Memory Machine Workshop 4

Researchers at Nottingham University would like to invite you to the fourth Memory Machine workshop, as part of a series of workshops that explore how new technologies can help us preserve memories that are important for us. You’re welcome regardless of whether or not you attended previous Memory Machine workshops.

Sarah Martindale – media researcher – will lead the interactive and creative workshop which will take place on Thursday 22nd of November,  12.00 – 4.00 pm at the Institute of Mental Health, Jubilee Campus.

Participants will receive a £10 high street shopping voucher as a thank you. Travel expenses to the venue will also be covered with lunch and refreshments provided.

Register here.

 

Memory Machine – an overview of our third workshop

Memory Machine Workshop 3

21st September 2018

Identity and wellbeing

We had a diverse group join us for our third workshop which started with a short walk outside, down to the Raleigh commemoration sculpture:

Landscapes prompt memories, as does the weather – as we found when it started raining! So we rapidly retreated indoors. We discussed local places and community connections and their importance in building a sense of familiarity and identity. One of our participants talked about walking around Nottingham, looking at old buildings, and that seeing a building or street from a particular angle would evoke a memory – perspective and place is so important in our memories. In Nottingham we are lucky to have archives from local industries; Raleigh bikes (the factory stood on the site of our new campus) and Boots pharmaceuticals and toiletries. Participants mentioned that Nottingham is also famous for less healthy products; such as beer and tobacco.

I gave a brief talk about how place is connected with health in many different ways. As well as working life, our home life and communities hold strong memories. We had three groups discussing their memories of place and community. Memories of Trent bridge leather tannery, and streets of small shops including a tattoo parlour!

Rachel Jacobs described some interactive and digital experiences that explored issues of wellbeing and place, as well as interesting interactive public displays and interventions. These included:

Rachel talked about how the Memory Machine might be able to link into similar forms of interactive experiences either at home or in familiar places, or areas of local interest so that people could both share and access their memories of these places. She spoke about the value of our memories and how the memories and experiences of older generations can enrich the experience of being in places and help us to understand the history, as well as the present and future of the place where we live and work.

Our three groups then considered how a digital ‘memory machine’ might capture some of these memories about place. One group considered an ‘outdoors Alexa’- a kind of ‘listening post’ where people could record, and share, their own recollections of that place – e.g. a street or a park. This idea grew legs! We discussed how people could meet at one of these posts, and then walk together, discussing memories, and recording them at the next post. With a mechanism to assign this shared recording to your personal account – when you got home you could listen again.

Listening again, or recording from one place, but playing back inside, prompted discussion of sharing with residents of a care home or others who may not be able to get out and about. We thought about how to encourage individuals and families at early stages of dementia to start recording memories, or making notes. We had health and social care practitioners in the group who shared their experience of caring for people, and how prompts and recordings could be useful.

Another group discussed a similar use of the memory machine in a park such as Gedling Country Park, with a listening area where people can sit and hear about the history of the park and colliery that used to be there and share their own memories, and people who can’t get to the park can also take part in the conversation and share experiences of being in the park and their own memories from home or a care centre. They also talked about how we manage difficult memories as well as joyful ones and how you can create the right experience to help people to access different memories in a positive way. The group also talked about the positives and negatives of technology and the internet and how it is affecting younger generations and changing how they communicate with each other – how it can both bring people together, and make people feel isolated.

During the session I learnt a lot about Nottingham from the older members of the group. How black lead was used in the laceworks, which would cause damage to the brain and memories of the workers. I said how lucky we are that we can just type into a websearch any locality or industry and rapidly find some information, pictures or archives. One group had discussed cigarette cards – the Google of their generation! Recalling previous generations, we discussed how statues and stained glass of churches were a way of representing Biblical people and stories when the text was in inaccessible Latin.

Places and industry can prompt painful memories; we should not ignore difficult memories, but be aware of our reactions to these. Overall, we discussed how familiar places are interlinked with and our sense of identity and wellbeing. Neil suggested that many of the topics could be linked to Five Ways to Wellbeing – an evidence base linking activities to health and wellbeing – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/five-ways-to-wellbeing/

Raleigh archivehttp://www.iworkedatraleigh.com/

John Players archivehttps://www.nottingham.ac.uk/connectedcommunities/projects/john-player-archive.aspx

 

Written by Neil Chadborn

 

 

 

 

 

Memory Machine Workshop 3

Researchers at Nottingham University would like to invite you to the third Memory Machine workshop, as part of a series of workshops (4 in total) that explore how new technologies can help us preserve memories that are important for us.

