There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a murmuration of starlings swirl across a plum-coloured, darkening sky. This Friday, at sunset, you can; but instead of it being real birds, FuturePace artist Studio Drift will present a flying sculpture of 300 luminously lit Intel drones, which will swarm and swoop above the river IJ, Amsterdam, mimicking birds flight. Franchise Freedom acts as an opportunity to show the public how nature and technology can be merged in ways that are startlingly beautiful, rather than frightening and ominous.
Color-blind artist Neil Harbisson designed a brain-implanted antenna that converts colors into sound. This enables him to hear colors he cannot see, and extends his vision to ultraviolets and infrareds. As technology is rapidly advancing, and the boundaries between the body and technology are blurred and ambiguous, it seems plausible that humans will use technologies not only to enhance, but also to extend their physical capabilities.
The relationship between humans and smart wearable devices has had its ups and downs. Although it is going in the right direction, it has not become a stable one quite yet. This could be partially due to the social awkwardness of wearing this type of technology in everyday situations. What’s more, users have already noticed some of its major drawbacks, such as typing messages on the tiny screen of a smartwatch.
Playing an instrument, picking something up, holding your oversized phone in one hand. These are all things you might be better at if you’d have an extra thumb. By designing and creating The Third Thumb Project, Royal College of Art graduate Danielle Clode reframed prosthetics as extensions of the body, rather than replacements for missing parts.
Beating your robot might get you in real trouble with legal authorities in the near future. Recently the European Parliament discussed the introduction of an “electronic personhood” for robots. As personhood describes the status of being an actual person, this decision raises big questions about equality, citizenship, legal and ironically, human rights for artificial intelligent machines.
Instagram accounts with young girls featuring stunning selfies are hardly unusual. However, 21-year-old Paola Antonini’s popular IG account is certainly beyond the ordinary. The Brazilian model uses her Instagram to show off her prosthetic limb, the result of a tragic car accident in 2014 when Antonini was hit by a drunk driver.
Over seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. Yet, we mainly discover the land, since this is the part of the globe we inhabit. But since our body is not able to dive to the bottom of the ocean, we could send a super copy of ourself to explore underwater worlds. Stanford University developed OceanOne, a humanoid diving robot that creates a simulation of the underwater experience on land.