Robots and New Technologies: Programmed to Understand and Interact

Blogging,blogs,Cyberculture,internet,media,Science,technology — Danica @ 10:19 pm, September 16, 2011

When I’m not exploring social media, writing, researching, consulting, travelling, creating photography and else, I’m curious about other things that are interconnected with Information-Communication technologies. This is my first text for the Scientific American blog on robots and new technologies. From the Scientific American blog:

My first experience with robots was through popular culture and literature when I was a little girl. I was fascinated with the first computers, space and robots:  Star wars and R2D2 (first indication of my geekiness), watching many times and dreaming of Blade runner, reading short stories by I.Asimov. Later on, during college, courses on information systems, cybernetics caught my attention, from the cybernetic communication models to cybernetic organisms being described as cyborgs and the larger networks of communication. I was interested in techno-science and feminist-cyborg studies of Donna Haraway and S.Turkle’s cyber-analysis of the robots sociability, her studies on intimate bonds we form with our artifacts (robots and computers),  and how they shape who we are. Finally, with the Internet expansion my interests switched to Information and communication technologies and Computer-Mediated Communication, networked  and learning systems.

Then, last December at TED Women I’ve reached a  “robotic moment” watching a roboticist from MIT, Cynthia Breazeal, who (more…)

Internet on The Balkans

Blogging,communication,general,GlobalVoices,internet,Serbia,technology — Danica @ 9:14 pm, August 9, 2011

This weekend the Internet has celebrated the twenty years of the World Wide Web that on 6 August 1991 became publicly available; and Sir Tim Berners-Lee published the first ever website. Back then, he posted a short summary of the project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup. I was trying to remember my first html page back in 1996, probably stored on many floppy disks, maybe one day I will be able to extract the data and go back to the 90s.

Also, this weekend, I gave a short overview on the recent findings of a study of the Internet usage in the Balkan region. It is interesting to know (more…)

Digital Serendipities in Southeastern Europe – Featured Interview

I have been interviewed last month for the Open Society Foundations Blog on various topics related to digital use, online social interactions, digital divide, social networks and young adults in Southeastern Europe. I’m finding some interesting patterns that show what kinds of strategies policymakers should use to create and implement in education, government, etc.

Currently, I’m into data analysis, EDA, and writing, so you may not see me around that often. Check my Twitter updates and for the urgencies, comments, sharing, and caring feel free to email me.

[crossposting] Digital Serendipities in Southeastern Europe

Danica Radovanovic, Oxford, UK

As an Open Society Foundations Chevening scholar at the University of Oxford in 2009, and now as a PhD student at the Oxford Internet Institute, Danica Radovanovic focuses on the use of social new communication technologies in Southeastern Europe. Following her presentation on the “digital divide” in higher education at a recent Open Society Scholarship Programs conference for alumni from the Balkans, I spoke to Danica about the impact of online social interactions, especially in the Balkan region.

Why is it valuable to research online social trends, and how do you see your research contributing in that area?

It is important to understand and evaluate how people, markets, the economy and politics are moving from offline to online worlds and vice versa. I believe that research in social media and new communication technologies plays a crucial role in analyzing our society (more…)

Ten years of Wikipedia – my personal greeting

It has been (already!) ten years since the Wikipedia started its activities as self-organized encyclopedia, global phenomenon gathering many volunteers world wide to collaborate in and contribute to this information and knowledge entity. As Social web researcher and an Internet Scholar I believe in the power of knowledge and collaborative ideas, actions as well as in free and open source information and knowledge, online communities and their power to make a difference. I’ve been writing (my Master thesis), bloggingparticipating, and contributing to this project, and for me Wikipedia is an excellent example of transparent, collaborative, and participatory information and knowledge movement and growing online community.

Working for over a decade in a related area, I perceive Wikipedia as an upgrowing phenomenon, a sustaining global change, where participation and interaction between contributors and users are very important. All of these present the future of the next generation of Web so Wikipedia has a bright future. With some concerns.

Being someone who’s involved indirectly and directly in Wikipedia and Wikimedia activities I want to emphasize three important points (not the only issues that Wikipedia has to embrace) in the years to come, as Wikipedia evolves globally sharing free information. First, it is increasingly important to have strong local chapters which are accessible to everyone. Achieving the balance is hard, but I believe that through the participation it is possible. All of you are showing every day that the focus on motivation and the mixture of the “ideology and fun” will deliver the strongest results. Beside further chapters formation, I’m also looking forward to seeing more lead initiatives in the higher education: engaging schools, universities and libraries, and social technology implemented in Wikimedia projects, which will increase the quality and the credibility of the content. And third equally important point is: I hope the focus, in the adolescence years of Wikipedia, will be on activities and projects in the developing countries, emerging, third world countries, where the access to the open and free information many times is not available. Also, I hope that the sharp divide between global West and global South and other developing ares in the world will slowly diminish.

