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ScienceIamA radiologist, AI researcher and lead author of a recent paper that used deep learning to predict if patients will die in the next five years. AMA!

Jun 8th 2017 by drlukeor • 48 Questions • 814 Points

Hey Reddit:

We're Matthew Mercer and Erin Cahill of Resident Evil: Vendetta, the action-packed third installment in the state-of-the-art CG animated franchise. Matt is returning as Leon S. Kennedy and we're introducing Erin's character Rebecca Chambers in this film! Follow us along with Chris Redfield (played by Kevin Dorman) as we aim to stop the spread of a deadly virus that threatens to destroy New York City. Check out the trailer here: https://youtu.be/Fs5g-l0Bcss

Based on “Resident Evil™,” one of the bestselling video game franchises of all time, “Resident Evil: Vendetta” will also be released in movie theaters nationwide on June 19 for a special one-night event from Fathom Events. Tickets are available here

The film is on digital June 20 and on 3-Disc 4K Ultra HD™/Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, 2-disc Blu-ray™ and DVD July 18. Ask us anything!

Proof:

Matthew: https://i.redd.it/q3n6qy1l0r1z.jpg

Erin: https://i.redd.it/ckj9p1at0r1z.jpg

Matt: Thank you guys so much for coming and asking such amazing questions!! This was an absolute BLAST. Can't wait for you all to see the movie in the VERY near future, and keep up with my shenanigans via twitter @matthewmercer, and instagram @matthewmercervo. Much love to you all!

Erin: You guys, ditto to what Matt said! It has been such a blast to talk to you all! I am a slow typer, so look out for our FB live chats (coming up soon: Http://facebook.com/residentevilvendetta ) and I can answer more then. Plus, you will get to see Matt and I rock out to Journey. (Not kidding, that happened today. Don't Stop Believing!) You can follow me on Twitter at ErinJ_Cahill, insta is ejcahill, and FB at ErinJCahill Fanpage. Thank you for being wonderful fans. Can't wait to know you all more. Don't get eaten until we meet again!!! xo

Q:

If we could accurately predict the percentage of death within the best future of the patient, is there anything that could be done to lower those odds after the fact?

A:

How muscular should Chris be? RE5 (SUPER RIPPED) or RE1? (Normal guy.)


Q:

Absolutely, that is the whole reason for doing the research. The obvious thing would be seeing that you have a higher risk of, for example, cardiac disease, and using the knowledge to make some lifestyle changes.

But it goes much beyond that. If we can accurately quantify ill-health in comprehensive manner, then we can start looking for patient subgroups that need different treatment.

Maybe a certain combination of diseases means therapy should be more aggressive. Or maybe an unexpectedly high level of underlying disease would change the patient's decision to have an elective surgery, because the risk of a bad outcome is too high in that individual.

We don't know for sure how this will play out yet, but the entire goal of precision medicine is to significantly improve patient outcomes.

A:

Matt: NEVER BUFF ENOUGH PUNCH EVERY ROCK INTO THE SUN


Q:

I have huge amounts of respect for you guys. Building, managing and developing AI just fascinates me, the genetic algorithm is something that just blows my mind. As you say predicting the percentage of death is what the AI does does for you, does it also mean that it also has the capability to predict the most efficient and effective cure for a particular disease that humans are not aware of yet. there can be many ways to treat a disease right? can you use AI to put these various cures into this algorithm and just combine them with many different sorts of data to mix and match and let the AI decide whats best for us ? Can you create this environment for the AI? if yes can you elaborate how? Thanks <3

A:

Woo! Saw your tweet Matthew and was happily able to make the start of this AMA! I never catch the start of these things.

I have never really gotten into the Resident Evil franchise, Can i jump into this one without really knowing anything about the story (beyond zombies exist). Or should i just totally just binge everything resident evil between now and june 20th?

secondly Matthew care to give us critical role fans a sneak peak of anything special you have planned for the 100th episode of critical role on thursday?


Q:

There is a lot of work by other teams about using AI to design drugs or discover molecular targets. It is a very interesting area, and while it is very much in the early stages, it also seems very promising.

A:

Matt: I don't think you need to know everything. If you want to get a quick primer you can take at the wikipedia for Resident Evil or just know that there are zombies and creatures that are spawned by viruses.

