I was fresh out of college, and Patty quickly saw my nervousness. For an anthropological description of these mining processes, see: Jeffrey W. Mantz, “Improvisational Economies: Coltan Production in the Eastern Congo,” Social Anthropology 16, no. Some carry toxic substances which leak into the oceans. Even where I live, one … It wasn’t the first such device—the Apple Newton preceded it—but it was the first one people wanted and bought in droves. Furthermore, mining and refining activities consume vast amount of water and generate large quantities of CO2 emissions. BlackBerry made pocket-sized gadgets for accessing email on-the-go before the 6210, but this was the first to combine the Web-browsing and email experience with the functionality of a phone. It was an entire generation’s introduction to Apple’s easy-to-use products and slick marketing. Thinking about extraction requires thinking about labor, resources, and data together. The company’s first device, released in 2009, tracked users’ steps, calories burned and sleep patterns. Two small islands, Bangka and Belitung, produce 90% of Indonesia's tin, and Indonesia is the world's second-largest exporter of the metal. And it promised to make you more popular, too: “My friends are knockin’ down my door, to get into my Commodore 64,” sang a Ronnie James Dio clone in a power-metal ad spot. In the dynamic of dataset collection through platforms like Facebook, users are feeding and training the neural networks with behavioral data, voice, tagged pictures and videos or medical data. Gadget reviewers even praised the phone more than 10 years after its launch for its long battery life and clear reception. It seemingly paid off—although neither companies disclosed sales figures, analysts estimated that between 700,000 and 800,000 Droids were sold in roughly one month following its launch. 30 In 1673, the Jesuit polymath, Athanasius Kircher, invented the statua citofonica – the ‘talking statue.’ Kircher was an extraordinary interdisciplinary scholar and inventor. Within five years, comparable devices cost just $20, and the first shots were fired in tech’s pricing wars. This obsolescence cycle fuels the purchase of more devices, drives up profits, and increases incentives for the use of unsustainable extraction practices. The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer with a price tag to match its tiny size: about $35, without a monitor, mouse or keyboard. The video begins, “Say hello to the all-new Echo” and explains that the Echo will connect to Alexa (the artificial intelligence agent) in order to “play music, call friends and family, control smart home devices, and more.” The list—which is ordered by influence—was assembled and deliberated on at (extreme) length by TIME’s technology and business editors, writers and reporters. Jeff Bezos Makes More Than That in 10 Seconds,” Time, May 2, 2018, http://time.com/money/5262923/amazon-employee-median-salary-jeff-bezos/. Where not dominated by mines, this is pockmarked with graves, many holding the bodies of miners who have died over the centuries digging for tin.” On this tiny island, mostly ‘informal’ miners are on makeshift pontoons, using bamboo poles to scrape the seabed, and then diving underwater to suck tin from the surface through giant, vacuum-like tubes. It is difficult to place the human user of an AI system into a single category: rather, they deserve to be considered as a hybrid case. The training sets for AI systems claim to be reaching into the fine-grained nature of everyday life, but they repeat the most stereotypical and restricted social patterns, re-inscribing a normative vision of the human past and projecting it into the human future. Google Glass, which cost $1,500 for those invited to a sort of public beta test, never took off. Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Nielson use the term ‘extractivism’ to name the relationship between different forms of extractive operations in contemporary capitalism, which we see repeated in the context of the AI industry. “How much would you pay never to see another talking frog or battery-powered bunny again?” this magazine asked when the first TiVo was announced in 1999. Wir haben stylische, hochwertige und günstige Herren Sneaker für dich. Gary Cook, “Clicking Clean: Who Is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet?” (Washington, DC: Greenpeace, January 2017), 30, https://storage.googleapis.com/p4-production-content/international/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/35f0ac1a-clickclean2016-hires.pdf. 16 Visualizing this process as one global, pancontinental network through which materials, components and products flow, we see an analogy to the global information network. Electronics manufacturers were already fiddling with standalone optical storage in the early 1990s, but the first to market was Toshiba’s SD-3000 DVD player in November 