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/

Play

Episode 177 – What could possibly go wrong?

This episode has it all — from virtual reality, to augmented reality to mixed reality to real reality. Starting off with UPS’s VR driver training for their truck fleet, journeying to the Apollo astronaut training efforts with the Zeiss Model VI Planetarium Projector and the excitement of Apple’s recent World Wide Developer’s Conference, Michael and Michael discuss the exciting developments caused Tim Cook to say that he’s so excited about it, “I just want to yell out and scream.” Michael and Michael reminisce about the early days of the US Army’s use of there.com to provide a “real” virtual reality experience with soldiers in the field playing the roles of people at a checkpoint, to train others on the tactics being used by both regular people and enemy combatants. The video above is from the episode of The Screen Savers on the US Army’s use of there.com.

To file under the title of this episode, an octocopter drone equipped with optical recognition, recoil-handling aerodynamics and an ability to fire rifles, grenade launchers and the like is being developed. What could possibly go wrong indeed.

Closing out on a much happier note, one of the games that Michael M is excited to be playing soon is Unstable Unicorns, a Kickstarter that he backed in the early days that is now up to $672,000 in pledges, and there’s still time to get in on this fun.

Check out the show — check out the games!

Selected links

Boy Genius Report article: UPS is going all-in on VR — http://bgr.com/2017/08/15/ups-vr-htc-vive/

Early space journeys began at Morehead Planetarium — http://www.unc.edu/spotlight/early-space-journeys/

there.com — https://www.prod.there.com

ZDTVfan’s YouTube channel with old The Screen Savers episodes — https://www.youtube.com/user/zdtvfan/featured

Jim Grosse on Massively Multiplayer Simulator for Asymmetric Warfare using There.com on Tech TV’s The Screen Savers — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGyOHTrh0wM

Patently Apple article: Apple’s Next iOS will deliver a Big Win for Apple Regarding Augmented Reality that Leapfrogs Microsoft’s HoloLens — http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2017/08/apples-next-ios-will-deliver-a-big-win-for-apple-regarding-augmented-reality-that-leapfrogs-microsofts-hololens.html

Bloomberg Businessweek article: Tim Cook on Donald Trump, the HomePod, and the Legacy of Steve Jobs — https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-06-15/apple-s-tim-cook-on-donald-trump-the-homepod-and-the-legacy-of-steve-jobs

Apple’s WWDC iOS 11 Wingnut AR Surreal Demo — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAsxW5YtWrM

ARKit demo pictures from Michael R in E172 — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/06/19/episode-172-shining-a-light-on-ar/

Magic Leap — https://www.magicleap.com

Wired Article: Why ‘Gorilla Arm Syndrome” Rules Out Multitouch Notebook Displays — https://www.wired.com/2010/10/gorilla-arm-multitouch/

TechCrunch article: Minibar Delivery alcohol marketplace picks up $5 million in funding — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/15/minibar-alcohol-marketplace-picks-up-5-million-in-funding/

Somabar — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/somabar/somabar-automated-craft-cocktail-appliance

Tech Crunch article: A defense company puts a machine gun on a drone — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/17/a-defense-company-put-a-machine-gun-on-a-drone/

Daniel Suarez book Kill Decision — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_Decision

What are the co-hosts playing these days?

Unstable Unicorns — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ramybadie/unstable-unicorns

Exploding Kittens — https://www.explodingkittens.com

Imploding Kittens — https://shop.theoatmeal.com/products/imploding-kittens-expansion-pack

Play

Episode 176 – I Got Slimed!

