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Historic UK Proms music festival to include its first video game concert

Engadget

For the first time, the UK's annual Proms classical music festival will feature a concert dedicated to video game compositions. On August 1st, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, led by conductor Robert Ames, will perform a selection of music from Battlefield 2042, Dear Esther, Kingdom Hearts, Shadow of the Colossus and other influential titles. "Fantastic worlds, epic adventures, complex characters and huge moral choices – the universe of computer gaming is a natural match for orchestral music, and in the 21st-century games have created a huge and passionate global audience for some of the most vivid, ambitious and inventive music currently being written for symphony orchestra," the BBC writes of the upcoming concert. "From 8-Bit to Infinity" will take place at the historic Royal Albert Hall. If you imagine you'll find yourself in London this summer, tickets start at £14.


Peloton owners can now play a video game while they work out

Engadget

Peloton today launched Lanebreak, a new series of workouts that mimic a racing game for its connected stationary bike. Riders get behind a virtual wheel, race down a multi-lane highway and gain points for higher levels of output and resistance. The fitness company briefly beta tested Lanebreak last July, and is now launching the new mode as a software update to all Peloton bikes in the US, UK, Canada, Germany and Australia. Instead, riders can choose from a selection of different pop-centric playlists to listen to in the background, featuring the likes of David Guetta, David Bowie, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. For Peloton riders who are bored with the usual slate of instructor-led classes, Lanebreak adds a change of pace.


Challenges of Artificial Intelligence -- From Machine Learning and Computer Vision to Emotional Intelligence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a part of everyday conversation and our lives. It is considered as the new electricity that is revolutionizing the world. AI is heavily invested in both industry and academy. However, there is also a lot of hype in the current AI debate. AI based on so-called deep learning has achieved impressive results in many problems, but its limits are already visible. AI has been under research since the 1940s, and the industry has seen many ups and downs due to over-expectations and related disappointments that have followed. The purpose of this book is to give a realistic picture of AI, its history, its potential and limitations. We believe that AI is a helper, not a ruler of humans. We begin by describing what AI is and how it has evolved over the decades. After fundamentals, we explain the importance of massive data for the current mainstream of artificial intelligence. The most common representations for AI, methods, and machine learning are covered. In addition, the main application areas are introduced. Computer vision has been central to the development of AI. The book provides a general introduction to computer vision, and includes an exposure to the results and applications of our own research. Emotions are central to human intelligence, but little use has been made in AI. We present the basics of emotional intelligence and our own research on the topic. We discuss super-intelligence that transcends human understanding, explaining why such achievement seems impossible on the basis of present knowledge,and how AI could be improved. Finally, a summary is made of the current state of AI and what to do in the future. In the appendix, we look at the development of AI education, especially from the perspective of contents at our own university.


This wired Beyerdynamic headset is a solid value

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

While many gamers may not prefer the convenience of a wireless headset, the MMX 150's wired quality is well worth checking out before you write it off, especially if you're also looking for a solid pair of headphones; the removable microphone makes the MMX 150 a strong candidate for doing double duty. If you only play PS5 or Xbox, you may be better served by a first-party headset if you're looking for integration or specific features, but more holistic gamers will be jazzed to know that the MMX 150 are equipped to work alongside essentially any gaming method. The design, while comfortable, may divide buyers thanks to its retro-chic aesthetic and odd color combinations (one version of the headset is grey, black, and orange), while another odd feature, a form of transparency mode called Augmented Mode, boasts a simultaneous mix of utility and somewhat niche appeal. But nestled amongst these curiosities is Beyerdynamic's famed sound quality, making the MMX 150 well worth the asking price. We received a grey version of the Beyerdynamic MMX 150 on loan from Beyerdynamic for evaluation and review.


When Creators Meet the Metaverse: A Survey on Computational Arts

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

The metaverse, enormous virtual-physical cyberspace, has brought unprecedented opportunities for artists to blend every corner of our physical surroundings with digital creativity. This article conducts a comprehensive survey on computational arts, in which seven critical topics are relevant to the metaverse, describing novel artworks in blended virtual-physical realities. The topics first cover the building elements for the metaverse, e.g., virtual scenes and characters, auditory, textual elements. Next, several remarkable types of novel creations in the expanded horizons of metaverse cyberspace have been reflected, such as immersive arts, robotic arts, and other user-centric approaches fuelling contemporary creative outputs. Finally, we propose several research agendas: democratising computational arts, digital privacy, and safety for metaverse artists, ownership recognition for digital artworks, technological challenges, and so on. The survey also serves as introductory material for artists and metaverse technologists to begin creations in the realm of surrealistic cyberspace.