1996. But in this fleeting moment of interaction, a vast matrix of capacities is invoked: interlaced chains of resource extraction, human labor and algorithmic processing across networks of mining, logistics, distribution, prediction and optimization. In his book A Geology of Media, Jussi Parikka suggests that we try to think of media not from Marshall McLuhan’s point of view – in which media are extensions of human senses In The Elements of Power, David S. Abraham describes the invisible networks of rare metals traders in global electronics supply chains: “The network to get rare metals from the mine to your laptop travels through a murky network of traders, processors, and component manufacturers. the surveillance economy, the reputation economy, Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. The series focuses on Monkey D. Luffy, a youthful man who, inspired by his youth idol and great pirate “Red-Haired” Shanks, sets off on a journey from the East Blue Sea to find the famed treasure One Piece and proclaim himself the King of the Pirates. The company’s executives had an unfortunate knack for prematurely announcing new products, leading would-be customers to hold off for the better version and thus depressing sales. Our exploded view diagram combines and visualizes three central, extractive processes that are required to run a large-scale artificial intelligence system: material resources, human labor, and data. His goal, in part, was to impress Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The Bravo Flex, introduced in 1986, became the best-selling pager in the world, according to Motorola, giving many people their first taste of mobile communication. Small drones may soon be delivering our packages, recording our family get-togethers and helping first responders find people trapped in a disaster. 22 Motorola’s Dynatac 8000x was the first truly portable cellphone when it launched in 1984. Priced at just $1 (with film that was similarly inexpensive) when it was introduced in February 1900, the Brownie took cameras off tripods and put them into everyday use. No game system has done more to illustrate the omni-generational appeal of interactive entertainment. 1 visit looming. Jason Pontin, “Artificial Intelligence, With Help From the Humans,” The New York Times, March 25, 2007, sec. John Tully, “A Victorian Ecological Disaster: Imperialism, the Telegraph, and Gutta-Percha,” Journal of World History 20, no. The 3210 did more than just introduce the cellphone to new audiences. As human agents, we are visible in almost every interaction with technological platforms. After English scientist Michael Faraday published a study in The Philosophical Magazine in 1848 about the use of this material as an electrical insulator, gutta percha rapidly became the darling of the engineering world. Follow-up hardware ventures, such as the Kindle Fire Tablet and Echo home assistant, have also found success. TiVo owners could record shows picked from a digital menu (no more confusing VCR settings) and pause or rewind live television. A useful conceptual tool can be found in the work of Christian Fuchs and other authors examining and defining digital labor. 27 Christine Negroni, “How to Determine the Power Rating of Your Gadget’s Batteries,” The New York Times, December 22, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/26/business/lithium-ion-battery-airline-safety.html. and the emotion economy, as well as the quantification and commodification of trust and evidence through cryptocurrencies. 15 Not meant to replace everyday computers, the Pi is being used in classrooms worldwide to help students learn programming skills. For these commercial ventures, cargo shipping is a relatively cheap way to traverse the vascular system of the global factory, yet it disguises much larger external costs. Commodore’s 8-bit brown and taupe lo-fi 1982 masterpiece ranks with record-keeper Guinness as the best-selling single computer in history. 1 (March 1, 2015): 75–89, https://doi.org/10.1057/jit.2015.5. Was there an action following the question? 45 Jussi Parikka, A Geology of Media (Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press, 2015), vii-viii. If we look at the scale of average income for each activity in the production process of one device, which is shown on the left side of our map, we see the dramatic difference in income earned. For Kodak, the low-cost shooter was the hook that allowed the company to reel in money through film sales. II. In recent years, shipping boats produce 3.1% of global yearly CO2 emissions, more than the entire country of Germany. Later, combining GPS technology with smartphones’ mobile broadband connections gave rise to multibillion dollar location-based services like Uber. Mark Graham and Håvard Haarstad, “Transparency and Development: Ethical Consumption through Web 2.0 and the Internet of Things,” Information