Who you gonna call?  Three friends, we hope, to rush over to Madam Tussaud’s Ghostbusters Experience to check out the Void’s “Hyper-Reality” take on your becoming a Ghostbuster, and immersing yourselves in a full body simulation, where you can walk around wherever you wish within the bounds of the simulation.  This is different from the classic VR experiences where you are tethered to a small location by the wire on your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.  From the YouTube video, this mixed reality experience overlays the special effects of the Ghostbusters world over real world objects, wearing a proton accelerator and headset while interacting on a stage specially built for this experience.  Michael and Michael discovered this while reading up on the new virtual reality Star Wars experience that The Void is working on with Disney.  If the Star Wars version is as good as the Ghostbusters experience, Star Wars fans are going to be in for a treat!  Michael R shared some links related to the Avatar movie, and Disney’s other immersive experience/rides for people to enjoy the Na’vi world.

Selected links 

TechCrunch Article: Crunch Report | Virtual Reality Star Wars Experience Is Coming to Disney Parks — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/03/crunch-report-virtual-reality-star-wars-experience-is-coming-to-disney-parks/

NY Times Article: Virtual-Reality ‘Star Wars’ Attractions Coming to Disney Malls —  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/03/business/media/virtual-reality-star-wars-attractions-coming-to-disney-malls.html

YouTube Video:  iOS 11 Wingnut AR SURREAL Demo || Apple WWDC 2017 Keynote — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAsxW5YtWrM

YouTube Video:  Behind the Scenes of Pandora – The World of Avatar | Disney’s Animal Kingdom — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URSOqWtLix4

YouTube Video:  [4K] Avatar Land Boat Ride – Na’vi River Journey – Pandora – Animal Kingdom — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FciaHToIQMM

The Void — https://www.thevoid.com

Madam Tusseaud’s Ghostbusters Experience —https://ghostbusters.madametussauds.com

Vimeo Video:  Ghostbusters: Dimension Hyper Reality Experience at Madame Tussauds New York — https://vimeo.com/207167385

TechCrunch Article:  LinkedIn is rolling out a free service to pair users with mentors — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/03/linkedin-is-rolling-out-a-free-tinder-style-service-to-pair-users-with-mentors/

Seveneves wikipedia article — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seveneves

TechCrunch Article:  These tiny modular ‘microbots’ can change shape to capture single cells — https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/04/tiny-modular-microbots-can-change-shape-to-capture-single-cells/

Play

Episode 175 – Killing the iPhone

Augmented reality and self-driving automobiles.  Two great topics that really get Michael and Michael’s engines revving!  Staring off with the Mashable articles, one of which inspired the episode name with it’s similar name, the pair talk about ways for holographic projection can be used for augmented reality without glasses.  The first example is the Hydrogen phone by the high end video camera manufacturer Red, which projects the holographic image up from the phone.  A second example from the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University is an augmented reality projector that fits into a lightbulb socket and projects down from the ceiling onto a desktop, and sensors connected to the projector allow the user to manipulate the user interface, dock user interfaces onto real objects like computers and books, resize them and much more.  The video above shows what they have accomplished — pretty amazing.  The namesake for this episode deals with more of the glasses-driven approach for how the next generation of augmented reality could replace the iPhone, and while this is plausible, the article does point out that the referenced patent indicates a reliance on a computer (read as a phone) that the glasses connect to.

The automotive section of this episode deals with self driving vehicles, such a the Dutch startup Amber — whose business model focuses on mobility as a service, where transportation is ready for you when you need it to be because of the predictive analytic models and the self driving vehicles optimizing traffic patterns to have a vehicle near you when you need it.  Continuing on the machine learning of fleets of self driving vehicles, the pair discuss an NPR article that focuses Alphabet’s Waymo used a fleet of Googlers driving around on their bicycles to create a model to predict how unpredictable bicyclists behave and better avoid accidents.

Things are about to get amazing.

