[-empyre-] "Hactivating" and the Screw-Up

Sean Cubitt scubitt at unimelb.edu.au
Sun Dec 13 11:50:09 EST 2009

Superscary Sam
I've been looking at some sites which use human labour to tag images in an
attemtpt to teach computers image recognisiotn, or at least semantic
tagging: one is bona fide (GAWP's ESP game), the other probably less so
(Google's Image labeller). I was too scared to even start the program, which
may simply be harvesting facebook data for cokacola - in itself unpleasant
enough - What wd make it truly scary for me is if you get to choose who does
or doesn't look like you, implying that the purpose is to teach machines
facial rceognition. Clearly that exists as a police capability: I dread it
becoming a proprietary tool of commercial advertising

I will certainly be using this with my media governance class!!



On 12/12/09 12:53 PM, "sam-myspinach" <sam at myspinach.org> wrote:

> Hi there,
> I wonder if anyone can do some research and analysis on this - I am
> too frightened:
> http://www.cocacolazero.com/index.jsp#/facialprofiler/
> Thanks, Sam.
> On 10/12/2009, at 1:40 PM, Kevin Hamilton wrote:
>> Christina and all,
>> In any of the advertising for personal music devices or cell phones,
>> listeners experience private pleasure through the knowing smile, and
>> perhaps a look up and to the right.
>> This I would contrast to what actually happens when one reads or hears
>> something funny when in public. For example, me on the bus this
>> morning reading this line from Christina:
>> On Dec 9, 2009, at 1:15 AM, Christina McPhee wrote:
>>> The mistake is the beginning of the mutation.   "In the still cave of
>>> the witch poesy... "
>> Laughing out loud amongst silent commuters, nervous about where to put
>> my smile and body.
>> I'm thinking about all this partly in light of some conversation over
>> on IDC right now, between Brian Holmes and myself, a few others. As an
>> instructor, I'm more and more aware of how my students arrive already
>> trained, configured into a cybernetic matrix. For many of them, their
>> senses are only sensors, ready to accept symbolic input for the
>> production of expected actions. (Hell, I'm not much better.) No
>> documentary is going to reveal the truth for them, there's no
>> narrative moment waiting for them. They need a new sensory experience,
>> to have they eyeballs and eardrums reconfigured in a non-programmatic
>> way.
>> The cyberneticist I've been researching, Heinz von Foerster, was a
>> magician. Literally. Back in the sixties and seventies he would do
>> magic tricks for the students as part of his lectures on
>> consciousness. I'm looking for some tricks like that, through the
>> linguistic and the visual.
>> Thus the word games. Searching for ways to use language that produce
>> transformation without resorting to instrumental manipulation.
>> A typology of wordsmiths, magicians of meaning...
>> Words that could mean anything but which make us all think we're
>> thinking the same thing.
>> [Sarah Palin]
>> Words that can mean two things, and everyone's in on the joke.
>> [Stephen Colbert]
>> [Bottom (from A Midsummer Night's Dream)]
>> Words that mean one thing to the speaker and a different thing to the
>> listener, but only the listener is in on the joke.
>> Words that can mean more than one thing and no one knows which one is
>> right, producing a plenitude of meaning.
>> [Stoppard? I don't know, this one is just thrilling though.]
>> One such overflow that just thrills me in this way is the piece "A
>> Letter to Queen Victoria: The Sundance Kid is Beautiful" by Robert
>> Wilson and Christopher Knowles.
>> http://ubu.artmob.ca/sound/dial_a_poem_poets/big_ego/Big_Ego_05-wilson.mp3
>> But I don't know much about it, and frankly I'm a little unsure about
>> the politics of how this autistic poet Knowles came to work with
>> Wilson. But there's some overflow here, some linguistic plenitude
>> through some mistakes and misapprehension.
>> Kevin
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Prof Sean Cubitt
scubitt at unimelb.edu.au
Media and Communications Program
Faculty of Arts
Room 127 John Medley East
The University of Melbourne
Parkville VIC 3010

Tel: + 61 3 8344 3667
Fax:+ 61 3 8344 5494
M: 0448 304 004
Skype: seancubitt

Editor-in-Chief Leonardo Book Series

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