Who are you, and what do you do?
I'm an inventor, artist, and PhD student at UC Santa Cruz, go banana slugs! I worked in the games industry for 5 years, at Maxis, making algorithms to design the planets on Spore, and scripting the fire system on the latest SimCity. I went back to grad school to get my PhD in Computer Science with the Expressive Intelligence Studio, a group of interdisciplinary artificial intelligence researchers using AI for expressive purposes, like digital characters and interactive art. At the same time, I founded Seebright, a startup for the phone-based VR/AR headset that I'd invented (as far as I know, I was the first to use phones for VR!)
I'm most recently well-known for popularizing and educating people about procedural content generation in games and generative methods in many fields, with blog posts and GDC talks, and developing the popular newbie-friendly text-generation language Tracery. I also make a lot of strange generative works of my own, including several Twitter bots.
What hardware do you use?
I use a 2015 MacBook Pro and the ultra-light 2016 Macbook for travel. But many of my art installations use very unusual interfaces and a wide range of hardware toys, like Laser Pico projections on styrofoam heads, a projection on a spandex screen with a Kinect interface, a Leap Motion controlling a wall-sized projection, and most recently, a slime-filled balloon and an Arduino.
And what software?
What would be your dream setup?
I think I have my dream setup! Lots of oddball toys at home, plus my lightweight laptop for easy travel when backpacking between conferences. I would dearly love a big workshop with a laser-cutter and a CNC machine, though.
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