Archive for the ‘entertainment’ category

Jan 23, 2020

In Just 4 Hours, Google’s AI Mastered All The Chess Knowledge in History

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Circa 2017

Chess isn’t an easy game, by human standards. But for an artificial intelligence powered by a formidable, almost alien mindset, the trivial diversion can be mastered in a few spare hours.

In a new paper, Google researchers detail how their latest AI evolution, AlphaZero, developed “superhuman performance” in chess, taking just four hours to learn the rules before obliterating the world champion chess program, Stockfish.

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Jan 23, 2020

Exploring Euclideon’s Unlimited Detail Engine

Posted by in categories: entertainment, particle physics, robotics/AI

As others have pointed out, voxel-based games have been around for a long time; a recent example is the whimsical “3D Dot Game Hero” for PS3, in which they use the low-res nature of the voxel world as a fun design element.

Voxel-based approaches have huge advantages (“infinite” detail, background details that are deformable at the pixel level, simpler simulation of particle-based phenomena like flowing water, etc.) but they’ll only win once computing power reaches an important crossover point. That point is where rendering an organic world a voxel at a time looks better than rendering zillions of polygons to approximate an organic world. Furthermore, much of the effort that’s gone into visually simulating real-world phenomena (read the last 30 years of Siggraph conference proceedings) will mostly have to be reapplied to voxel rendering. Simply put: lighting, caustics, organic elements like human faces and hair, etc. will have to be “figured out all over again” for the new era of voxel engines. It will therefore likely take a while for voxel approaches to produce results that look as good, even once the crossover point of level of detail is reached.

I don’t mean to take anything away from the hard and impressive coding work this team has done, but if they had more academic background, they’d know that much of what they’ve “pioneered” has been studied in tremendous detail for two decades. Hanan Samet’s treatise on the subject tells you absolutely everything you need to know, and more: (…sr=8-1) and even goes into detail about the application of these spatial data structures to other areas like machine learning. Ultimately, Samet’s book is all about the “curse of dimensionality” and how (and how much) data structures can help address it.

Jan 22, 2020

Chris Roberts on using infinite computing power to create a universe of endless possibilities

Posted by in categories: computing, entertainment, space

Circa 2017

Chris Roberts built worlds for games such as Wing Commander at Electronic Arts’ Origin at the dawn of 3D games a couple of decades ago.

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Jan 22, 2020

Defector says North Korean regime turned its people into cannibals

Posted by in categories: entertainment, food

Like millions of movie-mad children around the world, Gim Gyu Min dreamed of being a film star when he grew up. But when he huddled in the darkness of the cinema in the 1980s and ’90s, he was forced to watch propaganda praising the North Korean regime.

Now, after a harrowing escape from his country in 1999, he is a filmmaker dedicated to making movies that expose the human-rights abuses there. “I want to let the world know that more and more people are dying under the Kim family dictatorship,” he said.

His movies are based on events that he witnessed during the North Korean famine in the late 1990s, when, among other horrors, he watched a woman being arrested for cannibalism after she resorted to eating her own son. Her child’s head had been found in a cauldron.

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Jan 22, 2020

Physicists Develop Reversible Laser Tractor Beam Functional Over Long Distances

Posted by in categories: entertainment, particle physics, space travel, tractor beam

Circa 2015

Spaceships in movies and TV shows routinely use tractor beams to tow other vessels or keep them in place. Physicists have been hard at work trying take this technology from science fiction to reality. Significant process has recently been made by a team who have developed a laser tractor beam able to attract and repel particles about 100 times further than has been previously achieved. The lead author of the paper, published in Nature Photonics, is Vladlen Shvedov at Australian National University in Canberra.

Other recent tractor beams have used acoustics or water, but this one uses a single laser beam to control tiny particles about 0.2 millimeters in diameter. The tractor beam was able to manipulate the particles from a distance of 20 centimeters, shattering previous records. Despite this incredible distance, the researchers claim it is still on the short end of what is possible for this tractor beam technique.

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Jan 22, 2020

Billions of quantum entangled electrons found in ‘strange metal’

Posted by in categories: entertainment, quantum physics

The research, which appears this week in Science, examined the electronic and magnetic behavior of a “strange metal” compound of ytterbium, rhodium and silicon as it both neared and passed through a critical transition at the boundary between two well-studied quantum phases.

The study at Rice University and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) provides the strongest direct evidence to date of entanglement’s role in bringing about quantum criticality, said study co-author Qimiao Si of Rice.

“When we think about quantum entanglement, we think about small things,” Si said. “We don’t associate it with macroscopic objects. But at a quantum critical point, things are so collective that we have this chance to see the effects of entanglement, even in a metallic film that contains billions of billions of quantum mechanical objects.”

Jan 21, 2020

Godzilla in real life

Posted by in categories: biological, entertainment

Godzilla is back in cinemas, and he’s big. Since his first awakening the radioactive, fire-spewing kaiju has grown 60 metres and put on more than 150 000 tons. Godzilla is now 30 storeys tall and weighs as much as a cruise ship. s biology. If Godzilla were real, he would be an incredible specimen.

Weight problems Godzilla would weigh 146 000 tons, according to our keen analysis of the 2014 Godzilla toy and a formula developed by palaeontologists to work out the mass of bipedal dinosaurs.

0,00016 x (circumference of femur in millimetres) 2,73 = mass in kilograms 0,00016 x (Godzilla’s femur: 24 200 mm) 2,73 = 148 571 645 kilograms, or nearly 150 000 tons.

Jan 17, 2020

AlphaFold makes its mark in predicting protein structures

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Players applaud, say words like Whoo, bang plastic knives on the table and enjoy the best weekends with artificial intelligence as the main act, thanks to AI unleashed in games.

WIRED UK’s science editor, Matt Reynolds, looked at DeepMind’s impact on AI milestones: “It has outplayed Go champions, bested professional StarCraft players and turned its attention to chess and shogi.”

Let the games continue but the serious stuff must seriously shine. In brief, we can admire that unleashing AI for the purpose of scientific discovery has become especially alive and well thanks to research at DeepMind.

Jan 15, 2020

BLOODSHOT Official Trailer 2 (2020) Vin Diesel, Superhero Movie HD

Posted by in category: entertainment

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Plot: Ray Garrison, an elite soldier who was killed in battle, is brought back to life by an advanced technology that gives him the ability of super human strength and fast healing. With his new abilities, he goes after the man who killed his wife, or at least, who he believes killed his wife. He soon comes to learn that not everything he learns can be trusted. The true question his: Can he even trust himself?

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Jan 10, 2020

Voice-controlled robot can morph into a car that races around the room

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI, transportation

Originally a bunch of children’s toys, then comic books, cartoons and movies, robot action figures than morph into vehicles and back again have proved immensely popular over the years. After a successful Kickstarter last year, Robosen Robotics has launched the T9, a robot that transforms into a vehicle through voice commands or via an app.

There are many Transformer-like robot toys already available, but most require the user to manually change the thing from action figure to vehicle, animal, device or whatever, and back again. Like the bots from the cartoons and movies, the T9 is an actual transforming robot designed to stimulate a child’s interest in programming, robotics and artificial intelligence.

The T9 is claimed to be the first robot in the consumer space that can automatically move from vehicle to robot and back again, can walk on two legs when in robot form, race on its wheels when in vehicle form, involves coding and program development, and can be controlled by voice commands or through a mobile app. It can even bust some funky dance moves if you want it to.

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