Collaborating Authors


Pokémon and the First Wave of Digital Nostalgia

The New Yorker

A year ago, Marcus Dewdney, an artist in Toronto, started a project inspired by Pokémon, the beloved series of monster-collecting video games that launched on Game Boy in the United States in 1998. He pulled up images from the 2001 games Pokémon Gold and Silver and, using the image editor, Scant grids of symbolic leaves from the original game became swirls of gnarled trees; straight lines meant to suggest cliffs became craggy, precipitous rock faces. This past March, Dewdney and several other artists completed the entire map of Gold and Silver--which can be explored screen by screen on a dedicated Web site. Now the group is working on overhauling the original Pokémon games, Red and Blue. Viewers of Dewdney's images often comment, "This is how I saw it in my head as a kid," he told me.

Grading AI: The Hits and Misses


AZEEM AZHAR: Welcome to The Exponential View podcast where multidisciplinary conversations about the near future happen every week. Now, as an entrepreneur, investor, and analyst I've been inside the technology industry for over 20 years. During that time, I've observed that exponentially developing technologies are changing the face of our economies, business models, and culture in unexpected ways. Now, I return to this question every week in my newsletter Exponential View, in this podcast, as well as in my recent book The Exponential Age. So, in today's edition I wanted to look back and forward on one of the key technologies of the exponential age, artificial intelligence. We're about a decade into the current industrial boom in AI and I thought it was time to take a scorecard, look at what we've achieved, and how and perhaps what we didn't on which milestones have surprised us. To help me I called on a great experts Murray Shanahan, a senior research scientist at London's DeepMind, as well as a professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College in London. Murray works on machine learning, consciousness, the impacts of artificial intelligence. He and I have known each other for a few years and have indeed done a podcast together previously. We appeared as guests on a show hosted by a technology investor. So, my challenge to Murray today was not simply to access the last 10 years of development, but to look forward to the next 10. It's a bold challenge and we did our best to look forward as well as back. MURRAY SHANAHAN: It's very nice to be here.

Boost your broadcasts with the Blue Yeti X mic for $95


If you want a USB microphone for more than just streaming, Best Buy is the place to be today. The online retailer is selling the Blue Yeti X World of Warcraft edition for $95. That's about $45 cheaper than you'll play elsewhere. We took a look at Yeti X as part of our round-up of the best USB microphones for streaming. We deemed it an ideal mic for multi-purpose set-ups beyond just streaming. In terms of audio performance, we found that it was similar to the Elgato Wave:3, which was our top pick for the best USB microphones.

Machine Learning (ML) vs. Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Crucial Differences


Recently, a report was released regarding the misuse of companies claiming to use artificial intelligence [29] [30] on their products and services. According to the Verge [29], 40% of European startups claiming to use AI don't use the technology. Last year, TechTalks, also stumbled upon such misuse by companies claiming to use machine learning and advanced artificial intelligence to gather and examine thousands of users' data to enhance user experience in their products and services [2] [33]. Unfortunately, there's still much confusion within the public and the media regarding what genuinely is artificial intelligence [44] and what exactly is machine learning [18]. Often the terms are being used as synonyms.

The quest to make an AI that can play competitive Pokémon


An AI can beat a chess grandmaster. An AI can become the StarCraft esports champion. But creating an AI that could play Pokémon at the competitive level has been a more elusive problem. Thanks to the variety of monsters, stats, moves, and items, a Pokémon battle has hundreds of thousands of factors for any player -- or machine -- to consider. But that hasn't stopped some people from trying.

How can a board game help AI solve complex mathematics?


Artificial intelligence is used across myriad disciplines to trawl through troves of data too complex for the human brain – and indeed the average computer – to process, as well as to solve seemingly unsolvable problems. It's posited that these technological super-brains could help us develop medicines and vaccines, solve economic problems, or engineer next-generation technology, among many other helpful applications. But in one of science's most difficult and often abstract fields, the power of the artificial mind is finally starting to prove itself. For the first time, scientists are using machine learning to come up with theories – rather than simply combing through the raw data – in some of the most confounding fields of mathematics. As described in a new study in the journal Nature, researchers from the universities of Sydney and Oxford have been working with AI lab DeepMind, based in London, to apply machine learning to suggest new avenues for inquiry, and to attempt to prove mathematical theorems. These technological super-brains could help us develop medicines and vaccines, solve economic problems, or engineer next-generation technology.

AI tool lets users envision the future impact of climate change on their homes


Artificial Intelligence (AI) scientists from Mila, the Quebec AI Institute, has developed a tool that lets people envision the potential ravages of climate change on their homes and other destinations. As part of the "This Climate Does Not Exist" project, users can enter their address, or the address of any other destination in the world, to see what it might look years into the future if certain measures are not enacted concerning the climate. Images of these destinations under flooding, layers of smog or other extreme weather events that appear through the project were achieved using generative adversarial networks (GANs) -- the technology responsible for deepfakes, or fake images that look real. The system was trained on images from both real-life flooding and smog events and scenes manufactured by video game makers. The project aims to raise awareness using the images and also offers consumers steps that can be taken -- engage with local representatives, change diets and consumption patterns, for instance -- to lessen the impact of climate change.

Many of these Cyber Monday deals are better than Black Friday


UPDATE: Nov. 29, 2021, 8:00 p.m. EST This story has been updated with the latest price changes and new deals. Black Friday, we hardly knew ye: Cyber Monday is in full swing at all major retailers, and tons of doorbusters are even better than the ones we found during last week's sales. Below, you'll find a complete list of all the best Cyber Monday deals, broken up by retailer and then by category. We'll continue to update this post as more deals pop up, but don't hold out too long if something on your shopping list is enjoying a discount -- it may not be in stock for much longer thanks to the ongoing supply chain mess that's clearing inventories and putting products on backorder. Please note: All newly added deals have been marked with a .

Build your own video games with this 8-course training bundle deal


TL;DR: The 2021 Complete Learn to Code by Making Games in Unity Bundle is on sale for £29.92 as of Nov. 30, saving you 97% on list price. Want to start learning how to code your own video games? Consider the Complete Learn to Code By Making Games in Unity Bundle. This collection of classes includes eight courses and over 900 lessons on coding, machine learning, Construct 3, and more. You'll start by learning how to use Construct 3 to create your own computer games by building simple pixel art animations.

Do we live in a simulation? One little known theory proves Elon Musk wrong

The Independent - Tech

What if the world around us was not real? Could it be that the screen you're looking at, the air you're breathing, the ground beneath your feet and even the smallest particles that make up your body do not really exist? Is it possible, maybe even likely, that the chaos of the world around us is the result of an advanced computer simulation? That we are simply characters in someone else's game? The idea, and fear, that reality is not as it seems can be traced back thousands of years, through the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi's'butterfly dream' to films such as, most famously, The Matrix.