Art Lab | ISS

Sergio Mora-Díaz is an artist and new media architect from Santiago, Chile. His work focuses on the development of immersive experiences, installations and live performances through the use of interactive media, projections and light, exploring the relationship between physical spaces, digital technologies and human perception.

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Data Engineer: Claudio Galaz

Data Scientist: Andrés Medina

UX/UI Designer: Daniela Collarte

Sergio Mora-Diaz es un artista y arquitecto de nuevos medios de Santiago, Chile. Su trabajo se centra en el desarrollo de experiencias inmersivas, instalaciones y actuaciones en vivo mediante el uso de medios interactivos, proyecciones y luz, explorando la relación entre los espacios físicos, las tecnologías digitales y la percepción humana.

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ISS
Stgo, 2020
Sergio Mora-Díaz
Data displayed digitally

“Minerals also have cycles, because everything in nature works under that logic.” This is Sergio Mora-Díaz’s proposal in his work developed with data from our Digital Factory ISS. The work collects mineral composition data analyzed during different periods of time, to create a figure that is mutating, renewing its parts from within, just as a plant or even ourselves do permanently. Was nature kept that condition only for the living? Or is it that minerals are also secretly guided by that principle?

"The numbers that the UNIT Data Science team gave me, from real measurements, I translate into graphic information."

Interview with Sergio Mora-Díaz
about the work for ISS.

"The mineral is not alive, but it is also mutating. It is affected by the weather, the wind, the internal composition of the Earth causes it to change."

Interview with Sergio Mora-Díaz
about the work for ISS.

Francisca Olivares: Let’s talk about the work you developed based on the ISS data. The first thing I want to ask you is how was the process of turning universal intelligence data, from the world of mining, into a work of art?

Sergio Mora-Díaz: First, thank you very much for the invitation. For me it is a pleasure to be working on this cross between art and science. Well, in this ISS-based work, as in all the others that I have developed in this collaboration with UNIT, I take process data and translate it into graphic compositions. This gives us an account of the ways in which these processes work, and in this way, people can become a little more aware and understand the world around us in a different way. In this particular case, we worked with mining, with a series of qualities inherent to the composition of the minerals that reach a plant. They gave me a series of indicators, corresponding for example to the hardness of the mineral, the level of clay, the solubility, among others. These elements are used as tools when composing graphically.

FO: This work in particular makes me think about the concept of “cycle”. It is a work that, because of how the particles move from the inside out, seems to be mutating, but with the same permanent energy. Was that your intention?

SMD: Sure, being created from indicators of the mineral composition, that is generated. These indicators, having a number, qualify the mineral at a certain moment. From that, I discovered that the information was indeed cyclical. Each measurement generates a new set of compositional qualities. Then, with those elements, which are numerical patterns, I am generating the images. I wanted with this work precisely to account for the changes, and with that, to refer to cycles of nature. What I imagined here is how the Earth itself is changing and how its materials are mutating over time, it is transforming.

FO: In general the cycles are easy to visualize in the plant world. Given our time scale, one can observe how a plant is born, grows, withers and returns to earth. Here you approached the cycle from the mineral … tell me about that.

SMD: Indeed. You mention the issue of scale. We are used to detecting faster cycles. We can see the change of the plants you mention. However, the Earth, in its geological composition, works with cycles that are much slower, therefore we cannot perceive them in the same way or in the same magnitude. The challenge was how to translate that and I think it worked quite well. In this composition that I make, I propose a form that could refer to something alive that is mutating, but from a mineral bond. What interested me here was to reflect on certain scales and proportions of change of the Earth in a language, time and rhythm understandable by our perception

FO: In this sense, the work allows us to think about the cycles of nature in materials that are not alive ..

SMD: Sure, the mineral is not alive, but it is mutating as well. It is affected by the weather, the wind, the internal composition of the Earth causes the mineral to change. These processes invite you to think of the mineral as if it had a certain life.

FO: I would like to talk about the motion decision that you decided to use for these particles. I have seen some videos of moving plants and one can see that not all plants move the same. Not all flowers bloom the same, some do it once, others slowly. How did you develop this particular movement?

