Masterstudiengang Spiel und Objekt

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&& Prof. Hannah Perner Wilson

We are super-happy to announce, that Hannah Perner-Wilson has joined the Spiel und Objekt team as a Professor for digital media.

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. She is a frequent collaborator with artist Mika Satomi.

In order to get to know Hannah a bit better, we asked 4 questions relating to her practice and the performing arts:

S&&O: What is your current research interest?

HPW: My current work is leading me to explore making’s potential as more than a means of prototyping and production.

We blame our styles and systems of making for much of what we see to be wrong in the world today (environmental pollution, resource depletion, exploitation of human labor, capitalism and consumerism). Yet my own experience of making has led me to believe that it holds many other potentials. Making as an opportunity to re-imagine other ways of creation and being in the world. Making as a process of understanding the world and our current situation. Making as a means for re-making our relations with the world.

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SO! Magazine release

The very first issue of the student-created SO magazine is now online for you to read:

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Happy reading, Feel free to download and share!

weekend reading

It’s semester break, so the readings will be rather short these coming weeks. And, sometimes, a bit late in the day.

A durch court has haltet facial recognition usage, after its algorithm turns out to be biased in its selection (via wired):

The case demonstrates how privacy regulations and human rights laws can rein in government use of automation. It’s among several recent examples of European regulations limiting government programs that turn algorithms and artificial intelligence on citizens. In the US, however, such guardrails generally are lacking.

Teens are grouping up on instagram to avoid personalized data tracking (via cnet);

But unlike many of Instagram’s users, Mosley and her high school friends in Maryland had figured out a way to fool tracking by the Facebook-owned social network. On the first visit, her Explore tab showed images of Kobe Bryant. Then on a refresh, cooking guides, and after another refresh, animals.

And the news that kept everyone occupied all week. And will keep us occupied for the foreseeable future. Bye for now.

weekend reading

In today’s weekend reading: Games as simulated experiences, offering agency in the face of uncontrollable circumstances. We need to talk about this more.

And hopefully on a deeper level than this article on Quartz (although props to Jane Li for bringing attention to this):

On China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform, many joked darkly about the similarities between the games and the real situation. “The best way to get rid of fear is to face the fear itself,” wrote 17173, a Chinese game news site, commenting on Plague Inc.’s sudden rise in popularity. Some users said that in order to have a more immersive experience, they chose China as the origin country that exports the virus to other regions in the game.

Regarding sustainability and materiality of digital media, Low Tech Magazine reports on their solar powered website:

A website that goes off-line in evening could be an interesting option for a local online publication with low anticipated traffic after midnight. However, since Low-tech Magazine’s readership is almost equally divided between Europe and the USA this is not an attractive option. If the website goes down every night, our American readers could only access it during the morning.

And finally, the thing I am reading right now:Rodrigo Ochigame on The long history of algorithmic fairness.

Take care, and hug a British person.

Bewerbungszeitraum MA Spiel und Objekt 2020

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 entnommen werden.

weekend reading

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

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):

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):


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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: