The notion of artificial intelligence is something which has long excited technological society. Among the various stories constructed around it are (as in the film Terminator) those of robots ruling the world with humans fighting a losing battle against them. Gary Kasparov, the world chess champion, was matched against an IBM supercomputer named Deep Blue in 1996 and 1997 under tournament conditions and lost in the 1997 rematch. Since chess is, in the popular imagination, the height of intellectual prowess, this created quite a stir and it was anticipated by the popular press that humankind would eventually have to make way for a greater intelligence -- one which it had itself created. 'AI' is a fairly broad term which includes a number of unglamorous capabilities that fall far short of defeating a reigning chess champion.
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your Automaton bloggers. We'll also be posting a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months; here's what we have so far (send us your events!): Let us know if you have suggestions for next week, and enjoy today's videos. Robot soccer is getting really, really good. RoboCup (which just concluded in Montreal) is basically exactly the same as human World Cup, just with fewer writhing around on the ground and clutching of ankles.
The random-forest technique has emerged in recent years as a powerful way to analyze large data sets while avoiding some of the pitfalls of other data-mining methods. It is based on the idea that some future event can be determined by a decision tree in which an outcome is calculated at each branch by reference to a set of training data. However, decision trees suffer from a well-known problem. In the latter stages of the branching process, decisions can become severely distorted by training data that is sparse and prone to huge variation at this kind of resolution, a problem known as overfitting. The random-forest approach is different.
I found Semblance on the second floor of the Fuego Lounge, squeezed into a booth beside a dance floor and a small stage. It was early afternoon, and waitstaff were restocking the long, rectangular bar in the center of the room as game developers, press and PR handlers flitted from station to station. A cloth tent on the balcony offered psychedelic VR meditation; a geodesic dome on the roof showcased swirling galaxies. And all along the walls inside, indie games waited to be played. Semblance stood out among the row of screens for its energetic, purple-tinged visuals.
Gaming disorder may be a newly recognised condition, but disordered gaming is anything but new. In 2010, a Korean couple was arrested for fatal child neglect spurred by an obsession with Prius Online. Five years earlier, another Korean man collapsed and died after a 50-hour session playing StarCraft in an internet cafe. In the west, World of Warcraft, released in 2004, was one of the first games to trigger addiction narratives in the mainstream press, with the game blamed for causing college students to drop out of university and others losing careers and families. What's changed this time round is partially a matter of scale.
Compare an analog and a digital audio recording medium. VHS video tape - an analog medium - stores a continuous curve of modulated audio/visual information. In a digital CD continuous audio is sliced into 44,100 frames a second, and represented by discrete numbers. On playback the sounds are presented as continuous, much as the individual still frames of a motion picture appear continuous when played back fast enough. Most people can't hear the difference between digital and analog recordings, me included, but those who say they do may spend thousands on turntables and tube amps to get the full analog experience.
Anyone who has lived through the 1980s knows how maddeningly difficult it is to solve a Rubik's Cube, and to accomplish the feat without peeling the stickers off and rearranging them. Apparently the six-sided contraption presents a special kind of challenge to modern deep learning techniques that makes it more difficult than, say, learning to play chess or Go. That used to be the case, anyway. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, have developed a new deep learning technique that can teach itself to solve the Rubik's Cube. What they come up with is very different than an algorithm designed to solve the toy from any position.
What is the Visitor trying to achieve in'Fortnite: Battle Royale?' Everyone seems to be predicting another explosive end to Fortnite's fourth season. The comet and accompanying meteors smashed up the battle royale game's map at the end of Season 3. So now that there's various countdown timers dotting the map, a mysterious alien called the Visitor, and an evil lair housing a giant rocket, betting money seems to be on yet another round of destruction at the end of Season 4. Frankly, I don't think Epic would be content with a repeat this close on the heels of the comet. I do think the rocket will launch, but I don't think it's intended to come back down and wreak havoc and mayhem. I'm not even sure that the Visitor is a super-villain or bad guy of any kind.
As robots become more ubiquitous, the interaction between humans and machines becomes more interesting. I recently sat down with Bruce to talk about his ideas about the evolving nature of the relationship between human and machine. Q: What did the path you took from leading product marketing and development at Apple and Next, Inc. with Steve Jobs to working on human interaction with autonomous characters look like? Thinking about the work I've done on the whole, I've always been engaged in ways to make the user experience better. After getting my MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Business, I worked at Apple – as a product manager for the Lisa, one of the first PCs with a graphical user interface, and later as the product manager for the Apple LaserWriter.