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The Internet of Bodies — alive, connected and collective: the virtual physical future of our bodies and our senses

The Internet of Bodies — alive, connected and collective: the virtual physical future of our bodies and our senses

Ghislaine, Boddington ORCID: 0000-0003-0448-579X (2021) The Internet of Bodies — alive, connected and collective: the virtual physical future of our bodies and our senses. AI and Society. ISSN 0951-5666 (Print), 1435-5655 (Online) (In Press) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-020-01137-1)

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Abstract

This paper is going to discuss, what will be called, ‘The Internet of Bodies’. Our physical and virtual worlds are blending and shifting our understanding of three key areas: (1) our identities are diversifying, as they become hyper-enhanced and multi-sensory; (2) our collaborations are co-created, immersive and connected; (3) our innovations are diverse and inclusive. It is proposed that our bodies have finally become the interface.

This gives rise to salient research questions that will be addressed in this paper:

- How do virtual forms of the body, created and transmitted through digital tools, change our relationship to ourselves and to others?
- How does virtual/physical distributed embodiment redefine identity in socio-political terms?
- Can working and living in virtual space enable and encourage collective intelligence, collaboration and co-creation?

The last and key question looks to future insights :
- How and with what effect will these collective virtual interactions be re-physicalised into the "real" world?

The Internet of Bodies is Boddington's 4 year real-time and practise-led research programme (2016-2020) exploring the body’s integration with digital technologies and its effect on human identity. Boddington disseminates this new knowledge to a diverse range of outlets (academic, creative industries, arts, educational, corporate) with a large audience reach in UK and internationally.

This paper outlines insights gained from the outcomes this dissemination through her curatorial and practise-led research work, as well as post presentation debates from her presentations. It has been written in expansion and following keynotes presentations at University of Cambridge, UKRI Beyond Conference, Women in Games European Conference, Manchester Science Festival, Mobile World Congress and FutureFest amongst others.

Boddington specialises in the future human, body responsive technologies and immersive experiences. She is Co-founder and Creative Director of body>data>space (fka shinaknsen), a pioneering interactive creative design collective who have advocated for the living body to be at the heart of the digital debate since the early 1990s. With a background in dance and performing arts and a long-term focus on the blending of our virtual and physical bodies, she engages in highly topical and future digital issues for our living bodies, including personal data usage, identity and representation of the self, connected body enhancements and collective connectivities of the future.

One of the most exciting and yet also the most challenging debates of our times is that of the integration of automata, machine learning and AI into our daily existences. Boddington is a long term practise-led researcher and concept developer and well recognised for her pioneer work on virtual physical blending, body connectivity, virtual presence, redfinitions of liveness and the hyper-enhanced sensory self.

Feeding from her practise Boddington presents and extends her original ideas into the public realm, for debate and evolution, to enable access by creative industries, education and cultural experts to the imperative questions about our identity, our self-hood and our agency in the future, as we move through considerable issues on data ethics and personal / bio-signal data which, in many cases, no longer belongs to us.

‘The Internet of Bodies’ has enabled Boddington research to become highly noticeable in a widening circuit, with challenging debates following her topical presentations, where industry and government are questioned on the owneership of our persoanl data. These have fed into Boddington's ever expanding research materials. This journal paper puts forward Boddington's ongoing reflections to these discussions.

In 2017, Ghislaine was awarded the IX Immersion Experience Visionary Pioneer Award by Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) for her long-term innovative work in digital arts, and in particular her “passionate and inspirational engagement towards embodied intelligence”.
Boddington has been invited to present to a wide range of audiences in academia, creative industries and corporate contexts in the UK and internrationally 2016-2019. These range from small expert groupsings of 60 to huge corporate keynotes for up to 2k attendees:-

2019
- Keynote – ‘The Internet of Bodies – body data and ethics’ at UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy conference ‘BEYOND – AI and Creativity’, Edinburgh, UK
- Keynote – ‘The Internet of Bodies – alive, collective and connected’ at Women in Games European Conference, London, UK
- Keynote Speaker – ‘Internet of Bodies: Exploring the Future Human and Collective Engagement Scenarios’ for ‘Tacit Engagement in the Digital Age’ Conference, University of Cambridge, UK
- Keynote – ‘Internet of Bodies – alive, connected and collective’ for the House of Beautiful Business, Academy of Science, Lisbon, Portugal
- Opening Keynote ‘The Internet of Bodies – alive, connected and collective’ and ‘Biohacking on Stage Live Human Chip Implant Show’ for Mobile World Congress / 4YFN (4 Years From Now), Barcelona, Spain

2018
- Keynote – ‘Internet of Bodies – alive, connected and collective’ for the House of Beautiful Business, Academy of Science, Lisbon, Portugal
- Presentation and curation – ‘Future humans: Augmented selves’ and ‘AI and Creativity Futures’ for Nesta’s FutureFest, London, UK
- Presentation – Live Human Chip Implant Show ‘You have been upgraded’ for Manchester Science Festival, UK
- Keynote – ‘The Internet of Bodies’ for the Simulation Training for Resilience & Safety Symposium, London, UK

2017
- Opening Keynote – ‘The Internet on Bodies – alive, connected and collective’ for Internet Mobile World, Bucharest, Romania
- Keynote – ‘Internet of Bodies – alive, connected and collective’ for Manchester Science Festival, UK
- Opening Keynote – ‘Internet of Bodies’ for IX Immersion Experience Symposium for SAT Dome, Montreal, Quebec
- Presentation – ‘Internet of Bodies – alive, connected and collective’ for Thinking Digital, Newcastle, UK

2016
- Keynote Speaker and curation – ‘Live Human Chip Implant Show’ for Nesta’s FutureFest, London, UK
- Presentation – ‘Women in Tech’ for Telefonica Digital Futures, London, UK
- Presentation – ‘The Internet of Bodies – connected and collective’ for Develop:Evolve VR conference, Brighton, UK
- Keynote – ’The Internet of Bodies” for Market Research Council Conference, London, UK
- Keynote - 'The Internet of Bodies' for HCC12 Conference, University of Salford

Additonally Boddington has proposed and debated her insights on the Internet of Bodies into panels and in group discussions at Milano Digital Week, for Nesta Italia; Future Life, Utrecht; General Assembly London; V&A London; Imperial College London; London Tech Week; IX Immersion Experience SAT Montreal; King's College London; British Council; Toyota Europe; Market Research Society UK; Middlesex Univeristy, London; Convergence Festival London; Stylus London; Mapping Festival Geneva; FutureLab London; TEDx's Limassol and Vienna; Media Trendy Warsaw; BFI Sci-Fi​ Fest; ISEA; Crafts Council; Digital Catapult London

Please see links below to a range of evidence for these presentations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: future, human, body, technology, virtual, physical. digital, digital art, bio-art, AI, robotics, creativity, augmentation, virtual bodies, identity, self-hood, implants, cyborg, telepresence, liveness, presence
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DSC)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 12:58
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 2
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28090

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