Computer Games


Microsoft Focused on AI Investments

Wall Street Journal

Ms. Johnson said other areas drawing Microsoft's attention include quantum computing, gaming, and software as a service. "We look at everything," she said. "I look at growth for the company." Microsoft invested in two large private technology companies this year, Indian e-commerce player Flipkart Ltd. and InsideSales.com Its last big tech acquisitions included the $26 billion deal for professional networking site LinkedIn in 2016 and the $2.5 billion purchase of Minecraft videogame maker Mojang AB.


How Elon Musk's A.I. Destroyed The World's Best Gamers in "DoTA 2'

#artificialintelligence

It happened with Chess and Go, and it finally happened with eSports. Elon Musk-backed Artificial Intelligence company "OpenAI" just used a bot to wallop the best DOTA2 players in the world. To be honest, it wasn't even close. Instead of trying to program the perfect bot, OpenAI just created a bot that learned through trial and error. Over the course of playing thousands of games against itself, the bot kept the behaviors that lead to victory and shed the ones that got it killed.


What Star Wars taught scientists about sperm

Popular Science

When Charles Reilly and Donald Ingber set out to make their short film--In the Beginning, an homage of sorts to Star Wars that (spoilers) tells the tale of a single sperm's triumph in a literal life or death race to fertilize an egg--they had just one goal. Ingber, the founding director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, and Reilly, a biochemistry researcher also at the Wyss Institute, wanted the animated film to be scientifically accurate. To achieve this, the two reached for techniques more common to the silver screen than the lab. They sought digital imaging software ordinarily used by video game designers and film animators. Not only did they achieve cinematic glory, but by reaching far outside the scientific silo they were able to happen upon a new discovery: an understanding of the molecular-level mechanics that let a sperm whip its tail back and forth to fuel its need for speed.


A Tour of Gotchas When Implementing Deep Q Networks with Keras and OpenAi Gym

@machinelearnbot

Starting with the Google DeepMind paper, there has been a lot of new attention around training models to play video games. You, the data scientist/engineer/enthusiast, may not work in reinforcement learning but probably are interested in teaching neural networks to play video games. With that in mind, here's a list of nuances that should jumpstart your own implementation. The lessons below were gleaned from working on my own implementation of the Nature paper. The lessons are aimed at people who work with data but may run into some issues with some of the non-standard approaches used in the reinforcement learning community when compared with typical supervised learning use cases.


You're a self-aware vacuum-cleaner robot in this adorable new video game

Mashable

Smart appliances are becoming more and more part of our lives, but what if one of them becomes self-aware? What if your Roomba develops a consciousness, emotions, feelings and all of that? That's the concept behind Rumu, the debut adventure game by Robot House, a small Sydney-based team of developers. As the emotionally packed trailer for the game shows, Rumu is a vacuum-cleaning robot designed to clean in a fully automated smart home. The voice that talks to you and gives you orders is from Sabrina, the house AI.


Virtual Reality is the Next Training Ground for Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

This week, NVIDIA announced a cloud-based virtual reality simulator that uses accurate physics modeling to simulate real world environments. Previously, NVIDIA had demonstrated the use of VR input for training drones, using simulated visual input and testing the accuracy of navigation. This test was early evidence that drones and self driving cars might soon learn advanced navigation with a combination of real world environments and virtual reality visuals. OpenAI, a think tank founded by Elon Musk, announced in August that the team had developed and trained a machine learning agent - a neural network - to play Valve's real time strategy game DOTA II.


Square Enix's Project Hikari makes a good case for VR comics

Engadget

For its first big VR project, Square Enix's Advanced Technology Division is putting the spotlight back on manga. Due for release in 2018 on all major VR platforms, Project Hikari aims to capture the look and feel of reading a manga while taking advantage of the immersive nature of VR to let the viewer delve deeper into these worlds. For example, during my demo at this past weekend's New York Comic Con I saw the inside of Satou's apartment first as a comic panel, but then it slowly opened up to surround me so that it felt like I was standing inside the room. One of the challenges Square Enix's environment artists face in recreating the world is figuring out what lies beyond the comic panels.


AI isn't just learning to play video games, it's helping us build them

#artificialintelligence

The creators of Unity, the most popular game engine in the world, recently launched a set of machine-learning tools that lay the groundwork for actual AI (not scripted computer opponents) in video games. Instead of letting driverless cars, factory robots, or other autonomous machines loose on our streets and in our buildings, the tools are there for AI devs to use environments created in Unity to train AI. On one hand AI and developments in machine-learning allow Unity developers to make beautiful games, but you flip that around and Unity is really an awesome lab to create environments for training AI as well. Unity provides developers with the tools to create machine-learning agents capable of learning and interacting with each other in a virtual world, which makes it possible to create games inhabited by AI that actually learns, instead of forcing developers into painstakingly scripting behavior by hand.


AI isn't just learning to play video games, it's helping us build them

#artificialintelligence

The creators of Unity, the most popular game engine in the world, recently launched a set of machine-learning tools that lay the groundwork for actual AI (not scripted computer opponents) in video games. Instead of letting driverless cars, factory robots, or other autonomous machines loose on our streets and in our buildings, the tools are there for AI devs to use environments created in Unity to train AI. On one hand AI and developments in machine-learning allow Unity developers to make beautiful games, but you flip that around and Unity is really an awesome lab to create environments for training AI as well. Unity provides developers with the tools to create machine-learning agents capable of learning and interacting with each other in a virtual world, which makes it possible to create games inhabited by AI that actually learns, instead of forcing developers into painstakingly scripting behavior by hand.


Google Wants to Give Your Computer a Personality

TIME

All of which is part of his job as principal personality designer for Google Assistant, the company's voice-activated helper found on a wide range of smartphones and its Home smart speaker, which first went on sale last fall. To do so, the company has turned to a team of left-brained creative types that Google isn't exactly known for hiring: fiction writers, filmmakers, video-game designers, empathy experts and comedians. Making that character seem plausible falls to Google's personality team, which has been working on turning Assistant into a digital helper that seems human without pretending to be one. Coats, whose title is character lead for personality, draws on years of experience developing fictional characters.