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Pushing Buttons: Why the force is still strong with Star Wars video games

The Guardian

In the top 10 list of my favourite-ever video game moments – a list that changes radically every year or so – there are two absolute immovables. And they both involve Star Wars. The first time I sat in the beautifully elaborate arcade cabinet of Atari's 1983 Star Wars game and experienced its thrilling depiction of the Death Star assault was a life-changing moment in an otherwise unremarkable holiday in Blackpool. To a boy who watched the film practically every week on video it was a dream come true. Much later, in 1996, I was a young writer for Edge magazine visiting Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, for a feature on their Direct X graphics technology. After the interviews they took me to a new multiplayer gaming centre in the city; it was a roomful of pods, each housing a state of the art PC and flight controls.


Women Are Talking, But is the Academy Listening?

Slate

This week, Dana, Julia, and Stephen start by discussing the film, Women Talking. Then they chat about the new U.K. import Traitors with Slate's own Carl Wilson. Finally, they finish by talking ChatGPT and the coming of AI chatbots. Dana: Werner Herzog is in his somber, elegiac mode with The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft. Not to be confused with Fire of Love, about the same people, but made by Sara Dosa.


'Jung_E' Netflix Review: Stream It or Skip It?

#artificialintelligence

Jung_E (now on Netflix) is the new film from director Yeon Sang-ho, who made a name for himself outside his native Korea with 2016 zombie action movie Train to Busan. As he offered a new angle on a familiar subgenre with Busan, he surely hopes to do the same for artificial intelligence science-fiction (AI-SCI-FI?!?) with his latest work, which is set in a sort-of-post-apocalyptic dystopia where robots fight wars for us, and the side with the best AI sure seems ripe for victory. The movie is also notable for being the final role of Korean film star Kang Soo-yeon, who sadly passed away in 2022 at age 55 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. The Gist: IN A WORLD where severe climate change has forced humanity to mostly abandon Earth for the Moon; where subsequent civil war has raged for decades; where artificial intelligence is a primary component of war technology; where human brains can be uploaded from diseased bodies to new ones and if you have enough money you can enjoy a terrific Type A existence, or a so-so Type B, or possibly a horrific, but no-cost Type C where your consciousness is under the control of corporations and shit; where people take ethics tests to determine that they're indeed human and not AI – in this world, a woman leaps around a bona-fide Dystopian Hell of a set piece, fighting robots, some more diabolically advanced in their ability to withstand bullets and such. She is the famed kickass warrior Yun Jung-yi (Kim Hyun-joo), but she really isn't Yun Jung-yi – she's Jung_E, a clone of Yun Jung-yi, and she keeps failing the same battle simulation. The simulation reinvents the very scene of her defeat many years prior, which left her body in a coma, the contents of her brain as the key element of weapons-development research firm Kronoid and her daughter kind of almost orphaned.


The 10 Best Shows on Apple TV Right Now

WIRED

Slowly but surely Apple TV is finding its feet. The streaming service, which at launch we called "odd, angsty, and horny as hell," has evolved into a diverse library of dramas, documentaries, and comedies. It's also fairly cheap compared to services like Netflix--and Apple often throws in three free months when you buy a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV. Curious but don't know where to get started? Below are our picks for the best shows on the service.


The AI Apocalypse: Will AI Take Over the World?

#artificialintelligence

Welcome to the future where robots rule the world and humans are relegated to the sidelines. Sounds like a science fiction movie? The rapid advancement of AI technology has sparked a heated debate about the potential consequences of AI and its impact on the future of humanity. But one thing is sure. AI is not just a futuristic fantasy; it's happening right now.


Can AI Demonstrate Creativity?

Communications of the ACM

When fed a sufficient amount of training data, artificial intelligence techniques can be used to generate new ideas in several different ways. Is that creativity?


How Netflix Utilizes Machine Learning in its Recommendation System

#artificialintelligence

Netflix uses machine learning techniques, including matrix factorization, deep learning, and reinforcement learning, to power its recommendation system and deliver personalized recommendations to its users. Netflix is a leading streaming service that has revolutionized the way we consume TV shows and movies. One key factor in its success is its sophisticated recommendation system, which suggests content to users based on their past viewing history and preferences. In this article, we will explore how Netflix uses machine learning to power its recommendation system and deliver a personalized viewing experience to its users. Netflix's recommendation system is based on collaborative filtering, which involves gathering data on user behavior and preferences, and using this information to make recommendations to other users with similar tastes.


'Bigger, scarier, unforgettable' – The Last of Us game is perfect for TV

The Guardian

When it comes to video-game adaptations, TV and film producers have historically had an unfortunate habit of using the game as a kind of Mad Libs prompt for something completely unrelated. Characters you've spent 30 hours getting to know in a game might remain in name and appearance only, given personality transplants to fit into new, incongruous plots. There has been an endemic lack of respect for video games from decades' worth of film-makers who, in the words of games satire site Hard Drive News, have been excited to take a beloved franchise and adapt it into something not for dumb little babies. HBO's The Last of Us finally marks the end of this era. There's been a shift in the tenor of game adaptations in the past few years; you could tell that Detective Pikachu was written by huge Pokémon fans, Cyberpunk 2077's Netflix series was actually better than the game, and the plot of Paramount's TV version of the military space-opera Halo is just as ponderous and self-important as the games.


The Scariest Thing About em M3gan /em

Slate

This weekend, I succumbed to the pull of all the meme-y marketing and went to the theater to see the surprise horror-comedy hit M3gan. I generally enjoyed it--the jokes are funny, the jump scares effective, the robot-centric plot a rather smart addition to our fresh new wave of artificial intelligence anxiety. It isn't the goriest or most frightening flick--the blood streams had to stay PG-13--but the steadily paced tension and the references to horror classics do their job fine. Yet, to me, the most chilling aspect of the movie doesn't come from anything you might expect: the offscreen murders, M3gan's deranged humanoid face, the pressures of capitalism. It actually stems from a deceptively insignificant 10-second scene that comes about halfway through the movie, in which the titular bot takes to the house piano. To be clear, I don't find this scene so viscerally terrifying for the piano tune itself (in the film, a solid instrumental cover of Martika's 1989 No. 1 hit "Toy Soldiers"), or for the overall menace of the moment, a turning point in M3gan's development.


Cine2Nerdle is a remarkably fun Wordle-like for movie obsessives

Washington Post - Technology News

The game looks like Wordle and has a name that's similar to Wordle, but the main underlying mechanic is quite different. Cine2Nerdle presents players with a four-by-four set of tiles, each with a word or phrase on it that corresponds to a movie. Move the tiles around (you can swap any two tiles, anywhere on the board) to create a vertical or horizontal line of four phrases that all correspond to a single movie (e.g., Holy Grail, Jones, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford all add up to "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"). Each board includes four or five movies, meaning four to five arrangements of tiles that add up to a single film. Your task is to complete the puzzle with only 15 tile swaps.