Monthly Archives: December 2009

Visual Design Course (Session 2)

Visual Design (Part 2) from Christoph Bartneck on Vimeo.

The second session deals with the color and its management in a digital workflow. We discuss color calibration, color profiles, and color spaces. Next, we discuss the anatomy of typefaces and their families before discussing legibility. In particular we introduce guidelines for typeface sizes, line spacing, viewing distances and alignment.

Mysterious Machines


Alan Turing proposed a test for the intelligence of machines in 1950. Despite great efforts, not computer has passed this test so far. Each year, chat bots compete for the Loebner Prize, the first formal instantiation of a Turing Test. No contender was able to fool the jury yet. Major problems of the chat bots are the lack of common knowledge and the logical consistency of a dialogue.

We explore a new approach to chat bots by focusing on non-logical conversation topics: mysticism. The founding books of the major religions are widely acknowledged examples of mystical topics. We selected the New Testament, the Koran and Rigveda as the knowledge base for our conversational robots.

The robots are able to autonomously talk to each other and to humans about their religious believe. Each robot represents a belief, but we do not reveal their convictions. This ambiguity forces observers to follow the actual conversations instead of quickly applying stereotypes.

We hope that the peaceful conversation amongst the robots inspires an open dialogue amongst the religions. By focusing on a discussion of the original texts, we hope to emphasize our shared believes.