Technologies & International Development 7, no. The Dynatac 8000x weighed nearly two pounds and cost almost $4,000. Apple’s supplier program reveals there are tens of thousands of individual components embedded in their devices, which are in turn supplied by hundreds of different companies. Put simply: each small moment of convenience – be it answering a question, turning on a light, or playing a song – requires a vast planetary network, fueled by the extraction of non-renewable materials, labor, and data. Was the question reworded? Early pagers allowed users to send codes to one another, like 411 for “what’s going on” or 911 to indicate an emergency (for obvious reasons). In addition, many of the minerals are smelted together with recycled metals, by which point it becomes all but impossible to trace the minerals to their source. 43 Supply chains are often layered on top of one another, in a sprawling network. Others, such as the iPod, propelled an existing idea into the mainstream. Shortly afterwards, companies from TomTom to Garmin introduced personal GPS devices for automotive navigation (like the Start 45) and other uses. Each object in the extended network of an AI system, from network routers to batteries to microphones, is built using elements that required billions of years to be produced. “This Is What We Die For: Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Power the Global Trade in Cobalt” (London: Amnesty International, 2016), https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/AFR6231832016ENGLISH.PDF. The promotional video simply states that the range of things you can ask Alexa to do is always expanding. Kate Hodal, “Death Metal: Tin Mining in Indonesia,” The Guardian, November 23, 2012, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/nov/23/tin-mining-indonesia-bangka. As a Guardian investigation reports “tin mining is a lucrative but destructive trade that has scarred the island's landscape, bulldozed its farms and forests, killed off its fish stocks and coral reefs, and dented tourism to its pretty palm-lined beaches. 1 (March 10, 2011): 1. Second one is "The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery". Unit sales never exceeded the six-figure mark before the firm was purchased by a Chinese interest in 2015 for an undisclosed sum. The position of every item in this space is precisely determined by complex mathematical functions that process information about orders and create relationships between products. No surprise, as the chunky, relatively affordable keyboard-housed system—users plugged the whole thing into a TV with an RF box—did more to popularize the idea of the personal home computer than any device since. We live in the building my grandfather purchased in 1921. It held roughly 20 messages and enabled owners to listen to voicemails privately through an earphone. As observed by Aytes, “in both cases [both the Mechanical Turk from 1770 and the contemporary version of Amazon’s service] the performance of the workers who animate the artifice is obscured by the spectacle of the machine.” This triangle of value extraction and production represents one of the basic elements of our map, from birth in a geological process, through life as a consumer AI product, and ultimately to death in an electronics dump. Listening systems, even at this early stage, were about power, class, and secrecy. As we see repeated throughout the system, contemporary forms of artificial intelligence are not so artificial after all. Christian Fuchs, Digital Labor and Karl Marx (London: Routledge, 2014). 37 The device and later portable CD players helped the compact disc usurp cassettes as the dominant music format in the United States in less than a decade. As a semiconductor chip manufacturer, Intel supplies Apple with processors. Vandana Shiva, The Enclosure and Recovery of The Commons: Biodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge, and Intellectual Property Rights (Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology, 1997). The Echo is but an ‘ear’ in the home: a disembodied listening agent that never shows its deep connections to remote systems. (And sowed a rift between Apple and Google, which had previously been close allies.) Similar to our habit to neglect materiality of internet infrastructure and information technology, shipping industry is rarely represented in popular culture. Typically, workers spend 9 to 10 months in the sea, often with long working shifts and without access to external communications. The commons, therefore, had to be privatized, and people's sustenance base in these commons had to be appropriated, to feed the engine of industrial progress and capital accumulation." So in 1965, when the IBM System/360 mainframe rolled out, it only made sense that the Selectric’s keyboard served as the computer’s primary input device. When massive data sets are used to train AI systems, the individual images and videos involved are commonly tagged and labeled. Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy. In the specific case of the Amazon Echo, the user has purchased a consumer device for which they receive a set of convenient affordances. Musée d’Orsay, Paris Paris, France. 17 The increasing complexity and miniaturization of our technology depends on the process that strangely echoes the hopes of early medieval alchemy. But they are also a resource, as their voice commands are collected, analyzed and retained for the purposes of building an ever-larger corpus of human voices and instructions. The camera that goes with you on every vacation. Nothing speaks to Iwata’s legacy more than the company’s game-changing Wii (pun intended). This is a key difference between artificial intelligence systems and other forms of consumer technology: they rely on the ingestion, analysis and optimization of vast amounts of human generated images, texts and videos. Predating the BetaMax versus VHS format war, the N1500 recorded television onto square cassettes, unlike the VCRs that would achieve mass market success in the 1980s. Turning the plodding, jam-prone mechanical typewriter into a rapid-fire bolt of workplace ingenuity, this Mad Men-era machine worked at the “speed of thought” and marked the beginning of the computer age. Apple Newsroom is the source for news about Apple. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.”. But the infrastructure for Kircher’s system was prohibitively expensive – available only to the very few. That the TiVo made it easier than ever to record a TV show gave rise to “time-shifting,” or the phenomenon of viewers watching content when it fits their schedule. To date over one hundred and ninety-three film-, video- and sound-based works by fifty-five artists from the collection can be viewed in their entirety in the Online Collection Catalogue. It is known as ‘grey gold.’ Smartphone batteries, for example, usually have less than eight grams of this material. Looking from the perspective of deep time, we are extracting Earth’s history to serve a split second of technological time, in order to build devices than are often designed to be used for no more than a few years. According to research by Amnesty International, during the excavation of cobalt which is also used for lithium batteries of 16 multinational brands, workers are paid the equivalent of one US dollar per day for working in conditions hazardous to life and health, and were often subjected to violence, extortion and intimidation. (Did the interaction result in a tracked response: a light turned on, a product purchased, a track played?). Nintendo’s debut front-loading, rain-gray console showed up just in time to save the games industry from its excesses, arriving a few years after a crash that capsized many of the field’s biggest players. 44 26 Millennials get plenty of flak over their penchant for instant gratification. Land and forests were the first resources to be 'enclosed' and converted from commons to commodities. The jungles of Malaysia and Singapore were stripped, and by the early 1880s the palaquium gutta had vanished. 4 Apple’s consumer-oriented portable—for its cool-factor as well as its technology—grew into a serious business. In this manner it will be perfect, and capable to emit clearly any kind of sound: in fact the statue will be able to speak continuously, uttering in either a human or animal voice: it will laugh or sneer; it will seem to really cry or moan; sometimes with great astonishment it will strongly blow. Verizon is said to have poured $100 million into marketing the device. When the first affordable, easy-to-use instant shooter, the Polaroid OneStep Land camera, hit the market in 1977, it quickly became the country’s best-selling camera, 40 years before “Millennials” were a thing. But decades earlier, the first commercial cable box that would inspire so many others was an unassuming wood-paneled console manufactured by Pennsylvanian company Jerrold Electronics, sporting three-way sliders for dozens of different channels. With more than 160 million sold, it became a bestseller for the Finnish company. 