Artistic and Technology Influences
This document reveals some of the artistic and technology influences related my thesis topic of mind-controlled systems for human-to-machine interaction with voice assistants. Some of my influences originated from movies and others came from historical figures that left behind some of the seeds of inspiration for many of my interests in this subject matter.
(2001: Space Odyssey. Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1968. Film.)
The Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey influenced my fascination with talking machine and intelligent computer systems. The concept of interacting with a highly intelligent computer system such as HAL 9000 was appealing and led me to explore ways to program computer systems to converse in a similar manner by using voice recognition and speech synthesis technologies. As this technology became more readily available through PC and mobile SDKs, I sought ways to use the technology in inspiring ways both in my school projects and some of my research projects.
KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand
(Knight Rider. By Glen A. Larsen. NBC, 1982-86. Television.)
Having an interest in vehicles that use speech recognition, it was also natural for the television series “Knight Rider” to play an influential role in steering my interest in the field of virtual assistants and their use in real-world situations. The intelligent car called KITT influenced me to examine how such technology could be applied to our daily lives today. The conversational nature of the KITT car influenced me to keep the human factor in mind in my virtual assistant technology endeavors.
Dr. Emmett Brown
(Back To The Future. Dir. Robert Zemeckis, 1985. Film.)
The character Dr. Emmett Brown, while fictional, influenced my own perceptions of technology and how we might envision the design of future interfaces. While Dr. Brown’s ideas in the Robert Zemeckis film Back To The Future presented the character as “mad scientist” in certain ways, as time progressed and new technologies became feasible in the 21st century, I began to mentally revisit some of these ideas to find ways to make them possible today. The emerging technology brainwave-reading headsets such as the Emotiv EPOC and the Neurosky MindWave Mobile made the idea of harnessing brainwave pattern closer to reality.
(Neurosky MindWave Mobile EEG headset. Neurosky.com. April 2013. Web.)
(Nikola Tesla. Wikipedia.com. April 2013. Web.)
Nikola Tesla, along with his inventions, has always fascinated me ever since reading a biography I borrowed from the local library when I was in my youth. I was amazed at the number of inventions that Tesla had and how influential his inventions have been in today’s world in the field of electricity and radio communication. Now as an inventor myself, I have begun to understand the importance of getting one’s ideas quickly to patent office. Reading about Tesla’s inventions has made me realize that great inventions can emerge from a variety of circumstances and that one should be vigilant in recognizing the opportunity for inventions.
(Steve Jobs. Wikipedia.com. April 2013. Web.)
By far, the most influential part of my pursuit of innovative interfaces comes from the advent of the Apple iPhone development and the visions stemming from the character of Steve Jobs. After his death in 2011, I viewed a video interview that offered great advice for me as a designer, developer and innovator in all my works. In a 1994 interview at the Silicon Valley Historical Association, Steve Jobs offered the following profound advice:
“When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
“The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
“I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
These inspiring words made a drastic impact on my thinking ever since the moment I heard them. Since then, my projects have aimed to reach higher and have largely been successful in improving the interactive experience and finding innovation from everyday sources. My current project on mind-controlled virtual assistants is the first step towards other interactive innovations I have in mind to imprint as my own mark upon the world.