This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through November 12)

Revisiting the first self-driving car in 1986 gives us an idea of how long this tech has been in the works, paving the way for today’s machine learning of books and video games and, perhaps, a jobless future. Plus, the Black Mirror tech that’s already here and the first horror movie trailer made by an AI.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: DeepMind and Blizzard to Release StarCraft II as an AI Research Environment
Oriol Vinyals | DeepMind

“DeepMind is on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be told how. Games are the perfect environment in which to do this, allowing us to develop and test smarter, more flexible AI algorithms quickly and efficiently, and also providing instant feedback on how we’re doing through scores.”

POLITICS: Elon Musk Imagines Life After Democracy
Rich McCormick | The Verge

“Musk’s projection is the end point for a very logical, technocentric way of thinking, but is it viable in real life? Imagining, for a moment, that tech companies are capable of making and implementing the kind of breakthroughs that automate large swathes of society, it’s still very difficult to marry a universal income with western society—cultures hardcoded with political and philosophical beliefs that stand against the idea of money for nothing.”

SELF-DRIVING CARS: Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute History of Self-Driving Cars
Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute | YouTube

“NavLab or Navigation Laboratory was the first self-driving car with people riding on board. It was very slow, but for 1986 computing power, it was revolutionary. NavLab continued to lay the groundwork for Carnegie Mellon University’s expertise in the field of autonomous vehicles.”

MACHINE LEARNING: Deep Neural Network Learns to Judge Books by Their Covers
Emerging Technology from the arXiv | MIT Technology Review

“Nevertheless, this is interesting work that could help designers improve their skills when it comes to book covers. A more likely outcome, however, is that it could be used to train machines to design book covers without the need for human input. And that means book cover design is just another job that is set to be consigned to the history books.”

CULTURE: Black Mirror Tech That’s Already Here!
Product Hunt | Medium

“The Verge said it perfectly: ‘If Black Mirror could be summed up in one sentence, it’d probably be “Technology is exciting, but people are awful, and they keep finding the worst ways to apply it.”‘ If you’re a fan of the show, you might think it’s an interesting glimpse into the future. But some of the technology you see throughout the series already exists in nascent stages.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Morgan: IBM Creates First Movie Trailer by AI
20th Century Fox | YouTube

“Utilizing experimental Watson APIs and machine learning techniques, the IBM Research system analyzed hundreds of horror/thriller movie trailers. After learning what keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, the AI system suggested the top 10 best candidate moments for a trailer from the movie Morgan, which an IBM filmmaker then edited and arranged together.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Matthew Straub
Matthew Straub
Experienced director of digital marketing and digital brand strategies with a demonstrated history of working in the startup, technology, and agency spaces, both as a co-founder of a nonprofit startup and as a director in a global organization. Particularly skilled in social media strategies, content marketing, and brand strategy.
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