Can't let anything slip about Critical Role, you'll just have to tune in.


Q:

How much data exploration did you do to identify potential relationships? Why did you opt for your model to be a neural network over a regression or classification?

A:

Matthew, first off, I'm a huge fan of Critical Role. Granted I've only discovered it within the past few weeks, but in that time, I've uncovered my own love for D&D. After being hesitant to bring it up to friends for fear of being seen as a "nerd", I took the plunge and I have loved every minute of it.

Your work has inspired me to admit and accept my own personal nerdy side, something I've been ashamed to do for years, and I thank you for that.

Anyway, simple question, do you enjoy/hate listening to/playing through your own work?


Q:

Regression and classification are broad categories of machine learning problems. Regression attempts to output continuous numbers (like 0 to 100), classification outputs categories (like yes or no).

Neural networks are capable of both sorts of tasks. In this case we did a classification task (will this patient die within five years), but we can also frame it as regression (how many days etc.).

A:

Matt: Thanks so much for the kind words!! <3

To answer your question, it can be a bit strange... at first, I couldn't help but listen with a critical ear, hearing my performance and taking notes on how to improve. Now, I just got a little use to it, and try to enjoy the game for its own merit.


Q:

How much will life expectancy rise within the next 20-30 years? Considering that we are working to 3D print living organs; you are literally creating an AI to tell how healthy someone and what is possibly wrong just by scanning them. Modern medicine is getting awesome.

A:

Hey Matt, what's your wackiest DnD story? Also for both of you, whats the most memorable (either good or bad) job and/or story from voice acting?


Q:

The current trend is that life expectancy will rise by between 6 and 9 years in that time period, but I personally think we could do better than that. There is a lot of funding in extending human lifespans right now, with several clinical trials already underway.

One of the long-term goals of this research is to find responsive markers of longevity for use in trials like this, to reduce the amount of follow-up time needed to show efficacy.

A:

Matt: Oh man. There are many! Quick one: A Recent Episode of CR had our Druid Keyleth leaping off a cliff...


Q:

Ever read Life Line?

A:

Matt:

1) Build Leon as a DND character. What race, class, background, alignment, flaws, etc. would you put on his sheet?

2) What character would you imagine Leon would choose play if he sat down at a DND table?

Erin:

3) What is the best zombie survival advice you can dole out?

4) What was your funniest moment in the booth recording for Rebecca Chambers?


Q:

A long time ago. Definitely a Heinlein fan.

A:

Matt: 1) Oh man... Human Fighter (Gunslinger), with a soldier background. Good alignment, flawed in the need to save others at the expense of his own safety. Fairly high Dex, Wis, and Cha. ;)

2) Hrmm... any class, so long as he could Feat into "Magic initiate" to get the Bard's Vicious Mockery.

3) I'm a bad person to ask, as I fully acknowledge I won't survive much into the first hour of the zombie apocalypse, hehe. Personally? Find the Alphas and let them lead. ;)


Q:

Congrats on your paper getting so much attention! Any specific reason for choosing generic mortality rate as opposed to looking at a single disease?

As far as the industry predictions on your blog, your understanding of the field is off in a lot of ways. Plus, when I click on your links which are used as references, it redirects right back to your own blog. Then that reference article contains misconceptions that are backed up by, you guessed it, links to your own blog again! It reads like a conspiracy theory website.

A:

Matt, who do you main in Super Smash Bros? Any game and how do you feel about Chrom not actually getting into Smash 4? Big fan!


Q:

Good question. Mortality is a very strong marker of health, is related to many visual features of disease, and is unambiguous. We chose this as the initial task for those reasons. We will look at disease specific outcomes in future work.

Re: my blog ... the internal linking is because all of the articles are one big piece, with one narrative. Each argument is predicated on previous ones.

That said, there are tons of links to external sources. Looking at the stats, I get about 2-5% of users hitting outgoing links. That sounds pretty reasonable.

Feel free to tell me where you disagree with me though, as I say at the start of each piece I will correct anything that is in error.

A:

Matt: I lean Mewtwo in Melee, and Luigi in Brawl and later versions (because he's so f--king weird and I love it)

It's fine Chrom wasn't in it. We needed more badass female representation in Smash, and the Fire Emblem elements were quite the sausage fest.