Led by artist Rachel Jacobs and Research Fellow Neil Chadborn, this workshop will be interactive and creative and we welcome older adults, those caring for people with early onset dementia, historians and tech developers

Participants will receive a £10 and travel expenses to the venue covered and it includes lunch and refreshments. The workshop will take place at the Institute of Mental Health.

Everyone welcome. The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please email Rachel Jacobs to discuss any access requirements.

Register for this event here

Hybrid Gifting

How can we customize and combine physical things with digital content to create an enhanced personalised gift?

Our Hybrid Gifting project held its first meeting on the 9th of July, during which the project team was introduced to the Chronicle platform.

Card Making and Bridal Shower Workshops are being planned at Debbie Bryan, a Nottingham-based independent creative retailer to support stakeholders through the different stages of the ‘gifting’ process for hybrid artefacts. Focusing on the complex giver/receiver relationship, participants will be introduced to tagging technology, receive support on how to produce a ‘gift’ for someone else and how to link digital content within their ‘gifts’.

More details will follow shortly.

Panopticon captures and examines video data

What did the team learn from recently capturing and examining video data of people in the lab playing Hotline Miami and Tekken 2?

We noted that Players exhibited a number of different behaviours based on what was happening in the game, including leaning forward when concentrating, and leaning back when tension was released. They tended to smile frequently – particularly when key game events occurred.

When playing the two-player fighting game Tekken 2, they displayed more facial expressions, and also interesting so when the single player recognised that someone was standing behind them!

These findings have led the team to consider what can be learnt about the experience of a game from a sequence of facial expressions pulled.

The Panopticon project has deployed a data capture set up at the National Videogame Arcade (NVA), aiming to capture sufficient video data of people playing, so that eMax can be trained to better recognise player behaviours and expressions automatically.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

If you’re visiting the NVA this week and want to participate in the Panopticon research project, or want to learn more, look out for us in the foyer!

 

Privacy, Law & Ethical Cross Cutting Theme update

In order to reflect on impacts for wider human values and embed safeguards into technologies being introduced by Services Campaign projects, Peter and Lachlan have been holding workshops with members of Memory Machine, In My Seat and Panopticon. These workshops used the Moral-IT and Legal –IT cards developed as part of the Towards Moral-IT and Legal-IT research ongoing at Horizon Digital Economy Research.

 

As mentioned in the previous blog, the Legal-IT cards translate a range of data related legal frameworks into card form, from the new EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and Network and Information Security Regulation 2016, to the earlier Cybercrime Convention 2001. The Moral-IT cards pose difficult ethical questions clustered under the themes of privacy, security, law and ethics, such as “IDENTITIES MANAGEMENT: does your technology enable users to hold and manage multiple identities?” or “SUSTAINABILITY AND eWASTE – What effects does your technology have on the environment from creation to destruction?”. These thought provoking questions help participants to think of unexpected implications of their technology.

During a workshop, participants were asked to reflect on the technology they were building and identify an overall ‘ethical risk’ that may impact the social desirability of the technology and for its users, particularly in relation to its use of personal data. This could include the identity risks from sensitive data being compromised by poor data security practices, or personal privacy harms for individuals’ private details being made visible to unexpected parties.   The groups used the Moral – IT and Legal-IT cards in a streamlined ethical impact assessment process to reflect on the overall risk, discuss and identify potential safeguards against these risks and also identify challenges of implementation of these safeguards. This activity resulted in a wide range of critical ethical questions being explored in relation to the technology with the cards and structure of the task enabling the participants to navigate the difficult ethical questions and link their technology to ethical and legal concerns more widely.

The cards were also used as part of workshop run by Lachlan and Martin Flintham, as part of their Digital Research funded project, to generate thought and encourage discussion about ethical implications of using the ‘Internet of Things’ in both the university and research environment.

We were pleased with how the participants took to the cards. They enjoyed using them and found them helpful in exploring and engaging with the ethical and legal issues in relation to their technology. They were received well, with their utility in structuring debate around complex topics. However, they also brought the wide range of issues to the fore. We are therefore encouraged that the cards have the potential to be a particularly useful tool in enabling technology developers and users to reflect on and navigate the complex ethics of their technology and produce more socially desirable technology as a result.

If you would like to know more, the Moral-IT and Legal-IT cards, and an outline of a way to use them, are now available to download online from ‘Experience Horizon’– a website which provides opportunities to try out some of the outputs from projects conducted at Horizon Digital Economy Research. If you do choose to investigate them further, we would really like to build up dialogue on who you are, how you are using the cards, why and any feedback you have on the tool/process. Please send these on to lachlan.urquhart@gmail.com.

