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Human Computer Interaction

Auggie review – watchable hi-tech satire doesn't quite know what to say

The Guardian

The face of American character actor Richard Kind – melancholy, hangdog, a little dyspeptic – is exactly right for this high-concept midlife satire from director and co-writer Matt Kane. It's a variation on a familiar theme the time is the near future and Kind plays Felix, an architect in his 60s who has been pushed out of the firm he helped build and is now at home grumpily adjusting to unwanted retirement. His busy wife and grownup daughter have no great need of him these days so poor, emasculated Felix takes comfort in his hi-tech retirement gift: a pair of "Auggie" glasses, through which the wearer can see an "augmented reality companion", a virtual-reality hologram of exactly the kind of submissively understanding person your subconscious wants to see – in Felix's case, an extremely attractive young woman (played by newcomer Christen Harper). Felix understands that this is just a projection, a geisha hallucination programmed to respond with the right answers and expressions. But inevitably he begins to fall in love with her, and toys with the "extra" that Auggie owners are invited to purchase: a pair of hi-tech underpants that will allow him to feel his Auggie companion intimately, while his wife is out all day at her prestigious job. This is a movie comparable to Spike Jonze's Her, in which Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with the Siri-type computer voice played by Scarlett Johansson, and Alex Garland's Ex Machina, in which Domhnall Gleeson is entranced by the AI robot played by Alicia Vikander; and like those films it creates a dreamy mood of indulgent comedy.

Scientists have translated the structure of a web into music

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Scientists in the US have brought the structure of a spider web to life by translating it into music – a technique that could help us communicate with spiders, they say. They assigned different frequencies of sound to strands of the web, creating'notes' that they combined in patterns, based on the web's 3D structure, to generate melodies. The eerie piece of music, which lasts just over a minute, sounds like the soundtrack for an eerie dystopian sci-fi horror film. It was created by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with laser scanning technology and image processing tools. The experts say spider webs could provide a new source for musical inspiration and provide a form of cross-species communication.

[N] Call for papers: KDD 2021 Workshop on Bayesian Causal Inference for Real-World Interactive Systems


Increasingly we use machine learning to build interactive systems that learn from past actions and the reward obtained. Theory suggests several possible approaches, such as contextual bandits, reinforcement learning, the do-calculus, or plain old Bayesian decision theory. What are the most theoretically appropriate and practical approaches to doing causal inference for interactive systems? We are particularly interested in case studies of applying machine learning methods to interactive systems that did or did not use Bayesian or likelihood based methods, with a discussion about why this choice was made in terms of practical or theoretical arguments.

New app helps prevent skin cancer using AI and ML


TechRepublic's Karen Roby spoke with Jon Friis, CEO and founder of Miiskin, about how the Miiskin app is helping prevent skin cancer. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. Karen Roby: We understand how technology can help change things in medicine, such as robots are in the operating room, and we're just seeing all kinds of really innovative things going on. Observing your moles is one of those things on our skin that I would never think technology would play a role in. Tell us before we get to the technology part of this, the augmented reality and machine learning.

Apple CEO Tim Cook wants to use AR to improve conversations with charts and objects that appear

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Apple CEO Tim Cook, 60, revealed to he does not see himself running the tech firm in 10 years. The CEO spoke with Kara Swisher for The New York Times Monday about Apple's upcoming technologies, specifically AR and an autonomous car, along with his own future. But I can tell you that I feel great right now. And the date's not in sight,' he told Swisher. Along with the announcement, Cook also augmented reality is'critically important' to Apple's future and said it could be used to enhance conversations.

The car of the future is connected, autonomous, shared, and electric


Mobility systems have been integrated for the past decade and continue to shape the user experiences in cars. Experiences Per Mile (EPM) is a movement centered on addressing the mobility industry's transformation to an experience-driven vision, which puts the consumer first. The pandemic accelerated digital transformation and most everything else about how technology drives business forward. We look at the top trends for the coming year. The Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council was formed to encourage collaboration among an exclusive group of automotive executives, analysts, and industry insiders regarding the changing value chains in automotive being driven by the connected movement.

Snap is reportedly working on AR Spectacles and a selfie drone


Snap is no stranger to hardware, having released several versions of its Spectacles smart glasses over the years. The next step could be a pair with built-in displays that support augmented reality effects. The next-gen Spectacles will be able to layer Snapchat lenses (or AR effects) onto the surrounding environment without the need to use a smartphone's camera, according to The Information. At least for now, these smart glasses reportedly aren't intended for everyday users. They're said to be geared towards developers and creators, the folks who make many of Snapchat's most popular lenses. It seems Snap is hoping those people will create new lens-style experiences for the glasses, which it may release more broadly in the future.

Nintendo's colorful 'Pikmin' video game will be inspiration for 'Pokémon Go' maker's next augmented reality release

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Niantic Labs, the maker of "Pokémon Go," is teaming with Nintendo for a new augmented reality video game based on the spritelike "Pikmin." The game, due to be released later this year, is the first in a new mobile games partnership between the companies announced Monday. They are not strangers, as Niantic developed "Pokémon Go," released in 2016, with The Pokémon Company, which is part-owned by Nintendo. "Pikmin," a 2001 game developed by Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, starred cute colorful plant-inspired creatures you could control. This game will have Pikmin appearing in the real world via AR to "encourage walking and make the activity more enjoyable," the companies said in the announcement.

SuSketch: Surrogate Models of Gameplay as a Design Assistant Artificial Intelligence

This paper introduces SuSketch, a design tool for first person shooter levels. SuSketch provides the designer with gameplay predictions for two competing players of specific character classes. The interface allows the designer to work side-by-side with an artificially intelligent creator and to receive varied types of feedback such as path information, predicted balance between players in a complete playthrough, or a predicted heatmap of the locations of player deaths. The system also proactively designs alternatives to the level and class pairing, and presents them to the designer as suggestions that improve the predicted balance of the game. SuSketch offers a new way of integrating machine learning into mixed-initiative co-creation tools, as a surrogate of human play trained on a large corpus of artificial playtraces. A user study with 16 game developers indicated that the tool was easy to use, but also highlighted a need to make SuSketch more accessible and more explainable.

Why Artificial Intelligence Will Make You Question Everything?


Today, however, another revolution is unfolding that has potentially further reaching ramifications. According to experts, artificial intelligence is going to significantly change and alter the way humans manufacture, produce and deliver. In other words, it will change the way we work, live and connect with one another. Moreover, the scale of this change will be unlike anything we have experienced before. AI entails all attempts to make machines and devices think just like humans do.