Digital Future – Future Semantic



We have looked at immersive environements, networking etc

Now what about the future of the internet.

What will happen to our identity, our work life, and our lives in general.

Our lives will be dictated by this!

Immersive technology is now being used in retail, as a selling tool. Retail is becoming more savvy to sell us things, immersive media.



IBM business partners recently predicted that next generation stores will be:

“Sense and respond environments that morph themselves to meet the temporal demands of customers’ immediate shopping objectives.”

Retailers  integrated digital media technologies:

  • radio frequency identification (RFID)
  • kiosks (loyal customers, shop database has information on you, can serve you the things the shop thinks you will like)
  • Already Holograms in use, Birmingham Airport
  • electronic shelf labels 
  • biometrics
  • shopping cart companions

-Minority Report (film) might not be the stuff of science fiction soon

-age of ubiquitous computing.

  • Iris scanning, loads of buildings in the world entered with an iris scan
  • Prediction (Minority report)

“Wired magazine says that despite 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created worldwide EVERY SINGLE DAY, the main issue that advertisers and agencies face is targeting the data to people who would realistically buy their products.” (

Advertisers want targeted people. As a photographer I may take advantage of this technology in future, rather than just being at its whim.

Google glass

Applications like this: the role of a photographer, videographer etc, anybody can see the world from our point of view. The media producers role…How do we compete with this. This is the question for our art form. Why use a photographer at a wedding…? When everyone could just watch the wedding through google glass, and edit the footage themselves. What we hope is that there will always be a space for talented aesthetic people. 

“Ubiquitous computing is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities. As opposed to the desktop paradigm, in which a single user consciously engages a single device for a specialized purpose, someone “using” ubiquitous computing engages many computational devices and systems simultaneously, in the course of ordinary activities, and may not necessarily even be aware that they are doing so.”

Mark Weiser 


-semantic means: the web can understand us, it can assess what we want.

We take it for granted that we have free access. People expect that they should have free access to the aesthetic as well.


This is the most reliable machine that humans have ever made. The internet itself has never gone down.

  • “120 billion clicks per day.
  • 65 trillion links between all the Web pages of the world.
  • 2.5 million emails per second
  • 170 quadrillion transistors
  • 246 exabyte storage.
  • 10 terabytes per second total traffic (the Library of Congress is about twenty terabytes. So every second, half the Library of Congress is swooshing around the world)
  • It uses five percent of the global electricity on the planet.”
  • (

The analogy of the brain and Internet…

  • “55 trillion links – almost the same as the number of synapses in a brain.
  • A quadrillion transistors – almost the same as the number of neurons.” (


“By the year 2040, the total processing power of this machine will exceed the total processing power of humanity.” 


Where will this all lead?

There is alot of paranoia about semantic technology…

Watch from 3.39- 8.30

Filter Bubble

Enthusiasts say:

“There’s only one machine, and the Web is its OS. All screens look into the One. No bits will live outside the Web. To share is to gain. Let the One read it. It’s going to be machine-readable. You want to make something that the machine can read. And the One is us. We are in the One. –  Kevin Kelly, Wired, exec editor.”

Student Project (israeli University)


A vision very slightly into the future

  • The voices used reminds me of the calm voices used in the film the “The Island”.
  • This in itself scares me, as they control their world, even though its a different idea, perhaps we will be controlled in a similar way…
  • If this happens, will we think freely anymore?
  • Looks quite innocent at the moment, gaming etc, however is it actually quite sinister?


Information from 252MC lecture and


The Power of the Network

Networks, computer, social and otherwise

We are all part of a network…







-belief systems



-All part of a network, even if we keep ourslves to our selves.

-Roads, trains


-Networks are how we learn

-Brain, synapsis and networks and links in our brain

-Similar to the Google algorithm

Here are some networks . . .(click on networks)

There are so many similarities between nature and digital data networks

We are reflections of the universe, and the internet is a reflection of us and the universe.

“Life and mind have a common abstract pattern or set of basic organizational properties. The functional properties characteristic of mind are an enriched version of the functional properties that are fundamental to life in general. Mind is literally life-like.”
Godfrey-Smith, P. (1996). Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

“Mind is literally life-like. The Universe and Life are literally mind-like. “
Peter Winiwarter (2008). Network Nature.


maps are one of the first data. They tell a story. Facebook network map is particularly interesting; no china on this map (not allowed facebook there)

-First network theory Ludwig von Bertalanffy, started around 1940.

