Flat Eye presents a possible future which may be neither desirable nor avoidable.

To create this world and make it credible, MONKEY MOON took inspiration from the present. There is no lack of sources: online articles, social media videos, scientific journals and more. On the team's private chat, one observation came up again and again: ""when reality goes beyond fiction."" Things that may seem a long way off or even impossible in the game may in fact have already happened, and some of the game's narrative threads were directly inspired by these true stories.
As archivist for the project, my mission, toward the end of the development process, was to gather all of these articles to create this coherent bibliography. It provides a closer look at what inspired Flat Eye, of course, but also at our present--a time of such rapid, constant change that we don't even realize it's happening anymore.
The goal of this snapshot of the world is to place Flat Eye's major themes (artificial intelligence, the future of work, social change, etc.) in their context. The bibliography sorts articles into several different categories (with frequent overlaps) and provides a summary for each. If you're only after the links and references, you'll find it all at the bottom of the page.

September 2022. The archivist.

The military made a robot that can eat organisms for fuel

Published on November 01 2018

Seen by Flat Eye team on July 20 2022

{Content in English}

This 2018 article takes a look back at experiments from the early 2000s, when the military-industrial complex had financed the EATR (Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot) project. EATR was designed to carry out long-distance missions by consuming "organisms" (plants according to the official line) for fuel.


Note from the archivist: No updates on the project since 2009--including news that it has been abandoned.

Chess robot grabs and breaks finger of seven-year-old opponent

Published on July 24 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on July 25 2022

{Content in English}

During a chess tournament in Moscow, an articulated arm directed by artificial intelligence grabbed and broke the finger of its seven-year-old adversary. It seems the boy may have "played too quickly". And the robot swiftly punished him. "This is, of course, bad," stated the chairman of the Moscow Chess Federation.


Rainwater everywhere on Earth unsafe to drink due to ‘forever chemicals’, study finds

Published on August 04 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on August 10 2022

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A study by scientists at the University of Stockholm has revealed that rainwater all over the planet--even in Antarctica--is polluted with "forever chemicals", which are stable synthetic polymers that do not degrade and are toxic for humans. Rainwater is now unsafe to drink.


Facebook's AI Chatbot: ‘Since Deleting Facebook My Life Has Been Much Better’

Published on August 08 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on August 10 2022

{Content in English}

When Facebook tested a prototype Chatbot, it didn't get the results it had hoped for. The AI bot, which took its replies from the Internet, was particularly critical of Facebook and also repeated misinformation, failing to filter out fake news.


This startup is setting a Dall-2-like Ai free, consequences be damned

Published on August 12 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on August 15 2022

{Content in English}

While most AI-based image generator tools include content filters to prevent the creation of deepfakes or images that could incite hatred, not so for Stable Diffusion. Created by Stability AI, the open-source tool is widely available. The article notes that users have created fake images of the war in Ukraine or of China invading Taiwan.


Note from the archivist: During the final months of Flat Eye's development, quite a few image generator tools based on machine learning have gone public: Dall-E 2, Craiyon, MidJourney and Stable Diffusion to name a few. Their abilities and use by a larger audience have forced several sectors to take them into account. For example, the pay-to-use Getty Images database has forbidden their use to prevent copyright issues, since these tools use a body of existing images to create their own. Video game creators have started to use AI during prototyping, to generate temporary decors or audio. Independent teams have even started using it for finalized graphics, using the novelty of the process as the core of their marketing strategy.

What is THE LINE?

Published on July 25 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on August 17 2022

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Saudi architecture firm Neom has designed a city in the middle of the desert that is 200 meters wide, 500 meters tall and 170 kilometers long. They're calling it: The Line. The city would have no roads. Instead, a train would take passengers from one end of town to the other in 20 minutes. Public services would be no more than a five-minute walk away. The project aims to house 9 million people in 34 square kilometers.


Note from the archivist: "What could go wrong?" asked a member of the Flat Eye team. Another thought the idea would be perfect as the basis for Spec Ops: The Line 2.

Think Your Street Needs a Redesign? Ask an AI

Published on July 30 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on September 06 2022

{Content in English}

New York artist Zach Katz used the Dall-E 2 image generator tool to reimagine busy, car-filled American city streets to be pedestrian-friendly. He suggests that tool could be useful to help city planners create previsualizations quickly and on a budget.


Plastic-munching superworms offer hope for recycling

Published on June 10 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on September 12 2022

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Zophobas morio, also known as the "superworm" has two advantages. First, the one we've known about for some time: it's easy to raise and works great as reptile food in pet stores. Second, and this part is new, it can thrive eating nothing but polystyrene. "Superworms are like mini recycling plants, shredding the polystyrene with their mouths and then feeding it to the bacteria in their gut," explains Dr. Chris Rinke of The University of Queensland in Australia. Scientists plan to study superworms to isolate the enzyme that enables them to digest plastic. The enzyme could then be used in recycling.


Director Jean-Luc Godard, who ended his life on his terms, brought forth the long-drawn debate on assisted suicide

Published on September 14 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on September 14 2022

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French daily Libération revealed that Jean-Luc Godard, who was "simply exhausted", had turned to assisted suicide--which is legal in Switzerland where the Franco-Swiss director lived--to hasten his passing. The Mashable article notes that Godard was "fascinated by suicide" and suggests that his death will bring social debate on end-of-life care and assisted suicide back to the fore, particularly on social networks.


Note from the archivist: On September 13, 2022, the same day Jean-Luc Godard's death was announced in Switzerland, France's National Ethics Committee delivered an opinion favorable to "ethical application of assisted suicide" under certain conditions. That same day, just one month before Flat Eye's release, the French president announced he would host a public debate on end-of-life options. A citizen's convention on the issue will be held in October 2022, with conclusions expected in February 2023. France's legal framework could be modified by the end of 2023.

NetDragon Appoints its First Virtual CEO

Published on August 26 2022

Seen by Flat Eye team on September 17 2022

{Content in English}

In a press release, Chinese company NetDragon Websoft announced that Mrs. Tang Yu, a humanoid robot run by artificial intelligence, had been named "Rotating CEO" of its Fujian NetDragon Websoft subsidiary. The company wants to prove that it's ready for the metaverse and argues that AI is "the future of corporate management".


Note from the archivist: For my own piece of mind, I did a little research on NetDragon Websoft. The company was founded in 1999, so this can't be a publicity stunt developed for the launch of Flat Eye just a few weeks later. It's almost a shame.