Category: How I Did Something

@botsburgers – How It Works

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Last weekend I attended Bot Summit where I saw an incredible array of talks (watch them all here!) Every talk is affecting in its own way, but today I want to mention Martin O’Leary‘s talk which called for Epic Botmaking. Martin talked about theatre, and Brecht, and lots of things I’d never learned about before. One of his suggestions was that bots lay out their entire process sometimes, so that there’s no mystery or wondering. While I wouldn’t recommend it for every bot or botmaker, I also thought it sounded like a neat opportunity for tech communication. So here’s how my latest bot, @botsburgers, works. Oh, and the source is online here!

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Quick Guide: How To Set Up A Stream, Pt 1

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Hey! This post is quite popular on The Googles but it’s a little outdated now. Apologies if some of this doesn’t work for you – most of it should do though! I’ll try and update it with a new version soon.

Earlier this year I streamed the talks from the International Conference on Computational Creativity live on Twitch. We had almost 100 unique viewers in total over the course of the conference, extending the conference’s reach to people who couldn’t afford to attend, were from universities without travel budgets, or people who were just curious about what a conference talk about computational creativity might look like. It was a huge success and more events like this should stream their talks (where appropriate – many events avoid video recording for important reasons like the privacy, comfort or freedom of their speakers). I was asked several times for a guide on how to set up a stream like this – and I’ve finally written it. 
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Quicker Bot: @AppreciationBot

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Darius Kazemi, one of the most fun people on the Internet, launched a bot today which tweets pictures and descriptions of pieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love bots like this, and I also really like the idea of bots which riff off one another. For a while now I’ve wanted to write a bot that named colours put out by EveryColorBot, but never thought of an elegant enough trick to doing so. Today I knocked up AppreciationBot in about an hour, which tweets comments about the pieces presented by MuseumBot.

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SketchUp, 3D Warehouse and Unity

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As I wrote earlier this month, I’m now working on a Unity-powered version of ANGELINA. One of the common themes in the silly things I’ve coded up, as well as a lot of other computationally creative systems, is their ability to use information and media from the web in the content they create. We see this in human creativity too, and it’s a good way to add both scope to the project (because there’s a lot more for ANGELINA to use) and creativity to the system (because breadth can lead to more interesting creative decisions). Before I had even fired up Unity, I knew I wanted one thing above all else in this version of ANGELINA – the 3D Warehouse, a huge collection of 3D models made in Google Sketchup. Unfortunately, it’s not trivial to get Sketchup models integrated into Unity, particularly automatically. Here’s a rough guide to my current hacked solution.

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