On the 22nd and 23rd of November, Software Cornwall organised a trip to the local Google Development Group based in Falmouth, at the Penryn Campus. Myself and another participant of the Game Changer Program attended, joining in an evening of cutting-edge digital workshops.
The two-day event, was designed to demonstrate the possibilities of growing technologies, and expand what could be accomplished with them. The first day started with a meet and greet, letting everyone mingle, and understand why we gathered there, as well as the exciting opportunities for Cornwall based on Chatbots and Artificial intelligence.
After the mingling, everyone was challenged to create their chatbot on Dialogue flow based on a character from a game or a film, for the chance to earn a Google Home Mini. This challenge was issued due to a shortfall in the games market, failing to take hold of an opportunity to give non-playable characters the ability to converse and talk naturally, with so much more dialog than previously possible.
After a brief presentation from the organiser, Josh King, he demonstrated a bot you could speak too and converse with using natural language. We then both participated in a bot building competition that was fiercely contested. I earned second place, winning a pack of Werther’s Originals for my bot on Star Wars villain, ‘Emperor Palpatine’. I was congratulated for experimenting with rich dialogue and the varying length of responses, taking a risk that seemed to have paid off. The other participant took home the first place prize, winning a Google Home Mini. His bot was a take on the game character ‘Athena’ who is an AI from the Blizzard Entertainment game, ‘Overwatch’, where he created a detailed character, with lots of personality and a very strong persona.
On the second day, it turned into a more active session, getting hands-on with some of Google’s artificial intelligence API, from the Google Cloud, being taught about how AI is being used and the future progress we could make with it. We began to learn about Machine Learning, how it can make existing technologies more efficient and user-friendly. I played with picture recognition software, tagged specific distinctions in pictures, such as colors, clothes, objects, vehicles, light levels, and began to classify things better over time with the more input it got.
Overall, there was a lot of exciting things to come out with, from the Google Development Group Falmouth. I look forward to attending the next event put on by them, and thank everyone involved for the opportunity.