Collaborating Authors


The Machine Ethics podcast DeepDive: AI and games


Hosted by Ben Byford, The Machine Ethics Podcast brings together interviews with academics, authors, business leaders, designers and engineers on the subject of autonomous algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and technology's impact on society. This first Deepdive episode we talk to Amandine Flachs, Tommy Thompson and Richard Bartle about AI in games, its history, its uses and where it's going. After supporting startups founders for more than 10 years, she is now looking to help game developers create smarter and more human-like game AIs using machine learning. Amandine is still involved in the startup ecosystem as a mentor, venture scout and through her series of live AMAs with early-stage entrepreneurs. She can be found on Twitter @AmandineFlachs.

AndroidEnv: A Reinforcement Learning Platform for Android Artificial Intelligence

We introduce AndroidEnv, an open-source platform for Reinforcement Learning (RL) research built on top of the Android ecosystem. AndroidEnv allows RL agents to interact with a wide variety of apps and services commonly used by humans through a universal touchscreen interface. Since agents train on a realistic simulation of an Android device, they have the potential to be deployed on real devices. In this report, we give an overview of the environment, highlighting the significant features it provides for research, and we present an empirical evaluation of some popular reinforcement learning agents on a set of tasks built on this platform.

AppStreamer: Reducing Storage Requirements of Mobile Games through Predictive Streaming Machine Learning

Storage has become a constrained resource on smartphones. Gaming is a popular activity on mobile devices and the explosive growth in the number of games coupled with their growing size contributes to the storage crunch. Even where storage is plentiful, it takes a long time to download and install a heavy app before it can be launched. This paper presents AppStreamer, a novel technique for reducing the storage requirements or startup delay of mobile games, and heavy mobile apps in general. AppStreamer is based on the intuition that most apps do not need the entirety of its files (images, audio and video clips, etc.) at any one time. AppStreamer can, therefore, keep only a small part of the files on the device, akin to a "cache", and download the remainder from a cloud storage server or a nearby edge server when it predicts that the app will need them in the near future. AppStreamer continuously predicts file blocks for the near future as the user uses the app, and fetches them from the storage server before the user sees a stall due to missing resources. We implement AppStreamer at the Android file system layer. This ensures that the apps require no source code or modification, and the approach generalizes across apps. We evaluate AppStreamer using two popular games: Dead Effect 2, a 3D first-person shooter, and Fire Emblem Heroes, a 2D turn-based strategy role-playing game. Through a user study, 75% and 87% of the users respectively find that AppStreamer provides the same quality of user experience as the baseline where all files are stored on the device. AppStreamer cuts down the storage requirement by 87% for Dead Effect 2 and 86% for Fire Emblem Heroes.

Talking with machines with Dr. Layla El Asri - Microsoft Research


Humans are unique in their ability to learn from, understand the world through and communicate with language… Or are they? Perhaps not for long, if Dr. Layla El Asri, a Research Manager at Microsoft Research Montreal, has a say in it. She wants you to be able to talk to your machine just like you'd talk to another person. The hard part is getting your machine to understand and talk back to you like it's that other person. Today, Dr. El Asri talks about the particular challenges she and other scientists face in building sophisticated dialogue systems that lay the foundation for talking machines. She also explains how reinforcement learning, in the form of a text game generator called TextWorld, is helping us get there, and relates a fascinating story from more than fifty years ago that reveals some of the safeguards necessary to ensure that when we design machines specifically to pass the Turing test, we design them in an ethical and responsible way. Layla El Asri: In a video game, most of the time you only have a few actions that you can take. You just need to learn when you should go right, when you should go left, when you should go up, when you should go down. But when it comes to dialogue, you need to learn how to make a sentence that is grammatically correct, and then you need to learn how to make a sentence that makes sense in the global context of the dialogue, or a sentence that brings new information in the dialogue that is going to make the person you are talking to satisfied with the sentence. Your action space is just huge because it's not just up/down, right/left, it's all the sentences you could imagine! Host: You're listening to the Microsoft Research Podcast, a show that brings you closer to the cutting-edge of technology research and the scientists behind it. Host: Humans are unique in their ability to learn from, understand the world through and communicate with language… Or are they? Perhaps not for long, if Dr. Layla El Asri, a Research Manager at Microsoft Research Montreal, has a say in it. She wants you to be able to talk to your machine just like you'd talk to another person.

