Serious Question About Milo (No Fanboys!)

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#1 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

Something got me thinking...
...if this Milo stuff is as real as it's being put out to be, wouldn't the governmet be over this shit like a kid would be over candy?

NASA doesn't even have AI anywhere as good as what Milo is being put out to be.

How is this going to sell for $100-300, when a professional AI system costs up to millions of dollars.

Yes, it could end up like Killzone 2 and deliver on every front.  HOWEVER, Killzone 2 was graphics...not AI.  AI is a bit different, and this is a serious issue me and my workers have been thinking about.

If Milo is as real as it's being put out, then we're about to see a paradigm shift it not just games but full fledged AI. 

All new reports of Milo are saying that there's a guy on a PC controlling Milo (GameTrailer's Invisible Walls ep 60, and other sources)...but if they some how pull this off, why aren't corporations and governments after this tech?

I'm not starting a flame war, just a real discussion about the AI behind Milo.

#2 Posted by oldschool (7264 posts) -

It doesn't appear to be fully fledged AI to me.  It must have limitations we are not seeing.  Otherwise Skynet has arrived.  I will just wait to see where it ends.

#3 Posted by catpowerd (150 posts) -

I think the Milo demo was more concept than anything. Lion Head were showing what they hope to achieve with the project rather than showing a fully working product.

#4 Posted by Player1 (3861 posts) -

Best believe if this is actually everything they say it is, EVERYONE will want a piece of the technology, EVERYONE working on milo will get job offers, and Peter M will go down in the history books. We could either be experiencing history here, or we could be seeing the start of a new trend of failing, like virtual reality was. Well see. 

#5 Posted by VisariLoyalist (2991 posts) -

yeah that demo was mocked up, although I could envision it recognizing emotions and tone at least to suggest things like"oh hey, you look tired, why don't you go to bed" or "hey you look drunk why don't you buy something on xbox live"

#6 Posted by crunchUK (5963 posts) -

It's not as advanced as it seems though. IT's just a computer character, but one that can respond to facial expressions instead of button presses.

#7 Posted by cc23574 (665 posts) -

I think that Milo is fake, they acted as if Milo understood what you were saying, but he only listens to the tone of your voice. You could say that he sucks in a very kind way and he still would answer in an kind way.

#8 Edited by Jimbo (9800 posts) -

(You should refer to yourself as "me and my workers" in every post from now on.  That would be awesome.)

The voice, expression and tone recognition seems feasible enough.  Responding to those things in a realistic way (the actual AI part), I will have to see to believe.

Realisticly, I can see it as a modern version of the 'parser engine' that Sierra's adventure games used to have.  ie. It will say "I don't understand... I don't understand... Try saying that another way", until you happen upon one of the handful of things it is programmed to recognise and respond to.  Which isn't AI, it's exactly what we have now but with more elaborate triggers.

#9 Posted by FrEeZe (301 posts) -

Molyneux being over-ambitious and not delivering has happened before

#10 Edited by Jeust (10549 posts) -
@crunchUK said:
" It's not as advanced as it seems though. IT's just a computer character, but one that can respond to facial expressions instead of button presses. "
Milo is just a computer program, virtual character, with its programming and responses scripted, using an interface known as Project Natal.

Just that... he isn't capable of more than it was programmed, so no Artificial Inteligence.

People saying that his responses were coordinated backstage are probably jeolous... lol

If you think it thru Milo, though amazing, it's nothing all that revolucionary. It's just as any other game... tech demo coff coff

@cc23574 said:
" I think that Milo is fake, they acted as if Milo understood what you were saying, but he only listens to the tone of your voice. You could say that he sucks in a very kind way and he still would answer in an kind way. "
Yes... but he's probably not all that simple either. He must respond to some specific words... A 'parser engine'.
#11 Posted by tekmojo (2302 posts) -

It's Peter Molyneux.

#12 Posted by sketch (194 posts) -

The biggest limitation I can see is that it will have to be voice acted, meaning he will only have a limited set of reponses to choose from, and several inflections on each response. They can record thousands of lines of speech for it, but eventually you'l get a repeat, and it will be noticable. That is why I'm a little sceptical of the whole thing

#13 Posted by ShinyD3mon (148 posts) -

I personally thought the whole Milo setup was completely effing retarded. I don't want to talk to an AI boy when I come home, I don't want to drag my hands through the water, I don't want ANY of that. There WILL be limitations (ie. the posts stated above), how could there not be?

