Give the teddy bears WiFi

A meander through the future of connected things, machine oddness and connected owls, guided by Russell Davies

Some speaker defy any form of narrative liveblogging. Russell Davies is one of those.

“In the future fucking with people’s heads will be more important than ever,” he said. This morning, it was my head (and not for the first time…)

So, all I’m going to do is give you random notes and links from the talk, and let you take your own journey from his ideas:

Single serving tumblrs of futures he doesn’t believe in:



There’s an oddness that emerges when men and machines have their own forms of intelligence, but which don’t quite match.

There’s a bot on Amazon that tries to sell you a book about the Turning Test. Bots are writing sports reports. @MarkovChocolates – a bot that creates new chocolate descriptions from existing ones. @alain_de_bot – a bot philosopher.

Zazzle puts anything you upload onto any product it sells. So people just upload images, ion the hope that someday someone will want a t-shirt with candles or cheese on it.

Machine oddness is interesting.

Artificial Intelligences need to be a smart as a puppy. But that means they’ll be as annoying a puppies. Toys are sold on the basis of behaviours. Sometimes nagging, annoying behaviour can be useful – like an annoying robot in the fridge telling you to close it. Or a relentlessly tweeting plant telling you to water it.

Red Tomato Pizza in Dubai: A WiFi button for your fridge that delivers a pizza when you press it. The internet fridge is not going to come from fridge manufacturers, but from people who connect the stuff around the fridge.

Technology creates possibilities – the impressionists came about because paint in metal tubes allow them to work outside. People are composing music for shuffle functions in MP3 players.

My late mother would have loved the connected owl.

A Tumblr about a present he does believe in: Everything I make with my maker bot

  • Every truly interesting technology will be called pointless.
  • Business will feel like they’ve lost conrol. Which they will have.
  • Designers will fell like they’ve lost control. Which they will have.
  • Artists will get confused, because things look like art.
  • Usability will replace persuasion (in how corporations interact with people)
  • There will be brilliant ideas and silly ideas. And we won’t be able to tell them apart.