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

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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

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Episode 166 – Interactive Interaction

Episode 166 – Interactive Interaction

Teachers Breaks the Code


Interesting news this week about two new interactions for people in AR – Voice and Tilts. So our co-hosts Michael R. and Phaedra looking a bit further to see what it may all mean. But first we start off with a look at the teacher who solved Adobe’s Semaphore challenge. We continue looking at AR, VR and voice input and how this may play out as the future for human-computer interaction.

Speaking of computer interaction, we talk some TV with quick discussions on both Black Mirror and Humans. If you haven’t seen either of these shows, stop what you are doing and go – right now – watch some TV! This gets us thinking about Kurzweil’s talk at South by Southwest. Will AI’s have rights? If you upload your brain, is it you? Or is it a new consciousness with separate rights? Think about it for a while…

And while you’re at it, go and drop us a review over at iTunes, we’d love to hear from you!

Show Links:
Math Teacher Cracks Adobe’s Semaphore code: http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/03/13/adobe-semaphore-code-cracked-by-tennessee-high-school-teacher/

Tilt gesture control: https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/17/tilt-gesture-keyboard-could-hold-promise-for-typing-in-vr/
Surgeon Simulator: http://www.surgeonsim.com/

Amazon Alexa on your iPhone: http://fortune.com/2017/03/16/amazon-alexa-iphone/

Black Mirror: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/black-mirror/episode-guide/
Humans: http://www.amc.com/shows/humans

Kurzweil at SXSW: https://www.facebook.com/SXSWFestival/videos/10154414699178994/

What we are playing:
Michael R. – Bit City: http://www.gamezebo.com/2017/03/16/bit-city-review-best-of-both-worlds/
Phaedra – Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/lara-croft-and-the-guardian-of-light-ps3/

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Episode 165 – Virtual Math

Phaedra, Michael and Michael get together to discuss some very interesting articles, kicking things off with how 3D pictures are used to explain mathematical concepts in a new pictorial language called Quon.  The paper explaining the concept dives into quantum concepts, including teleportation, topological algebra and Bloch spheres, quickly reaching the mathematical limits of the trio.

A Fast Company article on how the Knight Foundation and Google are providing jump start grants to journalists to engage with virtual reality connects with the team, and one of the CNN 3D videos prompts Michael R to share a story about how he flew in one of the large tanker planes as a student.

Closing out the show today, Michael, Michael & Phaedra take a look at the Sococo virtual office space, which provides a sense of place to people who use it to make virtual teams feel more in tune with one another — going to specific spots in the virtual office building to meet and collaborate.

selected links 

Harvard Gazette article:  Making math more Lego-like — http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/03/making-math-more-lego-like/

Quon 3D language for quantum information — http://www.pnas.org/content/114/10/2497.full

Arrival (movie) — http://www.arrivalmovie.com

Floo network — https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/the-floo-network

Weapons of Math Destruction — https://weaponsofmathdestructionbook.com

Understanding Variation: The Key to Managing Chaos — https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Variation-Key-Managing-Chaos/dp/0945320531

Diagon Alley — https://www.pottermore.com/explore-the-story/diagon-alley

Alternet article: How Using Big Data to Understand Social Problems Can Create More Inequality — http://www.alternet.org/culture/data-science-inequality

Fast Company article: VR journalists could get $35,000 from Knight Foundation and Google for innovative projects — https://news.fastcompany.com/vr-journalists-could-get-35000-from-knight-foundation-and-google-for-innovative-projects-4032048

CNN VR — http://www.cnn.com/VR

Sococo — http://sococo.com

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Episode 164 – Addictive AR

 

 

 

Michael and Michael start this episode off with an excellent roundup of how technology gets that dopamine drip going with an article from The Guardian that focuses on the newly published book by Adam Alter, Irresistible.  Starting with the psychological and cultural affinity with liking content, and proceeding quickly to the linkages between gambling and games, the article walks the path to augmented reality and virtual reality — what makes an experience repeatable and desirable to come back to again and again.

Turning their attention to augmented reality, Michael and Michael imagine the the future of not only designing 3D spaces with the Microsoft Hololens, but also how the perspective of the user of such technology is afforded the chance to see directly what could not be physically possible.  Not everyone can have a front row seat in the operating (or other) theater, but with AR & VR you can — and this begins to open up whole new worlds of possibility.