General Systems Theory

-Mapping hard sciences, social sciences, humanities, technology and art.

His descriptive notions:

  • System (How it works)
  • Network (Structure)
  • Metabolism (Evolution/ organic nature)
  • Openness/closure (Can be impinged on from the outside)

radical constructivist “scientific knowledge is constructed by scientists and not discovered from the world”


chaos theory “the butterfly effect – small differences in initial stimuli can have global effects” (

– cybernetics “the study of systems that have ‘goals’ and achieve them through feedback”



-random networks (less common and less stable, don’t last, temporary)

-scale-free networks (most pervasive, strong and robust. Brain, universe, internet are examples of this)


Scale-free networks:

-power law distribution

-clustering coefficient distribution

The hubs (black dots) allow links; created in a hierarchy


Video: TED talk by Henry Markram – started the Blue Brain Project

An attempt to map the human brain

-We create a bubble that mirrors the universe

-We make decisions on how we perceive

This is a scale free network:


-Interconnected hubs

-Some have few connections

-Scale-free networks are pervasive in biology

Computer simulations: University of Chicago

Digital Media:



-Using these networks

McLuhan’s concept of media

-He predicted this network connectivity before the internet in the 1960s.

-“the medium is the message”, Distributing information (for example a photograph, the TV, the radio)

The format itself is the most important thing, the fact that this thing can be represented in this way. Society responds the these changes rather than the content itself (for example analog to digital photography). Why do we want to document our world? Its the advance in technology thats important. Philosophy of photography is more important than any photograph I could take. The medium is more important, and the medium is more important. Same with the internet, we use it for information, yet the network itself tells a story.

“What good is blood without an arterial system? What good is art or photography in the digital age without a network to distribute it? And however much you want to disassociate ourselves from these networks (because they feel constructed/unimportant/superficial) we can’t.” (

Six Degrees of Separation – the small world theory

-Network Theory

-You are only ever six times removed in association with any other person on the planet

-you will know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone etc, who knows David Cameron.


-This is where it is moving towards

-Trying to make the internet more like our brains

-Everything is made out of the same stuff

-Artificial intelligence in our own image

-A creature with a billion eyes (works in the same ways as our brains work)

Olga Goriunova says that feedback is not interaction, computation is not cognition; data is not knowledge, storage is not memory.

  • telecommunication switches are not social networks
  • cybernetic mapping is not the cultural territory.

But do we agree?

Is this the digital reflection of the organic…

Interesting links:

Information gained from 205MC lecture (

My website: creation of menu

Designs for my website :

My websites menu:

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Response to: An anthropological introduction to YouTube

A response to: An anthropological introduction to YouTube


Anthropology, “The study of humankind, in particular… (Also cultural or social anthropology) the comparative study of human societies and cultures and development.” (

Whilst watching Michael Wesch’s video (an anthropological introduction to YouTube) I felt that YouTube was this great community where people can get together, express them selves and give each other support. Briefly in the video it touched on “haters”, however, the rest of the video seemed extremely positive and made me proud to be part of this community, if not actively taking part and video blogging then watching and listening.

The more I think about YouTube the more I think about the negatives. Digital media scares me. The idea behind the Internet is communication, however how anonymous you can be on it is worrying. Individuals feel that they can say things they wouldn’t normally as they are anonymous. These “haters” comments can cause more damage than you would first think. When you see peoples nasty comments you ignore it, but it would bother you more if you heard it being said on the street. Why is this?

YouTube video bloggers feel that they can express themselves in a new way, as they are not standing in front of their audience, they are hidden away at home in front of their camera. People act differently to this new freedom, some find this awkward, as you are not talking to anyone, however, some people find it easier and use it to reach out for help or attention. The problem with the Internet if how quickly viral videos spread. People reaching out for attention soon find themselves being abused by people worldwide. I think that the video bloggers never realised how far their videos would spread. One tragic instance was Giovanna Plowman. (