With good hopes and good spirit, lots of good cheer, I wish everyone who is contributing to Wikipedia to stay creative, motivated, positive and inspired. I’m looking forward to collaborating with you in the upcoming years, I’m wishing you a happy birthday Wikipedia!

TEDWomen: innovators, idea-generators, architects of change

The Asphalt Orchestra today have opened the TEDWomen, conference dedicated to women who are (re)shaping the future, sharing an amazing talks from the fields they have pioneered. Event is taking place in Washington, DC,  December 7-8, 2010, and I have been privileged to get the access, live tweet out,  right now there is a break in between the sessions.  You can find my tweets here (with #tedwomen), talks are changing very fast and the schedule is not necessarily strictly prompt. Follow the hashtag #TEDWomen for all other tweets on live talks. TedWomen started on Day One with hilarous Hans Rosling who talked about the usage of the earth energy and the environment in the Western and emerging counties using ingenious allegories, while  Hanna Rosin talked on the importance of education and gender equality, some stereoptyes in this context, and new female superheros.  Elizabeth Lindsey, ethnographer of the National Geographic Society, gave an amazing performance of chanting on stage, talking about navigation and information overload; while Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talked on balancing business and private life.

The next day women from the sessions “Composers”, “Harmony &Discord”, and “Crescendo”, got my attention with inspiring talks on various topics. MBI (molecular breast imaging) inventor Dr Deborah Rhodes, showed how gamma method is more punctual than mammography in breast cancer detection, stressing out that the manuscript on MBI was rejected by four scientific journals because “the conflict of interest”, and it is finally to be published in Journal of Radiology. Something to think about science, humanity, ethics, and scientific publishing.

Amber Case, digital philosopher and Cyborg Anthropologist, started her talk with “All of you are Cyborgs every time you look at computer screen”, emphasising that people don’t take time for mental (self)reflection anymore, and kids today live the instant button clicking culture. Cyber anthropology is interdisciplinary area so there’s a lot to say about the above mentioned topics. Kate Orff, environmentalist architect,  introduces the new invention, hero of the ecology and urbanism ‘the oyster” that improves ecosystems. Roboticist, Cynthia Breazeal, who founded personal robot at MIT, talked about robots (applications) in the communication technologies: screen, mobile, expressive, performing collaborative tasks, and social engagement.

Surprise speaker on stage was The US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, talking about women issues world wide, introducing the new project with the deployment of technology: Mobile Justice initiative in the third world countries, e.g. Africa, where women can memo their testimonials or record the files on the mobile phones. Naomi Klein, author and activist, talked on the recent oil disaster, climate crisis and the environment, emphasising that the problem is our master narrative: “we are going to be saved”, but our secular religion is technology. Jody Williams, Nobel peace laureate, had the punch line: taking the action to reclaim the meaning of peace.” I liked her creative idea that planting the trees may be the solution to peace and for the environment perseverance.

Iranian artist in exile Shirin Neshat shared her personal story and life challenges through identity, politics, religion, and talked about her debut film: Woman without Man, based on the banned novel by Shahrnush Parsipur who spent five years in prison. Joan Halifax, Zen Priest, addressed an issue of the compassion and its challenges, in a similar pathos as Donna Karan, fashion designer, who shared her story on birth and death transformations in the critical moments in her life.

The culmination of  TEDWomen conference was touching, wonderful story of  Eve Ensler, best known for her play Vagina Monologues, founder of V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls globally. Beside The Monologues, she talked about other women stories world wide, how she perceived her body, how she felt her body when she realised that she had a cancer, and how she is perceiving it now. This brave women finished her talk with “if you are divided from your body, then you are divided from the body of the world”, giving the recipe for the survival of women with issues and challenges: attention and resources are that everybody deserves.

Those were my personal notes (in short) and tweet highlights, for other information check out the full program and the bios of the speakers. It was an interesting conference and I’m looking forward to see in the future more inspiring, strong, creative, innovative women world wide who are reshaping the world and making the difference while, as the former  US Secretary of State mentioned, supporting each other. Maybe next time I’d come up with my innovative ideas to share them with you. Now I’m asking: what you can learn from these strong women who inspire, and other powwerful women in your surrounding?


