Sunday, November 13, 2016

First winter skies, day in Zurich, Westworld

This week was so full of impressions - on Monday, I went to Stuttgart, to meet up with a former colleague - we haven't seen each other in ages. Afterwards there was a work meeting. On Tuesday, our art group met again. And then Wednesday - starting with the election news. And continuing with a Modpo webcast which was the most emotional of all so far, one that brought a feeling of connection across borders, and of the touch of poetry in difficult times.  

Wednesday, it also was get-it-all-done-day, as I knew I would be not here the next two days. Together with 3 colleagues, we went to Zurich on Thursday, for the "faceliftsummit" - a social media day. It was a long, and inspiring trip. We met up near Stuttgart university and then drove from there to Zurich together. Our route lead through the Black Forrest, and had a first real touch of winter, with snowy fields along the way:

We arrived in Zurich "just-in-time", at 9.15. I guess none of us had really believed that would work out with morning traffic. 

Then the meet-up - here are some impressions on the twitter-feed, it's in German, but you see the keywords: social media trends, local/national, media monitoring, chatbots, videos, influencer marketing: #faceliftsummit 

It was a bit sad that we didn't get to see Zurich, but it was a rainy and grey day there anyway. In one of the breaks, I went for a walk around the hotel block, and saw a bit of the area: we were in Zurich-Oerlikon. That's the railway station, almost like out of a model railway set: 

And the opposite view: an international touch of christmas:

We came home late, and Friday again started with a meeting - but then things slowed down. And the day had an after-effect of the unexpected kind: while driving, we listened to music, and talked about films - and one of our team recommended the new series "Westworld", which is available here via one of the paytv stations in the original version. I checked it out, and first wasn't sure. But I actually saw the original "Westworld" film, and the whole theme of AI is interesting.

It made me think of the story that won the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Short Story: "Cat Pictures, Please" by Naomi Kritzer. Here's the starting passage, about the difficulty for AIs to help humans...:
"I don’t want to be evil. I want to be helpful. But knowing the optimal way to be helpful can be very complicated. There are all these ethical flow charts—I guess the official technical jargon would be “moral codes”—one for each religion plus dozens more. I tried starting with those. I felt a little odd about looking at the religious ones, because I know I wasn’t created by a god or by evolution, but by a team of computer programmers in the labs of a large corporation in Mountain View, California. Fortunately, unlike Frankenstein’s Monster, at least I was a collaborative effort..."

more skies: skywatch friday

1 comment:

Linda said...

Love the reflection at Starbucks photo!