Internet Sixth Sense: “I See Pornography About Dead People”

MIT’s Fluid Interfaces group debuted a prototype device at TED a few weeks ago, dubbed the “Sixth Sense” device. And what is that sixth sense? Divination? Telekenesis? Spidey?!

No! It’s the internet! That’s awes…wait, what? The internet is a sense now? I was barely beginning to accept it as a sort of encyclopedia of depravity, and now it’s evolved into a sense? Well, apparently so. Previously, you could ‘hear’ a tree falling in the woods, ‘smell’ a rose, and ‘see’ a sunset, but now you can ‘internet’ something – which I assume means you can either spontaneously generate fan-art porn about it, render misspelled captions beneath it, or maybe just crudely Photoshop it into 9/11.

LOL IM IN UR CONVENTION INFORMING UR NERDS.

But enough mockery, let’s hear some facts before passing judgment on a potentially awesome gadget: The device in question hangs on a lanyard around the user’s neck, and is basically just an internet-enabled mini-PC equipped with motion recognition software and a webcam. The “sense” the device imbues refers to the ability to search and aggregate information in response to real world surroundings. For example, say you’re in an electronics store looking at televisions: The device would recognize either the RFID or barcode in the item and search the internet for comparative prices, reviews, or any other relevant information. Or say you’re meeting somebody for the first time: The device could pull up their contact information, professional data, or even their website address. It’s operated by hand gestures read through the webcam – make a ‘frame’ gesture to take a picture, draw a circle in the air to highlight something -and the device then projects the information onto the object or person in question as you interact.

So…that’s fucking rad at first glance. It’s like a video game HUD for real life…except instead of displaying health and ammo, it displays stuff like the price of gas nearest you, or upcoming appointments, or newly announced sales in the area, or well, still ammo stores, I guess, depending on how much you hate the government and whether or not you live in Idaho.

But there’s a catch, and it’s all in the AI: What, exactly, counts as “relevant data to be displayed?”

You’re looking at a book and, logically, the device brings up some reviews which – thanks to the failing American education system and the general emerging global pandemic of dickheads who vomit up their ill-informed beliefs like they’ve just discovered what an opinion is – are likely to be filled with unprovoked vitriol, off-topic rants by crazy shut-ins, and other such staples of internet discourse. And if it references any consumer review sites, well then literally every object you see will have the word “first!!1!” displayed on it, probably followed by one of those seven-hundred word diatribes about the “conspiracy of faggots,” left by homophobic holocaust deniers on everything from World War II history sites to the Amazon reviews of Marley and Me. But even assuming it is bringing up relevant information, how much of what you do on the internet would you want displayed on your shirt while people converse with you?

“Student. MIT. Subscriber to Bookworm Bitches.”

I just googled my own name, and here are a few examples of what would be projected on my chest if I was talking to somebody wearing said device:

“Right wing fears about Obama. Scientific discoveries threatening your penis. GTA IV: 5 reasons Robert Brockway is a piece of shit. Robert Brockway, genius political satirst? More like typical asshole libtard.”

And so forth. So, is this information relevant? Of course it is; it’s largely in response to things I’ve written, excerpts from my articles, or regarding people with the same name as me. However, unless it’s pulling up the entire article and the context it appeared in along with those responses and comments, you’re only going to see random sentences containing my name, most of which are implying that I am some sort of mentally deficient, communist transvestite who sexually services the liberal elite in order to advance my anti-video game agenda.

Which isn’t exactly the sort of thing I’d wear on a T-shirt, much less stuff I’d want projected in bold, glowing text on the walls of every establishment I enter. The internet has a few things to say about how great and impressive things are, and a whole fuck-ton to say about how things are fucktards and shitwhores. It’s just a fact: Assholes are a whole lot louder than polite, well-adjusted folk. The kingdom of the Internet is ruled by the iron fist of dickish illiteracy. A device harnessing and aggregating all of that information is going to help you 10% of the time, provide off-topic, keyword-manipulating pornography 30% of the time, and inform you in disparaging terms about the fail to win ratio of every single object within your sightline the other 60%.

I’ll totally still buy one of these things if they came out – because I want to live in Blade Runner so bad I can taste it – I’m just not necessarily looking forward to finding out that my ’05 Kia Optima is the flagship car for “chinkfags,” my girlfriend is “not pleaced wit yr sexrocket bedtime v1agra,” and my adorable six-year old niece is, in fact, just “anoter newb tard uggo in training.”

