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The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
The Protean Machine
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The Protean Machine

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This presentation looks at some of the leading edge applications of digital technologies and traces their development from originating mathematical concepts to the present. It was given to a Media …

This presentation looks at some of the leading edge applications of digital technologies and traces their development from originating mathematical concepts to the present. It was given to a Media Cultures 2 class, RMIT games program, in 2010

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  • 1. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E THE PROTEAN MACHINE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVTo4y5e08k&feature=player_embeddedS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 1
  • 2. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E “The protean nature of the computer is such that it can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited. It is a medium that can dynamically simulate the details of any other medium, including media that cannot exist physically. It is not a tool, although it can act like many tools. It is the first meta-medium, and as such it has degrees of freedom for representation and expression never before encountered and as yet barely investigated.” Alan Kay, 1984S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 2
  • 3. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Fijuu by Julian Oliver. fijuu is a 3D, audio/visual installation/instrument. Using a PlayStation-style gamepad, the player(s) of fijuu dynamically manipulate 3D instruments to make improvised music. http://fijuu.com || http://vimeo. com/8013684S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 3
  • 4. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Augmented reality: Urban Camouflage Kazutoshi Obana’s gray hooded coat doesn’t just keep him dry in a downpour. It can also make him seem invisible. azutoshi Obana’s gray hooded coat doesn’t just keep him dry in a downpour. It can also make him seem invisible. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=1cGIwQfYWywS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 4
  • 5. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E levelHead -- spatial memory game by Julian Oliver. levelHead uses a hand-held solid-plastic cube as its only interface. On-screen it appears each face of the cube contains a little room, each of which are logically connected by doors. In one of these rooms is a character. By tilting the cube the player directs this character from room to room in an effort to find the exit. http://julianoliver.com/levelhead || http://vimeo.com/1320756S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 5
  • 6. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Giant Robots attack Montevideo Uruguayan film maker Fede Alvarez has created a five minute short in which giant, alien robots destroy the city of Montevideo. The short, entitled “Ataque de panico!” (Panic Attack), has some very impressive special effects, but cost about five hundred dollars to make.Sam Raimi, the director of the Spiderman series as well as Xena Warrior Princess was so impressed that he has signed a deal with Fede Alvarez to create a full length feature based on the short. This is the way that South African Neill Blomkamp got to make District Nine out of his short, thanks to the involvement of Peter Jackson. http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=wOv_S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 6
  • 7. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html ‘SixthSense’ is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 7
  • 8. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Starting points: THE ABACUS • Known to have first existed in Mesopotamia and China, in- vented sometime between 1000 BCE and 500 BCE. • The first abacus was almost certainly based on a flat stone covered with sand or dust, later they generally appeared as a wooden frame with beads sliding on wires. • In use centuries before the adoption of the written Hindu-Ar- abic numeral system and is still widely used by merchants and clerks in China, Japan, Africa and elsewhere. Russian Abacus: The abacus is considered by some to be one of the world’s first computers. http://concise.britannica.com/ebc/art- 83564S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 8
  • 9. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Starting points: ALGORITHM 825 CE Mukhammad ibn Musa Al’Khowarizmi, a Tashkent cleric, developed the concept of a written process to be followed to achieve a goal. He published a book on the subject that gave the technique its modern name -- algorithm. This book synthesized Greek and Hindu knowledge and also contained his own fundamental contribution to mathematics and science including an explanation of the use of zero. It was only centuries later, in the 12th century, that the Arabic numeral system was introduced to the Western world through Latin translations of his Arithmetic.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 9
  • 10. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Starting points: Zero plays a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic ZERO structures. 0 The oldest known text to use a decimal place-value system, including a zero, is the Jain text from India entitled the Lokavibhâga, dated 458 AD.This text uses Sanskrit numeral words for the digits, with words such as the Sanskrit word for void for zero. The Hindu-Arabic numerals and the positional number system were introduced around 500 AD, and it was introduced by Persian scientist, Al-Khwarizmi. .S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 10
  • 11. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Starting points: LIBER ABACI 202 Leonardo of Pisa, known later by his nickname Fibonacci published Liber Abaci, a book on arithmetic. Its title has two common translations,The Book of the Abacus or The Book of Calculation. “There, following my introduction, as a In this work, Fibonacci introduced the Hindu-Arabic numerals to Europe.This consequence of marvelous instruction in is the major element of our decimal system, which he had learned by studying the art, to the nine digits of the Hindus, the with Arabs while living in North Africa. knowledge of the art very much appealed to me before all others, and for it I He is also remembered for the Fibonacci sequence realized that all its aspects were studied in Egypt, Syria, Greece, Sicily, and In the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, each number is the sum of the Provence, with their varying previous two numbers, starting with 0 and 1.Thus the sequence begins 0, 1, 1, methods; and at these places thereafter, while 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610 etc. on business. The higher up in the sequence, the closer two consecutive “Fibonacci The nine Indian figures are: numbers” of the sequence divided by each other will approach the golden 987654321 ratio (approximately 1 : 1.618 or 0.618 : 1).The golden ratio was used widely With these nine figures, and with the sign 0 ... in the Renaissance in paintings. any number may be written.”S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 11
