Finally normal people! Talks, Talks, Talks and social interaction. Plus TSCHUNK, naturally. 36c3 has landed and disappeared again. Presenting some leftovers here.
Die Bewerbungszeiträume für den zweiten Jahrgang MA Spiel und Objekt mit Studienbeginn im Oktober 2020 sind nun festgelegt:
Beginn des Bewerbungszeitraumes: 16. März 2020
Ende des Bewerbungszeitraumes: 18. Mai 2020 – 13:00 Uhr
Über die Einladung zur Zulassungsprüfung wird am 25. Mai 2020 informiert.
Die Zulassungsprüfung findet am 13. und 14. Juni 2020 statt.
Weitere Informationen zum Ablauf der Bewerbung können der Bewerbungsseite unter spielundobjekt.de/bewerbung entnommen werden.
Let’s compile some reading in preparation for next week’s lectures on AI! First up, a thorough and well researched overview on the origins of AI and artistic approaches to it (in German) by Pit Noack (@maschinennah) for heise.de:
Ein künstliches neuronales Netz, so die Mathematikerin Hannah Fry in ihrem Buch “Hello World“, kann man sich “als eine riesige mathematische Struktur vorstellen, mit jeder Menge Schaltern und Reglern. Man speist ein Bild an einem Ende ein, es fließt durch eine Struktur, und am anderen Ende kommt eine Vermutung heraus, was dieses Bild enthält. Eine Wahrscheinlichkeit für jede Kategorie: Hund oder nicht Hund.”
Next up, the always awesome @AINowInstitute has published an extensive report on New York’s Automated Decision System Task Force (link to PDF):
📢🚨— Ben Green (@benzevgreen) December 4, 2019
A new report about the New York City Automated Decision System Task Force just dropped! If you're at all interested in the role and governance of algorithms in cities, you're going to want to read this. @AINowInstitute https://t.co/Evea8J3rI2 pic.twitter.com/RxMCBeXoQG
The wonderful people from MOTIF Institute are well worth following on twitter for their insights on AI and digital culture. Much love for their speculative approach to envisioning possible future scenarios (at Das ist Netzpolitik conference. in German):
If you are interested in the design aspects of AI, Chip Huyen (@chipro) wrote an extensive document on Machine Learning Systems Design:
In academic settings, people care more about training whereas in production, people care more about serving. Candidates who have only learned about machine learning but haven’t deployed a system in the real world often make the mistake of focusing entirely on training: getting the model to do well on some benchmark task without thinking of how it would be used.
And finally, here’s a fun thing to play if you have a couple of minutes: AI Dungeon 2 by Nick Walton and the BYU PCCL Lab:
at last i can play AI dungeon 2 pic.twitter.com/5SBLojlM97— Knives out (chives out) (@vqnerdballs) December 8, 2019
Rainer Rehak has been working on the subject of “Computer Science and Society” for about ten years. He studied computer science and philosophy in Berlin, Hong Kong and Beijing. During his studies he worked at the Chair of Computer Science in Education and Society by Wolfgang Coy. He is currently doing his doctorate at the Weizenbaum Institute for the networked society and teaching at the HTW-Berlin in the fields of data protection and data security, computer science and society as well as networks. Rainer also works as an IT security / privacy advisor and Unix server administrator.
Where: Ladenlokal, Zinnowitzer str. 7, 10115 Berlin
When: Monday, 09.12.19. – 19:00 Uhr
- Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung (FIfF e. V.), Regionalgruppe Berlin und im Vorstand, fiff.de
- Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI e. V.), Fachgruppe Informatik und Ethik, im Leitungsgremium, fg-ie.gi.de
- Amnesty International, Sektion Deutschland, Themenkoordinationsgruppe „Menschenrechte im digitalen Zeitalter“, amnesty-digital.de
welcome to December 1st! Not only the year 2019 ends soon, also the 2010’s will be over and the 2020’s will start! Some time ago, maybe it was 2017 or 2018, I said to myself “this month I’m going to learn Python!”. Which was great because after this month I said “this year” and now I am at “this decade”. How time flies! But now I’m actually in it for quite a while now and become more and more familiar with this language.
But how? And, why?
