TechnologyWe’re the founders of Anki, a robotics and AI company. We make a little robot named Cozmo and a robotic battle-racing game called Anki Overdrive. AMA!
Nov 10th 2017 by Anki_Inc • 40 Questions • 41 Points
Hi! I impersonated Joel Osteen and got to the stage at one of his arena events. They threatened me with jail but I'm free and I'd like to chop it up from 9am PST- 10:30am PST with anyone who watched the video!
https://mobile.twitter.com/MikeKlimkowski?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor https://dabsden.com https://www.michaelklimkowski.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBERBTmKKnQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh2PChNBDds, https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/7bnbub/a_joel_osteen_lookalike_goes_to_a_joel_osteen/
Why push for AI when the overall belief is that it isn’t something that we humans can ultimately control?
What's your opinion of journalists after your personal experience? Was there any good for you that came from them and their reports, did you see some/many as exploitative?
Do people ever get mad at you for looking like Joel Osteen, after telling them you’re not him?
AI will have a lot more benefits than disadvantages in the near future. If you are worried about SkyNet, I like to quote Andrew Ng, one of the fathers of deep learning, who said: “worrying about the rise of evil killer robots is like worrying about overpopulation and pollution on Mars before we've even set foot on it”. I very much agree with that. Always good to keep a close look, but so far the potential advantages are huge. - Hanns
I think the media is like a double edge sword it has huge power for good but at the same time it can come at a cost. For me the majority of my experiences have always added to the greater good there are a few exceptions, however.
Not mad, but impossibly disappointed. Just kidding. No they liked the gag
Did anyone figure it out that it wasn't Joel? what was your response?
Yes I actually agree. On one hand, you have AI getting better so quickly that humans aren’t able to catch up. We already see that happening in some areas, latest example being DeepMind’s AlphaGo. No human will ever be capable of beating that AI playing Go. On the other hand, you have a complete lack of “general intelligence,” meaning where one AI is good at many different things. So far, everything deep learning related that I know of can be very good at ONE thing only (like image recognition), but that same network wouldn’t be good at, let’s say, voice recognition. That is extremely different from the way our brains work.
Nothing I have seen so far worries me, but I think it’s still good to keep a close eye on new technology like that. The same is true for any research, ex: biology (like modifying DNA), power generation, autonomous cars, etc. - Hanns
I feel extremely blessed in that I have not suffered from PTSD. I have had flashbacks, I now have aversions to things that didn’t bother me before, but that’s it.
They did! I would just laugh and say I'm his tall brother!!
Are you ever worried that Joel Osteen is going to come to your neighborhood and pretend to be you and get into all sorts of trouble?
Yes. We actually started with Python for the first Cozmo SDK used mostly by researchers, hackers, makers, etc. Scratch came later. We might support other languages, but because the SDK is open source, anyone can do that. People have already created awesome integrations for Blockly, C# etc. -Hanns
My favorite movie is Eddie The Eagle. I can eat Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia by the pint, and my toughest boss is my two year old daughter.
hahaha I would to do a video where joel pretends to be me and valets cars
With this impersonating gig and acting etc.... do you make a decent living in general?
Yes, it’s something we really would like to do but haven’t gotten to yet. The reason is the Cozmo engine, about 1.8 million lines of code, the AI, computer vision, path planning, everything. Most of that code runs on the smartphone/tablet and not actually on Cozmo. This means that anyone building an app, would need to include the engine, and needs to guarantee it runs at the right intervals, etc. Nothing which can’t be solved, but we want to do it well and give you guys the right tools. - Hanns
I couldn’t just runaway. I couldn’t just scream out. Everything I did, I did to survive. I never suffered from Stockholm Syndrome. I never identified with my captors or cared about them. Every decision was made with survival in mind.
I park cars everyday. I have to be at work at 11am today. So I'm gonna wrap this up at 10:30am pst. I'm trying to get paid solely to doing acting and comedy with my dabs den crew
Yes, there were lots of times I thought, this is it I’m going to die wether if it was directly at the hands of my captors or through consequences of their actions. It was hard to believe it was over until I was in my dad’s arms being hugged at the police station.
