computer game

The 10 Best Gadgets of the 2010s

TIME - Tech

Making a list of the decade's most important and influential gadgets is, in a word, illuminating -- and that's before you factor in all the LEDs. Over the last 10 years, thousands of products have been released, and while some are definitely "cooler" than others, their impact on the past decade, and the decade to come, is by no means identical. Each gadget tells the story of a new way of thinking, a slow-moving paradigm shift set to change the way we approach the personal technology we interact with on a daily basis. Sure, you might not know what a Raspberry Pi is, but its impact on industries like robotics and home automation has been massive. But the elegantly executed idea has opened up a world of delight for gamers with disabilities.



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Microsoft names its new games console Xbox Series X

The Guardian

Microsoft has revealed the name for its new games console – Xbox Series X. The machine, previously known by the codename Project Scarlett will launch in "Holiday 2020", and will ship with a redesigned version of the Xbox wireless controller. The new name was announced during the annual Game awards in Los Angeles. At the event, a promotional trailer was shown for Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, a sequel to the critically acclaimed adventure title from UK developer Ninja Theory, which is being designed to leverage the capabilities of the new technology. In a blog post, Xbox chief Phil Spencer introduced the Xbox Series X as "our fastest, most powerful console ever", claiming it will set a new bar for performance and speed.

'Dark Alliance' video game features iconic Dungeons & Dragons characters, location; set for release in 2020

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Dungeons and Dragons has never been more popular. That's what publisher Wizards of the Coast says following the game's best year ever in terms of sales. A resurgence is underway for the enduring tabletop role-playing game during its 45th anniversary, sparked by a user-friendly fifth edition. "Dark Alliance" is set to launch in fall 2020 on PC and consoles. The game is described as "exciting, action-driven, hack-and-slash adventure filled with iconic monsters, legendary characters, and epic loot."

For Chinese kids and young adults, world of computer coding is child's play

The Japan Times

BEIJING – Wearing a pair of black-rimmed glasses and a red T-shirt, an 8-year-old Chinese boy is logged in for an online coding lesson -- as the teacher. Vita has set up a coding tutorial channel on the Chinese video streaming site Bilibili since August and has so far garnered nearly 60,000 followers and over 1 million views. He is among a growing number of children in China who are learning coding even before they enter primary school. The trend has been fueled by parents' belief that coding skills will be essential for Chinese teenagers given the government's technological drive. "Coding's not that easy but also not that difficult -- at least not as difficult as you have imagined," said Vita, who lives in Shanghai.

The Minecraft test that stumped AIs


It takes minutes for most new Minecraft players to work out how to dig up the diamonds that are key to the game, but training artificial intelligence to do it has proved harder than expected. Over the summer, Minecraft publisher Microsoft and other organisations challenged coders to create AI agents that could find the coveted gems. Most can crack it in their first session. But out of more than 660 entries submitted. The results of the MineRL - which is pronounced mineral - competition are due to be announced formally on Saturday at the NeurIPS AI conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Microsoft revealed the next Xbox, and it's called Xbox Series X

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

We now know the look and name of the next Xbox. On Thursday night, during The Game Awards, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox Series X, the next version of its popular Xbox console, will launch during the 2020 holiday season. Unlike its previous console brethren, the Series X has a more vertical design similar to a tower. Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox at Microsoft, said the Series X will be "our fastest and most powerful console ever" with improved speed and compatibility, as well as the ability to play games from multiple Xbox generations. "For eighteen years and three console generations, the Xbox community has shown us the power both games and fun can have on all of us," said Spencer in a statement.

NeurIPS 2019 The Numbers


The world's most prestigious machine learning conference wraps up in Vancouver this weekend. Synced takes a look at the numbers associated with NeurIPS 2019. This year marked the 33rd annual NeurIPS conference. Communication Co-chair Michael Littman told attendees: "This year is only the third time NeurIPS has had a formal relationship with the press. Also, there were 3 awards -- Outstanding Paper, Outstanding New Directions Paper, and Test of Time.

Training multi-agent AI systems to solve complex tasks through cooperation


A novel approach to cooperative multi-agent reinforcement learning (RL) that assigns tasks to individual agents within a group, thereby improving the entire group's ability to collaborate. We tested this method in the real-time strategy game StarCraft: Brood War, and found that our RL-trained model significantly outperformed computer-controlled players that relied on carefully tuned rule-based baselines. Perhaps most important, these gains carried over to matches with significantly larger armies than what we included in our training scenarios. We're releasing the source code for this approach on our TorchCraftAI GitHub repository, and detailing our results, which indicate that treating collaborative multi-agent RL as a dynamic assignment problem can lead to groups of agents that are better at generalizing to more complex situations. Our approach focuses on multi-agent collaborative (MAC) problems where agents have to carry out multiple intermediate tasks in order to accomplish a larger one.

Artificial Intelligence Takes On Minecraft


Games have become a go-to testbed for researchers, where the benchmark of human intellect can be put to test in a somewhat reliable way. AI had been, in the past, pitted against humans in games of chess, poker, GO and more. These standard methods usually require years of game time to attain human performance in complex games such as Go and StarCraft. Today AI researchers are considering a new contender in the form of Minecraft to investigate intelligence in AI agents. Minecraft was created by Swedish developer Markus Persson and released by Mojang in 2011.