BCNM Around the Web August 2020

18 Aug, 2020

BCNM Around the Web August 2020

Check out the amazing work of our faculty, students, and alumni around the web this August!

Ken Goldberg

Health Writeups share video from Ken Goldberg's Automation Lab of robots learning to complete sutures! There's been a lot of excitement about the use of robots in surgery, especially during the time of COVID-19.

From the article:

Medics have to practice suturing repeatedly as it is one of the toughest parts of surgery. But now it is possible to do so using AI robots. A collaborative venture among the University of California, Intel, and Berkeley, has made it possible to use artificial intelligence.

Read more here.

Ken also spoke at the Sim2Real symposium in Corvallis. In this workshop well-known researchers debated the state of the art and the impact of Sim2Real on robotics. Sim2Real refers to a concept of transferring robot skills acquired in simulation to the real robotic system. Watch the videos here:

Rita Lucarelli

Rita Lucarelli weighs in on mummification for LiveScience: Mummification in ancient Egypt was deeply entwined with the society's religious beliefs. "The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with the afterlife," said Rita Lucarelli, an Egyptologist and expert in Egyptian papyri, or ancient texts, at the University of California, Berkeley. "They believed that there is another life after the life here on Earth."

Read more here!

Jane McGonigal

LiveMint considers alum Jane McGonigal's work to discuss how games can help build strong remote teams as the world transitions to remote work during the COVID-19 crisis:

In her TED talk, “Gaming Can Make a Better World", game designer Jane McGonigal focuses on World Of Witchcraft’s highly motivated gamers who spend 22 hours a week on an average, playing the game of strategy and problem-solving. She also draws focus on the nuances of motivation and feelings that games can arouse: sense of urgency, fear, competitiveness and a sense of deep, undivided focus.

Read here!

BuddhistDoor examines how games are can be an integral part of Buddhist practice:

For video game designer, popular author—and self-identified Buddhist—Jane McGonigal, games represent a fun way to learn, become healthy, and enhance our skills. For architect and futurist Buckminster Fuller, the World Game was a tool to facilitate a comprehensive, anticipatory, design science approach to the problems of the world.

Read more.

Business Insider investigates what the next great health app will be according to a Silicon Valley psychologist and SuperBetter, by Jane McGonigal, gets a shout out!

You probably wouldn’t think of chugging a glass of water, or talking to another person as “power-ups,” but app SuperBetter is reframing mental health upkeep as a game.

Read more.

GamifyEd takes on Reality is Broken at this virtual book club! Read more!

Trevor Paglen

Alum Trevor Paglen's work is featured in Tara Mewawalla's article on the Sharjah Art Foundation's show Art in the Age of Anxiety!

Art in the Age of Anxiety features numerous leading contemporary practitioners, starting with Trevor Paglen, the artist behind Circles (2015), an epic video installation offering an atmospheric view into the surveillance state, and his renowned series of cloud images, spotlighting the hidden nature of intelligence drones.

Read more.

In "Not To Be Missed Solo Shows," the Altman Siegel gallery's "Territory" by Trevor Paglen is highlighted.

“This body of work for me is about trying to see how photography and power were coupled together in the past, and to think about how those couplings might be taking place now in the age of computer vision and AI,” Paglen proclaimed in a statement on the show’s site.

Read more.

Jen Schradie

In an article in The Atlantic by Kaitlyn Tiffany on Facebook pandemic feuds in North Carolina, research by alum Jen Schradie is used to consider the alarming trend we're witnessing today:

North Carolina has a history of channeling right-wing anger into digital activism. The state was a hotspot for online Tea Party activity during Barack Obama’s presidency, as the sociologist Jen Schradie writes in her 2019 book The Revolution That Wasn’t. Schradie emphasizes that right-wing groups in North Carolina were more active than their left-wing counterparts, viewing social media as a “revolutionary communication tool” to disseminate information they believed the media wasn’t covering. “I think what’s happening in the Facebook groups is reflecting conversations that are already happening,” she told me when I asked her about Reopen NC, “but it kind of puts them into hyperdrive.”

Read more.