Ep. 83 Molly Wright Steenson “Play in the Uncanny Valley”

April 25, 2018

illustration: bobbycampbell.net

Playing for Team Human today is designer, technology historian, and author of the new book Architectural Intelligence, Professor Molly Wright Steenson. Molly and Douglas share a wide-ranging conversation that begins by looking at the “weirdness” of AI. How do design metaphors such as “awesome mouth feel” and “uncanny valley” provoke deeper questions of human imagination, play, and meaning. Molly’s background in architecture and history offers listeners a unique grounding of digital in the physical. Check out Molly’s new book Architectural Intelligence and her longstanding website girlwonder.com. Molly also discusses her oft-cited essay, What is Burning Man, working with Howard Rheingold (TH 76) at Electric Minds, building the Netscape search page, and launching the influential feminist webzine Maxi.

Opening the show, Douglas comments on educating robots versus educating humans. Is there something more, something ambiguous and sacred even to be retrieved from a well-rounded liberal arts education?

You can sustain this show via Patreon. And please leave us a review on iTunes.

This show features intro and outro music thanks to Fugazi and Dischord Records. Mid-way you heard Throbbing Gristle’s United. See Ep. 67 with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.

Thanks to teammate and listener Bobby Campbell for his amazing Team Human trading cards. Follow Team Human on Twitter where we will be posting more trading cards, going back to the earliest episodes.

Molly Photo Credit: Ross Mantle

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