Category: Assignment-01D

First, Last Word and the Gartner Hype Cycle

 As I see it, First word / Last Word and the Gartner Hype Cycle are essentially the same idea. First word art is comparable to the technology displayed in the initial peak of the GHC; people do not know how to respond to a completely new style of technology, and the only thing they can really do is simply get excited about it. In between the First Word and the Last Word is a series of work that attempts to emulate the original but fails in a way. It is here the general audience begins to understand the good and bad about the work in question. Finally, the plateau of productivity is where Last Word comes in; the artist or engineer perfects his or her craft and transforms it into a masterpiece.

In the Gartner Hype Cycle, I find my primary interests in Brain-Computer Interfaces (before first peak), Smart Robots (also before peak), Consumer 3D printing (after peak), Augmented Reality (before trough), and Virtual Reality (beginning to plateau).

I believe Schulze prefers to work in the Trough of Disillusionment because that is where things can be picked up and gradually formed into sustainable products and practices. The previous peak is highly risky and everything can fall short very rapidly, as denoted by the steep decline in expectations immediately following the peak. The trough of disillusionment is also likely to be an area of little competition for Schulze.

First Word, Last Word

In the writing “First Word Art / Last Word Art”, Naimark makes the distinction that First Word Art walks along the lines of the cutting-edge, while Last Word Art takes what has already been established and begins to refine it. In current days, the Internet provides people with the constant updates of the latest and greatest technology. The Gartner Hype Cycle is a curve that illustrates the popularity of interest for a given piece of technology.

After watching the segment of the Schulze’s lecture, the concept of First Word and Last Word readily appeared within the bounds of the Gartner Hype cycle. The First Word is at the top of the Curve. It’s the new big piece of technology that people are going crazy about. Their excitement is fueled by the unknown implications of this quickly emerging technology. The Last word appears shortly after the climax of the curve, and includes technology that’s had widespread use, but people aren’t as excited about.

I’d say that my interests generally fall somewhere between the “Trough of Disillusionment” and the “Slope of Enlightenment”. Although the “Peak of Inflated Expectations” is new and exciting, I think it’s important to focus on technology that surrounds us now. I think Schulz prefers to work in the category “the Trough of Disillusion”, because he sees a lot of potential in technology we’ve already created. Older technology is cheaper to manufacture, opening up the possibility of a large capital gain if implemented in the correct way.

First Word, Last Word vs Hype Cycle

According to Michael Naimark, the artwork can be divided into two types of art, first word art and last word art. First Word Art, as described by Naimark, is the art piece that serves as a precursor to all other works that come after it. It is recognized and remembered because it is the first of its kind, meanwhile, Last Word Art is the art made in a genre after all the rules have been fixed, and still manages to standout amongst it’s category. While First Word Art is remembered for being different, I find that Last Word Art is remembered for being better than the rest. I feel that in some ways this can be compared to the Gartner Hype Cycle.

For one thing, technology, like art comes in waves and cycles. There is always the first technology, or the Technology trigger—as the cycle describes it as—that works similarly as the first word art. This technology does something different. It can’t be compared to others and thus is remembered for being the precursor for a genre or an age. However, unlike with art, I don’t believe there is or can ever be any form of technology that can be considered or compared to a Last Word Art and that is because of the novelty of technology. Unlike with art where even past works are referenced and remembered and iconic, old technology is left by the wayside, forgotten and rendered irrelevant in the wake of technological advances. This is why I consider the word ‘hype’ in the hype cycle to be so important. Hype implies initial excitement that inevitably dies off and with technology I really think this the case. Because the cycle is never ending there will be no real point when we look at an old piece of technology and think this was the best of what was made in its field. There is no legacy, there is no way to ‘survive the test of time’, there is only what’s next, what’s better and what else. I believe that is why Schulze prefers to work in the Trough of Disillusionment. He likes to look at the pieces of technology that were doing something different during their heyday, that, though forgotten, were unique and memorable.

First Words, Last Words and Hype.

As technologies emerge, the creator and first adopters of those technologies could be said to have had the “first word” on those technologies. They have shown what they’re product can do (or is intended to do) but it is originally received with both excitement and novelty. Yet as this technology makes it’s way around the Gartner Hype Cycle, it’s novelty factor should be lessened as new uses are discovered for it until it reaches its peak. The few who have then utilized the inventions for projects which have become popular in mainstream society, regardless of originality in their work, should be said to have the last word on those technologies.

This all can happen before these technologies reach the “trough”, however once a technology is in the “trough” it’s use in a project can be pleasantly unexpected. Rather than allowing a user to think “Oh, they used ‘that’ again, the trough can be an interesting place to re-imagine an item.

Personally, my interests fall along the entire spectrum. In the 2014 version of the Gartner Hype Cycle, I am particularly interest in interactivity themed technologies such as translation, user interface, and virtual reality technologies.


