Final Project: Interactive Timeline – click here to open timeline in separate tab
Timeline with Audio Narration
Final Project: Interactive Timeline – click here to open timeline in separate tab
Timeline with Audio Narration
(1) As we have started talking about AI my first thought was of an old website my siblings and I used to play on called Cleverbot.com. I believe that this website would be considered a form of AI because like Shane talks about in the reading, it cannot itself understand human language but it can learn from input. The responses from Cleverbot are informed by what people type in to chat with it, and therefore its responses overtime become more believably conversational rather than very robotic, stiff responses. This example of AI technology has me leaning more towards the “not taking AI super seriously” stance.
(2) As we progressed in the unit however, the conversation about AI of course became more complex. Our discussion regarding Black Software and the Alert II system helped make me more aware of the real world dangers that can arise from AI technology (as opposed to those portrayed in movies). I think that a widely-held perception of AI is that it is more accurate or scientific than humans are, but at the end of the day humans are the ones programming this technology. AI is therefore susceptible to the bias and follies of humanity, so we shouldn’t just blindly trust that AI programming will be faultless. If anything, this discussion is a further argument against those who blindly praise AI technology without considering the many ways in which it still needs to be developed/improved.
(3) The “AI and Creativity” section of this node helped confirm this sentiment, but again further complicated the overall discussion of AI. The part of the discussion involving collaboration among humans and AI was positive in the sense that it allows new and interesting forms of art/creative expression to emerge. It is interesting to analyze how AI technology learns from input and furthermore how it interprets that input to produce output. Analyzing this process is more than just interesting though. It is critical to an honest understanding of how this input/output process need to be improved. The example of the messed up cats that the AI still recognized as cats demonstrates this point. The AI generated cats are funny only because their interpretation by AI is low stakes. One of the points from this discussion that has stuck with me the most was: “So if this is what an AI thinks cats look like, what does the AI in a self-driving car think I look like when I walk down the sidewalk?” The ability for AI in a self-driving car to accurately interpret input is incredibly high stakes. That is why it is dangerous to overstate the capability of AI today. Such actions could have devastating consequences.
These are my results from the Trolley Problem game. I felt absolutely horrible about all of my choices. In some cases, I thought it would be “better” to lose the least amount of human life. But when that decision involved pushing someone onto the track who wasn’t in harm’s way to begin with, I couldn’t do it. Additionally, when that single person was someone I cared about, I could not sacrifice them to save more people. If the choice was that I myself could die to save a greater number of people, I would take that in a heartbeat. But I could not choose to let my brother die to save strangers. The graphics made the game bearable in the sense that the depictions of humans were not detailed. I can’t imagine how horrific the game would be if it was say a VR game. In the context of this unit, this game made me wonder what an AI system would choose each time. AI doesn’t deal with the complication of having emotion, so would it be easier for them to say always choose to kill the least amount of people no matter the circumstance? I guess if the AI was like that in the movie Colossus, it would just try and kill as many people as possible with the trolley.
The coding exercise involving inputting text was definitely challenging but very helpful in demonstrating collaboration between humans and technology. This exercise emphasized an earlier point about the responsibility human’s have in submitting input into a system. The output created is going to reflect the input (like we saw with the Alert II system). This exercise was no different. If you were to include significantly more text from one author versus another, the resulting output would reflect the voice of the book that the system had more information about.
Our trip to Reclaim Arcade was truly a unique experience. It felt as though we had been transported back in time to a different decade – a simpler time when technology was more unreachable (in the best way). The decor of the CD room made me feel like I was in an episode of Stranger Things, and added that much more to the effect of being removed from the modern day. The space was filled with the nostalgic sounds of classic video games – sounds that drowned out the reality of homework assignments and responsibilities and immersed us all in something pure, simple, and too often fleeting: fun. The game I chose to focus on more in depth was Galaga, and I recorded the third high score at the arcade.
Firstly, this week was exciting because I was finally got to dive into some serious gameplay!!! I have been playing BioShock throughout the week and wow – if my anxiety wasn’t bad before it sure is now. I am playing on Easy mode because although I have played some first-person shooter games before, it was always with my brother and not traversing solo through a story mode. I tend to panic slightly when it’s just me vs. everything so this game mode should allow for a few seconds of said panic before instant death, so that’s a plus.
