Headlines keep telling us that artificial intelligence (AI) is coming. But, if you step away from the paranoia about the impending robot invasion, you’ll notice that AI is already here. In fact, you’re likely using it every day without even thinking about it.
According to Nick Polson and James Scott, authors of AIQ – How artificial intelligence works and how we can harness its power for a better world, what we should think of is an algorithm, rather than a creepy humanoid robot. And the easiest example of how you’re likely already interacting with AI algorithms daily is social media.
AI takes all behaviours on these platforms, from searches to clicks to interactions, and tailors the experience based on the profile it’s created for you. From what stories or posts you see in your timeline to the notifications that you receive from these apps about things that may interest you, everything is curated by AI.
In a similar fashion, AI is what helps YouTube, Netflix or Spotify to suggest content you might like. And it’s what helps advertisers send targeted ads your way too.
AI is also behind many of the digital services we use, from ordering an Uber to plotting the best route on Google Maps or booking airplane flights. AI helps navigation services to interpret huge streams of data to give you real-time traffic information, while ride services like Uber or Taxify match your request with nearby vehicles and sets pricing.
One of the most ubiquitous AI tools already lives in your pocket or handbag if you own a smartphone. The device’s smart assistant is the obvious one, but many phones also use AI in their cameras. The AI Cam, like the one in LG’s new V40 ThinQ phone, is what helps the camera to make smarter decisions to give you a better photograph. By recognising the type of content in the image and making suggestions on everything from composition to filters, the AI helps you capture the photo you’re imagining.
AI is also behind the ability to animate certain parts of the photo, or to add virtual reality elements (reminiscent of the Snapchat effects). Next time you snap the perfect selfie, remember to thank AI.
Google announces its ‘Netflix for gaming’
The new gaming platform, Stadia, promises high-definition gaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices, writes BRYAN TURNER.
Google has announced that it has moved into the gaming space, and it focuses on two big aspects of gaming: streaming of games for gamers, which will allow gamers to game anywhere with a fast, low-latency Internet connection; and audiences that watch gamers in-game.
This is a big move in making gaming accessible to more gamers, as it reduces hardware costs, by utilising the benefits of low-latency cloud computing. This will be achieved by using a globally connected network of Google data centres. Gamers who stream games are most likely already using a high-speed, low-latency Internet connection, so access to the Stadia platform will be an added expense.
Through the Stadia platform, gamers will be able to access a large library of games at all times, with no installation time, on virtually any screen. Scaling of hardware like CPU, GPU, memory, and storage is also possible, as one would for cloud server resources.
Google will be leveraging its other platforms, like YouTube, with Stadia streaming. It claims that 200-million people are watching game-related content daily on YouTube. This allows, for example, Stadia players to jump in with other Stadia players – no downloads, no updates, no patches, and no installs.
For console players, Google has designed a custom controller.
The controller was designed to establish a direct connection from the Stadia controller to Google’s data centre through Wi-Fi for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in 4K resolution. It sports a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone, as many Google products do, for voice control.
The device is expected to be released later this year, pending FCC approval.
Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game
The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.
In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.
This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.
Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.
- Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
- Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
- Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
- Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
- Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.