So, how do we make sense of new media? How can we guard against our temptation to assume, our implicit sense, even, that everything in our experience of today’s emerging digital media is brand new and unprecedented? And how do we do that while also appreciating the things that really are new or unique to our current cultural context and moment in history?
Archive (Page 2 of 3)
We’re continuing our series of installments, focusing on what makes new media new. Or put another way, how new are new media, really?
We’re going to talk at length about new media. And in our first few installments we’re going to begin by thinking for a bit about what makes a medium new.
When I go talk about this, the thing that I tell people is that I’m not worried about algorithms taking over humanity, because they kind of suck at a lot of things, right. And we’re really not that good at a lot of things we do. But there are things that we’re good at. And so the example that I like to give is Amazon recommender systems. You all run into this on Netflix or Amazon, where they recommend stuff to you. And those algorithms are actually very similar to a lot of the sophisticated artificial intelligence we see now. It’s the same underneath.
In 2004, after working for more than ten years as a cook, I visited a favela for the first time. I saw in cooking a way to train people, and so I offered a vocational training program in a local institution.
I come here today because I’m excited about data but also because I’m terrified. I’m terrified that we are having progress without culture in the world of data. And as we’ve seen with these failed industries before, progress without culture does not work.
What’s key…is that we all need to work together. There’s no way for all of us to know about each other. We’re in that part of this new way of being that there’s too many players. It’s too chaotic. There is no center, there is no hub. But we need to find ways to work together, and to lose the idea that any one of us is the solution. Because if any one of us were the solution, we wouldn’t be where we are now.