  • 12. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Starting points: PASCAL (1623-62) Pascal helped create two major new areas of research. • He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen and corresponded with Pierre de Fermat from 1654 • Probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. In 1641, at age eighteen, Pascal constructed a mechanical calculator capable of addition and subtraction, called Pascal’s calculator or the Pascaline, to help his father with this work. Though these machines are early forerunners to computer engineering, the calculator failed to be a great commercial success. Pascal continued to make improvements to his design through the next decade and built fifty machines in total.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 12
  • 13. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Starting points: 1823 The Difference Engine Charles Babbage developed a calculator, the Difference Engine, which he thought of as a precursor to a universal computational machine -- the Universal Analytical Engine.This would use loops of Jacquard’s punched cards to control a mechanical calculator, which could formulate results based on the results of preceding computations. It was intended to employ several features subsequently used in modern computers, including sequential control, branching, and looping, and would have been the first mechanical device to be Turing-complete. In computability theory, a collection of data-manipulation rules (an instruction set, programming language, or cellular automaton) is said to be Turing Complete when the rules followed in sequence on arbitrary data can produce the result of any calculation. A device with a Turing complete instruction set is the definition of a universal computer.To be Turing complete, it is enough to have conditional branching (an “if” and “goto” statement), and the ability to change memory.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 13
  • 14. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Starting points: Lady Ada Lovelace & software Babbage’s collaborator was an impressive mathematician and one of the few people who fully understood his ideas. She created a program for the Analytical Engine based on the idea of program cards which she borrowed from the Jacquard Loom. Had the Analytical Engine ever actually been built, her program would have been able to calculate a numerical sequence known as the Bernoulli numbers. Based on this work, Ada is now widely credited as the first computer programmerS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 14
  • 15. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Jacquard LoomS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 15
  • 16. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E 1936 The first modern computer Konrad Zuse is generally credited as creating the first modern computer, producing his Z2 during 1936 using electromagnetic relays, similar to those used in telephone exchanges. Z3 was a program controlled machine which gained the support of the German government and was used to help design V2 rockets as well as aircraft development.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 16
  • 17. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E 1946 ENIAC ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory, but its first use was in calculations for the hydrogen bomb. When ENIAC was announced in 1946 it was heralded in the press as a “Giant Brain”. The ENIAC’s design and construction were financed by the United States Army during World War II. It cost almost $500,000 (nearly $6 m in 2008, adjusted for inflation).S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 17
  • 18. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E ENIAC v. Z3 • The ENIAC was completed 5 years after the Z3. • ENIAC used vacuum tubes to implement switches, Z3 used relays (a request for federal funding for an electronic successor was denied as “strategically unimportant”). • ENIAC was decimal, Z3 was binary. • Until 1948, to program ENIAC actually meant to rewire it; while the Z3 read programs off a tape (actually a punched film). • Today’s computers are based on transistors instead of tubes or relays; their basic architecture, however, is much more similar to Z3’s than to ENIAC’s. • Z3 needed an external tape to store its program. • The Manchester Baby of 1948 and the EDSAC of 1949 were the world’s first computers with internally stored programs, implementing a concept frequently attributed to a 1945 paper by John von Neumann and colleagues. • A patent application of Konrad Zuse, however, mentioned this concept almost a decade earlier in 1936, although the patent was rejected.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 18
  • 19. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E WW2 Enigma and the Turing Test Alan Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science. • Provided an influential formalisation of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the ‘Turing machine’. • With the Turing test, he made a significant and characteristically provocative contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence: whether it will ever be possible to say that a machine is conscious and can think. • Invented the Bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine, as his contribution to deciphering the Enigma code.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 19
  • 20. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Cellular automata are self-replicating software machines. Building on Turing’s insights into self-programming machines in constructing the concept of the ‘Turing machine’. In the 1970s a two-state, two-dimensional cellular automaton named Game of Life became very widely known, particularly among the early computing community. Invented by John Conway. http://www.ibiblio.org/lifepatterns/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_automata The Hacker Emblem is derived from Conway’s Game of Life. 1940s John von Neumann & cellular automataS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 20
  • 21. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E 1948 Information Theory In “A Mathematical Model of Information,’’ Claude Shannon showed that “any message can be transmitted with as high a reliability as one wishes, by devising the right code.The limit imposed by nature is concerned only with the limit of the communications channel.” Applications include ZIP files (lossless data compression), MP3s (lossy data compression), and DSL (channel coding).The field is at the crossroads of mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, neurobiology, and electrical engineering. Its impact has been crucial to success of the Voyager missions to deep space, the invention of the CD, the feasibility of mobile phones, the development of the Internet, the study of linguistics and of human perception, the understanding of black holes, and numerous other fields. Key Concepts • Information Entropy • RedundancyS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 21
