Be Your Own Robot

presentations / talks 2016-2018

With technology becoming part of us, one wonders to what extent we can outsource our (inter)actions. What makes us human? Our behaviour? Our extended and enhanced body? How is humanity changing under the growing influence of hi-tech? Computer scientist and fiction developer Sander Veenhof is sketching a future scenario in which we do not have to run away from the tech-oriented future, but we can't sit still neither.

"Be Your Own Robot" introduction:

1. We've already turned into cyborgs (half man, half machine) since the mass adoption of the smartphone

2. Controlling everything around us is no longer fiction, like in games such as Watch Dogs

3. This MIT app turns the smartphone into a remote control for objects around us.

4. Instead of looking through a smartphone to interact with things around us, the semi-digital world around us will be an immersive experience thanks to augmented reality wearables.

5. We'll be able to view what objects connected to the internet of things have to say to us

6. Abstract visualisations will help to prevent information overload

7. Artificial intelligence will monitor our behavious and offer to help when nessecary

8. We want everything for free, so there will be a little advertising in return

9. Wearing Google Glass in public wasn't a succes, so Microsoft wisely pitches their Hololens augmented reality unit as a wearable to be used at home.

10. Various vendors imagine this is how we'll access our screens in the future, this is how our future as smart beings will look like. If you don't want to spend 3000 euro for a Hololens, order the $100 euro Seer helmet!

11. Or build your own DIY wearable

12. One day, augmented reality glasses will be cool

13. Use-case: wearing AR glasses while driving

14. Use-case: wearing AR glasses when your car does not drive

15. You can be a car mechanic with the right guidance

16. Fiction?

17. We're already temporary shop employees when we're self scanning our products

18. The screen instructs us what to do and asks us for information

19. Numerous screens are entering our life, asking for information and/or advising us what to do

20. How many wearable and external devices can we handle?

21. Even self learning apps and devices will need some initial configuration to know how we wish them to operate

22. Another device, another configuration screen

23. And some more..

24. Plus the management of event triggers and connections amongst apps, devices and us

25. Humans are going to be a piece in an interconnected web of data-driven entities

26. We will need a standardised OS (operating system) to manage our semi-digital life efficiently

27. An API will apps and devices can connect and get replies without bothering us

28. With standardised inputs and outputs, you can easily switch provider or oursource your cyborg behaviour services

29. Instead of just the big names in the field, multiple vendors and suppliers will be able to plug-in and provide you with customised services, personal guidance with the right tone of voice, adventurous state of minds or whatever cyborg behaviour you wish

30. Be Your Own Robot!

31. Activate plug-ins using your mobile control unit

32. Humans are the new robots

33. Acting as robots, our behaviours might be patented

34. Formerly human behaviours will be digital processes with an impact that goes beyond Tinder matching

35. Dating will be efficient task thanks to Artificial Intelligence, real-time sensor-data and background profiling

36. AI will help us to say the right thing at the right time. Unlike the movie 'Her', in the future both parties on a date will be powered by digital insights. We'll no longer be 100% human.

37. Social interaction will be a semi-digital happening. Scripted, patented, for sale or available as freemium content.

38. The positive side: anyone will be able to install and activate the skills required to achieve any imaginable task!

39. A distant future fiction? No need to wait for the hardware to arrive. It's ready to give us glimpse into our future reality.


XX.XX.2019 Working on a new overview page, finished soon!

15.03.2018 "How to be your own robot?" - TEDxAUCollege

26.09.2017 Presentation @ NFF Gouden Kalf interactive selection

30.06.2017 Beyond Borders The Hague

21.07.2016 WhyNot festival Amsterdam


"How to Be Your Own Robot" is going to be a crucial question in the near future. With the ever increasing influence of software and hardware integrating into our life and into society, how will our life change? What new choices do we have to make? Explore these dilemma's a hands-on way with the apps in the fictional "Futurotheque" app store:

(open in mobile browser)

Augmented reality experts have been hoping it for decades: seeing AR change the way the world looks and works. Now that it's happening, it time for a new hope: that the change is going to be good, if AR is going to have an impact on everything and everyone. Especially when you consider the abstract and broad language used in the current flood of patent filings. AR is ready to interfere in all interactions between 'objects', 'humans' and 'the space'. But what does that actually mean? This talk will skip the AR use-cases we all know because of the many smartphone AR experiments of the past. It's time to explore the more fundamental issues: what if humans are the new robots? Will our daily activities be enriched or limited by software patents? Does our future behavior depend on which cloud we're connected to? How can we control who is controlling us with instructions appearing on our AR headsets? How to "Be Your Own Robot"? With this question in mind I'm researching apps that connect us to the world around us and I've been developing experimental scenarios and prototypes for the Microsoft Hololens, as a realistic glimpse into the future so we can preemptively encounter problems and preemptively find the right solutions. In my inspirational presentation I'll use a lot of visuals and videoclips to explain the relevance and the most remarkable findings of my ongoing research.