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Kernow DAT Attendees

Kernow DAT’s Evening for the Digitally Curious

Jeni went along to the first Kernow DAT event last week – here’s what she had to say about the evening. 

Last Thursday was the first Kernow DAT event – an Evening for the Digitally Curious. Held at the Workbox in Penzance, the event was a great mix of TED style talks, demos, and conversation, all fuelled by local food and drink – including our own BDD Ale.

The host for the evening was Garry Hunt, co-founder of Digital Plymouth, and the speakers covered a fascinating range of topics from AI to Archaeology.

First up was Garry Barter of Hertzian on Artificial Intelligence: What it can do and where it can help. The term AI, always makes me think about super robots taking over the world – but Garry’s talk focused on the incredible way AI can help everything from automating basic admin tasks to even helping diagnose mental health issues. The technology and the scope of it is amazing.

Kernow DAT Virtual Reality game

BDD Beer

Next to speak was Natalia Waniczek from Nixon, who used to work here at Headforwards. She gave a great talk: Finding Patterns in Learning Human and Programming Languages. Though quite different, both can be split into different language families and other common patterns can be found which can help in learning other languages – I would not have guessed this was her first ever talk, it was brilliant! We are glad to see she is flourishing in her new role.

Before our first break we heard from a few communities from Cornwall and Plymouth. There are some fantastic community groups around to get involved in- not only for tech, but for many creative outlets, and I’m looking forward to attending some of their events, including Fun Palaces and DATA Play – the emphasis on ‘fun’ and ‘play’ a selling point there! There were also representatives from The Workbox, Cornwall Geeks, West Cornwall Media Club, Digital Plymouth, Games for Better, and Software Cornwall.

After the break, and a well earned pasty and beer, we heard from Tom Goskar on 3D capture in archaeology. I think it is safe to say that everyone was amazed by what can be found when you combine archaeology and technology. From discovering details on ancient monuments of animal headed depictions of saints to uncovering the Oratory of St Piran in Perranporth. With some of this tech you could use VR to walk through and around long lost buildings, or as Tom pointed out in the case of Perranporth we could just go there ourselves and see it in the flesh. Have a look at some of what he’s done on Sketchfab.

Wo King of Hi9 then finished the run of talks with Card Theory in User Experience Design.

“…computers are just too hard to use, and it isn’t your fault”, a quote from Walt Mossberg putting simply why millions of people are unable to use tech.

The main premise of Hi9’s work is that information should be easy to find and share. And Card Theory is the way to do that – they are universal and have unlimited uses, in fact card theory is massively influencing the design of apps.

During the evening there was time to try out Unseen Diplomacy, brought along by Katie and John of Triangular Pixels, and also compete to win a T-Shirt by getting the fastest lap time on Mario Kart – I tried but failed to make the leader board!

Thanks Tony for organising what is hopefully the first of many Kernow DAT events!

Kernow DAT Mariokart