I have an Echoes of Somewhere presentation I have done a couple of times around Europe. You can now watch it here in full.

The presentation at Games Now 2023 at Aalto University

I have done a few presentations in the past, with the prominent one being about rigging 2D characters for Adobe a few years back. I like to speak, but I take it maybe a bit too seriously and creating the slides for a presentation might take me over a week. So I do not often make new ones. But when I was asked to speak about Echoes of Somewhere I figured it would be worth it to spend a week or more as this is a presentation I would have to do a couple of times at least!

Knowing that AI is a controversial topic, my main concern actually was how this presentation would be received. I was prepared for people to love it, but also for people to absolutely hate it. The crowds I spoke to were so varied I could never know beforehand!

Sunken Blimp

The first talk was actually in the “Metaverse”. I was asked to talk about Echoes of Somewhere by Camilo Miranda from Sunken Blimp. This speech was online on Spatial.io. It was a fun experience, with me being able to place 3D meshed from the game along with behind the scenes videos in the exhibition space. Unfortunately I do not have any screenshots or video from that speech.

Echoes of Somewhere presentation Sunken Blimp

Sunken Blimp was a success though: no one sent me death threats. People seemed genuinely interested in the topic. But the next speech lined up would be at a very small, artsy animated film festival in Turku.

Turku Animated Film Festival

It was now easy for me to say yes as I had the slides done. I updated them a bit for the presentation in Turku, but generally they were the same. Without any planning, the presentation at this state was exactly 1 hour long, which was the time slot given to me at TAFF. Must have been destiny!

This crowd was a total unknown to me: they were maybe the furthest thing from AI techbros you could imagine! Animators making non.commercial animated arthouse films. Charcoal, clay, petri in motion! I have a history of making animations myself, being one of the founders of the biggest animation company in the nordics: Rovio Animation Studio, so I was no completely out of place in that environment, but my message was.

Thankfully, again, people seemed genuinely interested. AI might have been very alien to some in the audience and I hope that this presentation explained them what it is about in practice. Learn about AI has been my personal goal for this project. To get to know what it is and what it means for the future. I am fairly certain that this was a very good topic to cover in this event as well.

Horizon(s) Bordeaux

Next, I was contacted by Diane Lagrange from Horizon(s) Bordeaux. Horizon(s) is an event for people in the games industry. It is focused on the future and by extension naturally this year was all about AI. She asked me to do a talk of 30 minutes about Echoes of Somewhere and also attend an AI panel. Other people on the panel were Jon Madoff of Beamable, Henri Mirande from Kinetix, Sami Ede from Leonardo.ai and Guillaume Gaudron from Ubisoft.

The only challenge with this one was to cut half off of the duration of the speech. I just deleted as many slides I thought was possible and went for it. I think in the end the speech ended up being very close to the allowed time.

Bordeaux was absolutely brilliant at that time of the year and it genuinely felt like a holiday to me. And the people I met there were amazing! I was not too stressed about the reception of the presentation as we one as I figured everyone in the event would be there to learn about AI. Just like the next speech.

Business Finland IA & IP Seminar

Meanwhile Olli Sinerma from Business Finland asked me to join a thing they were doing. I asked if my speech I have been doing on the topic would be ok and it was. This presentation would be hybrid: on location in Helsinki and streamed.

Echoes of Somewhere presentation

At this point I was pretty used to speaking about the project, but for this speech the time allowed for the presentation was the shortest yet, because the previous guy speaking went almost half an hour overtime, forcing me to really pick up the pace. I think despite the hurry it still went pretty well!

This one also had a very easy audience, many game industry friends and people interested in AI as that was the topic of the event. But the next one was the one that stressed me out the most!

Kind Of Art

The event was hosted by a Danish convept art company MOOD Visuals. My contact person was Fanny Saemund.

This is the presentation I dreaded the most. It was a conference for concept artists on Copenhagen. The speakers ranged from Jama Jurabaev to Ron Ashtiani. Many absolute concept art legends! With aspiring concept artists in the audience looking to make it in the industry and then there is me, working on a prototype AI project, seemingly eliminating all the artists from the equation!

As an artist myself, I felt really weird being there and talking about AI, but again, I believed it is a topic these people should really learn about. As much as possible. The speech went really well. I had by now timed it to match the given time perfectly. There was a decent turn-out of listeners and no one threw tomatoes! None of the artist I spoke to at the venue felt really threatened by AI, and rightfully so.

Again, the best part about the trip was meeting the people, but this time also going to see the other talks was such an amazing experience!

Games Now

The last talk so far was at Games Now 2023 at Aalto University. This one is the speech that is published online on Youtube. By this time I had already learned to not fear the audience over my AI content!

If you want me to come speak at your event, just contact me on X or LinkedIn, email echoes@echoesofsomewhere.com or even shoot a comment on this blog post (I moderate them myself). Let’s see if we can make it happen! I might even update my slides if we are lucky!

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