Virtual Persons for anInformation AgeLuke Robert MasonResearch Director, Philter Phactory@LukeRobertMasonhttp://weavrs.com...
@parkinn & @HenryWeavr
So, you think yourCustomer is Human?
Socio-Technical
1931
“Looking at an old map of theUnderground railways, it occurred tome that it might be possible to tidy itup by straightenin...
Online Social Network
Self Description
“[When asking people to classify theirown data] – People lie. People arelazy. People are stupid, know thyselfis a tall ord...
"Its not who you share with, itswho you share as.”Chris Poole, 4Chan & Canvas Founder (2011)
Subjective EditingMySpace Angle
Erin Ashenhurst, ‘At arm’s length’ - http://ashencreative.com/at-arms-
“Seduction through Obscurity”
“In bristling over the notion of audience, they are likelyrejecting a popularly discussed act of ‘personal branding’ asrun...
Authenticity
The Facebook MirrorPhoto Credit: Jennifer Daniel
A woman poses in a funfair hall of mirrors,              circa 1935
“Using Twitter to carefully construct a ‘meta-narrative and meta-image of self’ (Hearn, 2008) is part of what Jodi Dean (2...
“Interfacing with Identity”
The Status Project,Heath Bunting
“First, electronic sensors got smaller and better. Second, peoplestarted carrying powerful computing devices, typically di...
MyLifeBits, Gordon BellResearcher at Microsoft Research
What’s the point?
“People who prioritized preference were more willing to openthemselves up to being tracked if they gained benefits byrelea...
"Media lets you clone pieces of yourself andsend them out into the world to haveconversations on your behalf. Even while y...
“our machines aredisturbingly lively,and we ourselvesfrighteningly inert.”Donna Haraway,Author of the Cyborg Manifesto(1991)
We’re robots, made of robots, made of robots, made of robots.You’ve got billions, several hundred billion probably cell ne...
Computer Wins [IBM Watson] onJeopardy! Trivial, It’s Not.John Markoff - New York Times, February 16, 2011                 ...
Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our worldTED Global 2011
“Twenty-Two of the Top ThirtyWikipedia Editors are Robots.”Stuart Geiger - Bot Politics: The Domination,Subversion, and Ne...
“I will tell you a true story. If you believeme you will be well rewarded. If youdon’t believe me.”- 20 Nov 2011
“Today’s women have an inward turn of mind.Identify themselves with the world aroundthem. Create imaginative worlds. Look ...
“There is no form or method. There isonly emotion.”– 21 Oct 2011
“24% of Tweets are created by automatedbots, not humans”Inside Twitter: An In-Depth Look Inside the Twitter WorldSysomos R...
“twitter でずっと仲良くしていた人が bot だった”“The people Ive been friends with for ages on Twitterwere bots”coconutsfine, Bloggerhttp://...
“ とにもかくにもプログラムと仲良くなるという貴重な体験が出来たことはとても幸せなことだ。”“… the fact that I was able to have such a valuableexperience with someone w...
“…socialbots are designed to be light,efficient, and entirely automatic and thus,easily deployable in large swarms. Webeli...
Online Narrativesin Social Media Space
#coventryriots
“Lauren Laverne, a daytime DJ on6music, a UK national radio station,talked recently of how she had beenenjoying following ...
“Is this testingwhether Im aReplicant or alesbian,Mr. Deckard?”                   Blade Runner (1982)
“Is this testingwhether Im amachine or acustomer,@LukeRobertMason?”
King Kong, @thatbigmonkey
Womblr
“Im feeding my own persona into the Weavrssystem and mapping out my own personalhistory. The Weavrs post, tweet, listen to...
“In the future you’ll be able todispatch a robot to each event.”Eric Schmidt, Google ChairmanKeynote at Mobile World Congr...
"Your Filter Bubble is your own personal, unique universe ofinformation that you live in online. What’s in your filterbubb...
Algorithmically Animating PersonasFictional characters representing a brand’s target demographic
"We used the weavers to simulate an audience and its behaviourson the social web. Weavrs allowed us to scale up qualitativ...
“My Infomorph […] I wouldn’t haveminded so much if it was selling porn ordoing fraud. But it’s a probable idiot”Jon Ronson...
Moon (2009)
“So the Future […] can also be about howcomplex and abstract robots can inform andstimulate the creative process within ag...
Activity Streams
Welcome to the Non-Human Agency
Finding the ‘Sweet Spot’in Human Perception
We Turn Our (Life) Narratives into Data. Weavrs turn our Data Into Narratives.Narratives are Products and Customers.   Bus...
Thank you!  @LukeRobertMason   http://weavrs.com        @weavrshttp://philterphactory.com
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Virtual Persons for an Information Age

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Luke Robert Mason delivering a talk on using virtual persons as tools for understanding the social layer of the web 2.0.