SMD: Here is the mathematical logic. Those numbers that the UNIT Data Science team gave me, from real measurements, I translate them into graphic information. This figure for example, which can be understood as consolidated, is made up of several rings. Each of these rings corresponds to one of the mineral composition dimensions and then these particles in each ring take different sizes and positions according to the numerical values. With that, the overall morphology of the image keeps changing, based on how the measurements change separately. The logic of the particle seems pertinent to me, to imply the complexity that exists in the measurement of elements separately, but which make up a totality, a unitary figure.

FO: One might think that the changes are turning the figure into another. But it remains the same.

SMD: Exactly, that was something I was looking for. That the qualities were defined in such a way that the figure could be understood as the same, as a unit that follows its own logic. It has the qualities of a unitary element, following its pattern. In each cycle it changes and transforms, with a new morphology. All these cycles are part of the same family, always in the same essence.

FO: Finally, this work helps us to reflect on the permanent and the impermanent …

SMD: It’s true, there are qualities in the work that change, but everything is always governed by the same pattern.

Open call to artists interested in collaborations with data science and advanced mathematics.

If you want to know more about UNIT or Universal Intelligence, let's talk.

Write to us at info@weareunit.ai

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Atomic Design: una metodología para trabajar en equipo

Atomic Design: una metodología para trabajar en equipo

Diseñar y desarrollar productos de manera rápida y eficiente es una gran ventaja competitiva para cualquier empresa. Pero ¿cómo lograr este ideal cuando se trabaja con diferentes clientes y en diferentes industrias? Atomic Design podría ser la solución para este dilema.

Es probable que como desarrollador FrontEnd hayas escuchado este término al menos alguna vez. En caso contrario, no temas, ya que en este artículo cubriremos las nociones básicas para que puedas aprender a utilizarlo y aplicarlo en tu trabajo.

En términos simples, Atomic Design es una metodología creada por Brad Frost la cual se presenta como solución para el problema actual de crear interfaces que sean compatibles con la gran variedad de tamaños de pantallas que existen.

Gracias a su perspectiva con componentes individuales, pero que son parte de un todo, nos permite entender la importancia de construir sistemas de diseño. De esta forma, nos ayuda a crear productos digitales más fáciles de entender, tanto para nuestros usuarios como para del equipo de FrontEnd que debe llevarlo a la práctica.

Esquema de Atomic Design: átomo, molécula, organismos, templates y páginas

Atomic Design: Simbología y equivalencias

El origen de su nombre se debe a que los distintos componentes de un diseño particular son homologados con elementos de la química. En base a esto, es posible identificar lo siguiente:

  • Átomo: Se corresponden con los elementos indivisibles de HTML. Por ejemplo: Input, Label, Botón, etc.
  • Molécula: En la química, se trata de la unión de dos átomos. Por lo tanto, en el plano del diseño, serán dos elementos “átomos” que se unen. Por ejemplo: una barra de búsqueda que contiene un Input, un Label y un botón.
  • Organismos: Es la unión de diferentes “moléculas”, por lo tanto implicará la conjugación de distintas moléculas de nuestro diseño. A su vez, éstas contienen los elementos “átomos”. Por ejemplo: un nabab que contiene una molécula menú, una molécula barra de búsqueda, una molécula sesión, etc.

Los últimos dos elementos, si bien sus nombres no se basan en la química, son términos bastante conocidos por los desarrolladores:

  • Templates: Es donde se colocan los organismos y se articulan. De esta forma, es posible ver en perspectiva la integración entre los componentes de una manera abstracta, ya que los templates no tienen datos.
  • Pages (Páginas): Es la parte final de esta metodología, donde se le agregan datos a los templates y se puede ver una representación real de la interacción de los organismos.

Este último elemento es muy importante, ya que permite realizar pruebas a los elementos creados. Sobre este punto, es importante hacerse las siguientes preguntas para asegurarnos de considerar la perspectiva de los usuarios:

¿Cómo se verá si un usuario no tiene datos almacenados?
¿Qué pasará si el usuario no tiene una foto de perfil?
Cómo se comportan las moléculas en diferentes tamaños de pantallas (smartphone, tablets, smartTV, consolas de videojuegos, etc.)

