Oddity Central

Oddity Central

Russian Programmer “Ressurects” Deceased Best Friend as an AI Chatbot

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 12:13 PM PDT

It’s hard to let go of loved ones, especially when they pass away suddenly. But thanks to rapidly evolving artificial intelligence, you soon may not have to let go. Well, not completely, anyway. Case in point, Eugenia Kuyda, the co-founder and CEO of a Russian artificial intelligence startup called Luka Inc, who recently brought her best friend back to life as an AI chatbot.

Kuyda lost her best friend, fellow tech entrepreneur Roman Mazurenko, in November 2015, but just three months after his tragic car accident, she sent the first text message to his AI personality, Roman. With no grave to visit, because he had been cremated, the young programmer, decided to use every digital memory of him, including photos, news articles and thousands of SMS text messages he had sent to her over the years, and feed them into a neural network to create an AI chatbot that many of those who knew Roman say sounds just like him.

“It was the first death for me. I didn’t know how to react, so as soon as I could I shoved everything as deep inside as possible and tried not to feel anything. Half a year later I can say that it doesn’t go away. In the last couple of months our team at Luka managed to build a dialogue model using smaller datasets on top of a neural net. I put together all texts we sent each other, photos, articles about him and we built a Roman AI,” Kuyda wrote in a Facebook post. “You can text with him about his life or just chat like you normally would – he will reply like Roman would have.”


Leotards for Dogs Are Actually a Thing Now

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 08:54 AM PDT

Believe it or not, the best answer to your dog’s shedding problem may be a pair of skin-tight leotards. Reminiscent of 1980’s aerobic outfits, the Shed-Defender is a canine leotard that is supposed to keep falling hairs from covering your entire home.

Tyson Walters, founder of Shed Defender, recently revealed  that he came up the idea for the funny-looking leotard after failing to find an effective solution to his own dog’s shedding issue. “I had this huge Saint Bernard, called Harley, and I just couldn’t control her shedding,” he said. No matter how much I brushed and groomed her, she still left tumbleweeds of hair everywhere. I looked around on the internet and dog stores and I couldn’t find a solution to my product, so I decided to make one.”


The Iguana Whisperer – Mexican Man Spends 40 Years Setting Up Unique Sanctuary for Iguanas

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 07:06 AM PDT

For the past 40 years, Ramon Archundia, has dedicated his life to the preservation of Mexico’s endangered iguanas. His magical ‘iguanario’, a reptile sanctuary in the center of Manzanillo city, is now home to 642 iguanas, as well as other wild animal species.

The story of Iguanario Archundia began over four decades ago. Sickened by the plight of iguanas at the hands of man, Ramon Medina Archundia rescued a pair of these majestic reptiles and set up a small enclosure for them in a marshy space in downtown Manzanillo, where two huamúchil trees offered the perfect place for sunbathing. But that was only the beginning, because Ramon and his father Juan, kept bringing in new rescued iguanas, and after word of their small ‘iguanario’ spread around the city and the whole Mexican state of Colima, other people started bringing in iguanas, knowing that they would be well taken care of. Today, Iguanario Archundia is home to over 640 iguanas, as well as other ‘donated’ animals like raccoons, badgers or turtles.


Comments system

Disqus Shortname