History and Futures
This weeks lecture showed the use of how data is collected and presented through data visuals in forms of how they’re used upon information for the good and misleading the audiences. The effectiveness that data can lead to movements in society shows a huge shift in changing peoples perspectives if not carefully used in a manner that can make life-changing impacts in the history of humanity. Governments can hold key information on the public through censorship but being able to access this information can lead others to manipulate the circumstance of political grounds on topics such as Brexit and Presidential speeches from Donald Trump.
This footage is a great example of how false claims can be identified through media channels that allow fact-checking the data is clearly misleading society. It’s due to fact-checking this information we can clearly understand what is right and wrong, which sadly not enough people do in this world as they want to believe what is said in front of them. This is the same with the Brexit campaign on how we can save millions of pounds on the NHS and how immigration has a huge impact on our economy which there were lies on publicising misleading information on billboards and buses around the country.
In recent months people are finding it hard to trust the government more and more especially in the young people that truly understand more than the older generation as they’re more aware of how information can be misled through the power of the internet of things, where social media platforms are leaking information that isn’t true and able to compare with available information. In saying this people are more likely to create groups on pushing any kind of information to persuade an audience in adopting their beliefs in a faster channel to appeal to the audience they wish to inform.
Overall I really enjoyed the work by Forensic Architecture as they piece substantial evidence that can help to understand the story of an event. The Grenfell Tower footage is such a genius project on how they collect and on-point every bit of evidence from mainly camera footage from the public phone to help discover the truth of the information that has happened in things. The research into this project really fascinated me as to how all this information is collected but they can create this virtual world to piece the truth of what was happening from all angles of the event with even traces of phone calls from the tower block at what time and location of the event.
When furthering my research I came across this guidance on depicting information in graphical form from the Material Design website, which is useful information on data visualisation. It talks about the principles of the form that data can be used in a variety of ways that can lead information to be shown in many different graphs and charts. These can be really useful in laying the foundation that can represent the visual you could imagine goes well with the data you want to explore. An opportunity to expand on these forms by using any of these to form something even more beautiful that can make data stand out and simplified for the user to use.
Table of Disruptive Technology
This project created by Wond Design was for Imperial College London on emerging technologies that were put into an infographic for people to digest for what is happening and what is in the pipeline to be created in the next several decades. A very simple approach in identifying tech in this Periodic Table influence shows the disruption and time of this new technology. I really enjoy the simplicity of the visual that reads easily through a table that is colour coded and a 2-letter abbreviation that is very self-explanatory.
I was looking at Giorgia Lupi work and couldn’t help admiring the projects that she has produced throughout her career with a passion for information design. These projects really show great versatility in her approach from editorial pieces to exhibitions either that it’s designed by digital or hand-drawn which in many ways I prefer the drawings of these beautiful data visualisations.
Giorgia Lupi work on visual data shows a diverse range of mediums that is truly creative and tactile for everyone to enjoy the work that she produces on many subjects on society and the environment. It really brings the fun out of visual data that is need to say is never a mundane subject when looking through her projects.
Giorgia work has influenced my decision for this weeks challenge as the data she uses is driven through user-centred experiments. One project I enjoyed was ‘What Counts’ – Who We Are: Visualising NYC by the Numbers, which was an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. This beautiful digital exhibition was based upon the historical legacy of censorship in the city featuring the contemporary artistic responses of counting, government appropriation and individual versus collective identity. This exhibition was an interactive installation that encouraged visitors to answer a short questionnaire on an iPad of the upcoming 2020 Census where data is to be projected onto the screen to raise how individuals have been traditionally categorised by the United States census and reimagine how personal data can be gathered and communicated in more emotional, human ways.
A unique visual symbol is generated that moves through the survey in resulting a data portrait that represents the visitor’s answers. The data portrait becomes a symbol from a selection of drawings that are pieced together from the questions that were answered in the survey.
