Episode 187 – Bionic Eye

On an unseasonably warm Friday, Michael & Michael get together to discuss a sports to business application of virtual reality, that of training retail store employees to prepare for the oncoming rush of bargain hunters on Black Friday instead of the rush of oncoming defensive backs.

A favorite topic of ours — augmented reality use methods — resurfaces in this episode, this time prompted by the recent Apple acquisition of a Canadian AR company called VRVANA, which leads to a conversation about miniaturization of this technology, ultimately embedding into bionic contact lenses, or even a potential direct optic nerve connection.  At the very least, we don’t bring up spiders in this episode.  Whew.

The team talks about home robotics, and Rosie from the Jetsons seems to be cropping up in many articles.  The concept of a friendly companion robot is one that many companies are chasing after, and the article for this show comes from an experience with a robot called Jibo.

Closing out the show with a discussion on wearables, Michael and Michael are amazed at the new capabilities enabled by the Kardiaband, and what this implies for future medical devices to improve and save lives.

Selected links 

MIT Technology Review article:  Finally a Useful Application for VR: Training Employees — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609473/finally-a-useful-application-for-vr-training-employees/

Business Insider article:  Apple bought a Canadian AR startup for $30 million — and it could give Apple an edge in the next big thing — http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-buys-vrvana-totem-mixed-reality-headset-2017-11

VRVANA — https://www.vrvana.com

Hackday io — Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses project — https://hackaday.io/project/580-peril-sensitive-sunglasses

Futurism article: Bionic Contacts: Goodbye Glasses. Hello Vision That’s 3x Better Than 20/20 — https://futurism.com/bionic-contacts-goodbye-glasses-hello-vision-thats-3x-better-than-2020/

Transitions photochromic transition eyeglasses — https://www.transitions.com/en-us/

Wall Street Journal article:  This Cute Little Robot Made My Family Mad — https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-cute-little-robot-made-my-family-mad-1511980911

Rosie from the Jetsons — http://thejetsons.wikia.com/wiki/Rosey

Jibo — https://www.jibo.com

Roomba — http://store.irobot.com/default/robot-vacuum-roomba/

Sphero BB-8 — https://store.sphero.com/products/bb-8-by-sphero

Thomas Friedman’s Thank You for Being Late — http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/thank-you-for-being-late/

TechCrunch article:  FDA clears AliveCor’s Kardiaband as the first medical device accessory for the Apple Watch — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/30/fda-clears-alivecors-kardiaband-as-the-first-medical-device-accessory-for-the-apple-watch/

Kardiaband for Apple Watch — https://store.alivecor.com

Chuck Norris facts — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Norris_facts

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R: Injustice 2 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/injustice-2/id1109008423?mt=8

Michael M:  Nonstop Chuck Norris — https://itunes.apple.com/ph/app/nonstop-chuck-norris/id1154002816?mt=8

Play

Episode 186 – Accio Mjolnir

 

Michael and Michael use their prognostic skills to divine what the next Niantic game might be in 2018 based on the non-specific reports in the media about the Wizards Unite game to be unveiled in a few months.

Could there be a spell collecting game that drives players to bookstores and libraries to discover & unlock spells?  Maybe use newspaper vending machines as something to check into in order to open powerups.  How about zoos to collect your own fantastic beasts into your virtual menagerie?

Speaking of pictures, the data in the pictures can provide an huge amount of value in monetizing the activities of.the players. Warby Parker is doing this — using the new capabilities of the iPhone X facial mapping to recognize the contours of the user’s face in order to match the best glasses to the face of the user.

Any sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic, and Michale R has found a couple examples of two Avengers, Thor and Iron Man whose mighty feats are duplicated by a drone and micro-gas turbines, respectively.  Check out the videos to see these in action.

