Given the challenges that ordinary human beings encounter when mastering such games, a natural focus in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research is to build systems that can achieve the same level of game-playing performance as a Grand Master.
'Mental' games, such as Chess, Checkers and Go, are staples in every known culture in human history, from the ancient Egyptians to the Chinese. Mastery in such games requires formidable strategic skills that rely on a combination of intelligence, practice, intuition, and decision-making under uncertainty. Often, decisions ('moves' in game terminology) have to be made under constraints of time.
Building programs that could play complex games has a long history in AI research. Early, extremely influential examples, may be found in the work of such giants as Newell, Shaw and Simon, who first identified mastery in chess as an important indication of progress in building intelligent systems. Another game that witnessed breakthrough AI research, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, was Backgammon.
Fast-forwarding, in 1997, IBM's Deep Blue went down in history as the computer that narrowly beat then-reigning World Champion, Gary Kasparov, at Chess. In our own time, Google's AlphaGo has rocked the news for beating the reigning (human) World Champion, Lee Sedol, in the ancient game of Go in a best-of-five series of publicly broadcast matches. Even more recently, an AI called Libratus out-bluffed masterful human beings at Poker. Going beyond games of skill, a few years ago, IBM's Watson made the news for beating human players at the trivia game Jeopardy!, demonstrating that AI programs are becoming more proficient at understanding natural languages like English. In the years since then, AI-based conversational systems like Siri, Alexa and Cortana have become stapes in phones and computers. Some form of AI is even integrated into Barbie dolls and many cars currently on the street. The day may not be far when driverless cars are the norm.
Given the brief unfolding history above on AI and games, it is not unreasonable to say (albeit at the risk of some simplification) that many milestones in AI research are marked by the achievement of super-human performance in a particular game, such as Chess, that has withstood the twin tests of time and space.
Importantly, the same techniques used to build game-playing AIs are also being used to revolutionize entire fields, such as space exploration and medical research, traditionally considered separate from core Computer Science. Wouldn't it be cool to build an AI system that can beat a Grand Master in your favorite fame and that helps humankind find a cure for cancer (and explore Saturn) at the same time?
His concern is warranted and will require us to strike a balance between protecting the democratic and egalitarian values that made the Internet great to begin with while ensuring those values are used for good. The fundamental issue, then, in creating a 21st-century Internet becomes what changes are warranted and who will be responsible for defining and administering them. On the technology dimension, computer scientists and engineers must develop smarter systems for detecting, addressing, and preventing malicious content on the Web. Cerf's argument on behalf of user training is helpful but will not ultimately solve the problem of an untrustworthy, ungovernable, potentially malicious network. I myself recently fell for a phishing attack, which only proves that today's attacks can fool even savvy, experienced users.
Civilization VI is a strategy game with some legs, and we don't just mean its ever-expanding platform support. Firaxis and 2K have revealed that the title's second expansion, Gathering Storm, will reach Windows gamers on February 14th, 2019. Mac and Linux users should get it soon afterward. It's not just adding the usual round of cultures, technologies and units (although there are more of those), either. Rather, Firaxis is changing how the world itself works.
A games console is the perfect Christmas present – it's exciting, it's cool and everyone can join in on the day (as long as you've had the foresight to sneak it out of its packaging on Christmas Eve to download the inevitable six hours of system updates). But selecting which machine to opt for is complicated and confusing, and if you get it wrong you may end up with yet another unloved gadget crammed in the cupboard where you keep the air fryer and mini candyfloss machine. Here are some tips for harassed parents or partners who have found the words "games console" on a loved one's Christmas list and are experiencing technophobic panic. There are three major consoles: the Sony PlayStation 4, the Microsoft Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. The PS4 and Xbox One are very similar in terms of technology (they're basically mid-range PCs), providing high-end graphical performance, especially if you purchase the more expensive PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, which include full support for 4K television displays.