This week’s challenge was very open to interpretation of what area of information we could pick from a scientific, cultural or environmental story that matters to you. I personally thought about what topic that I experience on a day to day task that I can look into and uncover the data that might be significant to me. So I sketched some ideas into my notebook to compare what topic I would be interested in creating a data visualization piece.
I started to explore Amazon Echo devices as it was interesting how data collected in how we use them for assisting a query on a fact or playing music from the devices. At a time I got an email on how I would like my data to be stored and when to be deleted, which got me on the theory of how ethical is our data being used. Amazon owns a majority of smart speakers that people use in their homes in the UK alone which data is collected daily and they even brought out Ring doorbells which another device that can track people’s behaviour. The behaviour of using these voice assistants was something that really took to me as from my experience of hearing my kids shouting at the Echo speaker was starting to have an effect on me as well as the device. I felt there was some abuse to Alexa which brought a connection from an AI technology to human emotion. So I carried out my research looking into the ethical information of how data is used throughout the internet where you start to realise that information on a day to day has trillions of information generating through the space of the internet that is being communicated via emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, WhatsApp messages. and general searches, which is all significant information to everyone in the world.
I looked into an Internet Health Report of 2020 by Mozilla who researched ethical facts and figures of what has been highlighted in their opinion. There were some really interesting thoughts on racial, labour rights and transparency in the challenges of the world today, but was a can worm of information that can really be significant to what I was finding. Although I did come across a project they’ve been working on to identify how machines know what real people speak like. This project is called ‘Common Voice’ where that what people from all over the globe donate their voices to help machine learning to understand the various accents from around the world. This was something I thought was interesting as when speaking to a smart speaker, it sometimes comes across that they don’t understand what you are saying and give you the wrong content you are asking to find.
Looking through this website, there was still a lot of information that is still needed to be included as I thought this can be part of my research of what is being done to challenge this problem with smart speakers or any voice assistants. It’s a pretty scary thought of all this voice data that can be achieved to form voice identities across the world. We don’t know how secured this information can actually be and that it’s not opened to anyone to hold this information for criminal activities. One thing for sure that the future will be based upon voice recognition either for consumer products to banking security for everyone to access their own information and voice assistance will be a large part of moving forward in making these security changes. It’s a question of how safe our own voices will be in the internet domain without an imposter taking the identity into their own hands for criminal activity, for example.
So for my outcome, I wanted to focus on the input and output of information that is driven into these smart speakers and what ethical information that not everyone knows is installed into the data that smart speakers can hold. I found great research in what the user uses to ask Alexa for and what is desired to use it to help with daily tasks. I found it very interesting from people asking Alexa to time a boiled egg for cooking but mostly used for music and news updates which would be an obvious reason to ask a smart speaker. The desires were a great interest as people wanted help in learning another language but most of all together in making someone more attractive and help in dating to helping distract their children. This is a clear indication is asking something that is not in nature for a voice assistant to carry out a task that is something only we humans should do naturally.
One thing I came across that I found really interesting was a survey by YouGov on ‘Most smart speaker owners are rude to their devices’ which I am very clear on seeing that at first hand with my children. This was a great piece of data on how peoples behaviour is with one device in either being abrupt or saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ after speaking to a voice assistant. Is this truly a beginning if not already has happened that humans are starting to connect with their smart devices to create an emotional relationship in voice activating mode that is only present through audio not in physical form.
My idea came from breaking the data into code language of the scripted text that made the data within the hidden pandora box of information that is being processed every minute of the day. This may have been an interesting digital interactive project that could be set up as either an installation or website that people can add their own data of how they treat their Amazon Echo device’s which could really be an interesting concept.
It was the time frame in making this piece happen that led me to a simpler approach of creating an A0 visual chart of the Amazon Echo device that pulls out the facts that I have researched into creating a design of the circular device that is overlooked from above which creates a graph of percentages that related to every fact that describes the actual uses of a smart device and the desire to use the device. With also interesting facts on the ethics and behaviour of how the device is treated and using data to be stored in a haven of your Amazon Echo device.