  • 22. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E “The key to life itself proved to be information theory . . . information- and communication-based models have proved enormously useful to the sciences because so many important phenomena can be seen in terms of messages. Human bodies can best be understood as complex communications networks than as clock-like machines ” Howard Rheingold Information TheoryS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 22
  • 23. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E MEMEX 1945 1945 Vennevar Bush’s ‘As we may think’ published in the Atlantic Review. SELECTION BY ASSOCIATION Bush realised that contemporary indexing techniques were imposing artificial constraints on the retrieval of information, forcing researchers to trace their requirements by following rigid alphabetical or numerical classifications. “ The human mind does not work that way. It oper- ates by association.With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain.”S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 23
  • 24. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E MEMEX The essence of the Memex system was the associative indexing: the ability to link the microfilm information together in ways which were meaningful to the user.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 24
  • 25. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E 1948 Cybernetics Norbert Weiner popularised the study of feedback and control mechanisms; he names it cybernetics. Cybernetics is the study of feedback and derived concepts such as communication and control in living organisms, machines and organisations. It has led to the growth of related fields such as: adaptive systems, artificial intelligence, complex systems, complexity theory, control systems, decision support systems, dynamical systems, information theory, learning organizations, mathematical systems theory, operations research, simulation, and systems engineering.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 25
  • 26. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E 1950s Department of Defense began to extensively fund both applied and basic work in the computer field.The development of greater interactivity was given priority because the ability to have a dialogue between user and computer increased the user’s productivity and facilitated the development of ever more sophisticated machines and software. The Cold WarS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 26
  • 27. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E 1964 ELIZA Joseph Weizenbaum created ELIZA at MIT. The ELIZA program is the ur-chatbot from which A.L.I.C.E. and nearly all other chatbot programs are descended. ELIZA introduced the concepts of stimulus-response, pattern matching, and pronoun transformation to natural language processing. Weizenbaum was reportedly “shocked” that MIT students and staff anthropomorphised the simple program.They revealed personal information to the bot in online chats. In response,Weizenbaum spent much of the rest of his career as a critic of computer science in general, and artificial intelligence in particular.S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 27
  • 28. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Douglas Engelbart, Stanford Institute, developed the idea of the mouse and windows, the GUI, electronic mail and teleconferencing during the 1950s and 60s. All these components formed part of Engelbart’s “Augmentation” project - a project that provided much of the framework for both the development of the personal computer and for hypermedia. “When I first heard about computers I understood from my radar Augmenting experience during the war that if these machines can show you intelligence: information on printouts, they could show that information on a screen.When I saw the connection between a television-like screen. Engelbart invents an information processor. and a medium for representing symbols to the UI a person it all tumbled together in about half an hour. I went home and sketched a system in which computers would draw symbols on the screen and I could steer through different information spaces with knobs and levers and look at words and data and graphics n different ways. I imagined ways you could expand it to a theatre-like environment where you could sit with colleagues and exchange information on many levels simultaneously.” Doug Engelbart 1968 Demo - 1 of 9 http://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=X4kp9Ciy1nE&feature=player_embeddedS H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 28
  • 29. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E Kay’s Dynabook1968 Alan Kay concocted the netbook while at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, only he termed it the “DynaBook” (no relation to Toshiba’s DynaBook). In a paper he published in 1972, he described a cheap, portable PC aimed primarily at children, the DynaBook had both touch- screen and keyboard, and could be used as an e-book reader, word processor and games console – complete with graphical user interface (something else that Kay had invented earlier at Xerox). “[That’s when I realized that] the computer was like paper, except with extensions into time and into other dimensions. Paper can hold the same kinds of marks that computers can. But it’s hard to have a piece of paper that can look at the marks and do what they say. All the newness of the computer comes from its dynamic qualities - that’s why I called it the Dynabook. The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 29
  • 30. M E D I A C U LT U R E S I I : T H E P R O T E A N M A C H I N E In 1965 coined the term ‘hypertext’ to describe non-sequential interlinked writing: “text that branches and allows choices to the reader”. Hypertext is text which contains links to other texts. Hypermedia is hypertext which also contains other media, such as graphics, sound, and video. 1970s In a series of seminal articles and books, including Computer Ted Nelson Lib and Dream Machines, Nelson develops the idea of : & Hypermedia • “fantics” (the “showmanship of ideas”), • “thinkertoys”(computer systems for helping to visualise “complex alternatives”), and • “supervirtualities” (the conceptual space of hypermedia). ‘’To see tomorrow’s computer systems, go to the videogame parlors! Go to the military flight simulators! Look there to see true responsiveness, true interaction.”S H I R A L E E . S A U L @ R M I T. E D U . A U 30

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