XPRIZE’s latest program to incentivize innovation is going after a new demographic: young people between the ages of 10 and 18 who are up for developing video games that play on the themes of exploration, the environment and social equity.
Who would have thought a video game could identify potential treatments for COVID-19? Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design certainly thought so, and so far the game has produced 99 chances to win.
The makers of software such as Microsoft Flight Simulator usually say their programs are meant for entertainment, not actual flight training — but there’s a venture called TakeFlight Interactive that’s using enhanced simulations to get future pilots up to speed more quickly.
Part of the enhancement is adding a virtual instructor to the mix.
“There’s so much latent power in a desktop simulation,” Brandon Seltz, founder and CEO of the Redmond, Wash.-based venture, told GeekWire. “But the instructional element of flight training has never been simulated.”
TakeFlight is taking on that challenge: The company’s developers have created an assortment of software modules for general, commercial and military flight training that includes a voice assistant to let you know when you should pull back on the controls or give the throttle a push.
RENTON, Wash. — Thanks to Microsoft’s hyper-realistic new version of Flight Simulator, I now know what it’s like to fly a Cessna 72SP Skyhawk airplane over my neighborhood … then crash it into the next street over.
And in connection with a daylong preview of the pre-alpha version of the simulation software, I got to fly a real Cessna almost as close to my real neighborhood. Thankfully, without crashing.
Both adventures were eye-openers for a guy like me — a guy who had never taken a flight lesson before, and whose only previous experience with flight simulation programs has been to crash (or nearly crash) virtual spaceships.
But even a newbie like me can appreciate the effort that went into the first full refresh for Microsoft’s classic Flight Simulator in 13 years.
Can a video game reclaim centuries’ worth of lost cultural heritage in the Middle East? Microsoft’s Minecraft Education Edition is being used to do just that, in league with UNESCO and schools around the world.
History Blocks takes advantage of the educationally oriented Minecraft platform to build virtual versions of ancient monuments — starting with sites that were destroyed by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, and by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The project was conceived and developed by Agencia Africa in Brazil, and put to its first test this February at Escola Bosque, a private school in São Paulo.
For decades, the games that put artificial intelligence to the test have been played human vs. machine – whether it’s checkers, chess, Go, poker, StarCraft or “Jeopardy.” Why isn’t there a game where the AI and the human are on the same side?
Now there is, and you can play, too.
Researchers at Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence are taking the wraps off Iconary, a Pictionary-type puzzle game in which an AI and human players take turns putting together pictures and guessing what phrases the pictures signify. Anyone can play the game with the AI agent, nicknamed AllenAI, by going to Iconary.AllenAI.org.
But it’s not just a game.
“Ready Player One,” the Steven Spielberg movie that blends memes from the 1980s with a virtual-reality vision of 2045, is getting mostly positive reviews from film critics and filmgoers, and from box-office trackers as well.
Some see the film as a metaphor for the yin-yang, love-hate, fanboy-hacker relationship we’ve developed with our hyperconnected world. But for techies, one of the biggest allures of “Ready Player One” may well be the way it amps up today’s frontier technologies to reveal tomorrow’s everyday realities.
During a Cinerama preview organized by Madrona Ventures Group, managing director Matt McIlwain told the audience that the movie reflected the VC firm’s interest in intuitive “multisense” interfaces that are on track to transform the way we use high-tech applications.
If you want to go into the theater knowing absolutely nothing about the movie other than what you’ve seen in the teasers, put this story on pause and come back later. But if you’re ready for a quick rundown on five real-world gadgets and tech trends that are amped up for “Ready Player One,” read on.
You got to know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em — and when it comes to betting on human superiority in the game of poker, it may be time to fold ’em.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers laid their cards on the table in a study published this week in the journal Science, explaining how they designed their Libratus AI program to beat four professional poker players in no-limit Texas Hold’em.