Mic Drop

Mic Drop #12 – Things that Predict


The DSS Mic Drops are inspirational, interactive, provocative talks given by expert researchers and practitioners, on topics that relate to design, tech, societal challenges and how we can make the world a better place by integrating technology more wisely and humanely.

Things that Predict

If the Things we use know our future, then the experience of surprise, failing and spontaneity are at risk.
The more complex Things become, the more we depend on predictions to be able to anticipate our behavior.


The Things of the future are ‘Changing Things’, that are part of a system. Things are now often composed on the fly from a variety of networked resources, both physical and digital, according Redström & Wiltse (2019). With machine learning mechanisms the Changing Things will have knowledge on possible futures before the user has this knowledge.
With complex behavior of the Thing, anticipation on expected results is steering the interaction. We use predictions made by the Thing to simulate this behavior upfront. The more complex the Thing is, the more we will depend on the predictions made to understand the world. What does this mean for the design space of these Things? What will happen with experiences as surprise, failing and spontaneity, if the Things we use know our future?

Iskander Smit

is a visiting professor and PhD Candidate at Delft University of Technology. He is coordinating PACT research program and Cities of Things Delft Design Lab.
With the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) combined with IoT (internet of things) the concept of what is a “thing” shifts from passive artifact to active partner. The research program Partnerships in Cities of Things explores the role that such Things will play in our future cities “as citizens”, moving past the idea of the smart city and smart products as a dashboard and tools for easy living.
In his research Iskander is specifically looking into the relation we will have with Things that have more knowledge of the future than we do and shape our view on the world.
Next to his research activities in Delft Iskander is innovation director at Amsterdam digital agency INFO and chairman of the Dutch chapter of ThingsCon. He is also co-organizer of Behavior Design AMS meetup and TechSolidarity NL.

Speaker: Iskander Smit (Delft University of Technology)
Date: 8 May 2019
Doors open and drinks: 17:00
Mic Drop (including Q&A): 17:30 – 19:00
Venue: Studio HvA, Eerste Boerhaavestraat 33E, 1091 GM Amsterdam
Live stream/replay: YouTube