AI Beat Humans at Reading! Maybe Not | WIRED #AI #software #reading #tech #machinelearning


News spread Monday of a remarkable breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Microsoft and Chinese retailer Alibaba independently announced that they had made software that matched or outperformed humans on a reading-comprehension test devised at Stanford. Microsoft called it a “major milestone.” Media coverage amplified the claims, with Newsweek estimating “millions of jobs at risk.”

Those jobs seem safe for a while. Closer examination of the tech giants’ claims suggests their software hasn’t yet drawn level with humans, even within the narrow confines of the test used. READ MORE: AI Beat Humans at Reading! Maybe Not | WIRED

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Edmonton computer scientist using artificial intelligence to decipher mysterious manuscript | National Post #AI #manuscripts #analysis #software


Even the cryptographers who cracked Nazi Enigma codes couldn’t read the Voynich, but Greg Kondrack of the University of Alberta may just have. READ: Edmonton computer scientist using artificial intelligence to decipher mysterious manuscript | National Post

What Happens When an Algorithm Helps Write Science Fiction | WIRED #storytelling #tech #algorithms #software #text #analysis


That statement probably requires some explanation. Two researchers named Adam Hammond and Julian Brooke have spent the past few years developing software that analyzes literary databases. Their program can identify dozens of structural and stylistic details in huge chunks of text, and if you give them a collection of great stories—stories that maybe you wished you had written—they are able to identify all the details that those great stories have in common. READ MORE: What Happens When an Algorithm Helps Write Science Fiction | WIRED

Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED #music #audio #innovation #tech #AI #artists


Engel and Resnick are part of Google Magenta—a small team of AI researchers inside the internet giant building computer systems that can make their own art—and this is their latest project. It’s called NSynth, and the team will publicly demonstrate the technology later this week at Moogfest, the annual art, music, and technology festival, held this year in Durham, North Carolina.

The idea is that NSynth, which Google first discussed in a blog post last month, will provide musicians with an entirely new range of tools for making music. READ MORE: Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED

Sex and sexuality: The Jane Austen game breaking the MMO rules | engadget #Austen #MMOG #gaming #RPG #transmedia


Ever, Jane is an online role-playing game set in the dramatic, romantic worlds of Jane Austen. It invites players to attend sophisticated dinner parties and fancy balls, share gossip, keep secrets, fall in love, get married and climb the ribbon-lined social ladder of Regency-era England. It is definitely not a sex game, though sometimes players get wrapped up in this universe of exquisite gowns and forbidden desire, and they simply can’t help themselves.

“Let’s just say that we had to put in private chat,” Ever, Jane creator Judy Tyrer says with a laugh. READ MORE: Sex and sexuality: The Jane Austen game breaking the MMO rules | engadget

 

Post Disclosure: I supported the Ever, Jane Kickstarter campaign by giving a small donation. Downloaded the beta version but unable to run software properly yet on my 2010 MacBook Pro Intel OS X Yosemite. Note to self: Buy new computer so I can play Ever, Jane.

Software solves mystery of 2,500 year-old poem by Sappho | Ars Technica #software #tech #science #analysis #poems #historical #archives


Science illuminates the dark night when the Greek poet looked to the heavens, lonely for her lover. Due to tantalizing hints in the poem, scholars have long debated when it was written. Now, thanks to software used to simulate night skies in planetariums, scientists have figured it out. READ MORE: Software solves the mystery of a 2,500 year-old poem by Sappho | Ars Technica

Animation software used by Studio Ghibli will soon be free | engadget #animation #software #free #video #design #opensource


You may not have heard of Toonz animation software, but you’ve no doubt seen work it was used in: Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Tale of the Princess Kaguya (above), or the animated series Futurama. Now, the Toonz Ghibli Edition used by legendary Japanese filmmakers like Hayao Miyazaki is going open-source, making it free to use by studios and novice animators alike.

Source: Animation software used by Studio Ghibli will soon be free  | engadget

Microsoft’s Dope New Tool Is Like #Autocomplete for #Drawing | WIRED #digital #animation #interactive #media #tech #software #design #art


CREATING EVEN A few seconds of a hand-drawn animation—think old-school Looney Tunes, or earlier Disney films like Snow White—is a painstaking process that requires artists to draw hundreds, if not thousands, of frames. Over the years, advances in digital animation tools have streamlined that process and, in doing so, created a new aesthetic best seen in the faces of Pixar’s canon of characters.

Microsoft Research, along with the University of Hong Kong and the University of Tokyo, just unveiled a proof-of-concept technology that could bring back the charm of older, hand-drawn cartoons, with the speed and fluidity of today’s animation software. “Autocomplete hand-drawn animations” debuted at the Siggraph Asia conference, and it’s an interactive system that watches what the artist draws and then predicts what frame or line might come next. READ MORE: Microsoft’s Dope New Tool Is Like Autocomplete for Drawing | WIRED

Clinical Trial Will Test if #GoogleGlass Can Help #Kids with #Autism | WIRED #assistive #tech #gadgets #devices #disabilities #learning


For Voss, Wall, and their colleague Nick Haber, a Stanford post-doc, the idea is that their Glass software will help autistic children recognize and understand facial expressions and, through them, emotions. It operates like a game or, as Voss calls it, an “interactive learning experience.” Through the Google Glass eyewear, children are asked to, say, find someone who is happy. When they look at someone who is smiling, the app recognizes this and awards “points.” The system also records what the child does for later review. “You can plot, as they wear the glasses, how they’re improving, where they’re improving,” Wall says. “You can look at video to understand why.” READ MORE: Clinical Trial Will Test if Google Glass Can Help Kids with Autism | WIRED