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From Star Wars to Marvel, licensed video games are becoming more ambitious. Here's why.

Washington Post - Technology News

Rather than forcing a game development team to use certain assets from the Marvel Cinematic Universe or from the original looks of the comics, for example, those have now become open discussions for what fits best for each game. This gave Insomniac Games, the developer behind "Marvel's Spider-Man" and "Miles Morales," the freedom to design their own Spider-Man suits, and Crystal Dynamics, who made "Marvel's Avengers," the choice to place Ms. Marvel (also known as Kamala Khan) front-and-center in the story. But Marvel is more strict about principles relating to their worlds and characters. Among the most important for Spider-Man is that he does not kill.


What are the Applications of Python?

#artificialintelligence

Hey guys, in this module, we are going to talk about What are the Applications of Python? We have already seen the Future of Python in our previous module and know already how python is ruling today's industry and how it is becoming famous. So, let's focus on some of the applications in this module. Let's dive into the depth of this module. Since we know what python is and how one can start his/her career in the same, so, let's see applications of the python that in what manner python is useful or what all things can be constructed or built from python.


A Deep Dive into Artificial Intelligence and How It's Applied in the Modern World

#artificialintelligence

There haven't been many technological breakthroughs in recent history that are as significant and as impactful as artificial intelligence. Gone are the days wherein robots and machine learning were only ideas to be found in science fiction novels. Not only has artificial intelligence made some really great strides as a discipline, but more and more members of the masses have adopted artificial intelligence into their everyday life. In the past, everyone would think of movies like the Terminator or iRobot when it came to talks of artificial intelligence. But now, sophisticated AI software can be found in the everyday devices that we use. Now, you might be curious how AI is applied in the modern world these days.


An Amazon Alexa app is headed for the Xbox

PCWorld

Amazon and Microsoft are adding a new Amazon Alexa app to the Xbox with a number of capabilities, including the ability to remotely browse your home's camera system via Microsoft's game console. The new Alexa app for Xbox isn't quite live, though; it's listed as "Coming Soon" on the Microsoft Store. Controlling your Xbox via an Alexa-powered speaker isn't new--Microsoft launched the capability to Windows Insider beta testers in 2018 via what it called a "skill"--but it's the first time we've seen such tight Alexa integration on the Xbox itself. Microsoft says the app will run on both the Xbox One (presumably including the Xbox One X) as well as the latest Xbox Series X and S consoles. You'll need an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-powered device too, of course.


Reinforcement learning and reasoning

#artificialintelligence

Reinforcement learning has seen a lot of progress in recent years. From DeepMind success with teaching machines how to play Atari games, then AlphaGo beating world champions in Go to recent OpenAI's progress on Dota 2, a multiplayer game where players divided into two teams compete with each other. The common thread is an artificial agent operating in a virtual world, where the prize is clear (e.g. On the other hand people are experimenting with AI agents operating in real-world. Each clip of Boston Dynamics gets a lot of press, showing robots performing amazing stunts, as you can see yourself here or here.


The Rise of Unapologetically Erotic LGBTQ Games

WIRED

Video game characters do not have great sex lives. The sex in Cyberpunk 2077, one of the biggest releases of the decade, was lambasted by PC Gamer as "horrifying" and "truly awful" for its weak writing and general clunkiness; character models designed to run and shoot just look strange when made to contort in moments of intimacy. But while Cyberpunk was criticized for its bad sex--and for flubbing LGBTQ representation--the erotic indie title Hardcoded was gathering praise for its explicit, queer-friendly sexuality set against a dystopian cyberpunk backdrop. Sex has been part of gaming from the beginning--Atari 2600 owners could buy Custer's Revenge, a heavily criticized rape fantasy that sold 80,000 copies--but for most of the medium's history, any sexuality was aimed at straight white men with all the subtlety of a horny sledgehammer. It was seen as a mark of maturity for the God of War franchise when its 2018 installment abandoned the subject entirely rather than return to the cringeworthy "Here are some tits, you rube" minigames of previous entries.


This AI Thrashes the Hardest Atari Games by Memorizing Its Best Moves

#artificialintelligence

Learning from rewards seems like the simplest thing. I make coffee, I sip coffee, I'm happy. My brain registers "brewing coffee" as an action that leads to a reward. That's the guiding insight behind deep reinforcement learning, a family of algorithms that famously smashed most of Atari's gaming catalog and triumphed over humans in strategy games like Go. Here, an AI "agent" explores the game, trying out different actions and registering ones that let it win.


Amazon's new Alexa app runs directly on your Xbox

Engadget

Microsoft has slowly opened the Xbox platform to non-Cortana home automation voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but now Amazon is going one step further. Now an Alexa app for Xbox is poised to roll out "in the coming days" -- you can see it in the Microsoft Store here but it's not available for download yet. While you've already been able to use Alexa to control certain Xbox features, installing the app will apparently enable visual features that pop up on your TV and add a few more interactions. Once it's available, the app should work on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. There is one caveat -- in this Kinect-less future we live in, you'll need an Amazon Echo or other compatible Alexa device nearby to actually receive the commands and relay them to your linked Xbox.


Artificial intelligence tries QWOP

#artificialintelligence

QWOP, arguably the most difficult video game ever, was created by Bennett Foddy in 2008. The point is to control a sprinter with four keys that move his thighs and calf muscles. A few seconds in, and you're reduced to just trying to control your laughter. Most of us gave up pretty early, but some took QWOP as a challenge and got the runner through a 100-meter dash. The QWOP record, as of now, is 48 seconds!


Here's why Abby uses a golf club in 'The Last of Us Part II'

Washington Post - Technology News

Though "The Last of Us Part II" ended 2020 as the year's most highly acclaimed title, it arrived last summer in a flurry of controversy. In the aforementioned scene, the main character of the first game, Joel Miller, was brutally murdered by a new character and protagonist to the series, Abby Anderson. In a cabin besieged by a heavy snowstorm, Abby reached for a nearby set of golf clubs to deal the fatal blow that left many players horrified, saddened, and in some cases, incredibly angry.