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Humanics in Media & Technology: The New Uncanny Valley


We have extended the RSVP deadline to tomorrow at 12 p.m.! Those who have already registered for the event will receive the Zoom event access information at that time. 

The College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) welcomes Rick Anderson from Rutgers University as the first speaker in the Humanics in Media & Technology lecture series hosted by the Media Studios Organization (MSO).

There is a continuum: Humans are taking Turing tests to prove to robots that we are human, but what we perceive as real is mediated by “robots.” By virtualizing our experiences, we’ve begun to use machine learning to mediate our access to knowledge and our senses. Virtual learning is a quick and iterable learning loop, but when we involve the real world, things slow down to a real-life pace. Now that machine learning models can be embedded in microcontrollers, and mobile devices can now act as senses and actuators. This advance allows machine learning techniques to enable increased accessibility and inclusivity. In this talk, we’ll walk through the details with examples from Minecraft to DIY robot projects.

In order to receive the Zoom access information for this lecture please RSVP below by Tuesday, June 02.

About the Speaker:

Rick Anderson is Director of Virtual Worlds and Games Research and Immersive Design (GRID) group at Rutgers University. He is also co-founder of the Rutgers Makerspace project as well as co-founder and trustee of Fubar, the Fair Use Building and Research Labs. He has co-authored Pro Arduino (Apress, 2013) which helps makers and electronic enthusiasts become professionals with their projects. He is also the co-creator and continual sponsor for the Rutgers University Information Technology Senior Capstone project, Make a Thing and Pitch a Company. He’s currently creating the AI Maker Series for Middle and High school teachers which combines the power of maker spaces, fabrication labs, and machine learning to create game-playing cars and robots.

About the Lecture Series:

How do Humanics – the integration of technical abilities, data evaluation, and human disciplines (creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation, empathy, and cultural agility) – influence our work in media and technology?  In this lecture series, we will explore how makerspaces, audio production studios, and immersive media labs are being shaped by growing pressures to build skills to keep ourselves relevant alongside rapid advances in media and technology.

Following three different trajectories: Rick Anderson, Director of Virtual Worlds at Rutgers University; Phyllis Klein of Fab Lab DC; and Rob Jaczko, Chair of Music Production and Engineering at Berklee, we will discuss transformations in our current educational practices to stay in step with lifelong learning and a Humanics-centric education.