Informatics: cyborg books

Balmy weather in Edinburgh today, so I spent an hour or so writing (the Ada and GIL novel) on a bench in The Meadows on the way in to work. The section I was working on was inspired by the view of The Forum peeping over the buildings on Buchanan Street, and how it disappears from view the closer you get. It was lovely to be out and about in the fresh air, especially on a weekday, and the crocuses lining the edges of the Meadows are looking lovely at the moment- I highly recommend Edinburgh folk go stretch their legs and admire them before the weather breaks again.

Robert, the MSc student working on The Writers Toolkit stopped by for a chat about what I’m hoping the project might achieve, from a writers perspective. We talked through some notes I’d made on data visualisation and mapping emotional peaks and troughs. Ideally I’d like a system that can chart the emotional journeys of individual characters, as well as the peaks and troughs of the main plot. Other things we discussed included editing for consistency of voice through an examination of use of tense, narrator, and sensory description. Robert is now off to do a literature review and check in on the technology-perspective with Micha and Jon: fingers crossed

I stopped in at the main University Library on George Square to browse cyborg anthropology. As well as clocking-out a handful of titles from the Artificial Intelligence section, I also found a book called Cyborg Babies: From Techno-Sex to Techno-Tots in the Reproduction section. My favourite title from this morning, however, has to be How To Build A Person. Looking forward to finding out if they live up to their promise.

Samantha sent me through some possible photos to use in the online writing exercises for the other Msc project on speech synthesis, but I couldn’t match a pair to work with. Luckily she’s a patient soul and has kindly agreed to go out and about with her camera over the next couple of days and create something based on the slightly vague spec I gave her (‘no people. well, maybe people, or just disembodied limbs. No faces though. Unless they’re in the background and you can’t really see them, etc.’).

Today’s best-link shout-out goes to Brittney Bean for this charming ‘vintage’ article on the horrors of music-playing robots.

Author: Viccy

I write prose, experiment with digital and collaborate with interesting people.

2 thoughts on “Informatics: cyborg books”

  1. Dear Viccy

    A rather odd request, but I hope one that you would be interested in responding too.

    I work at Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham and am currently putting together a application to the Leverhulme Trust to fund a Writer in Residence.

    It’s a little cheeky but as you have already been successful I wondered if you would mind sharing your thoughts on our application as you may be able to help us a little in the best way to design the application to appeal to Leverhulme Trust.

    It would also be great for the writer we are hoping to work with to speak with you directly(writer speaking-unto-writer) or possibly a chance for some collaborative work (I see from your Blog that you are sometimes down south!)

    An every hopeful – Lizzy Mooney

    Learning coordinator
    Strawberry Hill House
    020 8744 1241


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