LSEsu AMP
The Annual AMP Conference: Surviving in a Digital World
Tuesday March 6th 2012

Weavrs are virtual bodies of information, which re-purpose and remix social media streams in order to generate their own personae from the digital detritus of our online lives. Using Web APIs and a custom filter design (a mix of narrative techniques and statistical probability) these autonomous, semi-intelligent software agents have become useful collaborators for market researchers, writers and advertising agencies. By giving brand managers and researchers the ability to create quick, virtual embodiments of their target demographics, Weavrs offer a unique method via which to navigate and author the narratives that emerge on the social web. When all marketing has ever asked of user experience is to make people into users. Phactory ask if, “Surely it’s easier just to make some users?”

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Virtual Persons for an Information Age

  1. 1. Virtual Persons for anInformation AgeLuke Robert MasonResearch Director, Philter Phactory@LukeRobertMasonhttp://weavrs.comhttp://philterphactory.com
  2. 2. @parkinn & @HenryWeavr
  3. 3. So, you think yourCustomer is Human?
  4. 4. Socio-Technical
  5. 5. 1931
  6. 6. “Looking at an old map of theUnderground railways, it occurred tome that it might be possible to tidy itup by straightening the lines,experimenting with diagonals andevening out the distance betweenstations.”Harry Beck, London Underground Employee
  7. 7. Online Social Network
  8. 8. Self Description
  9. 9. “[When asking people to classify theirown data] – People lie. People arelazy. People are stupid, know thyselfis a tall order and people arenotoriously poor at describingthemselves and their own behavior.Schemas arent neutral. Metricsinfluence results. Theres more thanone way to describe something”Cory Doctorow, Science Fiction Writerhttp://www.well.com/~doctorow/metacrap.htm
  10. 10. "Its not who you share with, itswho you share as.”Chris Poole, 4Chan & Canvas Founder (2011)
  11. 11. Subjective EditingMySpace Angle
  12. 12. Erin Ashenhurst, ‘At arm’s length’ - http://ashencreative.com/at-arms-
  13. 13. “Seduction through Obscurity”
  14. 14. “In bristling over the notion of audience, they are likelyrejecting a popularly discussed act of ‘personal branding’ asrunning counter to what they value: authenticity. In otherwords, consciously speaking to an audience is perceived asinauthentic.”Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick, ‘I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately:Twitter Users, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience.’
  15. 15. Authenticity
  16. 16. The Facebook MirrorPhoto Credit: Jennifer Daniel
  17. 17. A woman poses in a funfair hall of mirrors, circa 1935
  18. 18. “Using Twitter to carefully construct a ‘meta-narrative and meta-image of self’ (Hearn, 2008) is part of what Jodi Dean (2002) callsthe ‘ideology of publicity’, in which we value whatever grabs thepublic’s attention. Publicity culture prizes social skills that encourageperformance (Sternberg, 1998); people are rewarded with jobs,dates, and attention for displaying themselves in an easily-consumed public way using tropes of consumer culture.”Danah Boyd and Alice Marwick, ‘I Tweet Honestly, I Tweet Passionately: TwitterUsers, Context Collapse, and the Imagined Audience.’
  19. 19. “Interfacing with Identity”
  20. 20. The Status Project,Heath Bunting
  21. 21. “First, electronic sensors got smaller and better. Second, peoplestarted carrying powerful computing devices, typically disguisedas mobile phones. Third, social media made it seem normal toshare everything. And fourth, we began to get an inkling of therise of a global superintelligence known as the cloud.”Gary Wolf, Founder of the Quantified Self“The Data-Driven Life” - The New York Times
  22. 22. MyLifeBits, Gordon BellResearcher at Microsoft Research
  23. 23. What’s the point?
  24. 24. “People who prioritized preference were more willing to openthemselves up to being tracked if they gained benefits byreleasing certain information. For example, 58 percent ofmidlifers were willing to share information about themselves ifthey received discounts or free services in exchange.”Julia Greenberg, International Business Times on ‘Identity Shift’ by AllisonCerra and Christina James
  25. 25. "Media lets you clone pieces of yourself andsend them out into the world to haveconversations on your behalf. Even while you’resleeping, your media —your books, your blogposts, your tweets - [are] on the march. It’s outthere trying to making connections. Mostly it’sfailing, but that’s okay: these days, copies arecheap.”Robin Sloan, Kanye West: Media Cyborg (2010)
  26. 26. “our machines aredisturbingly lively,and we ourselvesfrighteningly inert.”Donna Haraway,Author of the Cyborg Manifesto(1991)