..Not to mention my skepticism of the entire Natal demonstration at the conference.. there was that post of the guy at IGN saying how well Burnout worked with it, but we have to see a variety of different games which use the technology before any of this can be thought of as at all conceivable. Notice I said GAMES, and not a kid with pre-recorded lines of speech that needs help with his homework. Microsoft, scrap Milo and focus on what we bought the Xbox 360 for.. the games.

#14 Edited by TheBeast (1931 posts) -

Milo isn't AI in the most common use of the word; its use of the Project Natal interface does not make it any more successful in reaching a defined task, but instead 'reacts' to predefined events/sensory values


What makes the system seem 'intelligent' is its clever use of the information provided from the cameras - there's been research going on in to this stuff for many years and Milo is not anything new - NASA isn't going to snap this up because they already know it can be done and it has no practical use for the technology in its current state. This is not a Turing complete system, it's only use is in a situation where we can afford a bit of creativity - not exactly of much use in a real-world situation.

What makes Milo new and innovative is its use and combination of these existing technologies within the context of interactive media as well as the use of clever trickery to make the user believe they are interacting with a character despite the technological limitations - Peter Molyneux has explained these limitations and use of 'tricks' in various interviews, so it's no big secret:
  • "...we haven't cracked the Turing test. If we had, then applying it to a computer game would be the last of the solutions we'd use it for."
  • "Some of them are tricks - I'll be absolutely honest with you - to make you believe Milo's real."
  • "If he notices you've got dark bags under your eyes he will say, 'You look tired today.'"
  • "Now, he didn't really understand every word you said, but from the tone of your voice he guessed you were telling a joke."

Certainly this is a prototype, and again, as Peter Molyneux has said; there's someone at a computer making sure the system is constantly being calibrated to the users' voice/face.

So in summary; Milo is not AI, it uses existing technology in new ways and is currently merely a tech demo or prototype of an idea we might see in the future - it's not going to be your new best friend because technology is not there yet, don't expect it to be, but appreciate it for the advances it is trying to make.
#15 Posted by EpicSteve (6483 posts) -

I'm sure government/military technology is more advanced than Microsoft Game Studio consumer software. He can barely understand specific wording according to Ign's article, but more of the tone of your voice. He's basically a dog.

#16 Posted by Jeust (10549 posts) -
@TheBeast said:
" Milo isn't AI in the most common use of the word; its use of the Project Natal interface does not make it any more successful in reaching a defined task, but instead 'reacts' to predefined events/sensory values

What makes the system seem 'intelligent' is its clever use of the information provided from the cameras - there's been research going on in to this stuff for many years and Milo is not anything new - NASA isn't going to snap this up because they already know it can be done and it has no practical use for the technology in its current state. This is not a Turing complete system, it's only use is in a situation where we can afford a bit of creativity - not exactly of much use in a real-world situation.

What makes Milo new and innovative is its use and combination of these existing technologies within the context of interactive media as well as the use of clever trickery to make the user believe they are interacting with a character despite the technological limitations - Peter Molyneux has explained these limitations and use of 'tricks' in various interviews, so it's no big secret:
  • "...we haven't cracked the Turing test. If we had, then applying it to a computer game would be the last of the solutions we'd use it for."
  • "Some of them are tricks - I'll be absolutely honest with you - to make you believe Milo's real."
  • "If he notices you've got dark bags under your eyes he will say, 'You look tired today.'"
  • "Now, he didn't really understand every word you said, but from the tone of your voice he guessed you were telling a joke."

Certainly this is a prototype, and again, as Peter Molyneux has said; there's someone at a computer making sure the system is constantly being calibrated to the users' voice/face.

So in summary; Milo is not AI, it uses existing technology in new ways and is currently merely a tech demo or prototype of an idea we might see in the future - it's not going to be your new best friend because technology is not there yet, don't expect it to be, but appreciate it for the advances it is trying to make.
"
quoted for truth... :p
#17 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

the "AI" is obviously not there, but I'll even be extremely impressed if Milo uses a system like AT&T's natural voices for voice simulation.  Being able to say words that the voice recognition part would understand, and then Milo being able to 'say' those words because they're in the natural voice database, and then perhaps even ask me about the word, similar to some net 'AI' systems do, would be REALLY cool.

#18 Edited by Kung_Fu_Viking (702 posts) -

Milo is NOT an AI. It is instead what i guess you could call "Artifical Emotion Detection". It is able to detect inflexions in your voice which can trigger a generic response. So for example if you looked and sounded sad when you said something he might ask you what's wrong. You try to ask him any direct questions all you'll get is a vague response based upon the emotion he has perceived when you asked it.


