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Sentient City Survival Kit: Archaeology of the Near Future

  • Author(s): Shepard, Mark
  • et al.
Abstract

In this paper, I discuss the Sentient City Survival Kit, a design research project that probes the social, cultural and political implications of ubiquitous computing for urban environments. Following a discussion of the philosophical and cultural problems of attributing sentience to non-human actors, I present a brief cross-section of historical and contemporary constructions of nonhuman sentient beings in the fields of science fiction literature, computer science research, and applied technology. The paper concludes by introducing the notion of an archaeology of the near future as a conceptual framework for designing and fabricating a series of artifacts, spaces and media for ‘survival’ in the near future ‘sentient’ city.

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