When art comes alive: How Vaka Interactiv is making portraits you can interact with

Talking pictures

When art comes alive: How Vaka Interactiv is making portraits you can interact with

If you’re familiar with J.K. Rowling’s world of Hogwarts, you will recall how portraits in the wizarding world can talk and move around from frame to frame. But what if there was no need for magic to make this happen? The folks at Vaka Interactiv are doing just that by using technology to tell the story of different walks of life in museums and galleries, allowing people to interact with portraits and understand and engage with cultural stories better than ever before. We have a chat with Vaka Interactiv CEO Jesse Armstrong about the real-life wizardry.


Rivers Rainey is a Vend alumni who worked in recruitment. He has since branched out on his own and create a start-up called, which builds chatbots for companies' career pages. Here, he details what the journey was like making an idea a reality in the form of an app, as well as the experience he had teaching himself to code.


Technology is infiltrating the creative sector in a big way. How will it change the processes of artwork, and how can creativity be taught to machines? It’s these questions AKQA and Google set out to answer with the creation of Somesthetic Transfer, an AI machine that takes the texture of pre-existing artwork, digitises it and applies it to another artistic project in a way a human wouldn’t have visualised it. AKQA executive R&D director Tim Devine has a chat about what this means for the future of art.

AI for an eye

Lauren Vasey, research associate and doctoral candidate at the Institute for Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart, chats about the role artificial intelligence and machines are playing in design - and how the construction industry is poised for a rapid disruption.

AI is alright

Techweek in New Zealand is upon us. This year’s theme is ‘Innovation that’s good for the world’ – which is an excellent opportunity to look at the positive impact and opportunity presented by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, says IBM's Isuru Fernando.