AI research and video games are a match made in heaven. Researchers get a ready-made virtual environment with predefined goals they can control completely, and the AI agent gets to romp around without doing any damage. Sometimes, though, they do break things. Case in point is a paper published this week by a trio of machine learning researchers from the University of Freiburg in Germany. They were exploring a particular method of teaching AI agents to navigate video games (in this case, desktop ports of old Atari titles from the 1980s) when they discovered something odd. The software they were testing discovered a bug in the port of the retro video game Q*bert that allowed it to rack up near infinite points. As the trio describe in the paper, published on pre-print server arXiv, the agent was learning how to play Q*bert when it discovered an “interesting solution.” Normally, in Q*bert, players jump from cube to cube, with this action changing the platforms’ colors. … [Read more...] about A video game-playing AI beat Q*bert in a way no one’s ever seen before
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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, people had no smartphones, but they had laser swords and lightspeed space travel... Eh, let's call it a draw! With the upcoming release of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi and with Star Wars: Battlefront 2 still being hot on the shelves, you've probably been reminded of this universe and would like to revisit? How about pick up a nice Star Wars game for your phone or tablet, you know — to achieve that sense of pride and accomplishment while on the go?Well, you're in luck — there are plenty of apps and games out there in the app stores that take us right to the battle between Light and Dark. And we picked out the best ones for you right here — dive right in for some action, RPG, strategy, or augmented reality experiences right below!Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicPrice: $19.99Considered by many to be one of the best Star Wars-themed games of all time, KOTOR was originally released for PC and Xbox way back in 2003. However, … [Read more...] about The best Star Wars games for iPhone and Android: let’s shoot some stormtroopers!
Facebook Messenger - the world's second most used chat app - announced the addition of Instant Games to its already impressive roaster of stickers, GIFs, AI chat bots, and other features meant to increase the stickiness of the platform. The addiction will be fueled by score-based leaderboards in single or group chats, and the ability to challenge friends with screenshots of your progress. Initially, Instant Games will be rolled out to 30 countries only - Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, United States, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Latvia, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, Russian Federation, Estonia, Taiwan, Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Cyprus, Israel, Lithuania, Spain, and Italy.With the latest app version of Facebook Messenger there you will have access to timewasters from current or legendary devs like Konami, Bandai Namco, King, Taito, and even Zynga (where would Instant Games be without … [Read more...] about 5 cool Facebook Messenger Instant Games to start with, and in which countries you can play them
A loss for humanity! Man succumbs to machine! If you heard about AlphaGo’s latest exploits last week — crushing the world’s best Go player and confirming that artificial intelligence had mastered the ancient Chinese board game — you may have heard the news delivered in doomsday terms. There was a certain melancholy to Ke Jie’s capitulation, to be sure. The 19-year-old Chinese prodigy declared he would never lose to an AI following AlphaGo’s earthshaking victory over Lee Se-dol last year. To see him onstage last week, nearly bent double over the Go board and fidgeting with his hair, was to see a man comprehensively put in his place. But focusing on that would miss the point. DeepMind, the Google-owned company that developed AlphaGo, isn’t attempting to crush humanity — after all, the company is made up of humans itself. AlphaGo represents a major human achievement and the takeaway shouldn’t be that AI is surpassing our abilities, … [Read more...] about AI, the humanity!
Best free iPad games So you've got an iPad, but have come to the dawning realisation that you've got no cash left to buy any games for it.Have no fear, because the App Store offers plenty of iPad gaming goodness for the (unintentional or otherwise) skinflint.Haven't bought an iPad yet and not sure which is best? We've got them listed on our best iPad ranking - or you can check out the best tablets list to see the full range available now.Our updated pick of the best free iPad games are listed right here.New this week: Turn Undead: Monster HunterTurn Undead: Monster Hunter is a spooky run-and-gun platformer, in the same territory as arcade classic Ghosts ’n Goblins. Hordes of zombies, vampires and werewolves need offing by way of your trusty supply of stakes, before you make for an exit – and a few moments of feeling smug.But Turn Undead has another trick up its sleeve: it’s turn-based. This means time only moves on when you do, which upends everything you thought you … [Read more...] about Best free iPad games 2018