Sunday, March 6, 2016

Exploring Form

In addition to the materials I was assigned, I had the idea of form on the back of my mind while going about my independent activities this weekend. While watching a documentary about the supercomputer Watson, which gained fame after beating the leading champions on "Jeopardy!", I noticed several things that made it a strong audiovisual performance.

The first was its accessibility to outsiders. The video, although about a highly scientific topic, explained it on a basic enough level where I did not need a vast background on the fields of robotics or computer science to understand. At the same time, when they discussed the statistical method behind the programming, I felt that despite my knowledge in that area, I was still presented with interesting information that increased my understanding of a field I thought I understood.

The other technique that stood out was picking the most interesting or memorable examples. Watching a supercomputer get an obvious answer wrong is already a great comedy setup, so the documentary had plenty of great fodder. However, the documentary did a great job of organizing it in a way where the humor or impact of a visual drove me back into caring about the program.

In my own project, I feel like I need to do a greater job at holding interest. Although what I'm discussing (ignoring info based on our biases) is certainly an interesting topic, I feel having a more striking example could prove useful.

Source video:


  1. Taking a complicated subject and explaining it in a way that a child can understand is when we are told we are masters of the subject. Unfortunately because we are students and learning about these subjects that I don't know how much of "masters" we really are. But I do think that there are a lot of things that we can imitate and learn from masters that can make our presentations easier to understand.

  2. Humor does have a way of holding people's attention to a topic they might not have paid attention to otherwise. There is a fine line, however, between humor that is relevant and humor that distracts from your topic and the points you want to make.

  3. Very glad to see you exploring form and finding specific examples for us to consider. Please embed (or at least link to) the source video. Don't post URLs into the main body of a blog post. Use the link function. If you embed, it will make your own post more engaging by getting a visual element in there.