En esta fase de pruebas es donde podemos apreciar claramente las ventajas de trabajar con Atomic Design. Gracias a que los cambios se realizan directamente en los átomos y estos afectan en cadena las moléculas, los componentes, templates y páginas, el flujo de trabajo se facilita tremendamente.

Durante mi propia experiencia utilizando Atomic Design, he podido darme cuenta de que varias personas creen que se debe usar de manera secuencial, es decir, crear primero el átomo, luego la molécula y así sucesivamente. Sin embargo, se llega a mejores resultados y mejores tiempos de desarrollo cuando se trabajan en conjunto los 5 elementos. De hecho, Frost recomienda utilizarlos de manera paralela. Otra de sus ventajas es que esta metodología se acopla muy bien en equipos compuestos por diseñadores y FrontEnd.

Esto se debe a que la aplicación de este método de trabajo permite a los componentes de diseño entregar mockups. Más tarde, en conjunto con el equipo FrontEnd, es posible analizar e identificar los elementos presentes, permitiendo su validación en diferentes resoluciones junto con diferentes contenidos. En conclusión y, en base a mi propia experiencia, te puedo asegurar que la adopción de Atomic Design es especialmente práctica cuando ya existen guías de estilos (paleta de colores, fuentes, iconos, etc.) en la organización.

Como toda metodología, su efectividad va a depender del entorno laboral e incluso el tipo de proyecto en el que te encuentres trabajando. Por eso, te recomiendo analizar las condiciones y mecánicas de trabajo actuales de tu empresa. De esta forma, podrás evaluar la compatibilidad y pertinencia de esta propuesta, permitiéndote determinar si Atomic Design es un buen match para tu equipo.


Artificial Intelligence: A new way to connect (us)

Commonly, or at least during my short life, I have felt a concern around the concept of Artificial Intelligence and its real meaning. Clearly, this is a notion that can seem quite loud, quaint, and even exacerbated. With the very mention of this idea, we immediately believe that we are traversing a dystopian world of cyborgs and flying cars.

But the truth is that, by looking for a specific definition of the term, we can establish that it is the computer's ability to perform cognitive tasks that we associate with the human mind. That is, it is the ability to argue, solve problems independently and even the ability of perception is included.

This is how artificial intelligence has made it possible to make certain human behaviors tangible through neural models, thus getting closer to human notions regarding how we perceive the world. Along these lines, AI as a resource puts us in search of some way to objectify knowledge, generate correlations and allow detecting opportunities, all from an anthropocentric perspective.

But where are the rest of the species that make up this very biodiverse world? Is it possible to connect with them?

We exist on a planet with enormous biodiversity, where 80% of living beings are plants. Unfortunately, we know that humanity has contributed to the loss of 83% of wild mammals and half of plant species. Although in recent years it seems that sustainability has begun to be part of the collective mind, we are still a long way from repairing this damage.

It is clear that human beings have endowed themselves with a true superiority complex, but the truth is that we currently represent only a 0.01% of the living population of planet Earth. However, today the role and efforts of our technology continue to be biased and derived from this human gaze, without valuing the interspecies perception that should guide these advances.

So, what if we direct our efforts to listen to and process each other's rich content through these neural models? Would it be possible to train a bio hybrid model?

Clearly we are facing an ambitious scenario, but it is also necessary given the critical global context in which we find ourselves. Although the difficulty is high, our mission should be the coexistence between organisms in order to regenerate and recover the lost biodiversity, a responsibility that, until today, continues to be ignored.

From very early on, we are taught that plants are "vegetable" beings. Currently, this term is used with a rather negative connotation in terms of the ability to understand and perceive the world. But what the vast majority of people do not know is that plants have a great capacity to connect, understand and adapt to the environment. Is their trajectory throughout the planet's existence a mere coincidence?

This is where artificial intelligence comes into the equation, since scientific studies have shown similarities between the human neural communication and the electrochemical communication that plants perform.

Communicating is vital to every living being: it allows us to avoid danger, to accumulate experience, to know our own body and the environment. Is there any reason why this simple mechanism should be denied to plants?

Mancuso, S., & Viola, A. (2015). Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. (J. Benham, Trans.). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Despite the fact that the trajectory of plants on this planet has demonstrated their perceptual capacity, which has an impact on significant adaptability throughout their existence, technology has been biased by wanting to exacerbate human perception. Instead of generating a more transversal understanding and allowing ourselves to be nurtured by other species, we insist on separating ourselves from the rest of the world as if we were the only living beings capable of communicating and impacting the ecosystem.

