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Brian and Charles Imagines an Optimistic Future for AI

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Brian and Charles Imagines an Optimistic Future for AI

It does seem to help him grow up, or to become more emboldened.

Hayward: He does become more responsible. If you have kids, you do become more responsible. It makes you grow up. And I don’t want to get into spoilers, but it also makes him stand up for himself and have more confidence to talk to people.

Has working on Brian and Charles for so many years made you two think more about AI? Have you learned about it? Do you have thoughts about the joys or dangers?

Hayward: I regularly look at AI things, and for the most part it terrifies me. When I look at those robots … there’s a video of these massive robots doing parkour and I watch it and I just think, “Those things could be hammering my door down at some point in the future and marching us all down the streets.” Whenever I hear about robots, it’s all like, “Oh, we’re gonna put weapons on drones now,” and you go, “Oh, OK.”

I mean, if the culmination of AI is Charles, we’ll be fine, because we can just push those robots over. But I’m more worried about those robot dogs that I’ve seen on videos walking around, trying to attack.

They really are terrifying. If they made them look like Charles, we’d all be on board, but instead they just look like war machines.

Hayward: Exactly. It’s those weird dogs that walk with their arms bent. It’s like, “What? What is that? Why have you made that? What’s it gonna do?”

Earl: I just put my head in the sand. I don’t know about any of that.

Playing one character over the course of many years isn’t something that we necessarily see a lot of in the States, though it does happen. The tradition is stronger in the UK, where a character can live over multiple projects and decades.

What do you think keeps calling you back to Brian? Do you have him mastered, or are you still trying to figure him out?

Earl: I think it’s just finding a project. When we were writing this, After Life came at the same time, and I didn’t really think into the future. Eighteen months down the line, both projects have come out at the same time and they both have the same character. I really didn’t think ahead.

It’s always been just wanting to find a project to put Brian in. I wanted to find a story to plunk him in. Also, now, I just find it really easy to slip into those mannerisms and react to other characters and robots. It’s like a habit.

Is there a germ of you in Brian? Is Brian just an enhanced or downgraded or parallel version of you?

Earl: I don’t know what Brian is, because there have been so many different incarnations. He’s gone from shy to rough and aggressive to jokey. I don’t know what he is.

So, I have to ask, how does the Charles costume actually work? It seems obvious looking at it, but what is it like inside?

Hayward: So, it’s a reinforced cardboard box. The mannequin head is on a stick that you pick litter with, and the picking bit is the mouth. I operate the head with one hand, and my other arm is sticking out the side. So I’ve got one arm that I can move and the other is false.

I also put a big set of armor on my shins, like a knight’s armor on my legs to give a bit of a joint on the knees. We’re always trying to make the legs look less human. So I had to wear big puffy trousers and put bits of metal wherever we could to try and make it look less like my spindly legs. Along with the blue eye, there you go, that’s Charles.

Earl: We always wanted the audience to go “Well, that’s just a bloke in a box.” It’s just about the cheekiness.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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