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Video Games

Mini hits the virtual racetrack with Clubman Gran Turismo

Mini has joined the raft of manufacturers determined to win the hearts and minds of gamers through Gran Turismo 6, where, unburdened by the stifling regulations that surround traditional racing series, manufacturers are able to let their imaginations run wild. The Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo takes the Clubman's fairly mundane shape and replaces it with a full racing aerodynamics kit, powered by a 395 hp (295 kW) engine. Read More
— Computers

Google's deep Q-network proves a quick study in classic Atari 2600 games

By - February 26, 2015 1 Picture
In an old school gaming party to end all parties, Google's new deep Q-network (DQN) algorithm is likely to mop the floor with you at Breakout or Space Invaders, but maybe take a licking at Centipede. Provided with only the same inputs as a human player and no previous real-world knowledge, DQN uses reinforcement learning to learn new games, and in some cases, develop new strategies. Its designers argue that this kind of general learning algorithm can crossover into discovery making in other fields. Read More
— Games

Realm System brings force and resistance to motion gaming

By - February 18, 2015 13 Pictures
Video games have come a long way since the days of Computer Space, Pong and Donkey Kong. Storylines have become richer and more compelling, the leap from two to three-dimensional environments marked the beginnings of open world gameplay and now we've got virtual reality promising to take things to yet another level. Film producer-turned-hardware developer Matt Long is determined to play a part in this continued evolution of gaming technology by bringing physical resistance and force into the mix with his Realm System. Read More
— Computers Feature

Creative AI: Teaching computers to be reporters and storytellers

We humans are obsessed with storytelling. We tell stories to people we meet and people we love. We can't get enough of the stories that drive movies, video games, television, and books. We communicate with stories, and now we're training our computers to do the same. By writing sets of rules and instructions of varying complexity, artificial intelligence experts can enable computers to write stories both real and fictional. Some of these algorithms, as you'll see shortly, produce articles or reports with the sort of flair you'd think only a human could provide, which has fascinating implications for the future of publishing. Read More
— Children

In Pictures: Technology proves big fun at the Nuremberg Toy Fair

By - February 6, 2015 89 Pictures
It might seem strange that Gizmag spent a good chunk of the busy month of January playing with toys at two major toy fairs, London and Nuremberg. The toy segment is following consumer technology closely, though, and many of the same trends that we see at major shows like CES and IFA are also evident at the international toy fairs ... only in smaller, simpler, more child-friendly packages. Proclaimed as the world's biggest toy fair, the Nuremberg Toy Fair ("Spielwarenmesse" in German), which wrapped up earlier this week, gave us a good feel for how toy companies are incorporating the latest technologies, including robotics and connectivity. Read More
— Games Feature

Creative AI: Procedural generation takes game development to new worlds

Owing perhaps to the difficulty and extreme cost of building virtual worlds that can be seen, heard, explored, and interacted with in multitudes of other ways, video games have long made use of procedural content generation and computation creativity. Epic space-faring BBC Micro game Elite generated its own star systems on the fly way back in 1984, for instance, while the likes of Minecraft, Diablo, and the SimCity series all similarly sport environments sculpted by algorithms. But artificial intelligence research is opening new avenues in the ever-evolving dance between human game developers and their algorithmically-intelligent tools. AIs can now create entire 2D and 3D games from scratch, unassisted, and that could be just the tip of the iceberg. Read More
— Computers Feature

Creative AI: Computer composers are changing how music is made

You've probably heard music composed by a computer algorithm, though you may not realize it. Artificial intelligence researchers have made huge gains in computational – or algorithmic – creativity over the past decade or two, and in music especially these advances are now filtering through to the real world. AI programs have produced albums in multiple genres. They've scored films and advertisements. And they've also generated mood music in games and smartphone apps. But what does computer-authored music sound like? Why do it? And how is it changing music creation? Join us, in this first entry in a series of features on creative AI, as we find out. Read More
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