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A.I. can now beat humans at their favorite video game
Machine learning has developed awareness of consequences for its actions. Oh, boy.
Gary Numan once asked: are friends electric? Well, if you're a robot — the answer is a resounding "affirmative". In a landmark event, AI has beaten humans in a teamwork related video game called Dota 2. Bill Gates calls the event "a big deal, because their victory required teamwork and collaboration – a huge milestone in advancing artificial intelligence." The AI team, comprised of five neural networks and collectively called OpenAI Five (itself part of the larger OpenAI) is funded by Elon Musk.
These five separate neural networks played 180 years worth of Dota 2 against itself every day for about two months. It was able to learn strategy through reinforcement learning, which is essentially the AI experimenting within the game, i.e. what it can do and what it can't do. Musk is apparently setting up a Dota 2 tourney featuring humans champions vs his AI squad for the end of July.
For the uninitiated, Dota 2 is a little like World of Warcraft (strategy and role-playing) and Starcraft (battle arena) combined. It's massively popular, with between 500,000 and a million people playing at any given moment. It's also more strategy based than a bystander might realize. In the 5 vs 5 tournaments, players are required to work as a team. One video game expert—who asked to remain nameless as he works for a competing game—said that "Dota is a little like basketball. There is absolutely a need for a cohesive team effort and strategic movements, you can't just run and gun and hope for the best."
One of the biggest achievements by the AI is perhaps the most overlooked by the (all too human) headline writers of this world: it takes the AI about 20,000 moves to win a game of Dota 2. That's a gargantuan leap from the 40 moves it takes to win a game of Chess or the 150 it takes to win at Go, two games that AI has previously mastered. Some of the Dota 2 moves might be minor, while others — like the 'town portal' move (don't ask me to explain it, I'm barely able to scramble an egg let alone describe a complex five-character teleportation) — can affect the entire playing field and the entire strategy in one move. The fact that AI can execute these moves correctly and have awareness of consequences of its actions is arguably the crux of the story.
Physicist Frank Wilczek proposes new methods of searching for extraterrestrial life.
- Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek thinks we are not searching for aliens correctly.
- Instead of sending out and listening for signals, he proposes two new methods of looking for extraterrestrials.
- Spotting anomalies in planet temperature and atmosphere could yield clues of alien life, says the physicist.
1. Atmosphere chemistry<p>Like we found out with our own effect on the Earth's atmosphere, making a <a href="https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/hole_SH.html" target="_blank">hole in the ozone layer</a>, the gases around a planet can be impacted by its inhabitants. "Atmospheres are especially significant in the search for alien life," <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/looking-for-signs-of-alien-technology-11581605907" target="_blank">writes Wilczek</a> "because they might be affected by biological processes, the way that photosynthesis on Earth produces nearly all of our planet's atmospheric oxygen."</p><p>But while astrobiology can provide invaluable clues, so can looking for the signs of alien technology, which can also be manifested in the atmosphere. An advanced alien civilization might be colonizing other planets, turning their atmospheres to resemble the home planets. This makes sense considering our own plans to terraform other planets like Mars to allow us to breathe there. Elon Musk even <a href="https://www.space.com/elon-musk-serious-nuke-mars-terraforming.html" target="_blank">wants to nuke the red planet.</a></p>
The Most Beautiful Equation: How Wilczek Got His Nobel<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="ijBZzuI2" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="061a3de613c45f42b05432a2949e7caa"> <div id="botr_ijBZzuI2_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ijBZzuI2-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/ijBZzuI2-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ijBZzuI2-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
2. Planet temperatures<p>Wilczek also floats another idea - what if an alien civilization created a greenhouse effect to raise the temperature of a planet? For example, if extraterrestrials were currently researching Earth, they would likely notice the increased levels of carbon dioxide that are <a href="https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases" target="_blank">heating up</a> our atmosphere. Similarly, we can looks for such signs around the exoplanets.</p><p>An advanced civilization might also be heating up planets to raise their temperatures to uncover resources and make them more habitable. Unfreezing water might be one great reason to turn up the thermostat. </p><p>Unusually high temperatures can also be caused by alien manufacturing and the use of artificial energy sources like nuclear fission or fusion, suggests the scientist. Structures like the hypothetical <a href="https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/this-mind-bending-scale-predicts-the-power-of-advanced-civilizations" target="_self">Dyson spheres</a>, which could be used to harvest energy from stars, can be particularly noticeable. </p>
Wilczek: Why 'Change without Change' Is One of the Fundamental Principles of the ...<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="KrUgLGWm" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="cc13c3c65924439c1992935c61ab8977"> <div id="botr_KrUgLGWm_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/KrUgLGWm-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/KrUgLGWm-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/KrUgLGWm-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
As patients approached death, many had dreams and visions of deceased loved ones.
One of the most devastating elements of the coronavirus pandemic has been the inability to personally care for loved ones who have fallen ill.
Research reveals a new evolutionary feature that separates humans from other primates.
- Researchers find a new feature of human evolution.
- Humans have evolved to use less water per day than other primates.
- The nose is one of the factors that allows humans to be water efficient.
A model of water turnover for humans and chimpanzees who have similar fat free mass and body water pools.
Credit: Current Biology
Being skeptical isn't just about being contrarian. It's about asking the right questions of ourselves and others to gain understanding.