Seen on the blog ufunk is this delightful promotional video for the opening of Westfield Stratford City — which will become London’s biggest shopping center. No matter how you might feel about shopping malls, the above clip is utterly winning, combining a century of iconic fashion with iconic dance moves. Watch it and smile!
As you may already know, a chatbot is a computer program that can stimulate conversation with humans. There is even an annual competition, the Loebner prize, that awards a 100,000 dollars to the robot that best passes for a human. But what would happen if two bots talk to each other? This very experiment was tested by students at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab. The result is somewhere between surrealist and comical. Wouldn’t you know, when two robots meet– they end up talking about God!
Presenting Forkly, an iPhone app that was launched last week by Martin May and Brady Becker, 2 experienced digital entrepreneurs. Forkly mixes crowdsourcing and geolocalization to get you the dish of your choice, regardless of the restaurant. Created on a database that’s very similar to Foursquare’s, Forkly defines your favorite meals (and drinks) available in restaurants you patronize. This allows the application to recommend a restaurant with a particular menu and to know the evaluation of the “Forklistes” — the users who have already tested the recommended dishes and restaurants. Thanks to the “taste graph”, the application can offer new adresses to suit your tastes. The various meals and drinks are graded by emoticons: “Loved it”, “Liked it”, “It’s OK”, and “Not for me.” As with Foursquare, you can add a photo of the dish (preferably before consuming it 😉 ). You will win influence points depending on the number of friends who follow your recommendations. With Forkly, the food takes precedent over the venue. Restaurants can partner with Forkly to know who their most influential customers are, they can also integrate “official” photos from their restaurants and add Forkly reviews to their online menus. To all early adapters on Forkly: please scope out Boulogne-Billancourt and give me some good lunch recommendations!
Another gem from Rob Schwartz’s blog, Metal Potential, is the very funny campaign for Friji, a brand of flavored milk. Entitled “You LOL You Lose”, the campaign uses facial recognition to challenge users to not laugh at some very funny videos from YouTube. There are three types of videos available: LOL, OMG, and “cute.” To play, just go here: http://www.frijjtheincredible.co.uk/. I only made it for three minutes– how about you?
Check out Improv Everywhere’s latest mission “Say Something Nice” (video above). For those in need of a refresher, Improv Everywhere was founded in 2002 by Charlie Todd. In 10 years, Improv Everywhere has completed over 100 missions, my personal favorite being the No Pants Subway Ride (see my post from last May). “Say Something Nice” is sweetly simple: a megaphone with a placard is set up encouraging passersby to say nice things. This performance will be featured in stillspotting nyc, an upcoming Guggenheim exhibition that will feature various performance art within the 5 borroughs of Manhattan. A second Improv Everywhere piece called “Mute Button” (video below) will also be present in the exhibition. Featuring 23 actors and 2 very talented dogs, this mission puts a mute button on street cacophony!