lecture cyber-physical systems

Yesterday’s afternoon, the 30th of October at the Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam we listened to Prof.Dr. Ben van Lier who delivered his inaugural lecture for the Hogeschool Rotterdam; ‘Thinking about ecologies of autonomous cyber-physical systems and their ethics’. Afterwards a (too brief) discussion moderated by Rob van Kranenburg (Council) with Liisa Janssens (TNO), Linda Kool (Rathenau) and Jonne Hoek (TU-Twente). Again the conclusion was drawn that the overall lack of awareness is real; the english text of the lecture is published by the HR but should in fact be transformed into a summary in Dutch and published widely.

Fuller’s heritage

To celebrate the impact of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, Whirlwind Creative – a multi-talented creative firm based in New York City – has created a 28 minute film about the 10 years legacy and impact of the program. The film’s creators, David Lackey and Terren Baker, conducted dozens of interviews with the Fuller Challenge winners, jurors, review team members, and others to create a profile of the program. Released in conjunction with the curated archive of the whole-systems design innovations, the film provides an inspiring context and makes a compelling case for the importance of this approach to addressing the interrelated issues facing the world today.

https://www.bfi.org/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=4053&qid=4181949

 

smart building

During the last Building Holland conference on April 17-19th in Amsterdam – https://www.buildingholland.nl/preview-bh_aafc2016/20180426-een-smart-building-is-een-dienst – one of the presentations – ‘a Smart Building is a service’ – summarized on the website is the following; (alas only in Dutch, so translated by me).: ‘A smart building will later on not be a collection of stones with people in it, but will resemble more of a computer with roof on top. Sensors measure the presence and even happiness of people, life-cycle of materials, installations will be watched, the building will adapt to the wishes of the user, even when this user is unaware of this.’ Given the title: a service provided, managed and controlled by who?
One remark by a lawyer present: ‘when I hear the term ‘smart’ I know that in 99% of issues it concerns a privacy-problem.’
I could not be there, but I am certainly most glad he was……………

ethics & science; values and autonomous systems?

Published this month, the EGE ‘Statement on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Autonomous Systems‘, rapporteur TUD-Prof. Dr. Jeroen van der Hoven. Since ‘Autonomous Systems’ here includes the IoT its relevance/importance is obvious, in particular since the report states that ‘Autonomy in the ethically relevant sense of the world can therefore (see its philosophical origin, mp) only be attributed to human beings’. This comes as a rather anthropocentric approach; it excludes all other possibilities to add objects as autonomous elements while at  the same time the report questions earlier: ‘Around which values do we want to organise our societies?’ If we conclude that the answer to this important  question can be framed ‘post-human’, can we thus exclude a certain amount of autonomy for anything other then the subject?

the theory of making

On last Nov. 24 a discussion was held in Rotterdam between Wim Nijenhuis (arch/urban history, writer) and Pieter Lemmens (prof. Philosophy & Ethics Radboud Univ.)  about the theory of making in the work of Bernhard Stiegler. Is digital technology a ‘pharmakon’; a medicine and poison at the same time? How to ‘make’ as an technological being? The recorded discussion will soon be on-line…..

discNijenh_Lemm

(sm)art city

After a delay of some time the long awaited, monumental monograph of Cedric Price (1952-2003) was published recently by AA/CCA; 2 volumes in a box document extensively the impressive works and thoughts of one of the most influential British architects whose line of thinking still is more actual then ever. Like the projects of his Dutch contemporary Constant, who worked for almost 20 years on his New Babylon-project, the works of Price – in particular Fun Palace – show another approach towards (re)thinking and designing the built environment. In the words of Guardian-journalist Jeremy Melvin after Price’s death in 2003: “The architecture was indeterminate, flexible and driven by what technology then existed – and some that Price anticipated – for exchanging ideas and goods, and the movement of people from place to place.” Above all, Price offers “a focus to the optimism of the time, when it seemed possible to remake society around the potential for delight and opportunity.” Lees verder