What Molyneux is trying to do here is increase the way games can trigger and emotional response from a player AND allow a game to recognise that and use it later on in the game maybe as gameplay or maybe as variations on certain scenes in the game.
#19 Posted by keyhunter (3207 posts) -

Milo just reacts to the tone of your voice. He's not some sort of tactical behind enemy lines spy robot.

#20 Posted by Puppy (295 posts) -

I may have to gather up my life savings and buy as many Milo programs as possible...








































...so I can destroy them all.

#21 Posted by Puppy (295 posts) -
@Kung_Fu_Viking said:
What Molyneux is trying to do here is increase the way games can trigger and emotional response from a player AND allow a game to recognise that and use it later on in the game maybe as gameplay or maybe as variations on certain scenes in the game.
"
If thats the case, why spend so much time and money trying to develop such a complex program? It would be far easier to make, you know, a good game - like GTA IV. That pulled my heart strings without posing a threat to all mankind.
#22 Edited by Brendan (7757 posts) -
@sketch:
Technically not true, voiced navigation systems do not have recorded dialogue, but programs that recognize words and syllabals, so their vocabulary is as broad as the language itself.  I assume Milo is just a more advanced version of that.
#23 Posted by torus (1096 posts) -

It's not Ai, that's how. Dayum you guys are gullible. As I posted in the other thread, it's just going to be a slightly more advanced chat robot, but with facial/movement recognition. Milo is probably going to have a 100 different ways of saying that he doesn't understand what you are talking about.

#24 Edited by Kung_Fu_Viking (702 posts) -
@Puppy said:
"
@Kung_Fu_Viking said:
What Molyneux is trying to do here is increase the way games can trigger and emotional response from a player AND allow a game to recognise that and use it later on in the game maybe as gameplay or maybe as variations on certain scenes in the game.
"
If thats the case, why spend so much time and money trying to develop such a complex program? It would be far easier to make, you know, a good game - like GTA IV. That pulled my heart strings without posing a threat to all mankind. "
The main selling point here is that it will be able to READ your emotions after some event in the game and then use that to change your experience based on that.  Something like GTA IV may be able to invoke an emotional response but the game will continue the same way regardless of your reaction to it.
In my opinion I would rather see developers trying to integrate Project Natal's motion detection abilities seamlessly into already popular genres to enhance the overall experience but do so transparently such that once you get into it you will barely notice it's happening. However what Lionhead are doing is very interesting.
#25 Posted by Puppy (295 posts) -
@torus said:
" It's not Ai, that's how. Dayum you guys are gullible. As I posted in the other thread, it's just going to be a slightly more advanced chat robot, but with facial/movement recognition. Milo is probably going to have a 100 different ways of saying that he doesn't understand what you are talking about. "

This is gullibility? You realize that the mechanics governing the actions of none player characters in a video game are called AI. Does anyone actually think that these NPC's are self aware? No, I think not. It is just video game jargon, as is AI when used to characterize Milo.
#26 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

I wouldn't want my emotions to change the experience. If I'm playing an RPG, I'm role playing. I don't act as myself. I act as my created character. If I'm upset or angry about real life shit, I don't want the game to affect my character based on that. Now in certain games it would be cool, but not so much for actual character responses. Like, in a horror game it could sense how scared you are, and try to calm you down before throwing another scare. The effect would be amplified as it could do things when you least expect them, rather than when you already are anticipating the scare. Same ideas I had for how Nintendo's vitality sensor could be used. But anyway, RPG game AI is so limited nowadays, and not just because it can't read your emotions. I doubt this application will suddenly cause every developer to be good in developing AI, or bother putting all the labor required to have ALL the important characters THIS advanced in how they can act and react. It's just not gonna happen, imo. Milo is just the equivalent of that new Sony EyeToy pet thing, except it's a human instead of a creepy as hell monkeyboy.

