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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Episode 146 – Archive Edition

The Michael’s record a brand new episode after the last attempt had major sound and recording issues (and no, Michael R. didn’t forget to hit record). We have fun going back over a few stories that are a week or so old, but are still more relevant than not. We talk about autonomous cars and traffic jams, hash jackers, Apple’s cleaning of the app store, BB-8 Bands, and cool trips Drone courses.

Show Links:
Autonomous cars completely eliminate traffic jams
Hashtags are worthless
Apple Cleans House!
Sphero’s BB-8 Band
Real-Life Tron course for you Drone
Obligatory iOS10 reference

Games we are playing:
Groove Coaster
Dungeon Boss
Infinity Gene

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Episode 131 – Catching up on things!

IMG_0049
Michael and Michael are back to kick off 2016 a bit later than planned, but we have an exciting show. Michael R. get’s us all up to speed on the things he saw at CES this year, we talk about a hotel in Amsterdam that let’s you play games, Microsoft releases a version of Minecraft focused on K-12 education, and net neutrality is back in the news. So take a listen and let us know what you think on this episode of GamesAtWork.biz

Show Links:
Michael’s CES trip – Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3
Ford teams with Amazon
Parrot’s New Drone
Withings Thermometer
Chevy Bolt
Pico Brew
Gaming Hotel
Minecraft for Education
1-800 Data

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Episode 119 – Techlit


The Michaels look at the overlap between some of our favorite sci-fi technologies, and how many of them already exist today. Michael M. gives us the details of his recent gaming trip to Colonial Williamsburg. We also discover we have gone back to playing the same games… What game are you playing?

Show links:
Japanese SciFi Glasses
Almost Human
Bears and Drones
Daniel Suarez Books kill decision, etc.
Yogi Bear
Star trek communicator cell phone
Replicator
Humans
IT Crowd
William Hurt
Altered States
Roomba
Light Sabers
Hoverboard – Lexus
War Games
Kit
Johnny Cab
Fantastic Voyage
Carrot Weather
History Games

Games we are playing
Quest Keeper
Nimble Quest

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Episode 78 – The Show is Already in Progress

We join the show already in progress as Michael M has finally read Kill Decision and convinces Sandy that she should go read it immediately! This week’s show becomes a bit of a review show including books, movies and games. What is your favorite? What do you think gaming will be called in 10-15 years? Will it still be gaming, will it be work, will it be something else? In the age of free culture, open source, and makers, how do we ensure that we continue to meet the basic needs of the individual to allow for the value creation of open culture?

We then flip over to a discussion of Flappy Bird and how it is the ultimate realization of the one more move game. We also discuss what games are we playing now. Threes, Disco Zoo (continues to feed Michael M’s 8-bit addiction), Real Racing 3, Tiny Tycoons, PvZ, PvZ2, etc. At what point do the games no longer give you enough dopamine to keep playing? We look back fondly at a few games that have slowly fallen off our rotation. We decide to do a bit of a game walk thru of Tiny Tycoon so you all can decide how much fun it is – NOT!!

Show Links:
Daniel Suarez’s Site
Kill Decision – By Daniel Suarez
Ant behavior and pheromones
Influx – By Daniel Suarez
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
The Lego Movie
Dan Pink’s = What motivates you
If you build it…Design Thinking
Flappy Bird – Flap
Buffalo Wings
Threes
Disco Zoo
Real Racing 3
Tiny Tycoon
Simpsons Tapped Out
1Password
Zork Adventures on iPad
Plants verses Zombies
The Roaming Gnome
Clumsy Ninja

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Episode 72 – Crowd vs Crowd

Sports Crowds
Phaedra, Sandy, Michael and Michael are all on deck for this podcast to discuss location based games, review Michael R’s experiences from CES, brainstorm gamifying sports, and much much more. Tune in for some serious discussion on serious games.

Location, Location, Location
Michael M kicks things off to follow on from last week’s blog post on The Tap Labs’ game Tiny Tycoons. Things get really location specific as Sandy suggests that there should be an emerging new game along the lines of SnapChat called SnapTrack, where location information is shared with friends, but only for a limited time. Given that the last entity to have that name was sold for (wait for it) one billion dollars, there could quite well be something to it!

CES
Michael R gives a terrific flyover from his experience at the Consumer Electronics Show, summing things up by saying “the Internet of Things is real. Software and integration is real, and 3D printing is now entering mainstream.” A shoutout to Ian “epredator” Hughes for his early thinking in this area. Exciting developments in robotics, contact lenses (spiders are next, I’m sure) and augmented/interactive television give the team plenty to explore. Michael R had a chance to meet with the SeeSpace team to discuss the InAiR innovation while he was in Las Vegas, and that interview is here:

And for some CES robotics fun —

Gamifying Sports
Phaedra was eager to think about the gamification of sports during this championship season and to kick around other ways of engaging sports fans beyond Fantasy Football. The team discusses players predicting plays (and during the show editing, came across an NFL game exactly in this vein), sports trivia and user interface means of overlaying information on top of the existing game in action via the InAir concept discussed in the CES section. An idea about engaging individuals to play the sport while the sport is played live, using the same players, the same data and analytics is kicked around, and the comparison of player vs player, team vs team and crowd vs crowd is served up.

Selected show links:

Tiny Tycoons — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-tycoons/id558547777?mt=8&ls=1
Rescue Rush (location-based streets game) — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rescue-rush/id580844711?mt=8
SnapTrack — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SnapTrack
WSJ Online “The ‘Gamification’ of the Office Approaches — http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303819704579316721461148950
3D Printing at CES 2014 — http://www.ibtimes.com/3d-printing-ces-2014-da-vinci-3d-printer-makerbot-3d-systems-highlight-versatility-cheaper-pricing
Google Unveils Smart Contact Lens — http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/16/google-shows-off-smart-contact-lens-that-lets-diabetics-measure-their-glucose-levels/
InAiR — http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2128859975/inair-the-worlds-1st-augmented-television?ref=search
SeeSpace — http://seespace.co
NFL Call the Play — http://www.nfl.com/live/call-the-play
Buzztime Entertainment — http://www.buzztime.com/
Twine — http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/supermechanical/twine-listen-to-your-world-talk-to-the-internet
Raspberry Pi — http://www.raspberrypi.org

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