For most of the twentieth century, maps were indispensable. They were how governments understood, managed, and defended their territory, and during the two world wars they were produced by the hundreds of millions. Cartographers and journalists predicted the dawning of a “map-minded age,” where increasingly state-of-the-art maps would become everyday tools. By the century’s end, however, there had been decisive shift in mapping practices, as the dominant methods of land surveying and print publication were increasingly displaced by electronic navigation systems.
In After the Map, William Rankin argues that although this shift did not render traditional maps obsolete, it did radically change our experience of geographic knowledge, from the God’s-eye view of the map to the embedded subjectivity of GPS. Likewise, older concerns with geographic truth and objectivity have been upstaged by a new emphasis on simplicity, reliability, and convenience. After the Map shows how this change in geographic perspective is ultimately a transformation of the nature of territory, both social and political.
As biometrics-based identification and identity authentication become increasingly widespread in their deployment, it becomes correspondingly important to consider more carefully issues relating to reliability, usability and inclusion. One factor which is particularly important in this context is that of the relationship between the nature of the measurements extracted from a particular biometric modality and the age of the sample donor, and the effect which age has on physiological and behavioural characteristics invoked in a biometric transaction.
What is the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) in the world of scholarly communication? What impact does AI have on the practices and strategies of publishers, libraries, information technology companies, and researchers? What exactly is AI and what are those in the realm of scholarly communication actually thinking about it and doing with it?
This Charleston Briefing seeks to provide some answers to these very important questions, offering both general essays on AI and more specific essays on AI in scholarly publishing, academic libraries, and AI in information discovery and knowledge building. The essays will help publishers, librarians, and researchers better understand the actual impact of AI on libraries and publishing so that they can respond to the potentially transformative impact of AI in a measured and knowledgeable manner.
Charleston Briefings: Trending Topics for Information Professionals is a thought-provoking series of brief books concerning innovation in the sphere of libraries, publishing, and technology in scholarly communication. The briefings, growing out of the vital conversations characteristic of the Charleston Conference and Against the Grain, will offer valuable insights into the trends shaping our professional lives and the institutions in which we work.
Artificial Intelligence is a seemingly neutral technology, but it is increasingly used to manage workforces and make decisions to hire and fire employees. Its proliferation in the workplace gives the impression of a fairer, more efficient system of management. A machine can't discriminate, after all. Augmented Exploitation explores the reality of the impact of AI on workers' lives. While the consensus is that AI is a completely new way of managing a workplace, the authors show that, on the contrary, AI is used as most technologies are used under capitalism: as a smokescreen that hides the deep exploitation of workers. Going beyond platform work and the gig economy, the authors explore emerging forms of algorithmic governance and AI-augmented apps that have been developed to utilise innovative ways to collect data about workers and consumers, as well as to keep wages and worker representation under control. They also show that workers are not taking this lying down, providing case studies of new and exciting form of resistance that are springing up across the globe.
Automating technologies threaten to usher in a workless future. But this can be a good thing—if we play our cards right.
Human obsolescence is imminent. The factories of the future will be dark, staffed by armies of tireless robots. The hospitals of the future will have fewer doctors, depending instead on cloud-based AI to diagnose patients and recommend treatments. The homes of the future will anticipate our wants and needs and provide all the entertainment, food, and distraction we could ever desire.
To many, this is a depressing prognosis, an image of civilization replaced by its machines. But what if an automated future is something to be welcomed rather than feared? Work is a source of misery and oppression for most people, so shouldn’t we do what we can to hasten its demise? Automation and Utopia makes the case for a world in which, free from need or want, we can spend our time inventing and playing games and exploring virtual realities that are more deeply engaging and absorbing than any we have experienced before, allowing us to achieve idealized forms of human flourishing.
The idea that we should “give up” and retreat to the virtual may seem shocking, even distasteful. But John Danaher urges us to embrace the possibilities of this new existence. The rise of automating technologies presents a utopian moment for humankind, providing both the motive and the means to build a better future.
The Digital Factoryreveals the hidden human labor that supports today’s digital capitalism.
The workers of today’s digital factory include those in Amazon warehouses, delivery drivers, Chinese gaming workers, Filipino content moderators, and rural American search engine optimizers. Repetitive yet stressful, boring yet often emotionally demanding, these jobs require little formal qualification, but can demand a large degree of skills and knowledge. This work is often hidden behind the supposed magic of algorithms and thought to be automated, but it is in fact highly dependent on human labor.
The workers of today’s digital factory are not as far removed from a typical auto assembly line as we might think. Moritz Altenried takes us inside today’s digital factories, showing that they take very different forms, including gig economy platforms, video games, and Amazon warehouses. As Altenried shows, these digital factories often share surprising similarities with factories from the industrial age. As globalized capitalism and digital technology continue to transform labor around the world, Altenried offers a timely and poignant exploration of how these changes are restructuring the social division of labor and its geographies as well as the stratifications and lines of struggle.
Distribution systems analysis employs a set of techniques that allow engineers to simulate, analyse, and optimise power distribution systems. Combined with automation, these techniques underpin the emerging concept of the 'smart grid', a digitally-enabled electrical supply grid that can monitor and respond to the behaviour of all its components in real time.
Distribution systems analysis employs a set of techniques to simulate, analyse, and optimise power distribution systems. Combined with automation, these techniques underpin the concept of the smart grid. In recent years, distribution systems have been facing growing challenges, due to increasing demand as well as the rising shares of distributed and volatile renewable energy sources.
