NYCML’18

NYC Media Lab’s annual Summit hosted 15 hands-on workshops at NYU Kimmel Center on Friday, September 21st. Workshops ranged from imaginative brainstorming of new 5G-enabled technologies to design thinking for AI and machine learning practices.

Please see the full list of NYCML’18 workshops below.


Deepfakes and Other AI-Generated Synthetic Media: What Should We Fear? What Can We Do?
Sam Gregory, WITNESS

Start Time: 9:00AM    
End Time: 10:00AM

As more sophisticated, more personalized, more convincing audio and video manipulation emerges how do we get beyond the apocalyptic discussion of the "end of trust in images and audio" and instead focus on what we can do about malicious deepfakes and other AI-manipulated synthetic media?  Based on WITNESS’ collaborations with technologists, researchers, journalists and human rights activists, we’ll explore types of deepfake and synthetic media, brainstorm threat models and review possible technical, journalistic and policy solutions available to fight these malicious uses.

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The Future of Neural Interfaces
Adam Berenzweig, CTRL-Labs

Start Time: 9:00AM    
End Time: 10:00AM

Biosensing techniques driven by machine learning, like brain-computer interfaces and neuromuscular interfaces, can eliminate the physical controller. When freed from the familiar bonds of the keyboard, mouse, game controller, and touch screen, we’re faced with a clean slate and an epic design challenge. We'll discuss the emerging field of neural interaction design and how it can enable new experiences for VR and mixed reality. Participants will be invited to explore several interactive demos, including in VR, using CTRL-labs neuromuscular interface worn on the forearm.

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Emerging International Business Opportunities in Media Tech Innovation: Learn & Develop a Market Entry Plan
Sabela Garcia, Next Media Accelerator; Lina Timm, Media Lab Bayern

Start Time: 9:00AM    
End Time: 10:00AM

As startups and corporations continue to pursue business development opportunities in different markets abroad, there are many strategies and background frameworks to consider. When drilling down to two markets in particular, the U.S. market and the European market, it is important to learn and understand how the startup and corporate innovation ecosystems share similarities and differences in market size, business culture, and growth prospects. This workshop will provide a primer on how several German startups have successfully grown their businesses in their home market. The workshop will also include an interactive session with the audience to brainstorm, develop and get feedback on a market entry plan for Europe or Israel. 

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Build a VR Game in the Real World in an Hour
Christopher Mitchell, Geopipe

Start Time: 9:00AM    
End Time: 10:00AM

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use virtual models of the real world from Geopipe to make a simple interactive experience set in the real world. Participants will use Unity to combine a 3D model of New York City (or another city that Geopipe covers) with simple Unity modules to explore a real urban environment from a first-person perspective. Basic familiarity with Unity is recommended but not required; no programming experience is required. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops with Unity installed, or participants can follow along the live demonstration from the workshop leaders.

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AI & Product Management
Clay Eltzroth, Bloomberg

Start Time: 10:30AM    
End Time: 11:30AM

How does AI work in media and news companies? This workshop will breakdown the AI product development process, and will answer the question "What can AI do for my products?" There is a tremendous interest in embedding AI into everything you do, we'll explore where the emerging technology fits into the newsroom and where it doesn't.

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Design Thinking for AI: ‘AI Sprint’ 
Alex Siegman and Kabir Seth, Dow Jones

Start Time: 10:30AM    
End Time: 12:00PM

AI is not well suited to solve all business problems, and there is immense value in recognizing that before going too far down into a temporal and budgetary hole. Furthermore, AI is fraught with ethical, social and legal implications, and being prepared to not only implement a solution, but to implement it well, is difficult. In this workshop, participants will learn to leverage design thinking as it applies to any and all AI relevant to their area of business, as well as an ‘AI fit’ matrix that will allow them to quickly and accurately identify if a given problem is well suited for Artificial Intelligence. 

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RunwayML: Machine Learning for Everyone
Cristobal Valenzuela, NYU ITP; Alejandro Matamala, Runway

Start Time: 10:30AM    
End Time: 12:00PM

Runway is a desktop application for Mac, Windows, and Linux that enables users to easily run, build and train state of the art machine learning models using a simple visual interface and without writing any code. Runway works by wrapping deep learning models into containerized and standalone applications, that can be installed as needed, and without having to manage any kind of dependencies or external libraries. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of Runway to build interactive and creative projects. 

