Inside the mind-reading dream factory that is Chaotic Moon

Ida Jensen


For two weeks every March, Austin, TX, transforms into the media playground known as SXSW. Everyone from brands like McDonalds and Budweiser, to indie app developers descend on the city to share ideas big and small, serious and irreverent. Tucked away above a restaurant just off of 5th street, however, is a place where there dreaming never stops. That place is the HQ of Chaotic Moon — a digital idea factory that seems to exist for one simple reason: “What can we try next?” Naturally, when SXSW sets up around the team, it’s the perfect chance to show off their latest ideas, and we got to see what they’ve been cooking up (and, for once, it’s not BBQ).

A good a place as any to get an idea for the sort of work Chaotic Moon does is a project called Mockzy AI. It’s a web tool that takes texts, speeches and written records of famous figures from the past, and bundles it all into a search engine interface that generates conversations between any two characters. So, if you ever wanted to see (and hear) James Brown and Queen Victoria talking about how to grow carrots, or Ghandi discussing the merits of Hip hop versus Trap with Dickens then this is the tool for you.

Mockzy AI uses publicly available records of texts from each famous figure (the people featured were chosen due to the wealth of matierial), and feeds them to IBM’s Watson, via its Bluemix platform. When you ask it a question or search term, responses are matched and ranked against the available prose. Mockzy then attempts to turn them into a conversation. The end result will depend on what you ask it. I’m fairly sure Ghandi never spoke about the iPhone, so terms like that are likely to be skipped in favour of the rest of the language. But, as an exercise in making machine learning and AI relatable to (living) humans, it’s a fun way to do it.

Read the full article on Engadget

Ida Jensen

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