Should made-to-order babies become a reality in the near future, one piece of the design puzzle has been solved now Pantone has release their SkinTone system. Indexing 110 skin tones they might have set a standard to work with. Racists could never be more precise in their practice. Forget about the “skin color” label on stockings and find a Pantone color to match.
The Pantone SkinTone is available here at $89. And there’s a really corny Pantone video below.
Video Game-Playing Robot Acts More “Human” than Humans
Computer-controlled players in video games can usually be spotted for their repetitive, illogical or unemotional behavior. Unlike humans, non-player characters (NPCs) don’t get angry, frustrated or scared in stressful game situations, and have trouble planning ahead. In order to address this problem, 2KGames launched the BotPrize, a Turing-style Test aimed at creating more convincing artificial players.
A human audience watched players in battling their way through Unreal Tournament 2004 and rated them on their apparent “humanness”. A team from the University of Texas at Austin tied for the win, creating an NPC so realistic that it scored a humanness rating of 52%. That’s impressive, and even more so taking into account that plain-ole real humans only clocked in at 40%.
The UT team was able to create their more-human-than-human bot through a process called “neuroevolution”. Using existing models of in-game human behavior, the researchers created different NPCs that were weeded out via a Darwinian process. As with mutations in genetic evolution, each new generation of the different NPCs lineages were tweaked slightly with behaviors that could either prove to be adaptive (more human) or maladaptive (less human). After five years of digital evolution, the game bot finally outperformed its human competition.
One Generation in, Dolphins Still Transmit Human Tricks
Dolphins in Port Adelaide, Australia, have been observed performing a remarkable trick: tail-walking, a trait so rare it has only been seen in the wild one other time. More remarkable still, these…
Neither Warfare nor Dumplings Are Innate to Human Nature
In Ngogo, Gombe and elsewhere in Africa, bands of male chimpanzees regularly make organized raids on neighboring troops and batter their enemies to death. These grim, warring chimps have been held up as a compelling argument for the role of violence in humanity’s evolutionary past. The premeditated violence of male chimp society forms the basis of naturalist E.O. Wilson’s argument that warfare, just like social grooming and opposable thumbs, is a trait that humans and chimps have inherited from our common ancestor. War, in his view, is an innate and unavoidable aspect of human nature.
End of Life Care Machine
Designer, artist and engineer Dan Chen has developed the ‘End of Life Care Machine‘, a machine designed to guide and comfort dying patients with a carefully scripted message. Chen, just graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, built the machine as one of a series of functional robots capable of reenacting human social behaviors.
The patient enters the specially designed room and lays on the bed. The doctor asks for permission to put the patient’s arm underneath the caressing mechanism.
“The device is activated, and an LED screen reads “Detecting end of life.” At this point, the doctor exits the room, leaving the patient alone by him or herself. Within moments the LED reads “End of life detected”, the robotic arm begins its caressing action, moving back and forth, stimulating the sense of comfort during the dying process.”
The machine then plays the scripted message: