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Arts & Culture Learning Manufacturing

Five Ways AR and VR Will Improve Our Current Reality

A flood of investments into the new tools of reality continues to fuel innovation. Virtual and augmented reality, from the original Google Glass to the latest Oculus Rift, has continually shaped the technology market,and will grow substantially in the coming years. AR and VR will impact the world around us in a number of interesting—and beneficial—ways. Here are five things to look forward to.   More

Analytics & Data Arts & Culture

The Coming Age of Creative AI: From Roboadvisors to Roboartists

Data scientists are creating robo-artists out of digital neuron clusters called recurrent neural networks. They use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reverse engineer visual art, generating images that resemble Picassos, Van Goghs and Munchs. Now that our software progeny are transcending their humble beginnings they just might become real artists, amplifying and robotizing creativity.   More

Arts & Culture Internet of Things Society

Reflections from Ross: Art, Culture and Tech

Last week DLD was in New York for their annual shindig, and the city was treated to its first Creative Tech Week. CTW brought together artists, designers, makers, creators, entrepreneurs, developers and new media folk to show off their work. And DLD, a wonderful marriage of German and American sensibilities, included two museum curators who spoke about some digital challenges facing art.   More

Arts & Culture

It’s Complicated: TechnoHeritage Marries Tech and Cultural Heritage 

The use of tech to preserve, reproduce and recreate antiquities and items of cultural value is not new. Apple's The Virtual Museum CD-ROM (remember that?!) came out way back in 1992. Now ancient ruins across the globe are being destroyed by war, terrorism and natural disasters. While tech offers incredible ways to recreate treasures, an article in The Boston Globe underscores the complex cultural, ethical, legal and political questions that raises.   More

Arts & Culture Media & Marketing Society

Without Design, Innovation Doesn’t Happen: A Conversation with Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture & design and director of R&D at The Museum of Modern Art, is a passionate advocate for the importance of design in society and business. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick conducted this extensive interview with her over lunch in New York.   More

Arts & Culture Cities Startup Culture

Reflections from Ross: Art, Tech, and Civic Life in NYC

I’m writing this week's post from Civic Hall in NYC, a fantastic co-working, gathering, and events space just around the corner from Techonomy's office on West 22nd Street. There I bumped into organizers of the first NYC Creative Tech Week, April 29-May 8, a full week of programming on the intersection of tech, media, creativity, art and design. Here are some Techonomy links that demonstrate this intersection.   More

Arts & Culture Bio & Life Sciences

Glowing Rabbits and Sculptures That Breathe: The Rise of BioArt

“BioArt” is a growing movement that involves either using living organisms as part of a work of art or imitating life processes and biological research to create art that critiques or embraces life sciences. Artists have created glowing bunnies, sculptures that breathe, and even encoded sexual drawings in living cells.   More

Arts & Culture Startup Culture

Rock Stars of Tech

Standing in a dark club during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, among CEOs and political leaders, we all wait for The Killers to take the stage. I strike up a conversation with the person who just happens to be standing on my left–cultural icon and music superstar will.i.am. He shows me a device he's wearing, a sort of watch being developed by a company he started called i.am+. I can see how proud he is of it. He walks me through the functions, highlighting the user interface and how you can connect to the Internet without needing a phone. He pauses, looking for an indication of my thoughts. He's just one of a number of music industry veterans now finding their way into tech.   More

Arts & Culture Society

Mad Max with Flowers and Margaritas: How Burning Man Points to the Future

Burning Man is a serious thing. It is obviously a ludicrous stupor-inducing steam-punk fashion gala appealing to the lesser instincts. But it is also a full-blown futures laboratory. Don’t underestimate what we can learn from ourselves in this outlandish context. Burning together, we may rise more humane.   More

Arts & Culture Techonomy Events

Ross Reflections: Looking Towards Detroit, and Some Amazing Bio/Artist/Designers

It’s been a busy couple of weeks as we continue to fine-tune the program for September’s Techonomy Detroit. If you’re in Detroit September 15 you should stop by—we’ll be interviewing Mark Bertolini, the refreshing, bead wearing, yogi-like CEO of Aetna. We’ll also be interviewing Carl Bass, the wood carving, boat- and furniture-making CEO of Autodesk. Tiana Epps-Johnson, Executive Director of The Center for Technology and Civic Life, will present on “Civic Tech and the New Digital Divide,” longtime tech entrepreneur and thinker Peter Hirshberg will present on “A Maker City Is a Jazz City,” and "Edge" theorist John Hagel will talk about how companies and cities are successfully “Learning from Movements.”   More

Arts & Culture

With a 3D-printed Instrument, This Musician Is Composing the Future

Often, it begins in the dark. When the LEDs light up—in red, yellow, blue, green, and purple—the face inside the mask becomes faintly perceptible. But before the gathering crowd can identify the man, the music comes on. It comes in swells and ribbons. It comes as a devouring chaos, as a frenetic torrent of notes and phrases, looping back into new motifs of sound. Onyx Ashanti invented the instrument he plays, which he calls the exo-voice. He also printed it with a 3D printer he built himself.   More