Q:

So where is the website so I can see how long I have?

A:

Completely agree lol. I use Lucina as a main myself. Honestly, Female Corrin should've just been the main Corrin as well. Thank you so much for the reply!


Q:

This isn't my work (I work with medical images), but there is a site you can use here which is based on high quality research.

A:

Aw Thank You! I'm a slower typer than Matt...ha! I loved working on all legs of this film. The whole cast was wonderful. And, I always love working with my brother Jason!


Q:

[deleted]

A:

Hey guys, this is a question for both. Matt, I know you do a lot of voice acting between anime, CR, and all sorts of games. Sorry Erin, but I'm not too familiar with your work. But do either of you ever find yourselves doing the voice for a character from something completely different by accident? Or do you just fall into a groove and "become" that character? Thanks!


Q:

Let's run with that hypothetical. You have autoimmune disease, say, rheumatoid arthritis. You are on standard disease modifying treatment, which controls your symptoms reasonably well, and you have ok function but struggle to do much strenuous activity. You get a scan.

The scan reveals you have subclinical heart disease, as well as significant frailty/sarcopaenia (presumably because you can't exercise very well). Normally you wouldn't treat subclinical heart disease, but your autoimmune disease is a constant stress on your body (and probably speeds up the development of coronary disease). On top of that, your frailty is reducing your cardiovascular reserve.

So you and your doctor decide that, unlike the average patient with rheumatoid arthritis, you should start preventative treatment for your heart disease. Maybe strict cholesterol/lipid control, some aspirin, and add in a graded physiotherapy program to regain some strength (funded by insurance because you now qualify due to the new data, which shows it will save them money over time).

Next time you get a scan, your health biomarkers are improved. You are, according to the model, further away from death.

This is all hypothetical, obviously, but this is what we want to happen.

A:

Matt: Ha! Every now and then! Thankfully, when you return to voice a character you've already performed, they will play examples of your previous work to "dial you in" through call and repeat. This allows you to tune back in and match previous dialogue.


Q:

Question for Matthew: How do you feel about Leon not being a character in Resident Evil 7? I know your a fan of the series so one other question: What do you think of the new direction the series is taking with RE7 being in first person and going back to horror roots?

A:

Matt: I think the franchise definitely needed an injection of new narrative, so I wasn't let down at all not having him in there. I do sincerely hope they eventually loop back into the original RE stories/characters with the themes and classic horror elements that RE7 brought back in. (also, I just want to be able to be Leon again, hehe)


Q:

Wow, I'm here near the start of one of these things! That's a surprise!

Well, since I'm here so early, I might as well be "that guy": Matt, as the voice of Leon, any juicy details on the RE2 Remake? Maybe an E3 trailer? Something?

Since I know the answer to that question will not be as interesting as I hope it will be, I've got another one too. With how good Leon and the other RE "vets" are at surviving now, do you think there will ever be a game that skews more toward horror rather than action starring one of them? Whether it's classic RE style or even something similar to RE7. Or are they just too good to be solving puzzles and awkwardly shuffling around zombies?

A:

Matt: Honestly, I am currently not involved with the RE2 Remake, so you are as in the dark about it as I am!

As to your second question, I certainly hope so! I love the Survival Horror roots of the series, and I think RE6 was a learning experience for all those involved. Fingers crossed!


Q:

To Matthew Mercer: I'm a fan of your Critical Role show, thank you for the creative entertainment! I'm curious if you're a Harry Potter fan? (I don't know much about DnD, but I recognize a lot of the creatures because of my Harry Potter obsessive tendencies.) Keep up the amazing work!

A:

Matt: I enjoy HP quite a lot! I fear I've only read the first book, and followed through with the films thereafter (free time to read seems to escape me far too often)


Q:

Firstly, I'd like to say how thankful I am for your talents being used in what I hope to be an excellent film.

To the both of you, Id like to ask for some advice. What would you say to a young aspiring voice actor/regular actor fresh out of high school? What can I do to improve my skills and begin breaking into the industry?

A:

Matt: Improv training is HUGE, imo. Cold reading is a majority of the job for most Voice Over, so focus on the ability to quick spot-read a script, interpret details quickly and make bold choices.


