your work at the right time. Check multiple production lines at once and keep a tight overview of your working schedule; nothing is too challenging for this type of assembly work. The factory workers of tomorrow are smarter, more flexible and need no one to tell them what to do.
When looking at a crowded street from far above, it’s easy to make the comparison between humans and ants and think “we’re just like ants, aren’t we?”. Swarming around, running from place to place: we can be quite busy creatures. Although there are some crucial differences between us and them, ants can give us some interesting insights into our own systems, by showing us theirs.
The Robots are coming! They keep getting smarter, more reliable, and more affordable. They work 24 hours a day and never get sick. It’s no surprise that some are proclaiming that robotisation and artificial intelligence (AI) will eliminate jobs. In 2014 Oxford scientists calculated 47% of the current jobs could be automated by 2034, due to robotisation and AI. Last year accounting and consulting firm Deloitte calculated 42% of the students at vocational high schools were still being trained to do these endangered jobs. Imagine being 16 years and discovering you’re studying for a job that soon won’t exist. What kind of future is that?
Agriculture has been with us since the dawn of civilization, and since then all kinds of machinery have helped make the process physically easier. But farming is more than just manual labor. For many farmers, the hard part is not planting and harvesting, but knowing when, where and how to plant in order to get the best yield. Thankfully, there’s an app for that too: growing crops in silico – on a computer screen.
What does intimacy mean? Sometimes it can mean little annoyances: a partner disturbing your sleep, a pet biting your hand, a child doing anything to draw your attention. In her video “Misbehaving (Ro)bots”, Nicole Pérez asks whether technology could hope to replicate these small bothersome quirks that instill a feeling of intimacy.