The controls to this game are fairly simple (I am playing on an Xbox One). So right trigger to shoot, left toggle to crouch, etc. are all familiar. However what has thrown me so far is that aiming in is not done with the opposite trigger but rather with one of the toggles, which has taken a lot of getting used to. Initially I kept switching between the electric bolt and my guns when I was in fact trying to aim in, but it is slowly getting better. Another big thing I have noticed in this first week is how critical the audio is in this game. Almost all of the instructions are given via radio and I have found it not only extremely helpful but necessary to be listening closely at all times for tips/guidance.
The graphics in this game are not scary – there is some gore, but no images/characters that are terrifying per se. However, I am very unsettled every time I play for some reason. It brings me back to the days when I would play the Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies game mode with my brother. I think I might have some unresolved trauma (not seriously) from that game – I get the same feeling of panic/adrenaline when the splicers run at me in BioShock as I did when the Zombies would do so at Nacht der unToten. I bring this up only to highlight the how the dynamic changes, at least for me, with this genre of games playing them solo versus with a partner.
I pray that my dreams are free of splicers, Little Sisters, or worst of all – Big Daddies. Until next week.
*I have continued to take note of the rhetoric within the script of the game as well as the “decor” of the levels, and so far the social commentary proposed in my first gaming journal has been supported. Will continue to research.
The soft truth is, as described by the author, a story about “the intersection of technology, popular culture, and the lived we have lived inside of machines”. The narrator/main character has just gotten fired from her job for something she said online, although exactly what was said is not revealed. She begins to see another version of herself in the world, and is fascinated by a thumbnail of a gelatin orb. The narrator professes that she often watches “satisfying” YouTube videos, yet she cannot find the actual video associated with the Thumbnail for a long time. She finally finds the video in the end when she views the video on her phone, as the format is different revealing the name of the clip.
At the end of the story, the narrator says that everything she knows suddenly makes sense now that she found the gelatin sphere video. These types of satisfying YouTube videos are said to be calming/relieve stress, so in one sense I can see how she gets that feelings after finally finding the long-anticipated video. I think that the narrator seeing another version of herself might reference the separate identities that come with creating an online presence. Online personas often present a picture of perfection that is not accurate to reality, so perhaps when the narrator finally finds that video she is experiencing a form of freedom/reconciliation between herself and that different online identity.
This first blog is based more on just my initial impressions of the game from trailers and literature I’ve found online about it. I didn’t read spoilers about the gameplay itself, but rather just wanted some overall context about the game and the story.
I was interested to explore whether or not BioShock had any underlying social commentary/messages it was trying to present. It takes place in the 1960s – a decade with no shortage of social unrest and change. There are clear themes of technology and science fiction, however you have to look a little deeper to discover some of the social messages delivered through the characters and scene layouts. From what I read online and observed through the game’s introduction, there seems to be an overwhelming agreement that the game comments on the concepts of objectivism and communism within the Soviet Union.
The intro to the game displays a banner that reads “No Gods or Kings. Only Man.” This banner hangs in Rapture, a society created by Andrew Ryan that emphasizes objectivism and rejects communism. Theories online liken Andrew Ryan to Ayn Rand (their names are suspiciously similar) and explain that Ryan shares his ideologies about communism in Soviet Russia. Rapture was created to be a society in which the focus was on the individual and sacrifices were not made on society’s behalf to hold everyone up.
This background information has made me more excited to play the game and I am interested to see if I agree with that perspective on what the game might be trying to say. I hope to be able to uncover clues that either support this interpretation or reveal a different message.
This bumper was created using Audacity. I recorded my voice and then found a free source music track to place behind the talking. I used the Envelope Tool on Audacity to quiet the background music behind the speaking part, and used fade in and fade out effects to clean up the ends.
DS106 Audio Assignments
Assignment #1: Funny Voiceover
Eminem is really passionate about his McDonalds. For this assignment, I used iMovie to add clips together of an Eminem rap battle but instead of his usually angry singing, Eminem is rapping the Mcdonalds rap song.
Assignment #2: New vs. Old
For this assignment, I took the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and remixed the original version with the Glee cover using Audacity.
Assignment #3: Tongue Twister
This assignment was to record yourself saying a tongue twister and layer a sound in the background. I recited a tongue twister about a woodchuck and then played nature sounds in the background to keep the theme consistent, and edited the tracks together using Audacity.
This assignment tasked us to take a scene from a movie and analyze it stylistically, not by the plot. Our readings this week posed questions about why movie/video makers choose to shoot scenes the way they do. What effects do these choices create? What elements of the shot help create the desired effect? Personally, I found Roger Ebert’s approach to movie analysis most appealing because his process is to take a film shot by shot and delve deeply to discover what nuances each shot can reveal about the film. I think that breaking down the film this way helps to better focus the analysis rather than trying to glean something from the film in its entirety. Therefore, with Ebert’s article How to Read a Movie in mind, I analyzed a shot from the movie American Beauty and attempted to break it down as Ebert might. Below, I have embedded a video essay consisting of the shot I chose to look at with a voiceover analysis.
