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The Quarry Blurs the Line Between Video Games and Cinema

WIRED

When the new teaser trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water--the next entry in James Cameron's CGI-heavy film franchise--came out, many viewers opined that the footage resembles a video game. As praise or pejorative, that comparison is a touch hyperbolic. Yet it signals, too, the perceived overlap between the video game and film industries, which have increasingly come to share technological, narrative, and visual approaches. Multiplex screens are nowadays laden with game-like images--exceptions exist, but a sense of green-screened unreality certainly abounds, whether you're watching an explosion-rich action film or a well-paced drama. Other ideas also flow freely across mediums: Games and movies alike have set their watches to Matrix-style "bullet time" effects; both forms have shaken up their cameras à la Bourne; and as virtuosic a filmmaker as Brian De Palma has marveled at how certain games have deftly repurposed cinema's roaming, first-person point-of-view shots.


Fans are saddened over the death of Technoblade, a popular Minecraft YouTuber

NPR Technology

Technoblade was one of YouTube's most popular Minecraft video creators. Technoblade was one of YouTube's most popular Minecraft video creators. Technoblade, one of the most popular Minecraft video creators on YouTube, has died following a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, according to his family. "If I had another hundred lives, I think I would choose to be Technoblade again every single time, as those were the happiest years of my life," he wrote in a message to his community about 8 hours before he died. His father read aloud the message in a YouTube video Thursday titled "so long nerds" that has reached millions of people and hit #1 on the trending page.



Want to play Wordle against your friends? Try Word Fight.

Washington Post - Technology News

Word Fight is one of several multiplayer versions inspired by Wordle. After playing a few of them, though, I found that none of them scratched quite the same itch as Word Fight. They were either too competitive, having players race against each other in real time, or imposed limits on the number of guesses, or by adding timers. And so, I'll just continue stealing victories from my husband in Word Fight.


'Neon White' makes you feel like a speedrunning god, even if you suck

Washington Post - Technology News

On its face, "Neon White" is about a deceased assassin with amnesia, White, competing against other assassins to kill demons and get out of hell. But the real relationship at the heart of the game is that between the player and the individual levels. At the outset of each blistering obstacle course -- many of which can last fewer than 30 seconds -- the goal is simply to kill every demon and reach the finish line. You can use various items, which take the form of cards that act as either demon-slaying guns or single-use abilities depending on how you deploy them, in service of this. One allows you to double jump, another lets you slam down with craterous impact and so on. Playing the specific hand you're dealt in each level -- and realizing how to creatively exploit it -- is key in optimizing your run times.


La veille de la cybersécurité

#artificialintelligence

In 2020, OpenAI's machine learning algorithm GPT-3 blew people away when, after ingesting billions of words scraped from the internet, it began spitting out well-crafted sentences. This year, DALL-E 2, a cousin of GPT-3 trained on text and images, caused a similar stir online when it began whipping up surreal images of astronauts riding horses and, more recently, crafting weird, photorealistic faces of people that don't exist. Now, the company says its latest AI has learned to play Minecraft after watching some 70,000 hours of video showing people playing the game on YouTube. Compared to numerous prior Minecraft algorithms which operate in much simpler "sandbox" versions of the game, the new AI plays in the same environment as humans, using standard keyboard-and-mouse commands. In a blog post and preprint detailing the work, the OpenAI team say that, out of the box, the algorithm learned basic skills, like chopping down trees, making planks, and building crafting tables.


Twitch reveals new feature built for popular Just Chatting streams

Washington Post - Technology News

In the past, Twitch has launched numerous features that make it easier to watch streamers play games together, but this is the first time Just Chatting has taken center stage. Twitch formally established the category -- originally intended for streamers to chill and talk to their viewers -- in 2018. But in the years since, it's grown into a repository for an enormous variety of nongaming activities including regular talk shows, controversial trends and IRL competitions that wouldn't feel out of place on television (as well as actual television). In recent times Just Chatting has proven nearly unshakable as the top category on the once video game only platform, with Twitch noting that since 2020, hours watched in the category have gone up 151 percent, and revenue for Just Chatting creators has grown 169 percent.


'Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course' is a culinary masterpiece

Washington Post - Technology News

A nifty optional tutorial outside the bakery allows players to gain a level of comfort with Ms. Chalice's Double Jump, Parry Dash, and Dodge Roll. While the original two protagonists can only jump a single time and take damage while dashing, Ms. Chalice's Parry Dash renders her invulnerable when hitting a parry-able object, and her Dodge Roll provides invincibility during the duration. She also starts with four health points as opposed to the standard three. In a title with as many close calls as this, one piece of health can be the difference between victory and crushing defeat.


AI can now play Minecraft just as well as you - here's why that matters

#artificialintelligence

Experts at OpenAI have trained a neural network to play Minecraft to an equally high standard as human players. The neural network was trained on 70,000 hours of miscellaneous in-game footage, supplemented with a small database of videos in which contractors performed specific in-game tasks, with the keyboard and mouse inputs also recorded. After fine-tuning, OpenAI found the model was able to perform all manner of complex skills, from swimming to hunting for animals and consuming their meat. It also grasped the "pillar jump", a move whereby the player places a block of material below themselves mid-jump in order to gain elevation. Perhaps most impressive, the AI was able to craft diamond tools (requiring a long string of actions to be executed in sequence), which OpenAI described as an "unprecedented" achievement for a computer agent.


OpenAI Introduces a Neural Network That Can Play 'Minecraft'

#artificialintelligence

OpenAI has developed a neural network that can play Minecraft like humans. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) model was trained over 70,000 hours of miscellaneous in-game footage, along with a small database of videos in which specific in-game tasks were performed. Keyboard and mouse inputs are also recorded. OpenAI fine-tuned the AI, and now, it is skillful as a human-it can swim, hunt for animals, and eat. The AI can also do the pillar jump, where a player places a block of material below themselves in mid-air to gain more elevation.