Bots, the next frontier


The timing looks right, because smartphone software is in flux. Download numbers are still growing, but the app economy is evidently maturing. “The dream of the independent developer building a business in the app store is over”, suggests Activate, a consultancy. The 20 most successful developers grab nearly half of all revenues on Apple’s app store. Building apps and promoting them is getting more costly. Meanwhile users’ enthusiasm is waning, as they find downloading apps and navigating between them to be a hassle. A quarter of all downloaded apps are abandoned after a single use.

万有引力之虫 • 数字空间的机器


真人不再是数字空间唯一的行动者,机器正在以各种方式加入国家,公民与商业力量间的一片乱战。机器在数字空间的崛起,印证了技术哲学家布鲁诺·拉图尔对“非人类行动者”存在能动性(Non-human agency)的论述。有意思的是,推特上曾经还专门有一个拉图尔的机器人,自动发布作者英文著作中的句子,持续推送了好几年。这个账户最后一条推送是拉图尔2013年著作《存在模式研究》中的一句话:At this point, there is nothing left to do.