Respect! Watch thos angles and never trust back up cams
I've parked Jaimee Foxx's Bugati
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In your opinion as a children's advocate, what are some practical, commonsense steps parents can take to help their children avoid abuse? (And I guess I mean abuse in a general way, anything from extreme bullying to abduction.)
Now guess who is the nicer person between the two of us ;-) - Hanns
- Make sure your child knows that they are loved unconditionally, and make sure your child knows what unconditionally means.
- Make sure that your child understands that no one has the right to hurt them or scare them in any way. It doesn’t matter what that person may be: family, friend, religious leader, community leader, it doesn’t matter.
- Should anyone hurt your child or threaten them in anyway, they need to tell you.
He rides an arc
Don't know if he'll answer this but honestly they all just become a blur after a while. I've parked Lamborghinis, Bentleys, everything you can think of.
No big deal really. No time to really do anything other than park it and get back up to the valet area to do it all over again.
I think the right personality can be deeply beneficial in this application and can help disarm some of the fears that people have with AI in such settings. In general, as robots (of all kinds) get smarter and more deeply integrated into our lives, personality becomes more than just a cosmetic add-on, it’s a necessity to make them feel natural to interact with, and help people become more comfortable with their purposes and limitations. But it’s important to keep in mind that when robots’ core purpose shifts to functions beyond entertainment, personality doesn’t have to mean something like Cozmo. It can be far more subtle and with a character more conducive to their purpose. This will actually be a core element of our future products that start to bridge outside of entertainment. The EQ side of robotics is just as important as the IQ. -Boris
You have to find what’s right for you in therapy. There’s no formula for everyone. For me, my family was huge. I found my music extremely therapeutic. I have always found horseback riding and being in nature therapeutic.
Yeah I agree! At this point I just want a comfortable car that's easy to enter and exit
Dude, keep up the amazing work. I swear If I were a director id cast you. Fucking Hilarious.
Exactly! ;) -Boris
People have almost always been very respectful. The hardest part about rejoining society was realizing that I would never go back to being the old me.
Is there anything you noticed in your captor, whether it be a certain look or manner of speech that would serve as a red flag for you if seen/ heard from another person?
Or, rather, can you sense if someone you encounter is capable of such a thing?
Well, I don’t know about “good”.... Robot pickup line: If I were a function(), would you call me? What does R2D2 use to open PDF files? Adobe Wan Kenobi. :) -Boris
There are things that make me wary, one of them being when someone uses religion excessively to justify what they’ve done or are going to do.
oh bummer they weren't selling beers, but I had a few after
Are you worried Joel Osteen will now attempt to take some sort of legal action against you?
Cozmo was always supposed to be a small robot living in people's homes, similar to a pet. His fundamental need is to interact with people, especially his owners (people he already knows). He is smart, but at the same time, inexperienced, giving him the opportunity to develop over time. He likes to win and can be a sore loser if he doesn’t, but his mood swings are always short-lived, and he will go back to being happy to play and hang out. - Hanns
We were both serving missions in France for our church and that’s where we met. He supports me so that I can do my advocacy work because it can be emotionally taxing.
No. There isn't really anything bad we did. This is probably good press for him
I am a survivor of human trafficking, which actually started around the time you had went missing. When you were found I remember it giving me hope and something to keep working toward because it reminded me that there are people out there who care. What was the hardest thing you faced in terms of speaking out and becoming an advocate? I still have so much guilt tied to my experience and I'm 30 now and while I've worked through so much of that, I can't seem to fully accept that it was something that happened to me, not something that I did. If there was one main thing that you wanted to tell a survivor about speaking out, what would it be?
Cozmo won’t be bigger than he is now, but other robots in the future might. For Cozmo, the small size is actually really important for two reasons. First, our animation team noticed a few years ago that robots in films move very quickly, and that is part of their charm from a character perspective. Compare that to most utility robots in the real world today that move around people slowly. The reason for this is a robot can be dangerous when it moves fast. So we had to deal with these two constraints: Cozmo needs to be able to move quickly from time to time to make him expressive as a character, but at the same time he can’t be dangerous. The best way we could think of to achieve this was to make him small. We have prototypes here about 2x the size, and even with those, you could get your finger stuck under his arm while playing the Quick Tap game and it would hurt.