Michael M shares his experience from an Uber ride in New York this past week, where the car was outfitted with a Mobileye device that watches for speed limits, distance between the driver’s car and those ahead, as well as lane departure warnings.  This aftermarket option provides visual and audio alerts to the driver, and sparked a conversation on the nature of event data recording in automotive black boxes.

The team rounded out the episode with the Sony Xperia Touch Projector, which turns any surface into an interactive environment, prompting Michael R to break out his Magic Cube virtual laser keyboard.  Only a matter of time before the sharks with lasers appear…

selected links 

The Guardian article:  How Technology Gets Us Hooked — https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/28/how-technology-gets-us-hooked

Irresistible by Adam Alter — http://adamalterauthor.com/irresistible/

Mashable article:  Why I Flooded Instagram With Likes — http://mashable.com/2014/02/14/lovematically-instagram/

Microsoft Devices Blog:  Stryker chooses Microsoft Hololens to bring operating room design into the future with 3D — https://blogs.windows.com/devices/?p=259304?ocid=newsletter_ema_omc_hol_Stryker

Techcrunch article:  Mobileye outfits 4,500 for-hire cars in NYC with collision avoidance tech — https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/17/mobileye-outfits-4500-for-hire-cars-in-nyc-with-collision-avoidance-tech/
Mobileye features YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXpiyLUEOOY

Event data recorder — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Event_data_recorder

A Car’s Black Box — http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/09/how-your-car-is-tracking-you/index.htm

Wired article:  Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium screen is so high-quality it’s better than most people’s TVs  — https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/17/mobileye-outfits-4500-for-hire-cars-in-nyc-with-collision-avoidance-tech/

Magic Cube virtual laser keyboard — http://www.virtual-laser-devices.com/Magic%20Cube_Final.pdf

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Episode 161 – Virtual Audio Reality

We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. — intro from the 1960s US television show, The Outer Limits

We will control the audio. After many episodes discussing virtual reality and augmented reality, Michael and Michael place their focus for this show on the auditory. Not just 3D sound, but positional sound — location based sound. Sound that makes you look.

The binaural sound demo from the BBC starts off the conversation (be sure to have your headphones or earbuds at the ready for this), demonstrating how audio engineers crafted a head that looks like a villager from Minecraft to contain two microphones embedded in replica ears so as to capture sound in audio stereoscopicy, to combine with visual input from virtual or augmented reality to draw the person really into the experience.

Even on it’s own, the virtual barbershop example, which is completely devoid of video gives a compelling and immersive experience of being in a barbershop for a hair cut, down to the snip-snip of the scissors above your ears.

A little pre-show research turned up several auditory games, the first discovered via a link to the AppleVis podcast team’s review of Ear Monsters. Vanished and Blindside are a couple other examples of auditory games.

This fascinating conversation led, naturally, to music, and groups such as Yes, The Who, Art of Noise and more came into auditory focus. Give us a listen — check out the links — make your ears happy. Ours sure are!

Show Links
Binaural Sound demo from BBC — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51za5u3LtEc&feature=youtu.be
Virtual Barber Shop — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDTlvagjJA

AppleVis review of Ear Monsters — http://www.applevis.com/apps/ios/games/ear-monsters-3d-audio-game
Ear Games (makers of Ear Monsters) — http://www.eargames.com/
Vanished audio only game — https://www.engadget.com/2013/09/29/audio-only-horror-game-vanished-out-now-on-ios/

Blindside audio game — http://blindsidegame.com/

Leave It by Yes — https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/90125-deluxe-edition/id1082025269 Apple, or https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=Bdrje6xvsqlxg53zycriukmkcwm&tid=song-Twhiy3dtg2ka23jfcujfteke24e&hl=en Google
Leave it by Yes music video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-hJFoSgXfM
Yes’ 90125 album — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/90125
Tevor Horn — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Horn

SCTV’s 3-D House of Beef — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEnCKEfSgUM

Baba O’Reilly by The Who — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c1hYO_BYHY

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Episode 160 – 3D OBD


src = obdii.com

Car? Whar? Over thar!

