Archive for the ‘entertainment’ category

Jun 17, 2018

How Human Hibernation Will Soon Get Us to Mars

Posted by in categories: entertainment, space travel

It’ll be like that movie Passengers, but less creepy. #til

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Jun 15, 2018

Stephen Hawking’s Voice Will Be Broadcast Into Space

Posted by in categories: entertainment, space

Hawking is being interred at Westminster Abbey on Friday, with a thousand members of the public (selected through a lottery system) present for the ceremony. The physicist’s remains will be placed between those of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

His voice will be broadcast into space after the service honoring his life.

Hawking’s words “have been set to an original score by composer Vangelis, most famous for his Chariots of Fire film theme,” the BBC reports.

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Jun 10, 2018

Jurassic World: Can we really resurrect a dinosaur?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, entertainment

This summer, the fifth instalment of the Jurassic Park franchise will be on the big screen, reinforcing a love of dinosaurs that has been with many of us since childhood. There is something awe inspiring about the biggest, fiercest, and “deadest” creatures that have ever walked the planet. But the films have had an additional benefit – they have sparked an interest in dinosaur DNA.

The “Mr DNA” sequence in the original movie is a great piece of science communication and the concept of extracting DNA from the bodies of “dino” blood-engorged mosquitoes is an outstanding piece of fiction. It is, however, just fiction.

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Jun 6, 2018

Why Children of Men has never been as shocking as it is now

Posted by in categories: entertainment, futurism

Nothing goes out of date more quickly than films set in the future. Big-screen visions of tomorrow always reflect the era in which they were made – hence the disco outfits in Flash Gordon. Most soon become quaint relics rather than uncanny prophecies of the shape of things to come. But then, on the other hand, there is Children of Men. Alfonso Cuarón’s feverish dystopian chase thriller is set in a decade’s time, in 2027, but it also came out a decade ago. By now, we should be chuckling at how far off-target its predictions were, both in their overall picture and their background minutiae. Instead, it’s tempting to ask whether Cuarón had access to a crystal ball.

Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian thriller is one of the 21st Century’s most acclaimed films – and its version of the future is now disturbingly familiar. Nicholas Barber looks back.

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Jun 4, 2018

5 futuristic Westworld technologies and when they’ll be a reality

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Creators of science fiction and fantasy books, films, and TV shows present stories of possible or imaginary worlds – and their presentations can range from the realistic to the fantastical. When we watch Westworld (and viewership is growing, with the season one finale drawing 2.2 million viewers ), we look forward 30 years into a potential future envisioned by its writers. Returning to the notion of reality and fantasy (or fact and fiction), the extent to which a sci-fi film might be descriptive of the future seems to be anybody’s guess.

However, we can actually get a sense of how reasonable the picture of the future that is being presented to us is if we consider it in terms of its pieces – particularly the technologies it presents. To consider the feasibility of the fascinating tools and other inventions depicted in these currently fictitious scenarios is, in some manner, to look through a window into the future. In a more functional sense, considering the show’s technology allows us a way to understand it in a broader cultural and historical context (as well as to better understand the possible future developments of these technologies through a fictional example).

Here are five key technologies from Westworld that are not AI, along with a sense of how close we are to actually having these seemingly “space-age” technologies available.

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May 31, 2018

TIME’s Latest Cover Photo is a Drone Photo of 958 Drones

Posted by in categories: drones, entertainment

TIME magazine’s latest issue is a special report on the rapid explosion of drones in our culture. For the cover photo, TIME recreated its iconic logo and red border using 958 illuminated drones hovering in the sky. It’s the first-ever TIME cover captured with a camera drone.

To create the photo, TIME partnered with Intel’s Drone Light Show team (which creates beautiful sky displays using hundreds of drones at a time) and Astraeus Aerial Cinema Systems to fly and capture (respectively) the 958 drones above Folsom, California (where Intel has a campus).

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May 20, 2018

When Thoughts Control Machines

Posted by in categories: computing, entertainment, neuroscience

Efforts to connect human brains to computers have taken big leaps forward in recent years. Melding our minds with machines could provide the biggest single upgrade to human intelligence since our species evolved. But are we ready?

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May 18, 2018

An AI Created New Doom Levels That Are as Fun as the Game’s Original Ones

Posted by in categories: entertainment, information science, robotics/AI

The technical skills of programmer John Carmack helped create the 3D world of Doom, the first-person shooter that took over the world 25 years ago. But it was level designers like John Romero and American McGee that made the game fun to play. Level designers that, today, might find their jobs threatened by the ever-growing capabilities of artificial intelligence.

One of the many reasons Doom became so incredibly popular was that id Software made tools available that let anyone create their own levels for the game, resulting in thousands of free ways to add to its replay value. First-person 3D games and their level design have advanced by leaps and bounds since the original Doom’s release, but the sheer volume of user-created content made it the ideal game for training an AI to create its own levels.

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May 14, 2018

Yamaha Launches AI-Infused RX-A 80 Receiver Series

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Yamaha today announced the ninth generation of its enthusiast-focused Aventage Series of AV receivers.

Ranging in price from $600 to $2,200, the new RX-A 80 Series comprises six models slated for roll-out between May and July, three of which employ artificial intelligence to achieve a “clearer, more engaging listening experience.”

Yamaha says its new Surround: AI technology analyzes audio characteristics such as dialogue, sound effects, and channel balance in real-time, compares the data to a reference database of movie scenes, and makes adjustments to enhance the sound field. Potential enhancements include making dialogue more intelligible in scenes with a lot of background noise. The feature is offered on the three top models, all due out in July: the 7.2-channel RX-A1080 ($1,300), 9.2-channel RX-A2080 ($1,700), and 9.2-channel RX-A3080 ($2,200).

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May 9, 2018

This Random Videogame Powers Quantum Entanglement Experiments

Posted by in categories: entertainment, quantum physics

How a simplistic keyboard-mashing game recruited thousands of players—for physics!

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