If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games announced plans Wednesday to launch robots from the "Mobile Suit Gundam" anime series into space aboard a satellite that will broadcast messages of support to athletes. In the project, conducted in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the University of Tokyo, two 10-centimeter models depicting Gundam and Char's Zaku robots from the animation series will be sent into orbit on a 30-cm long, 10-cm wide microsatellite. The "G Satellite," with an electronic bulletin board for displaying messages, will be sent to the International Space Station aboard a supply ship next March and later launched from the ISS. After the satellite enters the Earth's orbit, it will deploy the robots and the bulletin board. The organizers of the project will then share images taken with an onboard camera, including congratulatory messages in multiple languages, with athletes through social media and other outlets.
Before looking back at some highlights from the last few days, we'll take a look at an ill-timed MoviePass outage and consider what we're really losing without Netflix's review section. And not with surge pricing.MoviePass ruins date night On precisely the kind of night people might want to hit the theater, MoviePass was down for hours. The service told subscribers to buy tickets the regular way and submit receipts for reimbursement later. It finally resolved the issue just after 9 PM ET. There's always Rotten Tomatoes.Netflix is killing user reviews Many people didn't know it since they didn't appear in its apps, but Netflix has always allowed users to write in their own reviews on its website.
Every day, the towering full-scale Unicorn Gundam statue in Tokyo's Odaiba waterfront district undergoes a transformation, eliciting shouts of joy from visitors young and old, many trying to snap good photos with their smartphones. The 19.7-meter, 49-ton statue of a mobile robot from the popular Gundam series has been standing in the Diver City Tokyo commercial plaza since Sept. 24. It replaced a previous model as part of the Tokyo Gundam Project 2017, in which the statue represents the future of Tokyo and helps invigorate the bay area. At night, a special short movie runs every 30 minutes from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. In the Diver City Tokyo Plaza building just behind the gigantic statue, there is a venue called the Gundam Base Tokyo, a mecca for fans of plastic models.
Gundam fans will no doubt recognize this adorable Haro robot from the anime, as did I on the CEATEC show floor in Tokyo. As it turns out, Bandai, Bandai Namco, IBM and VAIO have joined forces to bring us a lifelike "Gundam Concierge Haro" aka "Gansheruju Haro" -- including a 19 cm-wide spherical body (pretty much the size featured in the original series), a variety of gentle movements (bobbing and spinning), glowing eyes and mouth, extendable arms and legs plus a pair of subtly flapping ears. Better yet, if you're fluent in Japanese, you'll be able to have Gundam-related conversations with Haro, courtesy of IBM's AI software. At the booth, the demonstrator asked Haro who would win in a battle: a Gundam or a Zaku? Haro replied with something along the lines of "Gundam would beat Zaku."
One of the big breakout manga hits of the past five years or so is definitely Yasuo Ohtagaki's grittier take on the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Set as a sidestory to the main conflict, Gundam Thunderbolt is a fascinating and very different approach to the saga. I was lucky enough to catch up with its author and find out how the manga came about. Considering the huge success of Gundam Thunderbolt, I was curious as to how Ohtagaki had gotten into making manga in the first place. Thankfully, he was more than happy to explain, "I am from Osaka originally and I've really enjoyed manga since I was a child. My father used to buy two volumes of the latest release, although at that time there were already 30 volumes on the market. He would buy the volumes like souvenirs and I would look forward to them.
One of the earliest real robot mecha anime of the 80's that defined decades of anime and video games to follow was that of Fang of the Sun Dougram. Now after all these years, Bandai has given us probably the best toy of the titular mecha. Fang of the Sun Dougram was set in the far off future where humanity has colonized various planets outside of our solar system, all of which are run by the Earth Federation. In a coup d'état on the planet Deloyer, the governor is seemingly replaced by a military dictatorship all under the approval of the Federation. The former governor's son, Crinn Cashim, steals a prototype combat armor called the Dougram and with a group of ragtag rebels fights back against this tyranny and in doing so free Deloyer's citizens from martial rule.
It's half the size of the Statue of Liberty, has flashing eyes and steam rising from its body as it towers over puny humans by Tokyo Bay. This 18-meter statue has attracted millions of fans since it was built in 2009 to honor the famous machine from anime, which looks like a futuristic suit of samurai armor. But a consortium of Gundam devotees and companies says it isn't satisfied with a mere statue. It wants to build another six-story Gundam--a robot version that can actually move. The backers haven't decided whether locomotion for the giant would be possible, though it seems unlikely.