Michael & Michael get together to talk about one of the original examples of augmented reality, the Head Up Display (HUD) for cars, and explore the example of the Hudway Glass, an ingeniously simple Kickstarter product that allows a user to place their phone on the dash and have the phone’s display reflected back to the driver. Michael R remembers an app with this kind of capability from way back when called V-Cockpit.

Keeping with the pretty clever car theme, the pair then move to the innovation that Ford is bringing to the market for Ford and Lincoln cars: an OBD II module that plugs into your Ford car, and because of the software in your car and this additional module, you can remote start your car, download your car’s performance data, even use the 4G LTE modem as a wireless hotspot to connect your WiFi devices in the car. Michael R noted that while the OBD II port has been a standard part of every car since 1996, each manufacturer has their own proprietary software so a universal version to provide all the connected car capabilities is not highly likely. Even so, Michael R has the OBDLink MX tool for translating error codes and warning lights, along with engine diagnostics. Enabling connected car data sharing opens up more possibilities, and the insurance marketplace is one of them, as evidenced by Progressive Insurance’s Snapshot offering.

Wrapping up this short show, Michael and Michael agree that 3D TV is not the wave of the future anymore, and the article points toward the idea of VR and TV merging at some time. While certainly possible, we’ve seen other examples of holographic TV, and from Neal Stephenson’s novels, concepts of immersive storytelling where people become the actors themselves.

selected links
Hudway Glass — https://hudwayglass.com

V-Cockpit GPS app — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/v-cockpit-gps/id303482803?mt=8

Haptic Socks – https://tampub.uta.fi/handle/10024/97672

TechCrunch article: Ford’s new SmartLink OBD accessory adds connected features to other cars — https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/26/fords-new-smartlink-odb-accessory-adds-connected-features-to-older-cars/

OBDLink MX — https://www.amazon.com/ScanTool-OBDLink-MX-Wi-Fi-Diagnostic/dp/B00OCYXTYY/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1485538594&sr=8-22&keywords=obd+ii+wifi

Progressive Insurance Snapshot — https://www.progressive.com/auto/snapshot/

Postscapes roundup of connected car enablement devices — http://www.postscapes.com/connected-car-devices/

TechCrunch article: 3D TVs are Dead — https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/25/3d-tvs-are-dead/

Neal Stephenson’s Cyberpunk novel “the Diamond Age” on the concept of “ractors” – people who play roles in a virtual reality experience — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diamond_Age

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Episode 159 – Virtually Secure

Michael R and Michael M, go deep on virtual assistants and the security storm around WhatsApp in the news recently. We also look at how an old virtual world shopping experience may be coming to life in virtual reality.

The duo start with the Facebook/Oculus tour of the White House and think about whether movies and television shows have the layout and rooms of the building right.  Michael and Michael quickly then turn to Amazon’s focus on virtual reality shopping experiences stemming from articles from TechCrunch and Variety.  Michael R shares his experiences in developing just this kind of experience for Sears 10 years ago.

Then things get even more interesting with holographic personifications of artificial intelligences — where the Gatebox anime character looms large — or rather hovers in a coffee machine style enclosure, and interacts with the user via voice and text chat.   While speech commands are picking up steam, it is still has a social hurdle to climb.  It is embarrassing or just feels weird to talk to inanimate objects, even though the author of the Digital Trends article makes the valid connection that talking to devices is like talking to a pet, and pets do sometimes listen…

The show wraps up with an interesting discussion on the security news related to WhatsApp.  We hope you enjoy!

Show Links:
Virtual White House – http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2017/01/13/obamas-lead-white-house-tour-virtually-help-oculus/96532192/
The West Wing http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0200276/

Amazon possibly working on VR Shopping Experience https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/19/amazon-job-posting-suggests-plans-to-bring-shopping-experiences-into-vr/
Google Daydream View https://store.google.com/product/daydream_view
Oculus Rift https://www.oculus.com
Samsung Gear VR http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-vr/
Bridge AR/VR headset https://bridge.occipital.com
Sears VR Shopping Experience – now 10 years old https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABxTr8sL3U&feature=youtu.be

Variety article — Amazon VR Shopping app http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/amazon-vr-shopping-app-1201962695/