Selected links 

Tech Crunch article:  Niantic’s follow-up to Pokemon Go will be a Harry Potter AR game launching in 2018 — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/08/niantics-follow-up-to-pokemon-go-will-be-a-harry-potter-ar-game-launching-in-2018/

Fortune article:  Commentary: Pokemon Go’s Creator is Making a Harry Potter Game.  Will It Bomb Too?  — http://fortune.com/2017/11/14/harry-potter-pokemon-go-game-augmented-reality/

Pokemon Go Starbucks drink link — 

9 to 5 Mac article:  Warby Parker is using face mapping on the iPhone X to provide glasses recommendations — https://9to5mac.com/2017/11/07/warby-parker-is-using-face-mapping-on-the-iphone-x-to-provide-glasses-recommendations/

Warby Parker iOS app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/glasses-by-warby-parker/id1107693363?mt=8

Mashable article:  Real-Life ‘Iron Man’ sets Guinness World Record because of course he does — http://mashable.com/2017/11/09/iron-man-guinness-world-record-tony-stark-richard-browning

Tech Crunch article:  Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is a parkour master — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/boston-dynamics-atlas-robot-is-a-parkour-master

Reddit: AI email program designed to reply to email scammers — https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/7brzw4/rescam_ai_email_program_designed_to_reply_to/

Tech Crunch article:  They turned ‘Rampage’ into a movie (and here’s the first trailer) — https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/rampage-trailer/

Play

Episode 185 – Transparency

Jimmy Kimmel’s Tonight Show, Tonight Showbotics, featuring Hanson Robotics’ Sophia

They’re playing basketball! 🏀 Both for the start of the college basketball season, and at the state fair.  Michael R found an interesting article about how one can win those games of skill and chance at the state fair, leveraging a combination of science and professional sports talent.

In addition to making transparent the ways that a Mets pitcher can win the games at your local carnival, the team takes a look at the transparent skull of Sophia, the artificial intelligence android by Hanson Robotics, how NPR is crowdsourcing journalism with the recently made public JFK Files, that Facebook & Twitter are making strides in ad transparency and how a recently created Soduku Solver uses augmented reality and optical character recognition to do it’s thing.

Michael M remarks that these examples show a gateway to where augmented reality and artificial intelligence is about to explode in a very short amount of time.  How do you think that the combo of AR & AI will change the world?

Selected links 

Kurtis Blow Basketball video —

Mets — http://mets.com

NC State fair — http://www.ncstatefair.org

TechCrunch article:  Watch a real rocket scientist figure out (and beat) carnival scams — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/watch-a-real-rocket-scientist-figure-out-and-beat-carnival-scams/

TechCrunch article:  Saudi Arabia bestows citizenship on a robot named Sophia — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/26/saudi-arabia-robot-citizen-sophia/

Hanson Robotics — http://www.hansonrobotics.com/robot/sophia/

Tonight Show with Jimmy Kimmel Tonight Showbotics with Sophia — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_tJvCA8zw

Future Investment Initiative where Sophia was announced as being the first robot to receive Saudi Arabian citizenship — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_tJvCA8zw

NPR article: The JFK Files: Calling On Citizen Reporters — https://www.npr.org/2017/10/26/560220148/the-jfk-files-calling-on-citizen-reporters

TechCrunch article: Facebook says its ad transparency features will go live next month — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/27/facebook-says-its-ad-transparency-features-will-go-live-next-month/

TechCrunch article: Twitter announces new ‘transparency center’ for ads — https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/24/twitter-advertising-transparency/

Prototypr blog post:  Behind the Magic: How we built the ARKit Sudoku Solver — https://blog.prototypr.io/behind-the-magic-how-we-built-the-arkit-sudoku-solver-e586e5b685b0

Magic Sudoku — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/magic-sudoku/id1286979959?ls=1&mt=8

Watson on Jeopardy —

What games are the hosts playing?

none!  Busy busy busy!

Play

Episode 184 – Floating Krack

From @guuuuugl’s ICAROS tweet from #AWE2017

Recording on a crisp October day, Michael and Michael start off this episode with the ICAROS virtual reality fitness rig @epredator shared from his experience at Augmented World Expo #AWE2017. The pair continue their mixed reality discussion with a thought experiment on Tinder prompted by an iMore article on the best AR experiences for social media. Michael R shares his understanding of a vulnerability in the WPA security profile stack known as Krack.  The net is, it is best to set up a separate router and separate network for your internet of things devices.  Michael R recommends “keep your stuff updated”.

