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Episode 51: Digital Infrastructure Meets Physical Reality: How a Bridge is Crossing the Widening Gap Between Citizens, Robots, Trust, and Tech

December 4 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm PDT

Join Alec Shuldiner @biggreenbrother from @autodesk, & Dr. Beth Coleman, author of “Hello Avatar,” as the rise of the “Internet of Infrastructure” wakes up & starts to have opinions, & potentially can take action for, with, or against our citizens. 

We stand at a chasm between that new form of Infrastructure & the centuries old and evolved classical infrastructure of today. We take our existing infrastructure for granted. It’s had hundreds or thousands of years to evolve based on a community of practice–with a collection of hard won lessons for what works and what can go horribly wrong. Think the rise of cities like London from ancient times and the emergence of methods to remove sewage and reduce devastating outbreaks like the cholera epidemic of the 1600s in London. Yet on the other side what does the building code look like when our things have opinions and can take autonomous actions? Tune in & join the conversation! #IoT #Robotics #3DPrinting @QuarantimeToday @hirshberg

As infrastructure becomes sentient, how much should it know about us? And whom should it tell? Sci-Fi depicts robots as as machine intelligence built on things we’ve experienced— google, smartphones, alexa, or any of our facebook or mobile movements. But in a world of trillions, there will be trillions of sensors that piece together our every action and behavior, distributed intelligence start our stories collectively or individually. These already exist; they are the subject of today’s show.

Alex Shuldiner creates smart infrastructure for cities—think a bridge that knows its stresses, its patterns and users. As that bridge makes friends with other urban infrastructure, cities can make more informed decisions, and improve public safety. But who determines the limit of all this? Do we celebrate infrastructure as our newest artists and extensions of man, or limit them? Those are the questions Alex asks today.

Dr. Beth Coleman at the University of Toronto also asks those questions as an ethicist. digital media designer and researcher on digital identity. And for Toronto these ideas have very real import: recently the city scuttled a major smart city development at its port when questions arose over “What does the infrastructure know, and when will it know it?” with its development partner, Google Sidewalk labs. 


December 4, 2020
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm PDT