S4 E109 Teaching an AI: Backflip (Dec 2023)

Tracy Harwood Podcast Episodes December 28, 2023 Leave a reply

Backflip is a docu-style film, made over a period of three years where Nikita Diakur presents his progress using AI to teach a character to backflip. The character is the 3D scanned artist and the learning process applied is based on a technique he read in an academic paper. To say its chaos is an understatatement, and something anyone in research could probably have told him when attempting to replicate a finding in a publication (which of course is why LLMs using text alone will never be ‘intelligent’). It is also everything one would expect from a character rig with the physics of a double-jointed arachnid… but it sure is hugely entertaining to watch, and brilliantly edited together. Backflip is a must watch for anyone using AIs for animation, not least because it serves as a reminder of just how tough this all was pre-mid 2023!

We also begin the episode with some news updates: Half Life 2 @ 25 years, GTA6 trailer, Elden Ring DLCs and Baad Viibes (John MacInnes).

YouTube Version of This Episode


Show Notes & Links

Half Life 25th anniversay documentary and update


The GTA6 official advert –

John MacInnes talking about Baad Viibes at the Unreal Fest, October 2023 –

Backflip – film by Nikita Diakur, released 27 September 2023 –

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