DS106 Video Assignments
Assignment #1: Period Piece Mashup
Assignment #2: Tik Tok It
The original assignment was to make a Vine video, but because Vine no longer exists I used Tik Tok.
Assignment #3: Put it in Reverse Terry
This week, we were tasked with taking two of our old assignments and re-doing or remixing them in a new way. Below, you will see the results of that reflection and reinvention.
Revisited Work #1: Now Vogue
This visual assignment was to take a picture and turn it into a magazine cover. When I originally completed this assignment in Week 6, I used Instagram to edit a photo in order to create the magazine cover. This time around, I decided to use the photo editing website Pixlr to see how the two approaches compared. Overall, Pixlr had more options as far a design elements that could be added to the photo in making the magazine cover. I used a “Hello Summer” sticker from the bank and Pixlr had more extensive font choices. I think that Pixlr was the better tool to use for this assignment because you can create a more polished/professional looking final product compared to one created on Instagram. Here is the final work:
Revisited Work #2: Tell a Stellar Story
This web assignment was to create a story using the App Stellar. My original Stellar video detailed a vacation I took to Costa Rica, so for this remix assignment I decided to make a new Stellar project that detailed a one day long significant event in my life. I chose to make a commemorative video about my high school graduation. This time around, I used more of the features in Stellar like placing templates around each image so it looked like a digital photo album. I thought this was appropriate as the pictures within were ones I would put in a physical photo album, and it helped the Stellar to look more unique instead of an like an instagram story. Here is the final video:
While our radio show premiered on ds106 radio, my group members and I watched the tweets that came in throughout. Watching the live reaction was a really beneficial experience in that it gave us immediate feedback on the audience experience of our show, allowing us to see how it came across from the opposite perspective. The feedback we gleaned had a lot to do with what content engaged the viewers the most. Our radio show was about childhood memories, ranging from food memories, injuries, and childhood hopes and dreams. The audience response overwhelmingly showed that viewers resonated most with the stories about childhood injuries. Many of the Twitter responses had to do with people remembering their own childhood bike accidents and sharing them, as several of us talked about this in the radio show. With this in mind, if we had to revise the show I think we would focus it in more on childhood injuries in order to facilitate greater audience engagement. #radiolisten
Embedded below (through SoundCloud) is my final project!!! I created a podcast titled “Netflix: Fact or Fiction” that is a podcast that combines history with pop culture/modern day TV shows that are inspired by history and historical locations. In this podcast, we take a look at some historical facts or other information about an area and then compare it to shows that have been created inspired by that history!
***Side note*** I truly want to apologize for the sound/dryness/poor quality of my voice on the recording, I contracted strep throat at the beginning of this week (perfect timing!) and wasn’t actually able to talk much until the latter half of the week which set me back. This led to a lot of coughing and therefore stops and starts so I could cut those parts out, my apologies.
About the Process:
“Looking back on history is a great way to better understand where we have come from, and how far we have come as a species. Right now, I’m sitting on the same ground under the same sun where Native Americans first settled the land, where colonists sailed across the sea to establish themselves, where Civil War conflicts erupted and where slaves ran for their freedom, where pirates smuggled jewels and where the first airplane took flight. And now I’m in the modern world and that all seems so crazy and amazing. The way that that history has been internalized, interpreted, and recreated helps show us how we have changed over time and how much we do or don’t understand the past. I think that our perception of history truly shows the mindset of our times, and how we tell that history will reveal if we have learned anything at all from the mistakes and triumphs that came before us. And today, Media is one of the tools we have at our disposal to reinterpret and create new art out of that history. That is why I love historical fiction, and why I created this podcast. The shows I referenced today weren’t the deepest examples of this concept in action, but there is something there in the ability for us to use online tools, cameras, editing software, production equipment, and every other tool we have in this new age to create entire TV shows that are a reflection of our moment in history. This is how we retell, recreate, and reimagine our story“.
~ and scene ~
I cannot believe the semester has almost come to an end and we are turning in our final project for this class. I have learned so much this semester and I truly enjoyed what we got to do and see throughout this class. Thank you DS106 for a great semester, and a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the digital world. Thanks for teaching us how to better listen to and tell stories digitally so that they can be fluid, dynamic, interesting, and meaningful.
As always, thanks for listening. I truly hope you enjoy. Bye for now.