Neural Net Learns Breakout Then Thrashes Human Gamers
‘The end is nigh. Humans have lost another key battle in the war against computer domination
‘One curious thing about these games is that computers themselves have never been very good at playing them in the same way as humans. That means playing them by looking at the monitor and judging actions accordingly. This kind of “hand-to-eye” co-ordination has always been a special human skill.
‘Not any more. Today, Volodymyr Mnih and pals at DeepMind Technologies in London say they’ve created a neural network that learns how to play video games in the same way as humans: using the computer equivalent of hand-to-eye co-ordination.
‘And not only is their neural network a handy player, it learns so well that it can actually beat expert human players in games such as Pong and Breakout…’
Chess will outlast eSports, says Kasparov
‘On a trip to the World Youth Mindsports Fair in Seoul, South Korea, one of the greatest chess grandmasters of all time weighed in on this new-fangled thing we call eSports.
‘It was fitting that Seoul provoked eSports pontifications from Garry Kasparov. Even there—a city known as the Mecca of eSports—Kasparov sees a day when Chess and Go surpass current eSports stalwarts League of Legends and StarCraft…’
The Factual Downside to Bitcoin
The more I report on Bitcoin, the weirder it gets
I’m glad Cyrus Farivar confirms that because that is what I suspect too
‘At the time, I was living in Germany working for Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international public radio broadcaster). I barely understood how it worked but got a bit of a taste when reporting on it. Solving cryptographic hashes? The blockchain? I was bombarded with a lot of bizarre terminology and still a little unsure. Luckily, I later learned more after listening to NPR’s Planet Money explanation in August 2011.
‘But 2013 was a banner year for everyone’s favorite digital currency, and after about 10 months of following it closely, I can definitively say two things:
– I’m glad I own zero bitcoins.
– Bitcoin is fascinating, but the more I dive into the world of Bitcoin, the sketchier it gets…’
Why you should be glad you don’t own Bitcoins
What Happens to Dead Bitcoins?
‘Bitcoin is designed to be a finite economic resource. Its anonymous creator(s) have programmed Bitcoin to self-generate new units of the currency at a gradually decreasing pace during the coming years.
‘There are numerous circumstances under which bitcoins can be permanently lost. It’s a vulnerable currency, one that relies on the safety and proper functioning of the hard drives, servers and other storage devices on which Bitcoin wallets are kept. Likewise, if access to a Bitcoin wallet hasn’t been accounted for, the death of an owner could result in the accidental forfeiture of a Bitcoin fortune.
“‘It’s impossible, really, to know how many bitcoins are gone forever,” said Sarah Meiklejohn, a computer science researcher from the University of California at San Diego. “They look no different than any other bitcoins that have gone dormant.”…’