Selected links 

Mashable article:  The world’s first glasses-free holographic phone is coming, and it’s not from Apple —   http://mashable.com/2017/07/06/red-hydrogen-holographic-phone

Red Hydrogen Phone — http://www.red.com/hydrogen

BGR article: This augmented reality projector just needs a lightbulb socket — http://bgr.com/2017/07/12/augmented-reality-projector/

BGR article: This is how Apple might ‘kill’ the iPhone — http://bgr.com/2017/07/27/iphone-ar-glasses-apple/

Venture Beat article: Amber: The Dutch self-driving startup that could beat Uber, Tesla, and Google to mass market — https://venturebeat.com/2017/07/09/amber-the-dutch-self-driving-startup-that-could-beat-uber-tesla-and-google-to-mass-market/

Amber — https://www.ambermobility.com

Mashable article: BMW and other carmakers team up to take on Waze and Google Maps —  http://mashable.com/2017/07/26/here-connected-car-real-time-traffic-service

NPR article: Bikes May Have To Talk To Self-Driving Cars For Safety’s Sake — http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/07/24/537746346/bikes-may-have-to-talk-to-self-driving-cars-for-safetys-sake

Way — https://waymo.com

What are the co-hosts playing these days?

Michael R — Futurama game — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/futurama-worlds-of-tomorrow/id1207472130?mt=8

Michael M — Neko Atsume — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neko_Atsume

Play

Episode 173 – Babel Fish


Computer to computer communications protocols used to start with a high pitched whine & crackle over a telephone line, using a modem – a modulator / demodulator – to establish a handshake.  Computer to computer interactions are nothing new — but AI to AI interfaces are becoming more and more common.  We discussed some of the ramifications in earlier episodes of the podcast — links below for those — and now we turn to how artificial intelligences create optimized methods of communication between themselves.  Like the Twitch example of two Google Home bots talking with one another, the first few articles tell the story of how Facebook and Google AIs created a new way to communicate more effectively by negotiating with one another.

The Google example for the translation services reminded Michael and Michael of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Babel Fish translation concept of a fish that fits in your ear to automatically translate one language to another.  The Bragi Dash in ear headphones are designed to do just this.  Pretty futuristic stuff.

Riffing on what our friend @epredator tweeted, the team discusses the ramifications of knowing what people are looking at in VR in the YouTube Creator Blog.   And the last item deals with gamification to improve cyber defense.  What would you think could benefit from a blue team vs red team gamified process?

Selected links 

The Atlantic article:  An Artificial Intelligence Developed Its Own Non-Human Language — https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/artificial-intelligence-develops-its-own-non-human-language/530436/

Tech Crunch article:  Google’s AI tool seems to have invented its own secret internal language — https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/22/googles-ai-translation-tool-seems-to-have-invented-its-own-secret-internal-language/

The Atlantic article:  What an AI’s Non-Human Language Actually Looks Like — https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/what-an-ais-non-human-language-actually-looks-like/530934/

Twitch: C:>Bots Chat — https://www.twitch.tv/seebotschat

Edelweiss Little Singers of Armenia — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JMHXbxZYf4

Wired article:  Bragi’s Fancy New Earbuds Translate for You in Real Time — https://www.wired.com/2017/05/bragis-fancy-new-earbuds-translate-real-time/

Babel Fish, probably the oddest thing in the galaxy — http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Babel_Fish

Games At Work Episode 51:  Tea.  Bojangles.  Hot. — http://gamesatwork.biz/2013/06/30/episode-51-tea-bojangles-hot/

Games At Work: Episode 159:  Virtually Secure — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/01/22/episode-159-virtually-secure/

Games At Work Episode 163:  Chat Me Maybe — http://gamesatwork.biz/2017/02/27/episode-163-chat-me-maybe/

YouTube Creator blog:  Hot and Cold: Heatmaps in VR — https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2017/06/hot-and-cold-heatmaps-in-vr.html

Mind over Machines blog: Symphony of Big Data — http://mindovermachines.com/blog/a-symphony-of-big-data/

Security Intelligence:  Game Over: Improving Your Cyber Analyst Workflow Through Gamification — https://securityintelligence.com/game-over-improving-your-cyber-analyst-workflow-through-gamification/

What are the co-hosts playing these days?

