What do you get when you marry the brains of Pixar Alums and SRI Talent? An artificial intelligence app for kids. Martin Reddy and Oren Jacob teams up to create a project that can turn children’s fantasy into vivid reality.
In this video teaser, the app appears to have been powered by artificial intelligence and speech recognition features. A little girl after finishing her homework went straight to her room. She picked up her favorite Teddy bear from the brood of stuffed toys. Thereafter, the kid held up the teddy bear in front of the monitor and an app begins to work—an app that allows her to converse with her Teddy bear.
This app allows the children to insert their toys into a scenario and interact with them. They will actually have an actual conversation with their toys. How amazing would that feel for a child who has been getting no response from their still toys for years. I am guilty of sharing my thoughts to Mickey Mouse, life-sized Disney Princesses stuffed toys when in my toddler years. Now, I wonder what gossips my Barbie would have shared to me if this app was available decades ago? With the artificial intelligence behind iPhone 4S’ secret sauce SIRI combined with writing and animation skills of Pixar visionaries—this project is beyond exciting.
Reddy used to work for Pixar and the Artificial Intelligence Center of SRI International, the company that created Siri. On the other hand, Jacob was a former Pixarian whose worked on the tech side of movies such as Toy Story 1 and 2, Finding Nemo and A Bug’s Life. The pair also tapped the talents of another Pixar story artist, Bobby Podesta. Podesta holds the Chief Creative Officer of ToyTalk alongside Reddy and Jacob who assume CTO and CEO positions respectively. Other members of the team include Renee Adams who is heading the operations and Brian Langner as the Senior Speech Scientist. Adams was with Apple Inc.’s logistics and retail operations for several years. Langner has a doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon.
Pixar Animation Studios is responsible for some of the highest grossing animated movies in history including Toy Story series, Cars 1 and 2, Ratatouille, Up and several others. They were also the creative minds behind the AI-themed film, WALL-E—a story of a robot programmed to clean up a garbage-full Earth in the near future. WALL-E exhibit emotions and appearance similar to humans.
Playtime begins for ToyTalk this 2013.