I started to google “learning python as c++ dev” and found the best quote I read so far. I can’t find the link anymore but it was sth like:
“If you learn a new language, try to learn it as you’ve never coded before. That’s how you get the spirit and soul of the language. If you want to code Python like C++, you don’t need to learn Python.”
I tried different tutorials on youtube and finally came up with buying this book. Online-Tutorials are great, but I still like to make notes in books, putting post-its on the pages and organize my brain in this kind of way. Otherwise I’m only on Google crawling myself through tons of answers – with the book, I kind-a know where the answer is. Still, searching the internet, especially stackoverflow, is the way to code:
So, why did I want to learn Python? For programming microcontrollers it’s almost useless. Games? I’d always recommend Unity or Unreal. Dataviz? vvvv or Processing, maybe also Unity. Interactive installations? Depends, but I mostly did them with vvvv.
But for everything big data and AI-related, Python is the way to go. There are the libraries.
It’s fun to test Yolo v3 in Python and I’m looking forward to find time to try CornerNet-Lite, which seems to be the state-of-the-art right now for realtime object detection(?). Of course these libraries get adapted and wrapped for other languages as well, but I sometimes just don’t want to wait.
I recently did some tests with NLP (Natural Language Processing) and tried to make a chatbot to “talk with Sarah Kane” or at least, with what she wrote. My first attempt was also to do it in Python, and as Python has a really big community, it has the library Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK). I read this tutorial on towardsdatascience.com and the hardest part was to convert Sarah Kane’s scripts from pdf to txt (and you could also read pdfs directly to python, of course). Again, my body was filled with dopamine because this worked out so well!
Coding on the Raspberry Pi, using the GPIOs, Sensors, building web-applications? From now on I’m doing it in Python! Ha!
Another great multipurpose toolkit for coding I unfortunately neglected in the past two years is vvvv. vvvvhat you can use it for is nicely shown in their brand new 8-minute showreel:
It’s a node-based language, meaning you don’t type any code but use blocks aka nodes, that you connect. The basic concept is easy to understand and yet you can make great visuals and almost everything with it. The lead developer of one of my favorite companies in the current media-art-scene, marshmallow laser feast, told me recently while eating a Schnitzel that he can’t code. He’s doing it all with nodes in vvvv. Jaw-drop.
Great thing about vvvv is also it’s community. Not as big as the Python community, but some really talented people doing a great job. Some of the contributions are free to use, for some of them you have to pay (fair!). Same with vvvv, by the way: If you use it for non-commercial projects it’s free, if you make money with it it’s only fair to pay the developers for this great tool! By the way, vvvv is developed in Berlin and they give free introduction workshops!
Next chapter, what happened during this week?
The Spiel && Objekt students were happily in Essen at the Next Level Festivals for Games 2019 presenting their works! Even the television (even the television!!!) was there to make a short clip about it, check it out:
So far so good. Take care for yourself and the people around you!
Please join us tonight for an Artist talk by Hannah Perner-Wilson about uncommon materialities in electronics, making as a way of perceiving the world, and her artistic practice.
Hannah’s work combines conductive materials and craft techniques to develop new styles of building electronics that emphasize materiality and process. She creates working prototypes to demonstrate the kinds of electronic artifacts we might build for ourselves in a world of electronic diversity. A significant part of her work goes into documenting and disseminating her techniques so that they can be applied by others.
Where: Ladenlokal, Zinnowitzer str. 7, 10115 Berlin
When: Monday, 25.11.19. – 19:00 Uhr
today it’s gonna be a quite short weekend reading. I’m preparing a workshop / game jam for the upcoming week and I want to give you a brief insight of at least a small part of my inspiration.
First are Megagames like Watch The Skies. The genre looks actually a bit like what we call participatory theatre. But these are just names and I think it’s really nice to see how boardgamers developed in the same direction as we at theater! In Watch The Skies every group plays a nation, everyone has a role, Aliens are arriving on Planet Earth and you have to communicate quite a lot! Enjoy the (long) video by Shut Up & Sit Down:
A game we want to play next week is Two Rooms And A Boom by Tuesday Knight Games. As No Pun Included says, “What if you have too many people to play a game with? In that particular case you play Two Rooms And A Boom!”
