Five things on Friday #231

Things of note for the week ending Friday, July 21st, 2017.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 

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So y’know…

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Shall we?

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1. BUILDING DADBOT

I’ve read a few articles now about how some bot designers have tried to emulate dead/dying relatives into a Messenger Bot format but this one, by AI/bot designer James Vlahos is heart-breakingly well-written.

Two paras, lifted – then the link.

“As I have contemplated what it would mean to build a Dadbot (the name is too cute given the circumstances, but it has stuck in my head), I have sketched out a list of pros and cons. The cons are piling up. Creating a Dadbot precisely when my actual dad is dying could be agonizing, especially as he gets even sicker than he is now. Also, as a journalist, I know that I might end up writing an article like, well, this one, and that makes me feel conflicted and guilty. Most of all, I worry that the Dadbot will simply fail in a way that cheapens our relationship and my memories. The bot may be just good enough to remind my family of the man it emulates—but so far off from the real John Vlahos that it gives them the creeps. The road I am contemplating may lead straight to the uncanny valley.”

And then, later –

“In short, I become obsessed. I can imagine the elevator pitch for this movie: Man fixated on his dying father tries to keep him robotically alive. Stories about synthesizing life have been around for millennia, and everyone knows they end badly. Witness the Greek myth of Prometheus, Jewish folkloric tales about golems, Frankenstein, Ex Machina, and The Terminator. The Dadbot, of course, is unlikely to rampage across the smoking, post-­Singularity wastes of planet Earth. But there are subtler dangers than that of a robo-­apocalypse. It is my own sanity that I’m putting at risk. In dark moments, I worry that I’ve invested hundreds of hours creating something that nobody, maybe not even I, will ultimately want.”

I may have cried (twice) reading the whole thing.

It is the best thing I’ve read this week.

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2. ICONS FOR EVERYTHINGS

Writing a presentation and need icons to help illustrate a bunch of points, images, or ideas?

The Noun Project has got you covered.

Achingly useful.

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3. LANCE ARMSTRONG: PODCASTER

This is interesting.

“It has been described as the guilty pleasure of this year’s Tour de France, arguably the race’s greatest villain waxing lyrical about the race he once dominated for so long.

Lance Armstrong is back in cycling, in a way. Still an outcast to the race, instead he has set up a daily podcast recorded from a small office at the end of the garden of his Austin home, and at occasional other venues nearby.

The 45-year-old is as knowledgeable as you’d expect for a veteran of 13 Tours. Topics have ranged widely from criticizing race organizers for ending the Tour’s Queen stage on a treacherous descent to having a hangover as a result of too much rosé wine during his July 4 celebrations.

Securing 300,000 listeners a day, Lance Armstrong’s TDF podcast ‘Stages’ is by many standards, hugely successful.

Is the cycling community – and the world for that matter – ready to forgive and forget?

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4. THE SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR KILLING SPREE

A man named BEARDY NOISE (hi Luke) asked his friends and followers what music they would choose should they finally snap and go on a mass-slaughter of all and sundry.

This is what he got:

Fairly grim but amusing (and actually a pretty good playlist) all the same.

Got an addition? Let Luke know.

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5. AUGMENTED REALITY LAWS 

Yes. This is an actual thing.

Ready for this?

BECAUSE OF THE POPULARITY OF POKÉMON GO, A WISCONSIN COUNTY HAS DECIDED TO REGULATE AR GAME PLAY.

These regulations require that any AR game that is available to play in the country parks of Milwaukee should first apply for $1000 permit which covers things such as garbage collection, bathroom use, and on-site security.

This is CRAZY.

And is, of course, being challenged in court.

One to watch.

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BONUSES: 

BONUSES THIS WEEK ARE A BIT DIFFERENT THIS WEEK AND INSTEAD OF BEING OTHER ARTICLES ARE SIMPLY A BUNCH OF A TWEETS THAT I ACTUALLY LIKED (AS WELL AS, Y’KNOW, ‘LIKED’) – SOME HAVE LINKS, SOME HAVE PICTURES. ALL GOLD.

READY… GO!

ADDITIONAL BONUS BITS – ALL FEATURING YOURS TRULY: 

EVEN MORE BONUS BITS – OK FINE, HERE ARE SOME MORE LINKS TO SOME STUFF:

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And that’s it, I’m out.

Have a stellar weekend, y’all.

 

x

 

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Author: James Whatley

http://whatleydude.com/

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