1961353717
News

Is this Twitter bot the next Bob Ross?

Bob Ross is a man that needs no introduction, but I’ll write one anyway. Bob was a television host from long ago that taught the world how to paint. His signature afro, calming voice, and beautifully hand-painted vistas made him a household name in the 1980s and 1990s, until he lost his battle with lymphoma in 1995. Though Bob has remained a legend, still. And now there’s a Twitter bot paying homage to Bob’s life’s work. Happy Little Painting 594282521-9 pic.twitter.com/2UZt2UNJQ3 — Bot Ross (@JoyOfBotRoss) January 26, 2017 Created by Brent Werness, the Twitter bot generates an endless cascade of new…

AI featured image/nightmare fuel
Feature

How AI is shaping the future of interactive games

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. In the 2013 film Her, protagonist Theodore plays a videogame where he is surprised by a wild, swearing artificially intelligent cartoon character. The foul-mouthed little alien launches into a conversation with Theodore, remaining stubbornly unhelpful. Realizing it must be a test, Theodore curses back in a verbal brawl that ends with the alien showing him the way forward. Her is science fiction, but that human-like interactive game featured in the movie may be closer to becoming real. Created by game designer David OReilly, the Alien Child game offers a…

pcscreen007
News

The perfect videogame for people into stargazing

I like to dream about space—the flowering alien plant life light years away from Earth, the planets circling a big burning star rivaling our sun. It’s water on Mars and planets made up of swirling gas that I think about, too. I’ll conjure up in my mind the planets lurking just beyond our solar system’s reach, though some day I won’t have to: in January, planetary scientists Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown discovered evidence of what they believe is a Neptune-sized planet that orbits our sun every 15,000 years: Planet X. Unlike me, Batygin and Brown are actually searching for new planets—perhaps to make…

komrad
News

I fell in love with a Soviet robot and all I got was hacked

You get a message from an unknown number that doesn’t say much more than “hello,” and after a brief response, those dreaded words: “your device has been compromised.” You splutter and demand answers. The person on the other line is unhelpful; weaves some grand tale of identity theft and infinitely valuable lost codes lingering in hyperspace—then, without further ado, he connects you to another system. The music becomes more ominous; the faux-iPhone messenger turns into a green retro display, and the mysterious and threatening K.O.M.R.A.D. greets you. But you’d be kinda shaken up too if you’d been left alone to…

Event[0]
News

Get ready to build a relationship with an emotional AI this September

Last time we heard about Event[0] was back in February 2015 with a 20-minute playable demo. That was a while ago, so it’s understandable that we now have a new trailer and a confirmed September 2016 release date (plus, it’s being backed by Indie Fund now). Léonard Carpentier, the producer of Event[0] said that the team has used that old demo to help flesh out the responses from Kaizen, the AI operator on the game’s spacecraft, so the experience can be as convincing as possible.    To recap, in Event[0], you play the sole crew member of an AI-operated spacecraft named Nautilus. Kaizen…

loading-hyperion3-full
Feature

StarCraft II: Battlefield of Ethics

Pale, crumbled skin and brightly glowing blue eyes. A weak but upright figure, covered in heavy, hovering armor and a blade of pure psi­-energy on each arm. The Protoss of the StarCraft universe are masters in complementing their seemingly weak physiology with highly advanced technology to produce an impressive appearance. It is their leader, Artanis, who sets out to fight in a conflict of good and evil in the newest title of the StarCraft series: Legacy of the Void (2015). At least, that’s what the general perception of the game’s story seemed to be after its release last year. It’s…

The-Last-Guardian-91
News

Don’t worry: The Last Guardian is still coming out in 2016

When we last saw the Fumito Ueda-directed The Last Guardian, it was E3 of last year. The sun was shining, as it often is in Los Angeles, and the tweet-buzz was chirping. The long-anticipated follow-up to Ico (2001) and Shadow of the Colossus (2005) wasn’t dead after all. Prior to the surprise trailer, all that we had heard about the game was from reassuring rumor-mongering whispers, hushed reassurances from Sony that the game was not dead and gone. Now, in a cover story with Edge magazine, new details have emerged about the title, including a firmer 2016 release window (though still no…

giorgione-1
News

How computers find naked people

We are all just collections of limbs and appendages, naked before the Internet. Some of us—or some of our devices—just may not know this yet. Curiously, it’s our devices that lag that lag behind in this regard. The Internet, as was correctly noted in Avenue Q, may be for porn, but identifying nudity is not technology’s forte. As such, content moderation is still a tedious human labor, and as Adrian Chen documented in his excellent 2014 Wired feature, it’s a soul-crushing search for dick pics—among other things. So, here we are. It’s 2016, and as Clarifai “data scientist and NSFW enthusiast” Ryan…

ap_538256374576-e1449539963114
News

Smart devices still struggle to cope with mental health crises

Content warning: This article discusses suicide and depression. /// Most days can be good days, even when you’re diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Or at least they can be made to look as such. You learn to put on a good face, to make it through the day. All of this means that when you spiral—and you will inevitably spiral—it’s harder to reach out for help. So much of your effort is devoted to convincing people that you’re okay, to putting on a good face, that it’s hard to say things are going wrong. So, when you spiral, you are…