Author: mungobrown

Week #7 Digital Disparity in India

Luke Brown

Continuing on from my last blog post, it seems to me that I have already covered this week’s brief (that of analysing the narrated experience) within it. So, I took this week’s post as an opportunity to delve deeper into India’s digital divide.

Athique notes that to capture the most from a market, platforms require substantial national infrastructure (think Amazon and the US postal system+ digital network or our very own Covid check-ins and smartphone ownership + the mobile network). In underdeveloped areas, close working relationships with the state and private organizations are often developed. As transnational corporations like Facebook and Google, whose expansion plans are decelerated by infrastructural breakdowns and scarcities (Mukherjee, 2018), rely on a certain level of infrastructure to support the use of their platforms (how can Uber work without sufficient network coverage and bandwidth). So do governments with national developmental goals in mind. As such…

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Week #5 The First 5 Reflected

Luke Brown

Enrolling in BCM320 ‘Digital Asia’ I did not think I had any preconceived ideas of what the subject would entail. My background (currently in the final year of an IT degree) didn’t really afford me any insight into the innerworkings of a BCM subject either. However, upon scrolling through the Moodle site on week 1 I discovered an innate bias, realising that I had made a de-facto assumption thinking that within the scope of this subject “Digital Asia” was really going to be shorthand for “Digital China”. From that somewhat dim starting point, the move away from typifying Asia as a collective same in the realm of digitalisation was a marked shift. As I had never really considered Asia’s digital scape under any form of scrutiny, be it personally or within a uni subject.

In the first week, I found myself incredibly responsive to the screening of Hao…

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Week #3 AI Investment in Asia

Luke Brown

In 2016, a program developed by Google’s DeepMind to play the ancient game of Go versus a human prodigy ranked second in the world and wins… convincingly. A few years later the prodigy retires lamenting “Even if I become the number one, there is an entity [AI] that cannot be defeated”. The eponymous documentary film, AlphaGo (Greg Kohs, 2017) chronicles the events surrounding these series of matches specifically following the team behind the AI as they endeavour to best champion player Lee Sedol and prove the power of their program.

AlphaGo itself is an AI system designed to mimic aspects of human cognition, specifically intuition a feat that had not yet been accomplished convincingly. Since the achievements of AlphaGo and its successor AlphaZero the field of AI research and development has seen greater interest and acceleration. For some this technology appears a threat for others an opportunity and as nations…

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Week #1 The People’s Republic of YY

Luke Brown

I’m sorry just give me one more year… please just one more year.

A defeated Big Li pleads to a faceless audience (The People’s Republic of Desire, 2018)

Hao Wu’s 2018 documentary The People’s Republic of Desire paints a grim picture of a new digital reality. Following a glimpse into the lives of those at the very top and bottom of the YY social scape. Wu shows us an increasingly isolated society that upon closer inspection begins to resemble its very own kind of corporate dystopia.

YY is a leading real-time video-based social network in China. During a stream users can join the audience, participate in a shared chat room, and purchase virtual tokens to gift to the host. These hosts can, in turn trade these virtual tokens for real money. As streamers become more popular, they attract greater numbers of followers, receive more gifts thus increasing the money they…

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