Selected links 

ICAROS — Virtual Reality Fitness Experiences — http://www.icaros.com

Virtuix Omni 360 degree treadmill — http://www.virtuix.com

Augmented World Expo — https://www.augmentedworldexpo.com

iMore article: Best AR experiences for social media right now! — https://www.imore.com/best-ar-experiences-social-media-right-now

Tinder — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tinder/id547702041?mt=8

Wired article: Why the Krack Wi-Fi Mess Will Take Decades to Clean Up — https://www.wired.com/story/krack-wi-fi-iot-security-broken/

Motherboard article:  KRACK for Dummies — https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3kaxz3/krack-wifi-hack-attack-guide-explainer

Security Now podcast show notes on KRACK — https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-633-notes.pdf

 

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R — Gunman Taco Truck — http://www.gunmantacotruck.com

Play

Episode 183 – Enhanced Reality

Michael & Michael talk about the promise of bots who listen into meetings, take notes & action items on your behalf, entering them into your tool of choice for follow up.  Talk about the power of the pen — and quite a step up from “Alexa, add eggs to my grocery list”.

Michael R brings up the fact that we’re still in a generation 1.1 world when it comes to AR — really in the beginning stages.  Starting point will be in enterprise and entertainment before AR applications begin to really show up outside of these areas.

Intriguing question:  are the Stormtrooper’s helmets augmented reality viewing devices?  What do you think?

It’s Only A Model
Michael and Michael talk about 3D models launching off the example of Sketchfab and move quickly to the concept of integrating blockchain for provenance.

Looping back to the start of this episode, the Macworld article speculating on Apple’s work on a head up display to allow people to interact with the world through augmented reality lenses that are wearable, and not something that the user needs to hold in front of their eyes makes sense, and will be the breakthrough method to truly accelerate the use of the technology.  Do you think that this is the main hurdle to mass adoption and use?  Let us know!

Selected links 

zoom.ushttp://zoom.us/

Zoom, the 1970s children’s TV show — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoom_(1972_TV_series)

TechCrunch article: Zoom brings a dash of augmented reality and artificial intelligence to meetings in latest release — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/26/zoom-brings-a-dash-of-augmented-reality-and-artificial-intelligence-to-meetings-in-latest-release/

Zoomtopia — http://zoomtopia.us

Meta — http://www.metavision.com

Meta blog: Check Out What Our Partners Have Achieved with Meta — https://blog.metavision.com/the-meta-2-now-supports-rendering-of-steam-vr-applications

Uncanny Valley — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

TechCrunch article: Sketchfab’s app may be the best way to try ARKit — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/26/sketchfabs-app-might-be-the-best-way-to-try-arkit/

Sketchfab — https://sketchfab.com

Thingiverse — https://www.thingiverse.com

Adobe Capture CC app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adobe-capture-cc/id1040200189?mt=8

Blockchain — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

Camelot (It’s only a model) —

Macworld article: Why Apple is probably working on a heads-up display — https://www.macworld.com/article/3229744/consumer-electronics/why-apple-is-probably-working-on-a-heads-up-display.html

The making of Ren & Stimpy documentary Indigogo — http://www.slashfilm.com/happy-happy-joy-joy-ren-and-stimpy-documentary/

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael M: Star Trek Timelines — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-trek-timelines/id1001250333?mt=8

Play

Episode 182 – Dungeons and Nike

Thanks to @andypiper for sharing with us this cool Dungeons & Dragons tabletop, that Michael and Michael imagine could be brought to life via augmented reality like the Holochess example in Star Wars Episode IV.

What can be more personal than something you wear?  Nike’s new brand engagement digital experience with their recently announced Connected NBA jersey is precisely that.  Once a fan has committed to buy a team jersey financially, and linking that jersey to an account, the idea of what you could do next with all that data is extremely intriguing.  What if this was not an NBA thing — what if the wearable is tied to a band, and they could monetize their fan experience, with exclusive potential access backstage at their concerts?  What if, this was not sports or music — rather a political group — you could check in with your special rally hat to gain access?  Is the (potential) value of what could be offered worth the tradeoff of sharing your data and allowing tracking by a third party?

What do you think?  Inquiring minds want to know!

