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This AI can explain how it solves Rubik's Cube--and that's a big deal

#artificialintelligence

However, these AI algorithms cannot explain the thought processes behind their decisions. A computer that masters protein folding and also tells researchers more about the rules of biology is much more useful than a computer that folds proteins without explanation. Therefore, AI researchers like me are now turning our efforts toward developing AI algorithms that can explain themselves in a manner that humans can understand. If we can do this, I believe that AI will be able to uncover and teach people new facts about the world that have not yet been discovered, leading to new innovations. One field of AI, called reinforcement learning, studies how computers can learn from their own experiences.


Please, someone cast Anthony Carrigan in a 'Hitman' series

Mashable

Happy Hitman III to all who celebrate. The recent release of the latest installment in IO Interactive's legendary assassination games should keep most fans of series protagonist Agent 47 busy for a while. But in between dressing the big guy up as a ramen chef and dropping moose statues on unsuspecting bankers -- wouldn't it be fun to extrapolate the joy of playing Hitman and fancast a TV series that doesn't exist? Imagine, if you will, Hitman as a TV or streaming series. A Hitman show could be an ""assassination of the week" serial, mimicking the game series' meticulously designed levels, or it could follow an ongoing plot as Agent 47 prepares for one big hit.


A Fight Over GameStop's Soaring Stock Turns Ugly

WIRED

Today, a war over the value of video game retailer GameStop's stock has caused what market guru Jim Cramer called "the squeeze of a lifetime." Howling with glee along the way, traders on the chaotic and obscene subreddit Wall Street Bets helped push GameStop's stock price up from $20 on January 11 to $73 after traditional analysts deemed the stock a clunker. While this isn't the first time Wall Street Bets has contributed to a surprising market shake-up, GameStop's unlikely trip to the moon is unique in both its velocity and allegations of harassment and hacking that accompanied it. Like other physical retailers, GameStop's business has suffered throughout the last year. Few gamers would rather hit the mall than Amazon's significantly safer "Buy Now" button.


Netflix's 'Sir' is essential Indian cinema

Mashable

In the first month of coronavirus lockdowns in the United States, when everyone began constantly screaming "WHAT SHOULD I WATCH" -- and Mashable began our exhaustive and ongoing streaming guides -- someone asked for Bollywood movie recommendations in one of my group chats. "Objective" was a tough enough requirement -- as someone whose job it is to recommend entertainment to people, I know that it makes no difference how critically acclaimed or carefully crafted something is if it doesn't ultimately fit someone's personal preferences. But "wow" absolutely stumped me, so much that I couldn't endorse the rest of the chat's ample suggestions. I never caught the Bahubali hype, I thought Kapoor & Sons was good but not great, and Dangal's climax was too melodramatic. The only suggestion I gave was 2018's Raazi, about a woman undercover during war between India and Pakistan -- a film that stayed with me long after I left the theater.


These virtual robot arms get smarter by training each other

MIT Technology Review

A virtual robot arm has learned to solve a wide range of different puzzles--stacking blocks, setting the table, arranging chess pieces--without having to be retrained for each task. It did this by playing against a second robot arm that was trained to give it harder and harder challenges. Self play: Developed by researchers at OpenAI, the identical robot arms--Alice and Bob--learn by playing a game against each other in a simulation, without human input. The robots use reinforcement learning, a technique in which AIs are trained by trial and error what actions to take in different situations to achieve certain goals. The game involves moving objects around on a virtual tabletop.


The best presidents in video games

Washington Post - Technology News

Most presidents in real life and in games have stained their hands with the blood of innocents, and Sonic the Hedgehog's president is no different. In "Sonic Adventure 2," we learn that Mr. President requested Eggman's grandfather, Gerald Robotnik, to unlock the secrets of immortality. Robotnik was driven by his need to cure his fatally ill granddaughter, Maria Robotnik. Of course, these experiments led to the creation of the "ultimate lifeform" Shadow the Hedgehog, as well as a galaxy-level threat in some kind of biolizard thing that Sonic kills as Super Sonic. Anyway, the point is that there's a direct line of cause and effect from Mr. President's decisions and the creation of the Eggman Empire, which threatens the peace of the United Federations.


Start 2021 off right with a great gaming laptop — get a Dell G7 for $400 off

Mashable

SAVE $400: The Dell G7 4K gaming laptop is a great way to experience PC gaming without the bulk of a desktop -- it's $400 off at Best Buy as of Jan. 20. Before they all start coming out, you're going to want to prepare by getting the right gear, whether that's one of the elusive new consoles or a high-end PC. If you haven't had any luck snagging a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, you should definitely look at dipping your toes into the world of PC gaming. A gaming laptop is a good way to start, and the Dell G7 is $400 off at Best Buy as of Jan. 20. The Dell G7 gets you a high-quality pc gaming experience without the bulk of a desktop.


The Morning After: LG might get out of the smartphone business

Engadget

In the US, today is Inauguration Day, and as Joe Biden prepares to take the oath as our 46th president, it's worth taking a look back at the discussions four years ago. Back then, the "most tech-savvy" president exited as all eyes turned to Donald Trump trading in his Android Twitter machine for a secure device. We know how things went after that. Donald Trump isn't tweeting anymore (at least not from his main accounts), and the country is struggling through a pandemic. The outgoing president just saw his temporary YouTube ban extended and, in one of his last official acts, pardoned Anthony Levandowski for stealing self-driving car secrets from Google's subsidiary Waymo.


'Hitman 3' is the grandest stage for your own stories, even as it tries to end its own

Washington Post - Technology News

I've already talked at length about how the brilliant second mission alone, based on "Knives out" or Agatha Christie's "Poirot" murder mysteries, already justifies this game's existence. Chongqing is another highlight, a deliberate throwback to the old Hong Kong levels of the original PC release. It's a rain-drenched district that once again illustrates the kind of grand interconnectivity and neon sheen that "Cyberpunk" tried to achieve, and "Hitman" does effortlessly. Rain slithers off his leather-coated back as he waits outside his mark's building, assessing the place. In the meantime, he can open an umbrella and make small talk with a woman waiting for her girlfriend, just one of the series' many small but important storytelling flourishes to make each level feel more alive than you've seen in any action adventure.


How to Bust Your Spotify Feedback Loop and Find New Music

WIRED

If you're listening to music right now, chances are you didn't choose what to put on--you outsourced it to an algorithm. Such is the popularity of recommendation systems that we've come to rely on them to serve us what we want without us even having to ask, with music streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer all using personalized systems to suggest playlists or tracks tailored to the user. This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. Generally, these systems are very good. The problem, for some, is that they're perhaps really too good.