Michael R:  TechCrunch article:  SEGA’s new SEGA forever collection brings classic games to mobile for free — https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/21/segas-new-sega-forever-collection-brings-classic-games-to-mobile-for-free/

Michael M:  Yoga Studio — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yoga-studio/id567767430?mt=8

Play

Episode 172 – Shining a light on AR

Michael and Michael are back — and take a long careful look at the newest capabilities that Apple is bringing to light in augmented reality with the new iOS 11 operating system.  Michael R has already downloaded the development framework, and has started bringing into mixed reality the digital test objects, to great effect.  The pictures included in this post are from Michael R’s experiments with the framework thus far, and it is quite amazing to see the fidelity of the objects, as well as the recognition by the software of the planes, shadows & angles of placement.  There much to be very excited about here, and once the digital augmented reality experience is not through the screen of an iPhone, but in a more natural way (dare I even bring up the possibility of contact lenses again?) — then, then we are really onto something.  Until that point, this version of augmented reality is an interesting step in the right direction, but the consumption cannot be via holding a phone at arm’s length or wearing a ski goggle-esque contraption that distances the person from the reality they are looking to more deeply engage with.

Robots are not just for vacuuming your floor — they are also quite useful for teaching ballroom dancing, and in determining the skill level of the human student, the artificial intelligence can quickly adapt the lessons to be challenging for whatever level the student is at.  And speaking of  AI, the recent Microsoft acquisition Maluuba has crushed Ms. Pac-Man using a new method called Hybrid Reward Architecture to more effectively manage the very difficult problem of balancing the multiple rewards (and threats) in a game like Ms. Pac-Man to achieve the maximum score.

Staying on the Microsoft theme a moment longer, the team discuss Minecraft as a platform, his where multiple operating systems and devices are now converging on a common Minecraft environment.

Binky has loomed large in the news this past week — what started as a joke has turned into something more.  In this app, you can experience all the joy of social media likes & shares but not have anyone ever see your posts.  Michael M is reminded of Ian Bogost’s Cow Clicker social media game.

Selected links 

Apple ARkit — https://developer.apple.com/arkit/

Apple ARkit WWDC video — https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2017/602/ 

Ballroom dancing robot — https://twitter.com/qz/status/874061192196534272

Ms PacMan — http://time.com/4819067/microsoft-pac-man-maluuba/

Maluuba — http://www.maluuba.com

Hybrid Reward Architecture for Reinforcement Learning — https://arxiv.org/pdf/1706.04208.pdf

Minecraft — http://www.businessinsider.com/minecraft-unites-all-platforms-2017-6

Binky — https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/10/binky/

Cow Clicker — https://cowclicker.com

BikeSphere — http://bgr.com/2017/06/14/bikesphere-michelin-safety/

Play

Episode 171 – Jelly Jelly Bo Belly

Zoolander phone

 

This episode is chock full of tasty treats, of the cellphone and robotic kinds!  Michael & Michael start off with a conversation about the Kickstarter for the Jelly phone — a 4g cell phone that is running Android Nougat (Michael M still believes it should have been Nutella) and can handle two SIM cards for, wait for it, under $100 unlocked.

The pair talk about the new capabilities expected to be included with Apple’s Swift Playgrounds when announced at WWDC next week.  The ability to code in a simple-to-learn language and have that code execute in real 3d life — in a Sphereo BB-8 or a Lego Mindstorms robot would be just great.

Speaking of robotics, the Draper DragonflEye concept of marrying a live dragonfly with a mind-controlling solar powered backpack brings to mind other variations of insect robotics — from the selfie drone Nixie, to a full cast of drones that will follow you around.

Maximizing screen real estate by extending the MacOS desktop to a nearby iPad Pro captures the attention of the pair, and Michael M gives his thoughts about two solutions that he’s been working with over the past week.

