Leisure & Entertainment


Communications of the ACM

In a famous episode in the "I Love Lucy" television series--"Job Switching," better known as the chocolate factory episode--Lucy and her best-friend coworker Ethel are tasked to wrap chocolates flowing by on a conveyor belt in front of them. Each time they get better at the task, the conveyor belt speeds up. Eventually they cannot keep up and the whole scene collapses into chaos. The threshold between order and chaos seems thin. A small perturbation--such as a slight increase in the speed of Lucy's conveyor belt--can either do nothing or it can trigger an avalanche of disorder. The speed of events within an avalanche overwhelms us, sweeps away structures that preserve order, and robs our ability to function.

How I Taught My Computer to Write Its Own Music - Issue 79: Catalysts


On a warm day in April 2013, I was sitting in a friend's kitchen in Paris, trying to engineer serendipity. I was trying to get my computer to write music on its own. I wanted to be able to turn it on and have it spit out not just any goofy little algorithmic tune but beautiful, compelling, mysterious music; something I'd be proud to have written myself. The kitchen window was open, and as I listened to the sounds of children playing in the courtyard below, I thought about how the melodies of their voices made serendipitous counterpoint with the songs of nearby birds and the intermittent drone of traffic on the rue d'Alésia. In response to these daydreams, I was making a few tweaks to my software--a chaotic, seat-of-the-pants affair that betrayed my intuitive, self-taught approach to programming--when I saw that Bill Seaman had just uploaded a new batch of audio files to our shared Dropbox folder. I had been collaborating with Bill, a media artist, on various aspects of computational creativity over the past few years.

Best Screenplay Goes to the Algorithms - Issue 79: Catalysts


Ross Goodwin has had an extraordinary career. After playing about with computers as a child, he studied economics, then became a speech writer for President Obama, writing presidential proclamations, then took a variety of freelance writing jobs. One of these involved churning out business letters--he calls it freelance ghostwriting. The letters were all pretty much the same, so he figured out an algorithm that would generate form letters, using a few samples as a database. The algorithm jumbled up paragraphs and lines following certain templates, then reassembled them to produce business letters, similar but each varying in style, saving him the job of starting anew each time.

Here Are the 10 Best PlayStation 4 Games to Play Right Now

TIME - Tech

The PlayStation 4 has dominated the video game market since its release six years ago. Sure, Microsoft's Xbox One is more powerful than the PlayStation 4, but Sony's console spent this generation producing incredible games. Putting software above hardware has been a winning strategy for Sony and it's sold more than 100 million consoles since the PlayStation 4's release in 2013. With more than 2,300 games for the system, it can be hard to pick which game to play. But TIME has you covered.

Podcast: The Importance of a Data Strategy Before an AI Strategy - ASK AI


Subscribe to this episode via iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and Spotify, or stream it and connect with hundreds of AI startups and influencers from our chatbot. A full text transcript can also be found at the end of this post. Over the last few years, we've seen the trade and supply of data increase, with more and more of it being generated and leveraged by all industries and organizations. Particularly in this era of innovation, data is essential, and as usage continues to skyrocket, the consideration of how it's being collected and how its being used is more important than ever. Everyone is talking about transforming their organization with artificial intelligence.

The environmental impact of a PlayStation 4


Just behind us, a giant industrial magnet powered up with warning signs dotted about its perimeter so we wouldn't scramble our phones. Before long, John Durrell, a specialist in superconductor engineering (who took apart more machines as a teenager than he can remember), arrived with a set of tools in his hands and a glint in his eye.

Why AWS is selling a MIDI keyboard to teach machine learning – TechCrunch


Earlier this week, AWS launched DeepComposer, a set of web-based tools for learning about AI to make music and a $99 MIDI keyboard for inputting melodies. That launch created a fair bit of confusion, though, so we sat down with Mike Miller, the director of AWS's AI Devices group, to talk about where DeepComposer fits into the company's lineup of AI devices, which includes the DeepLens camera and the DeepRacer AI car, both of which are meant to teach developers about specific AI concepts, too. The first thing that's important to remember here is that DeepComposer is a learning tool. It's not meant for musicians -- it's meant for engineers who want to learn about generative AI. The keyboard itself, after all, is just a standard, basic MIDI keyboard.

NFL-AWS partnership hopes to reduce head injuries with machine learning – TechCrunch


Today at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell joined AWS CEO Andy Jassy on stage to announce a new partnership to use machine learning to help reduce head injuries in professional football. "We're excited to announce a new strategic partnership together, which is going to combine cloud computing, machine learning and data science to work on transforming player health and safety," Jassy said today. NFL football is a fast and violent sport involving large men. Injuries are a part of the game, but the NFL is hoping to reduce head injuries in particular, a huge problem for the sport. A 2017 study found that 110 out of 111 deceased NFL players had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

How "randomizers" are breathing new life into old games


Like a long-time partner or a favorite pair of socks, there's comfort to be found in revisiting a familiar game from your youth. There's a sense of ease knowing what lies inside each treasure chest, which bush an enemy will spring from, or the secret tactic that vanquishes a foe with ease. That calming intimacy makes games like these an easy nostalgic choice when you just want to take a load off. But what if you want to add some spice back to that familiar experience? After playing a classic game to the point of memorization, how do you recapture the sense of adventure and discovery you experienced the first time you played it?

An introduction to deep learning with Brain.js - LogRocket Blog


Using Brain.js is a fantastic way to build a neural network. It learns the patterns and relationship between the inputs and output in order to make a somewhat educated guess when dealing with related issues. One example of a neural network is Cloudinary's image recognition add-on system. I was also shocked the first time I read the documentation of Brain.js, In this post, we will discuss some aspects of understanding how neural networks work.