Q:

Erin can you tell us what your character will be like? How was it working with Matt and the others?

A:

E: Hi! Rebecca is awesome. You guys are going to love her. I hope! She is strong, but sweet. And, fiercely smart. I loved playing her.


Q:

What was both of yours first VO gig and how did you come across it?

A:

Matt: It was doing background Walla voices for the old Fist of the North Star animated series. Heads exploding, Guy #3 shouting, etc. Came across it through accident, and was overwhelmed. It was enough to make me seriously think about pursuing it in the future.


Q:

Was that "Yearrrgh" with three "r's" or four?

A:

E: I am going to ditto what Matt said. About the respect and hell yes if it's encouraged!


Q:

A simple question. Your favorite animals?

A:

Matt: Hrmm... the Huggi. A corgi-husky mix.

Erin made me clarify.


Q:

Hi Matt and Erin!!

If you were Luchadors what would your gimmicks be?

A:

Matt: I would think my gimmick would be narrating my movesets and attacks in realtime.


Q:

Hi!!! So thrilled you guys were able to make an AMA. Huge fan here, especially of Rebecca since i was like 7yo! and then playing as Leon as a 9yo. Thank you both so much for the delivery you make to every game. Greeting from Mexico!

now..

A question for both of you: What was your most exciting moment that you took part with in the video games?

A:

Matt: Finally seeing the E3 trailers for RE6 and seeing Leon's face talking with my own voice. It was such an incredible moment for me, having been a fan of the character for so long. <3


Q:

Matt: What is your opinion the relationship of Ada and Leon? Does Leon miss or mention Ada at all in Vendetta?

Erin: Does Rebecca ever say her famous "OH NO!" line in Vendetta? lol

A:

Matt: Leon and Ada have a very interesting, complicated relationship. What romance that is there is peppered with mistrust, yearning, and playful denial. I imagine he misses elements of her, and REALLY doesn't miss others.


Q:

Matt: What is your opinion the relationship of Ada and Leon? Does Leon miss or mention Ada at all in Vendetta?

Erin: Does Rebecca ever say her famous "OH NO!" line in Vendetta? lol

A:

E: I didn't use anyone's performance. I actually have only seen pictures of Rebecca. I'm so excited to be playing her in her 30's. You guys haven't seen her since she was a teenager! I hope you like it as much as I loved playing her. :)


Q:

Hey Matt, massive fan, you inspired me to become a DM myself and so far (6 months) my players are really digging it!

My question for you is how far ahead do you plan the over-arching story? You've mentioned before about starting small and planning for what is immediately ahead to avoid being swamped by workload but do you have a direction in mind where to take the story from the beginning?

I have planned very far into the future with the main narrative elements and wondering if I shouldn't stick to what I have to avoid removing the element of choice from my players.

A:

Matt: Big story arcs I loosely plot out, and detail the smaller, session-to-session stories upfront. I then chisel out the main arc as we go, adjusting and adapting based on player actions!


Q:

Hi Matt and Erin! Is really nice to see such talented people as you guys in Resident Evil.

Here are my questions (sorry for the bad english. I hope you can understand me!)

Matt: How is it to play Leon one more time? Is he different from what we saw in Resident Evil 6?

Erin: We haven't seen Rebecca in a long time. She was a very delicate but brave girl. How is she in RE Vendetta?

Kisses from Brazil!

PS to Matt: I started playing DnD with my boyfriend because of you!

A:

Matt: I relish it. He's one of my personal favs, and means quite a lot to me. He's certainly reeling still from the events of Damnation and RE6, so prepare for that emotional baggage.

Also, that's awesome! Enjoy your game!


Q:

Hey Matt, big fan and I've loved your work across everything Blizzard related, and beyond!

I have three, you can pick and choose if you want.

1) What got you really interested in voice acting, and kept you going? 2) How did you go about practicing and getting better at voice acting? 3) Have you ever thought about going back to facial hair? You could cosplay as McCree at cons!

Thanks for the enjoyment you bring!

A:

Matt: Thanks, friend!