Closing things out, Michael M surprises Michael R with a game he’s playing that is not 8-bit.

Selected links 

Jelly phone — https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jellyphone/jelly-the-smallest-4g-smartphone

Nutella — https://www.nutella.com/en/us

Eater article:  America’s First Nutella Cafe Opens With Lines of Chicagoans — https://chicago.eater.com/2017/5/31/15719018/nutella-cafe-chicago-open-lines-michigan-avenue-millennium-park

Motorola’s StarTac phone — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_StarTAC

MacRumors article: Swift Playgrounds Will Soon Be Able to Program and Control Robots, Drones, and Toys — https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/01/swift-playgrounds-robots-drones-instruments/

Pine64 — https://www.pine64.org

Raspberry Pi — https://www.raspberrypi.org

TechCrunch article: Draper’s DragonflEye cyber-bug takes flight — https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/01/drapers-dragonfleye-cyber-bug-takes-flight/

Business Insider: This Incredible Selfie-Taking Wrist Drone Just Won $500,000 — http://www.businessinsider.com/nixie-wearable-drone-wins-intel-contest-2014-11

Nixie — http://flynixie.com

Airdog — https://www.airdog.com

droneguru.net article: 9 Best Drones That Follow You [Crystal Clear Video] Summer 2017 — http://www.droneguru.net/8-best-drones-that-follow-you-follow-drones/

Episode 150 — Cyber Dementors — http://gamesatwork.biz/2016/10/23/episode-150-cyber-dementors/

Robotic cockroaches — http://www.businessinsider.com/cram-robotic-cockroaches-disaster-recovery-2016-2

Daily Mail article:  Student creates cyborg cockroach that he can control with his thoughts…. — http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3112404/Student-controls-cyborg-cockroach-MIND-Video-shows-insect-guided-maze-powered-thoughts.html

Smithsonian article: A Visit to Seoul Brings Our Writer Face-to-Face with the Future of Robots — http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/visit-seoul-writer-future-robots-180963238/

Quarantine, a Greg Egan novel — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarantine_(Greg_Egan_novel)

Air Display 3 by Avatron Software — https://itunes.apple.com/app/id967502646?ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Duet Display — https://www.duetdisplay.com

Game Michael M is playing 

Mini Metro — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mini-metro/id837860959?mt=8

Play

Episode 170 – Holographic Whiteboard Penguins

 

Michael and Michael kick off this episode with holographic dragons demoed by the folks at Microsoft Research.  Beside the amazing ability to project monoscopic holograms within the frame of a normal set of eyeglasses, another really exciting aspect of this innovation is the ability to use the processor to correct for astigmatism or other eyesight issues.

Moving from one collaborative display means to another, Michael & Michael talk about Google’s recently announced Jamboard and Michael R shares his experiences with the Ricoh interactive whiteboards.  Mural is another example of a collaboration solution that allows for multiple people to interact on the same board together, and this spurred a discussion on other ways to accomplish in software what the Google & Ricoh hardware  can do.

Michael & Michael both joined Pinguin to see what they could learn about this new chat system, and naturally, after the article said that the #podcasts room was empty, that was precisely the first place they went.  It wasn’t empty by the time they got there, and Michael M used the opportunity to do some marketing for this podcast.

The CNN Money article about John Oliver’s efforts to encourage his viewers to comment on the FCC proceeding 17-108 Restoring Internet Freedom caught the team’s attention, and highlighted how such requests for public comment can be spammed — FCC McFCCFace anyone?   And how in a strange circular logic, evidence that someone had loaded voter addresses and spammed the public comments with messages in favor of the new FCC regulations could be used to undermine the validity of nearly 3m public comments (at the time of this posting).

Michael and Michael close out this episode by imagining what video games could be created using the plot lines of movies.  While neither Michael is a big horror movie fan, they did come up with some interesting ideas.

