Author Archives: Alex Taylor

Alex is a sociologist working at Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK). He has undertaken investigations into a range of routine and often mundane aspects of everyday life. For instance, he's developed what some might see as an unhealthy preoccupation with hoarding, dirt, clutter and similar seemingly banal subject matter. Most recently, he’s begun obsessing over computation and wondering what the compulsion for seeing-data-everywhere might mean for the future of humans and machines.

Becoming More Capable

“We need to exercise the imagination in order to elbow away at the conditions of im/possibility.” Ingunn Moser & John Law (1999, 174) What is it to be capable? How might we elbow away the conditions that limit ability, to become more capable? In this short piece, I take seriously Rebekah’s invitation to account for “different ways of doing, acting, and living in the world.” The anthropological imperative to “take into account difference” and consider how objects “intersect with social worlds, imaginaries and emergent social practices” speaks to my ongoing efforts to engage with the long and troubled relationship between technology and dis/ability. Specifically, it resonates with my work that asks what, if anything, artificial intelligence (AI) might offer the blind and vision impaired.[1] (more…)