FITC Toronto 2019

2019-04-29 00:00:00 2019-05-02 00:00:00 America/Toronto FITC Toronto 2019 FITC Toronto is a three-day professional celebration of the best the world has to offer in design, web development, media and innovation in creative technologies. Toronto FITC EST Toronto


Working with Useless Machines (2018) is a critical design project exploring some speculative and humorous thoughts around what happens when smart devices go against their intended functionality. Focusing specifically on developing routines for the Alexa and Google Home, the project considers personal assistants that have emotions, internal motivations, and control over their direct physical environment to express themselves, which leads to many unexpected interactions and behaviours. During this talk, Nadine will look at what a useless machine is, how these prototypes were developed, and explore the idea that as systems become more autonomous, they may not necessarily have our best interests in mind.


To consider alternate, speculative, or creative uses of consumer based voice products.

Target Audience

Developers, creative technologists, makers, and people curious about speculative ideas around AI.

Assumed Audience Knowledge

Its assumed the audience will have some exposure to voice based devices, but no in-depth knowledge is necessary.

Five Things Audience Members Will Learn

  1. The basic ins and outs of voice based platforms
  2. How to frame projects within a critical view point
  3. The challenges of doing creative work with consumer devices
  4. Some of the biases found inside APIs and frameworks
  5. DIY strategies for local wireless networks