The second reason for the small size is that we wanted people to be able to hold him in the palm of their hand, so “hamster size” was a design spec which helps fit his cute, quirky personality. - Hanns
The hardest thing about speaking out and becoming an advocate was the fear of having everyone know what happened to me. The one thing I would tell a survivor about speaking out is no matter what people’s reactions are, you deserve happiness, you deserve love, you deserve support and you deserve to know that you are worthwhile.
For sure I have semi-jacked abs
It is said that one who both is and is not JO will come to evolve our JO crystals to the next level with his pearlescent energies and pretty decent abs.
edit: /u/MichaelKlimkowski eats JO crystals.
Probably the hardest aspect of the path to Cozmo was the need to simultaneously define his character / personality, his physical form and abilities, and the actual core of the experience someone would have with him. Each of these is super complex on their own, but they also influence one another deeply, making this one of the most complex products anyone of us have worked on. Mechanically, Cozmo is made up of about 360 components and went through over 45 mechanical iterations, and all of this had to happen when the specifics of his character and overall behavior were still fairly abstract. To some degree we had to take leaps of faith and make best efforts to make decisions we couldn’t later reverse even while there was deep uncertainty. What we’ve always tried to do to deal with this was to push as much of the complexity as possible to software where we have far more control and flexibility to evolve the experience and make the core hardware and capabilities as versatile and generalizable as possible. For example, the face is a display that lets us continue to evolve his facial expressions, one of the most important elements of his personality, all the way to launch and even after using software updates. -Boris
Yes, I still have many friends from before I was abducted, and it was awkward maybe the first two seconds I was home and then things just picked up where we had left off.
I eat precious crystals and minerals every day and then to 1,000 sit ups to maintain my chiseled 6pack. Also, I do crossfit. JK JK
Hmm, I am not sure when it will happen or if at all, but I am pretty sure it won’t be in the next 50 years. As for Cozmo it’s easy: Probably a good Gremlin, but no matter whether he would be good or bad, he is small enough that you can squash him with your shoe :-) (please don’t do that) -Hanns
Well, my husband doesn’t like being called Mr. Smart, but other than that no, or that I’ve yet to experience.
Yeah check out ostend' day off
We are having a retrospective on the comedic stylings of Mr. Martin Short, would you be available to attend?
How do you know Cozmo won’t steal your wallet when you’re not looking? ;) -Boris
I like doing Crime Watch Daily, because it feels like I’m able to help someone share their story without re-victimizing them because I’ve been in their same shoes.
I'm in LA are you in Florida? I love Martin Short!!!
In 2003 you were known as the girl who was kidnapped, today I think your advocacy work is defining you - in 40 years, when the public hears 'Elizabeth Smart' what do you want them to think of first? Or do desire a life outside the spotlight, where people don't recognize your name?
What was the nuttiest thing you heard a church member say, whether to you, or something you overheard?
I’d be lying if I said anonymity wasn’t tempting, but I want to continue advocating until change happens. It would also be nice to be known as a wife, a mother, a friend.
I specifically told a lady I wasn't joel because she was getting too emotional and she refused to believe i wasn't him.
Is there anything "in the moment" that you did that you specifically think saved your life until the police came?
What inspired the stunt?
There were a lot of things. Every decision I made was with survival being the end goal. Specifically, learning their tactics and eventually using those tactics against them.
I didn't necessarily want to do this I had to. With our uncanny resemblance it was insane.
I hope no one misreads this and thinks it is a negative comment, but I was curious in the age of social media with your specific situation how do you deal with chuckleheads trying to get noticed at your expense either by harassing you or just posting flat out lies about you or your situation that thrust you into the media spotlight? Also, how do you handle (mentally and emotionally) any fake news stories written about you?
You look an awful lot like Littlefinger as well, maybe you should go to Washington?
The answer to both those questions is the same. I used to read every article and every comment posted about those articles and it made me feel terrible. My older brother one day said, “Elizabeth who cares what these people think? Who cares what these people say? Stop reading them.” So, I stopped reading them.
