Why doesn’t my phone help my friends? Must ‘smart’ machines be so rude?
If we invited our devices to dance, why couldn’t they accept?
If our digital devices were truly smart, they would help us. Inspiring human and machine creativity would be their purpose. They would understand what we want to do, but not bother us with trivia that our machines should be taking care of. They’re the machines with nothing else to do, while we are all kind of busy these days. Right?
OK, maybe we just want to relax, and let our machines do some work for us. Still, we should not be pushing their buttons, they should push ours. Enabling creative collaboration across networks and mobile devices, and time and space, is what wireless grids edgeware does. The imaginary virtual world of smart, social machines joining together to help their – even smarter and more creative owners – is a Harlem virtual reality. In the WeJay Salsa Dance Studio, which is anywhere and nowhere, machines and people share resources, and form new communities of people and devices.
One example in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education: at Rockland BOCES, a WeJay social radio field test led by Syracuse University iSchool Doctor of Professional Studies student Sarah Chauncey is overseeing 24 students doing podcasts on topics ranging from the history of bowling shirts, passages in great literature, to Superbowl game commentary. Sarah describes the wide assortment of ways people can use social radio. “The kids have pushed the envelope for things they want to have happen with the product. They are not only working on their oral and written communication skills, but looking at the station as a way to enhance collaboration and communication,” Chauncey notes. The flexibility and diversity of podcasting permits the students to use their voices and also determine how they want to be involved—whether as on-air talent, sideline commentators or doing the background components of technical or music production in radio. These same capabilities will help Harlem-based artists, businesses, students and friends create new things, while teaching their machines to be cool. WiGiT, the Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed, is a distributed experimental testbed, and is supported by the National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation program.