Digital Media: Digital Future – Digital Semantic

On Monday 24th February 2014, I attended a lecture entitled “Digital Future – Digital Semantic” for my Digital Media module. This was then followed by a seminar regarding the hand-in date next week, and a workshop where we used the time to ask for any help required for our website. All of the notes from today can be found below: 


  • Applications for immersive environment technologies have been hard to identify in the past apart from gaming and simulation
  • But it is becoming clear that RETAIL is the place where reactive and immersive wars will be waged
  • IBM business partners recently predicted that next generation stores will be:
    • Sense and respond environments that morph themselves to meet the temporal demands of customers’ immediate shopping objectives
  • What does that mean? The IBM report talks about the immersive retailing experience being delivered via microenvironments that narrow the focus of shoppers’ experiences to “I” and “me.”
  • Retailers are already using integrated digital media technologies including:
  • These are seamlessly connected to the consumer’s own personal device
  • Soon films like Minority Report might not be the stuff of science fiction and we will, (and to a certain extent we’re already there) enter the age of ubiquitous computing


  • Ubiquitous computing is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities. As opposed to the desktop paradigm, in which a single user consciously engages a single device for a specialized purpose, someone “using” ubiquitous computing engages many computational devices and systems simultaneously, in the course of ordinary activities, and may not necessarily even be aware that they are doing so
  • Mark Weiser – coined the phrase UC in 1988 – and believed that technology would have a calming influence. It would make our lives easier, less stressful
  • What do you think? Does technology achieve this on the whole?

The Semantic Web:

  • The web understands us, it is learning
  • The WWW as we know it is only a few years old
  • All the amazing stuff we take for granted – our ability to plug into the databases of the world, a never-ending flow of info coming into our homes
  • What’s more most of what we access is FREE
  • Look at Wikipedia – it’s a model that shouldn’t be possible – but it is
  • A vast crowd-sourced repository of information

The Future:

  • This thing that we’re making (and we are making it together) is accessed by myriad devices that link to ONE machine – the most reliable machine human beings have ever made
  • It has run uninterrupted since it began
  • What are the dimensions of this machine?
    • 120 billion clicks per day.
    • 65 trillion links between all the Web pages of the world.
    • 2.5 million emails per second
    • 170 quadrillion transistors
    • 246 exabyte storage.
    • 10 terabytes per second total traffic (the Library of Congress is about twenty terabytes. So every second, half the Library of Congress is swooshing around the world)
    • It uses five percent of the global electricity on the planet
  • In last week’s lecture we made the analogy between the brain and Internet
    • 55 trillion links – almost the same as the number of synapses in a brain
    • A quadrillion transistors – almost the same as the number of neurons
  • The size and complexity of this machine is the size and complexity of your brain
  • And your brain works in a similar way to the web (remember what we discussed re: networks and learning)
  • But your brain isn’t doubling every two years
  • The web is
  • If this machine, right now, is equivalent to one HB – one human brain – with the rate it’s increasing, 30 years from now, it’ll be six billion HBs
  • By the year 2040, the total processing power of this machine will exceed the total processing power of humanity

Where will this all lead?

  • There’s a lot of paranoia about semantic technology (transparency is encouraged by the likes of Tim Berners-Lee but frowned upon by whole tribes of academics anxious about the loss of control this openness might bring)
  • There are also a lot of high profile dissenters who believe that AI enthusiasts, instead of making machines that think like human beings are now striving to describe the world in terms that machines are good at thinking about

So we end up with the age-old conundrum: Does the world make sense, or do we make sense of the world?


Watch between 3.39- 8.30

  • While I’m happy to be reminded about friend’s birthdays or offered suggestions about what to buy for their birthday – I don’t want my computer to do it for me
  • An interesting upshot of all this targeting is the Filter Bubble –
  • You’re search results become so targeted that you can end up in an unrealistic bubble
  • Will the Giant Global Graph be capable of detecting feelings or the nuances of human behaviour and experience?
  • Perhaps we are creatures of habit
  • Perhaps the technology will be able to second guess our desires and needs
  • Perhaps it will be able to book the right holiday for us or choose the next album we want to buy
  • Plenty of writers and filmmakers are speculating about the catastrophic future that this technology could bring
  • Black Mirror and Utopia are just two TV dramas that have dealt with this
  • But is this what the future will really be like?
  • Here’s what the enthusiasts say:
    • There’s only one machine, and the Web is its OS. All screens look into the One. No bits will live outside the Web. To share is to gain. Let the One read it. It’s going to be machine-readable. You want to make something that the machine can read. And the One is us. We are in the One.” –  Kevin Kelly, Wired, exec editor





  • Lecture responses – 200 words
  • Key reading responses – 500 words
  • Screenshot or have links to where you have commented on research groups blog posts
  • Put in one blog post
    • Site URL
    • Link to screenshot post
    • Link to “Thinking about Digital Media Assignments”
    • Links to lecture responses
    • Links to 3 key reading responses
    • Links to galleries on WordPress
  • CD
    • Work
    • Rest
    • Play
    • Screenshots
    • Website
    • Can put blogbooker on but not neccisary


What needs to be included in key reading responses?

  • Academic
  • 300-500 words
  • Round-up on article
  • My experience
  • Accept or refute it – provide examples/evidence
  • Discussion about why people respond to what’s in the text – e.g. hoaxes

What comments do we need to make on our research group/how many comments do we have to make?

  • Couple of sentences
  • Respond to each person in group at least once
  • Either helps or offers feedback – peer review

5 diptychs = 10 images?

  • That’s fine
  • Critical reflect as to why



How do I add images one, next to the other, in a dreamweaver document?

  • Would suggest doing it in photoshop, a lot easier
  • Simply need to add a small margin of approximately 60px to the right of each of the images
  • Once this is done, go back to dreamweaver and place the cursor in between the sidescrollgallery div tags before going to Insert – either Image Objects, Rollover Image (for a rollover image) or Insert, Image (for a normal image)
  • Then keep uploading each image until happy with it