Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Understanding New Media Chapters 47-49
These chapters of Logan's book again deal with New Media not covered in McLuhan's original book. Chaper 47 talks about Virtual Reality and the development of 3D virtual reality platforms. It also describes the concept of role-playing games, as well as massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). These games, as the name suggests, include many players and often include a storyline and a theme. Chapter 48 deals with robots, bots, and agents. Logan defines a robot as "a hybrid technology consisting of a computer and an electromagnetical mechanism that can automatically perform tasks such as manufacturing, mining, exploration, or clean-ups in environments unsafe or difficult for human operators." Robots have been used in manufacturing for years, often making production faster, but coming at the expense of jobs for human workers. Chapter 49 discusses artificial intelligence (AI) and expert systems. AI is divided into two forms: weak AI and strong AI. Weak AI is, "the use of computers to automatically perform tasks requiring human intelligence. Strong AI involves the area of study in which research have attempted to create a computer with, "an intelligence that its human creators would not be capable of." An example of this is the IBM computer Big Blue, which won a chess championship.