Selected links 

Polygon article: D&D group builds custom tabletop with 4K touchscreen — https://www.polygon.com/2017/9/18/16329482/dungeons-and-dragons-digital-table-4k-touchscreen-fantasy-grounds

Dungeons & Dragons — http://dnd.wizards.com

Fantasy Grounds — https://www.fantasygrounds.com/home/home.php

Overhead holographic projector (discussed in episode 175) — http://bgr.com/2017/07/12/augmented-reality-projector/

Roll 20 app — https://roll20.net

Polygon article:  D&D now on Steam, complete with dice and a Dungeon Master — https://www.polygon.com/2015/4/22/8470473/dungeons-dragons-virtual-tabletop-fantasy-grounds

Wizards of the Coast — http://company.wizards.com

Nike’s new Connected NBA jerseys  — https://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/nba/jerseys

Discovery’s Manhunt:Unabomber — https://manhunt.discovery.com/unabomber/

Swarm — https://www.swarmapp.com

IntoNow — TV check in app — https://techcrunch.com/2014/01/28/to-every-social-tv-app-turn-turn-turn/

Spotify — https://www.spotify.com/us/

What are the hosts’ favorite D&D quests?

Michael M — created our own.

Michael R — not canned adventures, we created our own too!

What games are the hosts playing?

Michael R — Eggs, Inc.  — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg,_Inc.

Michael M — looking forward to some new AppleTV apps

Play

Episode 181 – Robotic Rockband

Baby, don’t hurt me.  Or order things on my Amazon Echo when I don’t want them.  Michael and Michael start off this episode talking about the South Park season premiere, which plays a prank on the viewers by the audio dialog of the show launching commands on the viewer’s voice controlled devices (such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home).

I for one, welcome our new rockin’ robotic rockband overlords.  And when you watch the video of Nigel Stanford’s Automatica, we think you will too.

Michael and Michael wrap up this episode talking about the recently concluded NASA Cassini mission and reminisce about their favorite space missions.

Selected links 

Uproxx Article: The ‘South Park’ Season Premiere Caused Havoc With People’s Amazon Echos and Google Homes — http://uproxx.com/technology/south-park-premiere-amazon-echo-google-home/

Slashfilm article: Cool Stuff: ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ Illustrated Edition Gets Animated on Kindle —  http://www.slashfilm.com/animated-harry-potter-kindle/

Automatica by Nigel Stanford — https://nigelstanford.com/Automatica/

TechCrunch article: Watch this robot rock band destroy their instruments — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/14/nigel-stanford-automatica/

CYMATICS: Science Vs. Music – Nigel Stanford — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3oItpVa9fs

NASA article: The Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini — https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/the-saturn-system.html

NASA e-books — https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/index.html

Kotaku article: Nintendo Will Release Its Classic Arcade Games On Switch — https://kotaku.com/nintendo-will-release-its-classic-arcade-games-on-switc-1808933486

What are the hosts’ favorite space missions?

Michael M — Apollo 11 — https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/apollo11.html

Michael R — Maven — https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/main/index.html
Mars Satellites — https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/main/index.html
Mars Rovers — https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/home/

Play

Episode 180 – Augmented Beer Goggles

 Jan 2008 Activeworlds video of Van Gogh mashup of multiple paintings

Augmented reality is hitting the news every few moments, you can crack open a cold one and start seeing things.  Or you can try on a new hair color from the app by Modiface.  Of course, you can experiment with how you would look in a new pair of shades from Ray-Ban.

For even more fun, the Art Gallery of Ontario uses the ReBlink app to have the people in the paintings take selfies of the art gallery patrons taking selfies of them.  This reminded Michael and Michael of the Activeworlds creation of the Van Gogh world, and the YouTube video tour Michael M made in 2008 (above).

Not being content with the pure visual elements of augmented reality, the pair discusses the Zach Lieberman’s example of recording sound in space — a very interesting way to visualize that there’s something auditory “there” from a geo-spatial perspective to be discovered.

 

Following on the auditory thread to round out this episode, Michael and Michael talk about the recent South Park season premiere, and how sound, both audible to the human ear, and not audible to the human ear can be used to issue commands.

Plenty of links in the show notes today for all the topics the team covered, so you can jump right to them and learn more.

