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The Augmented City Podcast
17 minutes | a month ago
Election 2020: The End of the Beginning for Social Media and AI
We release this show while votes are being counted from the 2020 US General Election. Four years ago, we published one of the first Augmented City shows in the week following the election of Donald Trump. That show tried to illustrate the decisive role played by social media in the 2016 contest [see below for a link]. This time, we look at how social media and AI have matured as potent political tools and ask the question: how well will democratic societies weather the onslaught of fake news and other forms of digital content designed to nudge people in a particular ideological direction? The 2020 election will force a reckoning at all levels of society and the technology industry about the impact of social media and AI on our democratic processes. One of the most important intellectual hurdles will be a realization that the Internet and social media are now mature infrastructures. If Andrew Ng is right that AI (even social media) is the new electricity, we must recognize that digital pollution is as real as its physical counterpart. "These are early days" is an oft-used phrase that must be retired. From 2016: https://soundcloud.com/the-augmented-city/augmented-city-project-ai-elections
56 minutes | 2 months ago
The AC Interview - The New Barbarians & Modern LIfe W. Prof. Ian Angell
Professor Ian Angell is one of the most influential and controversial thinkers about the global consequences of information technology. Formerly the chair of the Department of Information Systems at the London School of Economics, Prof. Angell wrote a book called "The New Barbarian Manifesto", which published on January 1, 2000. I know the book because Ian and I bounced around certain ideas within it while I was a student at the LSE. We take a look at the ideas of Empire and Barbarians from a socio-political viewpoint in the context of technology and the breaking apart of the Post WWII international order. We don't agree on everything and neither should you. But given current times, many of the warnings from 20 years ago ring terribly true.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
AC speaks with Dr. Steven Schkolne about the History and Destinty of Machine Consciousness
AC interviewed Dr. Steven Schkolne about his new book, "Living with Frankenstein: The History and Destiny of Machine Consciousness". We cover some of the scientific, philosophical and humanistic ideas and controversies about consciousness and what it means for machines to exhibit similar attributes. The rubber will meet the road with digital humans, 3D avatars that combine Hollywood quality realism on the front-end with AI in the back. Even if these creations pass the classic Turing Test, does it mean they're actually intelligent and/or conscious or does it mean we need a new test for both? This interview builds on our continuing work on digital humans, the signature example of merging culture & code.
24 minutes | 4 months ago
Synthetic Characters and Retail's Future: AC Interview Natalie Monbiot
John speaks with Natalie Monbiot of Hour One, a NYC-based company that develops AI-powered synthetic characters for retail and other types of customer service. This interview is part of our ongoing series about the blurring lines between real and imaginary people we meet online.
30 minutes | 8 months ago
AC Interview - Metastage's Christina Heller talks about Volumetric Capture
AC speaks with Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage, one of LA's premier creative technology service providers. Christina is an expert on volumetric capture, the ability to capture a 3D media asset from a human performance. We go over the fundamentals of volumetric as well as how it's being applied in Hollywood for movies and for music.
29 minutes | 8 months ago
AC Interview - Laura Rizzotto on Creating Holographic Performance
As an award winner singer and musician, Laura Rizzotto has performed on numerous stages --- including the inside of a 16oz glass of beer. A beer glass is a tight squeeze for a flesh and blood human but a cinch for a 3D hologram. 3D human performance capture has become common practice for producing high-end digital media. Scores of articles and interviews cover the technical and business side of this mash-up of film making and computer science. But what does this rapidly maturing platform mean for performers? What is unique and what stays the same? We sit down with professional musician and Eurovision winner Laura Rizzotto to explore the artist's perspective of 3D performance capture.
44 minutes | 8 months ago
AC Interview - Digital Humans with Darren Hendler of Digital Domain
A conversation with Darren Hendler of Digital Domain about lifelike 3D avatars with an AI back-end ("Digital Humans"). If you've seen movies like Marvels Avengers: Infinity War, Spiderman, Beauty and the Beast, Deadpool, Titanic and many others, you've experienced some of Digital Domain and Darren's visual effects work. Now, many of the technologies and techniques honed for bringing digital characters to the big screen are emerging in other sectors like healthcare and education as the next generation of virtual assistants. What happens when you merge Hollywood-level special effects with conversational AI? This interview is one of several we're producing around this topic.
49 minutes | 10 months ago
AC Interview- Jonathan Blanco, CEO of TF Blockchain & TF Labs
Jonathan Blanco started TF Blockchain to provide a networking and education platform for the blockchain community of practice in Seattle and six other cities. We spoke with Jonathan about TF's origin story plus how blockchain principles and technology are changing industries and services well beyond the financial sector. If you're looking for a map of the blockchain ecosystem and where to plug into it, this is your episode.