49 But read from top to bottom, we see the story as it begins and ends with a human. Where medieval alchemists aimed to transform base metals into ‘noble’ ones, researchers today use rare earth metals to enhance the performance of other minerals. The gods punished the volcanos by pinning them all to the Earth. “Containers Lost At Sea – 2017 Update” (World Shipping Council, July 10, 2017), http://www.worldshipping.org/industry-issues/safety/Containers_Lost_at_Sea_-_2017_Update_FINAL_July_10.pdf. Cam Simpson, “The Deadly Tin Inside Your Smartphone,” Bloomberg, August 24, 2012, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-08-23/the-deadly-tin-inside-your-smartphone. Online shopping from a great selection at Digital Music Store. Ob aktuelle Trends für Frauen-, Herren- oder sogar Kindermode, wirklich jeder findet dort sein persönliches Sale-Highlight. An inexpensive upstart running Linux, Roku’s hockey-puck sized Netflix-and-more video streaming box emerged out of nowhere in 2010 to rally waves of cord-cutters who cancelled their cable. and Vladan Joler The cylinder springs into life. 52. Kate Crawford is a Distinguished Research Professor at New York University, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New York, and the co-founder and co-director of the AI Now Institute at NYU. In this way, we have seen the emergence of multiple cognitive economies from the attention economy, The ruby red model was the first to integrate the tapedeck into the camera. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. A full accounting for these costs is almost impossible, but it is increasingly important that we grasp the scale and scope if we are to understand and govern the technical infrastructures that thread through our lives. Olga Russakovsky et al., “ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge,” International Journal of Computer Vision 115, no. Why use live ammunition to disperse a crowd though?? Renowned journalist Edward R. Murrow famously described television as “nothing but wires and lights in a box.” Of all such boxes, Sony’s Trinitron—launched in 1968 as color TV sales were finally taking off—stands at the fore of memorable sets, in part for its novel way of merging what to that point had been three separate electron guns. From Rodney King and citizen journalism to America’s Funniest Home Videos and unscripted television, the camcorder did as much to change the world from 1983 to 2006 as it did to record it. 14 Each owes its influence to one model that changed the course of technology for good. Marketed toward children, carried by soldiers, and affordable to everyone, this small, brown leatherette and cardboard camera introduced the term “snapshot” through its ease of use and low cost. The “palm top” computer (get it?) How can we begin to see it, to grasp its immensity and complexity as a connected form? Today the company has digital stores for music, movies and video games in addition to books. “Intel’s Efforts to Achieve a ‘Conflict Free’ Supply Chain” (Santa Clara, CA: Intel Corporation, May 2018), https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/corporate-responsibility/conflict-minerals-white-paper.html. The notion of digital labor, which was initially linked with different forms of non-material labor, precedes the life of devices and complex systems such as artificial intelligence. – but rather as an extension of Earth. 4 (December 23, 2009): 559–79, https://doi.org/10.1353/jwh.0.0088. The object itself is a very simple extrusion of plastic representing a collection of sensors – its real power and complexity lies somewhere else, far out of sight. The Makerbot Replicator was neither the first nor the best consumer-level 3-D printer. In 1770, Hungarian inventor Wolfgang von Kempelen constructed a chess-playing machine known as the Mechanical Turk. At this moment in the 21st century, we see a new form of extractivism that is well underway: one that reaches into the furthest corners of the biosphere and the deepest layers of human cognitive and affective being. Media technologies should be understood in context of a geological process, from the creation and the transformation processes, to the movement of natural elements from which media are built. Jorge Luis Borges, “On Exactitude in Science,” in Collected Fictions, trans. (Hitachi makes everything from aircraft engines to defense equipment, but perhaps nothing as personally stimulating.) But in 1971, PhoneMate’s 10-pound Model 400 was viewed as a glimpse of the future. That led to the birth of “IBM Compatibles,” the forerunner to almost all non-Apple PCs out there today. The relatively powerful head-mounted computer provided important signals for the future of wearable technology. Many of the triangles shown on this map hide different stories of labor exploitation and inhumane working conditions. But millions of households still have an active dial-up connection. The listening system could eavesdrop on everyday conversations in the piazza, and relay them to the 17th century Italian oligarchs. the miner as labor and ore as product. We are always being tracked, quantified, analyzed and commodified. From the 2020 Olympics to Broadway shows, here’s a look at some major events around the world that have been affected by the new coronavirus. It has been estimated that one container ship can emit as much pollution as 50 million cars, and 60,000 deaths worldwide are attributed indirectly to cargo ship industry pollution related issues annually. Was George Orwell right about 1984?” That’s how Steve Jobs introduced the ad heralding the arrival of the Macintosh. Need