Video Games Inspire a Generation of Classical Music Fans

WIRED

After graduating from the Osaka College of Music in 1988, Yoko Shimomura was torn between career paths. Classically trained since the age of 3 and raised in a family of piano players, Shimomura had studied to become a piano teacher. But when she wasn't studying or playing the piano, Shimomura was popping coins at her local arcade or stomping on Goombas in Super Mario Bros. It was Koji Kondo's infectious melodies in the original Super Mario Bros. that first piqued Shimomura's interest in video game music. Not long after, Koichi Sugiyama's classical score for the RPG Dragon Quest inspired her to marry her love for video games and classical music.


The Artful Escape review – Bowie meets Hitchhiker's in gratifying teenage space opera

The Guardian

Seventeen-year-old guitar prodigy Francis Vendetti lives with his mother in a small Colorado town that is still in thrall to its most famous export: Francis's late uncle, a platinum-selling folk singer. Francis feels inevitable pressure to continue the family trade, and, in preparation for his highly anticipated first public performance in town, writes a suite of Dylan-esque tracks about toil and loss. Except the act is an affectation: Francis is, at heart and by temperament, a prog-rock wailer who dreams of playing high-gain, euphoric guitar solos over the swell of a supportive orchestra. When he's visited by a sympathetic alien being who observes: "You wear folk like a cheap suit", Francis swaps his skinny Levi's for an LED-encrusted catsuit and sets off across the Milky Way to shred for an audience of intergalactic concertgoers. This is true space opera territory – Ziggy-era Bowie meets The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – and far from typical video game subject matter.


'The Artful Escape' is a ripping space-rock celebration of the concept album

Mashable

The Artful Escape is a rock & roll dream, a journey across the cosmos, and an opportunity to serve as a midwife in the birth of a wailing guitar god. A space-rock concept album molded into an interactive audiovisual smorgasbord. This is the kind of video game where you're not meant to fail, and in fact, can't. Miss a jump and the game sends you back a short distance to try it again. Screw up one of the many Simon Says-style note-matching puzzles, and whatever fantastical alien you're facing off against in a guitar duel patiently plays through the pattern again and again until you get it right.


'Limits are non-existent in the metaverse!' Video game concerts become big business

The Guardian

A shimmering Ariana Grande emerges from the starry night sky as she begins to run through her biggest pop hits. Dressed in a glistening sequinned two-piece and rocking a towering ponytail with hints of neon pink, the superstar is both levitating and incandescent. This isn't Grande's latest festival outing, nor is the pop star even physically present. Rather, Grande is seen here in an entirely digital form as part of The Rift Tour, an interactive collaboration with the massively popular online video game Fortnite. Rolling out globally this weekend only, it's a unique partnership the brand is dubbing a "musical journey" with the singer, and marks the latest chapter of an emerging relationship between two disparate cultural behemoths: music and video games.


WikiGraphs: A Wikipedia Text - Knowledge Graph Paired Dataset

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We present a new dataset of Wikipedia articles each paired with a knowledge graph, to facilitate the research in conditional text generation, graph generation and graph representation learning. Existing graph-text paired datasets typically contain small graphs and short text (1 or few sentences), thus limiting the capabilities of the models that can be learned on the data. Our new dataset WikiGraphs is collected by pairing each Wikipedia article from the established WikiText-103 benchmark (Merity et al., 2016) with a subgraph from the Freebase knowledge graph (Bollacker et al., 2008). This makes it easy to benchmark against other state-of-the-art text generative models that are capable of generating long paragraphs of coherent text. Both the graphs and the text data are of significantly larger scale compared to prior graph-text paired datasets. We present baseline graph neural network and transformer model results on our dataset for 3 tasks: graph -> text generation, graph -> text retrieval and text -> graph retrieval. We show that better conditioning on the graph provides gains in generation and retrieval quality but there is still large room for improvement.