Better on Facebook Than in the Streets

The new school year in Serbia is about to start, and local newspapers are filled with techno anti-utopian articles on the bad effects of the Internet and social networks. A survey on the use of Facebook by the youth in Serbia has been published recently, too, however, and its results suggest that things aren’t really that bad.

More about the usage of Facebook among Serbian youth in my Global Voices article.  Those who’ve asked me about the photo I’ve contributed in the featured text:  it was taken in the downtown of Belgrade, in the Internet cafe, and I use it for my slides, for conference talks.

Feel free to comment.

Update: now this article is available in Serbian, Polish, Italian and Spanish language. Thanks to GlobalVoices colleagues for translation.

upcoming events/travels

From Thursday I’m off to UK tour visiting friends around England’s, ending up far North, and after New years Eve returning back to pack for States. I won’t be checking my email regularly, but will be here and there online. My mobile will be on, I receive and send tweet DM’s regularly, and wherever wifi allows me to be present – I’ll be networked. You can check my schedule on Dopplr (if you’re a friend and using it, let me know), and of course – my Twitter stream updates. I’ll bring with me lot of eBooks and literature to read, some of those are good old paper books that I’m looking forward to hold and read.

Also, I’m ready for Science Online conference on the east coast, USA this/next January, to meet again wonderful folks from all over the globe, interact and collaborate. I miss my friends and colleagues, so I’m looking forward to see you all very soon. If you didn’t signed up for the Friday morning workshop I’m giving on social media tools and services, please do register. The only requirement is to bring yourself and laptop.

Next year will be super-excited and challenging for me in every field, as the 2009. was absolutely wonderful bringing lot of great events, people, awards, places I’ve been living/working, and the great adventures. I’m looking forward to 2010, hoping to be even better, as the same I wish to all of you who are reading these words. In the next year, I’ll be writing for different media too, so you’ll read me on other places on Web. It will be challenging both for work and PhD research, dissertation and other activities, I don’t know where I’ll be next. All I know that I’d need to get disciplined and make some time during the year for myself and my personal life as 2009. was insanely working fun mixture of random nature escapades.

I may post in the mid-0f-travel adventure more of my thoughts or announcements, so stay tuned.

 

upcoming conference ScienceOnline 2010

wiki_logo

Those who’ve been lucky to attend and participate  [moi!] in this years conference SciOnline09, traditionally held in January every year at Research Triangle Park, Sigma Xi, NC/ US, could learn a lot, meet great interesting people from different fields of activity and brainstorm, create new ideas, projects. Even more, all good things after the conference at the beginning this year happened to me on and afterwards, so it’s time to get enough supplies of positive creative energy for the next year and meet, hear, talk with fantastic folks coming from all over the world.

ScienceOnline 2010, the fourth annual conference on science and the Web, will be held on January 14-17th, 2010 at Sigma Xi in the Research Triangle Park. Take a look at the program and keep informed about news and updates.

I’m coming to give a session on Social Media for beginners, how to use Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube etc. the smart way, find other scientists, journalists, IT folks there and collaborate. Then use these tools over the next two days to connect with others at the conference, to report from the conference and expand your circle of online scientific friends.

There’s little place left so register here for the ScienceOnline2010, see who’s coming, and join me.

Going to LeWeb’09

academia,Blogging,blogs,events,internet,Oxford,social networking,technology — Danica @ 12:52 pm, October 17, 2009

First to let you know I am in Oxford, UK, at Oxford Internet Institute, having great time on my quest. This is info for all people, colleagues and friends who’ve been asking me in the last few weeks: In which part of the world are you know? I’m trying to get into academic mode and research, but I’ll write about this in my next post.

Few days ago I got email notice [as being lucky and talented blogger] for attending LeWeb’09 conference with the official blogger accreditation. I guess years and years of writing and blogging both here and on cooperative and science blogs mean something to organisers as I’m the chosen one to have accreditation and spend time this year on Real-Time Web. I hope intensive and demanding PhD programme and research won’t make me get into hermitting mode, but for your information this December in Paris these people will be talking and I have a chance to go and talk, network with them. Again, as being academic at this present moment – I hope I’ll find interesting content in the program.

Let me know if someone is also going to LeWeb’09 and this is discount code for those who want to attend, and I’m sharing with you: BLOG09, which is 10% off the ticket price to the conference.

 

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