Members of the Privacy, Law and Ethics Cross Cutting Theme are planning analysis and preparing a paper to submit to the Journal of Responsible Innovation, towards the end of the year.

Finally, following a presentation of the project, the Privacy, Law and Ethics Cross Cutting Theme project has been neatly summed up in a visual form as can be seen below – our thanks and acknowledgment to Rikki Marr of HAWK&MOUSE.

Written by: Lachlan Urquhart and Peter Craigon

Media and Memory

For the entirety of my adult life, I’ve been studying culture, based on the conviction that media products (however ‘mindless’ and ‘disposable’ many claim them to be) play an incredibly valuable role in all our lives. This is because they are bound up inextricably in our wider experiences of the world, of other people, and in our emotional reality.

It’s easy to identify moments from my own life that illustrate this point. Anaesthetising my teenage anxiety, while I waited to hear if I’d got my University place, by concentrating instead on the characters in a favourite book, Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News. Escaping to Middle Earth after my PhD examination by watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (extended editions) back-to-back. Euphorically dancing around the flat with my newborn daughter to Paolo Nutini’s Pencil Full of Lead singing “best of all, I got my baby”.

These formative experiences that stick in my memory are linked to and enriched by the media I consumed in those moments. And perhaps the stickiness of those memories is reinforced every time I encounter that content again. Certainly particular pieces of media trigger particular memories, and that nostalgia can be quite visceral. For example, Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love reimmerses me in another swelteringly hot summer – 2003 – when that hit single seemed to be continuously blasting through the open windows of every vehicle in London.

Lots of amazing, imaginative work is being done to take advantage of the propensity of media to ‘transport us’ in time and space, especially when memories and/or media become harder to access. The WAYBACK is a virtual reality film, funded by £35,000 pledged to a Kickstarter campaign, that recreates Coronation Day 1953 to help those living with Alzheimer’s and their carers recall the conversations, music and atmosphere of a street party. In situations when people’s cultural worlds become restricted, digital apps can also help maintain access to content and all its benefits. Armchair Gallery is developing an app to enable digital access to, and creative interaction with, artworks in collections for those who cannot physically visit them.

What excites me about the Memory Machine idea is imagining an in-home media repository cum player that could automatically connect personally important content (e.g. a pop song) with a period of time (e.g. when you added it to your music collection or listened to it a lot) and with other contemporaneous media (e.g. a film or advert of the time that featured the song). This has the potential to generate multi-layered, multimedia connections between individual and historical context. More than that, a system that could link one person’s cultural experiences with those of people around them would also transcend the artificial limitations we all apply to media on the basis of personal taste. I think it would be wonderful if my daughter could one day, as an adult, get a sense of the love and joy she brings me by being played a pop song from ‘before her time’.

Written by Dr Sarah Martindale

In My Seat Workshop 3: Prototyping a new digital service for public transport users

 

We are creating a digital experience which will make your bus journey more enjoyable and more interesting by linking you to various types of content, including local information, mini-games, and user-generated content, through your specific seat or vehicle.

You are invited to take part in a workshop on Wednesday 15th August at 2pm, taking place in A19 of the Nottingham Geospatial Building on Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham. The workshop will last approximately 1 and a half hours.

The aim of the workshop is to interact with, refine, and feedback on paper prototypes and mock-ups of the service which will then feed into the development of the app.

We are particularly interested in

  • When and how you would access different types of content
  • How you would switch between different ‘modes’
  • What information you would save and/or share with other travellers

This will involve paper-based activities and discussion, and you will be thanked for your time with a £10 high street/Amazon voucher.

For more information, and to sign up for the workshop, please email Dr Liz Dowthwaite

 

Here’s our fabulous new logo

The Horizon ‘Services Campaign’ was recently introduced to a few of our CDT students at an event aiming to bring together academics, researchers and administrators with shared interests, and to identify additional current projects exploring services, and how they might take on increasingly experimental qualities through deeper connections to the physical world or to digital media.

Rikki Marr, creative and live illustration agent and founder Director of HAWK&MOUSE attended the event and helped bring the Horizon ‘Services Campaign’ to life through his rapid drawing, resulting in our fabulous new logo:

Illustrations for Service Campaign projects, both Cross Cutting Themes and Chronicle were also designed by Rikki and we will be unveiling them all shortly.

Written by: Hazel Sayers