Selected links 

Engadget article: Microsoft’s true holographic display fits in your glasses — https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/20/microsoft-holographic-display-in-glasses/

Google’s Jamboard — https://gsuite.google.com/products/jamboard/

Ricoh’s interactive whiteboards — https://www.ricoh-usa.com/en/products/pl/equipment-interactive-whiteboards/_/N-1w

Mural — http://mural.ly

TechCrunch article:  Pinguin is a public chat room for nerd(ier) people — https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/10/pinguin-is-a-public-chat-room-for-nerdier-people

CNN Money article:  John Oliver tackles net neutrality again, encourages viewers to ‘go FCC yourself’ — http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/08/media/john-oliver-net-neutrality/index.html

Go FCC Yourself — www.gofccyourself.com

Slashfilm article: Hack ’n Slash: 20 Horror Movies That Should Be Video Games — http://www.slashfilm.com/horror-movies-that-should-be-video-games/

Play

Episode 169 – Virtual Surgery & Artificial Black Boxes

Michael and Michael take a spin from the physical to the virtual, starting with an article by Scotty Allen, describing how he constructed an iPhone 6s entirely from parts he bought in markets in China.  Moving into the virtual space, the pair discuss the merits and benefits of a syringe with haptic feedback to help surgeons learn the amount of pressure needed to inject a patient, in what appeared to be way too close to reality.  Squeamishness aside, this use case is particularly well suited to the virtual reality training space, as it combines visual and physical feedback, developing the appropriate muscle memory needed to perform the surgery successfully.

Rounding out this episode, Michael and Michael talk about the importance of transparency in artificial intelligence algorithms, particularly for audibility.  As machine learning allows for enhancements to decision making, blockchain recording of the decisions can provide the benefit of how the AI made the decisions it did at the time it made those decisions.  A fascinating potential blend of these technologies.

Hope you enjoy!

selected links 

Strange Parts: How I Made My Own iPhone – in China! — https://strangeparts.com/how-i-made-my-own-iphone-in-china/

New Scientist: Virtual syringe lets surgeons practice piercing skin and muscle — https://www.newscientist.com/article/2127828-virtual-syringe-lets-surgeons-practise-piercing-skin-and-muscle/

MIT Technology Review: The Financial World Wants to Open AI’s Black Boxes — https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604122/the-financial-world-wants-to-open-ais-black-boxes/

Games we’re playing

Bacon Escape — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bacon-escape/id1199364353?mt=8

Shooty Skies — https://shootyskies.com

Play

Episode 168 – Reboot vs Repeat

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.   Michael and Michael discuss the difference between reboots and repeats using movies such as the Matrix and Aliens, as well as in the gaming world such as Leisure Suit Larry and the Nimblebit games.  The review of Thimbeweed Park serves as a tremendous launch point for this conversation.

Rounding out the show, the team talks about the recent innovation from Adidas, shoes made from bioengineered spider silk.  3D printing remains a hot topic with both of them, as evidenced by Michael R’s recent creation, a sausage roll prop used for the Durham Savoyard’s recent Gilbert & Sullivan production of The Grand Duke.

selected links 

Ars Technica article : Thimbleweed Park review: Nostalgic to a fault — https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/04/thimbleweed-park-review-nostalgic-to-a-fault/

Daria creator imagines what the cast looks like 20 years later — https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/04/daria-creator-imagines-what-the-cast-looks-like-20-years-later/

Leisure Suit Larry — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leisure_Suit_Larry

Ultima — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_%28series%29

Nimblebit games — http://nimblebit.com

Nimblebit’s Bit City — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bit-city/id914343148?mt=8

Wired UK article : These lightweight adidas shoes are made from spider silk grown in a lab — https://www.wired.co.uk/article/adidas-futurecraft-biofabric-shoes

Durham Savoyards — http://durhamsavoyards.org

Grand Duke 2014 – 02, Opening Chorus, Sausage-roll song — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCDPIc8Yyvw

Play