1) My love of cartoons and video games merging with my love of theater. 2) Many, MANY classes and workshops over the years while performing on stage whenever I could. Improv helped tremendously. Cold-reading and reading outloud when alone. 3) I have, but many projects I have going on require facial mocap, and I need to shave for those... it's frustrating.


Q:

Erin: in case Matt hasn't already invited you to make a guest appearance in Critical Role, would you? I'm sure you'd have loads of fun...what class would you pick?

A:

E: Ha! I just showed him the question and told him I would love to be part. :)


Q:

Just wanted to say thank you all for taking the time to answer all these questions!

Matt: How do you find time to sleep? It seems like you're everywhere doing everything!

Everyone: What's your favorite sandwich and beverage?

A:

Matt: The nutrient broth that maintains my consciousness also keeps the majority of sleep necessity at bay.

Sandwich - French Dip with Au Jus. Beverage - Thai Iced Tea.


Q:

Do zombies have feelings? And did you hurt them?

A:

Matt: Don't care. ::loads shotgun::


Q:

That's probably the best answer to this question! Haha love you guys! :D

A:

E: Well I am going to have to go with Leon, of course!


Q:

Hi Matt!

Big fan of both RE and Critical Role (and many of your other projects, like Final Fantasy 15, and going waaaaay back... Sailor Moon)

My Not Resident Evil related question: (I'm sorry, but you expected this right?)

When using your resurection ritual rules does rolling a natural 20 on an attempt to aid a resurrection ritual (Vex for Percy's first res and Pike for Scanlan) have any benefit mechanically? Or was that just another example of the dice reinforcing awesome story/character moments?

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for the many many hours of entertainment you've provided me, and for inspiring me to start a D&D game with my own friends. A year ago I picked up the 5e starter set and DM'd my first game. Now we're playing Storm Kings Thunder, and I credit or monthly game for bringing us all closer together.

I know you hear it all the time, but I wanted to add to the many many people out there you've had a positive influence on.

Also I hope you have a fantastic wedding whenever that is! Congrats to you and Marisha!

A:

Matt: No mechanical benefit, just ensuring the success of the ritual and making a beautiful moment of narrative improv. That's my genuine thrill in TTRPGs. :)

Thank you so much!! <3


Q:

For both of you, are you fans of the RE universe, or just in it for the work? I'm okay with either, just genuinely curious.

A:

Matt: Myself? I've played pretty much every RE game since the original for PSX (including some of the terrible early Gameboy ones). Since the friggin dog through the window made me yelp in front of friends in High school, I've been hooked. Leon became my favorite character by RE4, so to step into his shoes was a genuine honor.


Q:

How different is doing voice over for an animated movie compared to say video games?

A:

Matt: Many Video Games and Animated projects do record the voices as Pre-lay, so we get to perform without any constraints, and the animation is tailored to our performances. Others involve us recording our voices over existing animation, called ADR, and that's a more technical process that takes layers of concentration.


Q:

Matt and Erin: Who in your opinion is the most dynamic, interesting character in RE:V? You can pick yourselves. I won't judge.

Thanks. Really excited for the release in a couple weeks!

A:

Matt: Oh man. Could be Leon. He's the cynic and wise-crack master. Probably Rebecca, though. She's the heart of this story.


Q:

First of all hi guys. Now onto the questions.

Matthew: Can you tell us anything about a new RE game and if you can't what do you the focus should be in the next one ?

Erin: How does it feel coming into this huge world of Resident Evil and voicing one of it's main characters ?

If by any chance you answer this question, thank you so much.

A:

Matt: I don't really know anything about upcoming projects, but I'd love to see them maintain the survival horror/atmospheric elements of RE7 and tie it with the original storylines a bit!


Q:

Matt: What is your favorite 16-bit JRPG and why?

A:

Matt: That's a hard choice between FFVI and Chrono Trigger.

Don't make me choose. Please.


Q:

Hi, Matt! Huge huge huge fan of your work, specifically Ryoma and Yusuke.

My question is simple: Who are, let's say, the five favorite characters that you've ever done VA work for?

A:

Matt: OH NO THIS QUESTION AAAARGH...

Leon, McCree, Aloth, Tygra, Kiritsugu Emiya...?


Q:

What's your opinion on RPGs becoming more and more about appealing to a wider audience rather than being made specifically for people interested in RPGs? Do you think there's a balance and is it currently perfect or tipped too far to one side?

