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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

23andMe wants you to find a new World Cup team in your blood – CNET

Commentary: With the US soccer team eliminated, the genetic testing company and Fox Sports get together to drum up interest in the tournament.
Source: CNET

Facebook says it hasn't found other Cambridge Analyticas – CNET

In a series of interviews, Sheryl Sandberg says the company is looking for more bad actors, but hasn’t found any so far.
Source: CNET

3D movie box office totals take another dive

Could it be that the scourge of 3D film is coming to an end? The box office contribution of 3D showings dropped in 2017 to 12 percent of the U.S. and Canada’s $11.1 billion total take, its lowest point essentially since 3D movies became a thing.

The numbers come straight from the horse’s mouth: an MPAA report (PDF) on ticket sales. It’s a mixed bag altogether, for the most part positive: people are still watching lots of movies, and they’re paying to go to theaters all over the world. Global box office hit a new record ($40.6 billion) even if the U.S. and Canada dropped 2 percent.

The decline of 3D, however, is really only noted in the following chart:

You can see that at 12 percent of total box office, it’s the lowest percentage and absolute amount of ticket sales for 3D movies since 2009. The peak, in 2010, was largely due to Avatar, surely the most impressive 3D film and certainly the highest grossing, even if it did use Papyrus for its title font. It’s been largely downhill since then.

And why not? 3D is expensive, uncomfortable, degrades the quality of the picture, rarely adds anything to a film and, in fact, is often bolted on after the fact in post-production. (CG films, more easily converted and aimed at a younger crowd, are an exception.)

3D TVs failed, 3D gaming failed, VR’s special take on 3D is at the very least failing to succeed — so why not 3D film?

As an embellishment on moviemaking, it’s largely bankrupt of possibility, but the idea of creating a “premium” tier of moviegoing (the sort-of-stealth motive of 3D) is far from a bad idea. People will pay extra for things like big seats, 21+ showings where you can drink, good food and so on. And as MoviePass has shown, they’ll also pay for theaters as a service — although whether the company can pull that off at the current price point is a matter of some debate.

Even if Avatar 2 were to give the 3D box office a shot in the arm, it’s unlikely that the enterprise is considered worth saving when other, fresher opportunities to put butts in seats are in the offing. Here’s hoping 2018 or 2019 will be the last time you have to specify 2D when buying tickets.


Source: TechCrunch

YouTube shooter’s anger: Inside the video site's ad dilemma – CNET

Nasim Aghdam’s anger at YouTube casts a nightmarish shadow over how it deals with creators and advertisers. Here’s what’s behind the issue of video “demonetization.”
Source: CNET

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15

Pitting the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 might seem like a silly comparison, but not everyone needs a 360-degree hinge and there are very good reasons to choose the traditional laptop over its convertible sibling.

The post Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 vs. Dell XPS 15 appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Machine Learning Zone: OpenAI competition takes on Sonic the Hedgehog

Retro video games have been a useful platform for machine learning research for years, and the systems created have been creeping through the classics, mastering them as they go. Sonic the Hedgehog may be the next to fall: OpenAI has announced a competition to apply machine learning to the classic Sega game.

It’s not vastly different from what’s been attempted before, things like playing Super Mario Bros or Space Invaders, or even the likes of Doom. But the rules are a bit different here.

A very basic summary of how AIs learn to play something like Mario is this: an algorithm is set up with some basic capabilities like recognizing objects on screen and monitoring the in-game score. It’s then set free on the game itself and allowed access to the controls, with the sole goal of maximizing its score.

Over millions of tries the machine learns that in order to score, it needs to hit start first, then that it needs to move to the right, then that goombas kill it (and stop it from scoring more), coins give it points and so on. It does this all basically from recognizing the shapes on the screen or, in some cases, from accessing the game geometry and system memory directly — it doesn’t care about the Princess, and it may develop strange behaviors that result from its single-minded pursuit of incrementing its score integer.

This one, for example, learned that it can glitch through the walls to get ahead quickly:

Great job!

Another thing the OpenAI folks point out is that these systems often learn on the games and levels on which they are evaluated. It’s a sort of “teaching to the test” situation. So in the new competition, not only are the systems more complicated than Mario’s (as anyone who’s played Sonic can tell you), but the systems created will be tested on levels to which they’ve had limited exposure.

They won’t be going in blind — the risk of an AI breaking from the first is too high. But while researchers will have all the time in the world to design a training and learning mechanism based on a selection of Sonic levels, the test will involve applying that training mechanism to a new set of levels, under a strict time limit (18 hours of game time).

This means you have to create an agent that understands not just one level of Sonic, but Sonic as a gestalt. If your AI knows all the shortcuts in Green Valley Zone, it may excel there, but when sent to the Chemical Zone, it’ll choke (like me) when it encounters the scary underwater parts.

You don’t jump like normal! It’s a lot of pressure with the stuff coming up!

It also means your algorithm has to train efficiently, which may involve all kinds of techniques and shortcuts. Minimizing training time means minimizing lazy learning and paying attention to multiple sources of information at once.

There are also different control methods, gimmicks and physics in each game, so it may be that identifying those before making the run could be critical to success. Really, there are all kinds of things to consider. (It’s making me want to go back and play these great games.)

Contestants will be using OpenAI’s Gym Retro platform, which essentially wraps an emulator playing Sonic (and a set of other Sega games) in the tools developers need to extract data, map inputs and so on.

Winners don’t get any cash or anything, but first through third place will get trophies and will have the opportunity to co-author a report on the contest. OpenAI’s reports are interesting and widely read, so it sounds like a good opportunity if you have the time and inclination — although, of course, “it’s great exposure” is the classic payment avoidance strategy.

There are lots more games in the package of games OpenAI is using — I’d like to see an AI take on Gunstar Heroes, or Golden Axe III.


Source: TechCrunch

El MIT corta con la empresa que pide eutanasias para almacenar cerebros

La ‘start-up’ Nectome ya ha recaudado más de 160.000 euros de voluntarios dispuestos a someterse a un suicidio asistido para conservar su cerebro. Pero no hay ninguna prueba de que sea posible recuperar recuerdos de una mente muerta 


Source: MIT

Facebook no está dispuesta a recopilar menos datos de sus usuarios

A raíz del escándalo de Cambridge Analytica, el CEO de Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, reconoce que la red social tiene problemas y que están intentando arreglarlos. Pero parece que las soluciones no incluyen medidas que puedan dañar los ingresos del negocio


Source: MIT

Redes inteligentes, 'blockchain' y baterías para decir adiós al carbón

Las energías renovables cada vez son más competitivas frente a otras fuentes menos respetuosas con el medio ambiente. Pero para aprovecharse de ellas es necesario rediseñar el modelo energético con tecnología


Source: MIT

La IA puede hacer el trabajo técnico de los médicos, pero no el humano

Para Google Cloud, el diagnóstico por imagen es una de las áreas médicas con más probabilidades de automatizarse, pero los radiólogos hacen más cosas en su día a día, como analizar el contexto del paciente y comunicarle el diagnóstico, algo que las máquinas aún no saben hacer


Source: MIT

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