Over the next few weeks we will introduce you to our themes and to our contributing speakers. But first we need to demystify the digital society. Stephen Spielberg wrote of technology “It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.”
The news is filled with anxiety inducing stories of artificial intelligence programmes with the latent intentions of Skynet, of a jobless and inequitable future built on the backs of a robot workforce, where privacy is a commodity and our sense of self is an online performance.
Digital is everywhere – in education, health, government policy, art, heritage, economics – but is “digital” and “digital transformation” just Tech’s latest mantra? Is it just sloganizing?
What’s the difference between the digital society and the information age? Where can we see this digital transformation taking place?
Meet Glyn Darkin
Glyn is Chief Digital Architect at Wipro Digital. He’s expert in designing, building, delivering and running successful digital services by applying the skills and experience learned through delivering solutions for some of the UK and Ireland’s largest brands: Tesco, Sony, Clarks, Levis, Sky, Lakeland, Toys R Us, RBS, usgrave, FBD, SEAI, and AIB.
Glyn is at the forefront of the changes in the technology that are transforming business and society, and he’ll lay the foundations for the conference with a primer of the most far-reaching changes coming our way.
|CONFERENCE THEME: DIGITAL HUMAN
History – said James Joyce – is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake. The narratives of the digital transformation have the recurring character of the digital human. A character that is sometimes an angel and sometimes a devil. It is the cyborg that absolutely will not stop, it is the uploaded consciousness, it is the child forever immersed in the endless online game.
Is the digital society defined by the interaction of human beings and the environment they occupy and create by their collective action? Or is the digital society a human being+machine now the unit around which identity, rights, legal identity and meaning revolve?
Meet plan b
Sophia New and Daniel Belasco Rogers – aka plan b – are British artists based in Berlin since 2001.They have recorded everywhere they have been with a GPS, each day for the last decade and the collection of all their text messages sent to each other.They will explore our practice of data collection, and its historically unprecedented current levels of capture. They will talk about their own experiences of making art from digital sources, using open source operating systems and software.
Meet Joanna Hopkins
Joanna’s work explores the overlaps between the digital society, the brain, how people behave and psychology. She has completed multiple projects within the social engagement, digital and residency based sphere, including the CURAM Artists in Residence Programme in NUIG.Joanna will present The Empathy Machine. An interactive video booth that works via a pre-programmed Raspberry Pi. It reads facial and voice detection, which then triggers a series of pre-recorded prompts and questions. The Empathy Machine invokes the idea that even though our daily interactions are becoming more computer based, an on-screen persona may never replicate the empathetic nature of a real live human being.Online doctors and medication is a rapidly growing area. If, without touch, and physical awareness or assessment, can diagnosis be wrong or not helpful at all?