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Artificial Intelligence

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Google DeepMind StarCraft II
Google announced today that DeepMind AI is the first artificial intelligence to reach the Grandmaster level in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. For those who don’t know how to play the game, two players basically compete against each other after choosing which alien race to be – Zerg, Protoss and Terran – with each having different abilities. To train the AI, DeepMind used three separate neural networks – one for each race of aliens it played as. Read more for a video and additional information.

NVIDIA AI Pet Transformation
NVIDIA researchers continue to explore the possibilities of artificial intelligence, and their latest project bridges photography and machine learning into an app, called GANimal. Simply put, it can instantly transform your pet into completely different animals. The team defined new AI techniques that give computers enough data to see a picture of one animal and recreate its expression and pose on the face of any other creature. Read more for a video and additional information.

Bosch SoundSee
Global technology company Bosch is launching a new sensor system powered by artificial intelligence, called the SoundSee, to the International Space Station. This module comes equipped with microphones and uses machine learning to detect and analyze sounds it hears. It then uses these sounds to establish a baseline, and continuously compares new audio to be able to immediately discover potential mechanical issues that could cause problems. It will also be used to provide information about the current performance of the ISS systems, and when they need maintenance or repair. Read more for a video and additional information.

OpenAI Robot Rubik's Cube
Photo credit: OpenAI
San Francisco–based AI research lab OpenAI managed to successfully train a robotic hand to manipulate a cube with extraordinary dexterity. That’s right, using a reinforcement-learning algorithm, the hand taught itself how to manipulate the cube with a technique modeled after how animals learn. It simulated various conditions, and trained the robot to solve the cube to keep going regardless of any unknown physical factors. Read more for two videos and additional information.

Impressionist Deepfake
It’s scary to think that in just a few years, we could be seeing full-length movies made entirely with artificial intelligence. Actor Jim Meskimen teamed up with deepfake artist Sham00k to give us a preview of what it might be like. Meskimen’s voices were spot on, and when the facial features of 20 celebrities, including George W. Bush, George Clooney, Nicholas Cage, Colin Firth, Robert De Niro, and even Arnold Schwartzenegger, things got strange really quickly. Read more for the video and additional information.

OpenAI Artificial Intelligence Hide and Seek
We’re possibly less than a decade away from self-conscious artificial intelligence capable of learning on its own, and this latest project gets us one step closer. Researchers OpenAI took an unusual approach at developing AI, one inspired by natural selection and competition. Put simply, they pit multiple AI agents against each other to compete for conflicting goals and found that it developed new sophisticated behavior in the long term. Read more for a video and additional information.

Will Smith Neo The Matrix
Movie enthusiasts and Will Smith fans probably already know that he turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Wild Wild West in 1999. In an alternate universe, this is how he might have looked in the film. Despite Wild Wild West not being a wild box office success, Smith says he has no regrets about his decision, saying that Keanu Reeves’s performance as Neo was superior to what he would have achieved. Read more to see what deepfake algorithms can do.

Zao Deepfake App
A new iOS app called Zao, developed by Chinese developer MoMo, was the most-downloaded China over the weekend, as it takes deepfakes to the next level by letting users superimpose their faces onto celebrities in just seconds rather than hours or even days. So far, the only issue users have had is with their privacy policy, which states that the developers could keep and reuse their images forever. Read more for a video of the software in-action.

Facebook MIT Minecraft AI
Facebook has teamed up with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant for the world’s most popular video game, Minecraft. This isn’t an AI that will help you automatically build worlds, but rather one capable of multitasking and helping users with everyday tasks outside a gaming environment. Read more for a video and additional information.

Elon Musk Deepfake Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is an epic science fiction film released in 1968, inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel”. It basically follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of a mysterious black Monolith affecting human evolution, and deals with themes of existentialism, human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, as well as the possibility of extraterrestrial life. If this film were to be remade today and starred Elon Musk, this is what one of the scenes might look like. Read more for the video and additional information.