Forethought
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Forethought

Children of Artificial Intel Journalism

Imagineering different approaches to content production

Dr David Dunkley Gyimah imagined as a hybrid journo and image taken by David in China

We’re in the grip of a fourth Industrial Revolution, — a state in which technologies are so integrated into our lives that they positively recalibrate our work-life balance?

Alluring headline or another marketing blanket designed to make you feel snug; become complacent to the next sell? This revolution has been touted for years amongst burgeoning UK cottage Net industries, but it never quite delivered.

Meanwhile, Apple’s catch up with Google’s Daydream, Facebook‘s Oculus and Microsoft’s Hololens, pulls on the ghost of ‘Jobs’. How do you push this motherboard further than the competition? Apple’s new OS will de facto support an external graphics card so you can VR from your Macbook Pro, says the lit.

And Snapchat’s long-awaited spectacles in Europe are about to momentarily put other techs in the shade. The last time another giant tried this, it did not end as expected. In the video below I google glassing it, running through Time Square NY at Six in the morning.

But times change. Snapchat’s glasses, unlike Google’s, exclude an inbuilt view finder to review recorded footage. But what you’ve never had you don’t miss and at 130UKP a go, pricing obviously matters. Has the issue of privacy that bedevilled glass gone away?

Are there law suits on the horizon. Can photography in a public space ever be legal asks website Through the Cracks. If you purposefully record someone without their consent, can that equally be challenged in courts as the illegal acquisition of personal data?

In New York imagined as a series of patterns

6.30 a.m. London, I‘m under the HTML bonnet of my pseudo-portal/website, re-imaging my trip to New York. Viewmagazine my artificial-home is undergoing a facelift. Next week it’s London’s Tech, where I’ll be doubling down on my other key profession, reportage. I’m often presenting, or lecturing.

Tech Week is a smorgasbord of tech talks and innovation, but clearly the challenge in reportage imagineering is the sheer abundance of content versus choice and strategy around the use of video, text, live reportage, twitting, and taking photographs.

In prepping my kit below, minus the drone, but adding a new theta 360 camera, what production style and approach shapes the choice of mobile gear?

It’s not binary and there are paradoxes ahead. As an artistic videojournalist, particularly mobile journalist (a marketing person’s dream come true), invariably the onus has been on quantity and quick turnarounds, which is ideal for mobile phone reportage. But today, with little need for daily productions, and given the competition from a plethora of outputs with an army of staff, surely deep quality and substance should be given greater consideration and weighting.

Moreover, by quality, shouldn’t tech eschew the nominal buff on its aesthetic — shiny happy things for shiny happy people (REM), though we can’t help that. Should it not revert, plus additions, to an exploration of tech issues through the prism of social, environmental, commercial and philosophical ala 1960s?

Blame the marketeers, such as Ernest Dichter the father of motivational research and Freudian psycho-analyser who changed Western mindsets. Dichter and a slew of psychologists cottoned on to PR sold as journalism. Tech copy, and everything else he touched, was stuffed and packaged for consumers with zilch prognosis on being critical, all in the name of Make the US Great!

Then there’s style of production. Here, for moment I’ll delve into creative minds like Pablo Ferro, originator of some of the most famous film titles e.g. Bullitt (1968). Why? Because while everyone was turning right, Ferro was turning left. Creativity can often be an orphan.

The famous child psychologist Jean Piaget discovered how an object’s permanence, its perception in people, is not shaped until ten months old. Until then, to a child, the world, its coordinates of space and time, is in a state of flux.

It’s magic, a state mused around Einstein’s theory. Travelling at the speed of light, space and time become effervescently one. It’s difficult to imagine because of our years of conditioning to reasoning and rational doubt. In my last post in VR and 4D, I nodded at Chris Nolan’s artistry in making this concept more concrete in Interstellar.

We, I mean adults, organise around the conventions of communication, invariably reducing the need to have fun and create art. There’s something about a youngster’s worldview that is instructive to reportage and storytelling in seeking out the magical. In essence, Snapchat’s glasses perhaps recreate that stasis, capturing a playfulness, a world of Alice in Wonderland — which lest we forget was created by a mathematician Charles Dodgson. But how to reflect that world in video and print?

Photo taken by David at Beijing Airport

In Into the Woods by John Yorke, a highly acclaimed account of story making, Yorke reminds us to be aware of structurally orthodox styles and how audiences bore when presented with formulaic content. What then is a generally fresh approach to designing content in form and presentation?

Many conferences and institutions lean to a dominate style that we’re invited to follow. It often negates the poetics of form and style. For me, this is the stuff of digital and interactive storytelling. It’s not just a question of Apps, but creativity, innovation and craft skill.

It’s a vexing issue, digital and interactive storytelling. On wiki, it’s tabled as craft less, as easy as boiling an egg, whilst several practitioners view it as App addled reportage.

As with many things in life there’s no complete answer, but storytelling filtered through FCP or mobile apps cannot solely represent digital storytelling. At the University of Westminster we’re fashioning a more critical argument that levitates it to an artistic form, which incorporates architecture and design, such as creating this pop up studios for YouTube play in a matter of minutes.

There’s an analogue mode of thinking, and then digital, still fluidly forming — with some crossover from David Bordwell’s poetics of critique.

Just as digital has transformed filmmaking’s aesthetic, there’s an oft overlooked aesthetic of storytelling within journalism, tv docs, essay, social media features and the rest that requires renewed attention, with our gaze moved sideways.

If you’re at Tech Week, see you there. If there’s something you’d like me to look into, drop me a line.

Dr David Dunkley Gyimah is a tech, artist, journalist, filmmaker, writer and educator. He has *spoken at SWSX, ONA, and BFI. He’s part of an interdisciplinary team at the University of Westminster, disLAB — currently recruiting for this year. Please email him at d.gyimah[at]Westminster [dot] ac.uk to reach him.

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Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah

Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah

Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.