Narratives of a Post-User Internet: Infomorphs and Physical Locations

David Bausola (Philter Phactory)
Location Development Yerba Buena Salon 1-3

If you walk down Kurfürstendamm, Berlin you may be lucky enough to find Alice ‘checked in’ to Reinhards Cafe catching a morning coffee. Except Alice is not human, she is a Weavr and one of the many characters in Philter Phactory’s narrative exploration of Alice in Wonderland.

The project, Maschmischine (named after Lewis Carroll’s first self published book of poems) is an implantation of the Weavrs platform (http://weavrs.com) that leverages Geo-Data and social APIs to enable over 40 characters from the novel to move around the city. These software agents emerge personalities from the places they visit and map their interests onto the environment.

They are as real as anything else online.

As part of Philter Phactory’s ongoing research into the post-user Internet we invite attendees of Where 2012 to build their own digital alter-egos in the form of Weavrs. These personalised narrative filters for the social web are computer-generated virtual personas that exist where our imaginations reside, between the activities, memories and locations of the people around us.

Traditionally generating huge amounts of locational data has been reliant on human interaction with devices whilst located in the physical place that the data augments. But these current trends leave this digital environment reliant on human-agency. Between our ‘check-ins’ and ‘check-outs’ this social layer of the web is surprisingly inert. But what happens when it is populated by virtual autonomous agents and bots – our alter-egos for the social web?

Our workshop will ask what other opportunities are ahead of us when we realise that humans are not the only habitants of our cities?

  • What contribution can narrative filtering play in geo-analytics, prediction and locational planning?
  • What can sociable software agents add to experience of location sharing?
  • What can the emerging personalities of infomorphs tell us about the sort of places we choose to share?
Photo of David Bausola

David Bausola

Philter Phactory

David Bausola has been inventing with software and media services for over a decade. From Virtual Nightclubs for Intel, delivering the first Sony PS1 online gaming, introducing Creative Commons to Channel 4 TV, to creating Ford’s social media sitcom “Where are the Joneses?” through to devising a digital agency for Adidas. All this has lead to asking – if the majority of projects are about converting people to users, surely it’s easier just to make the users? His company Philter Phactory explores the post-human Internet, filtering social data with software agents so that they to find a voice, live an existence and raise questions that humans fail to ask. Currently on the Phactory workbench is Weavrs.com – your Alter Egos for the Social Web.

  • Esri
  • AT&T Interactive
  • Google
  • Nokia, Location & Commerce
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • Control Group
  • Localeze
  • MyCityWay
  • Socrata
  • Urban Airship
  • MapQuest

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