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You Think Your Favorite Video Game Is Hard? Try Speedrunning It

NPR Technology

Chris Tomkinson -- known online as ShinyZeni -- streaming a speedrun of Super Metroid. To an uninformed viewer, it might seem silly. Why is his character glitching out like that? Is she just smashing Mario into a wall? How did he just fly through the ceiling?


The Minimax Algorithm in Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Algorithms can search the game trees to determine the best move to make from the current state. The most well known is called the Minimax algorithm. The minimax algorithm is a useful method for simple two-player games. It is a method for selecting the best move given an alternating game where each player opposes the other working toward a mutually exclusive goal. Each player knows the moves that are possible given a current game state, so for each move, all subsequent moves can be discovered.


The Cute, The Weird And The Lovely: 7 Of The Kookiest Robots Around

#artificialintelligence

Today's robots are more intelligent than ever, learning to respond to their environment and perform a range of tasks autonomously, without human intervention. As such, robots are now entirely commonplace in sectors like manufacturing; the International Federation of Robotics estimated that 1.7 million new robots would be installed in factories around the world by 2020. Then we have the rise of collaborative robots, or cobots, which are explicitly designed to work alongside humans as helpful robotic colleagues. In this way, the future of many industries may mean humans and robots working seamlessly side by side. It's no wonder, then, that robotics is considered a major, transformative technology trend – one that, along with rising automation, will no doubt shape the future of work.


New 'Magic: The Gathering' Zendikar Rising card makes rocks fall, everyone dies

Mashable

Magic: The Gathering's Zendikar Rising set will introduce over 280 new cards to the game this month, as well as bringing back mechanics such as Landfall and Kicker. However, one of the most significant updates is the introduction of modular double-faced cards (MDFCs). Unlike previous double-faced cards, these new modular cards can only be played as one side or the other, unable to change between them on the battlefield. And unlike split cards, these new cards can be permanents such as creatures or lands as well as sorceries or instants. This expands the options in your hand and gives you more versatility than a normal card.


The Changing Face of AI Research

#artificialintelligence

However, it is by no means clear yet whether this will project as a game-changer in the world ahead. Computer programmers have been trying hard to find the right and relevant pattern in data just to be sure they become extremely good at beating multiplayer games. A whitepaper published by researchers at Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University said their software is good at embracing randomness and that it is reliable to beat humans at games. Artificial intelligence is heralded as a solution to the complex problems faced by many industries and organizations. The prime concern for businesses today is to find out how to gain better insights into harnessing big data.


The Deck Is Not Rigged: Poker and the Limits of AI

#artificialintelligence

Tuomas Sandholm, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, is not a poker player--or much of a poker fan, in fact--but he is fascinated by the game for much the same reason as the great game theorist John von Neumann before him. Von Neumann, who died in 1957, viewed poker as the perfect model for human decision making, for finding the balance between skill and chance that accompanies our every choice. He saw poker as the ultimate strategic challenge, combining as it does not just the mathematical elements of a game like chess but the uniquely human, psychological angles that are more difficult to model precisely--a view shared years later by Sandholm in his research with artificial intelligence. "Poker is the main benchmark and challenge program for games of imperfect information," Sandholm told me on a warm spring afternoon in 2018, when we met in his offices in Pittsburgh. The game, it turns out, has become the gold standard for developing artificial intelligence.


The Deck Is Not Rigged: Poker and the Limits of AI

#artificialintelligence

Tuomas Sandholm, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, is not a poker player -- or much of a poker fan, in fact -- but he is fascinated by the game for much the same reason as the great game theorist John von Neumann before him. Von Neumann, who died in 1957, viewed poker as the perfect model for human decision making, for finding the balance between skill and chance that accompanies our every choice. He saw poker as the ultimate strategic challenge, combining as it does not just the mathematical elements of a game like chess but the uniquely human, psychological angles that are more difficult to model precisely -- a view shared years later by Sandholm in his research with artificial intelligence. WHAT I LEFT OUT is a recurring feature in which book authors are invited to share anecdotes and narratives that, for whatever reason, did not make it into their final manuscripts. In this installment, Maria Konnikova shares a story that was left out of "The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win" (Penguin Press). "Poker is the main benchmark and challenge program for games of imperfect information," Sandholm told me on a warm spring afternoon in 2018, when we met in his offices in Pittsburgh.


Meet Killjoy, 'Valorant's' new agent

Washington Post - Technology News

Her abilities seem best equipped for defensive play, either in terms of keeping watch over a site on the defender side, or holding a planted bomb on the attacking side. Both the "Alarmbot" and the turret can alert site-holders to the presence of opponents, similar to Cypher's camera and trip wires. The "Nanoswarm" can be used similarly to Brimstone's "Molly," closing off points of entry or making parts of a site, such as the planted bomb, inaccessible to opponents. And "Lockdown," if activated near a planted bomb, can delay the defending team, or force them to rush the site and disable the device.


Valorant's twelfth agent is Killjoy, a German robotics genius

Engadget

Riot is adding another heroic'agent' to Valorant, its currently PC-exclusive first-person shooter. Today, the developer -- best known for League of Legends, a popular MOBA that has spawned its own card game and auto chess spin-off -- has unveiled Killjoy, a fictional genius from Germany who loves building robots. She'll be added to the game as part of Act II -- Riot's term for in-game seasons -- on August 4th, bringing the agent lineup to 12. Killjoy's basic abilities include Alarmbot, a sneaky assassin type that waits for an enemy to move within range and then tracks them down, detonating upon impact to leave them in a'vulnerable' state. If you change your mind, it's also possible to recall a deployed Alarmbot by holding the Equip shortcut. If you want to control the map or pressure opponents to move into a particular choke point, there's also a Turret ability that will fire in a 180-degree arc.


'Magic: The Gathering' Double Masters set brings back a ridiculously powerful card

Mashable

Magic: The Gathering's huge catalogue of cards is constantly growing, with publisher Wizards of the Coast releasing new sets every year to keep the game fresh. This enormous library gives players endless options when building their decks, however some of the better cards can get lost in the shuffle. With that in mind, Magic's Masters sets reprint cards from their back catalogue, giving old favourites renewed relevance while introducing them to new players. The latest such set is Double Masters, which will include two rare or mythic rare cards and two shiny foil cards in each booster pack when it is released on August 7. Today, Mashable can exclusively reveal one of the cards that has made it into Double Masters' lineup: Sen Triplets, a Mythic Rare 3/3 Legendary Artifact Creature whose difficult mana cost is paid back with ridiculous power.