Selected links 

Windows Mixed Reality — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Mixed_RealityMicrosoft Mixed Reality Dev Kit — https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality
Digital Trends article:  Augmented Reality Bottle Labels Could Change the Way You View Beer — https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/brewery-uses-augmented-reality-bottle-labels/
Pokemon Go — http://www.pokemongo.com
Google Translate on Google Play — https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.translate&hl=en
Google Translate on iTunes — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-translate/id414706506?mt=8
Ingress — https://www.ingress.com/intel
Zombies Go on Google Play — https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hitgpx.zombiego&hl=en
Zombies Go on iTunes — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zombies-go-fight-dead-walking-everywhere-augmented/id831751766?mt=8
Ghostsnap — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z4GUVzc2EY
Yelp Monocle — http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Augmented-Reality-Monocle-on-the-Yelp-for-iPhone-App
FastCompany Design article:  These Classical Artworks Come to Life to Make Fun of your Museum Selfie — https://www.fastcodesign.com/90133286/these-classical-artworks-come-to-life-to-make-fun-of-your-museum-selfie
Alex Mahew’s ReBlink app — http://www.ago.net/reblink
Art Gallery of Ontario — https://ago.ca/?q=home
Thespis — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thespis_(opera)
Durham Savoyards — http://durhamsavoyards.org
Edward Munch’s The Scream — https://www.edvardmunch.org/the-scream.jsp
ActiveWorlds virtual recreation of Vincent Van Gogh’s home in Arles, France — http://www.activeworlds.com/vangogh/index.htm
9To5Mac article: New AR demo apps preview hair coloring, and a fun way to leave messages for kids — https://9to5mac.com/2017/09/07/cool-arkit-demos/
Modiface — http://www.modiface.com
Zach Lieberman’s tweet & video of recording sound in space — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zachary_Lieberman
Glasses.com virtual try on — http://www.glasses.com/virtual-try-on
SixColors article: Reports of ultrasonic attack on voice assistants more sound than fury — https://sixcolors.com/post/2017/09/reports-of-ultrasonic-attack-on-voice-assistants-more-sound-than-fury/
So Long and Thanks for all the Fish — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/So_Long,_and_Thanks_for_All_the_Fish
Mashable article: Extraordinary iPhone App Identifies 2.6 Million TV Shows by “Listening” — http://mashable.com/2011/01/31/intonow/#BSKklHnZ1GqQ
TechCrunch article:  Yahoo is Shutting Down IntoNow, Nearly Three Years After Acquisition — https://techcrunch.com/2014/01/28/to-every-social-tv-app-turn-turn-turn/
Soundhound — https://soundhound.com
Shazam — https://www.shazam.com
Uproxx article:  The ‘South Park’ Season Premier Caused Havoc With People’s Amazon Echos and Google Homes — http://uproxx.com/technology/south-park-premiere-amazon-echo-google-home/

What are the hosts playing?

Michael R:  Colorcube — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colorcube/id1076402133?mt=8
Michael M:  Flic button to turn pages on your favorite music app — https://flic.io/blog/Musicians-turn-page-Flic

Play

Episode 179 – May The Merch Be With You

BB-9E augmented reality

In honor of Force Friday part deux, Michael and Michael geek out on all the awesomeness that is Star Wars merchandise now available for sale.

You could use have a Lenovo-enabled lightsaber battle.

You could build your own R2-D2 with a littleBits kit.

You could own your very own Corellian freighter of your very own, putting together over 7,500 pieces in the new, and most awesome Millennium Falcon model from Lego.

Switching gears, the team discusses the interaction among & between conversational artificial intelligences, and how they could do a platform of platform strategy play to talk with other AIs to gain the benefit of those services, all via natural language as the interface.

You’ll find drones, droids and how to do much more in this episode!

Selected links 

Star Wars iOS app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-wars/id960108075?mt=8

Business Insider article:  The hype around ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ is kicking into high gear — here’s what Disney just announced — http://www.businessinsider.com/new-star-wars-the-last-jedi-toys-2017-8

Battle Chess (Commodore 64) — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Chess

Archon — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archon:_The_Light_and_the_Dark

TechCrunch article:  The littleBits Droid Inventor Kit lets you build an R2-D2 of your very own — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/31/the-littlebits-droid-inventor-kit-lets-you-build-an-r2-d2-of-your-very-own/

Nerdist article:  New Lego Millennium Falcon Is The Largest Set Ever — http://nerdist.com/star-wars-lego-millennium-falcon-largest-set-ever/http://nerdist.com/star-wars-lego-millennium-falcon-largest-set-ever/

TechCrunch article:  Bragi’s Dash and Dash Pro wireless earbuds to get Amazon Alexa — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/01/bragis-dash-and-dash-pro-wireless-earbuds-to-get-amazon-alexa/

