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“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself." George Orwell, 1984

Photo of William Pugsley
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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

Working on this concept I was thinking about the idea of us and our digital activities being watched. Using hardware and online services we create data that is visible to service providers, organisations/businesses collaborating with our service providers, governments, and is vulnerable to hackers. Thinking how to visually represent the risks connected to being watched, I realised there is one more layer. We are doing the watching ourselves, while being constantly connected, broadcasting and curating our lives. The dick pics Edward Snowden tells us the government is able to peruse, are only there because people take them and send them to the cloud. The data Cambridge Analytica used to manipulate election and referedum results were voluntarily supplied by us. I started wondering how to visually represent willing participants (more or less aware), rather than passive surveillance objects. A camera lens is one of the observation tools, as well as a tool for personal marketing. I wondered, what would be the effect if I replaced people's eyes with cameras lenses. A slightly haunted feel surprised me. I was not sure if I found the image more funny or scary, but it was definitely making some kind of an impact. I could not ignore it. In the next stage, I would like to re-examine superimposing of portraits, make the lens more instantly identifiable as lens, refine the look to add more emotional ambiguity (add warmth).

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

In the modern world where does the cyber(security) end and the real begin? The risk is not only in relation to our private or business spheres. What about the risk to democracy? What about the risk to authenticity, when real life becomes a simulation of the online experience. What about the risk to identity? These days identity is often no longer a product of the social class or the social role, or even of the way someone consumes products as it was in pre-digital age late capitalism - but of the way someone is present on-line. There is also another layer of meaning that is connected to big data, AI, and the challenges they bring to the modern world. The images of people (also in Sketch 1) have been created by an AI, at a website that claims the 'people' in it are not real. But do we know how this opaque AI works? Can everything we read on the internet be trusted? What will "likeness" and "personhood" mean in the age of AI? How sure can you be, your picture was not used to create this image? What is the license for an AI-generated image? Only works created by human entities are supposed to be protected under intellectual property rights, but do all jurisdictions agree? In the next stage, I would like to refine the visual, achieve the effect of a small group of people standing in one place next to one another, perhaps a crowd, rather than a series of portraits. I would also like to refine the appearance of lenses so that they are identified as such at first glance.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

There is a long way between imagination and representing the imagined through a visual medium. Longer than the Phase 1 of this contest. And that the creation has the potential to surprise the creator.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I am an electronics engineer, although my interests do not stop at designing microchips. I do not have much experience in cybersecurity nor in visual arts. I like to think I am a conscious citizen with an interest in how the world works. I also like practical challenges. Sometimes I wonder about ways to make the world a better place, but then I remember I have things to do. My longest-running art project is of the culinary kind: perfecting the recipe for tiramisù.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

Cybersecurity is a current and important topic, therefore I find this is an interesting project. I enjoy making something happen, and the process leading to a result. I also like how striving for something focuses my attention.

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have never worked in cybersecurity before but am excited to learn more and get involved.

What best describes you?

  • Other

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • In the news

Location: City

Melbourne

Location: State / District

Victoria

Location: Country

  • Australia

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Photo of Jen Zariat

The first image is very compelling... a perfect example of the uncanny valley. It looks human but somehow also inherently 'wrong' in a way that is unsettling. Creepy even. It would certainly draw my attention to find out more about whatever article this is illustrating... but i'm not immediately certain what kind of article that would be, just from looking at the image. In a way that makes this versatile, but it could also be an opportunity to make it more clear what's going on in the image (technically) as it's not immediately obvious.

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