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The GHC is a wave-like diagram that displays the popularity/trendingness of certain technologies that are being produced.  The FW/LW article discusses the idea that if the first piece of art that is produced in a newly discovered media/genera the true art or is the later/last work of art produced in that genera the real one?  These two concepts are related one is able to apply the theory of FW/LW to the GHC and ask why certain starting technologies are more or less popular than the other technologies that utilize the older technologies.  I find myself to personally be on the “innovation trigger” and the “Peak of inflated expectations” side of the GHC.  I am fascinated by 3D bioprinting because I believe that it will be able to help not only in surgery but also in any medical field. I believe he prefers that area because he likes the challenge of building a reputation for technologies stuck in that trough.

First Word Last Word

The GHC measures how people perceive the potential of technological enterprises during our present time in order to help facilitate which technologies are right to pay attention to during the current time. First Word Last Word art describes the relationship between art that is novel and never seen before (first) and art that had the last thing to say about a certain era/style/technique. I believe that he innovation trigger would be the fist word technologies while the latter half of the peak and the trough would contain the last word technologies.

The trough of disillusionment to me is like the island of lost toys. Accessible products that no one else is paying attention to. Schulze sees the potential in these works. He’s like a Last Word artist, he chooses the ideas that have been developed but have also possibly been executed wrongly. Like those that agree with the argument stated that First Word Art isn’t true art because no one can be the best at something when its a totally new idea Schulze would probably agree that the ideas that are overlooked after their initial popularity still have new, possibly better applications.



First Word, Last Word and the Gartner Hype Cycle

Both the GHC and FW/LW explain the same spectrum of how we view objects and innovations around us in terms of being accustomed to them and how much they pique our interests. They both provide us with a starting point of something new. FW/LW is a very undefined spectrum, with only two points of reference. GHC is more complex, providing us with what might be fluctuating between those two points.
GHC has an ending plateau, which is the equivalent of the Last word, where things continue to exist, but have been entirely resolved and suggest no need of further development. The First word, however, does not exactly equate to the technological trigger. The trigger is something seen through research or very early developments, sort of the taste of possibility. The First word is the first mark of something, by someone. It seems as though the First word would be accredited to a body, whereas the trigger is something more equated to a certain sphere of research. Schulze prefers to work in this Trough of Disillusionment because it is inexpensive, as the tools to develop are easily accessible. Things have been made in excess.

First Word Last Word CMU3

First Word, Last Word / GH Cycle

I think First Word, Last Word is a very different approach and view of the Gartner Hype Cycle theory/graph. FW/LW really implies art and innovation is what defines something as new and unexpected (the first word) or artistically generic (last word). However I don’t see how GH Cycle is related to art except in the ways that the ideas are designed or come up with. The GH Cycle defines specific technologies, both futuristic and current-gen, and how they are perceived by people in general. Are they useable? productive? a novelty?

I think that although the GH Cycle seems accurate and thought-out, its still an opinion, however the FW/LW theory seems more applicable and all-encompassing. An example to a technology that caught everyone by surprise and people didn’t know how to react it except to buy it  from when the apple store accidentally released 33 dollars.

I think Schulze prefers the Trough because it is filled with amazing, achievable technology and ideas that just weren’t put to the correct use, or advertised right, or just thought of correctly. By using and modifying and building off thrown away and “disillusioned” ideas and technologies, he aims to create a more innovative and “catch-on” technology with this set-aside, left over bit of ideas.

First Word, Last Word


Gartner Hype Cycle, the GHC, is related to the First Word. The first word is something that is put out to the world for the first time and not yet fully rooted into the field. Like the stages of “Technology Trigger”, people try the First Word for the first time and yet not sure how it will turn out. I think the “Last Word” belongs to the peak of “Plateau of Productivity” since last word comes out only when the first word is already made and is accepted.

My interests are right now rather belongs to the “Technology Trigger”. I think that Technology Trigger has a more chances of exploration and searching since you don’t really know the potential of it yet.

I think that Schulze prefers to work in “Trough of Disillusionment” because there are things that can rise up into the “Slope of Enlightenment” and “Plateau of Productivity”. When it comes to Technology Trigger I personally think that he need to have investors and funding. Since new technology and new things also follows a lot of failure and a lot of money is spent without knowing wether it will succeed commercially. Also at Peak of Inflated Expectations a lot of people will run into developing the same product or research about it, making the field over flooding with people working on it. However, in the trough of disillusionment there will be a lot of work already done by others who have gave up on that specific field. So the base is already done and all you have to do is to think about a creative way to use the technology.


First Word/Last Word and Technology

So to speak, the easiest way to link the First Word/Last Word concept with the GHC to me is to look at the part of the FW/LW article that discussed how Last Word art is the type that stands the test of time. For example, the telephone, which was invented a rather long time ago, has been recreated and recreated and is on its way to perfection, and that’s the Last Word art. Things like that will show up on the “Plateau of Productivity” area of the graph, as the final form of an idea. They’ll get the “last word,” so to speak.

At the top of the graph, the “Peak of Inflated Expectation,” is where the First Word ideas are- all the new cool things that nobody’s ever heard of and simply the idea of them is enough for greatness- such as the 3D printer. It’s certainly not perfected, but the idea of it is so fascinating and it hasn’t been done before, and so everyone thinks it’s a masterpiece already.

All ideas when they first are incepted are First Word, and the making and remaking of subsequent versions of them are what build them into Last Word.