TechCrunch article: Nobody is going to ask Cortana to talk to Alexa — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/31/nobody-is-going-to-ask-cortana-to-talk-to-alexa/

Dark Sky — https://darksky.net/app

TechCrunch article: Google reveals the top things people want to find out ‘How to” do — https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/01/google-reveals-the-top-things-people-want-to-find-out-how-to-do/

How to Fix a Toilet — http://how-to-fix-a-toilet.com

Icon Factory — https://iconfactory.com

The Noun Project — https://thenounproject.com

An Event Apart Josh Clark: The Tools I Use — https://aneventapart.com/news/post/josh-clark-the-tools-i-use

The Durham Savoyards — http://durhamsavoyards.org

Play

Episode 178 – L33T Learning Siri

 

Just say no to enabling autonomous bots & drones with the ability to apply lethal force.  Following on last week’s episode 177, Michael & Michael start off with a continuation of the discussion on the Pandora’s Box of armed robots.

Moving on to a happier topic, while still staying on the machine learning concept, the pair talks about how Siri and other voice interactive systems have been improved with deep learning.  Not just recorded scripts, but actual intelligence, and more natural interaction is apparent when you listen to how far things have come since the earliest days of Siri — listen to the examples from the Apple Machine Learning Journal article, and we think you’ll agree.

Understanding that you’re talking with a bot vs a human is important to help avoid the uncanny valley where the interaction becomes weird vs expected — perhaps this is why Michael R preferred the Australian accent reminiscent of J.A.R.V.I.S, and how in Star Trek and other science fiction, interaction with the computer was prefaced with “computer!” before issuing a request.

Feedback loops getting faster & faster, which is really evident in machine learning examples applied to games.  When the machine — the program — is experimenting with the game to learn, and figure out what is rewarded, what is not rewarded, and determine a heuristic model for playing the game, which for a human is for fun and for the machine learning example is to maximize the outcome.  The example from the O’Reilly article was particularly intriguing to Michael M who wondered why the AI playing the game did not scoop up each and every present while playing the game.  Michael R made the interesting point that if the machine learning algorithms assume that there’s an infinite number of presents ahead, it makes more sense to quickly move forward and grab the presents because there are more ahead of you than behind.  The screenshot above is from a machine learning model playing Super Mario Kart, where it is easy to see how machine learning quickly gets better and better with successive plays of the game.

Closing out this episode, Michael and Michael include David Ma’s videos of food imagined in the style of  famous directors, a funny song about waffles and a discussion on Zork.  Hope you enjoy these tasty treats!

Selected links 

last week’s show, E177 — What could possibly go wrong? — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/08/31/episode-177-what-could-possibly-go-wrong/

An open letter to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons — https://futureoflife.org/autonomous-weapons-open-letter-2017

We don’t have long to act — https://qz.com/1058280/we-do-not-have-long-to-act-teslas-tsla-elon-musk-and-others-warn-the-un-about-autonomous-weapons

Six Colors article:  Deep Learning Improves Siri’s voice — https://sixcolors.com/link/2017/08/deep-learning-improves-siris-voice/

Apple’s Machine Learning Journal:  Deep Learning for Siri’s Voice: On-device Deep Mixture Density Networks for Hybrid Unit Selection Synthesis — https://machinelearning.apple.com/2017/08/06/siri-voices.html

Uncanny Valley — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

J.A.R.V.I.S. — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Jarvis#J.A.R.V.I.S.

O’Reilly article:  Bringing gaming to life with AI and deep learning — https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/bringing-gaming-to-life-with-ai-and-deep-learning

YouTube:  Super MarI/O Kart Commentary — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Y_I9vY8Qw

Food by Favorite Directors (Sort Of) — https://www.subtraction.com/2017/08/14/food-by-famous-directors-sort-of/

YouTube:  What if Alfonso Cuaron made pancakes?  — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_hpJHNt4IE

Do You Like Waffles?  By Parry Gripp — https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/do-you-like-waffles/id468568946?i=468568983

MIT Technology Review — The Enduring Legacy of Zork — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608670/the-enduring-legacy-of-zork/

MIT Technology Review article:  Siri for Business — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/600990/siri-for-business/

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