DaT: Verizon Media Visit + OT session

Today for Developing Assistive Tech we visited Verizon Media and met with Sam who showed us their accessibility lab. Sam also walked us through some interesting points about the company’s accessibility focus. Some things she addressed:

  • high contrast 4 to 1 for digital
  • to not use red and green alone as button signifiers but to always include text
  • label things in code / alt text that make sense – hamburger button example
  • magnification –> to make sure layout still remains similar and functional with magnification applied
  • that disability can be situational, temporary, or permanent.
  • that there are visible and invisible disabilities
  • they try for AA standards
  • captions, high contrast, dynamic text resizing, having symbols + text,  screen read labels and descriptions


Case Studies

Case study: Yahoo Finance App

  • User story Jeff  / brand loyalty –> knowing if certain companies tend to have accessibilty labs / focus

XR access w/ Cornell Tech –> how to make XR access for disabilities. How to create guidelines for all components to follow as we enter a mixed reality world

Attn Gan + Runway

Using Runway‘s  AttnGan Model with local band cup‘s lyrics for their next album.  Analyzed by adding one line at a time of lyrics.


Track 1_Wandering



Night Light



The Swarm








Strange Dreamer




Nothing Could Be Wrong




The Bright Blue Sea



You Don’t Need Anybody

You dontNeedAnybody


Using tSNE to group all AttnGan images of cup’s lyric’s:




Bob Ross + AttnGan 



AttnGan + lines from a Bob Ross Joy of Painting transcript:

Bob RossAttngan.jpg


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“Let’s start off today with a little two inch brush


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“There we are we’ll take a little touch of pthalo blue”


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“Phthalo blue’s a beautiful blue color”


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“A little bit of that up in the corners”

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“Im just gonna add a small amount”






Weather forecast with ATTNGan:

Using Runway‘s  AttnGan Model with NYC’s 10 day weather forecast:

Tuesday (10.22.19)

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Wednesday (10.23.19)



Thursday (10.24.19)

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Friday (10.25.19)

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Saturday (10.26.19)



Sunday (10.27.19)



Monday (10.28.19)



Tuesday (10.29.19)



Wednesday (10.30.19)


Joy of Games: Assignment #4 Marble Madness


Inspired by Anni Alber’s weavings and patterns for level design. How to have the restricted color palette objects cast into a theme for the level. Ex: Sandy tone = a sand physics material or to have the yellow be construction barriers that when collided bring you back to the start. Would like to comb back through and add some collisions & triggers, as well as more complex gameObjects like hinge movements.



Anni Albers
Wallhanging, 1984


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Image of Anni Alber’s weavings
matching level to an albers wall hanging
matching level to an Albers wall hanging









Design Choices: 

  • Yellow blocks as kill / restart zones 
    • for a signifier added stripes to look more like construction barriers
  • Dark purple blocks
    • added physics material of bouncy to some
    • would like to make some hinges
  • Light purple blocks 
    • visual misdirection (could use as a powerup strip and add sound fx) /
  • White planes 
    • start & end
      • would like to add an onCollision or trigger
  • Tan platform
    • physics material of sandy
      • slower zone
  • White platform
    • physics material of icy
      • faster zone










References / Tutorials:  



  • note that collision is a bump, trigger is an overlap

Neural Aesthetic W5: Visualization, deepdream, style & texture synthesis

For week 5 we dove into visualizations. The last 2 weeks we touched on convolutional networks but not necessarily how they functioned. This week we lifted the hood a little to break down what was happening.  Next week we’ll dive into generative models.



This week:

  • visualizing neural networks
  • optimization-based class synthesis 
  • style transfer and texture analysis 


Deep learning frameworks: 

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How some of these items are more like the tips of the iceberg, how processing is to java as keras is to tensorflow.


Review of Neural Networks





Joy of Games Assignment #2: Write a Manifesto

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Skipping the speedrun to watch the clouds

I remember a few moments of everyday magic clearly. One in the morning, a small rainbow portal cast onto the wall in our childhood house. The morning sun shone through the prism of the front door eyehole marking the parallel wall. When aligned with your eye it looked like a rainbow tinted eyepatch. Facing forward and looking outward, your field of vision became flooded with a wash of color. Shifting left to right: indigo, cerulean, lime, marigold, an outline of tangerine crimson.

Another when learning to bike taking a secret sidewalk. A pathway connecting two blocks, two worlds – hidden between backyards. The summer sounds crescendo as the leafy green hedges leaned in to cloak the pathways existence.

I remember another moment much later. Navigating bike paths of Forest Park in Saint Louis with friends. The winding arteries led us all to a firefly breeding ground. With the flashing synapses of firefly networks lighting up families of trees, cascading and echoing throughout the heart of the park. 

A question for makers of any age – What does it mean to root something in the slightly familiar, our own everyday slightly suspended? A heightened sensitivity to ambient elements reminding us how all things are delicately interconnected. What happens if I tap the particles of dust sprinkled through a window’s sunbeam? Combing through it like a hand out a car window, triggering notes of a chromatic scale. What does it mean to construct, make, illustrate moments of almost not quite magic realism?

In a post about slow games TB writes “Gamers, slow down. Resist rushing to the finish line. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the art and gaming experience.”* Although the blog post was implying the rapid turnover of games in the industry as well as the constant backlog of games people would like to play – Inspired by this I say also to myself and all makers slow down. Slow food, slow net, slow tech, all the slows but slow down how? I’d like to skip the speedruns and instead engage in watching clouds to get lost in their shapes, what they tell us about weather and culture past, present and future and what images and stories emerge. Maybe it leads to introspection maybe it calls for collaboration or both, But slowness how?

Maybe it’s a slowness through non-linear narratives, unfolding through an open world exploration. In digital worlds but also the physical. One of my first memories of living in New York City was tracking down the peephole cinema, and searching for where it lived along the Union Docs wall. Maybe rather it’s the slowness of a prolonged consideration when a game controller is not just a mouse or standard game console controller but instead my body in space catching words as they complete sentences along my arm outstretched. Or the slowness of realizing and practice of moving my mouth sidewise will in fact rotate my tetris piece clockwise. The slowness of trying to align the speed of my swing at the right rate with my neighbors’ swings to arpeggiate a chord.

It could be the physical slowness of crawling into an ephemeral physical space that houses the game itself. Please, crawl into this silver space blanket cave to play Pac Man in 360. Bridging between physical & digital worlds – a transition into the magic circle.

Maybe rather it’s the slowness that happens after. A slow revelation – When a player realizes that they can explore the real subway of Shibuya in Tokyo for the first time and have it feel like a home, due to their memories of Persona 5 gameplay with its map rooted in reality. What unexpected joy is yielded for cavers passing through the Mammoth Cave networks to realize they were navigating similar channels as their text commands in the Colossal Cave Adventure. Is there a subtle beauty to ground fiction in reality?

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References / Inspirations