Nikita is a creative who makes things with social impact and for self-exploration. As an ITP Resident Researcher and NYU Social Sector Leadership Development (SSLD) Fellow, Nikita is leveraging her experience in non-profit and technology management to create works with social impact.
She was involved with the creation of ITP Teacher Corps, a volunteer program to introduce creative computing to middle and high school students in NYC. She loves tangible interactions, physical things, installations, her culture, colour, texture, storytelling and experimenting with concepts that are new to her.
Contact me at nikita@nikitahuggins dot com
C.T.R.L. [CULTURE, TECHNOLOGY, RESEARCH, LANGUAGE]
Machine learning (ML) is a field that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to "learn" from data and thus improve performance on a specific task without being explicitly programmed. Though this field is growing exponentially and becoming ever more integrated with ubiquitous computing, there exists a lack of representation of diverse groups in the field. This lack of representation in the programing of ML algorithms, collection of datasets, and development of ML based products is deleterious and diminishes the potential positive social impact, efficacy, and economic impact of the field. This lack of diversity additionally has the potential to manifests itself in products and systems that are biased and dangerous to underrepresented groups by not fully taking them into account.
C.T.R.L. is a collaborative endeavor between Nikita R Huggins, Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, and Nicole Lloyd that seeks to address bias in machine learning systems while creating tools and artworks that make machine learning environments more accessible. The collective not only produces and analyses alternate machine learning datasets, but also create related artworks that are meaningful and expressive. Some of the methodology implemented include identifying unique modes of communication internal to specific communities, analysis of language structures and syntax, the use of machine learning tools to attempt to pull meaning from text, and the creation of physically based works that promote diversity in the machine learning field. The collective aims also to teach machine learning tools and methods to underrepresented communities, develop related art & technology curricula, and to archive assets that may be utilized as research material.Close Project
ML5.js aims to make machine learning approachable for a broad audience of artists, creative coders, and students. The library provides access to machine learning algorithms and models in the browser, building on top of TensorFlow.js with no other external dependencies. The library is supported by code examples, tutorials, and sample datasets with an emphasis on ethical computing. Bias in data, stereotypical harms, and responsible crowdsourcing are part of the documentation around data collection and usage.
ML5.js is a Google-backed research project created at NYU's Interactive Telecommmunications Program (ITP). During the course of development, we invited artists in the machine learning landscape to come to ITP to share their knowledge with us.
I coordinated artist visits, artist talks and workshops.
I also created the ITP artificial intelligence blog to showcase the work that students are doing in the field.Close Project
Wanting to learn Adobe Illustrator, I dedicated 100 days to learn the tool. I followed the principle of 100 Days of Making, where 100 consecutive days are dedicated to iterative design practice – you identify a theme, idea or topic they would like to explore over the course of 100 consecutive days and commit to iterating on that idea every day.
I followed tutorials and applied what I learned to make creative drawings. Most tell a story about how I felt on that day, others were born out of a desire to master certain techniques, and some to explore colour theory.
This project can be found on Instagram @nikitahuggsClose Project
Trini Talk is an online platform designed to communicate and preserve the Trinidad English Creole Language. Using an interactive web platform, Trini Talk teaches the oral language of Trinidad through the island’s history, shows how the language is used and establishes a platform to preserve the language.
View my design process
Electric Relaxation is a video installation. A Tribute to the musical genius of A Tribe Called Quest. An interface for fans to vibe with the music and be taken down memory lane.
A Tribe Called Quest had recently lost one of its members, Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor. Phife was my sister's good friend, a brother. So I grieved with her. I shuffled through footage and listened to A Tribe Called Quest's songs. Every music video that I could find online took me flying down memory lane - back to the 90's. This project started out as my attempt to comfort a sibling but grew into a tribute to A Tribe Called Quest.
The Engine Room is a digital musical instrument. It was created for my New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) project development class. I made this popup book midi-controller as I wanted to tell the story of Caribbean music. I am from the Caribbean so wanted to use this tool to communicate the story of my music and how the distinct rhythms come together to form soca.
Throughout history, the main function of a timepiece was to simply tell time. Now the modern timepiece notifies us not only of the hour but when confronted with texts, emails, appointments, and a myriad of other alerts. ClockooBird imagines what life is like for the modern cuckoo bird, no longer on a set schedule but always required to be ready at a moment’s notice.
This interactive installation project was made for "Pop Up Windows Display" course at ITP in November 2016. The installation was displayed at the NYU Kimmel Center for three days.
View my design process.
See more at https://twitter.com/clockoobird
Created in collaboration with Kevin Stirnweis, Xinyao Wang and Shir David.Close Project
Ugly Food is misshapen or slightly bruised fruits and veggies. They usually get tossed, which results in enormous amounts of waste. To curb this practice, the Ugly Food Movement was developed to highlight the nutritious and affordable allure of less-than-perfect-looking fruits and vegetables. We assign human qualities to food (the right shape, the right size, the right look) not realizing the downfall of such behavior. Tasked with creating a project that can be used to address or solve an issue in the food system, I jumped at the opportunity to join the Ugly Food Movement.
Eat Ugly creates awareness of the ugly food epidemic. By informing folks in my immediate circle and community I aim to create a ripple effect. If people are aware and if they care - they can change their behaviors toward food waste, specifically where Ugly Food is concerned.
The Eat Ugly video was used as a tool to start the conversation about food waste and ugly foods. I chose to use ugly fruit and vegetables for my stop-motion animation as it draws the users attention to what I am speaking about. By seeing the misshapen and bruised food, they immediately identify with ugly food. I also created a quiz to test people's knowledge of the topic. This interactive video was compiled using the interlude platform.
Please take the quiz!Close Project