It’s all about to change (again..)

So technology is about to make another leap and will be knocking on your front door.

Today at the E3 gamers conference, Microsoft not only presented gaming where the player IS the console but also announced its alliances with both Facebook and Twitter so they are now integrated with Xbox Live, (if that means nothing to you, that is OK, but there could be a Teen in your house who will be VERY excited about these integrated social networking opportunities). And if that wasn’t enough they also revealed an artificial intelligence character called Milo. It was a fairly mind expanding press conference.

Steven Spielberg took the stage during the show to endorse and show his own excitement for consoleless gaming, He stated that 60% of American homes do not yet have gaming platforms and it was felt that if you removed the console, one of the main obstacles and challenges for those not brought up on gaming, then these types of platform based entertainment systems would continue to grow . The demonstration movies that were shown included lots images of ‘mom and daughter’ in action, playing driving games and soccer, using their arms and bodies, not a console, to control the action.

If these guys are right and more households embrace entertainment platforms such as Xbox what might this mean? Will this result in families spending more entertainment time together as the demo film implied or impact family dynamics in a different way? Well it appears that time will tell.

Project Natale (as this technology without the need for a console, is named) was big news, and some of the more skeptical journalists were quick to question if what was being shown was really possible. The most incredulous aspect was the Artificial Intelligence module. Lionhead Studios (now owned by Microsoft) has taken Microsoft’s concept and software and created a Tween or possibly very early Teen character called ‘Milo’.

The concept being that when you approach the screen/camera set up, if ‘Milo’ has been given a little prior information about you, he will then be able to recognize you, through both audio and visual recognition. When Milo (the camera/microphone combo) detects you, he will stop whatever he is doing in ‘the scenario’ and come to the foreground to greet you.

As if that was not enough, they have given this artificial intelligence character the ability to recognize emotions too. In the scenario that was shown Milo was by a lake and he invited the real person, Clare, to also come forward and look into the lake. As she moves forward, the view on the screen becomes the lake, just as if you were looking down into it. There was even a reflection of Claire with computer generated fish swimming through it!! Milo asks Claire to actually put her hands into the lake so she reaches out toward the screen, and as she does she begins to create ripples in the image and displaces the computer generated fish!!!

Milo then asks for help with his homework, Claire obliges and helps him with a drawing. She draws something in the real world on a sheet of paper and holds it up to the camera as if passing it to Milo. As this happens a sheet of paper appears in the character’s hand on screen, just as if he had taken it from her. Given Milo is also programmed to recognize color and shape, he was able to comment on the drawing and was very ‘pleased’ with his Orange Fish.

Milo may be a computer generated Tween but he has basic abilities to be your artificially intelligent companion. You may no longer need to get that puppy to practice on before your first child and your child may no longer need imaginary friends… and if this person is programmed to ‘listen’, detect emotions in a person and respond appropriately, what next? An AI therapist in your home???? You couldn’t possibly have an AI coach ; )

Yes, our world is about to change and it could be entering your living room much sooner that you would have ever believed, however, what you choose to do with it is still in your control.

Have a fabulous techonology filled or free week.

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6 Responses to “It’s all about to change (again..)”

  1. 1 E June 28, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    that is F*king Scary

  2. 2 Arnett Banks July 7, 2009 at 8:11 am

    This is so true think about it what if we didn’t have to search Google but rather said find this info or search that info even do a cross reference on this or that then the AI assistant did it. Think about it we have been in search for AI as being a Physical human form thing but rather this project opens it up to much more imagine a true virtual assistant Milo grown up. One who would get data for you basically do our biding create blogs by voice pay bills without worry or even home school us to relevant data no more buying dated text books but rather think of It as a companion not in a negative way but in a informative perspective way of thinking. The power of the web in it’s fullness within a human form much easier to relate to less evasive to interact with.
    Microsoft has been on a mission to integrate all of its services from Xbox, Zune, and PC to entertainment now even cellular. What if Milo was not only on your TV but also traveled with you through your cell phone or car smart system or laptop you could ideally take him almost everywhere with you imagine the possibilities please any one that reads this please respond to me via email at

  3. 3 George Orwell July 9, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Anyone reading this should also read the book 1984 and then be afraid. Be very afraid.

  4. 4 D Clymer August 4, 2009 at 10:31 am

    you know this could be the factor that opens up the whole beginning of an artificial intelligence generation…. people have until now only seen things like this is movies and books. it’s soon to be a reality…?

  5. 5 below me August 6, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    it still needs a consol to function. And lionsgate didnt make the AI boy, lionshead made it.

    just wanted to clear those two things up so people didnt get confused by fictional information.

  6. 6 william harper August 13, 2009 at 7:34 am

    How energy intensive would this type of technology be?

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