#27 Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking (702 posts) -
@torus said:
" It's not Ai, that's how. Dayum you guys are gullible. As I posted in the other thread, it's just going to be a slightly more advanced chat robot, but with facial/movement recognition. Milo is probably going to have a 100 different ways of saying that he doesn't understand what you are talking about. "
You say that yet I'm sure you've been fooled into thinking computer controlled characters in games exhibit actual intelligence i.e. "Those guys totally knew I had no ammo and flanked the crap outta me!!!!" where the reality is that it's just a bunch of smart tricks and basic routines to give the appearance of intelligence. The fact that players are "gullible" is all part of the trick.
#28 Posted by Puppy (295 posts) -
@Kung_Fu_Viking said: " 
In my opinion I would rather see developers trying to integrate Project Natal's motion detection abilities seamlessly into already popular genres to enhance the overall experience but do so transparently such that once you get into it you will barely notice it's happening. However what Lionhead are doing is very interesting.
"
A Wii Remote is one thing, Project Natal is another. I'm not too jazzed about the whole "full body control" scheme - if this tech becomes the industry's main tool to map a game's controls, then we're headed one step forward to virtual reality. The day that video games leave the screen and enter the player's head is the day that I stop playing video games - or at least stop buying new ones. And I don't want that day to come.
#29 Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking (702 posts) -
@Puppy said:
"
@Kung_Fu_Viking said: " 
In my opinion I would rather see developers trying to integrate Project Natal's motion detection abilities seamlessly into already popular genres to enhance the overall experience but do so transparently such that once you get into it you will barely notice it's happening. However what Lionhead are doing is very interesting.
"
A Wii Remote is one thing, Project Natal is another. I'm not too jazzed about the whole "full body control" scheme - if this tech becomes the industry's main tool to map a game's controls, then we're headed one step forward to virtual reality. The day that video games leave the screen and enter the player's head is the day that I stop playing video games - or at least stop buying new ones. And I don't want that day to come. "
My idea is not to replace the standard control at all but to enhance that experience subtly using Natal. Imagine the game camera in an FPS just rotating slightly as you move your body around. Many people do this instinctively anyway and it's only now the games can really detect this and act accordingly. Obviously this is a really simple example and I'm confident developers will come up with original ideas that will be practical and will not remove the physical controller from the equation.
#30 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

That kind of thing is possible with just a simple webcam, I think there's a reaon they're not doing it already but instead look to more advanced solutions like dedicated headtracking devices, 3D eyewear displays, etc.

#31 Posted by Puppy (295 posts) -
@Kung_Fu_Viking said:
"
@Puppy said:
"
@Kung_Fu_Viking said: " 
In my opinion I would rather see developers trying to integrate Project Natal's motion detection abilities seamlessly into already popular genres to enhance the overall experience but do so transparently such that once you get into it you will barely notice it's happening. However what Lionhead are doing is very interesting.
"
A Wii Remote is one thing, Project Natal is another. I'm not too jazzed about the whole "full body control" scheme - if this tech becomes the industry's main tool to map a game's controls, then we're headed one step forward to virtual reality. The day that video games leave the screen and enter the player's head is the day that I stop playing video games - or at least stop buying new ones. And I don't want that day to come. "
My idea is not to replace the standard control at all but to enhance that experience subtly using Natal. Imagine the game camera in an FPS just rotating slightly as you move your body around. Many people do this instinctively anyway and it's only now the games can really detect this and act accordingly. Obviously this is a really simple example and I'm confident developers will come up with original ideas that will be practical and will not remove the physical controller from the equation.
"

No, no. I understand where you were going. I'm just pointing out that if this technology becomes the pitch perfect success that the Microsoft PR guys would like us to believe, then it's more likely than not that Natal (or something similar to it) will become the standard for game developers.
#32 Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking (702 posts) -
@Al3xand3r said:
" That kind of thing is possible with just a simple webcam, I think there's a reaon they're not doing it already but instead look to more advanced solutions like dedicated headtracking devices, 3D eyewear displays, etc. "
That's not the point. I said my example was very simple. Project Natal offers far more advanced, full body, 3D motion tracking. Developers could use these features of Natal to create totally new AND practical experiences that work seamlessly in games.
#33 Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking (702 posts) -
@Puppy said:
"No, no. I understand where you were going. I'm just pointing out that if this technology becomes the pitch perfect success that the Microsoft PR guys would like us to believe, then it's more likely than not that Natal (or something similar to it) will become the standard for game developers. "
Yes I see your point. The potential problem is that developers will do exactly what they did on the Wii and create a bunch of bad, gimmicky games that make use of full body motion control just for the sake of it. Novel for half an hour or so but that lack any sort of depth or decent gameplay at length. Hopefully that will only be a phase and eventually they will begin to only use them where appropriate i.e. Enchacing existing things as I've talked about before or creating completley new ideas that actually work with the motion controls exculsivley.
#34 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

It's inevitable that will happen. Hell, Microsoft's demos already were that. Just ignore the bad games and get the good ones, just like on the Wii.

#35 Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking (702 posts) -

Hey maybe they will learn from the Wii's mistakes but that is borderline wishful thinking.

#36 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

The thing is they're not mistakes. Many developers profited like that. Many others will on the other systems. Aren't they already considering fitness applications for them, or something along those lines? That doesn't make it bad, it simply doesn't make it for you. There's plenty of games for any sort of gamer on the Wii, there will keep being plenty of such games on the other systems. Epic won't suddenly start making sports titles.