Some believe that the whole thing is a hoax, her video, her suicide etc. However, I am making a point that this is what could potentially happen. Someone could reach out for help online in the form of a video blog, hoping to get attention and make friends, not quite realising the repercussions of their actions. A new craze that has come to fruition in recent times is the existence of so called Internet “trolls”. These range from people attacking actions such as the video posted by this young girl, to other subjects such as racism which is difficult to control and eradicate in the cyber world. In the case of the YouTube girl, it is thought that messages of hatred from such “trolls” led to the tragic event of her suicide. Another case of such “trolls” in action is that of former footballer Stan Collymore. He received racial abuse on Twitter after stating an opinion on a football match ( This event has received a lot of media attention and has made the public question how controllable sites such as Twitter and YouTube are when it comes to people leaving comments. Anonymity has therefore caused a problem; people feel they can say these things because they are hidden behind a computer. The Internet has grown too quickly for it own good.


Here comes everybody 202MC Digital Media

Here comes everybody


– “Here comes everybody” book by Clay Shirky




The internet and interactive media allows everyone to have their say. It has allowed us to actively participate without the old gatekeepers with holding information.

Have caused huge changes in family life, politics etc. These media have changed the way we think, communicate and understand the world. It has consequences for everyone. As photographers we are competing with amateur photographers, everyone can think they are photographer, anyone has access to a camera, and blogging website systems now.

Can see a future where we vote online. Online is the place that you can participate in the things we believe in. The power of numbers. 

Michael Wesch – The Machine is Using Us:

“But Wesch is also concerned with how the Internet has allowed participation to become a dominant – if not THE dominant cultural form. Wesch isn’t as preoccupied with the political forms of participation that Shirky talks about (Shirky has very interesting things to say about governments’ interactions with citizens and the authenticity of political participation in the 21st Century). Wesch’s examination of participation is more anthropological – his research area is Digital Ethnography.” (

– I Tube Youtube Everybody Tubes


Old statistics, 2008 (roughly times these by 10)

New forms of expression. You tube is a new type of platform; a new craze. Copying the first guy who danced for the web, a celebration of a new community. Allowing us to connect with each other.

People wanted to upload videos of them, home videos, and dancing etc. Mucking about in front of a webcam was odd, however, subsequently its now huge, everyone copies the original video. The desire to copy whats in the media, the copies become almost as popular as the original media.

Its amazing and extraordinary that something crosses cultures and travels geographical. 

Now things travel within days. They get reproduced and remade.

Gangyam Style…

Ai Wei WeiMadonna were all part of this ‘craze’

Participatory digital media – +ve

  1. communicate with peers
  2. idea development twitter
  3. communication Flickr
  4. can get feedback even if just an ameteur
  5. creating profiles is easy
  6. social network creation Ning

Participatory digital media – -ve

  1. People can use your photographs once they are online. How do you stop people from using them. 
  2. Huge problem as a photographer. We have paid for a degree, and are now in debt, yet someone who has just started their own website could be earning more than us.
  3. Everybody is out there, Everybody has access

Some people are making money already using the internet, without having studied a degree. 

Vlogging is the way forward. If you interact you can stand out from the crowd. we are required to be so many things apart from just creative. We have to be out there. Vlog of #picbod

Even Jessie J used this. Singing into her camera in her bedroom, presented herself as girl next door. As if you are her friend. Celebrities know that if you seem to interact in a personal way, then we pay attention more. Constructed as a dialog, most fall for this.

Advertising on bill boards, TV etc has diminished, it is now all over the internet. WTF, or LOL factors. Viral videos are the way forward. If it doesn’t spread its dead. Someone else spreads it for you, you don’t have to pay. You can spend more on the video, and then it gets spread for you.

The Ad that changed the brand of advertising online. This ad was for a product that no one uses anymore. Reviving the brand, an american footballer. On you tube first, so many people forwarded this and put it on Facebook they with drew from TV, saving millions. 

Remixes were then spread all over the world. 

Buzzfeed, they do something different, WTF factor.

Developments in participation: crowdsourced…

Extraordinary, global community interested in participating, constantly changing, a new thing all the time. Becoming something greater than it was, through collaboration. Symbolism has been brought into it, appropriately through the symbolism through the song.

  • Everything Aaron Koblin does!, some of the most amazing crowd sourcing subjects online

Here’s how:

Every time you search for something on Google, you are contributing data. Scraped re-used and sometimes used and sold; companies analysing people. Participating in this huge thing, its almost incomprehensible.