Thank you, Chaos is a ladder that I will climb in my fancy joel suit
First want to say I'm so impressed by all your incredible advocacy work, and how you've given other survivors of sexual assault such strength.
My question is, how have your experiences and your abduction influenced how you raise your own children? Would you say you're overly safety conscious or cautious?
Thank you for doing this AMA, you're such an inspiration!
The Joel Osteen we need, but don't deserve.
It’s a constant struggle between being overprotected vs. wanting to let my children experience life so they’re prepared for the future. Fortunately, both of my children are young so I control most of their activities but as they get older I think that it will be a constant battle between letting them experience life on their own terms and wanting to protect.
I mean, LotR is HEAVILY influenced by Christianity, unlike Olsteen.
edit: stupid autocorrect i
Practice screaming, encourage your kids to fight back, there is a place and a time when it’s not only acceptable it’s encouraged. An organization that I work closely with is Rad Kids it’s all about prevention education and you can learn more about them at www.radkids.org
definitely some allegory there
If you had gotten on the stage, would you have tried to do a "practice" run?
I’m still debating that. It could be, but I’m not convinced yet.
I would've done and on the spot sermon about how to maintain your rage while driving in LA
I understand that you came from a religious background, and your captors justified their actions with a very sick and twisted version of religious belief. Do you feel a lot of echos of that or have trouble moving back to and reconciling your own faith?
Are you going to try and do this again? Did the guy that asked you if you knew his name tattle on you to security?
No, my faith helped me survive what I did, but when people justify everything they do through religion it makes me wary.
We are definitely going to do something again! That guy didn't give us away, security came through the fences right as that was happening and we bolted out of the arena
Did your Mormon faith have an effect on how you were able to make it through your experience? Is your faith any different now having gone through what you did?
The video was a blast. Did you have any ideas of what to say/do if you came face to face with J.O?
Yes. My faith period played a big part on how I survived. Yes, my faith has changed. I’ve gotten older it’s widen, it’s expanded. it’s grown since I was a 14 year old girl.
I would ask him If I could go to the bank for him. Cash a check!!!
Do you often get recognized when you're out and about? How do people react?
Thanks for hosting the AMA!!
How much rehearsal did you do going into this versus doing it on the fly?
Yes, I get recognized all the time. Especially when I have no makeup on and greasy hair. But people are always very kind and just want to express well wishes and gratitude, but it should be expressing my gratitude to them.
I have don scripted Osteen videos before and those are more rehearsed for sure. At this point for this video I felt comfortable enough to stay in character and try something gonzo. Something different. We had to do something new this time around
How do we change the mentality and social norms that make survivors of sexual abuse feel worthless?
Did you at any point reasonably believe you were going to jail? It might be intimidating but they had literally no grounds to arrest you. Maybe things are different up here in Canada, but seems like the most they could do is remove you from the premises.
Sexual abuse is so prevalent today chances are it’s not just one person you know that’s experienced sexual abuse, but many people that you know that have experienced it. We need to be able to address these issues openly, talk about them regularly, and be supportive when survivors do come forward.
Oh yeah we were all scared we were going to jail. I didn't want to go to jail and for some reason I was alike ahhhh I'm gonna have to call my mom.
When did you realise how big your story had become in the media? What was it like dealing with that in addition to the traumatic experience?
I'm sure the cops considered arresting you but then decided having to go through life looking like Joel Osteen is punishment enough.
Seriously though, in the video you keep asking for a beer. Did you know Osteen doesn't drink and that was part of the joke? Were you afraid that would blow your cover?
I’m still amazed at how big my story was and the interest people still have in it. Having everyone know who I was was probably the hardest part about coming back.
Yes our original premise was to go to things joke would never do. Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mFsbfuNrzQ
Are you an avid user of reddit? If so, how long have you been among us?
Thanks for answering! Couple followups if you have time. I read somewhere that the cops thought it was funny. Were you joking around with them? Did their reaction to it make the security guard real salty?
The cops were all very nice!
Many religions teach from a young age that sex is to be saved for marriage, and that no one will want you if you've already had sex (a church teacher of mine used an analogy about nobody wanting chewed gum.)