This book covers the development of electric cars from their early days to pure electric, fuel-cell and new hybrid models in production. It covers the latest technological issues faced by automotive engineers working on electric cars, including charging, infrastructure, safety and costs, as well as making predictions about future developments and vehicle numbers. Considerable work has gone into electric car and battery development in the last ten years, with the prospect of substantial improvements in range and performance in battery cars as well as in hybrids and those using fuel cells. The book comprehensively covers this important subject and will be of particular interest to engineers working on electric vehicle design, development and use, as well as managers interested in the key business factors vital for the successful transfer of electric cars into the mass market.
Advanced technologies such as robotics, 5G mobile communications, IoT, cloud computing and wireless sensor networks have had a huge impact and influence on manufacturing, with an increased collaboration between humans and smart systems. As the manufacturing process becomes more automated using real-time data, communication systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques and robotics feed data back into the manufacturing process. This enables the design of products that are more customized and personal, and leads to a more competitive, efficient and value-added production process by reacting more quickly to technical or human errors to avoid product and system damage while increasing workplace safety, and reducing waste, pollution, and associated costs.
Fractional control techniques provide an effective way to control dynamic behaviours, using fractional differential equations. This can include the control of fractional plants, the control of a plant using a fractional controller, or the control of a plant so that the controlled system will have a fractional behaviour to achieve a performance that would otherwise be hard to come by.
Labor's End traces the discourse around automation from its origins in the factory to its wide-ranging implications in political and social life. As Jason Resnikoff shows, the term automation expressed the conviction that industrial progress meant the inevitable abolition of manual labor from industry. But the real substance of the term reflected industry's desire to hide an intensification of human work--and labor's loss of power and protection--behind magnificent machinery and a starry-eyed faith in technological revolution. The rhetorical power of the automation ideology revealed and perpetuated a belief that the idea of freedom was incompatible with the activity of work. From there, political actors ruled out the workplace as a site of politics while some of labor's staunchest allies dismissed sped-up tasks, expanded workloads, and incipient deindustrialization in the name of technological progress.
A forceful intellectual history, Labor's End challenges entrenched assumptions about automation's transformation of the American workplace.
Computerized processes are everywhere in our society. They are the automated phone messaging systems that businesses use to screen calls; the link between student standardized test scores and public schools’ access to resources; the algorithms that regulate patient diagnoses and reimbursements to doctors. The storage, sorting, and analysis of massive amounts of information have enabled the automation of decision-making at an unprecedented level. Meanwhile, computers have offered a model of cognition that increasingly shapes our approach to the world. The proliferation of “roboprocesses” is the result, as editors Catherine Besteman and Hugh Gusterson observe in this rich and wide-ranging volume, which features contributions from a distinguished cast of scholars in anthropology, communications, international studies, and political science.
Although automatic processes are designed to be engines of rational systems, the stories in Life by Algorithms reveal how they can in fact produce absurd, inflexible, or even dangerous outcomes. Joining the call for “algorithmic transparency,” the contributors bring exceptional sensitivity to everyday sociality into their critique to better understand how the perils of modern technology affect finance, medicine, education, housing, the workplace, food production, public space, and emotions—not as separate problems but as linked manifestations of a deeper defect in the fundamental ordering of our society.
Catherine Besteman, Alex Blanchette, Robert W. Gehl, Hugh Gusterson, Catherine Lutz, Ann Lutz Fernandez, Joseph Masco, Sally Engle Merry, Keesha M. Middlemass, Noelle Stout, Susan J. Terrio
Thomas Pringle University of Minnesota Press, 2018 Library of Congress T14.5.M314 2018 | Dewey Decimal 601
On the social consequences of machines
Automation, animation, and ecosystems are terms of central media-philosophical concern in today’s society of humans and machines. This volume describes the social consequences of machines as a mediating concept for the animation of life and automation of technology. Bernard Stiegler’s automatic society illustrates how digital media networks establish a new proletariat of knowledge workers. Gertrud Koch offers the animation of the technical to account for the pathological relations that arise between people and their devices. And Thomas Pringle synthesizes how automation and animation explain the history of intellectual exchanges that led to the hybrid concept of the ecosystem, a term that blends computer and natural science. All three contributions analyse how categories of life and technology become mixed in governmental policies, economic exploitation and pathologies of everyday life thereby both curiously and critically advancing the term that underlies those new developments: ‘machine.’
Robots and Automated Manufacture
J. Billingsley The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 1985 Library of Congress TS191.8.R6367 1985 | Dewey Decimal 670.427
To serve its purpose, an industrial robot must be harnessed to a manufacturing task, be it welding, assembly, adjustment or the inspection of food products. Complex tasks are likely to require offline programming, both for economy of equipment use and to permit computer simulations for collision avoidance. Vision and other sensory systems are helping to extend the capabilities of robots, while advanced programming techniques are making their use more accessible to the shop floor.
In recent decades digital devices have reshaped daily life, while tech companies’ stock prices have thrust them to the forefront of the business world. In this rapid, global development, the promise of a new machine age has been accompanied by worries about accelerated joblessness thanks to new forms of automation. Jason E. Smith looks behind the techno-hype to lay out the realities of a period of economic slowdown and expanding debt: low growth rates and an increase of labor-intensive jobs at the bottom of the service sector. He shows how increasing inequality and poor working conditions have led to new forms of workers’ struggles. Ours is less an age of automation, Smith contends, than one in which stagnation is intertwined with class conflict.
In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy. Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human---machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality.
Wiring The Writing Center
Eric Hobson Utah State University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PE1404.W56 1998 | Dewey Decimal 808.0420285
Published in 1998, Wiring the Writing Center was one of the first few books to address the theory and application of electronics in the college writing center. Many of the contributors explore particular features of their own "wired" centers, discussing theoretical foundations, pragmatic choices, and practical strengths. Others review a range of centers for the approaches they represent. A strong annotated bibliography of signal work in the area is also included.