#37 Edited by Puppy (295 posts) -
@Kung_Fu_Viking said:
"
@Puppy said:
"No, no. I understand where you were going. I'm just pointing out that if this technology becomes the pitch perfect success that the Microsoft PR guys would like us to believe, then it's more likely than not that Natal (or something similar to it) will become the standard for game developers. "
Yes I see your point. The potential problem is that developers will do exactly what they did on the Wii and create a bunch of bad, gimmicky games that make use of full body motion control just for the sake of it. Novel for half an hour or so but that lack any sort of depth or decent gameplay at length. Hopefully that will only be a phase and eventually they will begin to only use them where appropriate i.e. Enchacing existing things as I've talked about before or creating completley new ideas that actually work with the motion controls exculsivley.
"

See, without acknowledging the argument over how effective the Wii Remote's motion controls are, at the end of the day - it's a controller, a motion controller. And I'm totally ok with that. But the thought of gaming that involves mimicking every movement you want your character to do is (to me) a step in the wrong direction. I think there is a line where interactive video entertainment can become too involved to be a healthy hobby. At least that's what I feel.
#38 Posted by Keyser_Soze (1186 posts) -

Milo is NOT AI. Milo is alive.

#39 Posted by Kohe321 (3523 posts) -
@FrEeZe said:
" Molyneux being over-ambitious and not delivering has happened before "
Nooo, what are you talking about!?

:P
#40 Edited by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -

Did gamespot, ign, or any other major site do a hands-on milo?

And regarding natal, while I was impressed by it and definately want to try it, I'm not sure if I want to do away with controllers.  A variety of both would be better.

#41 Edited by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -
#42 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -
#43 Posted by K9 (621 posts) -
What project "Milo" is trying to do has already been achieved by MIT a few years ago in the form of Kismet.

http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/sociable/videos.html

I have read a few books about this robot and researchers always tell stories that whenever someone who doesn't know how the robot works interacts with Kismet, they engage in a conversation as if the robot actually understands what they are saying, when in fact the robot is operating based upon particular algorithms and there is no actual thinking going on. Milo is basically the same thing except in software form.

But this does not reduce my excitement for Milo one bit. Just the novelty factor is good enough for me to eagerly anticipate the completion and release of this project.
#44 Posted by kitsune_conundrum (1202 posts) -

Someone should just create the French Taunter AI from monty python mixed with the motion sensing and facial recognition stuff. Stuff of DREAMS!

#45 Posted by SmugDarkLoser (4619 posts) -
@kitsune_conundrum said:

@K9 said:
"What project "Milo" is trying to do has already been achieved by MIT a few years ago in the form of Kismet.

http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/sociable/videos.html

I have read a few books about this robot and researchers always tell stories that whenever someone who doesn't know how the robot works interacts with Kismet, they engage in a conversation as if the robot actually understands what they are saying, when in fact the robot is operating based upon particular algorithms and there is no actual thinking going on. Milo is basically the same thing except in software form.

But this does not reduce my excitement for Milo one bit. Just the novelty factor is good enough for me to eagerly anticipate the completion and release of this project.
"

Well I don't think anyone is saying that milo is more than that.   Obviously it's just a program.  As far as vocab goes though, that'll be fine-- there's tons that respond apropriately.  It's the emotion that will be hard. 
#46 Posted by JeffGoldblum (3704 posts) -
@VisariLoyalist said:
" yeah that demo was mocked up, although I could envision it recognizing emotions and tone at least to suggest things like"oh hey, you look tired, why don't you go to bed"
We dont want this to turn into Persona 4.
#47 Posted by freakin (404 posts) -

I think people are confused, it's not Ai, it's a program that has a set response to a variety of words, there are already stupid websites that accomplish this feat. 

#48 Posted by tranquilchaos (573 posts) -

There really isn't any way imaginable for me to get interested in Milo. It's creepy and ultimately doesn't look like fun.

The demo video was as staged as they come. I would like to hear more about it from people who saw it in action. I really have a hard time believing the concept could work in the way they claim.

If I had one wish for this industry it would be less gimmicks more games. This years E3 was gimmick central.

#49 Posted by Godwind (2597 posts) -

I personally am a doubter of the Natal technology.  I am more interested in Sony's Ball on a Stick.

#50 Posted by jakob187 (21663 posts) -

Dood, it's Seaman all over again.  Plain and simple.  It's just a prettier package this time around. 
 
Also, putting "No Fanboys!" in your title is going to bring them along MUCH more than just leaving that out of your title.  =  /

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