Another great inspiration for me personally was last week’s workshop “Spekulative Objekte” at Spiel && Objekt with Clemens Winkler. Be sure to check out the section “narrative materials” on his website! Though I couldn’t attend the workshop it was fun to see the objects and materials they experimented with like.. clouds!
And that’s it already! Have a lovely sunday and see you soon – Julian
Did you ever wonder what’s out there, what even exists? Lots of people asked themself this question. A brief anecdote: When I was in 8th grade I hold a presentation concerning our universe. The main question was “is life out there?” and by the end of my cute 10-minute-talk I made clear that there are quite a bunch of stars out there and almost every star has one or more planets just like our solar system.
When I, romantically, in a warm summer night, gazing at the stars, talk to another person next to me, I often realize that lot of people don’t know that all the stars we see are suns like ours (more or less). Lots of these dots are also galaxies, each one again containing billions of suns. And it wasn’t until 1990 that we discovered that each one of these suns has planets like ours. There are more stars out there than planet earth has sandgrains on all it’s beaches and each star has planets. What’s the chance that at least one of those planets also has “life” on it?
Quite sure you know that our solar system is part of a galaxy called the Milky Way. You can cleary see Milky Way during one of these romantically warm summer nights mentioned earlier and our solar system is somewhere in the outer spiral of this galaxy. Milky Way however is part of a supercluster called Laniakea. A superclaster is a bunch of galaxys. Some weeks ago I found this video about Laniakea:
Sorry if your ego just got a little smaller, at least mine did when I watched this video.
As I can see on OK Cupid, travelling seems to be one of the most important things for people like us. We all should have become astrophysicists because they travel the most – or at least the things they build do so. From superclusters we now go back to our galaxy and back to our own solar system. The end of the solar system is the greatest journey humans took so far with a space probe called Voyager 2. It took 42 years to reach the end of our solar system (and get into interstellar space) and was worth every second:
So there are uncountable other planets in our universe, unreachable for us with our current state of technology, and we wonder if there is another – or even intelligent – form of life out there. What I hardly understand: we’re checking the sky for alien signals, but it seems like this question forgets the time-issue so very often (in fact there is no such thing as time in quantum physicists vision, but that’s another story). Maybe there was a highly intelligent alien life only 10.000 years ago, that sent radio signals to planet Earth. The aliens extinct because of climate change on Planet Alien or something, but their radiofrequency signals passed planet Earth unrecognized like a fresh breeze of air. We just weren’t able to receive these signals back then. Maybe there was alien life two hundred billion years ago and they watched our dinosaurs with intergalaxy-cctv-cameras? Let’s take a look at the cosmic calendar to get a feeling of time in our universe. The Cosmic Calendar does something like this:
map(time, bigbang, now, 01.01.2019, 31.12.2019);
Now back to planet Earth. We’re living here like a cancer on it’s host thinking about how important we are. When I get in the mood to see this big cosmic picture of where we are, I often start to question the importance of human life. But enough of that now. It’s weekend and weekend means happy feelings!
So the answer for the simple question “is human life worth living?” is Hell, Yes!! Let’s go full circle with this life and realize for a minute that this universe created something like a “self” for matter! We humans have a “self”, a consciousness, how crazy is this! It’s the best drug a carbon based life form could ever get. Science still doesn’t know where this self awareness comes from, but let’s just breath in deep and take it to the max! I AM and for this gift we all should be so very thankful. But I’m also responsible for what and who I am. So I’ll end with a TED talk by Shannon Lee talking about her father Bruce Lee:
Please join us this coming Monday for an artist talk (in German) by Clemens Winkler (www.clemenswinkler.com).
Clemens´ gestalterische Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit Wegen der Artikulation und Erfahrbarkeit, vor allem im Wiederbeleben und Erzeugen materialbasierter Sprachen. Aktuell ist er neben seinem “Laboratorium für Narrative Materialien”, im Exzellenzcluster “Matters of Activity” der Humboldt Universität zu Berlin tätig. Er ist aktuell ebenfalls Gastdozent an der “University of the Underground” am Sandberg Institute Amsterdam, und dem “Interaction Design” an der Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.
Where: Ladenlokal, Zinnowitzer str. 7, 10115 Berlin
When: Monday, 18.11.19. – 19:00 Uhr