Invited Speakers

Richard Evans (Linden Lab)


Richard Evans is the co-creator of Versu, along with Emily Short. Richard and Emily co-founded Little Text People to develop real-time multiplayer interactive fiction. Little Text People was acquired by Linden Lab in January 2012.

Previously, Richard was at EA/Maxis, as the AI lead on The Sims 3. Before that, he designed and implemented the AI for Black & White, for which he received a number of awards, including the Game Developer Choice Award for Programming Excellence, a Bafta, and a Guinness World Record for most intelligent being in a game. 

He is particularly interested in the application of formal logic to AI applications.

D. Fox Harrell (MIT)

D. Fox Harrell, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Digital Media in the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. His research explores the relationship between imaginative cognition and computation. He develops new forms of social media, gaming, computational narrative, and related computational media systems based in computer science, cognitive science, and digital media arts. The National Science Foundation has recognized Harrell with an NSF CAREER Award for his project "Computing for Advanced Identity Representation." He has worked as an interactive television producer and as a game designer. His recent book, Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression, is a Fall 2013 publication with the MIT Press.

Aleissia Laidacker (Ubisoft Montreal)

Aleissia Laidacker has been working in the programming field for 11 years with a BS in Computer Science from Concordia University with a Double Major in Digital Image Sound and The Fine Arts, where she specialized in 3D Animation. After working on various interactive installations and programming projects, she joined Ubisoft as an AI / Behavior Programmer. Some of her credited games include Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.  Aleissia was Team Lead for Gameplay & AI on Assassin's Creed 3.

John Abercrombie (Irrational Games)

John Abercrombie is the Lead Programmer of the Game Team at Irrational Games.  In addition, most recently he led the team working on the AI companion character "Elizabeth" in Bioshock Infinite for the final eight months of the project.  John was also the AI Lead on the critically acclaimed Bioshock and the squad-based shooter SWAT 4.  He earned a B.A. in Computer Science at Brandeis University in 2000.