Archives for May 2018

May 17, 2018 - Comments Off on Voice Interfaces Meetup – Berlin

Voice Interfaces Meetup – Berlin

It’s Wednesday, a sunny evening in Berlin, where better to spend a couple of hours than in a basement full of developers to hear about what’s happening in the world of voice interfaces?

The venue, Factory Berlin, I get the vibe it’s a bit of a Second Home kind of space but with a tech focus. It’s a nice space that appaz holds 2-3 talks every day, mostly coming from the folks based in there. NEAT. This one was free and open to anyone and everyone which I rate. And you could help yourself to beer and a sandwich, SCORE.

First up, @MarkBate from Amazon Alexa, he’s a solutions architect there in the games area. I don’t know if I’m the only one but I hadn’t really been thinking about the gamer potential of Alexa. I’d been more into the making life easier, doing stuff for me approach, but as he said himself they see that “voice is the new controller.” There’s already a bunch of games to play, from Headsup and Jeopardy to a world of interactive adventures. Right now, it’s in the early stages, taking reference from the text adventure games of yesteryear but you can see there’s a lot of fun that could be had. Especially if you’re the first brand to really invest in doing something cool.

There’s also these buttons they’ve made for multiplayer gaming, but they seemed a little gimmic-y from my side. But maybe I’m jumping the gun a little, if we buy accessories for our Playstation why not our Alexa?

One thing I did think was pretty cool, and a bit of a cheat was you can also get game assistants via Alexa. Yes, there’s tools from games like Call of Duty where you can get gaming advice that will help you progress onto the next level. If only this was around when I was 12 playing Tomb Raider.

In terms of making money off it, they haven’t really fleshed it out yet. Especially as people really don’t feel comfortable with paying via their Alexa just yet. (I don’t blame them) But for those who make really popular skills for the AIexa they do have a reward back setup.

Next up was Alexey Vidanov, he’d come to chat Storyline. A place to create skills for your Voice Interface without being a coder. Now a lot of this was way over my head but it sounds pretty damn cool to me.

There’s people from 8 – 70 years old creating stuff on this platform, so if you’ve got a voice assistant and you want to muck about it’s definitely doable.

And… it’s free.

https://medium.com/storyline-blog  (read more about it here)

Last up was Valentin Fage, project manager at a company called @Snips. Now this intrigued me, they’re marketing themselves as the private alternative to Google Home and Alexa.

He opened on smartphones though, on how our devices are always asking us to do stuff, with notifications etc. Going on to say that voice should make this a more natural process, less forced upon interactions. Nice, right?

Then he got into the privacy situation, which is so in right now. Especially with all this GDPR stuff. I keep thinking I’m popular but it’s just my gazillion newsletters begging me to keep receiving them.

So, Alexa, and the like all operate through the cloud. Which we like to think is secure but as we’ve seen in the news isn’t always perfect. It’s hackable. When there’s internet connection and the flow of information has to go back and forth there’s always a risk.

And now there’s Snips. Which he says is the private way to have your voice assistant. He compared it a little to the way when Telegram came along suddenly the predecessors like Whatsapp were happy to offer encryption. So again, I may explain this badly as a non-developer, but from what I gather their idea is load up the device with the AI built in. This way you can have all the knowledge without the internet. Offline AI.

So, in their mind you make the coffee machine the master of all things coffee, and the vacuum the master of vacuuming etc. Makes sense, but of course you can imagine some limitations of the knowledge being pre-built in. It’s all open source and free so worth checking out if it’s your thing.

Other than that, there was some heated Q+A from one developer to the next, which was quite entertaining and then I headed home. SWEET.

Published by: Holly in Events

May 16, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xviii

feeling rubbish about your creative output? can't be as bad as that abysmal DC ad written for millennials by old white men, right? refresh your memory and not your palate with how NOT to live your life here

 

HEAR

Definitely not the Arctic Monkeys’ new album. That’s harsh, I haven’t listened to it, I’m making a snap judgement because I’m a bitter millennial and don’t think life is ever going to get any better than it did in Any Suburban Park in Summer 09, or perhaps cranked off our collective nut on a sofa in second year. And if anyone even begins to start uttering the sound “Child-” you know EXACTLY what’s coming music-wise (and good on you, because it’s a tune to end many tunes and a video that’s even better, we heart you Hiro our hero). So in that case, give your ear-hairs a groom with the Iranian-Dutch beats of Sevdaliza. If you’re liking her new release Humana then make sure you hark back to her 2017 album Ison. And if you need a quick dose of whatever it is that gets you through the day then your toenails will crumble during the very first bars of this RIPPER by John Tejada, and then you can watch the master at werk during his live set at the LA Mixmag Lab. It’ll keep your week happy, trus meh.

TOUCH

Touch an actual object and not just a glaring screen that warns of our slow decline into losing use of our fingertips' nerve endings because we haven’t needed to be tactile in years. OK maybe ahead of myself there but issuez gotta be raised, right? South London Gallery is hosting a LGBTQIA book fair which will no doubt be a trove of independently published queer fiction, political writing and critical insights, and actual printed matter to have and to HOLD. Workshops and talks to go with em too, so head down on the 25th and 26th May, at least just to appreciate the title with its echoes of Zoe Leonard’s beautiful 1992 artwork for David Wojnarowicz.

 

SEE

Curzon Cinemas are doing a Nick Cave film series because, well why the shit not, he touches people in a way a crummy indie arthouse film cannot. They kick it off on the 22nd May with the 1987 Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, and it only gets more crooning from there. Grab tix before he grabs u.

SMELL

That fresh layer of paint, yuh. The Royal Academy re-opens on the 19th May (totally fine if you didn’t even realise it was shut) to celebrate its 250th birthday the only way a gallery knows how: with a fuckload of art stuffs. So head down 19th/20th for some drop-in printmaking workshops, spoken word performances and communal flag-flying. Yes. And to keep your bellies full as well as your left brains, there’ll be street food and cocktail bars all weekend, like The Ginistry and Mother Clucker. Peckham-based creative collective BORN N BREAD will be throwing an after party (a demure 10pm finish ofc) with DJs, live performances and immersive installations (obviously).

 

TASTE

I say Danish, you say… hygge? The crusty yogs in Christiania? Organic open rye sandwiches? Blatant and unapologetic clichés? Mais oui. Feed your baitness at modern Danish restaurant Snaps + Rye with some finely flavoured arctic char, pickled fennel, trout paté and, OMG, buttermilk panna cotta. PS GUESS WHAT it’s in West London. Golborne Road, u hav my back and my backing.

And if it’s somehow possible to drink rosé unironically, here’s the place to do it: their 2015 French bottle is a smooth treat. Oooh, I sounded borderline connoisseur there.

I know you don’t need telling I’m not.

@larabaxter

May 10, 2018 - Comments Off on Be fearless

Be fearless

How do you stand out when you're after a job in advertising? Well, Jade Delaney took standing out to a very literal level.

After the mega idea from Mccann NYC in 2017, Jade decided to recreate the stunt outside Mccann Bristol in the hope of securing a job.

On Tuesday she took the bull by the horns and dressed up as the pint-sized wonder before dropping the MD a note of her plans.

Images from @McCann_Bristol

Images from @McCann_Bristol

And you'll be pleased to know... it worked! She picked up a month's paid placement starting next week.

We've all been there, and know the first opportunity is always the hardest to get – especially when you're competing against hundreds/thousands of others for the same role.

So you have to think different.

We tell people to get out there and pound the streets, knock on doors and never give up. But sometimes standing tall outside the right door for hours is just as good.

Be fearless and chase your dreams.

Images from @McCann_Bristol