Why are games fun? In part, because they challenge our ability to think. Even simple games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Nim and Kalah, or puzzles like the Eights Puzzle, are challenging to children. More complex games like checkers, chess, bridge, and Go are difficult enough that it takes years for gifted adults to master them. Nearly all games require seeing patterns, making plans, searching combinations, judging alternative moves, and learning from experience, all being skills which are also involved in many daily tasks.
It's no surprise that Alan Turing proposed chess playing as a good project for studying computers' ability to reason. In many ways, games have provided simple proving grounds for many of AI's powerful ideas.
Steve Desjarlais is the CEO and Co-Founder of Heyday AI, a company that focuses on developing an AI capable of engaging and understanding customers in every stage of their journey: from pre-purchase to product browsing and answering FAQs. In this interview, Mr. Desjarlais shares insights on how enterprises can leverage conversational AI to empower their marketing, support and sales teams with the ultimate goal of improving customer experience. This interview has been featured in the Conversational AI Initiative 2019. I'm former Head of Product of Ubisoft, the video game powerhouse behind blockbuster titled such as Assassin's Creed, Watch Dogs, FarCry and Splinter Cell. Heyday was launched by former Ubisoft (video game), Lightspeed (retail), Genband (cloud, telco) and Dentsu Aegis (advertising) executives who saw a pivotal moment in the history of computing and user interaction.
A major artificial intelligence milestone has been passed after an AI algorithm was able to defeat some of the world's best players at the real-time strategy game StarCraft II. Researchers at leading AI firm DeepMind developed a programme called AlphaStar capable of reaching the top eSport league for the popular video game, ranking among the top 0.2 per cent of all human players. A paper detailing the achievement, published in the scientific journal Nature, reveals how a technique called reinforcement learning allowed the algorithm to essentially teach itself effective strategies and counter-strategies. "The history of progress in artificial intelligence has been marked by milestone achievements in games. Ever since computers cracked Go, chess and poker, StarCraft has emerged by consensus as the next grand challenge," said David Silver, a principal research scientist at DeepMind.
Say what you will about Kim Kardashian--at least she's a human. The next generation of the famous-for-being-famous are being engineered from scratch. They're synthetic stars--algorithmically generated characters who have millions of Instagram followers, show up in glossy magazines, and have songs on Spotify. She models for the likes of Prada and Calvin Klein, her first single came out last year, and she has sponsorship deals with companies like Samsung. Among her pals: Bermuda, a rule-breaking bad girl who models and touts brands, and Blawko, an L.A.-based Gen-Zer who likes fast cars and Absolut vodka, and who is never seen without his trademark scarf covering his nose and mouth.
A few months ago, I sent my dad the article 20 Top Lawyers Were Beaten by Legal AI in a Controlled Study, which (as the title suggests) discusses a study on how AI can be applied to the field of law, and how it performs against professional lawers. An implication of this article is the potential to replace lawyers with AI for many common legal needs, such as contract review or writing wills. It's an interesting article and application of AI, which I spend a lot of time thinking about. It might seem pretty innocent that I shared it with my dad, and it would be, except that my dad is a lawyer. Yes, I was kind of trying to get a rise out of him (it's all affectionate, I promise).
Thanks to advances in machine learning over the last two decades, it's no longer in question whether humans can beat computers at games like chess; we'd have about as much chance winning a bench-press contest against a forklift. But ask the current computer champion, Google's AlphaZero, for advice on chess theory, like whether a bishop or a knight is more valuable in the Ruy Lopez opening, and all you'll get is a blank stare from a blinking cursor. Theory is a human construct the algorithm has no need for. The computer knows only how to find the best move in any given position because it's trained extensively--very extensively--by practicing against itself and learning what works. Even with a lead time of 18 months, the neural network was able to see El Niño events coming.
Now that Sony has revealed the technical specifications of its forthcoming console, including its powerful AMD Ryzen processor, SSD storage system for fast loading, 3D sound and 8K support, what everyone wants to know is – what will we be playing on the machine when it launches next year? Here are the rumours and expectations, some more fanciful than others, but each one a distinct and enticing possibility. It's been almost three years since the acclaimed post-apocalyptic, open-world adventure arrived – and its accompanying DLC, The Frozen Wilds, showed there was plenty more to explore in this glorious, machine-filled dystopia. Developer Guerrilla Games has a history of supporting PlayStation launches (latterly with its Killzone titles), so a Horizon Zero Dawn follow-up seems extremely likely. Ever since Rocksteady wrapped up its Arkham franchise with Arkham Knight in 2015, there has been endless speculation over a new Batman title set in the Arkhamverse from WB Montréal, the studio behind the spin-off Arkham Origins.
A synthetic skin could help add the sensation of touch to prosthetic hands or give video games a more realistic feel. The skin comes as a battery-free patch that can be stuck onto any part of the body. To create the sensation of touch, the patch vibrates and gently pushes the skin surface. An internal magnet and copper coil allow it to be powered wirelessly, while the cloth covering can be coloured to match the user's skin. The synthetic skin was created by John Rogers at Northwestern University in Illinois and his colleagues.
"Death Stranding" earned the most nominations in the Game Awards, which will be given out Dec. 12 in Los Angeles. The new game from famed designer Hideo Kojima ("Metal Gear Solid") collected nine nominations, including Game of the Year, Best Action/Adventure Game, Best Game Direction, Best Art Direction and Best Score. Actors Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, who portray Sam Porter Bridges and Cliff, respectively, in the PlayStation 4 game, earned nominations for Best Performance. They were joined by Ashly Burch as Parvati Holcomb in "The Outer Worlds," Courtney Hope as Jesse Faden in "Control," Laura Bailey as Kait Diaz in "Gears 5" and Matthew Porretta as Dr. Casper Darling in "Control." Considered the Oscars of the video game industry, the Game Awards began in 2014, established by longtime video game journalist Geoff Keighley.
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The other streaming war – bringing video games to the cloud – is heating up. Google flips the switch Tuesday on its Stadia cloud gaming service, which lets you stream games to your television, computer, tablet and Android phone. Stadia lets you play marquee video games without the need of a game console or PC to house the game. Instead your game resides on Google's expansive array of data servers. As part of the monthly subscription fee, Stadia stores your games and connects you with other gamers in games that support multiplayer gaming.