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19 Responses to Internet Sixth Sense: “I See Pornography About Dead People”

  1. (Polite clapping)
    Well written.

    All I see is more advertising space and people projecting Gotse on each others backs.
    I’m not giving 350$ for the internet access I have on a phone and laptop.

    Well written, yet my eyeballs always try to commit suicide when confronted with something with such annoying potential.

    “Why don’t you have a projector saying who you are?”

    “I don’t feel the need to throw what I want other people to think about me in their faces. I judge people on how they act and what they do.”

    “So… Your some kind of psychopath.”

    Just… no.

  2. Anon says:

    The only actually great application is google-bombing someone’s name until a the word DICK with an arrow pointing up get projected onto his shirt the second he walks into the room.

  3. Brett says:

    Imagine if everyone had this thing around their neck and could instantly pull up information about everyone else? What does that say for us nerds and bloggers? Imagine you’re at a job interview and your possible boss pulls up your blog and see’s all of your classy dick jokes? I know we appreciate them but the normies fear us morlocks and our jokes about the minish and raptors with missiles.

  4. Robert says:

    All joking aside, these are some valid concerns about this kind of tech. It’s not about whether or not you have a projector, or how you have said projector set-up and what information it displays. It’s about what other people have projected on you. Maybe I’ve taken the time to customize my set-up so it only displays relevant, important information. But maybe some other dickhead’s just wearing his straight out of the box, having its default settings just pull up and display the first half-dozen google results. Then it’s on guys like Anon to determine what words are projected on my chest in public. It’s like not only everything you say, but everything everybody else says about you is a dynamic scarlet letter, there to eternally condemn your whoring to the other villagers.

  5. Brett says:

    So… I could tailor it so it displays that I tame moon lions and have a foot long penis? …God bless you internet…

  6. Robert says:

    Brett,

    Actually, I read through the specs, and I believe you HAVE to set it to display bullshit and lies. It actually won’t display anything else.

  7. Muledriver says:

    In other news, they are apparently on the brink of inventing a pill that erases bad memories.

    So, in the long run, it doesn’t matter if you happen to walk into an auditorium full of 1,000 people all projecting ‘tubgirl’ on each other’s backs.

    Just pop a pill and embrace the sweet, sweet nothingness.

    SCIENCE!

  8. Robert says:

    Mule,

    Oh, what? You mean like this thing?

    This thing over here?

    That I wrote about months ago?

    I GOD DAMN OWN THE INTERNET!

  9. samsonite says:

    tl;dr

  10. samsonite says:

    tl;dr.

  11. samsonite says:

    WHY WONT THIS WORK!!!
    “tl;dr” ??

  12. dubs says:

    “tl;dr.”

  13. Muledriver says:

    God. Damn. It.

    I forgot you own the internet.

    Either that or you’re psychic.

    I vote for psychic.

    Unless you only get visions about shit that I post here.

    That would suck.

  14. Robert says:

    samsonite,

    I was about to make fun of you for panicking so completely at the seeming failure of your joke, but then I started thinking: Most comment pages update with newest at the top – mine updates with newest at the bottom. I do this purposefully, because I think of my comments sections more like a thread, rather than a random assortment. I interact with my readers here, and often the jokes we tell about each other can only be understood consecutively. I assume that you didn’t realize this, and so you didn’t see that your comments were actually appearing – which is understandable. In light of this realization, I was going to delete your repeated comments to make you look a little better, but then dubs came along and successfully completed the joke without difficulty. The quotation marks in his comment seem to be simultaneously mocking your prior difficulty, while also advertising the relative ease with which he surmounted the task. I must therefore leave your comments up for all to see – not to embarrass you, sir – but rather to celebrate dubs mockery of you more completely.

    Mule,

    I’m only psychic about crazy shit on the internet and losing lotto numbers. Not winning ones; I can’t tell you those. But I can definitely tell you which ones will lose.

    All of them.

    The answer is “all of them will lose.”

    Because God hates you.

  15. Muledriver says:

    God does hate me.

    On one hand, being kept from the warm and life-sustaining love of the one true, almighty Creator of the Universe is absolutely and eternally soul-crushing.

    On the other, it does allow me to justify eating an entire cheesecake by myself from time to time.

    So, you know, kind of bittersweet when you take everything into consideration.

  16. Seresecros says:

    Is a libtard some kind of gymnastic outfit for fans of Sean Penn?

  17. steven.seib@yahoo.com says:

    Nope. No dog cocks here.

  18. Diana says:

    Why don’t they just implant it in our heads and get it over with – much more discreet…

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