AI Assistants are like Pets http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/talk-to-ai-assistants-like-your-pets/
Gatebox Home AR Powered Holographic Robot http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/12/the-anime-girlfriend-experience-gateboxs-ai-powered-holographic-home-robot/
Gatebox story http://gatebox.ai/story/
Gatebox https://gateboxlab.stores.jp/items/57ea607100d331404d002d77

Twitch See Bots Chat https://www.twitch.tv/seebotschat

Security Researchers call for Guardian to retract false WhatsApp backdoor story https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/20/security-researchers-call-for-guardian-to-retract-false-whatsapp-backdoor-story/?ncid=rss
SecurityNow! Transcript Episode 595 -What’s up with WhatsApp? https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-595.txt

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Episode 158 – 2017 Kickoff

We kick off 2017 with a short show.  Michael M. and Phaedra discuss an augmented reality app launched in conjunction with the recently released movie “Hidden Figures”, review Smart Canes and have a lively discussion about the challenges surrounding video capture and the importance of thorough testing from the Kotaku article — a good reminder for everyone involved in technology development.

The augmented reality app (App StoreGoogle Play) has the user go to specific geographic locations, such as on the University of North Carolina campus to unlock content related to the stories and accomplishments of STEM leaders.  Michael gave this a try, and the picture above shows the statue of Katherine Johnson superimposed on the phone screen in front of the Bell Tower at UNC.

Show Links:
Hidden Figures – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/
AR and Hidden Figures – http://wraltechwire.com/-hidden-figures-ibm-augmented-reality-project-links-in-3-triangle-universities-/16402395/
Smart Canes and Wheelchairs – https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/05/smart-canes-and-wheelchairs-among-tech-empowering-the-disabled-at-ces/
Racist Video Game – http://www.kotaku.co.uk/2017/01/12/how-we-accidentally-made-a-racist-videogame

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Episode 155 – Holiday Potluck


Gearing up for the festive season, Michael and Michael serve up a veritable smorgasbord of holiday potluck delights.

Starting with well, um, leftovers from last week, Fitbit has indeed acquired the technology, software assets and intellectual property of Pebble and many of the people from Pebble will be joining Fitbit to continue their work on wearable technology. This brings up an interesting point on the nature of cloud services and the integration with physical devices — that one without the other does not work, as products and services are becoming more and more intertwined.

Moving on to appetizers, Cortana now has more capabilities in Windows 10 that allow for someone to issue a voice command to shut down the system — not just the system owner — and Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2017, a fresh vibrant green called Greenery (15-0343 TCX), expressing hope and optimism to rejuvenate, revitalize and unite.

Stopping at the main dish area, where we find all the news that’s fit to virtually experience — Michael and Michael explore how virtual reality can help the ‘reader’ become more immersed in a news story, by virtually being there and interacting. BMW is using augmented reality with their Visor for BMW Mottorad concept vehicle. And finally, how the Occipital Bridge has been just announced with the blended / mixed reality experience allowing for an iPhone 6, 6s or 7 to be coupled with a camera and Occipital’s software to provide a full virtual reality experience that you have to see to believe. And you can get one now, if you act fast!

Rounding out with dessert, Michael R shares the 3D printing test he’s done of a dragon’s head door knocker. This is something amazing — can’t wait to see the full size print!

selected links

MacRumors article: Fitbit acquisition of Pebble — http://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/08/pebble-fitbit-buyout-customer-refunds/

BGR article: New voice commands for Cortana — http://bgr.com/2016/12/08/cortana-shut-down-microsoft-windows-10/

iEEE article — VR immersion for news stories — http://theinstitute.ieee.org/technology-topics/consumer-electronics/virtual-reality-can-immerse-people-in-news-stories-and-prepare-them-for-natural-disasters

Switchpoint 2016 conference in Saxapahaw, NC — https://event.switchpointideas.com/2016

Games at Work e134 with discussion on Switchpoint — http://gamesatwork.biz/2016/03/20/episode-134-swords-and-virtual-realities/

New York Times Virtual Reality viewer — http://www.nytimes.com/marketing/nytvr/index.html

Mashable article: BMW Mottorad Concept motorcycle with augmented reality Visor — http://mashable.com/2016/10/12/bmw-motorrad/#aXY19b9M_iqz

Occipital Bridge mixed reality viewer — https://bridge.occipital.com

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