It may seem that nature and technology are isolated areas, but the reality is that they have tremendous potential to coexist, potential reflected in trends such as biomimicry.

But where does artificial intelligence fit into this whole equation? 

Let's take a step back, and remember the ability of artificial intelligence to model, build and train different models based on data. This data feeds this model and perfects it. The same happens when it comes to learning a new language. A language is a way of communicating, and if we break it down even more, simplifying what communication is, we can define it as an information transference from a sender to a receiver.

Based on this premise, it is possible to understand our relationship with the environment, both ours and with other species, as a form of communication. A few years ago, many did not believe or imagine the rapid growth of artificial intelligence and its applications. Today, it could be the key to understanding and being able to connect with other organisms, particularly plants.

With their senses, plants gather information about their environment and orient themselves in the world. Plants are able to measure dozens of different parameters and process a great many data.

Mancuso, S., & Viola, A. (2015). Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. (J. Benham, Trans.). Washington, DC: Island Press.

Artificial intelligence could well be a means of communication between different species, all in order to understand the realities of each one and enrich our knowledge. It has the potential to establish associations and patterns of different electrophysiological responses of plants, laying the foundations for a more complete understanding between both species.

AI, as a technology, offers us the possibility of going further to close the communication gaps that we maintain with other species on the planet. This mission, although late, could allow us to heal, to some extent, part of the debt and damage that we have caused on the planet in the name of progress.



Inteligencia Artificial: Una nueva forma de conectar(nos)

Inteligencia Artificial: Una nueva forma de conectar(nos)

Comúnmente, o por lo menos en mi corta vida, he sentido una inquietud en torno al concepto de Inteligencia Artificial y su significado real. Claramente, se trata de una noción que puede sonar bastante estruendosa, pintoresca e incluso exacerbada. Apenas se hace mención a esta idea, inmediatamente creemos que estamos atravesando un mundo distópico de cyborgs y autos voladores.

Pero lo cierto es que, al buscar una definición concreta del término podemos establecer que es la habilidad de computadoras para ejecutar tareas cognitivas que asociamos con la mente humana. Es decir, es la capacidad de argumentar, resolver problemas de forma independiente e incluso está incluida la habilidad de percepción.

Es así como la inteligencia artificial ha permitido tangibilizar ciertos comportamientos humanos mediante modelos neuronales, acercándose así a nociones humanas en cuanto a cómo percibimos el mundo. En esta línea, la IA como recurso nos pone en la búsqueda de alguna forma de objetivizar el conocimiento, generar correlaciones y permitir detectar oportunidades, todo bajo una mirada antropocéntrica. 

¿Dónde queda el resto de las especies que conforman este mundo tan biodiverso? ¿Es posible conectar con ellas?

Existimos en un planeta con una enorme biodiversidad, donde el 80% de los seres vivientes son plantas. Lamentablemente, sabemos que la humanidad ha contribuido a la pérdida del 83% de mamíferos salvajes y la mitad de las especies vegetales. Si bien durante los últimos años pareciera que la sustentabilidad ha comenzado a ser parte del inconsciente colectivo, estamos todavía muy lejos de reparar este daño.

Es claro que el ser humano se ha dotado así mismo de un verdadero complejo de superioridad, pero la verdad es que actualmente representamos solamente un 0.01% de la población viviente del planeta Tierra.  No obstante, hoy el rol y esfuerzos de nuestra tecnología siguen estando siendo sesgados y derivados a esta mirada humana, sin poner en valor la percepción interespecial que debiera guiar estos avances.

Entonces, ¿qué pasaría si dirigimos los esfuerzos a escuchar y procesar el contenido rico de cada uno mediante estos modelos neuronales? ¿Sería posible entrenar un modelo bio híbrido

Claramente estamos ante un panorama ambicioso, pero necesario dado al contexto crítico global en el que nos encontramos. Si bien la dificultad es alta, nuestra misión debiese ser la coexistencia entre organismos para así regenerar y recuperar la biodiversidad perdida, una responsabilidad que, hasta hoy, sigue siendo ignorada.  

