Hey my name is Jordan O’Neill, I am a 3D artist living in Winnipeg. I'm currently working at Lumo Interactive for the summer. I'll be going back to college this fall. At Lumo Interactive, my work consist of sketching and animating rough concepts/ideas, constructing models, assets, environments, and designing styles and colour palettes. I do what I do here simply because I find it fun and enjoyable. It’s been my passion ever since I was a kid, really.
This month, a hell of a lot of grown men and women started searching streets, offices, bathrooms and even hospitals for imaginary little animals they could collect and use to fight other imaginary animals which had been collected by other grown men and women. Stories, both true and untrue, about adults ruining their careers and causing major accidents are definitely adding to the game's notoriety. So what in the name of Peter Pan Syndrome is going on?
Artificial Neural Networks. The name alone conjures up every science fiction trope about artificial intelligence, but unlike so much "technobabble" that appears in popular culture, Artificial Neural Networks (or ANNs for short) are a very real thing, and are used every day by millions of people without knowing anything about them.
Rather than explain what exactly ANNs are -- something Welch Labs and Computerphile have both done a reasonable job of already -- I want to talk about some personal experiences I've had working with them. Because honestly, ANNs are really cool and I want more people to get excited about them for what they are and what they can do, not just for the fact that they make a great buzzword for time-travelling assassin robots.