Thanks for being so damn entertaining, by the way.

A:

Matt: I feel RPGs can only benefit from a wider love and appreciation of the hobby. All systems evolve with the times, and while some may lend their efforts towards a more accessible gamer base, others will still cater to the more classic gamers who carried the hobby all these years. I don't see any trends or changes being able to alter or change how you play your game at home unless you somehow let it.


Q:

If you met Leon S. Kennedy in real life, what would a conversation between you two look like?

PS: Been a long time... comrade.

A:

Matt: I'd buy him a drink, we'd swap stories for an hour, then I'd awkwardly ask him to sign my leather jacket.


Q:

How many times can a zombie outbreak be stopped before its just too much and we all give in and zombie party for the rest of our lives?

A:

Matt: 72 times.


Q:

Matt I just wanted to say thank you for everything you do! I am a huge Critical Role fan and have been binge watching to catch up! Please come to Pax Unplugged in November!

My question is what made you start voice acting and how did you get so good at doing many types of voices?

Thank you! ❤️

A:

E: I agree they both have their place. I also like the slow and scary moments. I like the suspense! I'm a total horror fan. Scare me, Baby!


Q:

Mr. Mercer, Ms. Cahill, what's been the highlight of your VA careers?

A:

E: This is so exciting for me! Absolutely this and Call of Duty.


Q:

Question for Matt: Since the Tal'dorei setting book is set after the year time skip, during which, Scanlan became The Meat Man, is The Meat Man going to be in the Ankarhel(sp?) lore in the book?

A:

He is in Ank'Harel during that time, but the campaign guide only covers the lore of current-day Tal'Dorei, so it's not in the campaign guide. ;)


Q:

Matt, how do you feel Leon has evolved throughout the series? He started as a rookie "wrong place wrong time" cop in RE2 and has grown to be a much richer and stronger character since. Does this play a heavy role in how you play him?

Thanks, I started playing DnD cause of you and Critical Role!

A:

Matt: It VERY much informs my performance. He carries the weight of each person who died under his watch, every failure he incurred, and every victory that was torn from him. To still stand and fight in spite of such crushing experiences shows his true heroism, in my opinion


Q:

Ahh, Matt, you're one of my all time favourite voice actors!!! I love all the work you do, and I really appreciate it (I know a lot of other people do too)

I have 2 questions:

1) What's it like voice acting in Fire Emblem? Chrom is my favourite of all the characters you've voiced, and I just want to know what working on awakening was like.

2) Speaking of Chrom, how did you get into a role like that? What did you take away from him as a character that helped you really figure out who Chrom is?

For Erin:

1) What's it like playing in a zombie horror setting? Is it scary, stressful, or just a whole lot of fun?

A:

E: I would say I would like to be bitten in a non-critical area, then hopefully get a vaccine ASAP!


Q:

Matt: Are there any Leon quotes you think would work well with Mccree and vise versa?

Erin: How different do you find Voice acting to say working on Power Rangers?

A:

Matt: Ha! Probably a number of them! "Ain't I killed you before?" Seems thematic. "That'll do fine" when buffed/healed would be fun.


Q:

Long time RE fan here and I grew up with it with my brother. How did it feel being called up and given the voice role of your respective characters?

A:

E: I was and am still so excited! I love the RE world and love Rebecca. And you fans!


Q:

Long time RE fan here and I grew up with it with my brother. How did it feel being called up and given the voice role of your respective characters?

A:

E: I was so excited and am even more excited as it gets closer to the premier and the more fans I am meeting!


Q:

Long time RE fan here and I grew up with it with my brother. How did it feel being called up and given the voice role of your respective characters?

A:

Matt: My fav RE character for a long time, and when I had the opportunity to audition for him, I gave it my all. :)


Q:

Hi, I can't think of a good question

Would you rather fight 100 mcree sized horses or 1 horse sized mcree?

A:

Matt: 1,000 horee sized McCorses.


Q:

So Matt,

Would you like to see Leon being represented with you as a VA in a crossover type of game, think Marvel vs Capcom or a new Project X Zone?

A:

Matt: I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT HOOOOO MAN WHERE YOUR CURLY MUSTACHE AT