Best pre-Cyber Monday deals: Xbox One X, Beats, Bose, Apple iPad, KitchenAid, Instant Pot, Echo Plus


Don't feel bad if you missed out on Black Friday. There are still a lot of great deals out there from top retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Macy's in the lead up to Cyber Monday on Nov. 26. There are still a number a fantastic deals on electronics like video games, 4K TVs, and headphones. You can save $80 on Bose SoundSport Free truly wireless earbuds, which are priced at $169 at Walmart, while you can also save $101 on the Xbox One X (1TB) console, which is priced at $399 on Amazon. For the kitchen, you can save $30 on the Instant Pot Duo60 (6-quart), which is going for $69.99 at Macy's, while KitchenAid's Artisan mini tilt-head stand mixer is on sale for just $199.99 -- a $130 savings.

Best pre-Black Friday deals for Nov 21: Instant Pot, Fire HD 10, iPad, CBD oil, KitchenAid


With Black Friday almost here, top retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Macy's are dropping early deals for people who want to beat the rush and save right now. A large number of the deals below are the same deals you'd find on Black Friday, but just made active a few days early. Embark's dog DNA testing ket -- save $40 Saeco X-Small Vapore automatic espresso machine -- save $247.08 Here are all the best deals for Wednesday, Nov. 21: Black & Decker BL2010BG 10 Speed Blender -- $19.99 plus an addition $12 mail-in rebate (list price $37.99) KitchenAid - KV25G0XSL Professional 500 Series Stand Mixer -- $229.99 (list price $499.99) KitchenAid Classic Series Tilt-Head Stand Mixer -- $189.00 (list price $229.00)

Pokemon Go creator plans to sell the tech behind its games

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Pokemon Go could be about to become even more addictive. An incredible new video has revealed updates to the way the game's augmented reality technology works, making it far more realistic. The new technology lets characters disappear behind real-world objects. Called occlusion, the technique is being promoted by its creators as the firm opens up their Real World Platform for developers to create new AR apps. Pokemon Go players could soon be treated to the sight of Pikachu hiding behind static plant pots and even moving people.

Running Keras models on iOS with CoreML - PyImageSearch


Today, we're going to take this trained Keras model and deploy it to an iPhone and iOS app using what Apple has dubbed "CoreML", an easy-to-use machine learning framework for Apple applications: My goal today is to show you how simple it is to deploy your Keras model to your iPhone and iOS using CoreML. To be clear, I'm not a mobile developer by any stretch of the imagination, and if I can do it, I'm confident you can do it as well. Feel free to use the code in today's post as a starting point for your own application. But personally, I'm going to continue the theme of this series and build a Pokedex. A Pokedex is a device that exists in the world of Pokemon, a popular TV show, video game, and trading card series (I was/still am a huge Pokemon nerd). Using a Pokedex you can take a picture of a Pokemon (animal-like creatures that exist in the world of Pokemon) and the Pokedex will automatically identify the creature for for you, providing useful information and statistics, such as the Pokemon's height, weight, and any special abilities it may have. You can see an example of a Pokedex in action at the top of this blog post, but again, feel free to swap out my Keras model for your own -- the process is quite simple and straightforward as you'll see later in this guide.

TNW on Flipboard


Excelling at Microsoft Excel may not seem like an inherently sexy talent. But as with most things in life, headline-grabbing flash fades while rock-solid fundamentals are forever. Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are of endless battles and co-operative crusades in a range of 8-bit video games with my older brother and our neighbors. One of the best things about Android is how flexible its interface is: customizing your home screen to suit your usage habits and preferences only takes a few taps, and the possibilities are endless. The logo design industry is changing at a lightning-fast speed.

Top 7 Technology Trends in 2017 That Are Moving Faster Than Ever


With the progressing year, the technology diversified ways in which we could communicate and retrieve the information from the pocket fitting devices. Technologies such as IoT, automation, and cognitive computing moved beyond the conceptual stages in 2016. As the year takes up, companies throughout the world are developing their business strategies. In order to move forward in the competition, companies are turning towards major investments in technology. The world's biggest consumer technology convention, CES is one of the best places to find a handful of key technologies. CES 2017 finished another spectacular year with pioneering technology trends including smart homes to self-driving cars. This year is assumed to bring transformative technology trends for us to explore and invest in. AI, also known as Artificial Intelligence has been studied for decades and now the vision of transforming insentient objects into intelligence is gradually becoming a reality. AI based Innovations are now pondering into the market and becoming part of our daily lives with quick adaptability. Artificial intelligence assists humans and handles the tasks flawlessly, without interrupting your comfort. Whether to set an alarm, or remind you of something important, or to play your favorite music or to read out general news for you or to find your phone, AI can make the task more convenient and smart. Sit back and relax while you command your device to do things for you.