Back to the Future of Sensemaking

Yesterday I participated in the Intel/IFTF Humans, Sensors and Sensemaking workshop in Palo Alto California. It was a day-long expert brainstorming workshop to create a roadmap of 5-6 year opportunities in ‘Sensemaking’ assuming humans interacting with sensors using non-trivial amounts of computation. I had a chance to interact with visionary researchers such as Eric Paulos, Jeff Burke, Anthony LaMarca, David Pescovitz, Andy Greenhalgh, and our Dave Merrill from the MIT Media Lab. We discussed the future applications, enabling technologies, and opportunities.

All the invitees were asked to bring an Artifact from the Future. My artifact was an “Entertaining Virus” from 2015. This virus lives on the servers. It messes with your online profile on social networks. It sends itself to your friend list. It copies your photographs from Flickr to MySpace, it copies your MySpace videos to YouTube, it picks up your YouTube video tags and copies them to your other account on some other future web service. The future generations will enjoy this virus. This social network profile messing virus is the new entertainment in 2015.

After these artifacts, we did Pecha Kucha style short presentations about our current research. I showed Open I/O, how it works, its architecture, creating networked compositions, and protocol authoring as an artistic process.

We had a put-the-idea-on-the-timeline session. Among the other ideas I also placed micro-contracts of Brent Fitzgerald’s Promiserver on the timeline as one of the enabling technologies in 2015.

Overall the most striking thing for me was the graphic artist who sketched the entire session in real-time, and with a consistent graphic language. When I was describing my artifact from the future, it was being visualized in real-time on the white board.

One response to “Back to the Future of Sensemaking

  1. Burak, sounds like a cool experience with some good people. I’ve been hearing about the Institute for the Future a lot more lately. Seems like foresight and future studies are hot right now, maybe due to the re-boom in the valley’s tech scene. Or it could be that I am just more tuned in to look for it since Jane McGonigal’s talk here a little while back.

    Thanks for including Promiserver in your vision for 2015. I’m in the middle of writing this thesis about it, and it’s reinforcing to hear your positive take on it.

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