NB This is a draft and is still being revised
Throughout the duration of BCM310, I have been particularly interested in the way technology appears to be, and is, getting smarter and better at deciphering contextual data and making appropriate responses to that information. For example, looking at improvements to Apple’s voice recognition software known as ‘Siri’; noting how rapidly advancements are being made in its ability to decode human speech. This is occurring at superfast speeds or perhaps I should say, advancements in AI (artificial intelligence) are increasing at an exponential rate. I wrote about this in my research proposal.
It is important to recognise the connection between the ever evolving network devices of the digital age and those depicted in sci-fi media in the 60s and 70s. Take for example the gadgets on board the USS Starship Enterprise. The well-known captain of this ship, James T. Kirk, is able to speak a command and without a ripple in the galaxy, communicates with everyone on board the vessel via the ships’ AI (artificial intelligence)system. This computer, which has a female voice, has the ability to answer complex questions, control all operations on the ship, as well as engaging in idle conversation if called upon. The extended capabilities that are now available to machines through methods of deep learning and access to massive data sets have instigated new methods of interactivity between human and machine at the same time adding new levels of sophistication to business and personal communications. This has been further enhanced due to developments in nanotechnology. The screen has been the ubiquitous interface over the last 20 years, however now increasingly our voice will act as the catalyst for action. Mark Weiser of Xerox PARC was truly a visionary and he foresaw that we would move away from the PC, the machine that is associated with one place rather than the mobile networking platforms of the Web 2.0 era. In the last decade, the Smartphone has taken over from the desktop devices as the ‘go to’ we use to deal with all our computing needs, both in the workplace and in our homes. I’m not proposing that we will be discarding all our devices in the future but rather that these devices will be integrated rather than an object we carry around with us. This is a paradigm shift that will have a huge impact on the way we communicate with each other and in every facet of our lives.
I was faced with the problem of exploring and describing the way in which we will be interacting with each other and with mobile platforms and presenting this dry technological information in an engaging way. I felt that using animation may be a suitable solution.Using Adobe’s Fuse it is amazingly simple to make a functioning 3-D model, however after you have constructed the model it can require three or four different programs including Premiere Pro, to complete a project and this requires a heavy use of tutorials to bring yourself up to speed. I found that the complexity of other software programs associated with making the video were overtaking the project and often I would find myself lost down various rabbit holes looking for answers. This is dangerous territory as it is easy to become focused on areas that are not useful or relevant to the overall cohesion of the project.
The animation software itself was problematic, and it is difficult to decide where the point of ‘just right’ is. For every new skill I added to my artillery, there were equally as many new problems to contend with including the difficulty of incorporating stills, images, moving images, text, sound into a pleasing mixture. The visual impact of film as a medium is invaluable as a learning tool. In the past I have attempted to make informative videos for other subjects and projects, however, this is the first time I have constructed a 3-D model, and found it exciting and enjoyable interwoven with moments of cursing. These avatars can be used in gaming environments or can be used for creative photoshop projects. It is possible to animate the character’s face but unfortunately this was beyond my capabilities for the scope of this project and I made the decision to use other methods such as speech bubbles and signs. 3-D animations are being used across a variety of projects opening up many opportunities for designing. When you begin to look into what is possible when constructing a media project, it becomes quite difficult to stay on track and it is easy to become overwhelmed, losing sight of the main message that you are trying to convey.
Videojournalism is a new area that has grown out of print photojournalism and I hope to develop these skills further by producing this video. Kenneth Kobre, in his book Videojournalism: Multimedia Storytelling says ‘[g]ood Videojournalism demands a broad set of technical skills and a real appreciation of how to tell a story’. This new medium of multimedia storytelling opens up exciting new ways of expression that will give videojournalists an edge above bloggers and vloggers.
Bailey, B 2016, ‘Apple makes Siri smarter, rolls out software improvements’,Yahoo Tech, June 14, accessed July 1, 2016,
Kobre, K 2012, Videojournalism: Multimedia Storytelling, 2nd end, Focal Press, UK.