Tag Archives: Artificial intelligence

Skeptical Watches: Alice Cares [2015]

Ik ben Alice (aka Alice Cares) is a Dutch documentary released in 2015, directed by Sander Burger.  The film loosely chronicles the testing and development of Alice, a 60-centimetre tall robot with advanced AI, currently being programmed by a research group over at Amsterdam’s Free University, designed to provide companionship and assistance to elderly people living alone.

Being a fan of personal AIs like Google Now and Siri, it was interesting seeing onscreen some of what actually goes on in the development of Alice.  However the real charm and content of this doco came from the interactions between Alice and her three elderly test subjects, and the observation of the different relationships that developed as Alice talked and smiled its way into their (and the audience’s) hearts.

Check out the trailer to see why I was so charmed by this diminutive doll-faced robot, and why it gave me the hope perhaps that one day, I might finally have a friend of my own to talk to…


Upcoming: Bot Colony [PC]

Voice recognition technology has arguably come a long way since the early PS2-genre days, of which I have many fond memories of – which is why despite somehow dubious usability and gaming implementation in recent times, I find myself rooting for this upcoming self-titled project, from the developer Bot Colony.

Based on the novel written by the lead designer Eugene Joseph, Bot Colony is a futuristic open world adventure set in 2021. What makes this game so unique and interesting is that the gameplay revolves fully around the use of human speech, voice recognition, and advanced artificial intelligence.

Here players will communicate with the characters using their own words, instead of pre-arranged dialogue. The game promises to do away with canned, pre-scripted responses, and seeks to completely re-define the player’s concept of interaction, by offering intelligent and dynamic English conversations with game characters that will actually understand what you say.

The developer wants the players to make the game their own, to teach the robot characters about human behavior, objects, and the world at large, to expand an ever-evolving Knowledge database.  And players are encouraged to use outside-the-box thinking, using intelligent conversations to complete a variety of objectives.

To be honest what the developer is promising seems overly ambitious, and despite the interesting premise the gameplay and the world itself seems kind of bland at first glance.

However, if there is even a remote chance of the voice recognition or the artificial intelligence engines being as good as promised, then this game is well worth watching out for in my opinion.

For more information check out the main site over at http://www.botcolony.com/.  You can also vote for it on Steam Greenlight over at http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=160542549.

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