Michael Cook, a 30-year-old senior research fellow at the University of Falmouth, has built an AI capable of imagining new video games from scratch. Cook calls the machine Angelina, a recursive acronym that stands for “A Novel Game-Evolving Labrat I’ve Named Angelina” (a joke that Cook says got old pretty quickly). Since its earliest form, in 2011, it has created hundreds of experimental video games, received acclaim in an international game-making competition, and had its work featured in a New York gallery exhibit. READ MORE: AI Is Dreaming Up New Kinds of Video Games | MIT Tech Review
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
STEVEN Soderbergh’s latest project—an interactive smartphone app called Mosaic…contains a 7-plus-hour miniseries about a mysterious death, but…viewers have some agency over what order they watch it in and which characters’ stories they follow. READ MORE: Steven Soderbergh’s New App Will Change How You Watch TV | WIRED
Beyond the buzz worthy headline, this is a cool move by Audible (owned by Amazon) because they listened to reader feedback and used machine learning to improve the UX.
Let’s admit it: you probably aren’t reading that romance novel for the plot. Or its literary value. Audible knows this, and is today launching a new collection of romance-themed audiobooks that come with a handy feature that lets you skip right to the action. Called “Take Me To The Good Part,” the feature will fast-forward you to the steamy sections of the audiobook, says Audible. READ MORE: Audible’s new romance audiobooks service uses machine learning to jump to the sex scenes | TechCrunch
Fears that computers were taking over swept the world this week when stories emerged about Facebook’s AI creating its own language that researchers couldn’t understand. But they might be a little misplaced.
Artificial intelligence experts have looked to calm worries that robots are becoming sentient or that we are living through the prelude to Terminator. The messages might seem strange, they agree. But they are explicable and fairly normal in the world of artificial intelligence research. READ MORE: Facebook’s artificial intelligence agents creating their own language is more normal than people think, researchers say | The Independent
A new breed of video and audio manipulation tools allow for the creation of realistic looking news footage, like the now infamous fake Obama speech. READ MORE: The future of fake news: don’t believe everything you read, see or hear | Technology | The Guardian
For such a simple tool, the white cane has been incredibly enduring. With all of the technological advances that have been made over the past century, we haven’t come up with much better than a stick with a metal tip for helping the visually impaired get around. Though researchers at MIT have been working on a wearable solution designed to augment and, hopefully, one day replace the cane. The system features a 3D camera with an on-board computer hung around the neck at chest level. The camera senses the location of objects, converting the signals into pulsing haptic vibrations that alert the wearer to the location of an object. The on-board motors vibrate with a variety of patterns and frequencies to signify different things, like the distance of an object. READ MORE: MIT develops a vibrating wearable to help people with visual impairments navigate | TechCrunch
Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company, is taking it upon themselves to enhance public libraries with its own educational initiative that will place 100 VR head-mounted displays in 90 California libraries. READ MORE: Your next trip to the library could include an Oculus Rift | engadget
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