Arts & Culture Mobile

Magisto’s A.I. Helps Anyone Produce Polished Video

Magisto wants to do for video what Instagram did for photos—provide intuitive tools to edit and enhance them and make them easy to share. Founded in Israel in 2009 by two experts in computer vision and artificial intelligence, Magisto enables a user to simply select photos and videos on their smartphone, choose a visual theme, and automatically create a sophisticated edited product in minutes. There's a lot of computer science on the back end making that possible. Magisto launched in January 2012 at the Consumer Electronics Show, won an app competition there, and now has 20 million registered users worldwide, up from 3 million last year. With 30 employees, the company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, and San Francisco. Techonomy sat down with Magisto CEO Oren Boiman for a wide-ranging talk about video, social media, and how people want to express themselves.   More

Arts & Culture Bio & Life Sciences

How Nanotech Flower Design Informs the Future of Materials Science

You might not think that a guy who says he spends his day getting lost "in a microworld of flowers or corals that you made yourself" is making a major contribution to science. But Wim L. Noorduin, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard, is combining chemicals in a beaker to grow and shape crystalline structures that demonstrate how complex shapes evolve in nature. His micron-sized sculptures appear as intricate cake decorations, vast fields of blooming flowers, and coral reefs when viewed under an electron microscope. The artistic beauty of Noorduin's work won him a place on the cover of Science last year. And this week The Creators Project, a partnership between Intel and VICE that celebrates the innovative use of technology "to push the boundaries of creative expression," released a short video about the project.   More

Arts & Culture

Kirkpatrick: Apple Acquisition of Beats a Smart Move

Much has been made of Apple's $3 billion decision to buy Beats, and whether it displays savvy and foresight, or something closer to desperation. Some say Apple is smart to be using its vast resources to infuse the company with fresh talent and a renewed sense of "cool." Others wonder if Apple hasn't gone off the deep end. Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick appeared on Bloomberg Surveillance Thursday to talk about Apple's acquisition, calling it a "smart move" that puts the company in position to broaden its market share. In buying Beats, Kirkpatrick said, Apple will increase its appeal among young people—by way of both Beats' iconic headphones and the "good intellectual DNA" of its co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.   More

Arts & Culture

Making Art with Brainscans and 3D Printers

Suzanne Anker finds beauty and meaning at the borderlines of science. This visual artist and sculptor talks about “the way in which visual art and the biological sciences in­tersect because of technology.” She is conversant in the languages of all of them. Anker often takes inspiration from the ways biological information is depicted. Her tools may also come from technological realms. She's been making sculpture with 3D printers for twelve years, since long before the technology became trendy.   More

Arts & Culture

I Saw It on YouTube (So It Must Be True)

If it happened on YouTube, then must it be true? That was the intriguing observation of one attendee, the writer on digital life Sarah Granger, at a recent FutureCast event dedicated to online filmmaking. Granger believes that YouTube has replaced Google as the “gold standard” of truth—especially for digital natives who’ve never known any other media except the Internet. For some, the idea of YouTube representing the gold standard for truth is more than a bit worrying.   More

Arts & Culture

Video Is Eating the World

Marc Andreessen famously said that software is eating the world. But the real online glutton may be video. Mark Nagel, the executive director of marketing for AT&T’s Foundry innovation centers, told the crowd at a recent FutureCast event about online filmmaking that video content is expected to grow 60% annually over the next few years. AT&T expects video to be 75% of its total network traffic by 2017. So does this eruption of online video represent an economic bonanza for filmmakers?   More

Arts & Culture

The Intimacy and Authenticity of Online Filmmaking

The idea that the Internet has democratized moviemaking has become one of the most repeated truisms of the digital age. But what, exactly, does the ability of everyone to post video on popular networks like YouTube, Daily Motion, and Vimeo mean to the filmmaker herself? According to the noted filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, it means that the art of intimacy and authenticity become central to the creative product. "I think there is an intimacy with the way people are experiencing it," Shlain said about online filmmaking at a recent Ericsson and AT&T hosted FutureCast. The event helped launch her latest short movie, "The Science of Character."   More

Arts & Culture

Will Movies Move to the Cloud?

The idea of cloud computing these days is, of course, hardly radical. But noted film maker Tiffany Shlain has a notion of what she calls "cloud filmmaking" that is considerably different than what people typically mean when they say "cloud." For her, making movies in the cloud means curating the self-made content (usually selfies) of others to produce her own work. But isn't that crowd-sourced movie making? Not according to Shlain. "I don't like the idea of crowd sourcing.... I get nervous in crowds." Shlain told "Digital Vertigo" author Andrew Keen at a recent Ericsson and AT&T hosted FutureCast event to launch her latest short movie, "The Science of Character."   More

Arts & Culture Learning Techonomy Events

Why STEM Isn’t Enough to Train Tomorrow’s Creators

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama committed to “reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math—the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.” Yet employers realize that it’s not only hard to find good developers; good designers are big difference makers as well. If we want to make the next generation of “artrepreneurs,” we need to add A for the Arts to turn STEM to STEAM.   More