22 minutes | 10 months ago
AC @ CES - John Canning, Exec. Producer of New Media & Experential at Digital Domain
During CES, we spoke with John Canning, a senior executive at Digital Domain, one of Hollywood's top-tier visual effects (VFX) creative development studios. Examples of DD's work include the villainous Titan Thanos from Marvel's Avenger film series. Brought alive on the screen by actor Josh Brolin and the Digital Domain VFX team, Thanos is a fusion of human performance & creativity, AI smarts, and cloud computing scale. Now, many of the technologies and techniques used to develop a character like Thanos are being re-imagined for platforms beyond film and television --- holograms, AR/VR, immersive media for indoor and outdoor locations. John's job is to figure out how to make that jump from a few screens to ubiquitous screens, or no screens at all.
20 minutes | a year ago
AC @ CES - New Urban Air Mobility w. Matt Holvey from Bell
On the floor at CES 2020, John spoke with Matt Holvey from Bell about Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and new directions for an 80 year old aviation company. The conversation touched on mass-market, electric powered vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, regulatory issues, the path to autonomous flight operations, and what is required to build an ecosystem around urban air travel.
25 minutes | a year ago
AC Interview - Connected Travel's Bryan Biniak talks about developing media for the car
Following up from our panel session at the Infinity Festival, we spoeak with Bryan Biniak of Connected Travel about media development for new mobility, hackathons between automotive OEMs and record labels as well as the skillsets and attitudes required to navigate this shifting audience sector.
22 minutes | a year ago
AC @ Infinity Festival Pt. 2 - Virtual Production, Game Engines, MEC and Automotive Media
In Part II of our deep dive into next generation storytelling, we talk with Nigel Tierney, Head of Content for Ryot about game engines and mobile edge computing in media. We also report from the Augmented City panel session on next generation media & marketing for automobiles.
14 minutes | a year ago
AC @ Infinity Festival - The Cutting Edge Of Motion Capture With Christina Heller, CEO MetaStage
Continuing our coverage of Hollywood's best creative technologies and technologists, we interview Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage. Christina walks us through volumetric technology, a new method for capturing human performance in 3D.
16 minutes | a year ago
AC @ Infinity Festival - HP's Vision Of The VR Future - Joanna Popper
John speaks with Joanna Popper, HP's Global Head of VR for Location-based Entertainment, about how lessons learned in the entertainment field transfer over to other sectors like training, architecture and similar.
50 minutes | a year ago
AC Interview - Christof Koch, Chief Scientist & President, Allen Institute for Brain Science
John interviews Dr. Christof Koch of the Allen Institute for Brain Science about the nature of consciousness. From split brains, bridged brains, neural implants and everything in-between, Dr. Koch and John discuss a wide range of clinical and philosophical implications of a scientific understanding consciousness and what it means to be human.
13 minutes | a year ago
AC @ Infinity Festival LA - w. John MacInnes
During a recent trip to LA for the Infinity Festival, John Gauntt guest hosted with Voice of America. There, he was fortunate enough to interview screenwriter John MacInnes, who wrote the script for Call of Duty Modern Warfare, one of the best selling videogames of all time. The two Johns talked about game engines as creative palettes for storytellers above and beyond console, PC or mobile games. The next stage of motion capture will come tantalizingly close to creating true digital humans, one of the most famous of which was immortalized in the exhibit, "David Bowie is Unreal", which played at the Infinity Festival.
15 minutes | a year ago
AC Analysis - Infinity Festival Part 1 - Story Advanced by Technology
AC burrowed into the heart of Hollywood to learn about the technologies behind motion capture, digital humans, AR/VR and many others that are transforming how we tell stories.
16 minutes | a year ago
AC Interview - Shelley Peterson, Principal Investigator for AR, Lockheed Martin
John speaks with Shelley Peterson, the Principal Investigator for AR at Lockheed Martin, exploring how the space and defense tech world views augmented reality, and how those possibilities are making their way into the mainstream.
16 minutes | a year ago
AC Primer - 5G Cellular for Creators
5G cellular is tipped to become the next evolutionary infrastructure for physical mobility and digital media. John Gauntt explores what this means for people creating content and new user experiences. You'll learn what is 5G and what's driving it, how that's playing out in the marketplace, plus the key nuggets to understand about 5G if you develop products, services or media.
17 minutes | a year ago
AC Interview - Mobility Innovation w. Bill Foy, SVP Engineering, Denso International
John talks with Bill Foy, SVP for Engineering for Denso, a mobility OEM that is launching a new Seattle Innovation Lab focused on connected vehicles and cloud computing. John and Bill take a look at the Seattle Lab's remit and what new mobility players are trying with edge and cloud computing.
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