Desde niños y niñas, nos enseñan que las plantas son seres “vegetales”. Actualmente, este término se utiliza con una connotación más bien negativa en cuanto a la habilidad de entender y percibir el mundo. Pero lo que la gran mayoría de las personas no sabe, es que las plantas tienen una gran capacidad para conectar, entender y adaptarse al medio ambiente. ¿Acaso es una mera coincidencia la trayectoria que han tenido a lo largo de la existencia del planeta?

Es aquí donde la inteligencia artificial entra en la ecuación, ya que estudios científicos han demostrado semejanzas entre la comunicación neuronal de las personas con la comunicación electroquímica que realizan estas especies.

Comunicar es vital para todo ser vivo: nos permite evitar el peligro, acumular experiencia, conocer nuestro propio cuerpo y el entorno. ¿Hay alguna razón por la que este simple mecanismo deba negarse a las plantas?

Mancuso, S., & Viola, A. (2015). Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. (J. Benham, Trans.). Washington, DC: Island Press.

A pesar de que la trayectoria de las plantas en este planeta ha demostrado su capacidad perceptiva, lo cual repercute en una adaptabilidad significativa a lo largo de su existencia, la tecnología se ha visto sesgada por querer exacerbar la percepción humana. En vez de generar una comprensión más transversal y dejarse nutrir por la de las otras especies, insistimos en separarnos del resto del mundo como si fuéramos los únicos seres vivos capaces de comunicarnos e impactar el ecosistema.

Pareciera ser que lo natural y lo tecnológico son ámbitos aislados pero la realidad es que tienen un tremendo potencial para convivir, potencial reflejado en tendencias como biomímesis.

Pero, ¿dónde entra la inteligencia artificial en toda esta ecuación?

Tomemos un paso atrás, y recordemos la capacidad de la inteligencia artificial de modelar, construir y entrenar distintos modelos en base a datos. Dichos datos alimentan este modelo y lo van perfeccionando. Lo mismo sucede a la hora de aprender un nuevo idioma. Un idioma es una forma de comunicar, y si desglosamos aún más, simplificando lo que es la comunicación,podemos definirla como un traspaso de información de un emisor a un receptor. 

Basándonos en esa premisa, es posible entender nuestra relación con el entorno, tanto nuestra como con otras especies, como una forma de comunicación. Hace algunos años, muchos no creían ni se imaginaban el rápido crecimiento que tendría la inteligencia artificial y sus aplicaciones. Hoy, podría ser la clave para entender a otros organismos, particularmente, a las plantas.

Con sus sentidos, las plantas recopilan información sobre su entorno y se orientan en el mundo. Las plantas pueden medir docenas de parámetros diferentes y procesar una gran cantidad de datos.

Mancuso, S., & Viola, A. (2015). Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. (J. Benham, Trans.). Washington, DC: Island Press.

La inteligencia artificial bien podría ser un medio de comunicación entre distintas especies, todo con la finalidad de poder comprender las realidades de cada una y enriquecer nuestro conocimiento. Tiene la potencialidad de establecer asociaciones y patrones de distintas respuestas electrofisiológicas de las plantas sentando las bases para un entendimiento más completo entre ambas especies.

La IA, como tecnología, nos ofrece la posibilidad de ir más allá para cerrar las brechas comunicacionales que mantenemos con las demás especies del planeta. Esta misión, aunque tardía, podría permitirnos sanar, en cierta medida, parte de la deuda y el daño que hemos provocado en el planeta en el nombre del progreso.


 


Art Lab | COSMOS

Sergio Mora-Diaz is an artist and new media architect from Santiago, Chile. His work focuses on the development of immersive experiences, installations and performance through the use of interactive media, projections and light, exploring the relationship between physical spaces, digital technologies and human perception.

Know More

Data Engineer: Claudio Galaz

Data Scientist: Andrés Medina

Diseñadora UX/UI: Daniela Collarte

Sergio Mora-Diaz is an artist and new media architect from Santiago, Chile. His work focuses on the development of immersive experiences, installations and performance through the use of interactive media, projections and light, exploring the relationship between physical spaces, digital technologies and human perception.