Black Friday delivers plenty of choices when it comes to deals, and that's especially true in gaming. From discounts on games and accessories to consoles and laptops, you should have no problem finding a great deal for the gamer in your life. One of our favorite gaming deals for Black Friday 2018 went on sale over the weekend, and we're pretty stoked about it. The Xbox One S 1TB Minecraft Creators Bundle is on sale for $199 at Walmart, which is $100 off the original price of $299. Whether you're new to Minecraft or have been playing it for years, you'll get everything you need to start messing around in this blocky world.
Huge solar storms could cause electricity blackouts, destroy computers and bring down the Internet and all communications, a study has found. The Met Office has told U.K. ministers a flare up of the kind that has hit Earth two or three times in 200 years would cost the country 16 billion pounds ($20.5 million) in catastrophic damage. Such flares generate intense magnetic fields over Earth, which in a flash could burn out delicate electronics and even set them on fire, The Sunday Times is reporting. Britain risks being crippled by huge electrical disturbances caused by storms in space, unless a satellite network is built that can detect them coming. The Met Office study said: "We find that for a one-in-100-year event, with no space weather forecasting capability, the gross domestic product loss to the United Kingdom could be as high as 15.9 billion pounds.
Even casual video game fans know Sid Meier's name. They've seen it countless times, printed in sturdy text across every box in the Civilization series for the past 27 years, the most recent one being 2016's Sid Meier's Civilization VI. It's come to the point where most gamers can't hear "Civilization" without immediately thinking, "Sid Meier," and vice versa. "People know who Sid Meier is because his name's on the front," indie developer Ben Wander said on the busy Tulsa Pop Culture XPO show floor. He was showing off his first game as independent developer The Wandering Ben, a noir murder mystery called A Cast of Distrust.
Our favorite SSD for most people is available today at its cheapest price for a whole lot of capacity. The 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD is $148 at AmazonRemove non-product link right now. The last time we looked at this drive it was on sale for $199, so if you've been waiting for the best possible deal, now's the time to act. Of course, we don't know what Black Friday will bring, but it's hard to go wrong with $148 for 1TB of awesome SSD storage. The reason we like the Samsung 860 Evo so much is that it's a perfect mix of price and performance.
Microsoft's Xbox Black Friday sale is kicking off early for Xbox Live Gold members, and you can grab discounts on some of the biggest titles around right now. Red Dead Redemption 2 was only released a few weeks ago, but you can save 10 percent in the sale. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is 20 percent cheaper, and if you're eager to explore Assassin's Creed Odyssey, you'll get up to 35 percent off, depending on which edition you pick up. You can grab FIFA 19 for a 40 percent discount, or Madden NFL 19, NBA 2K19, WWE 2K19 or NHL 19, all for 50 percent off. The discounts also include Forza Motorsport 7 (50 percent), Sea of Thieves (50 percent), Destiny 2: Forsaken (up to 40 percent), Far Cry 5 (50 percent), Shadow of the Tomb Raider (50 percent) and The Witcher 3 (50 percent).
The online retailer is putting together a Toy Book containing the hottest items of this year and all the retro playthings that will make your nostalgia kick in. If you're in New York City, eBay is also opening up an interactive storefront called Toytopia where kids can come in and play with the toys. While Amazon's catalog shows the best toys of this year, eBay has the best toys of any year as long as price is no object for you. If you have some fat stacks of cash you're just waiting to burn through, eBay has a 1967 DC Justice League Games Set -- which includes Aquaman, Flash and Wonder Woman games -- for $6,000. Jump up to the $100,000 price range and you can get a Magic: The Gathering Alpha Black Lotus card.
The Christmas countdown clock is ticking, and you might be wondering what games to ask for in your stocking. With so many launching every month, it can be tricky to pick out the must-plays. The Game Awards recognises the best games released every year, and has announced the full list of nominees. Perhaps unsurprisingly Red Dead Redemption II and God of War lead the pack, with eight nominations each. Both were nominated for the highest prize, Game of the Year, alongside Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Celeste, Marvel's Spider-Man and Monster Hunter: World.