proof? Sierpinski triangle or Sierpinski fractal. Later on, water resources were 'enclosed' through dams, groundwater mining and privatization schemes. Many of the assumptions about human life made by machine learning systems are narrow, normative and laden with error. Hardly. Melbourne's food, drink, coffee, art, theatre and sport culture are among the best in the world, and we reckon you should try to experience every single one of them at least once before you die. Although this appears on the map as a linear path of transformation, a different visual metaphor better represents the complexity of current extractivism: the fractal structure known as the Sierpinski triangle. The new gold rush in the context of artificial intelligence is to enclose different fields of human knowing, feeling, and action, in order to capture and privatize those fields. Get up to the minute entertainment news, celebrity interviews, celeb videos, photos, movies, TV, music news and pop culture on ABCNews.com. Current machine learning approaches are characterized by an aspiration to map the world, a full quantification of visual, auditory, and recognition regimes of reality. In 2009, China produced 95% of the world's supply of these elements, and it has been estimated that the single mine known as Bayan Obo contains 70% of the world's reserves. However, all the transformations and movements we depict are only the barest anatomical outline: beneath these connections lie many more layers of fractal supply chains, and exploitation of human and natural resources, concentrations of corporate and geopolitical power, and continual energy consumption. The machine’s true influence wasn’t on future gadgets, so much as how they are marketed. Why is the Segway personal scooter such a potent cultural symbol? Weird Al’s “White and Nerdy” video helped, too. There is much to be said about how this labelling process abrogates and crystallizes meaning, and further, how this process is driven by clickworkers being paid fractions of a cent for this digital piecework. The damage is best seen from the air, as pockets of lush forest huddle amid huge swaths of barren orange earth. 25 Records by classical musicians and opera singers were popular purchases for the device. Just as Victorians precipitated ecological disaster for their early cables, so do rare earth mining and global supply chains further imperil the delicate ecological balance of our era. Jean-François Lyotard introduced the phrase “affinity to infinity” to describe how contemporary art, techno-science and capitalism share the same aspiration to push boundaries towards a potentially infinite horizon. Their use peaked around 2001, as faster alternatives that carried data over cable lines arrived. Digital labor – the work of building and maintaining the stack of digital systems – is far from ephemeral or virtual, but is deeply embodied in different activities. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: Signet Books, 1964). Sony eventually sold more than 200 million of the devices, which paved the way for the CD player and the iPod. 12 In order to minimize their internal costs, most of the container shipping companies use very low grade fuel in enormous quantities, which leads to increased amounts of sulphur in the air, among other toxic substances. Apple sold 300,000 iPads on its first day in stores, roughly matching the iPhone’s day-one numbers, and has gone on to dominate the market. In 2017, the capacity of container ships in seaborne trade reached nearly 250,000,000 dead-weight tons of cargo, dominated by giant shipping companies like Maersk of Denmark, the Mediterranean Shipping Company of Switzerland, and France’s CMA CGM Group, each owning hundred of container vessels. The outputs of machine learning systems are predominantly unaccountable and ungoverned, while the inputs are enigmatic. Apple was the first company to put a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions when it launched the iPhone in 2007. The new infinite horizon is data extraction, machine learning, and reorganizing information through artificial intelligence systems of combined human and machinic processing. The TV that serves as a portal to binge-watching and -gaming. (It’s also part of the permanent collection at New York City’s MoMA.) Glass also showed the potential pitfalls of easily identifiable wearables, perhaps best proven by the coining of the term “Glassholes” for its early adopters. The 3210 is regarded to be the first phone with an internal antenna and the first to come with games like Snake preloaded. The iPod simultaneously made piracy more appealing, by letting people carry their thousand-song libraries in their pockets, while also providing a lifeline to the flailing music industry with the iTunes Store, which eventually became the world’s biggest music retailer. 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