Johan Hoorn: Mutual blackboxing

For: A wedge between private and public
Symposium in interactivity and public space
22 April 2010
SESSION 3 – Object

Report by Juliana Brunello

Johan Hoorn is a computer scientist and technologist whose work consists of affective computing, which means programming human things, or robots as a third body as one might say.

He and his team look deeply into the relation between humans and machines. As he points out, there is a human agency as well as a machine agency, which is called artificial intelligence. For technologists, the user is the black box, not the machine; as it is very hard to define what the user will do with a certain technology.

He agrees to the statement that there is morality embedded in design. Empirical research has shown that this is the main factor that will bring users to actually use a thing. It is not only necessary to look into the skills of a person, but also to look at the skills of a machine in order to understand its character. This overcrossing is put into the robot, so it has also features of its user. This way, the object will respond to the human. They also implement goals of into the robot. The AI will adapt to the user, and the user will adapt to the AI.

Inside the black box of the machine there is code, which is the implementation of what designers have though. The designer does push forward what he wants you to do, but he believes that this is relative.

The machine/robot is tested with humans. The humans are in charge of diagnosing the machine’s system. Black boxes are redesigned if necessary, in order to make a machine that is more human-like. In this sense, it is the artist’s role to deconstruct and find the meaning of that robot/avatar