Learn More

Watch

COSMOS
Stgo, 2020
Sergio Mora-Díaz
Digital data visualization

Using the data generated by more than 5,000 mining trucks, Sergio Mora-Díaz defined the aspects of speed, load and motive power as key dimensions to visualize the data as metallic particles that disperse and converge. Thanks to this work, COSMOS can be seen like never before.

“This was one of the attractive elements to create, to make all these particles form as a complex organism that moves as one.”.

Sergio Mora-Díaz interview
about his work for COSMOS.

“This was one of the attractive elements to create, to make all these particles form as a complex organism that moves as one”.

Sergio Mora-Díaz interview
about his work: COSMOS.

Francisca Olivares: Tell me about the process of turning COSMOS data into art.

Sergio Mora-Díaz: In the case of COSMOS, the data given to me correspond to data on trucks that carry certain loads through the territory. Within this, different dimensions that have to do with the efficiency of this truck are analyzed: speed, how much load it carries, etc. What COSMOS does is process this data to make trips and fuel use more efficient.

In this case, I took all these data and prepared this work based on three aspects: the speed of the trucks, the load they carry, and finally their driving force. With these three elements I was able to visualize the trajectory of each of these trucks moving through space. So, I created this composition by translating that information from 5,000 trucks into visual qualities like size, color, and speed of different of the elements.

FO: The trajectories of these particles in space caught my attention, how do you go about choosing those trajectories?

SMD: In this case, the real trajectory of those trucks was not given to me, that is, the path that the elements are taking are determined by me based on other geometric factors. Certain parameters of spatial coordinates are defined and each of these particles is made to follow a path that converges. This was one of the attractive elements to create, to make all these particles form as a complex organism that moves as one. With this he sought to generate a sensation of something liquid, alluding to fuel or any organic thing that moves through geography.

FO: Were there any decisions that were particularly difficult in this process of translating the data into visual artistic language?

SMD: I think that the relationship that I managed to establish was quite direct from the beginning, since the numbers allowed me to establish certain parameters that could be easily visualized in graphic codes. The most difficult thing was selecting which were the key dimensions to visualize and how to do it in the end. These decisions had to represent the objective of COSMOS, but must also include a more abstract and metaphorical element. In any case, there was always a joint effort, in constant dialogue with UNIT analysts to clearly define the criteria to be followed.

FO: Do you feel that this work was more of a creation or a translation?

SMD: I think it has a bit of both, because there are some elements that translate directly into the visual, such as speed or amount of charge. However, there were other decisions that I had to make on my own, such as creating all the trajectories that the elements follow. The fact of achieving this confluence of elements, the color … all those decisions that are more plastic and aesthetic. In fact, I would dare to say that it is in this mixture where the grace of these works lies, the power to establish a parallel between the hard data and the aesthetic vision and authorship of the artist.

FO: The material decision of the particles is one of the interesting elements. There is a metallic decision in the work, what is your intention behind this materiality?

SMD: Although there are many decisions that I made from the aesthetic side, it does not mean that it came to me out of nowhere. Rather, they are things that arise from the conversations that we have had with the work team and how I am understanding the subject, the solutions offered by UNIT products and what they refer to in my memory.

In this case, the metallic component of the elements and the grayscale for me has a lot to do with metal as an element within the industry: minerals, earth, highways, the steel with which the trucks themselves are built, all of this is associated with the same element. Within that, I was exploring different ways of visualizing it and I came up with the solution of using this metallic gray scale pointing towards a mineral and stone effect, which I think was the best option to convey the main idea.

FO: During the translation and creation process, did you manage to learn anything new about COSMOS?

SMD: Yes, I think the interesting thing about analyzing these variables and creating these works makes sense when they are compared to each other. For example, we have a truck that has a certain trajectory, with a certain speed, carrying an amount of cargo X, and it moves through space. I think that data in itself has a value. What was added here was the opportunity to visualize all the information together, which allows finding certain patterns and understanding the data in a more comprehensive way to take opportunities that may not be detected by analyzing a single truck. For me, there is the great value of these works, allowing processes to be made more efficient from a more global view of the data.

Public announcement to any artist that wants to collaborate in works with data science and advanced mathematics.

If you want to learn more about UNIT or the Universal Intelligence, let's talk.

Find us at info@weareunit.ai

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