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21st Century Customer Relationships, Value Propositions, and Pricing – a New Economics for Digital Services
Richard Reisman, Teleshuttle

Start Time: 10:30AM    
End Time: 12:00PM

This workshop is an exploratory “think tank” discussion on future directions in Customer Relationships, Value Propositions, and Pricing. Participants will learn to see through presumptions now obsoleted by the new economics of digital content and services -- and make that concrete with the example of one promising architecture for a new logic.  From there we will explore in open discussion how to chart a strategic path that (1) rethinks conventional approaches and (2) points to incremental steps toward a deepening transformation. This workshop relates to AI/ML and ethics in business models, and the “relationship economy” in which recurring revenue, subscription, and membership models are becoming mainstream, all driven by the “post-scarcity” economics of digital. 

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Blockchain: Hype vs. Reality & Applications in Media
Vivian Schiller, Civil Foundation; Matthew Iles and Michael Young, Civil Media

Start Time: 1:00PM    
End Time: 2:30PM

Blockchain and distributed ledger technology has quickly become one of the most talked about technologies. How can we distinguish between hype and reality? Participants will learn about blockchain and its potential in media. Civil’s mission is to help power sustainable journalism throughout the world by employing a decentralized model based on blockchain and cryptoeconomics.

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Remote Activation of NYC’s Largest Industrial Robot Through Interactive VR
Martin Orr and Cole Belmont, Pratt Institute, Consortium for Research & Robotics

Start Time: 1:00PM    
End Time: 2:30PM

The Consortium for Research & Robotics will present new developments in the VR+IR project - capturing complex human movements through VR - to directly program Industrial Robots.  With this simplification comes a level of accessibility to robotics for those previously unable to do so, permitting the optimization and amplification of human movement. Workshop participants will learn, engage and participate in this research!

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Speculative Wearable Tech + Recycled Electronics
Kathleen McDermott, NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Integrated Digital Media (IDM)

Start Time: 1:00PM    
End Time: 2:30PM

In this workshop, we will discuss the future of wearables in relation to sustainability. We will then create extreme, imaginative, and speculative designs for wearables that cannibalize electronic junk from the past 30 years. For example: hair dryers, mobile tape cassettes and robotic children’s toys. Feel free to bring a small piece of electronic or mechanical junk if you have one. 

Here are links to more resources and supplies if you want to do more physical computing: https://urbanarmor.org/resources/ 

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Who Needs ARt-ificial Storytelling?
Amir Baradaran, Columbia University Computer Graphics and User Interface Lab; Isolde Brielmaier, Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center

Start Time: 1:00PM    
End Time: 2:30PM

In our current surveillance society, which monitors our reality through the aggregation of data, cloud computing and interpretation, machines are already in training to become the storytellers of our collective lives, histories and future. This panel will showcase an upcoming large scale public project, ARt-ificial Po{AI}try, in which an AI system can analyze its viewers speech and voice identity within augmented reality. How can this project imagine the future of interaction and social reality? What are the next trends for creative technology and storytelling?

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5G and the Rise of Dumb Machines
Joshua Ness and Cat Schmitz, Verizon Open Innovation

Start Time: 3:00PM    
End Time: 4:00PM

5G and related technologies like low-latency edge computing will fundamentally transform how devices process data. With computation cycles occurring on the edge of a cellular network, end-user device CPUs will require less energy to operate, resulting in smaller, more efficient batteries. This shift will alter the form factor of devices, essentially returning them to a "dumb" state where they are primarily responsible for rendering and displaying information in new and interesting ways. This workshop will explore how 5G will facilitate a new breed of mobile device and the potential forms they will assume. Participants will brainstorm in groups and sketch wireframes for new device functionality before presenting drawn renderings of potential future devices.

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Fun Experiments with Video Analytics
Jacquilene Jacob, Nokia Bell Labs

Start Time: 3:00PM    
End Time: 4:00PM

The applications of Video Analytics are widely spread in the areas of public safety, surveillance, crowd anomalies, traffic management, crowd management and security, smart cities initiatives, retail analytics and more. In this workshop, Nokia Bell Labs will discuss its research in Video Analytics and initiatives to tie art and technology to create interactive experiences. The participants will have the opportunity to interact with the system to transform technology to music.

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FAIRview: Responsible Video Summarization
Lora Aroyo, Professor in Computer Science, VU University Amsterdam and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University Data Science Institute

Start Time: 3:00PM    
End Time: 4:00PM

There is a growing demand for news videos online, with more consumers preferring to watch the news than read or listen to it. On the publisher side, there is a growing effort to use video summarization technology in order to create easy-to-consume previews (trailers) for different types of broadcast programs. How can we measure the quality of video summaries and their potential to misinform? This workshop will inform participants about automatic video summarization algorithms and how to produce more “representative” video summaries. The research presented is from the FAIRview project and is supported by the Digital News Innovation Fund (DNI Fund), which is part of the Google News Initiative.