Studying the appearance of algorithms in popular culture and everyday life. By M P-F
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Automated content authorship by Philip Parker

Philip Parker patented a system that automates the creation of books and has over 100,000 books listed on Amazon ( I checked). Most of these seem like total spam - bearing the same image of a upside-down map on the front cover and costing £795 like this one. His project doesn’t end there, he also is automating education videos and other things mentioned in this video. 




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Aerial Bold by Benedikt Groß and Joey Lee

Aerial Bold is a project currently on kickstarter hoping to raise money to develop a dataset to train Computer Vision to recognise letterforms in aerial / satellite imagery. The outcome of the project would be both a typeface and advances in their mapping and computer vision related algorithms and code that you can purchase as a kickstarter reward.

As a two-man army, we will be experimenting with “new” ways to train image processing algorithms to find geometric patterns and use these scalable methods to find the shapes of the alphabet over the entire earth.




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Animating Virtual Characters using Physics-Based Simulation by  Thomas Geijtenbeek

The PhD research of Geijtenbeek is about using Genetic Algorithms and physics simulation to train bipedal characters to walk.

"The total optimization time depends on the character model and the type of experiment; the number of evaluated generations varies between 500 and 3000. On a standard
PC, optimization time takes between 2 and 12 hours.”

Video embedded below:

sizvideos



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Molecule by Francis Bitonti and Adobe
Francis Bitonti used a procedural process based on Conway’s Game of Life algorithm to generate the voxel growth form of these shoes. The shoes were then printed on a Statasys colour 3D printer. The procedural process allows the design of each new pair to come out differently. High heel shoes is unfortunately a popular trope in 3D printing, see here.

Molecule by Francis Bitonti and Adobe

Francis Bitonti used a procedural process based on Conway’s Game of Life algorithm to generate the voxel growth form of these shoes. The shoes were then printed on a Statasys colour 3D printer. The procedural process allows the design of each new pair to come out differently. High heel shoes is unfortunately a popular trope in 3D printing, see here.




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Real Prediction Machines by Auger-Loizeau
Real Prediction Machines is a data-driven approach to fortune-telling, a speculative design project that proposes that prediction algorithms, like Amazon’s anticipatory shipping algorithm, or financial forecast algorithms, will potentially be used in domestic scenarios to predict things like future arguments or family deaths. The service provider of this thing would tune the algorithm to the data needed to make such a prediction and then the user would see on a minimal device interface whether the event is approaching, receding or imminent.  A bit of a vague project, but worth adding to the algopop archive.
The project is on display at the Crafting Narrative exhibition in Ealing, London, that ends this Sunday.

Real Prediction Machines by Auger-Loizeau

Real Prediction Machines is a data-driven approach to fortune-telling, a speculative design project that proposes that prediction algorithms, like Amazon’s anticipatory shipping algorithm, or financial forecast algorithms, will potentially be used in domestic scenarios to predict things like future arguments or family deaths. The service provider of this thing would tune the algorithm to the data needed to make such a prediction and then the user would see on a minimal device interface whether the event is approaching, receding or imminent.  A bit of a vague project, but worth adding to the algopop archive.

The project is on display at the Crafting Narrative exhibition in Ealing, London, that ends this Sunday.




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"feral spambooks will deploy probabilistic text generators seeded with the contents of your own ebook library to write a thousand vacuous and superficially attractive nuisance texts that at a distance resemble your preferred reading. They’ll slide them into your ebook library disguised as free samples, with titles and author names that are random permutations of legitimate works, then sell advertising slots in these false texts to offshore spam marketplaces."

Charlie Stross envisions the future of bookspam; Turing-complete, Javascript enabled, parasitic ebooks.





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Pay Per Laugh by Cyranos McCann

Pay Per Laugh is a new payment system designed for comedy clubs that uses facial expression detection software to charge customers 30 cents per laugh. The entry is free and so you only pay if you are measured to have found the night funny. The project is documented on this video.

The Teatreneu comedy club in Barcelona hired ad agency Cyranos McCann to devise a way to get customers to return to comedy after a decline in sales due to a huge increase in taxes on theatre tickets.