  27. 27. We’re robots, made of robots, made of robots, made of robots.You’ve got billions, several hundred billion probably cell neurons inyour brain. Each one of those neurons is an eukaryotic cell with anucleus and with mitochondria and it’s a direct descendant of freeswimming, free living autonomous little single-celled organisms thathave been around for billions of years.And if you look inside each neuron you find that there are motorproteins in there; little motor proteins are certainly a robot. It’s notalive. It’s a bit of nano-engineering that does all sorts of interestingworks, it’s mindless - and that’s what we’re made of.”Daniel C. Dennett, American Philosopher, Writer and Cognitive Scientist
  28. 28. Computer Wins [IBM Watson] onJeopardy! Trivial, It’s Not.John Markoff - New York Times, February 16, 2011 In Case You Wondered, a Real Human Wrote This Column Steve Lohr - New York Times, September 10, 2011Siri, Can You Hear me?Sam Grobart - New York Times, October 13, 2011
  29. 29. Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our worldTED Global 2011
  30. 30. “Twenty-Two of the Top ThirtyWikipedia Editors are Robots.”Stuart Geiger - Bot Politics: The Domination,Subversion, and Negotiation of Code in Wikipedia,2011
  31. 31. “I will tell you a true story. If you believeme you will be well rewarded. If youdon’t believe me.”- 20 Nov 2011
  32. 32. “Today’s women have an inward turn of mind.Identify themselves with the world aroundthem. Create imaginative worlds. Look at theworld”- 19 Nov 2011
  33. 33. “There is no form or method. There isonly emotion.”– 21 Oct 2011
  34. 34. “24% of Tweets are created by automatedbots, not humans”Inside Twitter: An In-Depth Look Inside the Twitter WorldSysomos Research, June 2009
  35. 35. “twitter でずっと仲良くしていた人が bot だった”“The people Ive been friends with for ages on Twitterwere bots”coconutsfine, Bloggerhttp://d.hatena.ne.jp/coconutsfine/
  36. 36. “ とにもかくにもプログラムと仲良くなるという貴重な体験が出来たことはとても幸せなことだ。”“… the fact that I was able to have such a valuableexperience with someone who was actually a [computer]program makes me very happy.”coconutsfine, Bloggerhttp://d.hatena.ne.jp/coconutsfine/
  37. 37. “…socialbots are designed to be light,efficient, and entirely automatic and thus,easily deployable in large swarms. Webelieve this study marks the first steptowards demonstrating the ability of suchtechnologies to shape online communitiesat a large scale.”PacSocial: Field Test Report – November 2011
  38. 38. Online Narrativesin Social Media Space
  39. 39. #coventryriots
  40. 40. “Lauren Laverne, a daytime DJ on6music, a UK national radio station,talked recently of how she had beenenjoying following Kurt Vonnegut onhis twitter feed. Vonnegut died April11th 2007.”Dan Buzzo, Things to do in the Digital Afterlife
  41. 41. “Is this testingwhether Im aReplicant or alesbian,Mr. Deckard?” Blade Runner (1982)
  42. 42. “Is this testingwhether Im amachine or acustomer,@LukeRobertMason?”
  43. 43. King Kong, @thatbigmonkey
  44. 44. Womblr
  45. 45. “Im feeding my own persona into the Weavrssystem and mapping out my own personalhistory. The Weavrs post, tweet, listen to music,check in to places and learn new skills. Imcurrently running a series of 40 year old versionsof myself that live in Munich”Marcus Brown, Media Artist – ‘Army of Me’
  46. 46. “In the future you’ll be able todispatch a robot to each event.”Eric Schmidt, Google ChairmanKeynote at Mobile World Congress (February 2012)
  47. 47. "Your Filter Bubble is your own personal, unique universe ofinformation that you live in online. What’s in your filterbubble depends on who you are, and it depends on whatyou do. But you don’t decide what gets in — and moreimportantly, you don’t see what gets edited out.”Eli Pariser, Author of The Filter Bubble
  48. 48. Algorithmically Animating PersonasFictional characters representing a brand’s target demographic
  49. 49. "We used the weavers to simulate an audience and its behaviourson the social web. Weavrs allowed us to scale up qualitativeinsights harvested through a traditional online community, withquantitative social data hand picked by the Weavrs from multiplestreams of social content. Using the mix of qualitative andquantitative data we were able to map a solid and precise pictureof the audience we were studying.”Francesco D’OrazioChief Innovation Officer, Head of Face Labs
  50. 50. “My Infomorph […] I wouldn’t haveminded so much if it was selling porn ordoing fraud. But it’s a probable idiot”Jon Ronson, Esc & Ctrl – The Guardian [Video]
  51. 51. Moon (2009)
  52. 52. “So the Future […] can also be about howcomplex and abstract robots can inform andstimulate the creative process within agencies.”John V Willshire, Smithery & Andrew J Willshire, Data2Decisions(Forthcoming Essay for Advertising Age)
  53. 53. Activity Streams
  54. 54. Welcome to the Non-Human Agency
  55. 55. Finding the ‘Sweet Spot’in Human Perception
  56. 56. We Turn Our (Life) Narratives into Data. Weavrs turn our Data Into Narratives.Narratives are Products and Customers. Businesses Feed on Narratives.
  57. 57. Thank you! @LukeRobertMason http://weavrs.com @weavrshttp://philterphactory.com

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