What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.
Our technology and the game Façade are the result of a multi-year collaboration between Andrew Stern and Michael Mateas.
Stern was a first employee of one of the most innovative independent videogame studios of the 1990s, PF.Magic in San Francisco. He became a lead designer and engineer of the award-winning Dogz, Catz and Babyz games, the world’s first virtual pets, that sold over 3 million units worldwide in the late 1990s. Stern's work included the use of sophisticated AI techniques to endow the virtual characters with rich emotions, personality, goals and memories.
Mateas is at the forefront of academic research into creating artificially intelligent characters and stories. He pursued his doctorate as a member of the pioneering Oz Project, the first academic research group combining AI and interactive entertainment.
Stern and Mateas became interested in more ambitious characters and stories, such as adult human characters speaking and understanding natural language, embroiled in interactive dramas about relationships and the psychology of interpersonal conflicts. At a series of conferences on AI where Stern presented his work on Petz, he met then-graduate-student Mateas, and the two formed a partnership that would eventually see the founding of Procedural Arts and the development of Façade.
Dr. Mateas has gone on to become an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and recently, the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material
Andrew Stern and Michael Mateas are designers, writers and engineers of personality-rich, AI-based interactive characters and stories. In 2005 they completed the interactive drama Façade, a critically acclaimed 5-year research collaboration. Previously Andrew was a lead designer and software engineer at PF.Magic, developing Virtual Babyz, Dogz, and Catz, which sold over 3 million units worldwide. Michael is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)
Direct outreach from Robert Benedict