Tag: Manufactured Animals

Next Nature

Getting rid of that bit of unspoiled green

There it is. A hefty hen, with its head up high and its beak out. And a gigantic VR headset over its beady little eyes. What does this battery hen see? ‘An experience of a free life’, according to American designer Austin Stewart. Second Livestock – shown last year at the ‘Robotic Wilderness’ exhibition of the Transnatural collective – is uncomfortable to watch, but it does uncover accurately the relationship we currently have with nature. Because no, this is not an image that we associate with nature. When we think of nature, we think of a hen freely scratching around a bit of bright and unspoiled green. Not of a battery hen, let alone with a VR headset.

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Next Nature

The return of Rayfish Footwear?

Rayfish Footwear was a fictional company that offered personalized sneakers crafted from genetically modified stingray leather. This online science fiction story allowed customers to grow and design their own sneaker from a genetically modified fish, to question our (often all too consumptive) relationship with animals. Now, the company fiction is back: Catch Rayfish as part of FAKE at the Science Gallery in Dublin.

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Manufactured Animals

Chinese farmers are using AI to help rear the world’s biggest pig population

It’s been called China’s “pork miracle.” For centuries, pig-rearing in the country was predominantly a backyard occupation. (The etymology of the Chinese character for “home” literally means “house with a pig in it.”) But since the 1980s, China has swiftly modernized its pork industry to meet the demands of a newly-rich middle class. Now, half of the world’s pigs — some 700 million animals — live and die in China, most in huge farms. And to help manage this porcine horde, the country’s farmers are turning to a decidedly untraditional tool: artificial intelligence.

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No Drones in the Park, Please!
Suburban Utopia

No Drones in the Park, Please!

Our peculiar image of the week comes from Iceland, where the use of drones has been forbidden in some national parks. The ban is apparently intended to protect nature, as well as visitors who would prefer not to have nuisance drones crash into them. No camping, dogs to be kept on leashes, and please, leave your drones at home!

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Next Nature

Opening HUBOT at DDW

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! 

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ants
Hypernature

Lazy Worker Ants

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.

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