Week 5, Courtney Tran

After all of the midterm presentations, I am absolutely inspired and infatuated with the use of technology to make medical/environmental innovations. I might even be obsessed. Then I got to thinking, I am really, really passionate about tennis (a sport I am VERY bad at). My biggest problem is, who do I get to practice with me when everyone I know are always busy? I thought of doing another little midterm on a project where I would create my own personal tennis partner, but apparently, it has already been done before. Allow me to introduce the “Swing Shot”, your very own tennis partner. It is remarkable how technology can become such a vital part of our lives and make previously impossible things entirely possible. The question is, would a practice experience with a robot be the same as one with a human being? If anything, this is my most favorite form of biomimicry. It is even moreso interesting due to the fact that such a robot will actually participate in human interaction, arbitrarily generate a reaction from the human (in response to the ball’s direction), and cause us to question how far an imitation can really go before it is actually considered the “real thing”. In the long run, I predict that everything will start looking like one form of artwork or another, because everything can be imitated (in the same way that artwork is). The further along technology moves, the more real it can become in its biological imitations (even perfecting mankind), and everything is left on the plate for philosophers and poets to interpret from there on. What is concrete anymore when we have the ability to create life and determine everything? Science alone sucks. I really worry that if the Einstein of today and tomorrow does not come into complete communication with the Picasso of today and tommorow, we might all be lost in a big blur because there won’t be an adequate reservoir of explanations and interpreters of the world we are creating. As far as the direction of mankind goes (in respect to art and technology), I like to consider technology and science as the body of the animal, and art as the soul. One without the other will leave manking incomplete forever in our search for the meaning of life and satisfaction in the quality of it as a result. Even the “Swing Shot” robot, as much as I love it, causes me to question what a human really is when we could just as easily and perfectly imitate the exact same experience with some screws and some metal. Even though a scientist could just as easily tell me that a human feels emotions and robot doesn’t, I could just as easily treat it like a human and get mad when it hits a ball the wrong way. I am allllllll too confused right not. But this class has definitely opened my mind to a prediction of the confusing future that is yet to come. I did a short slide show that relates to my thoughts. The URL is:

http://www.slide.com/r/wL1Blp1f4T8QgIDm_C2sA-FsMlkszvov?previous_view=lt_embedded_url

I hope the music works because it totally relates.

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