At our visit from IBM Watson specialist Armen Pischdotchian last month, we learned about all the ways that cognitive computing was changing our world. And while Armen was pretty thorough in his workshop, we were still surprised to see Watson on the red carpet. But there it was, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual gala, in the form of a “cognitive dress” designed in partnership with Marchesa. The designers used the technology to create a dress embedded with color-shifting LEDs that responded to followers emotions.
Prior to the gala, Watson analyzed Marchesa’s social media to translate followers’ sentiments into colors. It turned emotions into information, and created a color palette for the LEDs from that analysis. In real-time during the gala, Watson processed the huge volume of tweets surrounding the event, and changed the color of the dress according to the emotions in them. Rose signified joy, coral meant passion, aqua was excitement, lavender denoted curiosity, and butter indicated encouragement.
The project, which IBM describes as “a partnership between man and machine” required Marchesa designers to feed hundreds of images to Watson; the technology responded with suggestions for design and color. In the past, Watson’s forays into fashion have mostly been on the back-end, helping brands like North Face and Melborne Fashion Week better serve the needs of their customers, so this shift to the design side of things marks an interesting shift.
We are constantly quantifying our days-our steps, our sleep patterns. To that end, this dress feels like a natural extension of that; another way to make sense of the flow of information that washes over us. Data has always been at its best when it’s telling a story, when it’s something more than charts and numbers, so the blend of data visualization, fashion, and emotion seems natural in a way. It’s another story to tell. I suppose that we can’t know right now just what story partnerships like this will be telling in the future.
You wouldn’t happen to be in the market for a video camera that films in 360-degrees and produces video that can be viewed in VR headsets and on any number of other screens you might have handy? You are? Well, good news. At the F8 conference for Facebook developers, the company announced the Surround360. Wired Magazine describes it:
Built from off-the-shelf hardware worth roughly $30,000, this black circular camera—with its 17 evenly spaced lenses—looks kinda like the flying droid that descends onto the ice planet at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back (though it lacks those insect-like dangly legs). Drawing images from all 17 of those lenses, it produces 360-degree spherical video
We’re living in an age of open data. Every day, new swaths of information are made available to us in any number of ways from crime statistics to marriage rates. And while it’s important that this information is available, what does it really mean for the public? If the available data then requires a trained eye to decipher and then tell the stories behind the numbers, is that data really public? It’s available, yes, but available and accessible are wildly different things.
If a real world map were made with the number of web domains per country, the United State’s size would change dramatically. Nominet produced a map with each country’s domain represented as land, and .us makes up a very small part of the online world.
On April 13-14, we are pleased to welcome IBM Watson Group Academic Engagement Specialist Armen Pischdotchian for a a two-day demonstration/workshop on the IBM Watson cognitive technologies. Using natural language processing and machine learning to provide insights into large amounts of data, the Watson technologies are finding a home in a number of diverse fields, from medicine to retail. This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the Watson technologies and show you can bring them into your own work. The event is free, although space is limited.
Our lives are made up of a series of moments. Some big, some small, but it is the moments that can change us, the moments that can excite us. With that idea in mind, designers Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec created the year-long data visualization project, Dear Data. Visualizing the small moments from the number of distractions to the amount of swearing in a week, the two found ways to connect these moments into a larger understanding about themselves, their surrounds, and their relationships. In this animation from Big Bang Data, the designers discuss their project.
Teacher, author, and media critic Lev Manovich comes to The New School on Wednesday, March 30 as part of the Data Visualization Masters program’s lecture series. Dr. Manovich will be discussing his Software Studies Initiative and the projects launched from it. He will also present his most recent project, an analysis of images shared on Twitter between 2011 and 2014.
More information can be found on The New School’s event page.
Journalism has always relied on data, perhaps in different ways than we are currently seeing, but data has always served the strengthen the practice. As new technology emerges to make data journalism both more accessible and stronger, the question then becomes how do newsrooms bring those methods into their reporting? A new paper released by The American Press Institute outlines strategies for news organizations to incorporate data-driven journalism techniques into their work. —AJ Continue reading “Data Journalism Strategies”