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Show me my bills by Google

Google have added a new feature to its search engine - it will search your gmail account for due bills to be paid. Simply google “show me my bills”. I’m wondering where this feature fits in to Google’s other activities - is it to detect people in debt to deliver targeted ads? Is it to aggregate this information and sell their findings to utility companies? Or does this aid their new Nest home monitor in turning down the heating when it learns that you can’t afford it?  




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NBA 2K15 Face Scan Glitches

NBA 2K15 makes use of the Playstation camera for PS4 to allow gamers to scan their faces and become a character in the game. The feature uses face detection algorithms that often fail to identify the features of the face correctly creating monstrous glitches. I’m considering buying this game now just to make glitch portraiture. Images found on Twitter.




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Web Popularity Products by Valerio Loi

Photographer Valerio Loi imagines a future in which social network popularity would be sold on supermarket shelves. Taking inspiration from the already existing services for fake followers online, its not hard to imagine these offered IRL as they do with iTunes vouchers. The photography project is perhaps more interesting as a metaphor for how commonplace these new desires and bot services are becoming. I also wouldn’t mind my 1000+ bot followers coming out of a tin, I’m sure one of you #algopop readers could actually make it happen.




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#Algopop Search  

A blog about algorithms without a search option wouldn’t be right so I’ve added one to the menu. Also the #algopop archive is now quite substantial. 

At the moment it takes you to a straight-forward parody Google Search, (powered by Google) that you can also access from is.gd/search_algopop.

#Algopop search commissions

The true plan is to make that search button a point of departure for a series of commissioned works by artists and coders previously featured on #algopop. They’ll be asked to a make a search feature (or related) that is accessed via that little URL link. Hopefully we’ll get enough responses to feature a different artist each month. Watch this search-space. 

 




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Mining Bitcoin with pencil and paper by Ken Shirriff
Bitcoins are mined using a cryptographic algorithm called SHA-256. This algorithm is just about simple enough to be done with pencil and paper as shown in a video (embedded below) by Ken Shirriff. It is obviously impractical but exposes the process of bitcoin mining. It consists of repeatedly performing a cryptographic operation called hashing until an extremely rare hash value is found - one that begins with around 17 zeros. Only one out of 1.4x1020 hashes will be successful. Using a pencil and paper approach you would only be able to mine about 0.7 hashes per day.
 

Mining Bitcoin with pencil and paper by Ken Shirriff

Bitcoins are mined using a cryptographic algorithm called SHA-256. This algorithm is just about simple enough to be done with pencil and paper as shown in a video (embedded below) by Ken Shirriff. It is obviously impractical but exposes the process of bitcoin mining. It consists of repeatedly performing a cryptographic operation called hashing until an extremely rare hash value is found - one that begins with around 17 zeros. Only one out of 1.4x1020 hashes will be successful. Using a pencil and paper approach you would only be able to mine about 0.7 hashes per day.

 




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Setting Up Raspberry Pi To Run Bots by Jeff Thompson
Artist Jeff Thompson who is responsible for Art Assignment Bot has put this comprehensive tutorial on how to run bots on a Raspberry-Pi microcomputer - including the basics of setting up the Pi to run without a screen and programming it remotely by SSH-ing into it from another computer. He also includes tips on file managing and bot scheduling, thanks Jeff! 

Setting Up Raspberry Pi To Run Bots by Jeff Thompson

Artist Jeff Thompson who is responsible for Art Assignment Bot has put this comprehensive tutorial on how to run bots on a Raspberry-Pi microcomputer - including the basics of setting up the Pi to run without a screen and programming it remotely by SSH-ing into it from another computer. He also includes tips on file managing and bot scheduling, thanks Jeff! 




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'Couple hours worth of newsfeed' by Mitch Posada

The artist Mitch Posada recently posted this on Facebook with only the caption ‘Couple hours worth of newsfeed’; its a Facebook-scraped visual indication of how much imagery is provided by the Facebook newsfeed algorithm.




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Grandmas getting auto-tagged ‘Grandmaster Flash’

A tumblr is documenting a widespread problem where grandparents using Facebook often get the tag recommendation ‘Grandmaster Flash’ when they type ‘Grandma’ into a FB status. The confused elderly people often don’t know what they are doing wrong, and in most cases don’t know who Grandmaster Flash is. One grandma then messages the hip-hop icon with the FB post ‘I didn’t mean to hit the grandmaster flash whatever that is’.




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