28. mars 2008

Further research

Lately i have found myself in a "status quo" on my main project while doing a lot of fun things with paper cups and cd-rw drives. To get back on track i am doing more research into projects that revolve around data mining and robotic emotions or expressions.

In an interview with MIT's Sandy Pentland by Kate Green (TR 2007) there is quite a few gems that fits my project quite well. I have long been facinated by the ability to use the ubiquitous cell phone to gater information unknown to man. And in an experiment in "reality mining", by Pentland, he states that:
A cell phone is the ultimate data-collection machine
and later he states what i feel is a great purpose for the collections of everyday data (Slightly paraphrased):
"Reality mining helps us anonymously compare ourselves to our peers"
And it is in that context ubiquitous data mining or reality mining comes to its right. It will help us see our selfes in a new context and it adds a social layer to our exisitng ones. Privacy is mentioned in an article and it is sad that always is a negative factor in data mining projects. But what if the data is not connected to individual persons, just their objects. Would there be privacy issues if devices could exchange social information with other devices?

I walk around school in lunch and bump into Christer who has just arrived. We stop and chat on random topics. My phone starts to make pleasant noises, while Christers phone emit some short confirming noises. I pick up my phone and it tells me that Christers phone are in contact with some sweets that i like. I politly ask Christer for some sweets and i am a happy camper. But based on a msn chat with Christer he would have had this response:
"Christer, refusing to forfeit his delicious candy, suddenly runs off hurriedly and slaps his phone right in the face for being a loose cannon"
But how would this scenario play out in the meeting of strangers? I will update with more scenarios tomorrow.

Expressive objects
I am always facinated by objects that have genuine expressions. It is so easy to connect to things we can relate to. And it does not have to be a recognizable facial expression. Objects with lifelike behaviours can easily be creepy, scary and ugly. Other methods like colour, temperature, light, sound and motion could be used for multimodal communication. Still, when we see a familiar face in an object, it can be surprising:

Faces in places presents selected images of things that have human like ekspressions from the flickr pool of images. It is quite intriguing the range of expressions that can be read from an object.

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