Ushering in the Era of Beneficial Intelligence

I recently was commissioned to write an essay for this year’s GOGBOT Festival. The festival theme was Post-Singularity, and my piece, entitled Ushering in the Era of Beneficial Intelligence, explored Stephen Hawking’s idea of “beneficial intelligence”, the Golem, our inherent biases, nuclear waste storage, the Anthropocene, and much more. You can read it on Medium.




4S/EASST Conference: Science + Technology By Other Means

I’m really pleased to be presenting at the annual 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science) conference, this year held in conjunction with EASST (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology) in Barcelona.

The theme of the conference is Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures. I’m presenting on the track entitled STS & Artistic Research, chaired by Peter Peters, Henk Borgdorff, and Trevor Pinch. This track will explore a range of “…STS research on the arts and Artistic Research. It covers studies of artistic practices; reflexive practitioners at the boundaries between the arts and science, technology, and medicine; arts-based research methods; and enhanced modes of publication.”

My paper is entitled “Emerging Post-Digital Methods of Artistic Production”. My short abstract reads: “In this paper I use two bodies of politically critical artwork to examine how 3D scanning and printing technologies utilised in artistic research contribute to STS dialogue on the backstage and practical technical concerns around the production of art, as well as material outcomes of digital processes.”


Updated abstract

With the current reading I have been doing, and through discussion with my supervisor, I am refining my possible direction/research question.

I’m suffering a little bit from typical first year PhD student syndrome: everything is interesting and I can’t decide. But so far, from a quite vague statement about Innovation in Extreme Scenarios I have now narrowed things down a bit further, and my updated short abstract is below.

Here is an abstract of my current proposal.

Abstract: Social Innovation in Extreme Scenarios: Non-Expert Experts Remaking Tools Into Something Usable

My research will investigate the reinvention and repurposing of tools by communities of “non-expert experts”: in other words, highly creative and high-functioning amateurs. Social innovation is often seen as a top-down developed world export in the form of charity apps, microloan services, and projects such as One Laptop Per Child. What happens when groups of high-functioning amateurs hack corrupted, purposefully-broken systems to meet their needs (a current example is Angolan hackers using Portuguese Wikipedia to embed large downloads of pirated material)? What can we learn from their ingenious methods, borne of urgency? How can we overcome the barriers that cause Silicon Valley to ship broken products (if they ship anything at all) to communities that are not wealthy, white, and male?



Abstract and bibliography

Here is an abstract of my current proposal and draft bibliography.

Abstract: Innovation in Extreme Scenarios

My research will investigate the instrumentalization of the digital media industries as a state tool for economic growth as articulated within current European Union innovation policies. Insights into how innovation happens in practice (obtained from field study and literature review) will be compared and contrasted with the actual implementation of evolving EU policy. Highlighted in my research will be the particular role that digital media and high tech creative companies play in the emergence of social innovation.


Bauman, Z. (2013). Liquid times: Living in an age of uncertainty. Polity.

Berkun, S. (2010). The myths of innovation. O’Reilly Media, Inc..

Bernstein, P. L. (1996). Against the gods: The remarkable story of risk. New York: Wiley.

Caves, R. E. (2000). Creative industries: Contracts between art and commerce (No. 20).

Cunningham, S. D. (2002). From cultural to creative industries: Theory, industry, and policy implications. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: Quarterly Journal of Media Research and Resources, (102), 54-65.

Deborah, G. (2012). The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology. MIT Press (MA).

Flew, T. (2011). The creative industries: culture and policy. Sage.

Gielen, P. (2013). Creativity and Other Fundamentalisms. Mondriaan Fund.

Horizon 2020, (2014). What is Horizon 2020?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Sep. 2014].

Lessing, L. (2001). The Architecture of Innovation. Duke LJ51.

Liuhto, K. (2010). Rosnano and Skolkovo are Russia’s best innovation promoting measures, but they are not enough to modernise Russia as a whole. Edited by Eini Laaksonen.

MacKenzie, D., & Wajcman, J. (1999). The social shaping of technology. Open University Press.

McKenzie, J. (2001). Perform or else: From discipline to performance. Routledge.

Micallef, S. (2014). The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class, and the Pursuit of Leisure. Coach House Books.

E.C. Martins, F. Terblanche (2003). Building organisational culture that stimulates creativity and innovation. European Journal of Innovation Management. (6:1, 64-74)

Mumford, L. (2000). Art and technics. Columbia University Press.

Saal, Harry J. Personal interview. October 11, 2011.

Taleb, N. (2012). Anti-fragile: How to Live in a World We Don’t Understand. Allen Lane.

Turkle, S. (2008). Always-on/always-on-you: The tethered self. Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies, James E. Katz (ed.), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (P. 121-137)

Verhagen, M. (2011) To the Top: Towards a New Enterprise Policy. Retrieved from: