As we enter our third decade in the 21st century, it seems appropriate to reflect on the ways technology developed and note the breakthroughs that were achieved in the last 10 years. The 2010s saw IBM's Watson win a game of Jeopardy, ushering in mainstream awareness of machine learning, along with DeepMind's AlphaGO becoming the world's Go champion. It was the decade that industrial tools like drones, 3D printers, genetic sequencing, and virtual reality (VR) all became consumer products. And it was a decade in which some alarming trends related to surveillance, targeted misinformation, and deepfakes came online. For better or worse, the past decade was a breathtaking era in human history in which the idea of exponential growth in information technologies powered by computation became a mainstream concept.
With every passing day, we're reminded that the future is here. Yeah, that's sort of a redundant thing to say. What I really mean is that new innovations and disruptions are popping up every day, and they're materializing at a rate never seen before. I mean, think about the fact that the modern computer, which was created in either 1942 or 1946, depending on who you ask, used to cost a fortune and fill up an entire room. It was almost 50 years before that computer would be reduced to the size of an affordable desktop in 1995.
Indie developer The Chinese Room is releasing its first-ever virtual reality game. So Let Us Melt is a sci-fi parable about a machine lost in a paradise of its own making. Exclusively available on Google's Daydream VR platform, the title sees the developer reuniting with Bafta award-winning composer Jessica Curry. The game is split into several chapters, each around five to seven minutes in duration. The Chinese Room describes it as an "interactive animated film" with simple controls, making it an ideal entry point for those new to VR. Players assume the role of Custodian 98, a sentient machine that tends to a utopia known as Kenopsia: An environment built to accommodate cryogenically frozen humans upon their awakening.
Inspired by Hofstadter's Coffee-House Conversation (1982) and by the science fiction short story SAM by Schattschneider (1988), we propose and discuss criteria for non-mechanical intelligence. Firstly, we emphasize the practical need for such tests in view of massively multiuser online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and virtual reality systems like Second Life. Secondly, we demonstrate Second Life as a useful framework for implementing (some iterations of) that test.
Learning needs to be less like memorization, and more like…Angry Birds. Half of school dropouts name boredom as the number one reason they left. The post is about why the future of education will be about flipping our current model on its head and about how key exponential technologies like AI, VR and gamification are going to drive a revolution in education. In the traditional education system, you start at an "A," and every time you get something wrong, your score gets lower and lower. You start with zero, and every time you come up with something right, your score gets higher and higher.