Hey Robot! AI is made of people!

Colleen Macklin is a game designer and Associate Professor in the school of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons School of Design. In 2006 she founded and co-directs PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab), a lab that develops games for experimental learning and social engagement. She is a member of the game design collective Local No. 12, makers of the card game The Metagame (2015), and the videogame, Dear Reader (2019). She co-authored with John Sharp Games, Design and Play: A detailed look at iterative game design (2016) and Iterate: Ten Lessons in Design and Failure (2019)

We play Hey Robot!, a game where you try to get your smart speaker to say a specific word. Which, as you might imagine, is much more difficult (and hilarious) than you might think. My guests are two of Hey Robot’s creators, Frank and Hilary Lantz, and Brooklyn-based programmer and artist Nicole He. Oh, and Alexa. The question we ask and try to answer in this episode is: “Alexa: what is intelligence?” Listen to find out what Alexa (and Nicole and Frank and Hilary) think. (filmed and recorded April 2020)


Listen to the full episode:

Additional Content

Unedited footage from our Hey Robot! play session:


Nicole He

Nicole He is a programmer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York, currently making videogames, including the acclaimed Enhance.Computer and an upcoming sci-fi voice-controlled game with the National Film Board of Canada. She has worked as a creative technologist at Google Creative Lab, an outreach lead at Kickstarter, and an adjunct faculty member at ITP at NYU, where she received her Master’s degree. Nicole’s work has been featured in places such as WiredBBCThe Outline, and The New York Times.

Frank Lantz

Frank Lantz is the Director of the NYU Game Center. He is a game designer and the co-founder of Area/Code Games. He’s 1/4 of the family game company Everybody House Games, best known for Hey Robot! and Universal Paperclips. He has taught game design for over 20 years at New York University, Parsons School of Design, and the School of Visual Arts and has created numerous influential talks and writings on the subject of games.

Hilary Lantz

Hillary Lantz is a designer and 1/4 of the family game company Everybody House Games, best known for Hey Robot! and Universal Paperclips. Previously she was Director of Operations and Project Manager at Minimalist.

Show Notes

Hey Robot!  is by Everybody House Games

Colleen Macklin is the host of Fun Games with Serious People
Colin Howarth is our Editor and Producer
Yiqin Ma, is our Videographer
Our theme is “Rainbow” by Chad Crouch

Fun Games with Serious People is made possible through a grant from The New Schooland Parsons School of Design

Thanks for listening!

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