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The best video game story of the year is about 'Lost Judgment's' middle-aged, skateboarding attorney

Washington Post - Technology News

One more important note: "Lost Judgment" also breaks down walls of the previous RGG Studio titles by highlighting a variety of characters outside of the seedy underbelly of Japan. Yes, gang members and sex workers still populate the story, but the Judgment cast is largely made up of public servants, particularly Saori Shirosaki, Yagami's defense attorney colleague. Saori owns several moments in the game. While the Yakuza series was born to attract an audience of Japanese men, RGG Studio games would do well to highlight its women. And yes, they should all fight too.


Bumpy road as aging Japan bets on self-driving cars

The Japan Times

With an aging population in need of transport, Japan is betting on autonomous cars, but an accident involving a self-driving showcase at the Paralympics illustrates the challenges ahead. Japan is far from the only place with autonomous vehicles on the roads, but its government has set acceleration of the technology as a key priority. Last year, it became the first country in the world to allow a vehicle capable of taking full control in certain situations to operate on public roads. The Honda car has "Level 3" autonomy, meaning it can take certain decisions alone, though a driver has to be ready to take the wheel in emergencies. The government has changed the law to pave the way for increasingly advanced autonomous vehicles, and the ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI) has plans for 40 autonomous taxi test sites nationwide by 2025.


The economics of artificial intelligence

#artificialintelligence

The brain is a generator of automatisms, which allow us to do things even though we can't explain how we do them. The goalkeeper who dives to clear that ball in the corner, the gymnast who throws the ribbon and catches it without looking after several somersaults, the tennis player who connects the passing shot on the run. None of them think about (or know), while executing these movements, the mathematical model or the laws of physics that determine these trajectories, yet nevertheless, based on some basic concepts and millions of repetitions, they are capable of doing them. But sometimes, something happens that truncates that ability. Like Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics, sometimes the brain loses its automatisms.


Japan Pavilion at Dubai Expo to offer online virtual tours

The Japan Times

The Japan Pavilion at the world exposition to be held in Dubai from next month is set to use digital technology to give people from around the world a virtual tour of the exhibit. The pavilion will convey the attractiveness of Japan to visitors from all over the world by allowing them to experience the country's history and technology, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, as Japan hopes to boost excitement for the 2025 World Expo in Osaka. In addition to opening two special websites to serve as a "Virtual Japan Pavilion," the country will allow people to use remotely controlled avatar robots to participate in some events at the pavilion. Those events will be held for a limited number of participants for a limited period of time. Under the theme of "Where Ideas Meet," the Japan Pavilion will use the latest visual and spatial presentations, including moving images and ultrafine mist, to let visitors experience how diverse encounters spark new ideas and lead the world to a better tomorrow, according to the ministry. The exhibitions will highlight Japan's landscape and the challenges the world faces now.


NYK Tests AI System to Automatically Identify Navigation Hazards

#artificialintelligence

Efforts are continuing to explore the use of automation, artificial intelligence, and image recognition to improve the navigation and safety of ship operations. Earlier this year, Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines demonstrated its efforts are using augmented reality (AR) technology to enhance navigational awareness and now NYK announced that it has begun a trial on the system that can monitor the horizon to recognize dangerous objects that might be within a ship's range. NYK working with its strategic research and development subsidiary MTI Co. installed the Automatic Ship Target recognition System developed in Israel by Orca AI on one of NYK's vessels. The goal is to verify the detection capability and the contribution the system can make to the role of the lookout on a ship's bridge. Working with Orca, NYK also plans to improve the target detection algorithm through the use of data collection and machine learning on the Israeli company's servers.


Council Post: How AI-Driven Commerce Can Help Renew American Innovation - Todayuknews

#artificialintelligence

American innovation is slowing down. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies reports, "Whether measured in terms of triadic patents (patents filed in the United States, Europe, and Japan), most available measures of productivity, or even startup company creation, the United States' trademark innovative spirit has been gradually dampening for decades." AI can help resolve these issues and bring back America's waning innovation. In the recent NSCAI report, the committee recommends specific actions to the president and Congress, including supporting semiconductors and other strategic industries. The report missed one key area: AI-enabled commerce.


Sony reveals 'God of War 2,' 'Spider-Man 2' and 'Wolverine' game at PlayStation 5 showcase

Washington Post - Technology News

Sony issued a disclaimer ahead of Thursday's showcase that the next generation of PlayStation's virtual reality tech wouldn't make an appearance. Also absent was a much-anticipated update about the PS5′s expanded storage feature. Over the summer, Sony launched a beta program for the long-awaited feature, which allows users to expand their device's storage using specific M. 2 solid-state drives, for select users in the United States, Canada, France, Japan, Germany and the U.K. When it will roll out to the general public remains unclear.


JR East to deploy robotic baristas at Tokyo and Yokohama stations

The Japan Times

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) will start testing fully autonomous robotic baristas this December to serve coffee at its Tokyo and Yokohama stations, in a tie-up with a Singaporean retail technology startup. The company said the planned test-marketing involves the Ella robotic barista system developed by Crown Technologies Holding Pte. Ltd., which has had a business partnership with the railway operator since late last year. The unmanned system serves coffee through an automated ordering, serving and cashless payment process. It can serve more than 200 types of blended coffee and allows customers to use dedicated apps and railway-related IC cards for payment. JR East expects the upcoming market research at two of the busiest stations in Japan to pave the way for it to provide loyal customers with customized coffee by using artificial intelligence analysis of their preferences.


GPUs May Be Better, Not Just Faster, at Training Deep Neural Networks

#artificialintelligence

Researchers from Poland and Japan, working with Sony, have found evidence that machine learning systems trained on GPUs rather than CPUs may contain fewer errors during the training process, and produce superior results, contradicting the common understanding that GPUs simply perform such operations faster, rather than any better. The research, titled Impact of GPU Uncertainty on the Training of Predictive Deep Neural Networks, comes from the Faculty of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences at Adam Mickiewicz University and two Japanese universities, together with SONY Computer Science Laboratories. The study suggests that'uncertainties' which deep neural networks exhibit in the face of various hardware and software configurations favor more expensive (and increasingly scarce) graphics processing units, and found in tests that a deep neural network trained exclusively on CPU produced higher error rates over the same number of epochs (the number of times that the system reprocesses the training data over the course of a session). In this supplemental example from the paper, we see (bottom two rows), similar result quality obtained from a variety of GPUs, and (first row), the inferior results obtained from a range of otherwise very capable CPUs. These preliminary findings do not apply uniformly across popular machine learning algorithms, and in the case of simple autoencoder architectures, the phenomenon does not appear.


Watch a one-legged robot hop about as researchers try to knock it over

New Scientist

A one-legged robot that can stand, hop and keep its balance on sloping or unsteady surfaces could offer a cheaper route to bipedal bots and self-balancing exoskeletons. Researchers at the Toyota Technological Institute (TTI) in Nagoya, Japan, built their robot, dubbed TTI Hopper, using simple motors and gears for less than $1000, then created an algorithm that compensates for the limited capabilities of these components. "In robotics, we sometimes use hydraulics, because they can be actuated fast," says Barkan Uğurlu, who is now at Özyeğin University in Istanbul, Turkey. "Or electric actuators that have a special spring arrangement or a strain gauge to measure forces inside. Instead, we used DC motors with gears. We only measure the joint angle, and we only used one very low-cost force sensor at the foot."