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Destiny 2 unwrapped

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Bungie and Activision Publishing have announced Destiny 2, the sequel to Destiny, a first-person action game that takes the player on a journey to defend humanity from annihilation.

The official Destiny 2 reveal trailer, “Rally the Troops,” debuted a character-driven glimpse at Destiny 2’s story last week.  Additionally, the first hands-on gameplay reveal livestream will be broadcast around the world on May 18.  The broadcast will showcase a variety of fun, action-oriented activities within Destiny 2, and will highlight the brand-new, epic adventure waiting for players.

With a fresh start for all players right from the opening cinematic, Destiny 2 will expand across the globe with a worldwide release on September 8.  Destiny 2 will be available on PlayStation®4 systems with additional timed exclusive content*, Xbox One (PlayStation®Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription, respectively, required for significant features).

For the first time in Destiny’s history, a new platform to enjoy this universe will be offered: Destiny 2 is coming to PC.

“Destiny was the biggest launch of a new console video game franchise ever, and Destiny 2 will welcome a new generation into this action-packed universe,” said Activision CEO, Eric Hirshberg.  “Along with our incredibly talented partners at Bungie, we are focusing on making Destiny 2 appealing to more fans than ever – with state of the art first person action, an awesome new story, great characters, and innovations that make the game more accessible than ever.  We’re also bringing a dedicated version of Destiny to the PC platform for the first time.  Destiny 2 will make an already great game franchise bigger and better than ever.”

Bungie CEO, Pete Parsons, said, “The past three years have been incredibly inspiring and rewarding for Bungie. To know that millions of players around the world have forged lasting Destiny memories and even made it their hobby is truly humbling and we can’t wait to continue the journey.”  He added, “We are looking forward to sharing a fresh, inviting story, and with the upcoming Destiny 2 Beta slated for this summer, we are eager to get feedback from millions of players around the world who will get a glimpse of the new adventures that will unfold for all of us.  Together, with our partners at Activision, we are thrilled to get Destiny 2 in the hands of players in September.”

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ConceptD: Creatives get a tech brand of their own

The unveiling of a new brand by Acer recognises the massive computing power needed in creative professions, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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It’s a crisp Spring morning in Brooklyn. The regular water taxi from Manhattan pulls up at Duggal Greenhouse on the edge of the East River. It’s a building that symbolises the rejuvenation of Brooklyn as a hub of artistic and creative expression.

Inside the vast structure, global computer brand Acer is about to unveil its own tribute to creativity. Company CEO Jason Chen takes to the stage in faded blue jeans and brown t-shirt, underlining the connection of the event to the informality of the area.

“Brooklyn is become more and more diverse,” he tells a gathering of press from around the world, attending the Next@Acer media event. “It’s an area that is up and coming. It represents new lifestyles. And our theme today is turning a new chapter for creativity.”

Every year, Next@Acer is a parade of the cutting edge in gaming and educational laptops and computers. New devices from sub-brands like Predator, Helios and Nitro have gamers salivating. This year is no different, but there is a surprise in store, hinted in Chen’s introduction.

As a grand finale, he calls on stage Angelica Davila, whose day job is senior marketing manager for Acer Latin America. But she also happens to have a Masters degree in computer and electric engineering. A stint at Intel, where she joined a sales and marketing programme for engineers, set her on a new path.

Angelica Davila, marketing manager for Acer Latin America

For the last few months, she has been helping write Acer’s next chapter. She has shepherded into being nothing less than a new brand: ConceptD.

Click here to read more about ConceptD.

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Which voice assistant wins battle of translators?

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Take the most famous phrase from the Godfather – “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse” – or “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” from the inaugural address of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and see just how the virtual assistants do in translating them using their newly introduced Neural Machine Translation (NMT) capabilities. One Hour Translation (OHT), the world’s largest online translation service, conducted a study to find out just how accurate these new services are.

OHT used 60 sentences from movies and famous people ranging from the Godfather and Wizard of Oz to Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, US presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and historical figures like Leonardo da Vinci and Aesop. The sentences were translated by Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri from English to French, Spanish, Chinese and German and then given to five professional translators for their assessment on a scale of 1-6. 

Google Assistant scored highest in three of the four languages surveyed – English to French, English to German and English to Spanish and second in English to Chinese.  Amazon’s Alexa, whose translation engine is powered by Microsoft Translator, was tops in the English to Chinese category. Apple’s Siri was second place in English to French and English to Spanish and third place in English to German and English to Chinese.  (See chart). All three virtual assistants are compatible with mobile phones.

“The automated assistants’ translation quality was relatively high, which means that assistants are useful for handling simple translations automatically,” says Yaron Kaufman, chief marketing officer and co-founder of OHT. He predicts that “there is no doubt that the use of assistants is growing rapidly, is becoming a part of our lives and will make a huge contribution to the business world.” 

A lot will depend on further improvements in NMT technology, which has revolutionized the field of translation over the past two years.  All the companies active in the field are investing large sums as part of this effort. “OHT is working with several of the leading NMT providers to improve their engines through the use of its hybrid online translation service that combines NMT and human post-editing,” notes Kaufman. He adds that this will no doubt have a huge impact on the use of assistants for translation purposes.

OHT has made a name for itself in assessing the level of translations by NMT engines.  Its ONEs Evaluation Score is a unique human-based assessment of the leading NMT engines conducted on a quarterly basis and used as an industry standard. 

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