Do you think the way this is taught can enable sexual abuse because victims don't want anyone to know they're "used"? How do you think this (admittedly difficult) subject should be taught to young people?
Kudos for pranking a religious event without turning it into an anti-religion circlejerk. Is a hot dog a sandwich?
I think it’s fine if it’s your belief to teach to wait to have sex until marriage; however I think it is imperative that no analogy like ‘chewed up gum’ be used, because no matter what your sexual orientation, preference, or when to have it is, it will not detract from your worth as a human being. So, yes, change needs to happen in the way it is taught.
A hot dog is not a sandwich to me! It's a back up when there's no decent burger
Have you ever met J.O? If so what was his reaction?
Id did meet JO at a book signing. They kicked us out for filming there so we couldn't get the reaction of his. It was mellow and lackluster anyway.
Did you see the Dave Chappelle bit on you during one of his specials? How did you feel about it, if so?
How do we know you aren't just Joel Osteen impersonating Michael Klimkowski?
If it’s the one I think it is, when I watched I felt bad. But now I could care less.
I wake up and ask myself that question everyday in the mirror. then i look at my bank account and i know i'm michael
For all the people coming up to meet "Joel Osteen" and being shocked, did anyone point you out as an imposter?
Some people knew i wasn't but they still loved it!
Do you like hamburgers? In your opinion, which chain burger is best?
That was sweet. What sort of stuff did you leave out?
Love hamburgers. I’m going to say In-and-Out is the best.
It was super fun! We left out some stuff of people opening up and me having to break character to keep things from getting out of the comedy realm.
You can take 4 trips. Money and time don't really matter--but you have to go only to do the following: 1. Adventure 2. Culture 3. Relaxation 4. Adventure + Culture + Relaxation
Where do you go and why?
Are you planning on doing more of this and how did the idea come to mind?
Your impersonation of J.O was hilarious!
My husband just asked me the same question. 1. Alaska for adventure, 2. India for culture 3. Toss up between Bali and Tahiti for relaxation, 4. You tell me where I can get Adventure + Culture + Relaxation.
I'm always putting up comedy with dabsden.com probably more joel for sure too. Idea can cause I look so much like him.
Elizabeth, having read your book I first have to say how inspirational you are. To overcome what happened to you and to not look back is just amazing to me. I think you're an amazing role model for women everywhere.
I struggle with depression & anxiety and haven't been able to find the right career for myself yet despite being well-educated. I know one of the things you say is not to let the past define you, but I seem to have so much trouble letting go of my past experiences and dwell on what people must think of me. What is the key to moving forward from the past and letting it not burden you?
Hey, dude! Loved the video.
I tried to do a similar sort of thing (getting into an event without a pass) and was wondering what, in your experience - is the #1 most effective way to look or act like you belong in a place, in order to get in without a ticket?
Thanks so much for your time! :)
I think it’s building a relationship with yourself, being comfortable with who you are and liking who you are.
Look exactly like the guy hosting the event! JK. Dude it was all about remaining calm and confident and acting like you belonged. Also, the fact that we had camera men with us and the director John Parr made it look very official.
What would you do differently if you could do the whole stunt over again and how would you react if you bumped into the real Joel?
Also are you of Polish descent ?
Honestly we had a great crew!!! I would have tried to go deeper into the green room and get face to face if security didn't boot us hahah. I am of polish decent. Jindobre? Is that hello
How did the real police react when they showed up? Vs. the very "Christian" security guard we see in the video lol
Real police were much chiller they were laughing saying how much i looked like joel hahaha. the security dude was the real presser
I'm digging your videos man, I see the start of a fortuitous new venture for you. My question is-how did you mentally prepare for your grand entrance? You look like you practiced some cordial lines, but how did you ward off the nervousness? Cause that was ballsy
It was crazy I just trusted my dabsden buddies and we all had each other's backs and i had to double down on the character to get anywhere.
May sound dumb, but why didn't you just run at the end?? Were there cops there, or just security? I was thinking I would've just ran away lol. Were you tresspassed in the end?
The directors john parr and reggie henke wanted more coverage. it's all about coverage. in the time we debated staying or going we were already being apprehended.