Archive for March, 2016

Historical Twitter: On Twitter, Telephony & India

Historical Twitter: On Twitter, Telephony & India

Ten years ago, on 21 March 2006, the first Twitter message—what would come to be called a tweet, but at the time was described as a status update—was sent. Four months later, on July 15, Twitter opened to the public as a messaging service. This is the first in a series of posts that explores Twitter through a historical lens. At least, it may become a series. We’ll see. The image above, satisfyingly opaque with its mysterious number block and bevy of well-regulated golden pigeons, appeared on the Twitter blog on 17 January 2008. That blog post announced a short […]

On the Promise of AlphaGo

On the Promise of AlphaGo

  Games are an old venue for the development of AI programs, and have been part of the AI repertoire since the beginnings of the field. Turing wrote about games in his 1948 paper “Intelligent Machinery,” in which he suggested chess, noughts and crosses, bridge, and poker as among the games to teach machines. Why the focus on games that foreground disembodied mental activity? Because a “thinking machine” constructed in the image of a man would be “a tremendous undertaking” and therefore would be “altogether too slow and impractical” a research project (p. 39). Minksy, in the introduction to the […]

Colin Milburn – Inside Out: Videogames and the Technological Impulse

Colin Milburn – Inside Out: Videogames and the Technological Impulse

A “Liveblog” of Colin Milburn’s STS colloquium presentation, March 14, 2016. Compiled by Erik Stayton with the help of Mitali Thakor and anonymous others. The discussant was Emily Wanderer.   Hanna Shell: She welcomes us to the first STS Colloquium of the Spring 2016 season. Colin shared with us chapters of his book. Before she moves on to introducing Colin, she notes that Emily is an STS graduate and welcomes her back. Colin is the Gary Snyder Chair in Science and the Humanities at UC Davis, where he holds affiliations in STS, Cinema and Media Studies, and English — “he […]

cross-STS Spring 2016 Schedule

cross-STS Spring 2016 Schedule

The cross-STS Working Group at MIT’s Program in History, Anthropology, and STS (HASTS) is happy to present the Spring 2016 schedule. cross-STS started in Fall 2014, exploring the recent disciplinary, spatial, temporal, and geographical crossings in Science & Technology Studies in monthly meetings. The Spring 2016 iteration attempts to bring together scholars from across the academy to discuss issues of shared interest in science and technology studies, including parafiction, biosecurity, and translation. We look forward to seeing you at our first meeting this Thursday, March 17th! Richard and Peter If you wish to receive to subscribe to our mailing list […]

A Few Thoughts on the Recent Google Car “Crash”

A Few Thoughts on the Recent Google Car “Crash”

As someone who studies automated vehicles, I have had a number of people send me links about the recently publicized “first” at-fault Google car crash (see this article for example). This is actually a really interesting situation, and presents a good moment to comment on a couple of important issues. First: As I wrote about in my M.S. thesis last spring, the notion of responsibility becomes more difficult to pin down in distributed and hybrid systems of humans and machines. Around this time, the frequency of Google car accidents came to light, with the inevitable comparisons to human accident rates […]